Looking Beyond Friday
November may not be the longest month on the calendar, but it can certainly feel like it. This is the month that kicks off the most important season for the CE industry—holiday shopping time. And the most important date, for many, comes on November 24th this year. Black Friday is always marked by a certain amount of mania from both consumers—who believe that the best deals will only be available from 6-to-6:30 a.m.—and from dealers—who believe they have only one shot at capturing the consumers’ attention.
That last statement may actually hold some truth, because the consumer who walks into Target (or Sears, or Circuit City, …) at 8 a.m. may not leave until she’s exhausted her list (or her energy). Black Friday mania results in the price wars (Wal-Mart is already touting its $1,299 high-def plasmas), elbow battles and stampedes we’ve come to associate with the day after Thanksgiving.
According to the Consumer Electronics Association’s Annual Holiday Survey, 28 percent of consumers plan to spend less on gifts this year, though CE products will make up 24 percent of those gifts, at an average of $195 per household. The anticipated hot items will be digital cameras, cell phones, MP3 players, video game systems and portable products. With nearly every retail channel offering most of those desirable products, it’s going to be tough for dealers scrambling to take their share of the holiday boon.