November Sales Numbers Point To A Happy Holiday

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Only a handful of major retailers and one specialty dealer released November sales figures in time for our deadline, but their figures indicate holiday demand was strong for consumer electronics. Here's a rundown:

Best Buy, which reports sales quarterly, said revenue for the three months to November 27 climbed 25% to a record $3.11 billion, to lift its fiscal nine-month sales total to $8.18 billion, up 24%. Same-store volume was up 9.2% for the quarter and 11.1% for the full period.

The retailer's "comparable-store sales growth for the quarter was driven by digital products, including satellite systems, DVD hardware, cellular phones, cameras and camcorders," said CFO Allen Lenzmeier. Also contributing to the strong sales increases was "entertainment software, including video games, music and DVD movies."

"Comparable-store sales growth for the quarter was driven by digital products, including satellite systems, DVD hardware, cellular phones, cameras and camcorders. In addition, increased sales of entertainment software including video games, music and DVD movies contributed to our strong sales gains," Lenzmeier said.

During the quarter Best Buy opened 22 stores, including market entries in Norfolk and Richmond, Va.; Albany and Rochester, N.Y.; Jacksonville and Tallahassee, Fla.; and San Diego. It ended the period with 354 outlets.

Kmart chairman Floyd Hall cited home electronics as among the product "categories showing strength for the month." He reported the chain had a 2.1% overall sales rise in November to $2.96 billion and a 1.4% increase at comparable stores.

Sears reported November sales at ongoing domestic stores rose 7.7% to $2.75 billion, with comparable stores posting a 5.9% rise. "Home appliances and electronics continue bringing strong sales increases," said chairman Arthur Martinez. "Overall sales in November were better than expected, ending with particularly strong sales on Thanksgiving weekend."

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