If we were expecting a Christmas rush, it didn't happen. According to preliminary findings from channel research outfit Inform, the channel as a whole grew at between 5 and 10 per cent from November to December 2000.
According to Inform research manager Chris Herbert, monthly figures recently submitted by members of the company's reseller panel reveal a "mixed bag" of results, indicating the continued volatility of segments within the channel.
Corporate dealers saw anything from a 30 per cent decrease to a 25 per cent increase in sales from November to December, while combined figures from retailers show an increase of between 5 and 10 per cent for the month.
"It was not the best Christmas," Herbert commented. "Nothing to write home about."
Herbert said the majority of growth in the corporate segment came from PC sales, while printer sales were the big contributor to retail sales.
Other preliminary results reveal the games market doubled from November to December for retailers and financial software slowed, while business software saw huge gains of between 30 and 40 per cent.
Meanwhile, one distributor in contact with ARN believes December 2000 was not all bad news, particularly in the corporate market.
Laurie Sellers, Alstom IT chief executive, said the last week in December saw the company close some very large sales, particularly in the storage and security arenas.
The sales boom has given Sellers a confidence boost for 2001. "We're about 70 per cent up on revenues from January last year," he said.
Sellers claims his company has also witnessed a 50 per cent increase in gross margins, largely because it has chosen more profitable products.
With PCs continuing to suffer from low margins and falling sales, Sellers believes 2001 will be healthy for resellers in the security, software, storage and server markets.