Beating the summer slump

Tech Data’s latest promotion is set to address one of the market’s biggest problems, the summer slump.

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By  Mark Sutton Published  May 17, 2003

Tech Data’s latest promotion is set to address one of the market’s biggest problems, the summer slump. As businesses in the region begin to wind down for the summer, Tech Data says that it sees business tail off as well, sometimes by as much as 20%, over a period of months, not weeks.

The summer slump is one of those things that is peculiar to this region. The French and Belgians may go on holiday for most of August, but this tendency towards month-long holidays is on the decline in Europe—businesses cannot afford to close down operations for that length of time anymore.

Of course, there is no comparison in climate between Europe and the Gulf. What is a traditional pleasant vacation for Europeans is pretty close to a necessity for residents of the Gulf, as people seek to escape the heat.

But can your business really afford to take a 20% hit for up to three months? There are always traditional peaks to any business—with IT they would be around the year end, the end of fiscal quarters, or possibly alongside major trade shows, but at the same time, this summer slump is unique to the region, and quite dramatic.

So what can be done to avoid the slip? For a start, it is highly unlikely that major government departments are about to change their ways and start operating normally over the summer, which rules out tender business.

Secondly, most major corporations, even if they don’t quite shut up shop completely in the way the public sector does, are still reluctant to make purchasing decisions, as key staff are away. This rules out all but emergency purchases from the high end corporates.

But there is one sector that Tech Data has identified, and which it is targeting, that doesn’t wind down quite so much—retail. With Dubai Summer Surprises trying to keep families entertained in the UAE, there are already moves to sustain retail over the summer, and the IT industry can hopefully capitalise on this.

And most interestingly at all, the biggest slice of retail that is being targeted are people like you and me—those that are going to be in the Gulf for the summer, maybe without their families, who want some entertainment now that most of the sports seasons are over, and that it’s too hot to go outside.

Tech Data reckons on offering some deals to appeal to the (mostly male) IT-savvy consumer, to keep us all entertained over the summer months. Sounds like an ideal way to beat the summer blues.

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