Forecast: Gift Spending, including Electronics, Will Be Up During 2011 Holidays
Oct 25, 2011
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Consumer overall spending this holiday season will increase and spending on electronics gifts will reach an all-time high, according to research from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

The 18th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study reports that consumer electronics (CE) are among the most-desired gifts and will account for one-third of all holiday gift spending.

Consumers plan to spend on average $246 on electronics gifts, up 6% from the 2010 holiday season, and the highest level since CEA began tracking holiday spending.

There will also be an increase in overall gift spending, the report said, with consumers planning to spend an average of $769, up 3% from the amount spent on gifts in 2010. CEA expects overall holiday retail sales to increase 2.5% in 2011.

"After months of depressed consumer confidence, individuals are indicating they plan to spend this holiday and are looking for technology, as more adults will buy consumer electronics as a gift this year as compared to last year," said Shawn DuBravac, CEA's chief economist and director of research.

The top items on the Adults Holiday Gift Wish List:
• clothes
• tablet computer
• notebook/laptop computer
• peace/happiness
• money

The top items on the Adults Consumer Electronics Holiday Gift Wish List:
• tablet computer
• notebook/laptop computer
• TV (any type)
• E-reader
• Vide game console

"It is going to be a computing holiday season, with tablets looking to be the run-away success story," said DuBravac. "New, innovative product categories like tablets and e-Readers, combined with consistent favorites like notebook computers, video game consoles and televisions, will make this a digital holiday season. But the economic landscape will have consumers searching for value, hunting for these technologies at attractive prices."

Other findings of the report:
• price will be the most important factor for consumers when determining where to make their purchase
• ease of purchasing and return policies are important factors
• two-thirds of consumers will compare prices online before buying a CE gift
• CE gifts will more likely be purchased at mass merchant retailers and electronics stores than online or at warehouse clubs

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