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Consumer Durables Hope For A Turnaround

Consumer durable firms are pinning their hopes on the upcoming festival season, despite rising concerns about a consumption slowdown. Companies have lined up new product ranges and are hoping to sweeten the deal with far more aggressive financing and promotional offers this season.

Key players in the industry said they are targeting double digit growth in sales.

Talking about industry expectations, Kamal Nandi, President of Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA), said, “In the first quarter of this fiscal year, the consumer durables industry witnessed good sales driven by strong demand for cooling products. However, post July, there has been softer sales momentum similar to what other sectors have been witnessing. But now, the industry is optimistic that the recent stimulus measures by the government coupled with factors such as good monsoon and agri output will boost demand.”

Nandi, who is the Executive Vice President and Business Head at Godrej Appliances added, “We are targeting 15-20 percent sales growth with our new product range of refrigerators and washing machines and lucrative financing schemes. This year we are not just offering aggressive financing schemes for premium products but across all categories including the entry level products.”

Vijay Babu, Vice President- Home Appliances, LG Electronics India said that overall the company is looking at 30 per cent growth compared to the same period last year.

Makers of white-goods are also beefing up product ranges to cater to customers in smaller townswhere good monsoon is expected to stimulate demand.

Raju Pullan, Senior Vice President, Consumer Electronics Business, Samsung India, said that the company expects to clock double digit sales growth across its consumer electronic products.

Assured free gifts, cashback offers, combo deals with free products, financing schemes, besides extended warranty are part of the bonanaza to woo consumers. Eric Braganza , President Haier India, said, “As the purchasing power of the consumer is relatively high during this period, we expect to witness a growth of 30-35 percent in the sales during the upcoming festive season.”

Besides new launches in existing categories, companies are also strengthening their presence in new categories. KG Singh, Vice-President, Marketing, Whirlpool India, said that not only has the company enriched its product portfolio by introducing premium designs and features, it has also strengthened its presence beyond the core categories. The Hindu Business Line

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