With Halloween in the past and Thanksgiving on the way, can the season of gift-shopping be far behind?
In fact, that shopping-for-gifts season has arrived even earlier this year, after retailers began offering discounts weeks before earlier than usual. Discounts on merchandise usually begin on the now-traditional Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving. However, worry about maintaining shopping levels in the wake of the still depressed economy induced retailers to begin their sales weeks in advance.
Shoppers responded to these early discounts by beginning their shopping early, and, according to a new survey conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association, what they are shopping for in increasing numbers are electronic gifts. Consumer plan to spend more on electronics this holiday season than they have during any of the past seventeen years, and laptops and Apple iPads and iPods are the number one gift items for the year, the poll showed. Nearly 3 out of 4 American adults are planning electronic gifts this year, an increase from 67% last year. This increase is despite the approximately 2% fall in overall gift spending that is expected during this year’s holiday season.
In the wake of the early-season discounts, the Consumer Electronics Association trade group increased its projections for fourth-quarter electronics sales and is now predicting shipments of 10.74 million TVs, 14.32 million digital cameras, 18.24 million video game units and 12.88 million MP3 players during the fourth quarter of 2010.