Pricing Disruption Lends Dynamism To The Festive Season

There are exciting times ahead, as we approach the festive season, commencing with Onam, right till a week after Diwali, from Aug 7 to Nov 15.

As we go into print on August 7, Samsung has announced a price drop of 5 percent for its 32–43-inch screen size segment and 15 percent for its 75-inch television models, resulting in a drop of RS.1000 – RS.2500 for the smaller screen sizes and RS.45,000 for the larger size. This is in the backdrop of a recent price drop in June for some selected models. The move comes as a surprise as panel prices are going north, and the rupee is depreciating, increasing overall costs. The festive season shall now see aggressive marketing, consumer promotions, and easier finance schemes, as the brand leaves no stone unturned to ensure that its experience in the smartphones market is not replicated here. And the other leading brands will need to match the pace.

As the Videocon group builds up production this month with about 5000 units each of television sets, washing machines, and refrigerators, and a promise of increasing quantities gradually, the brands will start feeling the heat here too.

The recent slash in the GST rate from 28 percent to 18 percent for refrigerators, washing machines, and microwave ovens is promising. Most of the brands have already dropped prices on the entire spectrum of models by about 10 percent. In the backdrop of a dull H1, the makers are gearing up with promotional campaigns and other sops to release pent-up demand.

The similar change in slab from 28 percent to 18 percent announced by the GST Council on television sets of screen size less than 26 inches is welcome too. However, this segment accounts for less than 15 percent of the market, and the

24-inch panels are gradually being phased out by the international manufacturers. The industry awaits a relook by the GST Council extending the rate cut up to 43-inches, encompassing 75 percent of the market. That would give the sector the requisite stimulus it deserves!

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