Consumers skewed their consumer electronics shopping to the first few weeks of the holiday season, according to global information company The NPD Group. U.S. consumer electronics sales* were strongest at the beginning of the holiday season and declined through the remainder of the five week holiday period (November 18 - December 22, 2012) according to NPD's Weekly Tracking Service**.
Forty-six percent of sales took place in the first two weeks, the highest share in the past four years, while the last three weeks of sales accounted for 54 percent of sales. Overall sales declined 7 percent with consumers spending $13.7 billion. Sales for the first two weeks declined 3.7 percent over 2011 while the last three weeks fell more than 11 percent.
"For the third consecutive year sales trends worsened in the later part of the holiday season," said Stephen Baker, vice president, industry analysis at NPD. "The hyped-up promotion of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and now Thanksgiving Day has proven remarkably effective in moving sales into the early part of the holiday season. Trends like online shopping and self-gifting have intensified the focus on the more event -driven early part of the holiday season."
Most categories struggled, as they have done all year but sales of notebook computers and flat-panel TVs both exceeded $2 billion in total dollars sales, while no other single segment accounted for over $1 billion in revenue.