February 27, 2014, 11:06 AM

Web sales shine for Best Buy in Q4

Sales on BestBuy.com increased nearly 26% during the quarter, while store sales slipped, the retail chain says today.

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Best Buy Co. Inc. credits higher average order values, improved product availability, increased web traffic and higher web conversion rates for helping spur year-over-year web sales growth of 25.8% during the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2014. That online growth is particularly striking because overall sales for the consumer electronics retailer slipped 3.0% during the quarter.

The retail chain says it booked $1.57 billion in sales on the web during the three months ended Feb. 1. Best Buy did not today release its prior-year Q4 web sales number, but said last year that it was $1.30 billion. That would be a year-over-year increase in web sales of 20.8%, well below the 25.8% increase the retailer reported today. Best Buy did not immediately return an inquiry requesting a clarification on what is behind the difference.

Web sales accounted for 10.85% of total Best Buy sales of $14.47 billion during the fourth quarter, up from 8.7% a year ago, the retailer says. The 8.7% calculation is based on the previously released $1.3 billion web sales number and the Q4 2013 data included in today’s earnings release.

Best Buy says web sales for all of fiscal 2014 increased 19.8%. It did not provide a full-year total for web sales. Based on numbers previously released by Best Buy in its earnings reports, the fiscal 2014 year total would be $3.04 billion.

Hubert Joly, Best Buy president and CEO, also noted that the retailer now ships online orders from more than 1,400 Best Buy stores; that’s up from about 400 at the close of Q3. Best Buy launched the ship-from-store program in 50 stores in Q2.

For the three months ended Feb. 1, Best Buy, No. 10 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reports:

• Total revenue of $14.47 billion, a decrease of 3.0% from $14.92 billion the same period a year ago.

• Online sales of $1.57 billion, which Best Buy says is up 25.8% from a year ago.

• Domestic revenue, which includes web sales, totaled $12.30 billion, down 1.7% from $12.52 billion a year ago.

• International revenue totaled $2.17 billion, down 9.6% from $2.40 billion a year ago.

• Domestic comparable-store sales were down 1.2%. Best Buy includes web sales in its domestic comparable-store sales calculation. International comparable-store sales were down 1.7%, an improvement from a 12.6% decline a year ago.

• Net earnings of $293 million, up from a net loss of $409 million a year ago.

For the full 2014 fiscal year ended Feb. 1, Best Buy reported:

• Total revenue of $42.41 billion, a decrease of 3.4% from $43.91 billion in fiscal 2013.

• Net earnings of $532 million, up from a net loss of $249 million in fiscal 2013.

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