It's still early days, but retail giant Harvey Norman reports PC sales figures are starting to point to a healthier PC market in 2002.
"From the third week of December last year, we have been very pleased with sales in both desktops and notebooks," said John Slack-Smith, Harvey Norman's general manager for computers and communications. "There seems to be a definite return to form with customers coming in to buy. It is still too early to call if it will be a reversal of the difficult trading conditions of 2001 for IT, but it has certainly been encouraging."
A number of factors are thought to be contributing to the resurgence of PC sales. A strong economy and all-time low interest rates are just two of the reasons for the upturn.
"We are also past the Federal Election, which is always a major inhibitor for consumer spending for some reason," Slack-Smith said. "But apart from that, the value of PCs at the moment is really very good. Entry-level machines are as good as we've seen for quite some time."
For now, the retailer is hoping the trend will continue. "February, March and April are going to be very important months for retail in general and certainly for IT," Slack-Smith said.
"We hope sales will continue and we are planning our business along those lines. I would call it being cautiously confident."