Small appliances selling well but is the importance of Christmas overstated?

Handstick vacuums, on-the-go blenders and low-fat airfryers are the stars of a small appliance market on the move.

The all-important Christmas quarter proved a winner for suppliers and retailers of on-trend small appliances, with GfK reporting a 1.9 per cent increase in sales, year-on-year for the three months to 31 December 2014. All told, Australians spent $555 million on small appliances in the Christmas quarter and $1.902 billion on smalls through the entire 2014.

“Small domestic appliances continued to outperform the market in quarter 4, with products positioned as ‘healthier’ options continuing to be a drive interest in the sector,” a GfK spokesperson told me. “On-the-go personal blenders and low fat air fryers were examples of two products that performed well in the early summer months.

“Vacuum cleaners also supported the growth of the sector, with handstick vacuums recording their highest quarter-on-quarter growth rate of the year, and their eleventh continual quarter of double-digit growth.

“Another segment continuing to grow, albeit from a smaller base, was wellbeing, with foot and hand massage products proving to be popular gift choices during the festive season.”

The Christmas quarter in 2014 made up 29.1 per cent of the total sales of small appliances in 2014. Suppliers and retailers often talk up the incredible importance of Christmas sales to their overall years, and while 29.1 per cent is higher than 25 per cent, it is not that much higher than an even quarterly split.

The second most valuable quarter in small appliances is the April-May-June, which includes Mother’s Day, and accounts for 25.5 per cent of all sales. Quarter 3 is next with 24.6 per cent and quarter 4 is definitely the slowest period with 20.6 per cent of annual sales.

Small Appliances Sales ($million)

Q1, 2014 Q2, 2014 Q3, 2014 Q4, 2014 Q4 14/Q4 13 Q1-4, 2014 Q1-4 14/Q1-4 13
392 486 468 555 1.90% 1,902 3.30%

Source: GfK Retail & Technology

This author is on Twitter: @Patrickavenell

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