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Consumer Audio Sales Decrease By 13% For Year Ending June '95


Consumer expenditures for home audio products including cassette tape players, CD players, stereo receivers, and stereo rack systems totaled $1.9 billion for the 12 months ending June 30, 1995, down nearly 13% compared to the same period a year ago, according to the TWICE/Scout Report developed by The Polk Company.


Although the overall home audio category was down, sales of CD players increased slightly. Dollar volume sales of CD players rose nearly 3% to $576 million. About 2.6 million units were purchased at retail during the time period, according to the report. Sony led all brands with unit volume share of 25.8%, which was down from 29.7% a year ago. Pioneer's share held steady at 11.6%. Technics was third with share of 8.2%, an increase of over 1 share point compared to the same period last year. Other brands that experienced unit volume share increases compared to the previous year included Kenwood (from 5.1 % to 7.0%), RCA (from 5.4% to 6.2%) and Fisher (from 2.2% to 3.4%). The average price paid by consumers for a CD player was $223. This compares to $218 for the same 12-month period ending last June. The average price ranged from a high of $352 for Fisher to a low of $158 for RCA.


The cassette tape player market suffered from a 20% dollar volume sales decline during the study period. Consumer expenditures totaled $214.4 million on sales of 1.15 million units.

Sony, with unit volume share of 23.4%, outsold the next closest competitor by a factor of over 2-to-1. Pioneer and Kenwood were second and third with share of 11.3% and 6.3%, respectively. Brands that benefited from gains in market share included Kenwood (up 2.2 share points) and Teac (up 3.7 points). Consumers paid an average price of $185. This was down from $198 a year ago. Sony also led all brands in average retail price paid ($236).


Total retail sales of stereo receivers were 1.42 million units, down slightly from 1.47 million units a year ago. Consumers spent nearly $435 million during the period, a decline of $40 million compared to the 12 months ending on June 30, 1994. Sony (unit volume share of 24.2%), Pioneer (17%), and JVC (10.6%) were the top three selling brands combining to account for over half of unit sales for the entire category. Average retail prices ranged from a low of $255 for JVC to a high of over $400 for Onkyo and Yamaha. The overall average for the category was $304.


Unit sales of stereo rack systems for the period were 1.21 million units, down from 1.54 million units compared to the same period a year ago. Sony led all brands in unit volume sales with share of 20.7%. Pioneer and Soundesign were second and third with share of 8.6% and 7.2% respectively. Fisher dropped to fourth (7%). Total expenditures were $671 million. The average price paid by consumers was $554, virtually unchanged compared to a year ago. Average prices ranged from a high of $948 for Technics to a low of $322 for Soundesign.
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