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Wearable Tech, TVs, and Tablets Top Consumers' Holiday Shopping List, Abt Electronics Finds

Glenview, IL (December 2, 2014) — Holiday shopping for the consumer electronics industry officially kicked off on Black Friday, followed by online deals on Cyber Monday, thanks to must-have items with unbeatable price tags. With affordable high-end HDTVs, tablets replacing traditional laptops, wireless speakers for connected homes, and wearable tech for healthy lifestyles, the consumer electronics industry is off to a strong start this season, according to Abt Electronics and Appliances, the nation's largest independent electronics and appliance retailer.

Abt experienced an increased amount of traffic both in store and online at during Black Friday with consumers looking for the latest tablets, HDTVs and wearable tech. Abt gained a 54 percent increase in the retailer's e-commerce sales on Black Friday and a 25 percent increase in in-store sales, when compared toprevious year's sales. This had a positive effect on website traffic as well, which was up seven percent from last year.

Nationwide, holiday weekend sales were down 11 percent this year, but bucking the trend, Abt saw an upswing, especially online where customers started shopping on Thanksgiving Day. "With lifestyle trends pointing towards even more connected individuals and homes, it's not surprising to see consumers are spending more on the latest technology, such as wearable tech and tablets." said Abt's co-president Jon Abt.

In online sales, Abt reported a 62 percent increase on Thanksgiving Day, which was followed by the significant 54 percent increase on Black Friday, 42 percent on Saturday and 40 percent increase on Sunday compared to 2013 sales. The spike in online sales prior to Cyber Monday showed that consumers did not wait until the biggest online shopping day of the year to start their holiday shopping. While TVs and tablets were among the best-selling online items, in-store shoppers preferred 4K TVs and larger appliances. In line with the increase in in-store and online sales on Black Friday, Abt also experienced a 55 percent increase in sales on Cyber Monday.

Recognized for their unmatched customer service and named one of Chicago area's Top Workplaces for 2014 by Chicago Tribune for the fifth consecutive year, Abt also saw 25 percent increase in the volume of online live-chats with trained sales and customer service associates from 2013.

According to the Abt experts, an increase in sales of HDTVs and 4K TVs, tablets, and home automation systems, such as Nest Thermostats, are expected to continue through the holiday shopping season, making for a tech filled holiday gift-giving season.