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Best Buy store. Photo: Gerry Broome / AP

Despite Amazon's tightening grip on the retail market, Best Buy has consistently surprised Wall Street with its revenue numbers, and its stock price continues to rise, per the New York Times' Kevin Roose.

Why it matters: Other big electronics chains like Circuit City, Radio Shack and HH Gregg have gone bankrupt or shut down, but Best Buy has managed to stay afloat with some luck and smart, revamped business practices.

1. The price-matching guarantee: Hubert Joly, Best Buy's CEO, told the NYT, "Until I match Amazon's prices, the customers are ours to lose." While the price-matching promise loses Best Buy some money, it also keeps customers.

2. Good customer service: Joly said that since he couldn't beat Amazon's speed, he focuses on customer service that robots can't provide — he reinstated an employee discount, began an extensive retraining program and rolled out in-house, pre-purchase consultations with the "Geek Squad" to help customers decide what to buy.

3. Adapting stores to online ordering: Best Buy brick-and-mortar stores now also serve as small warehouses for online orders in their areas, which has decreased shipping time. Best Buy also allows suppliers to set up their own on-brand showroom kiosks inside the store.4. Penny pinching: Jolly has let leases on less-successful stores expire, laid off managers, consolidated overseas divisions, reassigned Geek Squad members, and cut prices. More creatively, Best Buy changed the handling process to decrease the number of flat screen TVs that were dropped and broken. 5. Luck: As Roose wrote, "It's lucky that the products it specializes in selling, like big-screen TVs and high-end audio equipment, are big-ticket items that many customers still feel uncomfortable buying sight unseen from a website. It's lucky that several large competitors have gone out of business, shrinking its list of rivals. And it's lucky that the vendors who make the products it sells, like Apple and Samsung, have kept churning out expensive blockbuster gadgets."Go deeper with the full NYT article here.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dems fear supply-chain blame

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As supply-chain kinks drive up prices and disrupt holiday shopping, Democrats are scrambling to show action and deflect blame.

Why it matters: With their party controlling both the White House and Capitol, vulnerable Democrats worry supply-chain snafus will hurt them in next year's midterms.

4 hours ago - World

Scoop: Germany urges Congress not to sanction Putin’s pipeline

Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The German government has urged members of Congress not to sanction the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, arguing that doing so will "weaken" U.S. credibility and "ultimately damage transatlantic unity," according to documents obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: At a time when roughly 100,000 Russian troops are massing at its border, Ukraine views Nord Stream 2 as an existential threat to its security. The pipeline would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion.