By Claire Reilly
As retailers start to prepare for Mother’s Day and all the suppliers begin the big marketing push to get their products in stores and in the shopping bags of Australian consumers, one regional retailer has shared her inside knowledge on trends in the small appliances category and her predictions for the big winners for gifting this Mother’s Day.
Helen Sanders, assistant store manager and small appliance buyer at Barossa Betta Electrical says that small appliances are always popular in electrical stores around Mother’s Day, especially those associated with cooking, as well as products with a gift-giving price tag.
When it comes to individual items, a few products garnered a special mention.
“At the moment and probably for about the last year and a half, pod coffee machines have been going crazy,” said Sanders. “We have been selling so many Nespressos we just can’t keep them in stock.
“We always sell the Kenwood Patissier day-in day-out, that’s always a favourite, and around Mother’s Day it comes into citrus season a little bit too, so citrus presses normally go well. Egg poachers go well too — in fact, a lot of those little sub-$30 or $40 items go really well at Mother’s Day because Dads come in the day before Mother’s Day and just try and find something easy.”
Sanders has also seen a real trend in multi-function cooking devices in recent times, which is both a positive and a negative for retailers.
“At the moment we have seen a bit of a trend towards multifunction appliances,” she said. “Some people will buy it and say ‘When the rice maker packs up, this appliance will still do that’. I would say about two years ago, people weren’t keen. They were saying, ‘If one thing breaks, then everything breaks’. But now people are starting to really go for the multifunction appliances more and more.”
While Sanders said there was plenty of value to be found in selling these kinds of appliances, there was still a catch.
“Obviously, I’d like to sell ten appliances instead of one,” said Sanders. “But we are selling enough of them to warrant having them. So it’s always good when it sells through quickly. But it is one appliance instead of five.
“Some people wouldn’t even consider having a rice maker in their home, but once they get it in a multifunction appliance for instance, then they use it and say ‘Oh, I wish I had one of these years ago’. But the other side of the coin is that, if people are coming in looking for a rice maker and a slow cooker and we sell them one thing that does both then it hurts our sales.”
As far as Mother’s Day is concerned, especially when it comes to fathers rushing in at the last minute looking for a quick present, Sanders said value-for-money was still the order of the day.
“At that time of the year, people are coming in looking for value for money, so if they can get three appliances in one, that’s a positive for the customer as well. And that’s something that our staff generally sell as a selling point for those appliances too.”