Xmas PC sales stable, but not spectacular

Xmas PC sales stable, but not spectacular

New Zealand PC sales over Christmas were stable, but not spectacular.

Compaq Computer sales director Andrew Seerden said Christmas sales were strong - from a "sell-in" point of view - into the reseller channel.

"Retailers have been saying it's been relatively flat year on year and also that it's taken off later than the year before, and that's been a trend for the past three years," he said.

Hewlett-Packard consumer business unit manager Mike Carden of Auckland said Christmas sales were strong, with lower interest rates before Christmas stimulating reasonable demand. He added Christmas sales were up by about 30 per cent on 1997.

He said the sales channel matured a lot in 1998. "From a brand point of view, you had a lot of activity from [retailers such as] Harvey Norman and the Noel Leeming, which are really going hammer and tongs at it," he said. Carden also observed that there was a lot more mainstream PC advertising.

International Data Corp New Zealand general manager Dinesh Kumar said the early feedback is that Christmas was a bit soft for the retail segment, and below expectations. The Christmas period was in line with the performance of the retail market in Q3 - essentially flat. "But it seems the government market and the SME (small-to-medium enterprises) market did better than expected," Kumar said. He added that 1998 as a whole seemed to perform better than expected.

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