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November 25, 2008

Report: Not All Segments Will Hurt This Holiday Season

By Stefania Viscusi, Assignment Desk Editor

While tough economic times have most consumers holding tight onto their dollars, the much talked about holiday spending slow down of this year may not exactly be the case for all market segments.
According to the latest from ABI Research, some consumers have said they intend to spend more than usual this season, with video game software and digital TV sales looking promising.
"ABI Research (News - Alert) is anticipating that all consumer electronics manufacturers and retailers are right to expect difficult times ahead,” research director Michael Wolf said. “But we also believe that there are certain segments that will fare better than others, including digital TVs and video game software.”

ABI's survey of 1,600 households found that 40 percent of respondents would spend the same as usual while 13 percent of consumers said they will probably spend more. The percent of shoppers anticipating spending more were younger consumers.
Also, in proof of current times, 47 percent did say they plan on decreasing their spending during this upcoming holiday season.
A popular buy amongst respondents were HDTVs - which Wolf noted was surprising because it is a big ticket item in comparison to others the survey included.

"This result is likely due to a couple of factors, one being that many consumers are likely gearing up for the digital TV transition in February, 2009. Another perhaps more important factor is that overall HDTV prices have continued to plunge,” said Wolf.
On a similar note, Blu-ray players didn't fare well in the survey, despite their lowered costs and the amount of marketing behind the technology, only 8 percent of respondents said they'd be purchasing one.

To help improve the chances for consumers to buy more, many retailers are also turning to their online stores to push items and offer free shipping and other discounts in a bid to win customers. Some are even improving their customer service, all in hopes of a successful season, despite economic downturn.

More on the ABI Insight “Holidays 2008: Doomsday or Temporary Downturn?” can be found here.

Stefania Viscusi is an assignment editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Stefania’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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