Temperatures either felt like 100 degrees in much of the country last week or they approached that sweltering number.
Given the weather, asking industry executives how holiday sales might be daunting for our annual “Christmas In July” issue, but senior editor Alan Wolf took on the task, with help on the TV side from executive editor Greg Tarr.
Yes, smartphones, tablets and headphones will continue to be popular; that’s no surprise.
As for TVs, Tarr provided details on an IHS report that unit sales will grow but revenue will hold steady vs. last year.
That’s not encouraging until you look at the nuances in the TV business. Consumers like larger sets, especially the 55- to 59-inch segment, and based on the findings of Gap Intelligence and Quixel, retailers and manufacturers will be emphasizing these higher-priced and, presumably more profitable, sets the balance of the year.
In fact, Gap Intelligence said that big-screen sets, as well as smart and Ultra HD TVs, will be emphasized during the holiday season.
But while Ultra HD TV will be featured prominently in stores and online, don’t expect them to get a massive slice of the TV market during this holiday season.
That’s what retailers and distributors told Wolf. The reason for that is the usual: It is a new technology, and the price is understandably high for these large-screen sets.
Executives Wolf spoke to said that in the next year or two pricing will be adjusted and Ultra HD TVs will, slowly but surely, be embraced. To a lesser extent, that will happen with OLED TVs this season and beyond too.
But Ultra HD TVs and OLED will be attention-getters at retail. That could, I underline could, help retailers with brick-and-mortar operations and increase traffic during this most important time of year.
Jeff Davis of D&H Distributing mentioned to Wolf that retailers should always remember, especially during this competitive time of year: “Give the customer a reason to come into your store.”
Promoting and displaying these new TV technologies in stores and online could, in Davis’ words, “come into your store,” and maybe increase CE sales overall. It’s worked in the past.
TWICE’s ‘Christmas In July’ Free Webinar July 25
For the first time, we are doing a webinar with more information on the holiday season as a followup to our print edition. Hosted by Alan Wolf starting at 2 p.m. EST, his guests will be Steve Baker of The NPD Group, Steve Koenig of the Consumer Electronics Association, Daniel Pidgeon of Starpower Home Entertainment Systems, and Fred Towns of New Age Electronics/Jack of All Games, who is sponsoring the event. To register for free, go to TWICE.com and click on the banner on top.