Global EPOS market on path to recovery

The global EPOS market is recovering from the recessionary environment of 2008 and 2009, according to new research by London-based strategic research and consulting firm RBR. The number of programmable EPOS terminals shipped worldwide increased by 11% in 2010 to 1.38 million, and the total installed base of terminals reached 10 million.

Despite a pick-up in EPOS shipments in 2010, the challenging economic climate is leading some retailers and hospitality operators to operate their EPOS terminals for longer than usual before replacement. Furthermore, new installation activity remains generally subdued.
 
Global Programmable EPOS Shipments (millions)

Source: Global EPOS and Self-Checkout 2011 (RBR)
 
IBM still world's largest supplier of EPOS terminals
IBM accounts for 22% of global programmable EPOS terminal shipments, and leads the market in North America, Latin America, western Europe and the Middle East and Africa (MEA). Germany's Wincor Nixdorf is the second largest supplier worldwide, and the largest supplier to the central and eastern European (CEE) market. Globally, Wincor Nixdorf is followed closely by NCR, which has a strong presence in the Americas and MEA. Japan's Toshiba TEC is the largest Asian supplier, and is the leader in the Asia-Pacific region due to its strong position in its home market.
 
Suppliers' Shares of Programmable EPOS Shipments Worldwide, 2010

Source: Global EPOS and Self-Checkout 2011 (RBR)
 
Asia-Pacific, led by China, is largest regional market
Asia-Pacific is the largest regional EPOS market, accounting for 32% of global shipments in 2010. Total EPOS shipments to the region increased by 7% to 440,000, thanks especially to strong growth in China. In contrast, the more mature Japanese market has stagnated in recent years.

Western Europe is the second largest region for EPOS shipments, with France and Turkey in particular showing strong growth. North America ranked third in terms of shipments, but remains the largest regional market when measured by installed base. Shipments to both regions grew in 2010, but remained well below the levels recorded in 2007 and 2008, suggesting that full recovery is still some way off.
 
Emerging markets to drive future growth
RBR forecasts that global EPOS shipments will increase by 14% in 2011 and 12% in 2012, as retailers and hospitality operators resume replacement and new installation activity. Growth will then continue at a slower rate until 2015 and 2016, when the market downturn of 2008-2010 will cause a fall in shipments, as fewer machines will need replacement.

The developing markets of Latin America, CEE and MEA, which together represent just 14% of 2010 shipments, have excellent long-term potential. In Latin America, Brazil will drive future EPOS shipments growth, while Russia will have a similar significance in CEE.

At a global level, the installed base within the hospitality sector is expected to increase by a CAGR of 6% between 2010 and 2016. Penetration of programmable EPOS units at the point-of-service is still low in this segment, not least because of the use of more basic alternatives such as electronic cash registers. This reflects the fragmented nature of the hospitality industry compared to the retail sector independent operators are less likely than large chains to use EPOS terminals.

Installations in the food/non-food segment (hypermarkets, supermarkets, convenience stores) are forecast to grow by just 4%, a consequence not only of higher existing penetration but also of migration away from traditional employee-operated terminals to self-service alternatives.

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