Flat TV Sales Flat, Says CEA

CEA revises fourth quarter wholesale comsumer electronics revenues from 3.5% to 1/10th of 1%.

The Consumer Electronics Association has revised its fourth-quarter wholesale consumer electronics shipment revenues, saying Thursday that they will only be up a tenth of a percent in the fourth quarter over the same period in 2007. CEA had projected a 3.5% fourth-quarter increase back in October.

The revision comes after reviewing Black Friday data showing, among other things, that shoppers were opting for smaller, less-expensive TVs at discount retailers.

The October forecast was based in part on strong shipments of Flat-panel TVs in September 2008, up 32% on unit volume and up 80% on revenue over 2007. October 2008 unit shipment growth was still high at 22%, but shipment revenues fell to negative 3%."

"[T]he severity and the speed of declines in these unprecedented times caught everyone off guard," said CEA in announcing the revision.

Black Friday still yielded some positive news for consumer electronics retailers: "Fifty-four percent of consumers that shopped over the Black Friday weekend purchased a CE device during that period," said CEA, "making it the second most frequent purchase product behind clothing."