Leisurely Holiday Shopping Helped Big Ticket TV Sales

In a recent report by Circana, US retail sales for November 2023 have shown a significant downturn compared to the previous year. The data indicates a 2% decline in overall retail revenue and a 3% drop in unit sales, with consumer packaged goods (CPG) and discretionary general merchandise both experiencing downturns. Discretionary general merchandise witnessed a 7% decrease in dollar sales and a 5% reduction in unit sales compared to last November.

Source: Circana

The consumer spending trend in CPG also showed a deceleration, with flat revenue performance in food and beverages, and a 1% decline in sales for nonedible items. This trend is further underscored by a 2% and 5% fall in unit sales for edible and nonedible products, respectively.

Marshal Cohen, Circana’s chief retail industry advisor, attributes these trends to changes in consumer shopping behavior. Consumers are now focusing on value, influenced by ongoing economic challenges and a lack of new and compelling products. This shift has led to a more relaxed approach to shopping, even during the holiday season.

When it comes to tech, during Black Friday Week, television unit sales saw a 3% increase from the 2022 Black Friday Week, indicating a focused consumer interest in value-rich, big-ticket items. This year’s tech consumers were not merely seeking the lowest prices. The shopping experience during Black Friday was described as giving consumers a wide selection of inventory to choose from. This was evident in the popularity of the aforementioned big-screen TVs and also high-end computer purchases.

During Cyber Week, the overall average prices for tech products were slightly lower compared to last year, yet some categories like computers and audio saw higher average prices. In contrast, prices in October were lower than those observed during the core holiday shopping period.