Retailers, consumers and prices
Americans were united this weekend in the hunt for cheap electronics. It looks like the biggest Black Friday deals out there were for flat-screen televisions at around $400 (remember when $1,000 was considered a discount?) and laptops under $500.
“Last year, Blu-ray players that were selling for probably $200 were selling for closer to $130 this year. Television sets that were selling for $599 last year were selling for $399 this year,” said Scott Krugman, a spokesman for the National Retail Federation.
Best Buy’s chief Brian Dunn also told us flat-screen TVs and netbooks were hot sellers, but added that that might not be enough to prevent a tough holiday overall.
Retailers used these discounts as a lure to get people into stores or browsing websites and entice them to purchase other stuff. But the U.S. consumer caught on to the strategy and just bought the TV and left. Or drove to another store if the TVs were sold out.
Shoppers also did their homework, maybe more so than in any previous year. Traffic to Amazon.com and Walmart.com rose 28 percent and 22 percent, respectively, on Black Friday, according to comScore. Traffic to Apple.com rose 39 percent.
Google Insights for Search says searches for the term “consumer electronics” tripled over Thanksgiving and Black Friday, while other favorite holiday categories like toys rose 50 percent.