Distributors Expecting Busy Q4 But Predicting Heavy Promotions

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NEW YORK —

After speaking with manufacturers and retailers on how the holiday selling season will be this year, TWICE polled the group in the middle — distributors.

The general mood of top distribution executives contacted for this virtual roundtable seems to be tempered optimism.

Acknowledging that consumer confidence is still in the doldrums at best, many expect to see demand in tablet PCs, e-readers, accessories, digital cameras, as well as flat-panel TVs, Blu-ray decks and HD camcorders.

The problem is that holiday promotions will be deeper and longer than last year, especially in TV -- which had a tough summer, and 3D TV has not fulfilled its promise, at least not yet.

Many questioned by TWICE in the past two weeks expect to see deep promotions beginning in early November. Uniformly, they expect retail sales volume to be higher than last year’s Q4, but margins will again be under plenty of pressure.

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