Best Buy released its fourth quarter earnings this week, and the company posted revenue of $16.94 billion. Per CNBC, this was below expectations of $17.23 billion, although the company’s earnings per share were ahead of expectations.
However, the company’s stock dropped early Thursday after news of slowing sales growth.
“During the fourth quarter, our teams delivered an exceptional customer experience in a safe environment,” Corie Barry, Best Buy’s CEO, said in the release.
“They showed amazing flexibility managing extraordinary volume in a dynamic environment. Online sales grew almost 90% to a record $6.7 billion and made up 43% of our total Domestic sales. Our stores played a pivotal role in the fulfillment of these sales, as almost two-thirds of our online revenue was either picked up in store or curbside, shipped from a store or delivered by a store employee. I want to thank our associates across the company for their dedication, ingenuity and resilience in a constantly changing environment.”
Barry also said that the company will pay a “cash gratitude” to its employees, of $500 to full-time workers and $200 to part-timers. The company had announced earlier this week that it was providing a coronavirus vaccine benefit to its employees.
Best Buy had confirmed to The Wall Street Journal earlier in February that it was planning to lay off some store staff, as part of a companywide re-organization. This follows furloughs that took place early in the pandemic, before workers were brought back in June.
“We are confident in our long-term strategic direction and believe we are investing from a position of strength,” the company’s CFO, Matt Bilunas, said. “As it relates to FY22 specifically, the demand for technology remains at elevated levels as we start the year. However, there is a high level of uncertainty related to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that makes it difficult to predict how sustainable these trends will be, including, but not limited to, the timing of administration of the vaccine and the subsequent impact to customer demand and shopping patterns, as well as potential government stimulus actions.”
Best Buy also predicted same-store sales will range between a drop of 2 percent to a gain of 1 percent this year.
At CES in January, Barry participated in a keynote interview in which she talked about how Best Buy got through the early months of the pandemic, especially only months after she took over as the company’s CEO.
“Our hypothesis about changing lives with technology became the reality for every single person,” Barry said in the presentation at CES. “Everything, overnight, became on the backs of technology.”
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver. Image: Reuters.