“I am convinced that on a short-run, the IT&C market will face a new round of closures and mergers, between vendors, retailers and even between online players. KTech collapse is only the peak of the iceberg”, said the head of the company who administrates marketonline.ro, mediadot.ro, azerty.ro and ghelir.ro websites.

To online retailers, the downfall of providers could be one of the biggest threats.

“The collapse of a vendor would severely impact online retailing, as it would spark an avalanche of service-related issues”, said the head of Kelion.

This year, he continued, the hardware market in Romania, both online and mainstream, will fall by 40-50% year-on-year.

“Any prediction made last year for 2009, will be revised downward. It is hard to make a projection for this year, as there are many overhead data. Maybe the gain triggered by the shift to online shopping from traditional retail would be much narrower than the market loss. As things appear now, I see a 40-50% reduction of the hardware market”, said Mihailescu.

Still, if lending standards are eased, the 2009 fall could be capped to 30%, he added.

The local hardware market was valuated at 1.6 billion euros in 2008, up 33.5% from 1.2 billion euros a year earlier.

“There are signs heralding a resumption of lending, so the third quarter could see a market turnaround. I expect the mobile solution segment to climb this year, probably flat-screen TV segment as well, as their price will be very low”, said Mihailescu.