Turnover generated by computer and software retailers has risen substantially over the first four months of this year. The increase follows a period of nearly two and a half years of negative turnover growth. In April, turnover was 47 percent above the level of April 2013, which contributed to considerable turnover growth in the consumer electronics branch in the first four months of 2014. White and brown goods retailers, also included in the consumer electronics branch, performed less well.
Turnover developments consumer electronics shops
Operating system no longer supported
The turnover growth recorded for computer and software retailers coincides with the announcement that a computer operating system and certain software packages will no longer be supported by the manufacturer. People using obsolete soft and hardware technology were forced to replace their equipment. Because computer shops have private as well as business customers, they benefited more. Private sector investments in computers increased by nearly 10 percent in the first quarter of 2014. IT service providers, e. g. consultants and managers, also got a piece of the pie. Turnover realised in the IT industry grew by 3.6 percent in the last quarter of 2013 and by 7.7 percent in the first quarter of 2014.
Turnover developments IT service providers
Computer rapidly reduce in value
Over the first four months of 2014, computer prices fell by approximately 8 percent relative to the same period last year. Negative price developments are typical of the computer branch. Because technology advances so fast and new models are launched on the market all the time, computers, tablets and peripheral equipment quickly become obsolete and old models are rapidly reduced in value. On the other hand, this also means that consumers can now buy a more technologically advanced product for the same price as a year ago. The quality aspect is expressed in volume growth.
The sharp fall in prices does not only occur in the computer branch, but also applies to telecom equipment and brown goods, i.e. small household appliances like TV sets and audio equipment. Prices of white goods, i.e. large household appliances dropped far less rapidly.
Price developments consumer electronics
Derk van Wijk and Niek Verbaan