Holiday Shopping Still a Question Mark

A new projection of what effects the U.S. economy could have on the approaching holiday sales season indicates that TV set (mostly HD) price points will continue to fall. Whether they will drop enough to lure big numbers of economy-battered consumers will not be known until after Thanksgiving (Nov. 27).

"It's an interesting time we're in now," said Paul Gagnon, director of TV market research for DisplaySearch, in what can be considered an understatement. "Stock market declines have impacted consumer investments and, in general, consumers aren't saving very much money, which can impact their purchasing decisions during the holidays."

Consequently, DisplaySearch thinks CE retailers are likely to pull out all the stops in the weeks ahead—including lowering prices on HD products such as TV sets and Blu-ray players, and bundling products.

The analyst firm also predicts a lot more "creative" financing deals on HD sets and Blu-ray players such as options for "pay us when you get your tax return" or no-interest monthly payments.

Among the several possible scenarios DisplaySearch sees for the holiday season: Consumers turning to big-box discount stores (like Costco and Sam's Club) in greater numbers to save money and get more shopping done in fewer trips.