Great Depression 2.0? Nah, Says IT Distributor

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

While the economic outlook may have some people talking about a second Great Depression, IT distributor D&H, which weathered the actual Great Depression, says 2009 doesn't look so bad. Business is up for D&H, and the distributor is offering some insight into technology categories that appear to be more recession-proof.

While the economic outlook may have some people talking about a second Great Depression, one company that weathered the actual Great Depression in the 1930s and is still going strong says that it's ready for whatever 2009 brings – and so far things don't look so terrible.

In spite of gloomy news about Black Friday and consumer and business spending, IT distributor D&H Distribution reports that business has been up over 10 percent in the last 10 days over the same period a year ago, according to Mary Campbell, a D&H vice president.

"The last two weeks we are outperforming what we thought we would be," Campbell says.

And that's just the most recent bit of good news from the Harrisburg, Pa.-based distributor that specializes in SMB solution providers and their customers.

D&H also notes that in the most recent fiscal quarter from August through October, D&H saw an 11 percent increase in business year over year and also saw the following year-over-year sales increases in the following categories:

  • Mobility: 53 percent increase in sales
  • SMB servers: 68 percent increase in sales
  • Storage: 27 percent increase in sales

Campbell notes that notebooks, which are included in the mobility category, continue to be very popular and that notebook sales for notebook vendors are still forecast to be strong next year.

"People are still buying despite the economy," Campbell says. According to Campbell, D&H's solution providers and end customers, as SMBs, don't feel as great an economic fluctuation as corporate enterprises. "Smaller offices are used to having to do more," she says. "Like everybody, we are cautious. But we are able to buckle down during these times. We are cautiously optimistic."

D&H executives believe that the following IT solution categories will prove to be the most recession-resistant:

  • Mobility, including netbooks, smartphones and notebooks.
  • Server management solutions, such as Intel's vPro and Microsoft's System Center Essentials.
  • Small-business leasing – D&H says more companies are expressing an interest in leasing as a financing option. The company points out that "where not every small office can afford $5,000 to implement a Windows environment across various workstations, an $80-a-month lease agreement is more palatable."
  • Document imaging and scanner products can help companies convert paper receipts and other documents into electronic versions to help with compliance on federal regulations.
  • Data storage and security.
Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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