Results of CMP's Computer Retail Week Top 100 Vendors Report Indicate 1996 May Be a Tough Act To Follow

According To The Publication's May 26 Issue, Lower Prices and Unremarkable Demand Equal a Questionable Outlook For '97

May 28, 1997

According to the Computer Retail Week Top 100 Vendors report, a ranking of the industry's top revenue- producing computer vendors, retail hardware and software sales are up this year. The bad news, Computer Retail Week notes, is that 1997's flat market may make not make it possible for vendors and suppliers to hit the revenue highs that made 1996 such a lucrative year. Available in the May 26 issue of Computer Retail Week, the report reveals that sales revenue for the top 100 vendors grew 24.3 percent in 1996 -- from $21 billion to $26.1 billion -- compared with 1995.

"This year is shaping up to be a year without the growth we saw back in the early 90s," Computer Retail Week quotes Chris Pederson, Worldwide Brand Manager for Hewlett-Packard's Home Products Division. "It's been reasonably flat year to year, with a shift downward in price, which is creating a more demanding environment."

While 1997's performance remains to be seen, following are highlights of the market's 1996 performance, taken from the Computer Retail Week Top 100 Vendors report.

With 1996 revenues totaling more than $3.6 million dollars, Hewlett- Packard Co. ranks number one on the Computer Retail Week Top 100 Vendors list. Fremont, Calif.-based Creative Point ranks at number 100 with $31 million in revenues.

Seven companies more than doubled their sales from 1995 to 1996:" Netscape (number 82), up 420.5 percent, to $38 million; Visioneer (number 95), up 170.4 percent to $33.8 million; Seagate Technology (number 28), up 161.7 percent to $173 million; Iomega (number 13), up 158.6 percent to $375 million; The Learning Company (number 22), up 155.7 percent to $222.2 million; Motorola (number 53), up 102.4 percent to $85 million and case Logic (number 92), up 100.6 percent to $34.3 million.

"The gains of these companies resulted from major acquisitions," Computer Retail Week points out, "...but bona fide strength in consumer demand for computer peripherals was perhaps the single biggest contributor to the success of some of the largest suppliers to the retail market."

Only seven companies -- all of which are hardware companies -- showed declines in their retail sell-through in 1996 compared with 1995: Packard Bell NEC, Apple Computer, Epson America, PNY Electronics, Global Village Communications, MGV International and Centon Electronics.

Three of these companies, Computer Retail Week notes, sell memory products, "a category that saw one of the swiftest price swoons ever last year." Meanwhile, companies such as Apple and Packard Bell NEC were struggling against competitive pressures or distractions of merger-related activity. Epson's decline is attributed to intensified competition and the company's departure from the computer market. The decline in retail sales in 1995 to 1996 experienced by Global Village Communications -- a major distributor of Apple desktop and notebook computer modems -- "may be attributed to the impact of the precipitous decline in Apple's business," Computer Retail Week notes.

Computer Retail Week's Top 100 Vendor List is compiled annually using industry data, retail sources, financial reports, public and private information and the input of the suppliers themselves. The data reflects the sell-through (retail value) of sales for the 1996 calendar year through retail channels of distribution and the direct sales operations of retailers. For the full list of companies named to the Computer Retail Week Top 100 Vendors list, contact CMP Media Corporate Communications Specialist Leslie Dunbar at 516-562-7040 or send an e-mail to ldunbar(at)

Computer Retail Week is one of the leading newspapers for technology retailers. Each week, it provides critical information about new alliances, technologies and products for a wide audience of computer hardware and software retailers, mass merchants, software specialty stores and other Channel members. For the past seven years, Computer Retail Week has delivered breaking news weekly, and those stories are posted on the Computer Retail Week home page at

CMP Media Inc. provides publishing, marketing and information services to the broad high-technology spectrum -- the builders, sellers and users of technology -- through print and electronic media. All of CMP's publications and online products can be accessed through the company's TechWeb® site at Along with Computer Retail Week, CMP Channel Group print titles include Computer Reseller News and VARBusiness.

-0- 05/28/97

SOURCE: CMP Media Inc.

CONTACT: Leslie Dunbar, 516-562-7040,, or Catherine
Jarrat Koatz, 516-562-7827,, both of CMP Media