Best Buy, Walmart Took Circuit Share: NPD

By Alan Wolf On Apr 19 2010 - 4:01am




PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — Best Buy and Walmart were the biggest beneficiaries of Circuit City’s demise, according to a new report from market research firm The NPD Group.

One year after the chain’s dissolution, Best Buy and Walmart are sharing most of the spoils, having captured two-thirds of Circuit City’s dollar share from March 2009 through December 2009.

The NPD report, “New Look at Retail: Post Circuit City,” reveals that Best Buy extended its U.S. retail lead in some of the CE industry’s most important product segments. The chain’s dollar share in fl at-panel TVs increased 5.2 percentage points during the 10-month period as its position as the only national electronics retail chain allowed it to make especially strong gains in the premium $1,000-plus segment.

Walmart similarly made TV inroads as a result of Circuit City’s closing, with flat-panel representing the discounter’s best-performing category in overall share gains among the top CE sectors with growth of 3.2 percentage points, NPD said.

PCs were another bright spot for both retailers. Best Buy firmly established itself as the dominant third-party seller of computers in the U.S., with much of those gains coming through its Web site, while Walmart saw its year-over-year share growth increase faster in notebooks than any other computer category.

Digital cameras were another strong growth area for Best Buy, with dollar share gains of 5.5 percentage points, equaling those of notebook PCs. Walmart, meanwhile, saw its dollar share climb above its previous levels during the crucial fourth quarter of 2009.

“As its nearest competitor, both in store locations and in consumer perception, Best Buy was certain to be the big benefi ciary from Circuit City’s closure,” said Stephen Baker, industry analysis VP at NPD. “However, with the closures coming at the same time as an economic recession, tumbling [average selling prices] in both PCs and TVs, and Walmart’s renewed focus on consumer technology as a growth opportunity, it is not surprising that Walmart also managed to grow its share during this period.”

While Walmart has traditionally seen its highest market share in the South, Best Buy was also able to make signifi - cant gains in that region as the retail landscape changed, NPD said. Walmart increased its dollar share by 2 percentage points in the South, while Best Buy bested that with a 4 percentage point gain.

“We expect that in 2010 all retail channels will focus on their share growth opportunity in technology as new products, a better economy and renewed consumer interest deliver an exciting sales outlook for the remainder of the year,” stated Baker.

The NPD report is based on data collected from the firm’s Consumer Tracking Service, an online panel comprised of more than 1.8 million registered adults.

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