Armonk, N.Y. - February and March are emerging as an important selling period for consumer electronics and appliances
according to a new study by IBM.
The conclusion is based on the $330 million increase in CE and majap retail sales in March over February as reported by the U.S. Commerce Department, and on IBM's own monthly sales forecasts for the next two years.
According to the company's Global Business Services unit, the sales increase, to $8.4 billion, was $50 million greater than the average February-to-March gain over the past 21 years, while IBM's forecast suggests that the month-over-month spikes will continue in 2012 and 2013.
The projections are based on 21 years of historical data and proprietary analytics software that evaluates long-term trends and seasonal peaks. IBM says its forecasts have been demonstrated to be accurate to 99 percent, and the company uses the predictive techniques to help clients improve performance by addressing such issues as supply and demand, product mix and new store locations.
Observed IBM's retail analytics leader Michael Haydock, "The first step is for retailers to understand what is motivating the customers who are buying in this time period. That understanding will help guide merchants as they make their advertising, staffing and inventory plans."
Haydock said all indications are that personal disposable income will continue to climb while savings as a percent of personal disposable income will continue to fall - meaning that people are saving slightly less. These two factors combine to provide a good "tailwind," he said, which could lead to improving sales for the industry.
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