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Business News/ Industry / Retail/  Appliance cos bet on festive sales

Appliance cos bet on festive sales

Premium products such as televisions, refrigerators and washing machines are expected to drive growth

Demand for white goods remained soft in June and the second half of May when compared with 2019 levels. HTPremium
Demand for white goods remained soft in June and the second half of May when compared with 2019 levels. HT

NEW DELHI : Household appliance makers are expecting healthy sales during the upcoming festive season, especially for premium products in televisions, refrigerators and washing machines.

Demand for white goods remained soft in June and the second half of May when compared to 2019 levels on the back of a general slowdown in demand, as well as multiple price hikes during the quarter. Also, a weaker rupee could be counter-productive for companies, despite softening commodity prices.

However, Kamal Nandi, business head and executive vice president, Godrej Appliances expects things to be under control in the second half. “We should see a good monsoon, and agriculture output should be good. Also, I think companies will definitely be giving bonuses. We are just out of the pandemic and there are efforts being made to bring employees back to work. Overall, we will see a lot of positivity in the coming festival. Demand could bounce back," Nandi said.

He said the company will focus on driving demand for its premium products this festive season. The company could roll out more high-end refrigerators and washing machines this year. “This is the third year in a row that we are investing in the premium segment. You will see more and more premium products getting launched this festive season across refrigerators and washing machines," said Nandi. However, he added that the company has no immediate plan to increase production. “We will actually evaluate this closer to festival season, that is, in the month of September," Nandi said, adding that a strong dollar is countering any benefit that the company could have received from cooling commodity prices.

The industry experienced a slight slowdown last quarter, said Neeraj Bahl, MD and CEO, BSH Home Appliances. However, Bahl said the company is optimistic about the festive season. “The first half has been very fulfilling in terms of growth, and the festive wave is only going to strengthen our numbers and market share in the next few months. So far, this year, our premium segments especially are doing very well and growing at high double digits month-on-month; so hopefully, the trend will continue through the upcoming festive season as well," he said.

Bahl said the company will drive awareness about the festive offers and products in the cooling segment as well as dishwashers. “Large premium appliances like refrigerators, front load washing machines as well as small appliances like mixer grinders have seen great demand this year already, and this trend is likely to continue as per our projections," he added. BSH is planning a price hike this month due to market challenges, Bahl said.

The festive season is crucial for the consumer durables industry, with many categories reporting an uptick in sales volume during this period.

The white goods and consumer durables sector saw a cumulative price increase of over 20% in the past two years, according to estimates by brokerage ICICI Securities. It expects companies to focus on brand-building efforts in the second half of this financial year.

Meanwhile, Fumiyasu Fujimori, managing director, Panasonic Marketing India said consumers are moving towards premium purchases. The company witnessed more than 35% growth this summer when compared to 2019 for air conditioners, with the maximum contribution from 4 star and 5 star invertor ACs.

“Ahead of the festive season, we will be strengthening our washing machine and microwave line, and plan to introduce new models to expand market share," he said.

The company is targeting double-digit growth in the festive season, driven by demand for smart air-conditioners and the home appliances category.

“We are looking at a healthy growth this festive season. With markets opening up and being stable for more than six months now, we foresee a healthy demand for kitchen as well as domestic appliances categories," said Ravindra Singh Negi, chief operating officer, Bajaj Electricals Ltd.

While the company is reporting “green shoots" in demand, Negi said a lot depends on the overall macro-economic factors and the appetite for consumer appliances in the coming months.

For the upcoming festive season, Bajaj Electricals is planning new launches supported by a pan-India multimedia campaign. The company will focus on kitchen appliances like mixer grinders and OTGs, and seasonal products like water heaters and room heaters this festive season. Negi added that the company has planned sufficient supplies for seasonal products where it anticipates greater demand.

Analysts said festive demand could be strong after two years of pandemic. 

Amnish Aggarwal, Director, research at Prabhudas Lilladher said that the industry may also see possible green shoots in rural demand. "As semiconductor shortage has eased now, premium products sales would also be strong. Overall, there will be good volume growth over FY19 base," he added. 


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Suneera Tandon
Suneera Tandon is a New Delhi based reporter covering consumer goods for Mint. Suneera reports on fast moving consumer goods makers, retailers as well as other consumer-facing businesses such as restaurants and malls. She is deeply interested in what consumers across urban and rural India buy, wear and eat. Suneera holds a masters degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi.
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Updated: 26 Jul 2022, 01:19 AM IST
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