New York — Hark, the herald angels sing.
After years of recessionary beat down, CE retailers say business is finally rebounding, and is downright booming for holiday.
According to merchants queried by TWICE, a combination of lower gas prices, greater consumer confidence, and a resuscitated TV business has made this the best Christmas since the banking crisis of 2008.
“If Christmas was over tomorrow our guys would be okay with it,” said Tom Hickman, electronics senior VP for the $15 billion Nationwide Marketing Group, one week out from the holiday.
Driving much of the good cheer is 4K UHD TV, which has piqued consumer interest and, despite some stomach-churning promotions, restored premium pricing to a core CE category.
“4K technology has given the consumer a reason to spend more,” said Dave Workman, president/COO of ProSource, the $4 billion-plus A/V and custom-install division of the BrandSource buying group. “It’s still a small segment, but it already comprises more than 30 percent of our TV sales and as much as 80 percent for some of our dealers.”
“4K is hot, hot, hot,” agreed Michael Perlman, president/CEO of BrandsMart USA.
The glad tidings were reflected in the U.S. Census Bureau’s November retail sales figures. Sell-through spiked 6.9 percent to $9.4 billion for CE and appliance dealers last month, outpacing furniture, clothing, drug and department stores.
A complete assessment of the CE holiday season will appear in the Jan. 6 issue of TWICE and on TWICE.com.