Poor Circuit City
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
It's pretty clear who's the underdog in this rivalry, and big-box retailers like Wal-Mart
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
But MP3 players aren't doing so hot. Either those customers lined up at a local Apple
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.