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Best Buy Dec. Sales Flat

1/06/2012 09:20:29 AM Eastern
Minneapolis - Best Buy posted flat revenue and a 1.2-percent dip in comparable store sales for the five weeks ended Dec. 31.

Total revenue was $8.4 billion for the critical holiday period, while U.S. net sales edged up 0.4 percent to $6.5 billion and domestic comps declined 0.4 percent.

Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn attributed the soft sales to lower-than-expected traffic that didn't improve until the week before Christmas, and said the results still compared favorably to the CE retail industry.

Best Buy's strongest performers for the period were tablets and e-readers, both of which delivered low triple-digit comp increases; mobile phones, up 20 percent year-over-year on strength in smart phones; and the appliance category, which increased 14.3 percent.

But the gains were more than offset by low double-digit declines in gaming and digital imaging, and a 19.5 percent decrease in pre-recorded music and movies.

TVs comps declined by the mid-single digits, and services, which includes service contracts, extended warranties, computer related services, product repair and delivery and installation, decreased by 1.2 percent.

Actions to improve Best Buy's e-commerce performance, which included an expanded assortment of online-only SKUs, plus a strong traffic increase and momentum from Black Friday-period share gains, led to a 26 percent increase in Web sales, the company said.

Best Buy's December sales mirror the CE results of Target and Costco, which similarly reported comp declines in key electronics categories.
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