By Kymberly Martin

“Air purification front and centre in consumer’s mind”


It’s official. Summer has arrived and retailers will be hoping sales of cooling products will start moving although there are positive signs emerging, especially when it comes to air purification.

Cooling product sales in Victoria hit a peak several days ago when the temperature reached 35⁰, according to The Good Guys seasonal buyer, Andrew Foard. “Sales were up 100% which was proof that one very hot day can have a direct impact on sales, no question about it. The following two days also brought in sales so it ended up being a positive week for our cooling business,” he told AR.

When it comes to air conditioners, Foard said business has been pretty tough to date due to poor weather and the competitive nature of the sector. “The big winner at the moment is the customer. With portable air conditioning, if the weather is not there it is almost immaterial what the price is.  However, when the weather does turn hot and the customer invariably has to wait to have the system installed this is where portables come in because of the instant convenience.  But these can sometimes be a grudge purchase.”

He said business in Western Australia has been steady, but when the weather goes off the boil so do the sales. There have also been some good runs on the board over the past few weeks in Queensland in air conditioning, fans and air purification. Recent promotions like Black Friday delivered strong results and cash back did well too. Dyson activity received a good customer response helped by support from catalogue, billboard, TV, radio and print advertising.

As for variations across the states where mild weather has prevailed, sales for portable and installed evaporative coolers have been sluggish. However as warmer weather hits, sales should be much stronger and are particularly strong in New South Wales mainly as a result of Sydney’s apartment boom.”

Foard said air purification has been solid, particularly on the back of Dyson and their entry into the sector.  “As result we are finding our best SKUs with Dyson are coming from their air purification systems and these products are not just purifiers but fans in their own right. Air purification in general has been performing well and is a growing area, not necessarily at the expense of existing partners in the space.  While Dyson have dominated the environment control segment it has grown the category overall which is pleasing.” He believes air purifiers are now front and centre in consumer’s mind especially since the recent storms that struck Melbourne that resulted in the deaths of several people from asthma.

With no heat wave and just two days of hot weather recently, it has not been enough to generate customer interest in cooling products according to Perth City Retravision sales manager, Mark Kulwnycz. “People seem to be more interested in going to the beach,” he told AR.

Even the store cash back promotions have not brought in customers. “This time last year business was stronger but now we are looking at summer maybe arriving in December.”

He said consumers are after a set price when it comes to buying an air conditioner, whether it is a new purchase or replacement.  “Portable units are becoming more popular with the increase in new apartments because many of these buildings don’t have air conditioning or balconies so portables are a good cooling option.”

Another Perth retailer with a small shop front echoed Kulwnycz comments adding that the three portable models in stock had not ‘moved’ for some time.