With many sectors of the Hungarian economy experiencing severe slowdowns or stopping entirely, demand for IT equipment — mainly but not limited to laptops and a few other select household appliances — has surged, retailers told daily Magyar Nemzet.
Media Markt, a German electronics retailer present in 13 European countries, said that since Hungary announced the closure of schools and universities, and made the switch to long-distance learning, demand at the company’s Hungarian stores has increased fivefold for laptops.
At the same time, there has also been a significant surge in the sale of desktop PCs, monitors, tablets, and webcams.
Media Markt also sells a range of household appliances, and among these, demand for freezers has increased as people build up their food stockpiles at home in anticipation of a shortage.
All this has occurred despite the fact that both agricultural producers and food processing companies have repeatedly assured that the country’s food supply was more than adequate.
In most basic food categories — including bakery products, dairy, and meat — Hungary produces about 130 percent of its domestic demand, and as exports are slowing down significantly, there should be no shortage in these key food products.
Online electronics retailer EMag, which last year merged with Extreme Digital to create the largest such company in the region, also said they experienced at least a doubling in laptop sales as well as bread machines and steam cleaners that can be used for disinfecting clothing.
Home sports equipment have also seen a sales jump, including treadmills and stationary bicycles.
The demand for electronics follows much the same pattern as in Italy, where laptop sales jumped twentyfold in March.
Although both retailers interviewed by Magyar Nemzet said they stocked up in laptops at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, resupply is falling behind as many Asian companies have halted production and the remaining producers are experiencing parts and logistics problems.
Title image: Media Markt store in Hungary