Poor Circuit City (NYSE: CC). The electronics retailer managed to find a bright spot in the doom and gloom of Christmas 2007 -- only to have a big blue bully outmuscle it, even in its new Happy Place.

Overall December sales fell a dismal 8.9% year over year, to $1.92 billion. Management was disappointed, but it saw the light at the end of the tunnel early on. Circuit City just assumed it would be oncoming freight train -- and it was. Higher flat-panel TV sales couldn't make up for a steep drop in projection sets and old-school tubes. Desktop computer sales fell faster than notebook sales could rise. And consumers turned to Circuit City to slake their thirst for navigation gadgets and video games, but went elsewhere for MP3 players, DVDs, and CDs in even greater numbers.

The lone bright spot was overseas, as international same-store sales increased by a cheery 6.5%, for a total take of $106.6 million. But just as the Firedog was strutting his stuff on a Mexican playa, Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) dropped in to kick some sand in his face. Citing trends similar to its smaller competitor's, Best Buy reported a 0.3% (or 2.1% without the calendar shift) comparable-store gain over December 2006 domestically, and a whopping 7.6% boost internationally.

It's pretty clear who's the underdog in this rivalry, and big-box retailers like Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) and Target (NYSE: TGT) are also conspiring to steal Circuit City's kibble. This turnaround story is developing ever so slowly, if at all.

Taken together, the two sales reports point to some other trends with investment implications. Best Buy talked about a triple-digit jump in navigation systems sales, and Circuit City concurred that it was a good segment. That's great news for Garmin (Nasdaq: GRMN). Video games are in demand everywhere you look, so suppliers up and down that food chain, from Nintendo to Take-Two Interactive (Nasdaq: TTWO), should see a nice quarter here.

But MP3 players aren't doing so hot. Either those customers lined up at a local Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) store to get their stocking-stuffer iPods this year, or perhaps they're waiting for Steve Jobs to present "one last thing ..." at the upcoming Macworld conference. Or maybe the market for those devices is reaching saturation, helped along by a new generation of music-playing smartphones. If the answer isn't "Apple Store," it's bad news for Jobsian cultists.

Further Foolishness:

Best Buy and Wal-Mart are Motley Fool Inside Value picks; Best Buy, Nintendo, and Garmin are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations; and Take-Two is a Rule Breaker.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure is your beach umbrella on a hot, windy day.