Thursday, January 16, 2014

Best Buy holiday sales fall, shares skid

The AP reports:
Best Buy said Thursday that a key sales barometer fell during the holiday shopping season, stung partly by weakness in the U.S. and a retail environment heavy on promotions.

Its stock dropped more than 28 percent in premarket trading.

Best Buy Co. said comparable store sales dipped 0.8 percent for the nine weeks ended Jan. 4. This was better than the 1.7 percent decline in the prior-year period.

The consumer electronics company defines comparable store sales as sales at stores, call centers and websites operating for at least 14 full months as well as revenue related to other comparable sales channels.

President and CEO Hubert Joly said in a statement that there was a lot of competition on price during the holidays and an "intensely promotional" environment. He added that Best Buy's business was also hurt by supply constraints for key products, a drop in customer traffic and a disappointing mobile phone market.

The metric fell 0.9 percent in the U.S. compared with flat results a year ago. One bright spot was online sales, which climbed 23.5 percent. This was better than the 10 percent increase a year earlier.
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