Best Buy’s Holiday Sales Flatten Out, Which Is Not All That Horrible

Following a year in which the nation’s largest electronics retailer saw both its CEO resign under the cloud of scandal, its founder step down in order to attempt to buy the company back, and three quarters of declining sales, news of merely flat holiday sales is good news for Best Buy.

For the nine weeks ended Jan. 5, the retailer is reporting revenue of $12.8 billion, effectively the same as the $12.9 billion it took in during the same period a year ago. Overall, sales at stores open longer than one year were down 1.4%. That actually beats analysts’ expectations.

Phones, tablets and appliances were the heart of Best Buy’s in-store sales during the holidays, while sales of TVs and computers dropped.

On the positive side for Best Buy, domestic online sales were up 10% from last year to $1.1 billion.

“While it will be a journey with ups and downs, we are focused on becoming an increasingly effective multi-channel retailer and engaging with the tens of millions of consumers who shop us online and in-store,” said Hubert Joly, who took over as Best Buy President and CEO in the fall.

Some analysts believe that the not-declining in-store sales and the growth of BestBuy.com could actually work to the advantage of company founder Richard Schulze, who is trying to buy the company back from shareholders. These figures could help convince his financial backers that the retailer can be turned around instead of merely propped-up.

Best Buy reports flat U.S. holiday sales, an encouraging sign [StartTribune.com]

Best Buy’s U.S. Holiday Sales Come in Flat [WSJ.com]