Consumer durable firms raked in the moolah this festival season after battling challenges in the first half of the pandemic year. Owing to an uptick in demand for premium appliances, many key brands said they witnessed strong double-digit sales growth in the festival period, beginning with Navratri and till the Diwali weekend.
Vijay Babu, Vice-President-Home Appliances, LG Electronics India, said, “This has been the best festival period in many years. We registered a growth of nearly 32 per cent and in the premium segment the growth was even higher at 60 per cent as compared to the previous festival season. We saw strong demand for premium products such as higher-capacity refrigerators, fully-automatic top-load and front-load washing machines, besides microwave ovens and dishwashers.”
He explained that in the previous years, festival season business typically used to be up by 15-20 per cent but thanks to strong demand trends for premium home appliance products, the company garnered much higher growth this year.
Eric Braganza, President, Haier India, said the company clocked a growth of nearly 50 per cent this festival season. “The growth has been driven by consumers upgrading from entry-level to mid-level or premium-level products. For instance, our side-by-side refrigerators are out of stock currently. Companies plan for the festival season much in advance and we did not anticipate this kind of surge in demand,” he added.
“On path to recovery”
Durable companies have been witnessing pent-up demand since August. This also meant there were supply issues and ‘stock out’ situation for some brands, especially in the entry-level products range or in terms of imported high-end product range in certain categories during the festival season.
Nilesh Gupta, Managing Partner, Vijay Sales, said, “We witnessed a value growth of 7-10 per cent but volume growth was lower than expectations. This was due to lower footfalls due to the pandemic at stores and supply-chain issues in entry-level products in segments such as LED TVs and laptops.”
Manish Sharma, President & CEO, Panasonic India & South Asia, stated that demand for LED TVs surpassed supply, mainly attributed to the high sell out during the early months of the unlocking. “Festive sales have been positive, registering more than 30 per cent growth over last year, primarily driven by refrigerators and washing machine categories. These products have seen a growth of more than 35 per cent this festive season due to WFH and DIY cooking trends.”
“Overall, home appliances as a category is on a rise due to pent-up demand. For instance, though ACs are in demand from February to July primarily, this year we saw a significant growth for ACs even in September-October, indicating pent-up demand catching up. If a similar trend continues, we’ll soon be on the path to recovery,” Sharma added.-The Hindu Business Line