Whitegoods retailers benefit as home renovation goes gangbusters

By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: Winning Appliances managing director, John Murphy, said the company has been “fairly bullish” in the second half of this year, driven by strong consumer commitment to house renovations.

Unlike the consumer electronics division that experiences significant uptake in the Christmas selling period, Murphy told Current.com.au that September and October are key selling months for the whitegoods category.

“We don’t really experience much more uptake during Christmas, out biggest selling period is in September and October so that renovations are completed by Christmas,” said Murphy.

“The renovation market is going gangbusters. But we do get the feeling there’s a bit of uncertainty out there. And now with the interest rates increase, which is unfathomable to me, there’s even more uncertainty. All these young people are using all their wages on their mortgage and increasing their credit card debt, so the banks are getting double.

“We’ve found that in a recession people reinvest in their properties and it’s a time where our business grows.

“We’ve had a very solid year with very good growth. It’s been a fabulous year, especially given the market circumstances.

“Every month was up this year, except for October, which didn’t grow…it was actually down by 8 per cent. We were surprised by the October figures.

“At the moment manufactures are in a position to take a windfall from the currency. There’s been price stabilisation and the running of a lot of promotional activity that is helping drive customers in.

“In difficult times people gravitate to brands that they know and trust. Miele for example, an inspirational brand, has had a solid year and apparently they’ve hit their ambitious targets.”

Murphy also named Smeg, Electrolux and Fisher and Paykel as standout sellers for 2010.

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