The consumer durable industry is expecting double-digit growth in the festive season sales this year, despite inflationary pressure on inputs that led to price hike twice in the year, shortage of components such as chipsets and a threat of a third wave of the pandemic.
The makers such as Panasonic, LG, Haier, Godrej Appliances and Lloyds are expecting a pent-up demand and good growth in premium products across categories like large-screen TVs, front-load washing machines, and bigger capacity refrigerators.
The companies are keeping their supply chain and inventory ready for the festive season, which starts in the North and other parts from Dussehra and goes up to Diwali and usually accounts for up to 30 per cent of their sales in a month.
Makers have planned to launch new models along with a 360-degree campaign, cash backs, easy finance options as zero down payment and long-term EMI schemes. A good festive season sales would also help them recover the losses incurred on account of the second wave of the pandemic and lockdowns.
"We are seeing a steady rise in demand for value-proposition appliances such as such as smart 4K Android TVs, connected range of ACs (HU series), refrigerators, washing machines, microwaves and other lifestyle appliances," Panasonic India President and CEO Manish Sharma told PTI.
He further added that due to the return of demand, the company has seen a growth of 25 per cent in August 2021 as against last year. "We are hoping to maintain the growth momentum through festive season to make up for losses due to the pandemic."
South Korean electronic major LG had launched a range of flagship products ahead of the festive season.
"Currently, consumer sentiment is quite positive. Work from home and stay at home have created good demand for durables, as leisure travel is restricted so certain section of consumers are spending on upgrading consumer durables," said LG India Vice-President (Corporate Planning) Deepak Bansal.
The company is witnessing good growth in premium products across categories, he said.
"We are also introducing meaningful consumer promotions for the festive season. Overall, we are expecting double-digit growth over last year," Bansal added.
Haier Appliances India President Eric Braganza said this year has been challenging in many ways for customers as the pandemic has confined them to homes, leading to a paradigm shift in consumer behaviour and the home appliances industry at large.
"Nonetheless, early trends hint at positive consumer sentiment with the upcoming festive season," he said.
The company has announced an array of exciting offers such as cashback and easy consumer finance schemes to aid better consumer buying.
"We are also planning to launch new products across key categories that will appeal to consumers looking to upgrade their appliances this festive season," said Braganza.
"Moreover, we have plans to launch our new 360 degrees integrated pan-India campaign that will feature a series of our products across categories to drive awareness and build recall amongst consumers.
"Overall, we are hopeful of a good festive season and expect to achieve decent growth over last year," he added.
Godrej Appliances Business Head and Executive Vice-President Kamal Nandi said that despite concerns around the third COVID-19 wave, double vaccination should help in driving positive consumer sentiment.
"Festive season usually contributes 30 per cent of annual sales for us. We are seeing encouraging signs of demand revival and are targeting a double-digit growth rate of 20 per cent plus during festive," he said.
While Lloyd CEO Shashi Arora said though 2021 continued to be a challenging year due to the second wave and increasing raw material prices, the prospects of the consumer demand are looking brighter this festive season.
"We are optimistic that the upcoming festive season will strengthen the pace of recovery for the industry," he said.
Arora added that he is confident about the increase in sales for product categories such as LED TVs, refrigerators and washing machines across the industry.
"The onset of the festive season will give an impetus to the increasing demand for appliances. Owing to the trend, we have added newer models, sizes under our brand Lloyd portfolio," he said.
Last year also, the appliance and consumer electronic industry had a setback after a nationwide lockdown. However, it had recovered substantially in the second half, helped by a boost in festive season sales.
The Indian appliance and consumer electronic industry was estimated to be around Rs 76,400 crore (USD 10.93 billion) in the pre-pandemic 2019.
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