For CE market, Black Friday provides hope

2011 has been a rough year for the consumer electronics industry, with sales forecasts dwindling to a fraction of what they were several months ago.

But the CE market could get a considerable boost from Black Friday, more than just what would normally be expected on the biggest shopping holiday of the year.

According to industry analyst group IHS, the trend of sluggish sales over the first part of the year is beginning to turn around.

We’re talking about more than just the typical growth that occurs in the fourth quarter – consumer electronics sales are beginning to reach levels that are beyond that of last year, which gives hope for the holiday season as a whole.

IHS analyst Jordan Selburn said that this Friday is, of course, an immensely crucial date for CE revenue. “Black Friday is prime time for consumer electronics manufacturers, when they can count on huge sales to achieve profitability for the entire year,” he explained.

“However, as the year draws to a close, it’s becoming apparent that sales in 2011 will fall well short of expectations, as economic issues take their toll. While market conditions are improving in the fourth quarter because of Black Friday and the rest of the holiday selling season, this three-month respite won’t be sufficient to salvage the entire year,” he added.

Despite all this, the industry is still expected to grow on a year-to-year basis, a trend that should continue at least until 2014, IHS said. But the growth in 2011 is much slower than many had predicted. Among the factors to blame are a sluggish economy that has not improved the way many analysts had hoped.

Consumer electronics are always the big-ticket items for Black Friday, and with platforms like HD, Blu-ray, and tablet more affordable than ever, it will be quite a day. The question is whether that momentum can catapult bigger growth in 2012.