Bump in US retail electronics sales forecasted

13 August 2010

According to an analytics-based forecast from IBM, retailers of electronics and appliances in the US are expected to increase sales of those products by $739 million in September and October
According to an analytics-based forecast from IBM, retailers of electronics and appliances in the US are expected to increase sales of those products by $739 million in September and October

Retailers of electronics and appliances in the US are expected to increase sales of those products by $739 million in September and October, according to an analytics-based forecast produced by IBM.

This forecast represents a 5% increase compared with the same period last year.

Produced using sophisticated algorithms and 18-years of historical data, the forecast analyses long-term trends and seasonal peaks to provide an accurate projection of industry sales.

"The forecast indicates that retailers should consider maintaining inventory levels, especially in the hot categories," said Global Business Services partner Michael Haydock, IBM's leader for retail analytics. "They should also make sure that stores are staffed with skilled personnel who can assist customers with complex purchases; and continue to invest in advertising leading up to the holidays."

The retail electronics and appliance market got off to a slow start in 2010 with combined January and February sales down $846 million, or 5%, from the same period in 2009. March, April and May recovered with an overall revenue increase of $483 million, or 2% compared with the 2009 period.

In September and October 2009, sales were down $1.072 billion, or 6.6%, compared with the comparable months in 2008.

Haydock noted that disposable income, as reported by the US Commerce Department, is on the rise, as is the household savings rate, indicating consumer demand.

In producing the forecast, IBM uses economic data gathered by the US Census Bureau. The data is derived from a survey of retail establishments engaged in electronics and appliances as their major line of business. Products include televisions, mobile phones, personal computers and tablet computers, radios and stereos, refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, and other devices.


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