Retail Sales Data from NPD Shows Consumer Technology Revenue Declined the Week of Black Friday

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Strong Unit-Volume Demand Insufficient to Offset Aggressive Discounting

Consumers came out this year because there were deals to be had -- the same reason they have been shopping for electronics all year

Black Friday results showed that consumers continued their 2009 focus on price and value while shopping for consumer technology items*, according to leading market research company The NPD Group’s Weekly Tracking Service**, the industry source for actual point-of-sale data (POS) from Black Friday. Total revenue for the week of Black Friday*** was slightly more than $2.7 billion, down 1.2 percent from 2008, but an improvement over the 3.4 percent decline noted last year.

Computers and TVs have led U.S. sales results for technology throughout 2009, and Black Friday week again showed how powerful the combination of must-have categories and aggressive pricing have been for the industry. Spurred by new operating systems, new form factors, and new low price levels, overall computer sales volume increased 63 percent versus last year. Average prices for notebook computers fell to $500, a $160 decline from 2008. Flat-panel TVs again showed strong demand, but aggressive price cutting resulted in negative revenue growth versus 2008. The average selling price of a flat-panel TV fell to $535, which is down more than 20 percent from 2008 and almost $200 from 2007. Unit volume sales surged by 15 percent, but the high level of discounting drove revenues down by 9 percent.

“Consumers came out this year because there were deals to be had -- the same reason they have been shopping for electronics all year,” said Stephen Baker, NPD’s vice president of industry analysis. “What made Black Friday different this year is how aggressive those price cuts were. This year retailers and manufacturers knew it wasn’t going to be about increasing revenue, it needed to be about getting consumers excited to shop and moving those products out of the stores.”

Among other core categories in 2009 the results were mixed, although most were able to deliver strong unit-volume results. Camcorder sales were up 55 percent, Blu-ray player units were up 53 percent, computer hard drive sales rose 33 percent, GPS units increased by 15 percent, and both point-and-shoot cameras as well as multi-function printers posted flat unit sales versus 2008.

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To get an inside view on what happened on Black Friday, read Stephen’s blog post “Don’t Kick the Holiday to the Curb.”

To get all the Black Friday results and an outlook into the rest of the holiday season register for NPD and DisplaySearch's joint webinar on Friday, December 11.

*Consumer Technology sales include IT, imaging, audio, video, and consumables. It excludes video game products and mobile phones.
**NPD’s weekly POS information is derived from a subset panel of retailers that also contribute to NPD’s projected monthly POS panel.
***Black Friday week sales include sales from November 22-November 28, 2009.
About The NPD Group, Inc.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,700 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, foodservice, home, office supplies, software, sports, toys, and wireless. For more information, contact us or visit and Follow us on Twitter: @npdtech and @npdgroup.

Sarah Bogaty
+1 516 625 2357

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