New Federal Election Could Hurt TV Sales Claim Retailers

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TV sales in Australia are flat with some vendors including Panasonic reporting a slowdown in demand due to the recent Federal Election and a “reluctance” by consumers to part with savings said a leading research Company.

A recent ChannelNews survey of retailers found that 90% are anticipating a significant lift in sales running into Xmas due to good economic news and a rise in employment. 
However several are concerned that if the Australian Federal Government is forced to hold another election consumers could “hold off buying consumer electronic goods”. 
Retailers like JB Hi Fi and Harvey Norman said that IPTV enabled models are set to be in demand during the peak Xmas buying period “especially if they include a 3D capability” one senior JB Hi Fi Executive said.
In July overall retail sales increased by 0.7 per cent compared with an increase of 0.4 per cent the previous month, according to the latest Australian Bureau Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures.
Despite flat sales in Australia TV unit shipments rose 26 percent globally during the past 12 months according to research firm DisplaySearch.
However second-quarter shipments of overall TV units dropped 3 percent year to year after a weak 1 percent increase in Q1 2010.The best sales were in the prior two quarters.
Globally China and Japan are seeing record purchases of flat panel TV’s.  TV shipments to Japan surged another 56 percent year to year while shipments to China rose 31 percent after posting triple-digit growth in 2009. 
Latin America TV sales grew by 70 percent year to year to a record 7.3 million units.
Shipments to Europe increased due to anticipated World Cup excitement, but sell-through results were less than spectacular, according to the report.
In Australia sales of TV’s are expected to climb running into Xmas with vendors set to offer incentives. Discounting is expected to drive prices down despite the introduction of new technology into TV’s.
“The results for TV shipments in Q2 were definitely mixed, as not all regions benefited from external stimuli like the World Cup or digital TV transitions” said Paul Gagnon, DisplaySearch TV market research director.

 
 “At the same time, many manufacturers are rapidly adopting advanced technologies like LED, 3D and Internet connectivity, all of which will serve to increase the average price. However, as consumers still seem reluctant to spend, this hard shift in mix could be contributing to slower growth in several markets including Australia.”
According to research several vendors including Samsung LG and Panasonic have benefitted from selling low price high spec plasma TV’s.
During the last two quarters  “value plasma” sales rose from single-digit growth in Q4 2009 to 47 percent year-to-year growth in Q2 2010. 
Plasma offers a greater value-per-inch than comparable LCD sets, and this gap widened in Q2 2010 claims DisplaySearch.
LCD TV shipments in the first half of 2010 have been below expectations, but it is still possible to have a strong second half performance, DisplaySearch believes.
Recent declines in panel prices will probably lead to low Q4 set prices, driving increases in unit demand. 
DisplaySearch said that LCD TVs with LED backlighting jumped sharply in the second quarter from less than 8 percent in Q1 2010 to nearly 18 percent in Q2 2010.
Benefitting from this was Samsung due to LED LCD TV’s achieving an average selling price (ASP) that was more than double that of a CCFL-backlit model, the impact on revenue share for LED LCD TVs was even more pronounced. 
The vast majority of these LED-backlit LCD TVs used an edge-lit configuration, to capitalize on the benefits of lower cost, slimmer profiles and lower energy consumption. 
Samsung’s global flat-panel TV market share increased more than two points to 24.4 percent, a new record for the brand. With the No. 1 position in LCD and a strong No. 2 position in plasma, Samsung is able to participate in all major TV market segments and compete effectively with products priced at a premium to the market average.
Samsung also had the No. 1 LED and 40-inch-plus TV market share.
LGE was the No. 2 brand worldwide at 14.1 percent, unchanged from Q1, with share growth in plasma TV helping to offset some decline in LCD share. Like Samsung, LGE participates in all of the major TV categories, including LCD, plasma and CRT.
DisplaySearch noted, “LGE can address all market segments, and has a strong share position in emerging markets.”
Sony rounded out the top three brands in global flat-panel TV revenue during Q2 2010, rising to 12.8 percent on the strongest quarter-to-quarter growth of the top five global brands.
Sony also reclaimed the No. 2 revenue share position in global LCD TV sales, overtaking LGE for the first time in over a year.
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