Retail unsure about 4K and wearable tech, PCR survey finds

But the majority of indies are confident about the future on back of strong sales reported, exclusive PCR research reveals
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Retailers are divided over whether wearable technology and 4K displays will provide real sales opportunities, according to PCR research.

The annual PCR Retail Survey revealed that a very slight majority of retailers and resellers (51 per cent) wouldn’t consider stocking or repairing emerging tech.

Of those who said the technologies were not of interest, many state they are wary of offering products which may prove difficult to obtain parts for or repair. Others said that the technologies would require more time to mature and prove themselves.

One retailer explained: “I think people are unsure about buying new products right now. They’re sticking with what they’ve got – what they know works.”

Despite the split opinion regarding future technology, retailers are confident about their business in 2014. An overwhelming majority (87 per cent) said that they are confident about the next 12 months, with almost the same number of firms (82 per cent) expecting to still be selling stock in five years’ time.

This confidence comes as a result of a resurgence in traditional computing platforms, according to respondents. Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of firms recorded laptops as their best-selling product in 2013, with 13 per cent seeing their biggest sales in desktops. Both form factors had more popularity with consumers than tablets, which were only a best-seller for a tenth of stores.

One retailer commented: “The desktop PC isn’t going away, regardless of what the scaremongers say."

“This app mentality, where people think there’s an app for everything, just isn’t true. Mobile devices will never manage to replace desktops – the death of the desktop PC isn’t going to come.”

There wan almost even split amongst independent retailers when asked if they are selling more tablets now compared to 12 months ago, with 52 per cent saying they were not. For those that are, the average increase in tablet sales was 104 per cent.

It was also a strong year for independent stores in 2013. Only a quarter of retailers reported a decline in sales from 2012 to 2013, as opposed to more than half (56 per cent), which saw business grow overall year-on-year.

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