Even though it was released in the U.S. back in May of this year, Nintendo's Wii Fit looks like it will be especially hard to come by this holiday season. Forbes reports that while Nintendo has finally ramped up production of the Wii console to meet demand, the Wii Fit--a $90 packaged bundle including a bathroom-scale-sized balance board and a game disc--won't be as easy to find.
Black Friday is still 11 days away, but for TV manufacturers looking to jump-start sluggish sales in the midst of a recession, it's already here--and will likely continue in spirit right through the holiday season.
Word of current and impending HDTV price drops is spreading rapidly. The HDGuru reports, for example, that Sony, Samsung, and Mitsubishi are rolling out MSRP reductions across the board, with some cuts as high as $500 on expensive models like the Sony KDL-52XBR6. Samsung is offering $200 off rear-projection models like the HL61A750, which was already a solid value to begin with. Looking for hot-selling prices last Friday, the Guru found deals like the 42-inch Panasonic TH-42PX80U plasma for $649 (although when we checked Monday it was back up to $729 online--still a great deal).
Looking for more? The latest Black Friday price watch (PDF) over at TWICE includes advertised price drops that range from 11 percent for the Sony KDL-46Z4100 to a drastic 33 percent for the LG 32LG30--one of the best deals we've seen so far at $549 at Best Buy. When we saw that price, we immediately added the LG to our Best cheap LCD TVs list.
We suspect even better bargains are yet to come. In past years, the best deals were available after Black Friday, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, especially on name-brand TVs.
The combination of the holiday season, nosediving economy and the impending DTV transition may be creating a perfect storm of low HDTV prices, but are people actually buying new TVs as a result?… Read more
A difficult dishes to master is the Thanksgiving bird. Making a perfect roast turkey can be one of the more intimidating experiences of the holiday season; with so many bad memories of chewy turkey, the pressure to make a … Read more
With Apple's MacBook so popular and well-regarded, we're always surprised that there aren't more 13-inch laptops out there. After all, one of the reasons the MacBook resonates so well with people is because its 13-inch size hits the perfect balance between portability and usability. Put another way, a 13-inch laptop is the biggest we'd consider carrying around on a regular basis, and the smallest we'd consider usable as our main everyday computer.
Best Buy lowered its fiscal-year earnings forecast on Wednesday, citing fears that consumers will keep their wallets under lock and key during the holiday-shopping season.
Best Buy, which saw its archrival Circuit City file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday, said uncertainty surrounding consumer spending has made it difficult to project revenue for the rest of fiscal 2009, which ends February 28, 2009.
Uncertainty usually scares investors, who pushed Best Buy's shares down a steep 10.85 percent to $21.29 a share in early morning trading.
Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson sized up the current situation with this … Read more
A MoMA store gift idea for the wine enthusiast in your family could be this wine glass inside a bottle by Claudio Colucci. The carafe is hand blown so that a … Read more
Just a week after saying it was closing some stores to get its finances in order, Circuit City on Monday filed for bankruptcy protection. It will help keep creditors like Sony, Microsoft, Toshiba, and many others who have yet to receive payment for their products, at bay while Circuit City tries to get back on track. The company has also secured a $1.1 billion debtors' line of credit to keep stores open and pay its employees.
The timing, for a retailer, couldn't be worse. It's not exactly assuring that right as we're about to start holiday shopping one of the main places for consumer electronics gifts seems unstable. So what does this mean for consumers? Here are some important questions and answers about what Circuit City's current situation means for you.
Q: Does this mean less choice for places to shop for the holidays? A: Actually, no. Circuit City will be open for business as usual. The company did announce last week that it would be closing 155 stores, which will go on as planned, but 566 of its stores will remain open. Whether they will be fully stocked is another question, but Circuit City says that its new line of credit will help keep its shelves full.
Q: Will there be any staff around to answer my questions? A: Circuit City says it's reduced its support staff in district and regional roles, in addition to the positions eliminated at its stores currently being liquidated. Overall, there will be 20 percent fewer employees company-wide, but the retailer insists its stores will be well-staffed during the holidays. … Read more
With the dour economy playing grinch this holiday season, e-commerce retailers may want to focus on offers of free shipping and online coupons, according to a recent survey by comScore.
In a survey of more than 1,000 consumers taken in mid-October, comScore found 73 percent of respondents planned to save money this holiday season by buying fewer gifts and 69 percent by buying less expensive presents, while 37 percent planned to use coupons.
comScore also found that in the third quarter, 25 million Americans visited coupon sites, up 26 percent from the previous quarter. And it's not just … Read more
No sooner had I posted an announcement about Iriver's holiday price drops than fellow Korean DAP manufacturer Cowon hit us with some news about some enticing pricing of its own. The company is lowering the MSRPs for all models currently marketed in the U.S., with the exception of the newly-released O2. For the rest, you can expect to see a drop of between $20 (for the smaller, flash-based players) all the way up to $70 for the 80GB Q5W.
You can find a complete list of the new prices below, but I wanted to give special attention to … Read more
While many retailers are understandably nervous about what this holiday will bring, none is likely more so than Circuit City.
Blockbuster rescinded an offer to buy the beleaguered chain earlier this year and its CEO stepped down in September. Its stock has been languishing below $1 for long enough that the company has been notified it could be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. And now the company has been forced to close 155 stores right before the crucial holiday sales period because of the dearth of credit available in the market right now.
For all intents and purposes, it appears the nation's second-largest electronics retailer is on the verge of disaster. Even if this season's sales results end up not being as bleak as some are predicting, it's unlikely even that could save Circuit City at this point. Circuit City did not respond to a request for comment for this article.
Though Wall Street analysts who watch Circuit City closest aren't ready to go on record to go on a death watch for the electronics chain, suffice it to say, its pulse is getting weaker and things aren't looking good.
The global credit crunch is hurting Circuit City in particular. The retailer buys TVs, stereos, laptops, and other gadgets on credit, usually at a good rate from vendors with the promise to pay it back once the company sells the goods in its stores. But as the company has racked up huge losses, vendors are not giving Circuit City reasonable financing rates. Though Circuit City hasn't come out and said so, some vendors could be convinced altogether that the retailer flat out won't be able to pay the money back and could decline to send Circuit City any products at all. At that point, it becomes almost impossible for Circuit City to operate.
Because of this, the business model of Circuit City and other electronics retailers doesn't work without very fast growth. And sales of many of the big-ticket items like notebooks, flat-panel TVs, and even gaming consoles (it's the first year in awhile there won't be a hot, new, hard-to-get console), are tapering off.
No doubt, the slumping economy is causing some consumers to be more conservative about purchases this year. Consumers polled by the Consumer Electronics Association say they plan to spend $200 less this year than last on holiday items.
Add to that a fundamental shift in the way media is consumed--more online video and digital downloads, slowly moving away from packaged media and accompanying players--and the future of the electronics retail business doesn't look so bright. As prices drop, it gets harder to grow business. And without that growth, it's impossible for Circuit City to pay back those loans, much less suddenly become profitable, said one analyst who asked not to be quoted.… Read more