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Best Buy December Sales Rise 13%

8 Jan, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Best Buy Co. Jan. 8 said its fiscal December 2009 sales in the United States increased 13%, to $8.5 billion from $8.2 billion, compared to the same period in 2008, due in part to aggressive merchandising, discounting across all product categories and the addition of new stores.

The Minneapolis-based No. 1 consumer electronics retailer entered the key holiday retail month in a battle with Wal-Mart and Amazon, with the latter two companies significantly increased their CE profiles and heavily discounting entertainment software.

Best Buy said electronics sales rose 4.5% due to sales of high-definition televisions and Blu-ray Disc players, while the home-office category experienced a 28.5% surge due to typically strong holiday sales of notebook computers and mobile phones.

Entertainment software sales, which include DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies, music CDs and video games, declined 0.6%, representing 22% of December sales compared to 25% last year. In foreign markets entertainment same-store sales increased 4.5%, representing 12% of revenue, compared to 11% last year.

The company noted that domestic online revenue in fiscal December increased 34% versus the prior year, driven primarily by growth in Web-site traffic.

All-important metric same-store sales (open at least 12 months) increased 6.5% from the same period the in 2008.

“The holiday selling season is critically important to a retailer,” said CEO Brian Dunn. “Our preparations for December [began] in January, and this year the stakes were higher than ever, given the tough environment we’re all navigating.”


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