Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 23-09-2011

Following a record 2010, the first half of 2011 has seen the Argentine market for new TV sets fall back to levels more typical of a year without a Fifa World Cup or Olympics tournament that would stimulate sales.

The latest Consumer Electronics and White Goods Retailers Poll, published by Argentina's National Statistics and Census Institute (Indec), revealed that while sales of nearly all polled products saw strong year-on-year growth TVs were the big exception to this trend.

While categories like air conditioning devices registered a 100% jump in units sold in the second quarter of 2011 compared with the same period of 2010, CRT and flat-screen TV sales dropped by 31%. All other categories (including digital cameras, computers, smartphones, GPS devices, refrigerators and washing machines) saw increases of between 1.5% and 103%.

Beyond any doubt, the main reason for such abnormal performance from TVs was the seasonal enthusiasm that Argentine consumers tend to exhibit in the run-up to a Football World Cup, which usually translates into bumper video equipment sales.

On this occasion, such natural enthusiasm coincided with both a thriving economy and a series of attractive low-credit promotions offered by retailers and local banks. This led to all-time record sales of TVs (especially flat screens) during the February/June 2010 period.

As soon as the World Cup was over in July 2010, new TV sales went back to match similar growth levels to those of other consumer electronics devices, according to the Indec report.

Measured in terms of sales volumes, revenue reported by the over 1,000 retailers polled for TVs, DVD players and camcorders went from 1.6 billion pesos (US$380 million) in the second quarter of 2010 to just over one billion pesos (US$237 million) in the same quarter this year – a decline of 35.6%.