The increased commitment to those categories, along with wireless and home networking, will come at the expense of analog TV, conventional audio and PDAs, whose floor space and inventory levels will be reduced, senior executives said.
The news came in a conference call that followed the release of the company’s first fiscal quarter earnings.
VP/general merchandise manager Ron Boire described a “major reset” for Best Buy’s flat panel display assortment that will grow the category from 40 to 60 models. “We’re taking the assortment up significantly,” he said, giving Best Buy an “industry leading” position in flat panel TVs. President/chief operating officer Al Lenzmeier stressed that despite the popularity of DLP and rear projection LCD, the expansion will come largely in plasma and flat panel LCD displays.
Digital TVs sales grew more than 50 percent and represented more than 2 percent of the company’s comp store gains last quarter, and Best Buy is growing its digital and flat panel TV business at twice the industry pace, the execs noted. Boire said that increased production will bring category pricing down to Best Buy’s “power zone range,” and that the chain has secured sufficient supplies of LCD, plasma and DLP sets with vendors.
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