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NPD: Mixed Black Friday, Cyber Week CE Sales Results

It was a mixed bag for consumer electronics during last month’s annual post-Thanksgiving Black Friday retail day/week, including Cyber Monday, according to new data from The NPD Group.

The industry saw a 15% year-over-year revenue increase, while Cyber Week saw a 3% increase versus year ago. Much the revenue gains were due to category price hikes Results for these two weeks were up versus 2019, as the strength of online shopping reinvigorated the two core weeks of the holiday selling season.

Meanwhile, while revenue increased, unit sales — which indicate consumer demand — tell a different story. In the first nine weeks of the fourth quarter unit sales are down 4% from 2020, according to NPD.

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The industry-wide average selling price is up, which the Port Washington, N.Y.-based research group contends is due in part to demand for quality and performance, component and shipping costs, lower promotional levels, and industry-wide choices to focus production resources on higher price point goods.

“Consumers are embracing a different kind of value, as they look to invest in higher-end, better-quality products,” Marshal Cohen, chief retail industry advisor for NPD, said in a statement.

NPD said that among product categories, the surprise thus far has been virtual reality. During Cyber Week, VR/AR saw revenue growth of 84%, and unit volume more than doubled.

record-high selling prices for TVs resulted in record-breaking revenue during Cyber Week. Headphones continued their strong holiday quarter with a 7% revenue increase.

“Cyber Week 2021 followed a similar pattern to pre-pandemic years, demonstrating that the lack of a post-Black Friday lull in 2020 truly was an aberration,” Cohen said. “High-momentum categories are starting to show some vulnerability, which is understandable given the headwinds at play. However, these categories may still show up with late holiday shoppers looking to take advantage of last-minute deals during the full week of shopping after Super Saturday on this year’s calendar.”

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