The holiday season had a disappointing ending for the consumer technology industry, with NPD Group reporting brick and mortar sales for the five weeks declining 8.1%. The market research company weekly tracking service shows online consumer technology sales increased 7.1%, but even that growth couldn’t lift overall sales which netted out with a 5.7% decline.
Overall brick and mortar consumer technology sales totaled US$7.5 billion from Nov. 23 – Dec. 27, 2008. Four out of the five holiday weeks experienced declines, the deepest being Christmas week where retail sales dropped 24%.
Despite consumers spending less, NPD says they did invest more into the top five brick and mortar revenue categories than last year. The top five categories accounted for nearly 51% of retail sales compared to 48% in 2007 and about 43% in 2006.
Top 5 Consumer Technology Holiday Categories
1. LCD TVs
2. Notebook PCs
3. MP3 Players
4. Digital Cameras
5. Mobile Navigation
NPD said that LCD TVs grew 24% in units and 12% in dollars. Notebook PCs unit sales were up 13% but revenue was flat as the average selling price dropped from $692 to $610. MP3 players, which have been declining, NPD says, continued on a sour note with units falling 3% and revenue dipping 12%. Digital cameras took a hit with a unit decline of 9% and a 21% drop in dollars, this as the average price dipped to $129. Mobile navigation also found itself in a slump with units only growing 5% and revenue falling 24%.
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