SAN DIEGO – A new shelf share study by Gap Intelligence suggests that if, according to a recent unattributed Reuters report, Panasonic exits the plasma market by the end of its fiscal year, the last remaining plasma makers – LG and Samsung – might not be too far behind.

Deirdre Kennedy, Gap Intelligence TV market analyst, pointed out that Gap’s recent retail shelf share studies indicate plasma TVs now “make up a small fraction of current retail HDTV placements.”

“Electronics stores Best Buy, Fry’s Electronics and hhgregg have the largest amount of shelf space devoted to plasma, which has become a niche product over the past couple of years,” she said. “Club stores and mass merchants, with the exception of Sears, have less retail space for TVs and devote a much smaller share of shelf to the technology.”

As for Panasonic, Kennedy said: “Because so much of Panasonic’s 2013 HDTV line was devoted to plasma, the company will have to dramatically increase its LED output in order to remain relevant in the TV industry.”