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Strong November sales continued into Black Friday weekend as consumers took advantage of an early start to the holiday shopping season and many holiday weekend specials at retailers, according to new research released today by the Consumer Electronics Association. The sales results suggest that the economy in the high-tech sector will recover in 2010.

“Consumer enthusiasm for technology has been building, as seen by CEA-CNET’s consumer technology sentiment index, which hit an all-time high last week. Results from this weekend suggest consumer technology will be the must-have gift this holiday and will lead economic recovery in 2010,” said Gary Shapiro, CEA’s chief executive officer.

This weekend’s shopping patterns proved consistent with CEA’s earlier predictions of volume growth of 6% this holiday, compared with a significant decline in consumer spending last year. CEA’s 16th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study also found eighty percent of adults intend to purchase technology as a gift this holiday, the highest figure in the history of the study.

Traffic at many major consumer electronics retailers was heavy over the weekend as consumers took advantage of special Black Friday weekend promotions. Consumer sampling at several consumer electronics retail locations by CEA and ChannelForce found nearly 40% of consumers believed traffic this year was heavier than last Black Friday and nearly 80%  believed it was at least as busy, if not more so, than last year. Over half of consumers interviewed were in the store to buy a specific holiday gift and to take advantage of a specific promotion.

“Consumers found attractive technology offerings this weekend, consistent with CEA’s earlier Black Friday predictions that consumers are making this holiday a digital one. Research by CEA and ChannelForce confirms that TVs, Digital Cameras, and Blu-ray players were the top attraction on Black Friday,” said Shawn DuBravac, CEA’s chief economist and director of research.

Tags: CE, HDTV

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