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Facing crucial Holiday season, Best Buy slashes price on Apple products

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Best Buy is under real pressure to perform well this holiday season.

That's according to Bloomberg.com, which said poor Christmas trading could raise question marks over whether the Richfield-based retailer can recover from the slump it has endured in recent years as online shopping has grown.

Hubert Joly has steadied the ship since being taken on as CEO, Bloomberg notes, cutting costs, selling off unprofitable divisions and revamping stores, and there were early signs of a brighter future for the electronics market-leader.

But last month the company posted disappointing third quarter results that saw overall sales dip by 2.4 percent, and Joly warned it was facing a challenging holiday season, particularly when compared to 2014's better-than-expected performance.

This could be why the retailer has already started an aggressive sales campaign in an attempt to get a jump on competition, even if cost-cutting strategies eat into profit margins.

CNet reports Best Buy has on Thursday slashed $125 off the retail price of the iPad Air 2 and $100 off all iPhone 6 models, which follows a similar $100 discount on the Apple Watch it announced earlier this week.

They'll be hopeful it pays off, with Bloomberg saying the company's stock is down 22 percent this year, and that it has the "worst valuation based on future earnings of any large U.S. retailer," heading into the holidays, when it makes 35 percent of its annual sales.

RIS reports Joly has identified six key aspects of the retailer's strategy for the season.

These are: ensuring shelves are filled with in-demand items; an improved app experience; having staff who are a knowledgeable point of reference for shoppers; fulfilling online orders in a timely manner; ensuring stores are well-supplied; and offering free Geek Squad setups on tech gifts.

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