GfK Temax report: Small appliances offer a ray of light

By Claire Reilly

GfK has today released its quarterly Temax report, offering retailers insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the Australian Technical Consumer Goods (TCG) retail industry. While there were grim findings for the consumer electronics and IT sectors of the market, appliances showed more positive signs of growth over the third quarter of 2012.

In major domestic appliances – including whitegoods, wetgoods and cooking appliances – the Temax report tracked a consumer tendency to opt for more highly-featured products, such as French Door refrigerators or larger capacity dishwashers and washing machines.

However, the report also noted that this traditionally stable category had seen a slight drop in value year-on-year, falling by 4.4 per cent since Q3 2011. This was largely attributed to weakening consumer sentiment and the widely reported propensity for Australian consumers towards saving rather than spending.

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Conversely, small domestic appliances gave retailers a real boost, showing a 3.8 per cent increase in value over the quarter.

“Within an environment of significant market volatility, the Small Domestic Appliances sector has been delivering steady, modest growth throughout 2011 and 2012,” the report read. “Technological and design innovation, coupled with ongoing media interest in the kitchen and household arena, has been successful in attracting consumers to higher-end, higher-value products.

“This has contributed to the steady value of the sector as a whole, while many other sectors fall victim to intense price erosion.”

Although GfK did not offer specific details on a category-by-category basis, the report pulled out key products that had helped to boost sales in retail stores, including food prep, hot beverage makers and vacuum cleaners. In addition, the personal care category is clearly tracking well, with hair stylers generating the highest growth for the quarter in terms of value.

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