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Consumer electronics makers cash in on festive season

Companies are confident that the shopping momentum building up after two years of the pandemic is sustainable.

October 21, 2022 / 11:46 PM IST

Consumer electronics companies Sony, Samsung, Panasonic and LG Electronics are cashing in on a boom in sales of televisions, refrigerators and washing machines and said that this was one of their best festive seasons.

Following bumper sales for carmakers during Navratri, the buying momentum of the past few months remained unabated among shoppers, who thronged back to the markets after two years of the pandemic.

Most consumer electronics companies are doling out offers on a wide range of products. Shoppers are upgrading to better-value products in the middle and high-end segments, industry associations said.

The festive season, which starts with Onam and Ganesh Chaturthi and culminates with Dussehra and Diwali, is the biggest for shoppers during the year. This year, Diwali is on October 24.

“Diwali is the most widely celebrated festival across India and it is considered auspicious to make a new purchase… This creates an impetus where people wait around Diwali to make expensive purchases,” said Mohit Yadav, founder of Altinfo, a data intelligence company. “Indian businesses seeking to gain from this trend run offers around this period, which creates a cycle, strengthening the impetus even further.”

Positive sentiment

Sales during the festival period from the last week of September to early November are expected to cross $27 billion, Reuters reported, citing industry estimates. That is almost double the amount in the same pre-pandemic period in 2019, and about 25 percent higher than last year.

“With positive consumer sentiments, we have seen an uptick in sales and it will only improve as we move towards the peak of the festive season,” Eric Braganza, president of the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA), told Moneycontrol. “We are expecting 8-10 percent volume growth for the industry and 25 to 30 percent by value. We are anticipating and are optimistic about a positive sales response by the end of the festive season.”

Sony India, a premium brand across product categories such as television, digital imaging, personal audio and home entertainment, said there was a good response from customers for its large-screen premium televisions, especially 55 inches and above.

“We are confident that this favourable growth momentum will be sustained until Diwali sets in,” Sunil Nayyar, managing director of Sony India, told Moneycontrol.

Japanese consumer electronics giant Panasonic said it expects 10 percent value growth this festive season vis-à-vis last year, led by smart ACs, large-screen TVs and home appliances. The company claimed that in terms of value growth, inverter ACs recorded 38 percent growth, 4K TVs grew by 34 percent and top-load washing machines registered 13 percent growth during this festive season.

“We are seeing a rise in demand for appliances that are easy to use (allowing people to multitask), energy-efficient, connected (smart), and healthy and hygienic,” said Fumiyasu Fujimori, managing director of Panasonic Marketing India. Consumers have become conscious of their choices and value-proposition premium appliances are taking precedence in their purchase decisions.”

LG India said there is robust growth across categories, especially in the premium segment. There was a more than 50 percent jump in numbers for products like frontloading washing machines (9 kg and above), side-by-ride refrigerators (300 litres and above) and convection microwave ovens (32 litres and above).

“Overall, we are optimistic for a good growth in the festive season,” Deepak Bansal, VP for home appliances and air-conditioners at LG India, told Moneycontrol. “Till now we have seen impressive growth, especially in sales of big capacity washing machines, refrigerators and convection microwave ovens.”

Premium products

South Korean electronics giant Samsung saw a two-fold growth in premium TVs and 350-litre and above refrigerators and three-fold growth in demand for soundbars during the Onam festival. Demand for its flagship Neo QLED TVs quadrupled since last year.

“We expect our overall consumer electronics business to grow by 45 percent and the premium segment to grow by 80 percent,” said Mohandeep Singh, senior vice president, consumer electronics business, Samsung India.

Super Plastronics (SPPL), a licensee of Thompson, Kodak, Blaupunkt TV, Westinghouse  TV and White-Westinghouse (trademark of Electrolux), said growth has doubled this festive season and the 4K TV space has grown more than 120 percent.

“For Blaupunkt TVs the mid and premium segments are growing faster than the entry-level segment. There is a shift from HD TVs to 4K smart TVs. The average selling size is now 40-43 inches in tier 1 and 2 cities,” said Avneet Singh Marwah, CEO of SPPL.

The trend of ‘premiumization’ is expected to continue this festive season as Indian consumers continue to seek products that provide ‘superior performance’ and ‘user experience,’ according to GfK, a market intelligence firm.

“Consumer goods sales have been facing challenges for the past two years, but now things appear to be returning to ‘normal.’ The fact that certain significant sectors experienced strong double-digit growth in Q1 of 2022 is proof that the offline market has received a stimulus with shoppers moving back to the market to shop,” noted Anant Jain, head of market intelligence for India at GfK.
Avishek Banerjee