NDP Group, a market research company has released figures which support the recent news of staggering sales figures posted by Apple in the fourth quarter. However, the numbers released by the company seem to indicate that the spurt in sales in the fourth quarter was not driven by the holiday season and had been holding steady throughout 2011.
Apple was adjudged the top selling brand according to the data processed by the NDP; data which also showed that total consumer electronic sales in the U.S. touched $144 billion for the year 2011. The figures are also indicative of a change in the way consumer shop with online sales going up by 7 percent while in-store sales dropped by 2.5 percent in 2011. According to the report by the NDP, only five categories account for as much as 60 percent of the total sales in 2011. The top five categories are video game hardware, mobile phones, e-readers and tablets, televisions and PCs.
The highest revenue was generated by notebooks and desktops together categorized as PCs, by taking up 20 percent of the net sales with a net revenue of $28 billion. However, these figures have dropped by about 3 percent from 2010 and most of this has been attributed to the increasing popularity of the e-readers and tablets. The net sales figures of tablets and e-readers have almost doubled over the past year and have reached $15 billion in 2011 alone. Stephen Baker of the NDP has said that it is growing harder to achieve sales growth in the hardware sector on an industry level outside of the top five categories as consumers are now shifting to a very narrow spectrum of products.
Retail stores did not register any changes from the figures of 2010. The top spot was taken by Best Buy while the second spot was taken by WalMart and Apple. Amazon and Staples were tied for the fourth spot. The sales figures of TV shopping, direct mail and online sales managed to reach 24 percent of the net sales, exceeding the 2010 figure of 22 percent. Though the sales figures for the year seemed to be rather steady throughout the year, with a few categories even registering increases, net spending by consumers on electronics has taken a drop from 2010 by about 0.5 percent.