Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images
Best Buy appears to have attracted the biggest crowds over Black Friday weekend.That’s great news for the consumer electronics retailer, showing that it has still that ability to attract throngs of customers with hefty sales on big screen TVs and gadgets — though we don’t know how much of that traffic turned into actual sales.
The team at Deutsche bank contacted more than 260 stores across the country over the weekend to gauge traffic patterns.
Deutsche Bank analyst Mike Baker explained what things were like at Best Buy in a note:
Best Buy was the big winner with 86 per cent of the stores that we contacted indicating they were busy, up from 83 per cent last year.
Shoppers seemed to be primarily focused on tablets and iPads as well as smartphones. We also believe that Wii U sold well. Flat panel televisions also seemed to be moving. But as much as in store traffic was strongest at Best Buy, we are unsure how much that traffic translated into sales as some subset of shoppers are becoming more likely to shop in store but ultimately buy on line.
Also, we are seeing similar price declines on flat panel televisions as we saw last year when BBY had a 112 bps domestic gross margin decline in 4Q, meaning we are likely to see margin declines again this year. And the margin decline may be more several this year as BBY is now matching Amazon’s price, meaning the actual sales price is likely to be a few per cent below the list price.
Meanwhile, competitor RadioShack struggled mightily with getting customers into stores. Deutsche Bank declared it the “big loser,” with only 18 per cent of stores deemed busy.
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