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Survey: CE Spending Up, Best Buy To Get Most

Consumer spending on consumer electronics is set to rise over the next six months, although most of that disposable income will be spent at Best Buy, according to a new survey by ChangeWave Research, an investment research publisher based here.

The findings were based on responses from 692 senior technology and business executives from ChangeWave’s “Alliance” panel, which includes 4,600 professionals and managers from the CE, IT, telecom, entertainment and biomedical industries. ChangeWave, founded by investment guru and talk-show commentator Tobin Smith, believes feedback from the Alliance’s early adopter, mover-and-shaker constituency can serve as a good leading indicator of business and economic trends.

According to the survey, conducted during the week of May 18, 37 percent of respondents say they are now spending more on CE than a year ago, compared to 22 percent who say they are spending less — which ChangeWave interprets as a healthy indicator of increased spending activity.

What are they buying? Digital cameras were cited most often (30 percent), followed by cellphones and computers.

And where are they buying them? A whopping 51 percent said that they and their families prefer to shop at Best Buy for home entertainment and networking products.

Smith told TWICE that the thirst of his early adapter Alliance for new CE products will likely be shared by late adapters as well, given the strong upgrade cycle for such products as higher megapixel digital cameras and multi-use cellphones. “People see them and they want them,” he said.

As for Best Buy’s dominance, Smith salutes the chain for doing “an outstanding job. They’re not heavy on service but they’re not service-lite either,” while also providing such unique benefits as Geek Squad.

“It’s a great idea. I’d pay $500 a year for them to come in every quarter and de-worm my computer.”

Prefered CE Shopping Venues*

Top 10 Planned Product Purchases*