Best Buy Co., Inc. reported total December sales of a record U.S. $4.24 billion, an increase of 10 percent on top of record results in the prior year's period. The increase in sales for the 5-week period ended Jan. 4, including the addition of 76 Best Buy stores in the past 12 months. Comparable store sales increased by 0.4 percent, fueled by increased customer traffic at the Company's website and consumer electronics stores. "December sales increased despite the industry-wide weakness in retail sales, reflecting the strength of our brands, intelligent use of promotions and outstanding execution across the organization," said Brad Anderson, vice chairman and CEO of Best Buy.
The company also provided its initial sales guidance for fiscal 2004, which begins on March 2. Best Buy expects total sales to increase 10-12 percent to approximately $25 billion, primarily driven by the opening of 80 to 85 new stores in North America during fiscal 2004. Mr. Anderson said, "In fiscal 2003, our company has increased comparable store sales despite a difficult consumer environment. In the coming year, we plan to continue to build our sales by focusing on our core customers. At the same time, we anticipate increasing profit margins by boosting our efficiency, including improvements in our expense rate, speed to market, and allocation of capital."
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