HES’s Ristow Previews Black Friday
Ristow said that industry retailers will see 42-inch plasma shortages, with manufacturers having shifted much of that size production to the 50-inch size, which costs them nearly the same to build. “But the pressure on 50-inch wasn’t anticipated,” he continued, projecting “spotty shortages” of that plasma size.
He added that the under-32-inch LCD category would be the victim of “low vendor production and low availability, because there’s no profit in the category,” and that phenomenon will also affect 32-inch this year. Availability of the balance of LCD sizes, while it should be stable overall, “will tighten as plasma demand shifts to LCD. Forty-two-inch LCD will be the first category to tighten, and 52-inch LCD will also be an issue,” before the newest Gen 8 plants can ramp up to full speed.
Ristow painted this scenario against the somewhat positive backdrop of CEA holiday sales projections offered at that organization’s Industry Forum earlier this week. Those figures project that CE sales will increase seven percent for the 2007 holidays over the same 2006 period – up, but only about half as much as ’06 sales eclipsed ’05 figures. He noted the CEA research finding that “big-screen TVs,” #15 on the consumer “wants” list just two years ago, had reached the #3 spot in the current survey. “Consumers are cautious for Q4, but while clothing and other categories will take a big hit, they aren’t cutting on CE spending.”