Holiday shopping for the consumer electronics industry is off to a strong start, according to Glenview-based Abt Electronics, which saw TVs, GoPros and Fitbits as popular gifts over the Black Friday weekend.
The retailer said it experienced a significant traffic increase in store and online during 2017's biggest shopping days. Abt shattered its previous in-store sales numbers with a 15 percent increase from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday, bucking the national trend of dropping sales for brick-and-mortar stores.
"This year, we were surprised by how much our in-store sales numbers and foot traffic surged. With an increase of 15 percent for in-store sales and 10 percent in foot traffic, Abt continues to prove that if you give customers a reason to come in, they still enjoy the in-store shopping experience," said Jon Abt, co-president of Abt Electronics. Additionally, the retailer's foot traffic did not peak in the early morning of Black Friday like most stores, but rather, peaked around 3 p.m.
Abt's online sales show no sign of slowing. While its Chicago-based showroom was closed on Thanksgiving Day, Abt had a 15 percent year-over-year increase in online sales between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday.
Abt also observed that consumers were spending more than expected, with an average spend per individual of $488. This number was 14 percent higher than the amount predicted in a Deloitte survey outlining how much consumers were planning to spend between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.
The hot gifts and most in-demand items bought from Abt over the weekend include the LG 65-inch OLED TVs, Sony PS4s and Sonos One Speakers. On Cyber Monday, top sellers shifted to the Sony Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speakers, GoPro HERO6 Black 4K Ultra HD Cameras and Fitbit Charge 2 Activity Trackers.
Abt's in-store and online performance from Thanksgiving weekend represents a 15 percent increase in total sales over 2016. Given the impressive start, Jon Abt anticipates a strong rest of the holiday season, predicting a 10 to 15 percent increase over last year.
Abt Electronics was founded in 1936 when Jewel Abt loaned her husband Dave $800 to open a small electronics store in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. Abt has grown to become the largest independent, single-store retailer of electronics, appliances and home goods in the country.