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What to Make of the TV Business in 2024

Written by David Watt

March 5, 2024

If there’s one thing we learned coming out of the 2023 holiday shopping season it’s that consumer electronics continues to be one of the leading categories that retail and e-commerce partners rely on to grab consumer’s interest. I mean, let’s be honest — and no offense meant to my counterparts who head up the other categories here at Nationwide Marketing Group — CE is just more fun.

This is the category that sits at the top of most holiday lists.

And consumers came out in droves the final few weeks of the year. Black Friday was a record setter according to reports from the National Retail Federation and Adobe Analytics. More consumers than ever shopped the weekend (both in-store and online), and they did end up spending more on those “core” gifts than they did just a year ago.

Interestingly, while most consumers started shopping before Thanksgiving this year, we did see a significant number wait longer to make final purchases at the end of the year. It has been indicated that shopper fatigue coupled with the understanding of last-minute promotions drove this consumer behavior. Those lastminute deals are also something that CE retailers likely noticed in recent weeks as they ramped up their Big Game-related activities.

SCREEN SIZES GO UP, PRICES GO DOWN

Because near-term U.S. tech forecasts are downgraded thru Q1 of 2024 based on weak trends and increasing consumer disposable income concerns, TV manufacturers are heavily promoting large flat panel televisions to grab consumers’ attention. We have seen the price points on 98″ to 100″ television fall below $3,000. As a matter of fact, TCL positioned their 98S550G at a stunningly low price of $2,499 the week of Thanksgiving.

It’s the refrain we hear regularly in the CE business around TV prices. But what’s good here is that Independent retailers will now have the opportunity to capture that business from the big screen holdouts who’ve been waiting for this decline in prices. We appreciate those early adopters, but now will be the time to bring in the next wave of consumer.

We will continue to see this trend with TV manufacturers heavily promoting bigger and better television displays through 2024. The 75″ plus screen size category is expected to see the most growth in terms of both units and dollars.

As it relates to display technology, the U.S. market will see the OLED category increase around 4 percent in units and 5 percent in dollars. As a result, we can be confident that the recovery of the U.S. television market is based on mix shift to brands that show value and expanded features. We expect the premium TV market to start recovering in mid- to late-2024. Around that time, retailers will see stabilizing average sales prices as their mix improves. However, ASPs will still be higher than that of the pre-pandemic period.

There are other optimistic signs for TVs as well as PCs. Numerous industry reports point to forthcoming gains in purchase intent for these two important categories. Combined with the overall plans to spend more on tech, consumers may be looking to replace and upgrade pandemic tech purchases as we head deeper into 2024, even if they recognize that doing so will ultimately cost them more.

Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to check out some of the latest innovations in the consumer tech industry at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Coming out of CES, it’s clear that this year will be a major step forward in the evolution of Artificial Intelligence as it becomes more integrated into our everyday products. As we have seen over the past years, AI is becoming a part of our lives, whether we are intending for it to be or not. As larger television manufacturers continue to innovate their display technologies, it will be exciting to see the advancements in the true wireless, outdoor living and larger format concepts that will benefit the independent retail channel.

Overall, we anticipate that 2024 will be an opportunistic year for consumer electronics retailers. As manufacturers continue to push consumers towards larger displays, and consumers gladly oblige, retailers who remain ahead of the curve will be there to capture the sale.

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