Specialism: Specialist storage and components
Key vendors: ASUS, Antec, Apacer, Canyon, Liteon, Pioneer, Prestigio, Samsung, Toshiba and Verbatim
Revenue: £14.4m (-18%)
Claiming to draw on a consistent stock holding of more than £3m, Basingstoke-based Smithie UK bills itself as the “go-to source” for premium storage and IT hardware components.
Revenues for its year to 31 October 2022 fell 18% to £14.4m, with MD Shane Hilden characterising the market Smithie operates in as “on its knees” (before quickly adding that “good business will come back”). SSD prices have halved in the last 12 months, he confided to us (see below).
“We do exactly what it sez on the tin” (top)
Quickfire Q&A with MD Shane Hilden
What’s an obscure fact about Smithie, or you personally, most people won’t know?
I’m 20 years in and I still love it!!
Just how tough is it in the market right now?
The market is very poor, not seen it like this ever.
What bright spots are you seeing?
My new grandson.
What’s been your high point of the last 12 months?
My football team.
Name one thing Smithie does better than anyone else
We do exactly what it sez on the tin.
What’s been the biggest development or news story in UK IT distribution so far in 2023?
Not sure I have seen one to be honest. I have seen SSD technology fall over 50% in price in the last 12 months, but seen the cost of living, food, heating our homes double. I believe the one of the biggest issues will be the interest rates: for many years business have been working with low rates, but today is a different story.
Which technology area or vendor are you betting big on for H2 2023?
Not sure; someone need to bring something to the party!
The analysts see distribution becoming increasingly characterised by cloud and marketplaces. Is that reflected in the evolution of your own business?
Well, we sell storage, cloud needs storage, simple!
Can you give us a prediction on how the distribution sector will evolve over the next 12 months?
I believe the market we trade in is on its knees. It’s the circle of life and we all need to maintain a margin on the products we sell to survive. Good business will come back!