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$299 4K: Killing The Golden Goose (Before It’s Even Hatched)

After covering the CE retail business for over 15 years, you’d think I’d learned by now not to wince at Black Friday price points.

But that was still my reaction to a recent roster of Thanksgiving forecasts from Brad Wilson; he’s the guy who started out in 2001 by leaking Black Friday circulars and went on to found online sales curation site Brad’s Deals.

The price projections, he said, were devised by analyzing year-over-year data, examining current prices and promotional trends, and sprinkling in some empirical hoodoo-voodoo.

I don’t know how, or if, this jibes with your own promotional road maps, but here are some of Brad’s highlights, or rather, lowlights, for Black Friday 2014:

*Beats by Dre Solo HD headphones for $99.99

*7-inch Android tablets for $29.99

*32-inch 720p LED TVs from $78

*Kenmore laundry pairs from $499

*Roku media player from $24.99

And the pièce de résistance: Ultra HD TVs from $299. (The full lowdown is available here.)

Granted, these 4Ks will be tier-three models under 50 inches, Brad predicted. But even pricing on some premium series SKUs has fallen as much as 40 percent over the past three months, ProSource co-president Jim Ristow told TWICE.

Indeed, his counterpart at the Nationwide Marketing Group, chief CE merchant Tom Hickman, said 4K price moves are coming faster than they did for prior innovations like digital TV and Blu-ray, leading to a “hypercompetitive market” for Ultra HD and a narrow window of margin opportunity.

“Moore’s Law demands a certain speed,” he said.

Still, is that any way to treat this eye-popping advance in display technology, the industry’s Great Bright Hope?

For most other consumer sectors, the answer would be a resounding hell no. But as Ristow’s Pro-Source co-president Dave Workman is wont to remind, “This industry likes to eats its young.”