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With the fiscal cliff forcing businesses to sit on their hands, it’s up to consumers to do their part, open up their wallets, and spend like crazy this holiday season. If the National Retail Federation is right, the fourth quarter could pan out pretty well for retailers, toy makers, electronics manufacturers, and any other company that depends on the wild world of consumer spending.
The NRF expects a 4.1 percent increase in holiday retail sales this year, lower than last year’s 5.6 percent growth rate, but higher than the 10-year average of 3.5 percent growth. A survey conducted by BIGinisght indicates that spending per shopper could increase 1.2 percent to an average of $749.51 split between gifts, decorations, food, and other holiday goods.
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Here are some of the top gifts that consumers will be picking up with their holiday gift budgets:
Doc McStuffins is a six-year-old Disney (NYSE:DIS) character named Dottie who wants to be a doctor, and mends other dolls and stuffed animals. The doll retails for about $49.99. There is a series of DVDs associated with the character that retail for about $15 each, which could ensure a lasting revenue stream from parents whose children also believe that “friendship is the best medicine.”
LeapPad 2 is a learning tablet targeted at three- to nine-year-old children. The device retails for about $100 and has won dozens of awards worldwide. Shares of LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. (NYSE:LF), the manufacturer, have come up nearly 12 percent over the last five trading days. The devices own app ecosystem could be a source of continuing revenue for the company after the holiday surge.
The Wii U built by Nintendo (NTDOY.PK) is at the top of nearly every gamer’s list. The gaming console is filling a growing void left by the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, which are both nearing the end of their long life cycles. The Wii U Basic retails for about $300.
Skylanders Giants, the sequel to the massively popular Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure is also topping many most-desired lists. The game is published by Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) and retails for about $76 on a variety of platforms, including Nintendo’s Wii U, the Xbox 360, and the PlayStation 3.
Rounding out the list is Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad Mini, which starts around $330. Apple’s foray into mini tablets has been successful so far with strong initial sales from consumers looking for a top-line alternative to Amazon.com’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle or Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Nexus tablets. As a portal to the Apple ecosystem, the iPad Mini will no doubt be a revenue machine for the company.
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