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CEA: CE Holiday Sales Will Grow By 15%

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) Annual Holiday Survey predicts that the dollar value of CE gifts will be up 15 percent in the fourth quarter to $21 million.

That is compared to $17 billion, which represented a 21 percent increase for CE gifts during the 2005 holiday season. CEA notes that consumers for the 2006 holiday season plan to spend more on the CE purchases they make. Overall gift budgets for consumers including CE and all other categories will be up 9 percent according to the report.

The report, issued Monday at the CEA Industry Forum, here, is the group’s 13th annual survey. It is the result of a random national telephone survey to 1,019 U.S. adults conducted in late September. At the same time CEA surveyed 550 12- to 17-year olds randomly by telephone for its third Annual Youth Holiday Survey.

Shawn DuBravac, lead staff economist for CEA, reported that the general economic outlook of those surveyed was more positive than last year. Thirty-five percent of those surveyed said the economy was worse than last year vs. 60 percent who answered that way in last year’s survey, while 18 percent said it was better, up almost half from 2005’s survey. The CEA expects holiday dollar shipment growth for all CE products is expected to rise 15 percent for the holiday selling period, that runs from September to December, compared to the 12 percent growth posted in 2005.

Sean Wargo, industry analysis director of CEA, said 28 percent of consumers surveyed plan to spend less on holiday gifts this year, lower than the high-30 percent range of last year. Twenty-two percent will spend more, 2 percent higher than in last year’s survey.

Overall during the 2006 holiday season, CE gifts will account for 24 percent of all gifts, 3 percent higher than last year and $195 per household will be spent on CE gifts, up 27 percent.

The top three items on the adult CE wish list for 2006 are, in order: portable MP3 player (also No. 1 last year), digital camera (No. 3 last year); and notebook/laptop PC (No. 4 in 2005). The top three items in the teen CE wish list remains unchanged from 2005: portable MP3 player, video game console and computer, in that order.

As for the top CE gifts overall, the leading five for 2006 (with their 2005 rankings in parenthesis) are in order: digital camera (2); cellular phone (9); portable MP3 player (1); video game system (3); and portable CD player (6).

Taking a look at specific trends, the survey shows that of consistent CE gift buyers 82 percent said they would buy CE as a gift this holiday season, 2 percent more than 2005. The average likeliness to buy any given CE item as a gift is 17 percent, even with 2005 and up 2 percent from 2004. And most striking, the average number of CE categories to be purchased per buyer is up from 7.6 items in 2005 to 8.8 for this holiday season.

In what Wargo calls “The Hot Gift Corner,” digital cameras will lead the pack with 37 percent of potential CE gift givers wanting to buy one, up from 28 percent last year. Revenues will be up 48 percent, contributions up 6 percent and teens will lead the way, with 53 percent of CE givers being from that age group.

The wireless phones category is predicted to be hot this holiday season with 47 percent of CE gift-giving teens saying they are going to buy one. The overall likeliness to buy is 30 percent, up 6 percent from last year, with revenues expected to be up 26 percent and contribution to be up 12 percent.

In a category described by CEA as “portable MP3 player/headset CD player,” intention to buy a CD portable this holiday season is up 2 percent over last year to 27 percent, while MP3 portables are up 1 percent to 29 percent. In revenues, MP3 is expected to be up 45 percent while headset CD revenue will be down 62 percent.

The Top 10 CE Gifts for 2006

The Teen CE Wishlist

The Adult CE Wishlist