Gradually, Then Suddenly
The holiday season didn't do much for one big box retailer:
Best Buy on Friday reported weaker than expected revenue for the five weeks ended December 31st, 2011. The company noted $8.4 billion in revenue, which was flat compared to the same period last year but included a comparable store sales decline of 1.2%. The company’s international segment generated $1.9 billion in revenue, a 1.7% decrease and a 4.3% drop off in store sales. Its domestic segment generated $6.5 billion in revenue, which was up 0.4% from the same period last year but it also represented a 0.4% drop in store sales.
I don't know whether the bad numbers were due to the weak economy, or because Best Buy has entered its death spiral.
Also, I highly recommend you click that last link. Larry Downes has written an interesting and highly readable critique of what's wrong with Best Buy.