Apple has claimed the #5 spot in sales for both brick & mortar store fronts as well as online technology sales for 2009, according to NPD's Consumer Tracking Service report released on February 10.
The top five storefront technology retailers were: Best Buy, Wal-mart, Staples, Target, with Apple in the #5 spot. Sales were driven by computers and TVs.
"The top five online technology retailers were Dell, Amazon, Best Buy, HP, and Apple," NPD said.
NPD's Stephen Baker, VP of industry analysis, provided background: "The industry lost ground this year but in light of the overall economic conditions it was a performance that could have been much worse. By retailers and manufacturers being aggressive on consumer electronics pricing that kept the consumer engaged and shopping, an important success story to remember in such a dismal year. Categories like computers and flat-panel TVs, despite very high selling prices, were able to see significant increases in unit volume through this tactic. The up-tick in fourth quarter results, while partly the result of a weak year-over-year comparison was also due to strong results from these categories, results that point to increased momentum as we head into 2010.”
The report explained that "technology sales" include IT, imaging, audio, video, and consumables, and exclude video game hardware and software, PC software, and mobile phones.
One can only conjecture where Apple would have placed if game hardware and software (iPhone) as well as iPhone sales had been included in the definition.