Retail figures for electronics in the first three months of 2009 have achieved healthy growth of 12.3 per cent, despite the recession.
According to a report from analyst firm, Gfk, the best results were in small domestic appliances, IT and telecoms, which all achieved growth of greater than 20 per cent. The overall growth was slowed by consumer electronics, major domestic appliances and office equipment, at 4.9 per cent, 2.6 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively.
The findings back up the ABS figures released earlier in the month that suggested a significant rise in revenue for the retail sector for March.
The Gfk report claimed the Government’s stimulus package, the back to school bonus and the farmer’s hardship payment were all significant factors in boosting sales of notebooks by almost 42 per cent. Netbooks accounted for 9 per cent of notebook sales.
Harvey Norman general manager for computers and communications, Luke Naish, said the recent stimulus package did not have as much of an impact as the 30 per cent tax break, recently increased to 50 per cent as part of the budget.
“Household penetration of notebooks still has a long way to go, and I feel that many of those $900 payments went to relieve debt,” Naish said. “However, we found that a lot of the small businesses are using the tax break to purchase equipment.”
Naish added that business has been buoyant for the retailer this quarter, with increases in broadband penetration and aggressive marketing helping to drive interest in computing.
It was not all good news for retail though, according to the GfK report. It claimed with unemployment set to rise, retail is a difficult area to make predictions for 2009.