The pace of growth for holiday retail shopping will grow at its weakest rate in five years, due largely to the current credit crunch- with the consumer electronics sector being hit especially hard. That’s according to a report by the retail research firm TNS Retail Forward.
The firm found that, due to the housing credit crunch seeping into the consumer market, fourth-quarter year-to-year growth will be only 3.3 percent, the lowest total since the post-Sept. 11, holiday season of 2001. The projected figure is down from 4.6 percent in 2006 and 7.4 percent in 2005. The highest jump in the last decade was the 8.2 percent leap in 1999.
TNS also found that “mass retailers” will be most resistant to the slowdown, but consumer electronics will be among the most hurt, “as a result of the comparison to last year’s double-digit growth fed by a promotional frenzy for high-definition televisions.” TNS predicted more price-cutting, without the corresponding strong demand.
The survey covers consumer electronics, as well as several other major retail industries.