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
reported this week by The NPD Group, and
expected 6.2 percent decline in comp store sales for the quarter ended Dec. 31.
statement, CEO Brian Dunn said December sales results were within the
company’s “expected range of outcomes.”