NEW YORK - Electronics retailer Best Buy Co expects to hire more staff for the U.S. holiday season than it did last year and will promote its in-store services as a way to woo shoppers, Chief Executive Brian Dunn said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a press briefing in New York, Dunn said that services such as its Geek Squad repair assistance will help the top electronics retailer differentiate from rivals in what is shaping up to be another chilly holiday season for U.S. retailers.
We are hiring more people for seasonal sales this year than last year, said Dunn, who took over as CEO in June. We see (competitive) price, plus services, as a major upside for us.
In 2008, the company had scaled back its holiday hiring to cut costs in what was one of the worst holiday shopping seasons in decades.
Best Buy, the top U.S. electronics chain, has gained market share since demise last year of rival Circuit City, but still faces competition from retail giants such as Wal-Mart and Target.
Circuit City's demise has put customers in play and...we have gained more share than anybody since Circuit City's departure, Dunn said.
Dunn said the company expects its overall market share improvement, fueled in part by strength in sales of appliances, to continue through the remainder of the year.
Flat-screen television, Blu-ray players, digital eReaders, smartphones and thin and light computers -- often called netbooks -- will be popular gift items during the holiday season, he added.
Best Buy shares slipped 1.9 percent on Wednesday. (Reporting by Franklin Paul, editing by Dave Zimmerman)