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Best Buy holiday sales left in the cold

Big box retailer earnings sink as shoppers look elsewhere

A larger number of consumers found a better deal for movies, music and games outside of Best Buy during the holiday shopping season.

The electronics retailer reported a 15.4% decline in entertainment software sales, as it reported an overall $8.4 billion haul during the five-week period that wrapped up Jan. 1, a 1.6% decline over last year.

It also saw a 7.9% drop in its electronics business due to “a low double-digit decline in [sales of] televisions.”

Same-store sales, used to gauge how most retailers are performing, were down 5% in the U.S. for Best Buy and 4% globally, versus seeing a boost of 9.3% in the U.S. and 8.2% overseas in December 2009.

Best Buy has seen increased competition from retailers like Walmart, Amazon and GameStop, who are offering movies, music and games at discounts, especially online where more consumers turned to shop during the holidays in 2010.

Online holiday sales increased 12% in 2010 to earn a record $32.6 billion, according to comScore Inc. Best Buy was also able to benefit from some of that, with its online sales up 13% during the holidays.

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