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Canadians Spend Less on Consumer Electronics

The NPD Group announced that sales of consumer electronics in Canada declined significantly in the second quarter of 2011.

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Unedited press release follows:

Canadian Shoppers Spending Less on Consumer Electronics

Q2 retail figures reveal a decline in sales of personal entertainment products

TORONTO, August 22, 2011 – The consumer electronics industry took a hit last quarter, with sales declining in almost every category year-over-year.Personal entertainment products have shown the largest overall decrease in both unit and dollar growth, while the mobile and IT industries have seen modest gains.The market as a whole, including consumer electronics, IT, imaging and video games, saw an 11 per cent fall in revenue.

According to Q2 sales data released by leading market research company The NPD Group, shoppers are curtailing their spending on a variety of consumer electronics.The revenue generated from products such as camcorders, LCD televisions and digital still cameras were down 29 per cent, 19 per cent and 15 per cent respectively. Video-game technology shows a similar trend, with the sale of gaming software having decreased by three per cent and gaming hardware by two per cent.

“Though these recent sales figures show Canadian consumers spending less on entertainment products, we shouldn’t assume this to be a long-term trend,” said Mark Haar, director of consumer electronics, The NPD Group. “Given the technological advancements that occur regularly in this industry, purchasing cycles tend to ebb and flow in sync with the need to upgrade. We also tend to see gradual price reductions as new devices penetrate the market.”

The report does reveal, however, that certain products within the IT and mobile sectors did show unit growth in Q2 2011. Hard disc drives, printers and personal computers increased 21 per cent, 19 per cent and four per cent respectively, while cell phone accessories and mobile multimedia have had a year-over-year unit increase of 40 per cent and 21 per cent.

Although the unit growth in the IT and mobile industries is largely on the rise, it is not a reflection of the corresponding dollar growth. On the whole, these sectors also experienced a decline in revenue.

“The nuances we’re seeing in dollar growth versus unit growth arenot surprising considering the country’s ongoing economic obstacles coupled with the perennial trend of price discounts on products that have moved from early adopter stage to the mass consumer,” continued Haar. “The industry continues tolower prices to accommodate a variety of factors, so unit volumes and dollar growth are not necessarily going to be in sync.”

Manufacturers hoping to increase their numbers in Q3 and Q4can look forward to the fall. The September to December period represents the busiest shopping season of the year, with back-to-school and holiday purchases typically driving both unit sales and revenue growth across most industries.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,800 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, food service, home, office supplies, software, sports, toys, and wireless. For more information, contact us, visit, or follow us Twitter at