(Updated with Best Biy Mobile plans.)
NEW YORK (
is betting on the holidays.
The electronics retailer announced today that it will beef up its staff for the holiday season and promote in-store services like Geek Squad to woo customers, Reuters reported.
New CEO Brian Dunn told reporters in New York on Wednesday "We are hiring more people for seasonal sales this year than last year. We see (competitive) price, plus services, as a major upside for us."
Last year the company scaled back its holiday staffing, rightfully anticipating a slower selling season.
But this holiday season Dunn said the company expects to report positive same-store sales and he reaffirmed its full-year outlook in the range of $2.70 to $3 a share.
Best Buy has been picking up market share since the Circuit City liquidation, but it has also been facing heightened competition from discounters like
The company also announced some new initiatives to increase sales of mobile phones. One such program is a collaboration with
on a series of mobile applications,
reported on Wednesday. Other initiatives include launching a Web site that caters to mobile devices and securing exclusive distribution rights for some new products.
Consistent with this news of a potentially happier holiday for retailers, earlier this week the International Council of Shopping Centers said it expects
Shares of Best Buy were down 1% to $37.43 in afternoon trading.
The Wall Street Journal also reported last week that both
plan to add staff for the holidays.
But this may not be the case across the board. According to a survey conducted by Hay Group, a human-resources consulting firm, 40% of retailers said they will hire between 5% and 25% fewer seasonal workers than last year. The poll, which surveyed 25 companies, including
American Eagle Outfitters
, also revealed that 36% believe holiday sales will be unchanged, while 34% foresee a decline.
-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York
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