Best Buy Co. got a boost from Super Mario in the first quarter, as demand for Nintendo Co.’s new Switch game console helped the retailer post a surprise sales gain.
Comparable-store sales -- a closely watched benchmark -- rose 1.6 percent, the company said on Thursday. Analysts had predicted a decline. Best Buy’s earnings also topped analysts’ projections, sending the shares to a record high with their biggest rally in nine months.
The Switch, which debuted March 3, has emerged as a bright spot in a lackluster retail industry. Last week, Target Corp. said its electronics sales “leapt forward” thanks to the Switch, which it promoted in stores and online. In April, the electronics category overall posted its first monthly gain in almost two years, according to government data cited by RBC Capital Markets.