UK shoppers spent £1bn less on consumer electronics in 2011

Beancounter: Retailers need 'strong internet arm' to hang on to market share

Got Tips?

UK retail officially continues to be the worst market to operate as a reseller after spending on consumer electronics fell by £1bn in 2011, GFK Retail stats confirmed.

The beancounter said the size of the sector had declined 4.5 per cent, but with spending down 7.5 per cent in January alone compared to the same month one year earlier, there appeared to be no short-term let-up in pressure.

GFK analyst Mark Hamilton said the "worsening picture" was perhaps explained by the VAT rise at the beginning of last year acting as a catalyst for sales, "hence in a number of areas January 2012 sales are likely to be artificially depressed by comparison".

He added: "Consumer Electronics remains the worst-performing category. This has been regularly, month by month, posting value drops of 15 per cent and more. In total more than £1bn has been taken off the value of this market since 2010."

Very few categories managed to defy this trend, he said. "High ownership of key devices and the lack of significant innovation has been a problem here."

The lack of confidence is "impacting heavily" on product-replacement cycles for nonessential items, which covers the majority of CE, said GFK.

However with new products due out in March including the third coming of the fondleslab and "large-screen events" of the Olympics and the European Football Championships, some retailers will see a benefit, said the analyst.

Online retailers outperformed bricks-and-mortar firms last year, "showing again it is difficult for any retailer to hold their total market share without a strong internet arm to the business".

In contrast to CE, the tech sector reported a 14.1 per cent hike in unit sales and 27.3 per cent in value, with fondleslabs underpinning the rises, helped along by storage, headsets, comms devices, Media Gateway and B2B software.

Sales of tablets went up 205 per cent in December and January compared to the same months a year ago, GFK revealed.

PC vendors are pinning their hopes on ultrabooks to revive flagging sales with the launch of Intel's Ivy Bridge processor and Microsoft's Windows 8 tipped to spur demand.

GFK said consumers will "postpone their decision until the launch of Windows 8" and will then cough up cash to "combine the best of both worlds". ®

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER


Keep Reading

Leaked benchmarks from developer kit for Apple's home-baked silicon appear to give Microsoft a run for its money

Before you get too excited 1) They're benchmarks 2) New consumer Arm-based Macs might use something else

Microsoft sides with Epic over Apple developer ban, supports motion for temporary restraining order

'Apple’s discontinuation of Epic’s ability to develop and support Unreal Engine for iOS or macOS will harm game creators and gamers,' says Microsoft

Smartwatches win the consumer tech sector for Q1 2020 as locked-down folk take up fight against corona-carbs

Shipments up 12%, says Canalys

India reveals plans to make electronics manufacturing its top industry

China cited as an example to follow, not a rival in plan to lure five global whales

Swift tailored for Windows no longer folklore: Apple's programming language available for Microsoft OS

The Redmond-aligned can try the Cupertino-spawned lingo thanks to a Googler's intervention

Unexpected risks of using Apple ID: 'Sign in with Apple' will be blocked for Epic Games

Updated Games dev pleads with users to set up a password before they get locked out

India makes new push to lure global electronics manufacturers

To protect and grow its own industries. But first, call your mother and enjoy this five-minute national round of applause for medicos and transport workers

Brit MPs to Apple CEO: Please stop ignoring our questions about repairability and the environment

iGiant needs to take accountability for society's throwaway culture, claims select committee

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020