CE Retail Sales Dropped 2 Percent in 2012

NPD Group on 2012 U.S. consumer technology sales

The NPD Group reported Tuesday that domestic retail sales of consumer electronics fell 2 percent in 2012 from the previous year. Overall sales were $143 billion.

Sales had dropped 1 percent the previous year.

Sales of smartphones and tablets were both bright spots, growing 25 and 42 percent respectively, but such categories as notebook and desktop computers and PCs took a hit.

“While sales fell in consumer technology for the second consecutive year, there was an uptick in Q4 which is cause for optimism,” Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD, said as part of the announcement.

“After struggles with declining categories, and increasingly saturated markets over the last few years, fourth quarter’s results may be the first sign that even as a mature industry consumer technology can grow again, albeit with a very different dynamic than in previous growth spurts.”

NPD also found that Best Buy, Walmart, Apple, Amazon, and Staples remain the top five retailers in the sector, with Apple, Samsung, HP, Sony, and Dell the top five brands.

Related story: Retail Sales Rise 0.3 Percent; CE Gains

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