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Best Buy reports massive rise in online, in-store sales

People turned to Best Buy to buy computers, home theater and appliances during the pandemic.

Best Buy has seen a boost in revenue thanks to people working and going to school from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to the Richfield-based retailer's third-quarter earnings report, online sales in the United States increased by 174% and same-store sales grew by 23% in the 13-week period that ended Oct. 31. 

“Today, we are once again reporting strong quarterly results in the midst of unprecedented times,” Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said in a statement.

“Our comparable sales grew a remarkable 23% as we leveraged our unique capabilities, including our supply chain expertise, flexible store operating model and ability to shift quickly to digital, to meet what is clearly elevated demand for products that help customers work, learn, cook, entertain and connect in their homes."

"The current environment has underscored our purpose to enrich lives through technology, and the capabilities we are flexing and strengthening now will benefit us going forward as we execute our strategy," Barry added. 

Revenue from online sales in the U.S. was $3.82 billion in Q3, making up more than one-third of the company's total U.S. revenue, the earnings report shows. This is Best Buy's second-best quarter for U.S. online revenue ever, topping its online sales during last year's holiday season, CNBC says. 

The largest drivers in Best Buy's growth came from computers, home theater and appliances, Best Buy said, noting it saw growth across most categories but did see a decline in mobile phone sales in the third quarter. 

Overall, Best Buy reported a third-quarter net income of $391 million, up from $293 million a year earlier.

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Despite a strong third quarter, Best Buy is reluctant to provide an outlook for the fourth quarter – a big time of year for tech sales thanks to the holiday shopping season – due to uncertainties with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“While the demand for the products and services we sell remains at elevated levels as we start the fourth quarter, it is very difficult for us to predict how sustainable these trends will be due to the significant uncertainty related to the various impacts of the pandemic," Best Buy CFO Matt Bilunas said in a statement. "Thus, similar to the last two quarters, we are not providing financial guidance today.

When markets closed on Monday, Best Buy's shares were up 39% this year, which gives the company a market cap of $31.6 billion, CNBC notes.

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