SAN FRANCISCO —
This holiday season, spending on consumer electronics gifts will reach historic highs, despite an overall decline in gift spending, according to new research released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).
CEA unveiled the 17th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study last month at CEA’s Industry Forum in San Francisco.
Consumer electronics will once again be the “hottest” gifts, both to give and to receive, this holiday season. Overall, consumers will spend $750 on holiday gifts, down 2 percent from last year. They will, however, spend more on CE gifts than ever before. Consumers will spend $232 on CE gifts, up 5 percent from last year and the highest level since CEA began tracking holiday spending. Nearly a third of consumers’ total gift budgets will be allocated to CE. When it comes to spending, nearly half will buy a CE gift for children on their list, two in five will buy a CE gift for their spouse/significant other and 29 percent will buy CE for themselves.
“Giving electronics as a holiday gift, either to a loved one or to yourself, is more popular than ever,” said Steve Koenig, CEA’s industry analysis director. “Not only are three in four adults planning to give CE as a gift this year, but more consumers want electronics as a gift for themselves, demonstrating that electronics will be the musthave gifts of the season.”
Three of the top five, and four of the top 10, items on adults overall holiday gift wish list are electronics. Notebook/ laptop computers and Apple’s iPad ranked second and third on the list respectively, trailing only peace and happiness. E-readers and video game systems ranked fifth and ninth, respectively. Among adults’ holiday CE wish lists, notebooks, the iPad and e-readers topped the list.
“Many innovative products new to the market are high on the gift list this year,” said Koenig. “Consumers want the newest technologies, and stores that stock these products on their shelves will fare well this holiday season.”
Overall, consumers will each spend an average of $1,412 this holiday on everything from gifts and decorations to travel and food. That’s up 3 percent from last year, but still below recent historical levels as consumers remain guarded. Nearly seven out of 10 consumers said they are adjusting holiday spending due to economic concerns, with a third reducing expenditures for reasons related to unemployment.
“While the recession officially ended a year and a half ago, consumers remain very cautious this holiday,” said Shawn DuBravac, CEA’s chief economist and research director. “Worries remain over the economy and employment picture, but there is optimism. Consumers will spend more this holiday than last, with one in five planning to increase their holiday budget compared to last year.”
The 17th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Pattern Study was conducted in September by CEA Market Research
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CEA will also be releasing Black Friday sales figures on Nov. 28.