Delayed Summer Keeps Appliance Companies In Cold

Consumer electronics companies dropped prices of slow-moving products by up to 20 percent this month after tepid demand led to a pile-up of inventory, three senior industry executives said.

The move was prompted by flat sales since Diwali and a delayed summer, which led to no uptick in sales for cooling appliances like refrigerators and air-conditioners, the executives said.

The latest report by DBS-Emkay said companies like LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Whirlpool, Godrej, Hitachi, Daikin, Voltas and Carrier have dropped prices this month by up to 20 percent from that of July or October.

The report pointed out that some brands, which raised prices in February, reversed it in March. Carrier dropped prices of 1.5-tonne 3-star AC by 5 percent, while Whirlpool cut it by 3 percent for a similar model. In refrigerators, LG lowered prices by 5-9 percent month-on-month in March for two models. IFB dropped prices of some of its washing machine models.

Godrej Appliances business head Kamal Nandi said there is price aggression among brands because of depressed demand. “Brands want to drive volumes with intense sales pressure even in March due to extended winter. There are plenty of discounts and consumer promotional schemes right now in the market,” he said.

Vishal Mewani, director of Mumbai’s leading retailer with 26 stores, Kohinoor Electronics, said the consumer buying potential has reduced after Diwali. “The delayed summer too has impacted sales and we now expect summer appliance sales to pick up from April as compared to March. In 55-inch television, brands have dropped prices by about Rs 5000-8000,” he said.

According to the DBS-Emkay report, brands like Panasonic, Hitachi, Daikin, Carrier, Voltas, Lloyd and Whirlpool dropped AC prices 4-20 percent in March as against July. In the refrigerator, brands like Godrej, Samsung, LG and Whirlpool have dropped prices by 5-17 percent as compared to October. There has been a similar price drop in washing machines too by brands like IFB, Samsung, Whirlpool, LG, Panasonic and Godrej.―Business Telegraph

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