Appliances boom in SE Asia

Demand for major domestic appliances in southeast Asia surged ahead in the first six months of 2012.

According to GfK Asia’s first half year retail audit report for 2012, total sales of washing machines, air conditioners, refrigerators and microwave ovens rose by more than 19 per cent across the six key southeast Asian markets tracked.

Within the first half of the year, consumers in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam spent over US$3.5 billion on 11.7 million units of these large household appliances.

“Southeast Asia’s emerging markets are in the process of rapid modernisation and savvy consumers here are obviously eager to make new purchases or upgrade their existing appliances to better or greener technology,” said Jasmine Lim, account director for home and lifestyle at GfK Asia.

One of the notable trends surfacing across three countries is the flourishing washing machine trade, driven by the growth markets of Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines. GfK revealed the value of the segment in these countries grew by as much as 32 per cent.  Indonesia is now the largest washing machine market in southeast Asia.

Another significant development in these markets is the rising popularity of double-tub washing machines. In spite of declining demand in other countries, the double-digit jump in sales value from these markets alone managed to contribute significantly to propel growth in the segment in the entire region.

“Although single-tub washers are more popular in some of the southeast Asian countries, we are witnessing heightening demand for double-tub models in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines,” added Lim.

In Indonesia, the double-tub washing machine segment grew by 23 per cent, generating over US$122 million in the first half of the year from sales contributed by a large number of first time buyers.

Yet another emerging trend is the rising adoption of front loading washing machines, as households across the region spent 20 per cent more than last year to purchase 25 per cent more units of such higher end models.

This general uptrend is apparent across five of the six markets tracked, with the strongest two fold growth observed in the Philippines. This upgrading trend is also seen in Indonesia and Malaysia which registered 66 and 34 per cent increases in unit sales respectively.

“Front load washers have been slowly gaining ground with consumers, due to the successful public awareness initiatives by local governments to educate users on saving energy and water when using appliances such as washing machines,” said Lim.

“With prolonged efforts, we can anticipate to see an even wider range of eco-friendly washing machines in the marketplace and expect greater sales contribution by such appliances in the overall performance of the sector,” she concluded.



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