Researching this year’s Top 50 consumer electronics retailers in the United States and Canada, grandiose descriptive phrases such as “in the world” and “in the nation” keep popping up. And no one’s puffing.
Thank a string of mergers for the “big get bigger” marketplace. Companies in this year’s Dealerscope registry rang up $133.48 billion in sales during 2005, a 9.39 percent increase over 2004’s $122.02 billion tally. Among these retailers are Sears and Kmart, which combined sold a total of $3.19 billion worth of CE products. Last March, Kmart effectively bought Sears, and the two companies now operate as subsidiaries of Sears Holding Corp. With $48.51 in overall retail sales in the United States for calendar year 2005, and 2,352 full-line stores, it is the third largest retailer in the nation, behind Wal-Mart and Home Depot. (Sears Holding may soon increase its CE presence in North America. It already owns more than half of Sears Canada, and in February made an offer to buy all of that company’s outstanding shares. Sears Canada contributed $242.52 million to this year’s registry.)
GameStop left the “in the nation” title behind with its October purchase of Electronics Boutique. The two now operate as subsidiaries of GameStop Corp., and have contributed $4.86 billion to this registry. The chain, which boasts more than 4,400 outlets globally (including operations in Europe and New Zealand) is now the largest video-game retailer in the world.