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High street laptop sales die near Xmas

Want to know if your turkey is done over the holidays? Simple. You stick a themometer where the sun don’t shine or stab it with a sharp blade and check if the juices run clear. Sometimes we use hardcore science to judge a situation, other times the ‘simple test’ works best. KitGuru acts like a human polygraph to bring you ‘the truth’.

For decades, London’s Tottenham Court Road has been the biggest electronics re-sale hub in the UK. Over time, the products purchased have moved from 8-tracks to music centres to Trinitron TVs to laptops.

Even though the area has been decimated by the recession, it’s still packing a lot of electronics stores. Some of these are owner operated, for example struggling Micro Anvika. Others will look like a single shop, but every counter inside is – effectively – a separate business. Something you’re only likely to discover when something goes wrong with your ‘unbelievable bargain of a digital SLR camera’ and you need a refund.

Speaking with one of the most experienced operators in the street, we discovered a startling number. He asked us not to mention the store name, so we won’t. But we did check what we were told with two other establishments – and while they were not as forthcoming with the numbers, the looks on their faces said that their experience of Xmas 2011 was the same.

“Christmas Eve last year, we sold over 40 laptops”, said the manager. “This year, it was just 4 units”.

Roll the clock back across the 4 years before that and the story is even worse. From the peak push of 2007, with help from a pre-bust economy and the market changing release of the Eee PC from Asus.

How many high street electronics resellers will go the way of the Aiwa iPod by next Xmas?

KitGuru says: We’ll need to wait a while for Eszter Morvay and the super calculating abilities of IDC to tell us exactly what happened, but one thing is for certain. The high street sale of laptops has been decimated by a triple action attack of Apple’s iPad, supermarkets and onlien retailers.

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