Premium brands driving strong growth in small and major appliances

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Small and major domestic appliances performed strongly in the first quarter of 2015, with both experiencing double-digit growth in value terms thanks to sales of high-end appliances.

Small domestic appliances are up 13 per cent in value terms with hand-stick vacuum cleaners and blenders still the heroes of the market. Premium small appliances also played a starring role in growing the value of the smalls segment.

Coffee machines were back in growth for the first time in more than two years, driven by the manual machine segment and high-end products. Within the breakfast appliance sector, toasters and kettles performed well, with value growth being driven by the shift from plastic to higher-priced finishes.

There was strong growth across the board in major domestic appliances, which was up 11 per cent, driven by growth in premium segments.

Within the largest category, refrigeration, the shift from traditional top-mount and side-by-side segments to the higher-priced bottom-mount and French door segments, were a key driver behind the strong value growth.

In washing machines, consumers traded-up to higher-priced frontloading and high-capacity machines. As a result, both refrigerators and washing machines experienced double-digit value growth, and similar trends were visible across the full range of white goods products.

GfK puts the strong overall performance throughout the quarter down to a number of factors, for example the comparatively weak performance of the major appliance sector in the first quarter of 2014 and interest rate cuts. Of The RBA’s decision to cuts rates GfK stated: “While this suggests a weakening underlying economy, the cuts sparked a rebound in consumer sentiment.”

Looking forward, GfK said the Federal Budget will support more traditional categories, pointing to a “relatively positive outlook for the remainder of 2015.”
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