Big-Box Stores Predict Electronics Won’t Be Big Sellers This Year

To make consumers want a gadget and not-so-subtly hint that they would really like that item as a gift this year, that gift has to be very innovative. Since what’s on the market are simply upgraded versions of the items that people already have, there aren’t any hot technology items like the Great Netbook Craze of half a decade ago. That’s why big-box tech stores are predicting sort of a glum holiday season.

This prediction comes from weak results for the last quarter that Best Buy announced today, and they pointed out some trends that aren’t so promising for the coming year. Consumers seem more interested in large smartphones than small tablets, for example. While interest in newer products like 4K televisions and smartwatches are growing, they’re still both expensive product categories that aren’t cheap and useful enough to appeal to the masses yet.

The slowdown in technology isn’t just affecting Best Buy: Walmart and Target are also popular places to buy technology gifts, and so are office-supply stores. Leaders from the two national discount chains say that they don’t predict very strong sales in their own electronics department, either.

“There hasn’t been as much innovation in tech over the last year or two,” the Chief Financial Officer of Walmart told Bloomberg Businessweek. “There are different versions of tablets, but nothing like when the iPhone or iPad came out.” (Well, if any retailer knows something about outdated technology, it’s Walmart.)

Best Buy Shows Electronics Aren’t Going to Save Christmas Either [Bloomberg Business]

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