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German resellers are calm bunch

Contextual analysis

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German resellers are the least worried in Europe that large retailers could do them out of business and sales.

Despite the likes of Dixons going after business customers through initiatives like PC Business World 58 per cent of German resellers see this as "no threat at all". This compares to 69.6 per cent of resellers in Europe's top seven economies who expressed some degree of concern that their business was threatened by large retailers.

Context believes this is because German resellers have done a better job of focusing on business customers.

One in three PCs sold in the second half of last year in Europe were bought from large retailers.

Retail main indirect channel for printers

Research from Context also found the retail channel is the main route to market for printer sales in Europe's top three economies.

By the fourth quarter of 2003 large retailers accounted for 63.3 per cent of all printers sold in France, Germany and the UK.

The top three brands, Epson, HP and Lexmark accounted for 82.4 per cent of retail printer sales.

Laptops challenge desktops

Laptop sales now make up 40 per cent of total PC sales to end users through large retailers, according to Context research.

In January of 2004 41.4 per cent of large retailer PC sales were laptops in the top seven European economies: France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Jeremy Davies, senior partner at Context, said the accelerating trend in favour of notebook PCs was due to "buyers taking advantage of lower prices and increased competition. We saw the average acheived retail selling price dropping by 23.8 per cent by the fourth quarter of 2003 compared with the same period a year ago."

One exception as German business buyers who still favour desktop machines. Desktop PCs made up 68.6 per cent of computers sold through German business reseller channels.

But increased price competition and a sales push by Fujitsu Siemens aimed at their home market saw laptop sales increase in line with the rest of Europe.

For more on all this go here. ®

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