By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Oscar nominee Jonah Hill owes Best Buy a huge shout-out, whether or not he wins Best Supporting Actor this weekend.
He explained on the talk show circuit how he prepared for his role in “The Wolf of Wall Street” as the fast-talking, drug-addled securities felon Donnie Azoff by calling Target and Best Buy stores.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.
Minneapolis – Best Buy returned to profitability in the fourth quarter and full fiscal year despite a bruising holiday season and slightly lower sales.
Net earnings for the three months, ended Feb. 1, were $293 million compared with a year-ago loss of $379 million as the company cut costs and improved operational efficiency. Ongoing efforts will include a significant reorganization of Best Buy’s field and store management structure that shifts greater responsibility to store general managers and moves field staff into a supporting role, the retailer said.
New York – Best Buy and Walmart are offering gift cards and cash to goose sales of tablets and smartphones.
In a year-long promotion, Best Buy is providing a $50 gift card with the purchase and activation of a smartphone under a two-year contract with AT&T, Sprint or Verizon. Customers can sign up for the promotion now through Feb. 15, and have until the end of the year to buy and activate a phone. The gift card can be applied to the purchase.
Minneapolis – Best Buy chief financial and administrative officer Sharon McCollam has added principal accounting officer to her duties.
She assumed the new responsibilities Jan. 31 following the resignation of controller and chief accounting officer Susan Grafton, who left the retailer after 13 years for a position at another company.
McCollam, lauded by analysts for her track record as chief financial officer and COO at Williams-Sonoma, came out of retirement to join CEO Hubert Joly’s new management team in fall 2012.
Minneapolis – Best Buy said declines in digital imaging, movies and MP3 players led a 1.5 percent dip in domestic holiday sales, to $9.8 billion for the nine weeks ending Jan. 4.
The retailer also lowered its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings outlook as a result of competing in what president/CEO Hubert Joly described as “an intensely promotional holiday season.”
Comp sales for the period slipped 0.9 percent, with growth in computing, appliances and gaming more than offsetting weakness in the legacy categories, the company said.
Minneapolis – Cabela’s president/CEO Thomas Millner has joined Best Buy’s board.
Millner has headed the hunting, fishing and camping equipment chain since 2009, and before that served as CEO of Remington Arms, the firearms and ammunition manufacturer.
New York — Strong sales of video games, TVs and Apple products, particularly during Thanksgiving weekend and late December, helped make Best Buy “the holiday winner,” retail analyst David Strasser reported.
Strasser, who covers hardline retail for Janney, Montgomery, Scott, estimated that Best Buy’s November-December comp sales rose about 2 percent in the U.S. on top of flat prior-year performance, driven by aggressive promotions.
The demo made the difference.
I have not been a fan of Best Buy’s in store experience for a number of years, but that feeling was partially offset on Christmas Eve and all thanks to an unnamed Blue Shirt working in the Bluetooth speaker aisle at the chain’s East Northport location.
As 2013 comes to a close, TWICE presents this special year-end retrospective.
Highlighting the issue is our inaugural Newsmaker of the Year series, which profiles the industry’s principal movers and shakers of the past 12 months. Filling the top debut spot is Hubert Joly, who resuscitated Best Buy and, in the process, brought renewed zest to the CE business and brick-and-mortar retail.
I probably look at my iPhone 50 times a day to check my email. Rarely do I actually use it to make a phone call.
But, interestingly, if I have a question for Apple, email is not an option. The company making the most sought-after electronics in the industry does not offer electronic mail as a customer service channel.
And, if you look across the electronics industry, there’s no template for customer service.