02 Jan 2013
Welcome back to work everyone! I'm sure you are all as delighted as I am to be back!
It has been an interesting Christmas economy wise - the shops were lamenting slower sales in the run up to Christmas, but the scary crush scenes at the post-Christmas sales as the tills rang up £3bn-plus in a matter of days, showed there is still money around.
As with businesses, consumers are getting wiser about how they spend their money. Although the amount of money people were spending in the supermarkets around where I live was quite staggering!
But with the sad demise of Comet in the months leading up to Christmas, it is proof that no-one is safe no matter how long they have been in the market.
Reading the market and adapting quickly to change are two keys to survival - our experience in the publishing industry has taught us that - staying still is just not an option anymore.
Retail is going to have a very tough year if predictions are to be believed, with the latest Deloitte figures warning of another 'year of distress' for the High Street, with some retailers not expected to survive the first three months.
In fact the number of High Street chains going to the wall has increased by almost a fifth in two year, Deloitte reveals.
January is always a bleak month as people recover from the post-Christmas splurge and payday seems ages away, but the UK jobs market is still buoyant according to reports, so there are plenty of people in employment being paid.
Sadly though the cost of living, which rises constantly, is sucking away all the spare cash people may have, so going out and spending a load of money on gadgets and gizmos is not going to be their first thought.
If you have been saving hard though in preparation, now and coming few weeks is the time to snap up some bargains.
Luckily in the channel, many firms are well prepared for the tough times and many have been busily restructuring their businesses to take advantage of subscription-based models to guarantee recurring revenue. The fruits of that are really paying off as stories on Channelweb today show. And we saw similar successes last year as well.
I always say this, but staying positive plays a massive part in success.
I think customers will continue to spend, but as in past years they are going to take longer to make decisions and actually part with their precious cash. Patience is going to be important in 2013!
I'm sure we will see a few fall along the wayside this year, but I'm confident that the IT channel is in for another solid year despite all the general economic doom and gloom.
Bring on 2013!