Mar 1 - Best Buy's shares are up 41 percent year-to-date as the company is forging ahead with its turnaround plan and its founder Richard Schulze drops his bid to take the retailer private. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The Daily Digit today is 41 percent. Best Buy's shares have surged 41 percent this year as the company is making progress on its turnaround plan. The world's largest consumer electronics chain reported better-than-expected fourth quarter results. The retailer lost less money during the crucial holiday season than it did the prior year, sales were up 0.2 percent. Sales at stores opened at least a year, a key measure of retail health, jumped almost a full percent. One reason: a bounce-back in demand for TVs. Best Buy has also been closing stores and matching rivals' prices after a near-death experience. Other changes include more training for store workers and a bigger push to sell online. Its holiday price-matching program worked so well, the program is becoming a permanent year-round policy starting March 3. Best Buy hopes to fend off online rivals such as Amazon.com that often compete on price. At the same time, Best Buy founder Richard Schulze has been working on taking the firm private so that it could fix itself on the sidelines. But Schulze couldn't line up the financing and so his deal fell though. Back in August, Schulze proposed to take the company private at between $8.16 billion to $8.84 billion, or as much as $10.9 billion if debt was included. The company now says it is forging ahead, with or without Schulze.