Premium heat pump and condenser dryers and, somewhat surprisingly, rangehoods were the standout performers as sales in major domestic appliances (MDA) totaled $806 million for the second quarter of calender 2014. This result was down 0.3 per cent on the year-ago quarter.

Overall, sales in major appliances have stabilised during 2014, according to GfK’s latest Temax report, and the six months to 30 June 2014 shows Australians have spent $1.571 billion on ovens, cooktops, refrigerators, dishwashers, laundry products and other large whitegoods. This half-yearly result is down 1.4 per cent on year-ago half.

“After two consecutive periods of value decline, the MDA sector stabilised in the latest quarter,” GfK reported. “Higher-priced, feature-rich products added value to the MDA sector, with value growth surpassing volume growth during the quarter.”

GfK highlighted the performance of laundry appliances, which traditionally has been considered a grudging replacement purchase, for praise.

“Within the dryers market, heat pumps and condenser heating models were catalysts for growth. With an average price four times that of standard dryers, the demand for heat pump dryers had a very positive impact overall.”

Also emphasised in this Temax report was rangehood sales. Often considered an afterthought to the cooking appliances purchases, rangehoods have slowly become more prominent as several suppliers, Schweigen first among them, ramp up their promotion.

“Canopy/cartridge rangehoods grew significantly in quarter 2, 2014, accounting for nearly a fifth of the spend on this segment,” GfK reported.

Speaking broadly about the entire consumer electronics industry, GfK noted that there has been a downturn due to low consumer sentiment.

“It was a tough quarter for parts of the Australian economy and following an austerity-focused federal budget, consumer confidence dropped to new lows. Interest rates remained level but inflation and unemployment was on
the rise.

“Though the Australian technical consumer goods market was in overall decline, there were pockets of solid growth. Information Technology continued its recent positive trend, led by a recovery in mobile computing and wireless connectivity devices, while Major Domestic Appliances stabilised after a couple of consecutive periods of value decline.”