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NPD: Small-TV Sales Slowed In June

8/18/2010 10:32:49 AM Eastern

Port Washington,
N.Y. - Sales of smaller-screen TVs to consumers slowed in June as shoppers hesitated
while exploring bigger-screen models with more advanced feature sets, according
a study released by The NPD Group
Wednesday.

Sales of 19-inch
to 37-inch flat-panel TVs in the U.S. dropped 21 percent year over year in June,
according to NPD's retail tracking service.

The screen sizes
that took the biggest hits were 19 and 26 inches, which registered declines of
49 percent and 38 percent, respectively. 

In part, the
declines were attributed to higher than normal sales last year due to the
analog-TV cutoff deadline. Still, the slower activity comes at a time when
economic conditions were generally better than a year ago.

 "As the analog cutoff approached, many less-affluent
consumers flocked to purchase inexpensive smaller digital TVs to receive
digital broadcasts. This drove strong growth in the sub-32-inch segment that
the industry has not been able to maintain," said Ross Rubin, NPD industry
analysis executive director. "The scales have now tipped in favor of larger-screen
TVs as prices continue to drop and consumer interest turns to connected televisions,
LED backlighting, and 3D -- features that are more likely to be prominent in
larger sets."

 Sales of flat-panel TVs 40 to 65 inches grew
26 percent in June compared with the prior year.  Some of the strongest growth came from the
larger screen sizes as consumers traded up. The 55-, 60-, 63- and 65-inch flat panels
all experienced triple-digit growth, NPD said.

But large declines
in average prices also helped boost sales of the 42-, 46-, 50- and 58-inch
flat-panel TV screen sizes.