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NPD: HTiB Dollar Sales Rising Faster Than Unit Sales

The average retail price of a home-theater-in-a-box (HTiB) system rose during the first three quarters of 2003, reversing a fourth-quarter 2002 decline, largely because a growing percentage of systems were going out the door with integrated or bundled DVD players, NPD Techworld found.

Retail-level HTiB sales continued to rise at high double-digit rates in units and dollars during the three-quarter period, NPD also said.

Average HTiB prices rose by 1 percent in the third quarter to $169 compared to the year-ago quarter, by 14.9 percent in the second quarter to $195.36, and by 3.4 percent in the first quarter to $171.11, according to an NPD survey of consumers. That followed a 7.5 percent decline in the fourth quarter of 2002 to an average $155.08.

In breaking out system sales by type, NPD found that 74.7 percent of HTiBs sold at retail were DVD-equipped during the first three quarters of 2003. That’s up from full-year 2002’s 69.7 percent, full-year 2001’s 53 percent, and 25.4 percent in 2000. NPD based these numbers on sales reported by retailers.

The company also reported that momentum behind DVD-equipped systems accelerated during the first three quarters of 2003. The percentage of systems sold with DVD players hit 69.1 percent in the first quarter, 76.7 percent in the second quarter, and 79 percent in the third. The quarterly percentages were also higher than the percentages tracked during the previous year’s first three quarters, when the percentages were 66.7 percent 66 percent, and 72 percent, respectively.

Integration: If trends continue into the fourth quarter, DVD-equipped systems (integrated and bundled players, combined) will account for the majority of HTiBs sold for the third consecutive year. In addition, systems with a DVD player integrated into another component, such as a receiver, will account for a majority of system sales for the second consecutive year.

Units, dollars: In its consumer survey, NPD found continued high-double-digit growth in unit and dollar sales in 2003.

During the first three quarters of 2003, unit sales rose 40.8 percent, 83.4 percent, and 83.6 percent, respectively, while dollar sales during those periods rose even faster at rates of 45.6 percent, 110.8 percent and 85.4 percent, respectively.

For 2003’s first three quarters, systems with separate DVD were priced at an average $521.87, systems with DVD integrated into an amplifier were $372.97, and systems without DVD were an average $307.60.

Methodology: NPD’s point-of-sale survey results are based on actual consumer transactions from a panel of more than 400 retail outlets, including appliance and electronics stores, office and computer superstores, mass merchants, mail-order companies, and department stores. The data are then projected to represent the total market, excluding sales by pure internet retailers. Data representing Wal-Mart and warehouse club sales are not projected.

For its consumer survey data, NPD gathers information from periodic samples of online individuals who are asked about their recent purchases. Respondents report certain details about the type and nature of their purchases in a survey administered via the Web. The responding sample is demographically weighted and projected through a series of steps to represent the total adult (18+) and total teen (13-17) U.S. population.

HTiB Sales by Quarter

(Consumer survey data compared to the same period during the previous year)

HTiB Quarterly Sales by Type

(Based on actual sales through a panel of retail outlets, and projected to represent the total market)