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Specialty, High-end Retailers More Likely to Draw Shoppers Looking for Big-Ticket Items

Consumers Crave More Information Regarding Benefits of Specialty Electronics Retailers

Arlington, Virginia, 7/22/2005 – Specialty, high-end electronics retailers attract consumers based on quality product and selection, according to research recently released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), but need to work harder to increase consumer awareness in a marketplace that also includes mass merchant and big box electronics stores.

According to the study “Understanding Specialty, High-end Electronics Shoppers,” the most popular places for consumers to shop for home audio and video equipment are mass merchant retailers and general big box electronics stores, with 62 percent and 57 percent, respectively, of consumers frequenting those outlets for their home audio and video needs. Fifteen percent of consumers report shopping for audio and video equipment at specialty, high-end stores.

While specialty, high-end electronics stores draw a smaller percentage of consumer electronics shoppers than larger retail outlets, consumers who do frequent specialty stores report the quality of available product as the primary driver. In comparison, the strongest motivations for shopping at other types of stores are price and convenient store locations.

“Our research has shown that as consumers find more and more choices in the electronics retailer space, price and convenience become paramount in their decision making,” said Joe Bates, director of research at CEA. “Having said that, specialty store shoppers are uniquely focused on quality and value, and place less emphasis on price. In fact, we’ve found that specialty, high-end store shoppers spend more on home audio and video equipment annually than consumers who shop at mass market or general CE stores.”

CEA research, according to self-reported consumer data, shows that the average U.S. adult consumer spends $1,178 on home audio and video products each year. By contrast, those who shop, in part, at specialty, high-end electronics stores spend $1,985 on similar equipment annually.

“This study confirms what we have long known,” said John Flanner, president of Flanner’s Audio & Video and chair of CEA’s Professional Audio-Video Retailers (PARA) division. “The specialty retail community offers consumers a unique shopping experience and a wealth of information. With an improved focus on promotion of our myriad strengths, this channel has the potential to increase customer satisfaction exponentially.”

“Understanding Specialty, High-end Electronics Store Shoppers” was designed and formulated by CEA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research, international research, and historical trends for the consumer electronics industry. The complete study is available free to CEA member companies. Non-members may purchase the study for $499 at

About CEA:
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the consumer technology industry through technology policy, events, research, promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA represents more than 2,000 corporate members involved in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and integration of audio, video, mobile electronics, wireless and landline communications, information technology, home networking, multimedia and accessory products, as well as related services that are sold through consumer channels. Combined, CEA’s members account for more than $121 billion in annual sales. CEA’s resources are available online at, the definitive source for information about the consumer electronics industry.

CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES – Defining Tomorrow’s Technology. All profits from CES are reinvested into industry services, including technical training and education, industry promotion, engineering standards development, market research and legislative advocacy.

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