Consumers, retailers adjust HDTV strategies as holiday shopping season opens amid weakening economy

A declining U.S. economy likely will cause consumers and retailers to adjust their holiday shopping season strategies that will translate to real HDTV bargains for shoppers ready to buy, according to the latest research from DisplaySearch.

In general, U.S. consumers, who have seen their investments decline, aren’t saving a lot of money, which is likely to impact their holiday purchasing decisions, said Paul Gagnon, DisplaySearch’s director of North American TV market research. To respond to the tighter grip on consumer purse strings, retailers will employ multiple tactics to boost sales, including lowering the prices of HDTVs, bundling HDTVs with Blu-ray players and offering in-store credit and other aggressive financing tactics, he said.

According to Gagnon, there are several potential TV-related scenarios for the 2008 holiday season, including:

  • Consumers will become increasingly conservative in discretionary holiday spending, despite discount and promotion opportunities — leading to negative year-over-year fourth quarter 2008 shipment growth.
  • Consumers will take advantage of the best bargains and low price points — causing retailers to hit their unit sales targets but miss revenue goals and negatively impact margins.
  • Consumers will continue to spend as they have on larger sizes and better-featured sets — taking advantage of dramatically lower prices and aggressive retail promotions.
  • Consumers will turn to discount stores such as Costco and Walmart in greater numbers for electronic purchases this holiday season to save money and get more shopping done in fewer trips.

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