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USA: Channel partners express growing concerns as sales drop speeds up

Retailer confidence plummeting

US channel retailers have expressed growing concerns over rapidly deteriorating sales in that country’s channel, according to the latest figures from IDC’s channel panel.

During the fourth quarter, retailers and resellers revealed that their trade had declined more rapidly than in the third, with smaller businesses hit the hardest.

Despite small retailers and resellers being hit the hardest, almost all midsized and large businesses struggled during the fourth quarter, with some even succumbing to the pressures of the recession.

"Partner confidence across all technologies tracked in IDC’s channel panel fell sharply between the third and fourth quarters of 2008 as the weakened economy continues to affect IT buying decisions," commented research analyst for hardware channels at IDC, John Grady.

He also said that Apple’s retail and resale partners had begun to feel the impact of declining sales: "In the PC segment, even Apple partners, who had reported very strong results for the previous three quarters, were more bearish in the fourth."

Despite that, Apple’s partners till performed best, though larger partners faired worse than smaller ones. The two largest Windows-based vendors Dell and HP saw similar results to each other, with Dell stronger amongst large partners, and HP stronger amongst midsized partners.

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