Christmas OK, but not a bumper

Santa has been and gone for another year and resellers are sitting down to see how good he has been to them this year. ARN chatted with a few to get a flavour of how you all fared and, although the heady days of the late 1990s seem a distant memory, most of the people seemed relatively happy with their lot.

Funtronics’ manager, Marsel Islamoglu, said: “It was an OK Christmas but nothing like the bumper sales of three or four years ago. We had flurries on some days but quiet spots throughout the month as well. “Smaller presents like CD burners and computer accessories such as Internet keyboards and optical mice sold well, as did wireless equipment, but PC packages and notebooks were down compared to previous years.

“Accessories and consumables have higher profit percentages so, although our total amount invoiced was down on last year, profitability was pretty much the same.”

Slow sales in home computers offset by increased demand for peripherals and accessories was something several readers predicted when we asked for their Christmas expectations in early December.

Managing director of Complus Computers, Tony Price, confirmed that this was the case with his business. “The home marker [for PCs] is not what it used to be because people are trying to stretch out the use of a computer for that bit longer,” he said, “ but December was still the best month we have had for a long time because we did some business network upgrades.

“The new Harry Potter game was good for us because it made a lot of people upgrade their video cards and CD writers sold well at the end of the month.”

Digital cameras were singled out as probable star performers when we asked resellers which products they expected to be the hottest property during the festive rush. Burgess Camera House director, Michael Warrick, said that he experienced his biggest ever demand for digital photographic equipment.

“We had a very good Christmas although it all came in at the last minute,” he said. “As expected, digital cameras were the buzz and demand was four or five times higher than I have ever seen before. We did particularly well with Sony, Ricoh and Panasonic.”

“Overall our sales were even with last Christmas but we did better than expected because this is a drought-affected region and cash flow is tighter.”