Apple has apparently fired the first shot in the holiday shopping battle, by announcing internally that retail store employees have the authority to match the prices of other authorized retailers. The stores have also cancelled all regular presentations on Black Friday, posted holiday buying tips have on Apple’s retail Web page, and created a special iPhone 3G gift card to help bolster holiday sales. Up to now, the stores have not given managers the ability to approve certain “deals,” but there has been no general price matching policy. As well, Apple traditionally never discounts its products except on Black Friday. It’s not clear if the pricing matching will be publicly announced through advertising or Apple’s retail Web pages. The price flexibility does come with some restrictions, including the customer supplying proof of the competitor’s pricing. Last Sunday Best Buy announced $50 to $150 discounts on various computer models, while Amazon.com typically offers year-round discounts on Macintosh models.Here’s an example of a price-matching receipt that was mailed to one Apple Macbook Pro buyer. Notice that the buyer also received a 10 percent discount on a La Cie hard disk drive.
E-mail this story