By Patrick Avenell

Small appliance have become the boon category in the consumer electronics industry, with a cold start to winter increasing heater sales and the ever-reliable floorcare category continue to trade well, according to GfK Retail and Technology.

Furthermore, in its quarterly TEMAX report, which focuses on trends in the wider Australian electronics industry, GfK analyst Gwenno Hopkin said that previously strong categories such as hot beverage makers and food preparation were beginning to slow down.

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“After a challenging first quarter, the small domestic appliances sector returned to growth (4.6 per cent) in Q2 2012,” she said. “The top four segments, accounting for over half of the sector’s value sales, all experienced solid growth.

“The top two segments (vacuum cleaners and electric heating) enjoyed double-digit growth; vacuums benefitting from consumer interest in handstick and robotic models, and heating driven by a particularly cold autumn.

“The hot beverage makers and food preparation segments that have driven the value of the SDA sector for some time now, have finally begun to slow. Unlike the trends of 2011, unit growth far surpassed value growth within the hot beverage maker segment this quarter, reflecting a significant influx of lower priced brands and models.

“Conversely, while unit sales of food preparation were almost flat, a trend towards higher-end brands and models generated a 7 per cent value increase for this segment.”