Some retailers launched online deals well in advance of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The chain says it is ready to compete on price during the holiday season.
Best Buy Co. Inc.’s online sales in the United States increased 15.1% year over year during the consumer electronics retailer’s third quarter, reaching $499 million.
The chain retailer, in announcing its third quarter results for its fiscal 2014, also noted that it has scaled up its ship-from-store capability, which lets the retailer fulfill online orders from store stock, in time for the holidays. Best Buy says it now offers ship-from-store in more than 400 stores. When Best Buy launched ship-from-store in the second quarter it was available in 50 stores and CEO Hubert Joly had said he expected it to be in place in about 200 stores in time for the holiday sales season.
Best Buy executives also reiterated the retail chain’s plan to be competitive on price during the fourth quarter, citing its price match guarantee and it plan to encourage showrooming, the practice of using a smartphone to check prices available elsewhere while in a store. In late October, Best Buy launched an ad campaign called "Your Ultimate Holiday Showroom” that encourages consumers to use Best Buy stores as showrooms.
The retailer, in its Q3 earnings, also announced it would open its stores on Thanksgiving Day at 6 p.m., matching Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for the earliest opening time among major retail chains. Such other retailers as Macy’s Inc., Office Depot and Belk have announced they will open at 8 p.m. on the actual Thanksgiving holiday. Nearly a quarter (23.6%) of U.S. consumers say they plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day, according to a recent survey from the National Retail Federation, a retail industry trade group.
For the three months ended Nov. 2, Best Buy, No. 10 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reports:
• Total revenue of $9.36 billion, a decrease of 0.2% from $9.38 billion the same period a year ago.
• Online sales of $499 million, up 15.1% from a year ago. Best Buy did not disclose what online sales were a year ago, but based on the 15.1% increase Internet Retailer calculates they were approximately $433.5 million. Best Buy credits higher site traffic, higher average order values, a greater number of online orders being placed from within its retail stores, higher inventory availability due to its developing ship-from-store capability and expanded distribution centers for online orders for helping drive the sales growth.
• Domestic revenue, which includes web sales, totaled $7.85 billion, up 2.3% from $7.67 billion a year ago.
• International revenue totaled $1.52 billion, down 11.1% from $1.71 billion a year ago. Best Buy says its closure of 15 stores in Canada and 20 in China over the last year contributed to the decline.
• Domestic comparable-store sales were up 1.7%, an improvement from the 4.0% decline Best Buy reported during Q3 in 2012. Best Buy includes web sales in its domestic comparable-store sales calculation. International comparable-store sales were down 6.4%, an improvement from a 10.3% decline a year ago.
• Net earnings of $54 million, up from a net loss of $10 million.
For the nine months ended Nov. 2, Best Buy reported:
• Total revenue of $28.04 billion, a decrease of 3.6% from $29.09 billion a year ago.
• Net earnings of $239 million, up 49.4% from $160 million a year ago.