Little change was seen in the top spots for TV shelf share in the month of July as Samsung remained the shelf leader in LCD TVs, while Panasonic held onto the top spot in plasma TV and Sony remained No. 1 in rear-projection TV placements, according to market research firm Current Analysis West, a company of The NPD Group.
But the analysts' TV display July retail scorecard showed significant changes in brands moving up the ranks.
In LCD TV shelf share, Polaroid showed the most significant change, recording a 1.7 percent increase in LCD TV placements to take the second overall spot, ahead of Philips, Sony, Sharp and Vizio, Current Analysis West said.
"Polaroid's increase was due to increased placements at Circuit City and retail giant Wal-Mart, which are the only two major retail outlets that Polaroid assorts its LCD TVs," Current Analysis West reported. "Polaroid's increase pushed both Sony and Philips back one spot, and both saw declines in their shelf share figures."
Sharp saw nearly an entire percentage-point increase in shelf share from June to July, to recover from its May-to-June shelf-share decline, the firm said.
Sharp's increase was attributed mostly to increased Circuit City and Sears placements. "In a year, Sharp's shelf share has dropped significantly. Its July 2007 shelf-share figure of 8.6 percent is nearly 4 percent lower than its July 2006 figure of 12.2 percent," according to the report.
Vizio increased its shelf share by nearly an entire percentage point, due mostly to additional placements at Circuit City, the analyst said. In a year, Vizio has more than doubled its shelf share from 3 percent in July 2006 to its July 2007 figure of 6.5 percent.
In plasma TV, Panasonic maintained its shelf-share foothold in the month with 20.33 percent shelf share. Current Analysis West said that number nearly mirrors its June 2007 figure of 20.28 percent.
Samsung, with 13.7 percent shelf share in the period, closed the gap somewhat in the month by increasing its shelf share by a little over 2 percent from its June figure.
One of the biggest gainers in July plasma TV placements was Hitachi, which leapfrogged into third position with 11.7 percent shelf share.
Hitachi's success was attributed largely to getting a placement at Wal-Mart.
"Positioning after Hitachi slightly resembled a game of musical chairs by LG, Philips and Pioneer, as the three continue to aggressively jockey for shelf share," the Current Analysis West report states. "Pioneer, which made significant shelf share gains in June, was only able to marginally improve upon these figures, whereas LG and Philips both made significant gains."
July continued the trend toward 1080p plasma displays, according to the report. 1080p sets accounted for nearly half of the newest retail plasma entrants, with Panasonic taking credit for a significant portion of them.
"It's becoming increasingly clear that plasma will fight LCD TV's encroachment with its own larger-sized 1080p sets," said the research firm.
In rear-projection TV, Sony continued to dominate the shelf share field in July, due mostly to a placement gain at Costco, Current Analysis West said.
Sony continued to gain with 27.6 percent of the month's retail RPTV shelf share. The figure marked a recovery from its May-to-June drop and is over 7 percent higher than its share from July 2006.
"Although positioning in the top five RPTV shelf share slots remain unchanged from June, Samsung's nearly 2 percent month-to-month increase gave it 21.5 percent shelf share in the RPTV retail market," according to the report. "The figure marks Samsung's highest shelf share for the manufacturer since August 2006, when it attained 21.6 percent shelf share."
Current Analysis West said the biggest surprise for July was JVC, which, aided with additional Best Buy and CompUSA placements, increased its shelf share by nearly an entire percentage point to 5.9 percent. The increase continues a recent growth trend for the company, following a period of declines from July 2006 until April 2007.