Best Buy posts strong quarterly sales during holiday season

NEW YORK (AP) — Best Buy Co reported strong fourth-quarter results as shoppers bought appliances, mobile phones and tablets during the holiday season.

The robust results, announced on Thursday, beat Wall Street expectations, and came as many of its big box peers like Target and Walmart had wrestled with sales shortfalls.

Best Buy, which is facing increasing competition from Amazon, is holding its own after aggressively expanding its online operations, speeding up deliveries and making visits to its stores for customers a better experience. That effort was led by Hubert Joly until he stepped down in 2019 after seven years as CEO. Corie Barry took over the job in June 2019.

The Richfield, Minnesota, company is also expanding into technology aimed at older customers. Last May, Best Buy acquired Critical Signal Technologies, a provider of personal emergency response systems and telehealth monitoring services for at-home seniors. Last August, it bought the predictive health care technology business of BioSensics and hired its data science and engineering team. In 2018, it purchased Great Call, which provides emergency response devices for the ageing.

The company introduced curbside pick-up service that allows shoppers to pick up items without getting out of their car at 100 stores. It said it already accounts for 15 per cent of store pick-up units at those locations. It plans to expand that service to the majority of stores this fiscal year.

A customer carries an audio system while shopping at a Best Buy in Henderson, Nevada. PHOTO: AP