NPD: Consumer electronics sales to stagnate this holiday
Shoppers won’t be uttering “bah, humbug!” this holiday season, but a new report from market research firm The NPD Group suggests they’re also unlikely to spend extra on friends and loved ones.
The firm found that consumers reached their spending limit last year. In 2011, the number of buyers satisfied with that figure will grow 3 percent to 64 percent while those intent to spend less shrunk the same amount to 27 percent. Very few felt generous; shoppers eager to spend more this year remained static at 9 percent. In other words, more of the same, says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, NPD.
Among the top 10 planned gift categories this season, consumer electronics (TVs, media players, various computer hardware) ranked number 6. Video game consoles and software rounded out the list at number 10, losing 2 percentage points since 2010.
“Looking at this year’s responses, I see consumers that aren’t willing to open their wallets and spend more vigorously,” said Cohen. “With more consumers telling us they plan to ’spend about the same’ and no additional consumers planning to ’spend more,’ I think we will see this holiday’s results look quite a bit like last holiday’s.”
The NPD also noted that online shopping received a 3 percent year-over-year boost. Discount stores like Walmart still top the list of most popular shopping destinations, but declined that same amount. Those planning to patronize dedicated brick-and-mortar electronics stores for gifts declined 2 percent.
A noticeable dearth of whiz-bang new products (Sony’s PlayStation Vita handheld will only see release in Japan this year) and continuing economic problems are the top two causes for the overall unimpressive findings, remarked Cohen.
“With no new items rocking the consumers’ world or anything to feed a shopping frenzy it will be challenging to see significant growth,” he said. “Now combine that with the many social and economic issues that have turned into distractions, it will be very challenging to get much growth from a consumer base that is in limbo.”
Do you expect to spend more, less or the same as last year this holiday season? Let us know in the comment section.
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