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Video Sales Increase In October

ARLINGTON, VA. -Consumer electronics retailers, apparently preparing for a strong video hardware holiday season, sparked growth in October sales-to-dealers for TV/VCRs, VCR decks, camcorders and DVD players, although sales declines for analog direct-view color and projection TVs apparently showed the growing impact of digital TV popularity.

According to numbers from the Consumer Electronics Association, DVD player sales again showed the most remarkable strength, closing out October with a triple-digital growth percentage for the third consecutive month and pushing the cumulative sales total past the 6 million-unit mark. (See Video Sales Scorecard on p. 38).

The story was not so good for analog television as the month’s sales of analog direct-view color dipped 8.3 percent to 2.35 million units, although cumulative year-to-date numbers stayed 2.7 percent above the 10-month 1999 totals, at 19.2 million units.

Based on traditional selling patterns, October sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 22 million, slightly off the 10-month rate of 23.9 million.

Analog projection sets, which is the segment most directly impacted by digital television monitors that aren’t reflected in the report, were down 19.3 percent for the period to 111,362 units.

Year-to-date sales remained up, by 9.3 percent, at just over 1 million units. But the month’s indicated annual selling rate of 987,069 was well off the year-to-date average of 1.34 million.

TV/VCRs sales grew 4.8 percent to 541,111 and closed out the 10-month period at just over the 4 million mark, up 11 percent from last year. The indicated annual selling rate for the month approached 4.9 million and pushed the 10-month rate just below 5 million.

VCRs posted a 5.9 percent increase, coming in at 2.93 million units and boosting year-to-date sales 4.2 percent to just over the 19 million mark. The October annualized selling rate was a strong 25.6 million and well over the 23.7 million maintained during the first 10 months.

Camcorders continued to be a strong growth category, with a 21 percent growth rate to 702,340 units and 10-month sales of 4.8 million, up 22.3 percent. The indicated annual selling rate was 6.3 million and significantly up from the 10-month rate of 5.8 million.

DVD players came in at 1.2 million, up 105.1 percent. Through 10 months, DVD sales stood at 6.3 million, up 112.6 percent.