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Best Buy Investors Wishing It Were 2013 Again

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Best Buy (BBY)BBY may be fading into extinction as the "show-rooming effect" continues to weigh on sales growth.

The electronics retailer said on Thursday that revenue fell 3% to $9.04 billion during its fiscal first quarter that ended May 4.

Although the company has been aggressively cutting costs, while revamping merchandise and store formats to attract customers, sales have continued to slide. Best Buy said revenue in stores open at least 14 months, a key retail metric, declined 1.9%, and the company expects same-store sales to decline in the next two quarters, as well.

"As we look forward to the second and third quarters, we are expecting to see ongoing industrywide sales decline in many of the consumer-electronics categories in which we compete," Best Buy Chief Financial Officer Sharon McCollam said during the earnings call.

Best Buy's stock has fallen 35% in 2014 after a run-up of almost 300% the previous year. Last year, investors and Best Buy executives believed they had found the answer to combat customer's flight from in-store retail to online purchasing.

"I think that Best Buy has killed show-rooming," the retailer's chief executive, Hubert Joly, told the Wall Street Journal in November.

The electronics chain boasted about its success converting customers who would normally go to a Best Buy outlet to try out products before buying them online from another retailer.

Best Buy's strategy was to offer competitive prices to deter customers from leaving the store to purchase online and instead to buy products on-site. But that strategy didn't work.

When Best Buy announced that its same-store sales for December -- the most important month of the year for most retailers -- fell by 0.9% from a year earlier, the company's shares plunged by 30%. And during the fiscal fourth quarter, margins fell.

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