Consumers bought their consumer electronics gifts early on during the holiday period (defined as November 18 – December 22), as sales dropped off as the season continued, says The NPD Group. 46.1% of total consumer electronics (CE) sales occurred during the first 2 weeks of the season, up from 44.4% in 2011, 43.4% in 2010, and 42.2% in 2009. Overall, sales declined by 7% year-over-year to $13.7 billion: down 3.7% in the first 2 weeks of the season, and by more than 11% in the latter 3 weeks.
The NPD Group’s CE category excludes Amazon Kindle products, as well as the iPad, Surface, mobile phones and video games. Including those would likely give a more positive result, given estimates showing record smartphone and tablet activations on Christmas Day.
Breaking down its CE category spending, The NPD Group notes that spending on both notebooks and flat-panel TVs surpassed $2 billion, although no other segment exceeded $1 billion in total sales. Within the TV segment, overall unit sales dropped by 1.5% and average selling prices by more than 8%. And in the notebooks segment, Windows unit sales declined by 11% and revenues were down 10.5%, as average selling price increased by less than 1%. Macbook sales didn’t fare much better, down 6% despite an increase in selling prices.
About the Data: The NPD Group figures are derived from its Weekly Tracking Service. That information is derived from a subset panel of retailers that also contributed to NPD’s projected monthly POS panel.