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Early Sales Figures Show CE As Tops In Black Friday Purchases


More consumers bought CE this
Thanksgiving weekend than last year, making it
one of the most purchased categories during the
Black Friday sales period.

According to early sales tabulations from the
Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and
Caravan, 58 percent of Black Friday shoppers
bought some type of consumer electronics product
the day after Thanksgiving, second only to

In comparison, 54 percent of Americans purchased
CE products during last year’s Thanksgiving
weekend, CEA said.

Topping the list of most popular CE devices
were portable MP3 players, video game consoles
and accessories, and computers, including notebooks
and tablets, the survey showed.

CEA’s findings were echoed by comparison
shopping site Electronics,
computers and cameras were the top three most
popular Black Friday categories visited on the
company’s iPhone shopping app, followed by
appliances and toys, and eight of the 10 most
popular items for Black Friday were CE devices,
according to PriceGrabber website data. Among
the top five: Lenovo’s G550 notebook, Apple’s
16GB iPhone 4 in black, and Hewlett-Packard’s
Mini 110-1144NR netbook, the company reported.

Driving CE sales were deep price promotions
that brought retails as low as $700 for a 50-inch, 1080p Panasonic plasma (with free
shipping online, from Best Buy);
$387 for a 42-inch, 720p Panasonic
plasma (at Sixth Avenue Electronics);
$298 for a 40-inch 1080p Westinghouse
LCD-TV (Target); $198 for a
32-inch 720p Emerson LCD TV (at
Walmart); and $179 for a 10.1-inch
Acer netbook (at RadioShack).

Examined by category, PriceGrabber
found the steepest Black Friday
price drops in combo TVs (down
87 percent in average price); LCD
monitors (down 36 percent); projection
TVs (down 27 percent); laptop
cases (down 19 percent); and cellphones
(down 17 percent).

Local store managers confirmed
the surveys’ findings. At a Best Buy
store in Holmdel, N.J., home theater
and major appliances supervisor
Adam Zwickler said doorbusters
went fast, including a $189 Toshiba
laptop, a Wii and Samsung TV
bundle, and especially the 50-inch
Panasonic plasma. “That was a big
one,” he said.

Major appliances drew “a lot
more traffic than expected,” Zwickler
added, while warranties, HDMI
cables, screen cleaners and other
high-margin attachments, listed for
Blue Shirts on accessory recommendation
sheets, “flew out the
store. Some customers asked for
them, and for others it was an instant

At a Costco in Long Island City,
N.Y., TVs and home-theater products
were the most popular CE purchases,
general manager Jon Jovel said,
while customers at a Sears store in
Middletown, N.J., gravitated toward
discounted laundry pairs, GPS devices
and 13 TV doorbusters, reported
Eleanor Marchese, assistant
store manager for CE and majaps.

White-goods also sold well at a
P.C. Richard & Son location in Manhattan,
store manager Chris Peralise
said, “Especially Samsung, which
made its name in CE products and
has carried it over to appliances.”

TVs and electronics similarly led
the early-bird charge at a Target
location in Middletown, N.J., store
leader Michael Wexler reported,
with shoppers clamoring for Wii titles,
Xbox consoles, Nikon cameras
and sub-40-inch TVs.

At a Kmart store in Hazlet, N.J.,
gaming systems, including Xbox,
Wii and Game Boy, were the No. 1
electronics item Black Friday morning,
said department manager Shelly
Goldizen. “Electronics are always
hot,” added store manager Jeffrey

In contrast, 3D TV and iPad, both
early Black Friday favorites, proved
to be a mixed bag. Interest in 3D was
“light,” Best Buy’s Zwickler said,
and fewer iPads sold than anticipated.
Sears’ Marchese agreed that 3D
drew little attention, although P.C.
Richard’s Peralise said the category
has been garnering greater interest
among customers.