Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Best Buy’s claims on market share gains


bbyCheck out the holiday sales results from Best Buy.

The top U.S. consumer electronics chain said its December same-store sales rose 8.2 percent, recovering from last year’s 6.5 percent drop.

The company attributed the gains to strong demand for notebook computers and mobile phones, and said  it believes its domestic segment continued to “experience strong market share gains” for the month ended Nov. 30.

In a research note, Bernstein analyst Colin McGranahan said general market expectations were for Best Buy’s December same-store sales to rise between 8 and 10 percent.

“Overall we think the sales will be viewed as in-line to slightly below general expectations,” he wrote.

from MediaFile:

Best Buy CEO: Don’t forget the gift card

Hey Brian Dunn, CEO of gadget lover's cathedral top electronics retailer Best Buy, what's on your short list of five great bang-for-your-buck devices for this holiday season?
(Thanks to the CNN Money reporter for asking this question at a press conference today)

DUNN: My short list?

* (First), on my personal short list -- a netbook is definitely on my short list - and by the way it's a companion device. It's lightweight, it's small, it's great to take on a quick trip.
* (Second) I think the HD Instinct is a very interesting smartphone. [Mediafile: That's Samsung's Instinct HD]
* (Third) I love my Flip HD camcorder. That's a great piece.
* Four, I really love the Ultra Thin OLED TVs are cool. [Mediafile: Um, cool yes. Bang for Buck? At about $2,000 for an 11-inch screen, let's just leave it at cool and move on. mkay?]
* The fifth one, of course, is a gift card , that I can give to the people I love, so they can get whatever it is they want.

Check Out Line: Circuit City circled by suitors


Check Out Circuit City in deal talks.CIRCUITCITY/

The bankrupt electronics chain is negotiating with two undisclosed parties that could either buy the company or provide it with additional financing.  The company said the parties are considering providing it with financing to allow it to sustain its operations and restructure through a stand-alone plan, and/or buying the company outright.

Naturally, eyes will turn south toward Ricardo Salinas Pliego. The Mexican retail and media tycoon said in November that he owned 28 percent of Circuit City shares and indicated that he might seek control of the chain, which buckled under the pressure of declining consumer spending and increasing competition by the likes of Wal-Mart and Best Buy. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November.

Rivals try to profit at Circuit City’s expense


ccityCircuit City’s competitors are trying to capitalize on the retailer’s store closures by wooing its customers.

Regional chain hhgregg is accepting Circuit City gift cards for purchases of electronics, appliances and mattresses at its stores. The Circuit City gift card value, when verified, will be good toward up to 20 percent of the hhgregg purchase price.

The Real Winner in Consumer Electronics


If you want to know who was the real retail winner amid all the Black Friday frenzy, just look in the mirror.

That’s the word from Jim Barry, a former editor of Video magazine, who is now a spokesman for the Consumer Electronics Association.