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LCDs, Notebooks Drove Back-To-School CE Sales

9/18/2008 02:33:00 PM Eastern

Port Washington, N.Y. — LCD TVs and notebook computers were the main sales drivers in an otherwise flat back-to-school season for CE.

According to market research firm The NPD Group, here, unit sales of LCD TVs rose 32 percent and notebook unit volume increased 10 percent at retail during the nine-week back-to-school period spanning June 29 to Aug. 30.

MP3 players also had a good showing, with unit sales up 7 percent during the period.

In contrast, unit sales of desktop computers declined 3 percent, digital camera volume slipped 1 percent and sales of multifunction printers were flat.

Price declines on notebook computers slowed to 5 percent compared with 11 percent during the year-ago period, and advertising for CE products proved proportionally more effective at the start of the season, NPD observed.

“With the most consistent sales growth during the earliest part of the season it appears that retailers were able to convince consumers to shop early for technology,” said Stephen Baker, NPD’s industry analysis VP. “These back-to-school results show that as category average price declines slow, retailers will no longer be able to rely on industrywide price declines to drive volume growth.”