By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: The performance of the domestic appliance retail industry in Australia over the past five years has been picked apart by a report issued from an industry based business research company.

The analysis by IbisWorld, which also forecasts trends for the next five years, has surmised that above all else, it is the switch to digital television that has spurred the consumer electronics industry forward.

Notwithstanding the technological and digital revolution that is propelling the entertainment division, the humble whitegoods category has also been favoured by IbisWorld for fuelling industry growth. Harvey Norman’s sales results released yesterday and reported on, confirm that while digital devices are hot to trot, whitegoods and kitchen appliances are the current backbone of the industry.

“Growth in domestic appliances over the past five years has been influenced by advances in product design and technology,” reads the IbisWorld analysis. “A plethora of everyday domestic appliances from kitchen goods such as high-tech fridges and microwaves and new steam ovens and hobs, have all undergone a technological revolution.”

“Product advances have not been limited to the kitchen with demand for front-loading washing machines experiencing strong growth over this period. The machines have gained popularity due to their energy and water efficiency when compared with top-loading machines.”

“Domestic appliance retailers are expected to experience a solid trading performance in 2010-11, with sales rising by 2.4 per cent to $21 billion. Christmas spending over this period will be bolstered by demand for novelty appliances, following growth in the number of children taking an interest in cooking. Sales will also be driven by demand for time saving appliances such as slow cookers and benchtop mixers.”