TWICE: Which products or categories will be the big winners this holiday winners?
Dennis Holzer, executive director, The Power- House Alliance: As in the recent past, TVs, tablets and smartphones will continue to be very strong and increase in sales during the period. I also see televisions 55 inches and larger – especially Ultra HD and OLED 4K televisions – selling very well, and as their price points decrease and marketing incentives are added by the vendors for the period, sales will show sharp increases.
There are also many new wireless audio products available in several electronic categories, and they will also continue to do very well and should see an increase.
Lastly, health wearables such as Fitbit and other products in this category will see significant increases.
Alexandra Harding, vendor management director, IngramMicro Consumer Electronics (IMCE): We will see continued growth in flat-panel TVs. UHD TVs, both flat and curved, will see a spike as we anticipate a decrease in pricing for the holiday season.
With the recent launch of new mobile devices, headphones are expected to continue to be a musthave for gift-giving to others or oneself.
As awareness continues to grow with DIY connected- home products, they will also be sought after, along with gaming accessories, tablets and tablet accessories.
Curt Hayes, president/chief financial officer, Capitol: Audio will be strong, thanks in part to all the attention being paid to Dolby Atmos. We’re seeing a series of introductions from industry stalwarts who are rolling out AVRs with the new technology, and with it comes a need for additional speakers and accessories.
Also, personal audio and gaming will drive sales both in terms of hardware and, again, necessary addons such as speakers, soundbars and headphones.
On the video side, UHD is gaining traction as news about content picks up steam.
Jeff Davis, sales senior VP, D&H Distributing: Wearables are gaining momentum, especially activity bracelets in the fitness/home healthcare category. These include monitoring and “smart watches” from Fitbit, Runtastic, Striiv and Garmin, plus the intuitive notifications bracelet from Razer.
Mobile computing such as notebook and tablet computers are still strong at D&H despite a general shift away from tablets in the overall market, with more Windows 8 models gaining momentum.
Fred Towns, president, New Age Electronics/ Jack of All Games, Synnex: Traditional categories including audio (headphones and Bluetooth speakers) and personal computing (PCs, notebooks and tablets) will continue to drive sales this holiday season.
Emerging categories including wearable devices (smartphones, activity trackers and home health devices) and home automation products (Bluetooth and Wi-Fi LED blubs, security devices and door locks) are also expected to see success. And app-enabled devices that pair with the smartphone and tablet will mix things up from past years.
Ultimately, success within each category will be determined by its out-of-box experience and how easily the product connects with the latest smart devices.
Bill Stewart, founder/CEO, Petra Industries: We have great expectations for several accessories categories. Apple’s tremendous iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch is an indication that accessories for mobile devices will continue to be very strong in everything from protective cases and wireless portable speakers to power and charging accessories.
We also believe gaming accessories will see significant growth over recent holiday seasons. This will be the first full fourth quarter with the new PlayStation4 and Xbox One consoles, and the latest generation of the most popular games for these consoles will be released for holiday sales, so we expect to see good traction on controllers, storage, headsets and more.
Tablets also continue to be in high demand, and we expect to do very well with our lines of value-priced tablets as well as all tablet and mobile device accessories.
Rick Wigen, product management VP, Almo: 4K TV and sophisticated audio products are predicted to drive sales this holiday season. Wireless audio systems, Bluetooth speakers and wearable cameras should see strong growth, while tablets will continue on their current sales trend.
The usual appliance gift categories, like stand mixers, high-end coffee makers and cookware, should again see a sales boost for Q4.