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Best Buy and the Holiday Retail Prisoner's Dilemma

Consumers may be the only cheerful ones this holiday season; for retailers, it’s going to be a skinny Christmas. That was the message from Best Buy this morning as it warned about an “increasingly promotional environment.”

The retailer said it would keep pace, sticking to a price-matching policy it made permanent in February and similarly matching the early opening decisions of its rivals by welcoming shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Best Buy Chief Financial Officer Sharon McCollam said the company is “highly aware” of just how much its competitors will be slashing prices in the holiday blitz from Thanksgiving to Dec. 25. “It is table stakes in our transformation,” she said of the decision to follow their lead.