Ever since the Reforming and Opening in China, the computer retailing industry has had a history of a few decades. In this process, some of the retailers have achieved scale operation through administration reorganization and innovation just like current chain exclusive stores and supermarkets, but some others still stick to the traditional way of single store operation. There are many problems with single store operation: the service area is small, there is low barrier for market entry, and the sourcing ability is weak. Also, there is not enough human resource. Over the recent years, IT retailers are more and more important.
In western countries, chain IT supermarkets like CompUSA, PCWorld are the main channels through which computers are sold. The most significant characteristics of them are professional.
Thankfully, there are already such IT consumption modes in China. Hongtusanbao(宏图三胞) PCMALL, the giant IT retailer in east China which was founded in year 2000, has copied the mode. It has three characteristics: the chain scale of Wal-Mart, the personalized customization of Dell, and the standardized service of McDonalds.
Where the future goes
Nowadays, the channels of IT retail include: computer cities, exclusive stores, department stores, and professional chain stores. It has been predicted that the IT industry will finally become chained. Due to the fact that individual stores are small in scale and cannot have powerful brands, IT retailers in China will have to cooperate more with computer producers, and directly sell goods fetched from the manufacturers to waiting customers. As a highly effective retailing channel, professional chain stores have good shopping environment, trustworthy cooperating brands, low cost operation, highly verified products, professional service, and different services for different customer groups.
Also, big chain stores of household electrical appliances are a market that needs explore. Big chain stores like Suning(苏宁) and Gome(国美) often have good reputation and credibility, and a large number of customers, and can provide many convenient services for customers. Thus big chain stores are sure to receive more attention in the future competition.
Besides, the online retailing for computers in China is now developing at a fast pace. Suning and Gome, despite their huge physical business, have already started their business online. Also, 360buy, Amazon, and Dangdang are also selling computers online. Big brands like Lenovo, Apple, Acer, Sony, Dell and Toshiba are much willing to cooperate.
After the influx of foreign capitals in grocery and household electrical appliances industries, IT retailing industry is inevitably going to be affected. And, household electrical appliance chain companies will also exert pressure on IT retailing. Thus, like other retailing industries, IT retailing will also face the potential problems of low profit, single way of gaining profit, and unregulated competition in the market. So, despite the development, there is still much to pay attention to.
Credit Photo： Photophoto