Black Friday failing to spur a laptop sales spike

A close examination of sales flowing through distribution has led Context to conclude that the impact of Black Friday will be slight

There are still a couple of days left but the signs are that this is not going to be a bumper Black Friday weekend for those selling laptops.

The offers are out there, with the likes of offering tempting deals, but according to Context 2018 is not going to surpass sales from last year.

The analyst house has been tracking distribution hardware volumes and come to the conclusion that the hyped weekend of shopping deals is not going to spur a significant sales spike.

The firm has been keeping a close eye on the six weeks at the start of Q4, compared to the same period last year. Laptops were chosen as a category that would illustrate the appetite for consumer tech.

“Most vendors prepare for this event in advance by ensuring most of their shipments to retailers and distributors are largely complete by the end of week 39. So distribution volumes into retail/etail after this time are a good indicator of consumer demand,” says Adam Simon, Global MD at Context.

“Overall we’re not seeing any major year-on-year volume sales increases in notebooks. And if there is growth in sell-out compared to 2017, it could mean a weaker December,” he added.

Volumes through distribution have been dropping year on year, down by 11% on those first six weeks of Q4.

Some of the reasons for that go beyond the desire for the technology with a growing feeling among UK shoppers that Black Friday is not worth getting excited about.

Research from the consumer association Which? found that many of the deals on offer this week were not as good as they first seemed. The organisation tracked numerous tech deals in last year's Black Friday and found that six months later they were the same price or even cheaper.

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