Thursday, January 18, 2007
It's no secret that new types of technologies are popular choices for holiday gift giving. In fact, many electronic retailers are depending on this an preparing to take advantage of it for the coming holiday season.
Wal-Mart in particular is focused on beating out the competition when it comes to the pricing of high definition televisions. According to Wal-Mart's chief of electronics and toys, Wal-Mart offers better prices than its competitors on eighty eight percent of its flat screen TV's and is working hard to bring the prices down on the remaining twelve percent of the flat screens.
There's some consternation among other electronics retailers because of Wal-Mart's aggressive pricing tactics. Some critics argue that the low prices don't give specialty electronic stores like Circuit City and Best Buy a fair chance. Other industry analysts argue that Wal-Mart deserves the increased market share because they're better at controlling costs and passing those savings on to the consumer.
Either way, Wal-Mart's concentrated efforts to lower the prices on flat screen high definition television sets could have less of a positive impact on its sales and profits than it's anticipating. That's because, according to a recent survey conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association, High Definition Television sets rank fairly low on the list of what people want for Christmas. MP3 players and other portable music players like the iPod rank first followed by DVD players and recorders, digital cameras, computers of both the desk top and laptop varieties, video gaming systems, mobile phones, camcorders, and then- at the bottom of the list- High Definition TV's.
Of course, what people want for Christmas gifts matters less when it comes to projecting sales than what other people are likely to get for them. In the case of this survey, digital cameras turn out to be the most popular gifts to give this holiday season.
While the fact that High Definition Television sets, and presumably the equipment that goes with them, are pretty far down on the lists of both givers and receivers this holiday season may mean that Wal-Mart is directing its efforts in the wrong direction, it has announced that it is trying to boost sales of other electronics this holiday season. Other electronics that Wal-Mart plans to aggressively sell include portable music players, laptop computers and video gaming systems, all of which are listed in the survey ahead of flat screen High Definition Televisions.
There are several factors that might contribute to the apparent lack of interest in flat screen High Definition Television sets this holiday season. One is the High Definition DVD format war between Sony and Toshiba, which could easily sour many consumers to the whole idea of High Definition. Another is the price of flat screen high definition television sets versus all of the other items on consumers' wish lists. While the price High Definition Television sets is coming down, the majority of them still cost well over a thousand dollars. Most of the other items on that list cost well under a thousand dollars. While the economy is strong and prices are coming down, High Definition Television is still a lot more expensive than the alternatives.