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CE Holiday Sales Fall 6% On Softness In GPS, Digital Imaging: NPD


sales of mature CE categories fell 5.9
percent to about $9.5 billion during the
Nov. 20 through Dec. 24 holiday period,
The NPD Group reported.

The dollar-volume data, collected
from select retailers at point-of-sale,
excludes cellphones, tablets, e-readers
and video games.

But the report revealed that the core
TV and PC categories dipped only 4
percent in dollars and were essentially
flat in unit volume despite marketplace
weakness last year.

Leading the holiday decline were
camcorders (down 42.5 percent), digital
picture frames (down 37.5 percent)
and GPS devices (down 32.6 percent),
the market research group said.

“2011 was the first year in quite a
while where the real drags on the core
CE marketplace were not TVs and PCs,”
observed Stephen Baker, NPD’s industry
analysis VP. “Revenue for those two
segments outperformed while the rest
of the market dropped by more than 7
percent. The accelerated rate of decline
in older technology categories such as
DVD, GPS and MP3 players put a ceiling on how well the industry could perform
during the holiday.”

TV was boosted by sales of bigscreen
models, with unit volume for 50-
inch and larger displays up by approximately
32 percent. Indeed, about one in
six flat-panel TVs sold during the holiday
period was larger than 50 inches, and
the share of TVs larger than 60 inches
more than tripled.

What’s more, 3DTVs, which NPD
described as “the industry’s most maligned
segment,” saw unit volumes soar
by more than 100 percent, as models
with 3D capability accounted for more
than one in every $5 spent on TVs during
the five-week period.

Conversely, 32-inch TVs, the market’s
largest-size segment, saw revenue drop
almost 9 percent and average selling
prices (ASPs) fall below $300, to $277.

Desktop PCs posted a 2 percent unit
volume increase but it wasn’t enough to
offset the 5 percent decline in notebook
sales which brought overall PC sales
down 4 percent. ASPs rose $9 year
over year to $575, continuing last year’s
trend of higher holiday pricing. Windows-
based all-in-one PCs increased
135 percent and accounted for almost
20 percent of all Windows desktop unit
sales volume.

Under-the-TV devices were another
bright spot for the industry. Sales revenue
for home-theater systems increased
by 10 percent, receiver revenue increased
by 3.5 percent, and standalone
streaming devices enjoyed a 65
percent increase in revenue, although
sales of Blu-ray Disc players declined
17 percent.

Other categories experiencing double-
digit decreases included hard disk
drives (down 25.1 percent), point-andshoot
cameras (down 20.8 percent)
and MP3 players (down 20.5 percent).

The total 5.9 percent holiday-period
decline represents a slight improvement
over 2010’s 6.2 percent decrease, and
echoes December CE weakness reported
by Costco, Best Buy, Sears and