Digital TV sales falling, bargains abound

Feb. 4, 2011 at 8:30 AM
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ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 4 (UPI) -- The sale of digital televisions has dropped for the first time since 2005, a Virginia-based electronics trade organization said.

Television makers shipped about 500,000 fewer digital sets to stores in 2010 than in 2009, and expect to ship even fewer in 2011, USA Today reported.

The reason for the drop is because more than 70 percent of homes now own a digital television with a plasma screen or thin LCD high-density display, the Consumer Electronics Association, based in Virginia, reported.

Cost-conscious shoppers are also waiting for bargains even though 34 million TV's were sold last year, the trade organization said.

Sunday's Super Bowl could stimulate television sales.

As many as 4.5 million consumers were considering a new set before the game, a Retail Advertising and Marketing Association survey indicated.

"We've always seen the Super Bowl as a sales driver," said the CEA's Megan Pollock.

Leftover inventory will cause some retailers to offer deep discounts.

"The holiday season was a bit disappointing for some retailers, so there is a little bit more inventory that they have to clear ... before they can bring in the new 2011 models," said Paul Gagnon of DisplaySearch.

Electronics retailer Best Buy posted double-digit percentage drops in television sales in December from a year ago. Some of its television prices have dropped 40 percent, the report said.

Sears also has similar deals. It offered 50-inch Panasonic and Zenith plasma TVs for less than $600.

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