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CE Sales Rise 11% For Top 100 Dealers

New York — America’s love affair with consumer electronics grew more torrid last year, sending sales of the industry’s 100 largest dealers soaring past the $100 billion mark, according to the latest TWICE Top 100 CE Retailers report.

Specifically, relentless demand for flat-panel TVs, Apple iPods, digital cameras and all other manner of digital devices drove retail revenue up 10.9 percent in 2005, to $108.5 billion. What’s more, merchants and consumers overcame the triple threat of hurricanes, high fuel costs and product shortages to breeze past the prior year’s 7.9 percent volume gains for the Top 100.

The report, prepared with market research partner The Stevenson Company, also reveals some ongoing trends. Consolidation continues to tighten its grip on the CE retail channel, giving the Top 100 dealers control of 78.3 percent of total industry sell-through, while the 10 largest retailers alone did nearly 57 percent of all business.

Conversely, the dealers that comprise the lower half of the Top 100 list, including such industry mainstays as Myer-Emco, Home Theater Store and Ken Crane’s, together generated only 3.2 percent of total industry retail sales, which masks their role as service-oriented teachers, trendsetters and tastemakers in CE.

In addition, the lower barrier of entry into the CE marketplace — due in large measure to the acceptance of e-commerce by consumers and vendors — has given rise to a new breed of specialty direct marketers. Some are entirely Internet operations while others have minimal real estate but do the bulk of their business online, which can generate hundreds of millions of dollars in CE revenue.

To purchase an electronic version of the report please go to the TWICE Online Store.