The Talk

With lack of jet packs, Best Buy stock tumbles

- Last modified: January 16, 2014 at 4:20 PM

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This year under the Christmas tree, my husband truly surprised me. Really he did.

My two big presents were, respectively, a generator and a paper shredder.

He was quite proud of the generator. He insisted it was a romantic gift because it showed that he didn't want me to freeze if we have another power outage such as the one that followed Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

I suppose, then, the paper shredder was his way of saying he didn't want to see me … indicted?

… Yeah.

While they were strange gifts, at least he put some thought into them.

After more than 13 years of marriage, I can't be easy to shop for.

He's already gotten for me every electronic gadget you can think of. What's left?

Not much, apparently, and I'm hardly alone.

With prices of consumer electronics falling dramatically the last couple of years, most people who wanted a notebook computer or smartphone probably already have one.

I think one of my neighbors even has a big screen TV in their dog house.

That has left retailers such as Best Buy with the problem of what to sell when everyone already has everything you carry.

The lack of innovative, must-have products definitely showed this year.

In sales reports released this week, Best Buy showed same-store sales were down nearly 1 percent over last year.

The news sent Best Buy stock tumbling 30 percent on Thursday.

But what did everyone expect? You only have two hands and two ears. How many smartphones do you need?

And how much more can we expect out of technology? Unless my iPhone 5 learns how to cook dinner, I'm pretty happy with the way it is. I'm not in a rush to get the next model.

Have we reached the level of technology where we have everything we could want or need in home electronics?

Of course not!

Product developers and retailers need to step up their game and come up with new and innovative products that will give consumers a case of the must-haves. Otherwise, we might get bored with the existing electronic options and have to start communicating again with each other.

So, what can they develop?

I wouldn't mind a jet pack. We were supposed to have those by now.

How about one of those replicators that they had on the Star Trek Enterprise? You know – the ones that instantly create the food or beverage you want with a simple word command.

Microwaving those Hot Pockets is just so time-consuming.

What are your thoughts? What tech gadget would you like to see in stores next year? Drop me a line at stacyw@lvb.com. I'd like to know. Maybe I can even put in a good word with Santa.

Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe covers technology and trends plus keeps you up to date on what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler and on social media. Reach her at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook and circle her on Google+.

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