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Retail Industry Updates

Is It Any Surprise that TV Sales Were Up Almost 20% in 2020?


2020 was the year of the coach potato. What else did you expect when consumers were forced to quarantine because of the pandemic?

Coach potatoes like to do a lot of things, like watch television. So, not surprisingly, TV sales were up 19% in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, according to a report from market researcher The NPD Group. As a result, Best Buy and other electronic retailers had excellent years in 2020.

“This year home entertainment became even more crucial as consumers spent more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated John Buffone, executive director and industry analyst for NPD’s Connected Intelligence practice. “TV sales, among other tech items, saw strong interest and as a result we saw notable shifts in the installed base. Without the ability to go to the movies or live entertainment, Americans shifted spending to technology that offered at-home opportunities to consume content.”

More Americans are also watching their favorite shows on newer and larger TVs, according to NPD’s “TV Ownership Trends Report.” In the U.S., 15% of TVs are 60 inches or larger, up from 11% a year ago. The average age of a TV is 4.9 years, down from 5.4 years last year.

The average size of a replacement TV jumped to 51 inches from 49 inches in November 2019, and 47 inches in November 2018, the report found. Through Cyber Monday week, 65-inch TV sales increased 27% vs. 2019, while 70-inch and above TVs increased by 82%. In total, 65-inch and above TVs made up 21% of sales, increasing from 18% in 2019 and 13% in 2018. NPD expects that 65-inch and above TVs will be 27% of sales by 2022.

While screen size is a key motivator, features like high-dynamic-range imaging (HDR) and apps are continuing to matter more as consumers consider replacement purchases. In fact, HDR now impacts 13% of replacement TV sales and the availability of apps reportedly impact 31% of replacement TV sales, up from 23% a year ago.

“This year consumers saw the value in bigger screens and newer, more modern technology to support their entertainment needs,” said Stephen Baker, vice president and industry advisor for NPD. “This commitment to new technology and the value it can provide to the consumer will be key for the continued growth in larger screen TVs in 2021 and beyond.”