10/22/2009 3:50:00 PM
Carphone Warehouse bets on laptops in Q4
Carphone Warehouse is placing its faith in connected laptops this Christmas with industry experts predicting ‘spectacular’ growth over the festive period.
The retailer has identified mobile data as the clear potential growth area, amid the explosion of social networking, combined with the fact that mobile data usage market penetration remains at less than 20%.
Industry rivals are also expected to make substantial pushes on laptops this Christmas, but Carphone has led the charge by refreshing its entire laptop range on Thursday (22 October).
The retailer took a trading margin hit of £500,000 in one week, earlier this month, as it sold 9,000 laptops at a loss in a bid to clear its old stock. This was in the belief that it will easily make up the shortfall on its new stock during the Christmas rush.
Carphone’s new range is focused on the launch of the eagerly anticipated Windows 7 platform. The retailer has 12 new laptops and netbooks, including Dell, Samsung and Sony models. Four in the new range are ‘ultra thin’ models, a hybrid of a laptop and netbook.
GfK figures show that netbook sales increased by 120% in September this year, compared with September 2008. A total of 270,000 netbooks were sold in Q3 this year, with 14% of those sold on subsidised deals through mobile retailers.
Consumers are expected to be tempted towards netbooks in an economic shift that has seen many models become cheaper than high-end smartphones.
Neil Old, Carphone’s commercial director for wireless products, told Mobile: ‘Our intention is to do to mobile computing what we’ve done to the mobile phone market; this will be a landmark period in computing. Our new laptop display will have a much greater presence than before.
‘We’re masters at matching the customer’s need to a product and an appropriate tariff, and we’ve got some really compelling propositions, with all the new laptops available for free on certain tariffs. It’s going to be a massive area this Christmas – and will be the category that delivers the largest percentage growth year on year, without question.’