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CE Ranks Highest On Wish-Lists, Retail Surveys Show

Richmond, Va. — Two separate holiday surveys by Circuit City and Office Depot confirm that consumer electronics is the most desirable gift choice of the season.

In Circuit City’s poll of more than 3,000 parents, conducted nationwide by Decision Analyst between Oct. 26 and Nov. 2, CE outranked clothing, jewelry and sporting goods combined, with 52 percent of the vote. Specifically, 65 percent of men and 41 percent of women chose electronics as their most desired gift, with clothing a distant second (15 percent men, 24 percent women).

What are they hoping to find under the tree next month? Flat-panel TV was the top choice, with 46 percent of men and 36 percent of women hoping for a plasma or LCD display. After that, preferences were split along gender lines. Among men, 12 percent would like a computer, 9 percent would like a GPS device or digital camera and 7 percent would prefer a video gaming system.

Among women, 19 percent are wishing for a digital camera, 13 percent want a computer and 8 percent are hoping for a GPS device.

Lower on the wish list for both sexes were MP3 players, mobile handsets and video game software.

Not surprisingly, video games ranked highest among respondents within the 18 to 24 age range, followed by computers for men and cellphones and MP3 players for women.

The survey also showed that 44 percent of those polled plan to buy an electronics product for the entire family, followed by 30 percent who will spend their gift budget on a family trip.

Technology products also reigned supreme in a recent study commissioned by Office Depot. According to the 2,500 adults surveyed by TNS NFO Oct. 3-5, more than four out of 10 (42 percent) want to receive a laptop computer and 30 percent would be happy to receive a digital camera for the holidays.

What’s more, half of all shoppers (50 percent) ranked plasma or LCD flat-panel TVs as the top-ranked “must-have: technology” gift this year.

Conversely, what are the worst holiday gifts to give or receive? According to the Office Depot pool, fruit cakes and novelty items like candles, lotions and potpourri got the thumbs-down by more than half (52 percent) of consumers surveyed.

Most Desired Holiday Gift: Men*

Electronics                 65%

Apparel                      15%

Sporting goods           9%

Furniture                    3%

Jewelry                      2%

Most Desired Holiday Gift: Women:*

Electronics                 41%

Apparel                      24%

Jewelry                      20%

Furniture                    9%

Sporting goods           1%

*Based on Oct. 26 to Nov. 2 survey of 3,000 men and women with children

Source: Circuit City, Decision Analyst