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Advertising Age reports that electronics retailer Best Buy has taken a direct shot at Walmart in a new commercial, producing a piece that portrays a customer in a Walmart calling a Best Buy associate to ask for advice on buying a television, and then has the associate saying, : "You're obviously calling us because we're knowledgeable. We've got the price match guarantee, so why don't you come on in?"

The ad comes out as Walmart ramps up its electronics selection and image, looking to cash in on recent increases in high-definition, flat screen TV sales and the recent demise of Circuit City.

"If you can't grow as easily because the markets are not necessarily going up, you've got to play for share, and when people are playing for share, they're getting more aggressive in their messaging," Best Buy CMO Barry Judge tells Ad Age. "As it relates to us, landing why we're different is important. The other piece is ensuring that people understand that our prices are very competitive. ... In our own internal studies, we overlap with Walmart in about 90 SKUs in the electronics space. In 70 of those 90 SKUs, our prices are as good or lower."
KC's View:
Of course, Walmart is playing for share, too…which is what makes all these battles so interesting.

The Best Buy lesson is a good one, I think. If you’re going to challenge Walmart, you have to do it on your strengths … and in the supermarket business, that should mean a level of expertise that superstores may not have.

I say “should,” however, for two reasons. One is that a lot of supermarkets are exactly staffed by food experts, which dilutes any advantage. The other is that in the best Walmart supercenters and Neighborhood Markets, the Bentonville Behemoth is getting a lot better, which flattens the playing field in a way that isn’t good for anyone not named Walmart.