Consumer electronics sales have bucked the slowdown of overall consumption this festive season with leading retail chains and brands saying sales has grown by 9-12% this Diwali till now as compared to a flat sales during last year Diwali.
India’s largest smartphone and consumer electronics retail chain, Reliance Digital CEO Brian Bade said its early days, but sales are clearly better than last year Diwali.
“Half of the season is still left so no point being too optimistic. But as of now it’s good growth. This year it’s been a good iPhone and OnePlus smartphone launches while other categories too are doing well,” said Bade.
Mumbai’s leading consumer electronics chain Kohinoor Electronics director Vishal Mewani said there is 10-11% growth in Diwali sales as of now as compared to flat Diwali sales last year. He said the chain has increased inventory level by 8-10% than last year and is further beefing up stock.
“Ecommerce sales have not been able to make an impact like last year. All large brands have also offered discounts for offline sales which too are better than last year, however it’s not only a discount-led growth. Consumer sentiments are better than last year and it’s improving on a day-to-day basis,” he said.
East’s leading chain Great Eastern Retail director Pulkit Baid said the retailer has grown sales by 12% this festive season. “Mostly premium and mid-premium products are doing well. The pent up demand is fostering growth in the last two weeks of the season. If this continues till November, then we can for sure say there is a complete recovery in consumption,” he said.
Gurmeet Singh, chairman and managing director at Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India, said the company has not experienced any effect of the economic slowdown this festive season. He said sales have grown driven by premium inverter air-conditioners.
“Right from the very beginning of the festive season, we are witnessing the same enthusiastic sales that we usually do. In fact, there is an interesting and evident change in Indian consumer preferences, especially in consumer electronics purchases. Consumers’ primary selection criteria are the latest technology, features, good quality product and warranty; their buying choices are not easily affected by discounts being offered,” said Singh.
The festive season – which starts with Onam in Kerala, covers festivals like Navratri-Durga Puja-Dussehra, Karva Chauth, Dhanteras and ends with Diwali – is crucial for white goods and electronic makers accounting for around 35-40% of their annual sales. It has been critical period for the industry this year since television sales have been flat from January to September while home appliances have performed better but still grown in single digit.―Economic Times