Charleston, S.C. Robust sales of electronics is a bright spot this holiday shopping season as consumers rush to cash in on bargains, especially on flat-panel TV sets, according to the Christmas Retail Survey conducted by America’s Research Group (ARG) and UBS.
In fact, for the first time in over 25 years, electronics are virtually tied with toys as the top Christmas gift item, the survey found. When asked to name the gift item they were buying most often, 30.0% of consumers this year said “electronics,” while 30.8% said “toys.” The same question received a very different answer last year with only 23.7% naming “electronics” and 33.8% “toys.”
The survey also found that children’s clothing was a strong category this year, making up 17.1% of gift purchases. Sales of winter apparel are also up, with 37.6% of consumers buying them for themselves, compared with 23.0% in 2008.
Consumers are also purchasing more winter apparel as gifts this year (68.6% compared with 43.1% last year).
In addition, the survey also found that online shopping is down this year to 34.3% from 41.3% of purchases last year.
The gift-card category is also down this year, with only 49.0% of consumers buying them so far.