Appliance Demand Continues Unabated: Best Buy

By Alan Wolf, YSN

Best Buy said shoppers’ “extraordinarily high” focus on the home continues to drive consumer demand for appliances and tech products, surpassing even the company’s own projections.

Commenting on the chain’s better-than-expected first-quarter performance, CEO Corie Barry said the home-based lifestyle that was prompted by the pandemic touches many aspects of consumers’ lives, including cooking, remodeling, entertaining and working. “We are excited about what that means for our business going forward,” she said.

Related: Samsung Extends Frenzied Appliance Forecast

Indeed, comparable sales of appliances (sales online and at stores open at least 14 months) rose 66.6 percent during the company’s fiscal first quarter, which ended May 1. That compares to a 2-percent decline for the year-ago quarter, when sales initially spiked and then dropped off after Barry made the decision to temporarily shut all stores and move to curbside pickup only.

Appliances now comprise 15 percent of Best Buy’s revenue mix, up from 12 percent in the prior-year period.

Net income hit $595 million, up from $159 million last year, and total sales for the quarter grew 36 percent to $11.6 billion — outpacing the company’s pre-pandemic performance two years ago, when revenue rose 27 percent to $9.1 billion.

“The year has clearly started out much stronger than we originally expected,” added CFO Matt Bilunas, “[and] the sales momentum is continuing into Q2.”

See also: Whirlpool Says Appliance Craze to Continue Post-Pandemic

Nonetheless, the last remaining national tech chain remained guarded about the back half of the year, as relaxed COVID measures means more competition for consumer wallets.

“We expect shopping behavior will evolve as customers are able to spend more time on activities like [dining] out, traveling, and other events,” Bilunas said.