The Washington Post

Phones, appliances boost Best Buy sales

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Best Buy posted strong sales of mobile phones, appliances and smart computing products as it showed in its financial results that store chains can still thrive as shoppers buy more online.

The nation’s largest consumer electronic­s retailer was also buoyed by stronger consumer confidence in reporting firstquart­er revenue and profit that beat Wall Street estimates. Sales at establishe­d stores rose 7.1 percent.

Best Buy has improved the store experience, allowing shoppers to test new technology. It has invested in price matching and offers speedier delivery.

It also has been expanding its tech support services, hoping to deepen its relationsh­ip with shoppers. That includes a free service in big cities where salesmen visit customers at home to make recommenda­tions on TVs, setup and more. The retailer also just launched a service that costs $199.99 a year that offers unlimited Geek Squad technical support and many other services.

And it’s even joined with Amazon.com to let the online leader sell its voice-controlled TVs at its stores.

Chief executive Hubert Joly said Best Buy is benefiting from the woes of retailers such as Sears, particular­ly when it comes to major appliances.

The chain expects secondquar­ter earnings per share of 77 cents to 82 cents, which left a lot of space below the average analyst projection of 82 cents per share. It reiterated its full-year outlook for earnings of $4.80 to $5 per share.

First-quarter profit rose 10.6 percent, to $208 million, or 72 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for restructur­ing costs and pretax expenses, were 82 cents per share, easily beating industry analyst per-share expectatio­ns of 75 cents.

Revenue of $9.11 billion also topped Street forecasts.

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