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Hot for the home PC.

NEW YORK -- The computer category may be going through one of its worst retail slumps ever, but home PCs are still at the top of the list of things to buy in 1997.

According to a survey called the American Dream House, sponsored by the Conference Board, almost 26 percent of American households plan to buy a PC in the next year.

The survey of current household ownership and purchase plans for consumer electronics, appliances and services was conducted by NFO Inc. (National Family Opinion) of Toledo, Ohio, and the results so far are based on 2,500 responses received in a poll of 5,000 U.S. households.

NFO also asked what people own now, and compared the answers with those from 1990, the last time this survey was taken.

Americans have steadily stocked up on microwaves, VCRs, home computers and cellular phones during the past six years, and plan to continue doing so, according to Lynn Franco, associate director of the Conference Board's Consumer Research Center.

"The proliferation of electronic products strongly suggests that the American dream house continues to be designed for convenience," said Franco, noting this is reflected in the growing popularity of answering machines, car phones, fax machines and jumbo-sized TVs.

About 26 percent of families said they would buy a computer next year, making the computer the most popular choice for 1997; 40 percent of the households surveyed already have a PC.

Other purchases that figured big on the list were color TVs with 25-inch or larger screens, mentioned by 14.5 percent of households; cordless telephones, 13.6 percent, and cellular phones, 12.3 percent.

Certain items, like microwave ovens, already have a high penetration rate -- 85.2 percent of the families surveyed own one. As for VCRs, 84.1 percent have one; 39.1 percent have a second unit in the house.
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Title Annotation:home personal computer sales
Author:Silberg, Lurie
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Nov 25, 1996
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