Best Buy sales decline in Decemberby Martin Moylan, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Sales at Best Buy stores in the United States fell in December.
At stores that were open for at least 14 months, sales dropped by 5 percent, a measure is a key industry benchmark.
Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn said the results were within the company's "expected range of outcomes." Some analysts had feared an even greater sales decline.
Morningstar retail analyst RJ Hottovy says the retailer's slipping sales reflect two problems -- competition and consumers.
"People weren't quite ready to adopt 3D TV this year, and sales in that category were pretty disappointing," he said. "There's also a lot of channel stuffing out there for TVs. Pretty much anywhere you shop you could buy a flat-panel TV this Christmas. I saw them at grocery stores."
Best Buy saw double-digit sales declines in entertainment software and TVs. But sales were up for mobile phones, tablet computers and appliances.
Hottovy expects Best Buy will face increasing competition from rivals selling those devices.
Many big retailers have reported weaker-than-expected December sales, showing shoppers are still hesitant to open their wallets.