Press_Release_content_27 - 04 - 2020 (4)

PC sales in Western Europe up by +38% in early March as Covid-19 drives demand for home-office equipment

London, 27th April 2020 - Volume sales of PCs through Western Europe’s largest distributors increased by +38% year-on-year in the first three weeks of March as the accelerating spread of coronavirus produced a surge in sales of remote-working devices, according to the latest data published by CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.

As the crisis across Europe worsened, and countries took successively stricter measures to contain the spread of the virus, the resulting demand for home-office equipment led to a +51% year-on-year growth in sales of notebooks and a +9% rise in those of desktops.  The increase was greater for business-targeted products: commercial notebook sales were up by +56% compared to +44% for consumer-targeted products while, for desktops, there was year-on-year growth (of +16%) only in the business-targeted segment.

Looking at the top Western European markets, the growth in notebook sales was led by Italy, the European country first hit by the outbreak and the first to introduce strict measures to slow down the spread: Italian distributors saw notebook sales increase by +110% in the first three weeks of March. Spain was next with a growth rate of +87%, followed by Germany (+52%), the UK (+50%) and France (+5%).

The surge in demand for home-working devices over the past couple of weeks has led to a significant reduction in notebook stock in a number of Western European countries. With incoming supply also disrupted to varying degrees (depending on the OEM and product category) by manufacturing and logistics issues, providing PCs for the rising number of home workers could turn into a challenge over the next few weeks.

“The present exceptionally strong growth rates are related to the sudden need to migrate employees to home-working and are expected to be temporary”, said Marie-Christine Pygott, senior analyst at CONTEXT. “Nevertheless, in many organisations, the current crisis is likely to have raised awareness of the economic necessity of providing sound digital solutions, and this is expected to result in increased investment in this area over the longer term.”

Year-on-year notebook volume growth in early March 2020           

Countries (early March -first 3 weeks)
United Kingdom            50.3%

Germany                        52.4%

Italy                                110.3%

Spain                              87.1%

France                             5.4%

Netherlands                    35.2%

Switzerland                     40.7%

Sweden                           13.0%

Denmark                         32.2%

Portugal                          26.3%

Ireland                            121.7%

Austria                            56.0%

Norway                          46.2%

Poland                           51.0%


CONTEXT’s market intelligence, performance benchmarks and opportunity analysis empower clients to optimise operations and accelerate tomorrow’s revenues. With over 35 years of industry partnership and experience reporting on large datasets, CONTEXT delivers analytics at all points in the value chain, providing clients with actionable insights rooted in concrete data and a profound understanding of customer needs. CONTEXT is headquartered in London, with over 300 staff across the world and in 2019 was recognised as one of the UK’s Best Workplaces™ by Great Place to Work®.
Press Contact
Funda Cizgenakad
T: +44 7876 616 246


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