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COVID-19 impact: Summer sales of consumer durables to be hit

Consumer durables companies fear that they will lose out on peak summer sales as the ongoing lockdown is likely to have a severe impact on sales of air conditioners, refrigerators and other white goods.

This is significant with rating agency Care Ratings estimating the domestic market for appliances and consumer electronics at Rs. 76,400 crore in 2019.

The covid-19 impact will be felt on sales of appliances from March through May, which account for 30-35% of total sales, according to Kamal Nandi, president, Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association, and business head and executive vice-president, Godrej Appliances. “June accounts for 7%. If these four months get impacted, the industry will be impacted,” said Nandi.

Sales of consumer durables in March and April is likely to nearly halve from the year earlier, as the lockdown, which began on 25 March, is set to extend to almost half of April, said Nandi. “Overall, we are looking at a picture where we will lose out 25%-30% business in the whole year,” he said.

Sales of electronics, appliances, and mobile phones have remained suspended with shops closed across the country. Top online retailers such as Amazon and Flipkart have also temporarily stopped selling such products as they fulfil essential grocery orders. Moreover, most top manufacturers of electronics goods have suspended plant operations following the lockdown.

India hopes to lift the 21-day lockdown on 15 April, but a rise in the number of fresh cases could prompt the government to continue with the restrictions, said Eric Braganza, president, Haier Appliances India. “The industry will take a hit on its summer sales. As Haier India works on a calendar year, this will further impact our outlook for 2020,” he said.

“Any delay in resumption of normal life would impact sales of products such as air conditioners and refrigerators,” said Shashi Arora, CEO, Lloyd, which sells cooling products. Livemint

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