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Flat-Panel TVs, Services To Lead Holiday Sales

Port Washington, N.Y. — Flat-panel TVs and services will be driving forces this holiday season pushing sales up between Thanksgiving and Christmas about 8 percent over the $8.2 billion generated in 2005, according to The NPD Group.

Lower prices and increased selection of LCD and plasma televisions will create customer interest, said Steve Baker, NPD’s industry analysis VP, and these will lead to more revenue generated from installation services.

Notebook computers will serve the same function on the IT side with consumers needing home networks installed. In addition, external storage, notebook accessories and video cards all will add to a retailer’s bottom line. Baker said, notebooks will continue to outsell their desktop counterparts.

Blu-ray and HD DVD players will have some impact on holiday sales, although high prices and limited quantities will temper business for 2006. Baker expects retailers to sell out of these products this year, which will set the stage for the market to expand in 2007.

MP3 player sales will not falter this year with unit and revenue numbers exceeding the $497 million generated last year, Baker said.