Thursday, October 25, 2012

Holiday sales expected to slow in some categories

Toys, video games, electronics: All staples of the holidays, right?

Well, while holiday sales are forecast to rise more than 4 percent this year, they're expected to rise more slowly in the above-mentioned areas, according to a story in Time.

Here's a quick rundown of the categories experts say are likely to see slowing growth this year, and why.

  • Toys: Per capita spending on toys is down to $60, from $85 in 1998, and the trend has been accelerating. Kids are more likely to want electronic gadgets, video games, and other items than a doll or a board game or an action figure, it seems. (Although if you think about it, $60 per capita spending on toys is still kind of a lot).
  • Video games: Well, when we said kids wanted video games, we didn't really mean it. Sales of video games have been declining, and software sales fell 2 percent in the fourth quarter last year, usually a boom time.While the Wii U will likely be a huge hit, X-Box and Playstation haven't had a new console in a while. And maybe kids are more likely to be playing a 99 cent (or free!) game on their phone than a $59 new release on a console.
  • And though there are always plenty of electronics gadgets to buy, some analysts are forecasting a dip in electronics sales. Some people "are approaching high-tech saturation," according to a study from Booz & Co., which seems a bit unlikely if you've seen an Apple store lately. But many cell phones, tablets, flat-screen TVs and other electronic items are also less expensive than they used to be even just a few years ago.