Good news, boys and girls: That 8-by-12 box under the tree may not be a pair of plaid flannel pajamas after all. According to a November survey, consumers are spending big on electronics again and laptops are paving the way with a dramatic increase in projected sales. And as no surprise, the flashy Apple iPad is on the top of most wish lists.
Of course, other tablets and gadgets are also seeing strong demand too. And that’s a good sign for store managers as well as those opening presents in a few weeks. Here are the details:
According to a November ChangeWave Research survey, more than one in four respondents (26%) say they’ll spend more on consumer electronics over the next 90 days, a big 9-point jump from last month and 3-point improvement over the same period in 2009.
Perhaps most interesting is that the survey found a big jump in planned laptop purchasing, with 10% of those surveyed saying they’ll buy a laptop in the next 90 days — the highest level in a ChangeWave consumer electronics survey in three years.
Part of that is probably pent-up demand, but it’s hard to deny that a huge number of gadget launches in the last year are fueling this spending surge. Most notably, the April launch of the iPad by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) continues to resonate with shoppers.
And it’s not just the iPad. The MacBook seems to be a big hit too. All told, the ChangeWave survey recorded that 36% of planned laptops buyers saying they’ll purchase a Mac — a huge 11-pt jump from a previous survey one month ago.
The news is a great sign for retailers, who saw big-ticket sales dry up in the recession and have been hoping to close 2010 with a strong holiday shopping season. It’s also great news for Apple, which appears to remain king of the heap when it comes to gadgets that are wildly popular, even if a bit pricey.
Jeff Reeves is editor of InvestorPlace.com. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/JeffReevesIP.