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Telecommunications Unit Sales Up For 12 Months Ending June 1995


Boosted by high demand for cordless telephones, unit volume retail sales of telecommunications products including telephones, answering systems, and answering machines were up 3.7% for the 12 months ending June 30, 1995. Total consumer expenditures decreased 6.7% to $3.4 billion, with the decline in dollar volume sales attributable to a corresponding decrease in the average price that consumers paid for most products in the category.


Combined sales of cordless telephones, including units with and without answering systems, were up 14.6% to 16.6 million units on total dollar volume sales of $1.46 billion. This represented over 43% of total expenditures in the $3.4 billion telephone and answering system consumer market.

These are some of the findings from the latest TWICE/Scout Report released by The Polk Company. The following is an overview of retail sales activity and brand performance for each of six telecommunications product categories.


Overall sales of cellular telephones declined by nearly 14% for the 12-month period ending in June compared to the same period one year ago. About 7.5 million cellular telephones were purchased by consumers during the period, with total expenditures at $987 million. Motorola continued its dominance in the category by leading all brands, with unit volume share of 53.4% up from 49.4% one year ago. AT&T (7.4%) and Nokia-Mobira (5.6%) were second and third. The average price paid for a cellular telephone at retail was $132, a decline of 16.5% from a year ago when consumers paid an average price of $158. Prices ranged from a high of $149 for GE/Ericsson to a low of $105 for Uniden.


Cordless telephones without answering machines/non-integrated increased in sales during the most recent 12-month period. Unit volume sales were up 12% to 13.5 million units, and total expenditures were $1.05 billion. AT&T was the top brand, with unit volume share of 27.2%. GE (14%) and Sony (12%) were second and third. Uniden had unit volume share of 9.8%, up from 5.6% a year ago. Panasonic also had a share of 9.8%, down from 11.5%. The average price of a cordless telephone was $78, down from $81. Cobra had the highest average price ($88). Uniden was lowest ($60).


Corded telephones without answering machines/non-integrated sales increased to 10.1 million units, up from 9.3 million a year ago. Total expenditures were $335.6 million. The top selling brand was AT&T, with unit volume share of 30.9%. GE (14.7%) was second, and Conair (11.6%) was third.

Average prices ranged from a low of $16 for Unisonic to a high of $62 for Panasonic. The overall average price for a corded telephone was $33. This was unchanged compared to a year ago.


Annualized unit volume sales of cordless telephones with answering systems or integrated systems rose 27% compared to a year ago. Consumers purchased 3.1 million units during the 12-month study period ending in June 1995. Total expenditures were $406.1 million. AT&T led the category with a share of 24.3%, up from 20.8% a year ago. Panasonic had a share of 19.1%, down from 26.1%. Sony (13.3%) was third, PhoneMate (12.3%) was fourth, and BellSouth was fifth (10.5%).

Average prices ranged from a low of $104 for BellSouth to a high of $153 for RadioShack. The overall average price paid by consumers was $130, down from $134 a year ago.


Demand for corded telephones with answering systems dropped by 9.3% on unit volume sales of 3.04 million units. Total expenditures were $236.9 million, down 13%. AT&T was once again the brand share leader, with unit volume share of 31.8%. Next in line were GE (23.7%), PhoneMate (11.1%), and BellSouth (10.2%). The overall average price was $78, down from $81 a year ago. Panasonic ($119) had the highest average price, and Unisonic ($43) was lowest.


Sales of stand-alone answering systems were up 1.6% on sales of 7.1 million units. Total dollar volume sales were $351.4 million, down 3.7%. AT&T was the most popular brand, capturing 35.3% of the market. GE was second with share of 16.5%, down from 18.8% a year ago. PhoneMate (11.8%) was third. On average, consumers paid $50 for a new answering system. This compares to an average price of $52 a year ago. Prices ranged from a low of $30 for Unisonic to a high of $68 for Panasonic. The average price of an AT&T answering system was $57.◊Merch. Solutions Presents WCES Retail Workshop


Merchandising Solutions is presenting a workshop on category management and trends in retail merchandising at Winter CES. Featuring a panel of computer industry notables, at press time the presentation was scheduled to offer computer product manufacturers and retailers essential information and advice on how to achieve retail success in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

"Everyone wins with effective category management, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and consumers,'' stated Jim Alexander, president of Merchandising Solutions. "From product selection to stocking the shelves," Alexander said, "comprehensive category management streamlines a complicated process to ensure effective product presentation, reduce product returns, and prevent out-of-stocks."


The session will discuss techniques and trends in merchandising from both retailer and manufacturer perspectives, and will provide information on how to more effectively manage inventories and the store environment to encourage the sell-through of products, the firm said.

Presenters will include: Seymour Merrin, president of Merrin Information Services; Peter Janssen of Janssen & Associates, and former merchandising and advertising VP of Egghead Software; Kevin Stadler, president of Intactix International; and Edward Belleba, retail channel marketing director for Microsoft. The panel will be moderated by Jim Alexander, president of Merchandising Solutions.
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