Digital Cameras Replace DVD Decks as Top Holiday Gift Choice
Oct 19, 2004
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Seventy-six percent of U.S. consumers plan to buy at least one consumer electronics (CE) product as a gift during the upcoming holiday shopping season, according to a new survey released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

According to the results from CEA's 11th Annual Holiday Sales and Forecast survey, U.S. consumers plan to spend up to 3 percent more on the holidays this year, rising from 19 percent to 22 percent. With this increase, CEA says that retailers should expect to see flourishing sales of digital cameras, DVD players, cordless phones, game systems, wireless phones, desktop computers, laptops and notebooks, portable MP3 players, and HDTVs.

"Year-after-year, consumer electronics products dominate holiday wish lists, and all indications show that consumer electronics retailers are in for another strong holiday season," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA. "The products produced by our industry truly are the gifts that keep on giving. They provide consumers 'anywhere/anytime' access to loved ones, music, movies, information and educational content as well as help increase our security. They are fun, cool, hip, and become an almost essential part of our lifestyles and workstyles."

The number one planned CE gift item for this year is the digital camera, displacing DVD players at the top of the "planned gift" list for the first time in years. Consumer interest in buying a digital camera increased 5 points from last year, from 24 percent to 29 percent. Overall interest in purchasing DVD players declined 6 points from last year, from 31 percent to 25 percent.

For the first time, CEA's Holiday Sales and Forecast explores interest in purchasing gift certificates for holiday gift giving and found that 30 percent of respondents would purchase a gift certificate from a CE retailer. This is higher than the planned gift purchase of any individual CE category.

The survey also found that the number one desired gift item this season is the plasma TV. Nine percent of CE gift buyers plan to purchase a plasma TV as a gift. Ranked in order following the plasma TV, other desired gifts this holiday season include the digital camera, a notebook or laptop computer, a color TV 27-in or larger, and a portable MP3 player.

The survey found more good news for retailers. Despite a number of uncertainties facing the U.S. economy, 24 percent of consumers believe the economy is better than it was last year. That is a noticeable improvement from the 20 percent of consumers who felt that way last year. Most consumers have several people to buy for during the holidays. On average, the typical U.S. household is expected to spend around U.S. $600 on gifts alone, for a total of more than $63 billion.

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