Best Buy digital sales surge as coronavirus fuels work-from-home boom

Coronavirus leads consumers to spend on tangible items, not experiences: Retail analyst

The NPD Group chief retail analyst Marshal Cohen on how retailers are being impacted by the coronavirus, specifically missing out on the back-to-school shopping season, which used to be the second-biggest retail period of the year for many brands.

Best Buy Co. digital sales soared 242% in the three months through June as customers loaded up on products they needed to work remotely or entertain their families while sheltering at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Richfield, Minn.-based electronics retailer earned $432 million, or an adjusted $1.71 per share, as enterprise sales rose 3.9% to $9.91 billion. The results outpaced the $1.08 per share and $9.71 billion of sales that analysts surveyed by Refintiv were expecting.

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“We are reporting strong quarterly results in the midst of unprecedented times,” CEO Corie Barry said in a statement.

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Locations were only open by appointment for the first six weeks of the quarter, but comparable sales still rose 5.8% year-over-year boosted by products like computers, tablets and appliances.

Domestic revenue increased 3.5% year over year to $9.13 billion and accounted for 92% of all sales. U.S. stores open for at least 12 months saw sales grow 5%.

Meanwhile, international sales rose 9.4% to $782 million. Comparable sales were up 15%.

Best Buy did not provide third-quarter guidance, but said that while sales are not expected to keep up at their current 20% growth rate they will be higher than last year.

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Best Buy shares were up 34% year-to-date through Monday, outperforming the S&P 500’s 6.21% gain.

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