The Economy is recovering and Retail Confidence is increasing!

According to the brand-new study from InterConnection the total European market for POS Systems reached a turnover of 2.2 billion Euros, an increase of 21.2% from 1.9 billion in 2002. Forecasts for the following years show that this trend will continue. 2004 will show an increase of 16.5% in total turnover. In 2005 it will grow 17.2%. The market has suffered a lot from the economic downturn in the past years but now more money is available for investments in new technologies. This is reflected by the shift from traditional payment solutions to fully integrated PC-based POS Systems. But what are the strongest segments?

The slowly recovering European Economy is directly affecting the POS Systems market. This means that many businesses are currently updating their payment solutions or at least plan to do so in the near future. New innovations like RFID and Wireless LAN further drive market capitalisation. The rather small Italian market showed the strongest increase from 2002 to 2003 of almost 55%. Followed by Spain and Portugal with a combined increase of 38%. The Benelux states and Northern Europe still showed a solid increase while France increased by only 10%. The strongest market, Germany, grew the least. only 5%. This trend is expected to slow down slightly in 2004 while Germany and France are going to catch up.


An interesting development can be seen when comparing the segments. While the negative development from 2001 to 2002 was uniform through all the segments, catering and service stations showed a very strong recovery in 2003 with an increase of over 40%. Gastronomy and bakeries were lagging behind with an increase of not even 8%. The biggest segment, retail and wholesale were in the midfield with 20% and 31% increase.


Looking at the product groups, one can see a familiar development. Numeric systems, although profiting from the general recovery, showed a steady decline. Alphanumeric Systems performed a little better, even showing increases of around 10% after 2002. POS systems benefit from a good pricing strategy which resulted in an increase in turnover of 24.2 % in 2003. But the relatively high price might result in worse development in the future. PC-based systems are the strongest product group and will continue to be so although the increase of 23.6% in 2003 is slightly less than in POS systems.


While in the United States the top three players account for more than 80% of the total market, the European market shows a wider dispersion. But still there is a concentration on the big players of which the top three account for about 50%. However there are many small specialized companies that take a piece of the cake. More and more IT-businesses start developing implementations for payment solutions and extend the systems towards fully integrated ERM solutions.


Small companies with a long tradition in producing cash registers are more and more pushed out of the market because they cannot keep up with the constant innovations. While in-store connectivity is already a given, RFID is shaping up to be the new must-have technology.


But does the flexibility of PC-based systems outweigh the reliability and usability of POS systems? The future of POS systems lies in the price.


The IC-Market Monitor Panel POS-Systems in Europe is a detailed market and branch analysis of the European market. It contains market figures in value and quantity for the years 2001-2003, development predictions until 2005f, as well as detailed sales figures and market shares of the TOP-20 providers in Europe. The study is now available from the InterConnection Consulting Group.

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