Best Buy's December Sales Slip 1.6% - Twice

Best Buy's December Sales Slip 1.6%

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LAS VEGAS - Soft TV demand and a sharp dip in entertainment software sell-through led Best Buy's net sales down 1.6 percent in December to $8.4 billion.

In the U.S., revenue declined 3.2 percent to $6.5 billion and comparable store sales fell 5 percent. Domestic sales were hurt by a low double-digit decline in TVs which dragged CE category comps down 7.9 percent, and by a 15.4-percent drop in music, movies and gaming titles year over year.

The declines were partially offset by brisk demand for e-readers, a 10.9 percent increase in major appliance comps, and a 7.6 percent gain from the chain's services sector year-over-year, Best Buy said.

Other categories showing strength last month included mobile phones, where sales of smartphones led a low-double digit comp sales increase, and mobile computing, where a mid-single digit comp sales increase was driven by tablet computers.

BestBuy.com also posted solid gains, as online sales rose 13 percent year-over-year.

The December sales generally echo the company's third-quarter results for the period through Black Friday weekend, when Best Buy reported a slowdown in foot traffic. The December numbers also mirror the 5 percent decline in

CE holiday sales

reported this week by The NPD Group, and

hhgregg

's expected 6.2 percent decline in comp store sales for the quarter ended Dec. 31.

  In a statement, CEO Brian Dunn said December sales results were within the company's "expected range of outcomes."

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