Share expectations with Appliance Retailer.

Appliance Retailer has asked retailers around the country to share their expectations for the upcoming Christmas period. The response was unanimously positive and upbeat, although some kitchen specialists often experience a slight dip in sales, reflecting the slowdown in building projects over the festive season.

Leading Appliances, Taree NSW – Peter Bolte

“FY18 has been buoyant so far, compared to last year, and we are now in a period that is well and truly the best our business has been since the demise of our former buying group and the birth of Leading Appliances.

“Air-conditioning and built-in cooking have been particularly strong and the inclusion of Jaycar into our business has seen foot traffic continue to increase dramatically which has had a flow on effect through the entire business. Based on this, all indicators point to our current sales growth continuing to grow and remain strong.

“We have invested heavily in conventional wireless speaker technology as we see more of our older demographic of clientele embrace Bluetooth technology. Refrigeration and air conditioning will obviously escalate in line with seasonal conditions and we are well placed to cater for these demands with a high investment in the new range of Panasonic split systems and the reintroduction of Kelvinator in refrigeration.”

Prestige Appliances, Chatswood NSW – Franz Josef Rupp

“We see a drop in our business every school holiday period, particularly at Christmas, as building and construction projects slow down. Therefore, our appliance sales are predominantly research and see what is out there; except for replacement for broken down appliances – shopping is then done again in early February which is traditionally very strong.

“Freestanding cookers are becoming strong favourites for new-builds and new products such as down draft rangehoods that incorporate nduction cooktops from brands such as BORA, Elica, V-ZUG and Sirius are also popular. In summer, it’s all Alfresco with more outdoor kitchen concepts including a fridge, dishwasher and rangehood, not just a BBQ.”

Bi-Rite Home Appliances, Wangaratta VIC – Travis Whiley

“It’s been a topsy-turvy year in relation to sales but there is a lot of promotional activity at the moment from both manufacturers and retailers so I am hoping it’s the calm before the storm.

“It has been difficult to predict Christmas sales for a couple of years now. If a consumer wants a new appliance, they just go and buy it rather than wait for a special occasion. I have seen an uplift in sales of gift cards in December as it allows the customer to buy what they want and utilise it during the Boxing Day sales.

“With the release of new OLED and SUHD televisions, I expect this category to perform well and customers to pair their new TV with a soundbar. I also expect coffee machines to be a focus in the small appliance category.”

Brisbane Appliance Sales, Newmarket QLD – Casey Mayne

“Sales this year have been excellent. Our customers have been satisfied and there has been exciting new technology launching for the betterment of home cooking and cleaning appliances. As a third generation family owned and operated business, we strive to deliver a high level of expertise and professionalism.

“As we near to the end of the year we are ensuring our deliveries and installations are well coordinated to allow our customers to enjoy their new kitchens or renovation projects in their full showing across the holiday period. We often see clients arranging to replace tired fridges and washers in the lead up to Christmas in anticipation of the busy season to better accommodate the influx of entertaining.”

L&M Goldstar, Mermaid Beach QLD – Simon Bright

“It has been a strong year so far, with sales slightly ahead of last year. We predict strong sales growth for Christmas and expect them to be up on last year. With a hot summer ahead, air conditioning will be solid, as well as the other white good categories.”

Retravision WA – David Dorsett-Lynn

“The Christmas boom is well under way and we have decorations up in all stores. I think after a hard year economically, West Australians will enjoy Christmas and spend a little more money.

“Retravision stores have reported increased sales over October and November and we look forward to that continued success in December.”

Teds Cameras (NSW / QLD / VIC / SA) – Nic Peasley

“Post stock shortages arising from the Japan earthquake mid to late last year the results have been really pleasing with strong sales across all interchangeable lens cameras and the lens category also.

“We are very bullish about this Christmas with some fantastic new products driving interest in the category and the suppliers providing a range of really strong consumer incentives.

“We expect DSLR, CSC and lens to be the standout with the usual Christmas strength in Instax and drones.”

Camera House (NSW / QLD / VIC / WA / NT / TAS) – Charles Davey

“Sales so far in FY18 have been solid. We are seeing high demand for new products, kits that offer exceptional value for money, as well as drones and action cameras.

“For Christmas we are definitely looking for growth, we have worked closely with our suppliers and partners to offer some great photographic options to our customers. Our stores also offer great printing services for the personal touch (canvas, photo mugs, prints).

“During 2017 we revamped our online store and this is showing good growth. We continue to offer free shipping to our customers’ local store to give the extra service and knowledge on the product not offered by other (global) e-tailers. For example, advice on how to use the camera, the best memory card and any accessories to enhance the end result for our customers.”