By Kymberly Martin

Gains in induction, pyrolytic and steam.

Owner of Darwin’s longest established electrical appliance retailer, Murray Oakley Discount Electrical, Don Taylor, said local, as well as national issues, are having an impact on the cooking sector.

“Sales have been challenging so far this year,” Taylor said. “The Northern Territory has been dealt a double whammy with the Federal election in July followed by a Territory election in August. Both tend to put a dampener on consumer confidence.”

However, he is seeing some good trends coming through that are building a strong foundation for the cooking category with significant gains for induction cooking, pyrolytic and steam ovens. Taylor said the cooking show phenomenon has also delivered a huge boost to the kitchen category by putting some creativity and energy into the sector.

Don Taylor

“Consumers see that even home chefs can cook amazing meals and it’s even more foolproof when using premium cooking appliances. Good food is one of the great pleasures of life so being creative in the cooking department brings family and friends together. Also, the growing interest in nutritional and healthy cooking is contributing to the sales momentum behind steam ovens.”

The retailer was appointed as the first Asko Pro Series Dealer for the Northern Territory earlier this year. Taylor is very pleased with what he described as” an outstanding in-store display” featuring all key Pro Series models. There is also a comprehensive AEG display in the cooking section.

“Asko and AEG currently have promotions running where the consumer can save 5 -20% off depending on which brand they buy and how much they spend. These outstanding offers have attracted discerning customers and had a positive effect on sales,” Taylor said.  The store caters to the 35 plus demographic.

He said Westinghouse is his biggest selling cooking appliance brand because “it delivers good, solid reliable appliances that get the job done at a cost-efficient price.”

Taylor would welcome more action from the renovations and new dwellings front but a lack of available land has put a brake on new housing. A number of unit developments have also been placed on hold because of the current economic climate. “Darwin is oversubscribed with units and there are many development sites in delay mode.  There is an oversupply of units for sale and rent here at the moment.” Although he said there are positive signs with the Federal Government developing the North Infrastructure initiative and the proposed $20 billion defence construction spend over the next 20 years.

“Darwin has peaks and troughs and the peaks happen every few years.” As for the next one Taylor was not overly optimistic “hopefully tomorrow but I think it is unlikely”.