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CEA Predicts Strong CE Holiday Sales

11/07/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

SAN DIEGO — Consumer spending on
electronics gifts this holiday will reach
an all-time high, according to the Consumer
Electronics Association’s (CEA)
“18th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns
Study,” released last month.

The survey shows that overall spending
this holiday will increase as well. The
study was released at the CEA’s Industry
Forum in San Diego, its four-day conference
held here in October.

Consumer electronics are once again
among the most desired gifts this holiday
season and will account for onethird
of all holiday gift spending, according
to the CEA. Consumers plan to
spend on average $243 on electronics
gifts, an increase of 5 percent from last
year and the highest level since the CEA
began tracking holiday spending.

Overall gift spending will also increase.
Consumers plan to spend on
average $769 on gifts this year, 2 percent
higher than last year. The CEA expects
holiday retail sales to increase 2.5
percent this year.

“Consumer electronics continue to
play a leading role in holiday shopping,
with consumer tech clearly being a go-to
category for holiday gift spending,” said
Shawn DuBravac, CEA chief economist
and research director. “After months of
depressed consumer confidence, individuals
are indicating they plan to spend
this holiday and are looking for technology,
as more adults will buy consumer
electronics as a gift this year as compared
to last year.”

Computing products will lead the way
this holiday season. Tablet computers
trail only clothes as the most wanted gifts
overall. Notebook computers are also
high on the list, along with peace/happiness
and money. When it comes to electronics,
behind tablets and laptops are
TVs (any type), e-readers and video game
consoles as the most wanted CE gifts.

Electronics accessories and gift
cards will also be popular this holiday.
Four out of five adults plan to give a gift
card this year, up 8 percent from last
year, many of them for digital content
and services. One in four consumers
plans to give a gift card that can be used
for digital music purchases, one in five
for electronic book purchases, and 16
percent for app purchases.

“It is going to be a computing holiday
season, with tablets looking to be the
runaway success story,” DuBravac said.

“New, innovative product categories
like tablets and e-readers, combined with
consistent favorites like notebook computers,
video game consoles and televisions,
will make this a digital holiday season. But
the economic landscape will have consumers
searching for value, hunting for
these technologies at attractive prices.”

Price will be the most important factor
as consumers decide where to buy
their CE gifts. The ease of making a purchase
and return policies also will be
important purchasing factors.

Two-thirds of consumers will compare
the price for electronics online before
making a purchase. However, consumers
plan to buy CE gifts at mass merchants
and electronics stores before
they go online or to warehouse clubs.

The “18th Annual CE Holiday Purchase
Pattern Study” was conducted in
September. It was designed and formulated
by CEA Market Research.

The complete report is available free
to CEA member companies at http://members.ce.org. Non-members may
purchase the report for $699 at the
CEA Store.