Christmas retail sales up but value declines

Christmas retail sales up but value declines

Retailer's software revenues may have fallen 21 per cent in December, but they were still 94 per cent higher than December 2000, according to the latest figures from Inform.

Unit sales through major retailers increased slightly on November, but value dropped around $1.2 million. The decrease was largely due to the tapering off of Windows XP sales - shipments were almost half that of November sales. However, boxed operating system sales were still 415 per cent higher than the previous December and made up 20 per cent of all business software revenue in the last quarter of 2001.

"The drop should not worry Microsoft too much, as this sort of decrease is to be expected directly after the initial rush to purchase the product," said Inform's chief software analyst, Phil Burnham.

Antivirus software had a strong month, with sales up 25 per cent on November and 183 per cent on December 2000. Symantec benefited from most of the growth, with a 216 per cent increase in sales on the same period last year. According to Inform, Symantec now accounts for 74 per cent of the market in terms of value. Network Associates also recorded an increase in sales, as did Trend Micro. Its product, PC-Cillin, brought in around $17,000 each month on average in the second half of 2000, but in the same period last year this increased to almost $100,000.

Sales in financial software are still on a downward slide - 39 per cent on November figures. MYOB and Quicken both consolidated their place in the sector, the two vendors accounting for 93 per cent of the market in terms of value.

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