Overall industry sales were down 7.6 percent versus last November, but still revenues were enough to make this the second-best November in industry history taking into account the incredible year that was 2008.
Year to date, the industry is still up 7 percent over 2007, and it looks like December may help fatten the number with the stellar promotions the industry has planned leased up to Christmas.
"Based on seasonality the industry looks like it will reach $20 billion for the year, which means December would have to be up over last year by 11 percent. Impossible? I don't think so," said NPD's Anita Frazier. "More positive economic news combined with 'frugal fatigue' could positively impact industry sales during these last weeks of the holiday season. Breaking even seems more out of reach.
"In order to break even to last year, December sales would have to be up 36 percent over December 2008.
"There was even heavier promotional activity this year than normal, and while they seem to have benefited hardware sales, they don't appear to have positively impacted software sales since unit sales of software are down even more than dollar sales are for that category."
Still, second best November on record. That has to stand for something. All told, retail sales of systems, software and accessories totaled $2.7 billion.