Vendors lose Christmas cheer in inventory glut

Vendors lose Christmas cheer in inventory glut

Sales expectations in the festive period have not been realised and prices are slashed

Resellers have voiced concerns that tepid demand for PCs in the run-up to Christmas has left vendors labouring under a pile of inventory.

This comes despite global third-quarter PC numbers from analyst iSuppli topping expectations, as total shipments rose 13.8 per cent to 59.9 million. Notebooks provided the bulk of the growth, with shipments up 33.5 per cent.

However, Barry Dodhia, marketing manager at London-based VAR Hemini, claimed vendors are being forced to slash prices for the UK market after over-estimating pre-Christmas demand.

“I have received 35 emails from different vendors today, which tells me there is a lot of excess stock in the market already,” he said.

“PC World has begun offering a HP laptop for £399, which you would not normally see until January. This impacts the whole market ­ where do you go from £399?”

ISuppli figures show Dell took a battering in the third quarter, as it lost ground to overall leader HP and surrendered silver-medal position to Acer in the notebook sector.

The direct-selling giant saw total shipments inch up just 1.5 per cent year-on-year to 9.9 million in the three months to the end of October.

In contrast, HP saw shipments boom 32.7 per cent to 13.1 million and Acer registered a 68.8 per cent increase after shipping 5.4 million units. Acer also overtook Dell in the notebook market, iSuppli said.

Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for iSuppli, said: “Ever since HP retook top spot it has been pulling away from Dell, but the contrast in fortunes was exaggerated this quarter. HP had a very strong performance in its fiscal fourth quarter in retail, with consumer PC revenues up about 40 per cent.”

Lenovo clung on to third spot overall, claiming 8.1 per cent marketshare compared with Acer’s 7.9 per cent.