On an August episode of the Dealerscope Insider Talk, group publisher Tony Monteleone sat down with Fred Towns, the president of New Age Electronics, and Steve Koenig, the VP of research at the Consumer Technology Association. On the broadcast, the trio touched on some of the most pertinent challenges and trends facing the industry ranging from inflation to supply chain woes and emerging technologies.
Earlier this month, we followed up with the pair for a status update on the industry as we head into the 2022 holiday season and look forward to the new year.
The pair agreed that inflation will be a big factor affecting purchasing decisions for consumers this holiday season, just as it was back in August. “Inflation right now is 8.2%. We peaked in July at 9.1%. I don’t know about you guys, but 8.2 feels an awful lot like 9.19,” said Steve Koenig in an interview with Dealerscope.
In regards to how this high level of inflation would affect how people shop, Fred Towns said: “The adults might sit back and say yeah, we’re not gonna get anything for each other this year. We’ll get it for the rest of the family. Those conversations are going to be real this holiday season.”
According to Steve Koenig, overall tech spending adjusted for inflation is expected to decline by 6 percent this holiday season. “Inflation is biting into gift budgets. But another reason behind the forecasted drop is deep discounts. There is so much excess channel inventory that retailers are trying to clear.”
Yet, despite the overall decline, spending in some sectors such as gaming is expected to remain strong. Fred Towns told Dealerscope: “I think with game consoles, consumers are going to try to take another bite at the apple because they had a tough time getting product last holiday. Consols such as the PS5 should have a very strong showing.”
Koenig elaborated on this point saying, “since 2019, we’ve added 9 million gamers in the US market. At the moment, there are a total of 164 million gamers in the country between the ages of 13 and 64.”
For more insight from Fred and Steve be sure to check out our Insider Talk: “How We Use Tech in Our Daily Lives- from the Roadrunner to the Student”