PYMNTS Daily Data Dive: Best Buy Botch

Best Buy or the worst buy? Going into a highly competitive 2016 holiday shopping season, the latest news is that the electronics retailer knowingly sold recalled products to consumers for five years from 2010 to 2015. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced on October 3 that the electronics firm must pay almost $4 million in civil penalties for selling recalled items including Canon cameras, computers, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, flat screen televisions and office chairs.

Best Buy failed to remove the flawed items from distribution channels. A Best Buy spokesperson said, “[W]e regret that any products within the scope of a recall were not removed entirely from our shelves and online channels. While the number of items accidentally sold was small, even one was too many. We have taken steps, in cooperation with the CPSC, to help prevent these issues from recurring.” Best Buy has not admitted any wrongdoing, but disgruntled consumers may turn to Best Buy competitors Amazon or Walmart for their electronic purchases in the next month or two.

Here are the data:

$5.6 billion | The nationwide growth in consumer electronics sales posted last year

$3.8 million | The amount that Best Buy has agreed to pay in civil penalties

600 | The number of recalled items Best Buy distributed from 2010 to 2015, according to the U.S. CPSC

90% | The percentage of growth in consumer electronics attributed to Amazon, according to Deutsche Bank

24% | The percentage increase in second quarter online sales reported by Best Buy in August, and for the second consecutive quarter


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