Coronavirus creates PC sales spike in Western Europe

Laptops on a shop display
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

PC sales in Western Europe saw a 38% year-on-year spike during the first three weeks of March, as the recent coronavirus outbreak forced many people to start work remotely.

The accelerating spread of COVID-19 has produced a surge in consumers buying devices in order to work from home, according to the latest research from IT market intelligence firm CONTEXT.

As European countries began to implement extreme measures to contain its spread, the demand for home office equipment caused notebook sales to expand by 51% year-on-year, while PCs rose by 9%.

For business-targeted products, the growth was even greater, with commercial notebook sales seeing a rise of 56% compared to a 44% increase for consumer-targeted products. In terms of desktops, there was year-on-year growth of 16% only in the business targeted segment, the research firm said.

In the top Western European markets, notebook sales growth was highest in Italy, following the heavy and early impact of COVID-19 on the country. As the nation imposed strict lockdown measures, Italian distributors saw a notebook sales boost of 110% during the first three weeks of March. Spain, which has also been heavily hit by the virus, came next with growth of 87%, with Germany (52%) and the UK (50%) following closely behind.

In terms of stock, CONTEXT said this demand for home-working devices has caused a “significant reduction” in notebook stock throughout a number of countries in the region. With incoming supply disrupted to different levels by manufacturing and logistics issues, supplying PCs for the growing number of homeworkers could prove to be a challenge in the coming 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,” the analyst firm explained. “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.”

Daniel Todd

Dan is a freelance writer and regular contributor to ChannelPro, covering the latest news stories across the IT, technology, and channel landscapes. Topics regularly cover cloud technologies, cyber security, software and operating system guides, and the latest mergers and acquisitions.

A journalism graduate from Leeds Beckett University, he combines a passion for the written word with a keen interest in the latest technology and its influence in an increasingly connected world.

He started writing for ChannelPro back in 2016, focusing on a mixture of news and technology guides, before becoming a regular contributor to ITPro. Elsewhere, he has previously written news and features across a range of other topics, including sport, music, and general news.