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(Nikkei BP Group)



(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)



















  • Japan’s PC Sales in 3rd Week of Dec. Level Off
  • January 18, 1999 (TOKYO) — Sales of personal computers at Japan’s mass retailers of electric appliances in the third week of December 1998 declined from the previous week.
    This was the second straight week that sales fell below the week-before level. However, sustained growth is observed in sales in comparison with the same period in 1997.

    According to data collected by GfK Japan Ltd., PC sales at 2,000 large shops in the third week of December (Dec. 21 to 27, 1998) fell 9.2 percent in number and 7.4 percent in value from the previous week. (See table.)

    GfK Japan Ltd. is a data service company handling point of sales data.

    This decrease for two straight weeks in comparison with the previous week is the first such occurrence since the second week of October 1998. Notebook PCs sales were below the week-earlier levels in the six weeks since the second week of November. Also pushing down overall sales was the fact that desktop PC sales suffered double-digit declines in the 12 weeks since the fourth week of September 1998.

    Nikkei Market Access attributes the drop in sales in the third week of December to the early start of 1998 winter sales campaigns by PC makers, compared to the previous year.

    However, the figures in comparison with the same period in 1997 (Dec. 22 to 28, 1997) were still brisk because the number of units sold increased 56.7 percent and the sales volume increased by 54.5 percent.

    The average sales price registered 233,821 yen (US$2,100), up 4,578 yen from 229,243 yen in the previous week (US$2,050).

    Nikkei Market Access said that a leveling off of sales was observed in the continuous year-on-year increases of more than 70 percent since the first week of November 1998.

    In 1997, record PC sales were observed in the last week of December, because a number of large PC shops offered massive price cuts on PCs to clear inventories. This resulted in an overall price decline of nearly 14,000 yen (US$125) from the previous week.

    On the other hand, at the end of 1998, in an effort to avoid the same situation, PC manufacturers reduced shipment volumes, which caused some popular models to be out of stock. Nikkei Market Access said that PC sales in the fourth week of December 1998 probably didn’t increase greatly in number of units sold compared to 1997.

    The data GfK Japan releases are from about 2,000 outlets of 41 firms. GfK Japan picked the 41 in 1996 and has been releasing their data since then.

    GfK Japan covers a greater number of outlets with combined unit-based sales accounting for about 10 percent of total domestic PC shipments and about 25 percent of retail sales.

    The following graphs are at the Nikkei Market Access Web site in Japanese only:

    – Trends in the number of (all types of) PCs sold in a week.

    – Trends in the sales amount (in money) of (all types of) PCs in a week.

    – Trends in average sales price of (all types of) PCs sold in a week.

    – Trends in the number of desktop PCs sold in a week.

    – Trends in the sales amount of desktop PCs in a week.

    – Trends in the average sales price of desktop PCs in a week.

    – Trends in the number of notebook PCs sold in a week.

    – Trends in the sales amount of notebook PCs in a week.

    – Trends in the average sales price of notebook-size PCs in a week.

    Table: PC sales in the third week of December 1998 (GfK Japan survey)
    Comparison with the same week in the previous year refers to Dec. 22 through Dec. 28, 1997.

    (return to news)

    Related story: Japan’s PC Sales in Second Week of Dec. Expand Sharply

    (Nikkei Market Access)



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