The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) hosted a webcast this afternoon with a recap on Black Friday CE spending. There was too much juicy data to report in one post, so for now I thought I’d relate some of the surprises from the holiday weekend. As far as overall spending is concerned, the consensus seems to be that Black Friday shopping was up in 2008 over 2007. Check out recent reports from ShopperTrak and the National Retail Federation.
I was surprised to hear a rep at the Sony Style store say that smaller HDTVs in the 32″ range were flying off the shelves last Friday. But according to the CEA, the sweet spot for TVs right now is actually even smaller at 21″-23″. At the beginning of this year, TV sets over 40″ made up more than half of TV shipments. Now they represent only 36%. Again, the only thing I can assume here is that folks are buying for second and third rooms.
Cheaper Blu-ray Players
Just six weeks ago the experts at the CEA didn’t expect to see prices for Blu-ray players drop below $250. Black Friday weekend proved them wrong, with players dipping below the $200 mark. The price drop did wonders for volume sales. The category is now expected to slightly surpass the CEA’s forecast of 2.75 million unit shipments in 2008.
GPS is a Surprise Hit
A CEA survey in September found that GPS devices didn’t even make the top-ten list of planned CE gifts. However, by the time Black Friday rolled around, GPS units generated the highest interest from in-store CE shoppers, above MP3 players, TVs and digital cameras. The CEA says the GPS category is shaping up to be one of the hottest of Holiday 2009. That conclusion is somewhat undermined by the fact that a CEA survey shows only 9% of Black Friday shoppers who bought consumer electronics picked up GPS devices. However, given the aggressive pricing right now, we’ll probably see GPS sales continue to increase through the holiday season.