Apple isn’t just dominating sales of electronics; it and other tech companies are now eating into just about every market segment. Americans are choosing to buy tech gadgets and big-screen TVs over appliances, furniture and cars. Compared to the first half of pre-recession 2007, sales of televisions, computers, video and telephone equipment grew 1.8 per cent in the first six months of this year, according to a new U.S. Commerce Department report. During the same period, spending on appliances decreased 3.6 per cent and spending on furniture fell 11 per cent.
Analysts are worried the new spending habits will do little to turn the still-depressed U.S. economy around. Technology sales account for only 1.2 per cent of the nominal gross domestic product, a minor segment of economic growth.
And it’s not just household items that are taking the hit. Clothing retailers bemoan that the hottest accessory isn’t the newest pair of shoes, but the iPhone. Some retailers have tried to piggyback on the trend—in a back-to-school promotion last month, American Eagle Outfitters Inc. gave shoppers who tried on a pair of jeans a chance to win a free smart-phone. Nowadays, it seems it’s the least they can do to attract gadget-crazed consumers.