GfK: UK IT retail weathering credit storm - PC Retail

GfK: UK IT retail weathering credit storm

Etail and non-traditional retailers driving sales growth
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IT sales in the first half of 2008 jumped nine per cent in the UK in terms of value, with laptops continuing to drive sales and boosting peripherals in the process, according to GfK's IT Barometer.

Despite concerns at the beginning of the year, GfK's report shows that the UK IT industry has remained resilient, with consumer spending on IT out growing that of businesses.

"We were expecting to see a slowdown in consumer IT spending in the first half of 2008, but this has not been the case," commented business group director at GfK, Anthony Norman.

According to the results, over £5bn was spent on IT during the period, with laptops and netbooks driving much of the growth, with sales up by 24 per cent. "Consumers have continued to spend their disposable income on IT hardware and software," Norman continued.

Sales of peripherals were up as a result, with accessories like speakers, mice and storage being driven by the increasing use of those laptops for multimedia and entertainment, such as then BBC's iPlayer.

Much of the growth has been put down to the strength of etail: "IT growth has also been boosted by strong sales via the internet where IT hardware and peripherals sales are very strong, especially on higher priced products where there is a larger perceived saving," Norman added.

It is also being boosted by the increasing diversification of retailers becoming involved in IT retail. "The availability of these products is increasing with more IT products being sold in non-specialist outlets which means that consumers now have greater exposure to these products when they are on the high street or surfing the internet."

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