GfK research finds specialists see only modest growth as UK laptop sales approach one million

Non-specialists lead PC retail growth

Supermarkets and other non-specialist retailers are driving growth in PC retail sales according to the latest report from GfK.

The market research firm found that while supermarkets and other non-specialists are experiencing exceptional sales, specialist stores are only seeing modest growth.

It found that the non-specialists had seen growth in laptop unit sales of around 127 per cent year-on-year. They also had the highest ratio of laptops to desktops, with 83 per cent of PCs sold through them being notebooks.

"It’s clear many retail sectors are suffering from the downturn in the economy. However, the IT sector, and in particular the PC market, remains strong driven by good deals and promotional activity that the consumer has not been able to resist," said Anthony Norman, business group director for IT at Gfk.

It highlighted the fact that laptop sales are, for the first time, approaching nearly one million units per month, thanks to a 50 per cent increase in like for like sales between December 2006 and 2007.

"The constant entry to market of new technology, coupled with a continued move towards a mobile lifestyle, means I expect to see the IT sector remain strong for the first quarter, with laptops the key driver," added Norman.

The report also found that much of the recent growth in the mobile devices sector had been driven by promotions such as the Carphone Warehouse’s free laptop in exchange for signing up to a broadband contract.

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