Friday, December 14, 2007

More Black Friday/Holiday Shopping Results

Just when you thought you'd heard the last of Black Friday, the results are in! The National Retail Federation (NRF) reports that retail industry sales were up 5.1% during the month of November, and total retail sales were up 6.9% year-over-year. Topping the list was sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (11.3%), as well as electronics (6.1%), and clothing and accessories (8.2%).

DisplaySearch, a division of NPD Group, claims that, in the technology sector, LCD TVs, GPS systems, digital photo frames, camera accessories, and digital SLRs sold well during the first week of the holiday shopping season. LCD TVs outsold plasmas, while HD DVD players outsold Blu-ray (although Blu-ray led in terms of revenue share). Notebook sales also increased by 29% compared to last year.

"Consumers started the holiday shopping season with a bang," enthused Rosalind Wells, the NRF's Chief Economist.

And December is also looking up, as Wells adds that consumers reported only having completed, on average, 36.4% of their total holiday shopping.

Looking even further forward to 2008, DisplaySearch V.P. of Industry Analysis Stephen Baker says that we'll see a stronger emphasis on bundles, add-ons, and accessories as retailers hustle to make profit rather than sell volume. This makes sense, given the rapid price drops we've seen in many product categories as of late, for reasons ranging from price erosion, to the strength of the Canadian dollar. Baker also says that more attention will be paid to added-value services, like customer support, and an overall positive in-store experience. We already see an emphasis on this, through retailers like Lowe's, which just entered the Canadian market with a major focus on offering an improved customer experience.

In addition to the "hot" tech items listed above, see a few other good gift ideas in a previous blog entry. Tech gifts overall are certainly in abundance - happy holiday shopping!

No comments: