Inside CE Holiday Buying Patterns
Holiday CE sales expected to rise slightlyOctober 16, 2012 By Jeff O’Heir
Shoppers plan to spend about $252 on consumer electronics this holiday season, a 2.4% increase from last year's $246, according to CEA's 19 annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study released at the association's Industry Forum in San Francisco.
Overall, consumers plan to spend $1,634 this holiday, up 11 percent from last year, with about $842 of that budget going towards gifts, a 9 percent increase from last year. About 76 percent of adults plan to give a CE product as a gift.
"I think it's a commentary that consumers have the money to spend," said Steve Koenig, CEA's director of industry analysis, adding that the overall increase in holiday spending shows that consumer confidence in the economy is increasing.
After the holiday season and well into 2013, though, expect consumers to pull back on CE spending, said Shawn Dubravac, CEA's chief economist and senior director of research, adding that retailers will also limit restocking. "There's still a tremendous amount of strain on the economy," he said.
Regarding purchase intent for TVs 76% of U.S. adults plan to buy an LED TV as a gift, flat with last year; 72% plan to buy an LCD, down from 80%; and 45% plan to buy a plasma, down from 55%. The trend toward larger screens will carry over into the holidays, with 72% of consumers planning to buy a set over 40 inches, up from 65% last year; while 48% are looking at sets smaller than 40 inches, down from 54%. About 63% are thinking about giving an Internet-connected set as a gift, up from 51%, while 45% want to gift a 3D set, up from 28%. For the first time, units shipped of LCD TVs 60 inches and over this year will surpass the sale of LCDs 20 inches and under.
About 38% of consumers plan to gift some type of audio product this year, with 22% going with MP3 player, down from 27%; 15% with a wireless multi-room distribution system; 10% with an AVR, and 7% with a soundbar.
Sales of gaming devices will shrink this season, with 18% planning to gift a game console (down from 22%) and 15% going with a portable game console (down from 20%). Blame mobile devices for much of that decline. About 24% of consumers will gift a smartphone, tablet or MP3 player to be used primarily as a gaming device.
Expect robust sales of accessories this season, with 59% of adults expecting to gift something from that category, with 29% going with headphones, 24% with memory, 29% with cases, and 12% with any CE fitness device.