Channel ends Q2 2020 on a high across Western Europe

Analysis of the market from Context reveals that the end of the second quarter continued to deliver growth for many across Western Europe, in spite of the pandemic

The channel has closed out the second quarter of 2020 in a robust fashion, with many European countries delivering decent year-on-year (YoY) growth in June.

Figures from Context, which gets its numbers from Western European distributors, revealed that growth was up by 14% across the region.

In the UK, the figure for June was 6%, but the analyst house pointed out that the country had been more consistent over the course of the pandemic.

The Italian channel enjoyed a surge as the country exited lockdown, with YoY growth up by 38%. There were also improvements in Germany (17%), France (15%) and Spain (19%).

Context has been operating a pandemic index to chart weekly revenue trends and found that the UK, along with almost everywhere else in Western Europe, is on an upward trajectory.

Adam Simon, global managing director at Context, said that the second quarter had been strong: “The European IT channel has closed Q2 2020 on a high.”

But he added that the channel was moving into another phase of uncertainty as the pandemic continued to roll on, and so Context would start tracking volume and value growth.

Drilling down into product areas, the largest-selling category was still mobile computing, along with telecoms, components and accessories.

Web cameras had a dramatic rise, with sales up by 158%, thanks to home workers and schoolers, and headsets and microphones also enjoyed increases. Workstations and notebooks were up because of the same reasons.

Across Western Europe, the retail channel is ahead of their corporate counterparts with e-tailers up by 24% and retail chains climbing by 30%.

Figures coming out of the industry indicate that anywhere between 50-70% of employers expect mobile working to remain permanent, even after the pandemic ends. Covid-19 had also taken away the need to prove the case for many collaboration technologies.

One of the challenges for any industry watcher is that the current market conditions are unprecedented and using normal models is difficult.

Discussing its recent examination of the monitor market, Dominika Koncewicz, senior analyst for displays at Context, talked about some of the challenges facing the industry.

“The coming quarter is traditionally weak because of holidays and, even though there will be less travelling this year, it would be unwise to be optimistic about the coming months,” she said.

“Vendors and distributors are also concerned about the extent to which demand may have peaked in the first and second quarters of 2020, affecting the second half of the year. There is much still to learn about the pandemic and what it means for people and their material needs,” she added.

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