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Holidays Look Bright For Retailers: CEA

Arlington, Va. — The 2014 holiday season will see the highest levels of consumer spending on CE since 1994, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

Total tech spending during the holidays will increase 2.5 percent (up from 0.9 percent growth in 2013) to reach a record $33.76 billion during the 2014 holiday season, CEA said in releasing its latest holiday outlook.

CEA began tracking holiday spending in 1994.

“Consumers are decidedly more optimistic about holiday spending on tech this year versus last year,” said Shawn DuBravac, CEA’s chief economist and research senior director. “The macroeconomic environment is providing a firmer foundation, and holiday consumers are showing a strong inclination to shop this holiday season. CEA’s forecasts point to growth in overall spending as well as spending on tech this holiday season.”

The “21st Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study” also includes the five CE gifts that U.S. adults most want to receive. They are tablets, notebook/laptop computers, TVs, smartphones, and video game consoles.

Some other notable figures from the study include:

**Sixty-three percent of U.S. adults plan to give technology as a gift this year.

**Headphones and ear buds (27 percent and 26 percent, respectively) will be the most popular CE devices that consumers give.

**Other popular gifts will be tablets (26 percent), notebook/laptop computers (25 percent), TVs (24 percent) and smartphones (23 percent).

**One in 10 consumers is likely to purchase a fitness device (10 percent), a smart device for the home (9 percent), or a smart watch (8 percent) as a gift.

**Fifty-four percent of consumers are likely to purchase CE products online this year, up from 45 percent in 2013, and 77 percent of consumers will purchase from a brick-and-mortar location. Sixty-seven percent will use a mobile device to help them shop.

Noted DuBravac: “Expect to see growing consumer awareness and interest in emerging tech categories, including health and fitness technology, as industry giants have entered the playing field. These products will make their first big splash this holiday season, setting up 2015 as a breakout year for emerging segments like smart watches and smart-home technologies.”

The complete report is available free to CEA member companies at Non-members may purchase the report in the CEA Store.