Every calamity brings with itself an opportunity and COVID-19 pandemic led lifestyle changes have been a blessing in disguise for the consumer durables industry.
The ever-growing household chores for which we have been reliant on our ever-dependable house helps have suddenly fallen on the shoulders of the working elite.
Whether one is a CEO or a clerk, coronavirus has been an equaliser with everyone chipping in, from cooking to cleaning. All of this has led to a huge spike in demand for household appliances like vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, dryers, etc.
While the lockdown continued to impact sales in April, pent-up demand resulted in sharp spike in the months of May and June. Rajeev Singh of Croma told CNBC-TV18 that sales grew by 24 percent in May and June when compared to the same period last year.
What’s also heartening is that the demand trend suggests that not all of this is pent-up demand and the momentum can continue into coming months as well. Rajeev remains optimistic of a steady growth in September quarter as well.
Kamal Nandi of Godrej Appliances said that while overall sales have been at 80 percent of last year, the sales for cleaning and hygiene appliances have seen a sharp spike.
He reasoned that as consumers are looking for substitutes to domestic help. Therefore, demand for household appliances like dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners has gone up multi-fold.
The same can be corroborated by sales data for washing machines in the month of June, which reported a growth of 20 percent year-on-year (YoY). The capacity utilisation was at 50-60 percent level in June and is expected to ramp up in coming months.
Most of these sales have happened via online platforms. E-commerce sales jumped by 70 percent YoY in June for Godrej Appliance, while for Croma Digital Enquiries are at 10-12 times more than normal.
The industry players argue that sales would have been higher if not for the limited inventory and supply chain issues. While the supply bottlenecks are easing with each passing day, the industry is hopeful that many of these lifestyle changes would be permanent.