Retail and wholesale IT spending will grow between 2002 and 2006 despite the economic slump, according to researcher IDC.
The company said that the western European retail and wholesale sectors are expected to grow this year, with IT investments increasing 7.4 per cent and six per cent respectively.
Companies will spend the most on software, a market that will swell from $4.5bn last year to $9.3bn in 2006, according to the IT Spending in Retail/Wholesale, Forecasts and Analysis, 2001-2006 report.
Cinzia Rinelli, senior research analyst with IDC's European vertical markets group, explained that the need for security software will increase with the wireless devices deployed by companies.
Another big area is the integration of online and offline activities, Rinelli said.
European wholesale IT spending reached $12bn last year and is forecast to hit $19bn by the end of 2006, the report said.
Software will again be the biggest spending area, with double-digit growth every year between now and 2006.
But there is bad news for hardware manufacturers as spending has declined in 2002 both in retail and wholesale, with growth of a mere four to five per cent expected until 2006.
The report added that wireless point of sale devices, which typically operate over a wireless local area network, might be one area where the trend could be bucked.
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