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Best Buy’s December Sales Slip 1.6%

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. 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

holiday sales

reported this week by The NPD Group, and


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.”