CE Industry Expects Strong Christmas Sales

Approximately 8.9 billion euros in the final quarter and more than 30% of annual sales

The consumer electronics industry in Germany expects sales to reach around 8.9 billion euros over the Christmas period. In the past, more than 30% of annual sales are generated in the final quarter, peaking around Christmas and the start of the new year. Large-screen televisions, headphones, mobile speakers, soundbars, wireless audio devices, smartphones, smartwatches and wearables are driving sales.

Hans-Joachim Kamp, chairman of the gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH supervisory board looks forward to the Christmas sales: “In the final quarter of 2019, over the Christmas period, we expect sales of almost nine billion euros. Consumer electronics products are characterized by innovative and smart technology and are highly versatile. This is why they are traditionally very popular as Christmas presents. Whether it’s a large-screen television, devices with voice control, a smartphone, smartwatch or wireless headphones, these products are once again on many shopping lists this year, and typically top Christmas wish lists. Our expectations are buoyed by the continuing positive consumer climate – despite a global economic weakness, trade conflicts and Brexit chaos – and also by the propensity of consumers to buy such products in Germany, especially during the Christmas season.”

TVs: Bigger and sharper

The trend in televisions continues to be toward models with larger screens and an ultra HD resolution. Both of these market segments are seeing growth. Televisions with 45-inch (114cm) screens or larger already account for almost half of annual sales and represent just under 72% of revenue in 2019. Screens larger than 55 inches (140cm) are sitting at 35% of the number of units sold and just under 60% of overall sales. The number of UHD televisions sold is expected to continue to increase strongly in 2019. Here, gfu expects sales of just under 4.6 million units, up from 3.6 million units in the previous year. Sales will rise to just under 3.6 billion euros. The OLED TV segment will grow to 314 thousand units (+29%) in 2019.

Growth in audio and video accessories, soundbars and wireless audio components

With sales of almost 1.2 billion euros, the audio and video accessories segment will increase by 15% this year. This is mainly due to the strong growth in headphones where sales are up by 23.5% to 714 million euros and 13.6 million units sold. Mobile loudspeakers (Bluetooth) will increase to more than 5 million units and sales of more than 460 million euros in 2019. The soundbars segment will grow by 14.5%, reaching just over 1 million units sold for the first time, and sales of almost 290 million euros (+5.2%). The wireless audio systems segment will continue its positive growth from the previous year, where sales are expected to increase by 5% to 1.5 million units in 2019 as a whole.

Smartphone sales remain high, wearables are showing strong growth

gfu expects around 22.5 million smartphones to be sold (-2.3%) with sales of 11.1 billion euros (-1.1%). The average price of a smartphone will rise by just under 1.2% to 495 euros. Wearables, intelligent devices that can be worn on the body, are expected to grow strongly. They are esepcially in high demand as Christmas presents. gfu expects the German market to grow by 20% this year to almost 5 million devices sold. The sales volume forecast shows an increase of 24% to just under 850 million euros.