Business

Really big screens lure Black Friday TV shoppers

BY SARAH HALZACK

The Washington Post

Big TVs have long been a centerpiece of the Black Friday door-buster sales.
Big TVs have long been a centerpiece of the Black Friday door-buster sales. Associated Press

Big TVs have long been a centerpiece of the Black Friday door-buster sales. But this year, retailers and experts say customers are likely going to be looking for big-screens that are, well, bigger.

As TV-viewing habits evolve and prices have dropped on sets equipped with 4K technology, Americans increasingly are buying sets that gobble up the most wall space.

According to data from NPD Group, there has been a 10 percent year-to-date increase in the number of TVs sold that are larger than 50 inches, even as TV unit sales overall have declined 3 percent.

“It was not that long ago that we used to say that anything over 40 inches is large,” said Shawn Dubravac, senior director of research at the Consumer Technology Association. “Today the average screen size is about 47 inches, up from 29 inches not too many years ago.”

Retailers are noticing the change, with Target and Best Buy saying their sales mix is increasingly moving toward larger sets. HHGregg says its fastest-growing sales category is 60 to 65 inches, and Sam’s Club says it is reducing floor space dedicated to small TVs to make more room for the 60- to 65-inch sets.

While prices for TVs are down 5 percent year-over-year, they’re down nearly 19 percent for sets that are 65 to 69 inches, according to the CTA. And large TVs, especially, are increasingly built with 4K, a technology that provides sharper picture resolution.

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