NPD: Consumers Abandon Holiday Tech Hopes

As retailers anxiously await Black Friday to get a feel for how the current state of the economy will affect consumer spending this season, the major research group NPD has predicted the crunch will be especially hard on tech companies. A new study released by the company on Tuesday shows consumers planning to cut back on high-end gadgetry due to fears of hard times ahead.

In a sample of 800 consumers interviewed in late October, many reported plans to cut back on their holiday shopping to compensate for the economy. For instance, of the consumers who said they had considered buying a flat-panel TV over 40 inches this season, a third scratched those plans when the economy went south. Similarly, a quarter of potential DSLR buyers gave up on the spendy cameras due to economic conditions.

Of those who will forge ahead, many reported switching to less expensive brands, especially in categories like MP3 players and digital picture frames.

NPD’s industry analysis director Ross Rubin predicts companies will need for focus on their more budget-oriented models this year and may have to forgo selling accessories to make it through. “The extraordinary economic turmoil we have seen will have a tremendous impact this season, as consumers have said that they will probably or definitely hold off on products that have grossed the highest revenue over the last several holiday seasons,” he said in a statement.