TVs Will Be Cheap, But Will Anyone Buy Them?

Everyone seems to agree– this year will be the year of the cheap big-screen tv. The only question remains… will anyone buy them?

The New York Times says that DisplaySearch, a market research firm, says that so-called “Black Friday” prices “could go as low as $400 for a 32-inch LCD, and $600 for a 42-inch plasma set — about $200 off current prices.”

From the NYT:

Many retailers are cutting costs because they expect a lighter selling season. Best Buy announced that it would hire 16,000 to 20,000 seasonal employees, a hefty drop from last year’s 26,000 seasonal hires.

Best Buy’s comparable-store sales in September dropped 2 percent from the year before. “We’ll see less traffic,” Brian Dunn, Best Buy’s president, said. “We’ll grow our share by offering the right solution, product and service. We’re not looking to get every dime out of you. If a customer just wants the lowest price on a TV set, we’ll give it to them with a smile.”

And to increase the likelihood that customers will pull out their wallets, several manufacturers, including Panasonic and Sharp, are working with retailers to offer extended financing with either same-as-cash interest or deferred payment plans.

Some believe that bundling items, like a flat-screen TV with a Blu-ray player or an audio system, will provide that extra value that will push consumers to buy.

Best Buy will offer a bundle “targeted to middle America,” Mr. Dunn said.

Hefty Discounts Could Arrive on Big-Screen TVs, but Buyers May Be Resistant [NYT]
(Photo: Clean Wal-Mart )