Shift to online classes and WFH boosts sales of bigger televisions3 min read . Updated: 23 Sep 2020, 07:43 AM IST
Experts say price point is driving sales too as a 55-inch screen now costs what a 40-inch screen would have cost earlier
New Delhi: Locked up at home for months during the covid-19 pandemic, families in India turned to bigger television screens to not just fulfil their entertainment demands but also to meet the needs of activities like online classes for children and professional requirements for people working from home.
At the CMO Dialogues, a webinar organised by Mint, senior executives at companies like Panasonic India, LG Electronics India and Croma Infinity Retail, said bigger sized screens were becoming more attractive to the consumers because of affordability and increased usage at home as the 40 inch and 55 inch television sets saw increase in demand.
“The television is no longer an idiot box, it is actually a smart device," said Shirish Agarwal, head of marketing and brand, Panasonic India referring to the multiple activities that TV sets were now being used for. Nearly 65% of India’s 248 million television households own single television sets.
“Screen time for people was initially limited as you could be at work all day and watch content on your phone but now there is a need for your own (big) device," Agarwal said.
“At Panasonic, we’re seeing some early recovery in sales. In July, we witnessed 17% growth as compared to the same period last year, and 18% in August with the onset of the festive season. We have seen traction for big-sized television, now 55 inches is the new 40 inches…" he added.
According to Ritesh Ghoshal, chief marketing officer, Croma, Infinity Retail, the big driver for increase in large screen sales has been the price point. “A standard 55 inch screen now costs what a 40 inch screen would have, a couple of years ago," adding that the surge in demand has been led by consumers lapping up content from video streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, Disney+ Hotstar and others, with broadband connectivity also having improved as people worked from home and needed better Internet infrastructure to support daily activities. “We have also seen a demand for a second television in the household," Ghosal added. Members of the same family may want to view different genres or kinds of content and given that all of them are stuck at home, there is a need for more than one screen, the executives said.
Tahir Hakeem, head, brand and retail marketing, LG Electronics India said TV is a continuously evolving industry moving from flat TVs, LCDs, LEDs and now the Ultra HD and OLEDs. “Television is a product category that people actually use. So everyone likes a bigger screen size and it has become more affordable now," he said. For LG, the 40 inch screen size has done well and now the company is focusing on 55 inch TVs. “It means people may have realised that for their kids’ education or for their own entertainment, it might be time to change their existing screens and opt for a new one, that is a natural shift we have seen," Hakeen added.
TV is one of the larger segments under the entire Appliance and Consumer Electronics category accounting for a volume of almost 17 million units with an estimated sales value of almost Rs. 25,000 crore, according to data from the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association.
Demand for electronic appliances such as televisions is also on the rise as semi-urban and rural India gets electrified, also areas where consumer aspirations and brand consciousness are high. Apart from TV sets, India saw in uptick in air-conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers and vacuum cleaners during the lockdown.
“People in rural India today own the same products (as urban India) in terms of cost and aesthetics and their awareness levels are just as high," said Amit Tiwari, vice-president, marketing, Havells India.