Best Buy Again Tops Dealerscope 101 CE Retailers
Slight Increase Despite Sluggish Sales in 2012March 2013 By Laura Spinale
The retailers listed in Dealerscope’s registry of the Top 101 CE retailers in the United States and Canada rang up $233.49 billion in 2012, a modest 2.76 percent increase over the $227.22 billion earned in 2011. Chained to a weak economy, stubborn unemployment, sluggish sales and anemic stock performance, many CE retailers—including powerhouses such as Best Buy (1), Staples (8), Gamestop (10), Office Max (16), Sears (19) and Office Depot (23)—announced plans to close many bricks-and-mortar stores this year.
The slump has already claimed some smaller retailers. Ritz Camera and Image (#56) declared bankruptcy, for a second time, in the summer. It went out of business in the fall, shuttering most of its 300 stores. C&A Marketing Inc., a distributor of cameras, camcorders and accessories, acquired some of Ritz’s assets, including the company name and website. It is also keeping about 18 stores open. Vann’s (#75), an electronics and appliance player in the Montana market, also declared bankruptcy in 2012, and is now under new ownership. McMagic Partners LP, an arm of Khaledi Group, bought the business for $4.5 million.
Other organizations re-trenching include Dell (#3), and Curacao (#52). As of this writing, Dell CEO Michael Dell is trying to take the company private. (Dell’s United States/Canada sales dipped an estimated 4.65 percent from 2011 to 2012).
Curacao, meanwhile, long seen as a chain catering to the Hispanic market, is trying to broaden its reach. This year, it dropped the article “La” from its name, and the primary language spoken by store staff has been switched from Spanish to English. The chain also opened its 11th store in 2012, in Tucson, Ariz.
Dealerscope researched virtually all large electronics retailers in the United States and Canada—as well as hardware manufacturers selling direct to consumers—in order to devise its Top 101 registry. Information on electronics sales, total sales, store counts, etc., was gleaned from readily available sources, including SEC filings, Hoovers listings, corporate press releases, corporate homepages, various electronic business databases, as well as the local press covering the businesses in question.
Dealerscope contacted each retailer, giving each the opportunity to confirm or contest initial figures. Many confirmed sales estimates. However, some privately held companies refused to disclose sales information. Other companies, both public and private, could not or would not break out CE sales from their overall merchandise mixes. Finally, some companies did not return telephone calls or emails. In these cases, Dealerscope chose to publish its best estimates.