Best Buy reported a sales slowdown, despite stronger sales earlier this year and said holiday sales will fall below last year.
Sales fell 2.4 percent to $8.92 billion, dropping below analysts’ estimates for the third quarter. Sales at existing stores rose 0.8 percent, which is down from the 3.8 percent rate Best Buy saw in the second quarter. Analysts had predicted a same store sales increase of 1.2 percent, said the Wall Street Journal.
Sales fell in tablets, smartphones and digital imaging, offsetting higher sales in computers, appliances, wearables and big screened TVs.
Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly said the company was up against a 4.3 percent drop in consumer electronics sales for the third quarter and warned that slower CE sales may continue into the fourth quarter. Joly said, “We of course recognize that we are up against a strong performance in the fourth quarter of last year and that the NPD industry declines that we saw in the third quarter, both sequentially and year-over-year, may continue throughout this year’s fourth quarter.”
Joly, however, touted the company’s plan to fight the tide winds with new programs including Blue Assist, which lets consumers contact Blue Shirts for advice from a smartphone app and “the increasing expertise and proficiency of our sales people.” He also pointed to faster shipping better inventory restocking, and better marketing on social media.
You can see Best Buy’s full third quarter report here.