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Flat Panel Tops CE Wish Lists Of Wealthy Consumers

Flat panel TVs top the list of consumer electronics that affluent shoppers plan to buy in the next six months, and more than three-quarters of them say they will close the deal at Best Buy.

According to a new survey of affluent CE enthusiasts from Thomas, Townsend & Kent (TTK) and BIGresearch, 14.5 percent intend to buy a flat panel display this fall or winter, 13.7 percent will purchase a home theater system, and 10.4 percent will spend their CE dollars on a video gaming system.

Only 6.6 percent of the well-heeled respondents said they plan to buy a high definition DVD player.

What’s more, a whopping 77.4 percent said they planned to purchase their flat panel TVs at Best Buy, followed by 53.8 percent who cited Circuit City. Wal-Mart was the third-place destination for the well-heeled at 41.3 percent, followed by “a major electronics stores” at 39.4 of the TV-intended.What’s more, nearly 31 percent of the 2,108 respondents said they plan to buy direct from a manufacturer’s Web site.

Prior to purchase, these consumers will likely spend an average of 2.7 hours researching their product options, both online (76.4 percent) and in retail stores (72.1 percent).

“The football season and new network programming spurs consumers to make television purchases and upgrades in the fourth quarter,” said Roy Weiss, executive VP of TTK, an online publishing and market research firm based here. “In today’s marketplace, television manufacturers with a strong online presence and the ability to drive consumers to retail will be the big winners.”

For more information and a complimentary report on the study’s findings, visit