Spike in demand for PCs, dish washers, vacuum cleaners, grooming products due to lockdown

Nandana James Mumbai | Updated on July 02, 2020

Demand in certain home appliances like vacuum cleaners also seems to be picking up   -  TH

With work from home and e-learning becoming prevalent, demand for these appliances is also from small towns, besides cities

With work and education being restricted to homes amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions on mobility it necessitates, the demand for a slew of products like personal computers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners and grooming products is seeing a surge.

“Confined within their homes, people have developed greater regard for appliances that help them multi-task, make their lives easier, prioritise their health and keep them entertained,” Suguru Takamatsu, Divisional Head, CSD, Panasonic India, told BusinessLine.

With e-learning and work from home becoming prevalent, the demand for personal computers — both from the consumer and commercial side — is seeing a spike, said Jaipal Singh, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India.

Over the last few months, the enquiries for Samsung tablets has increased by two to three times, said Akash Saxenaa, Senior Director, Mobile B2B Business, Samsung India. The demand is largely coming from schools, colleges, test prep institutes and ed-tech companies where students need tablets both for self-study and online classes, he said.

Multiple deals for tablets

“This isn’t only a big city phenomenon. Tablet education is really getting democratised, and we are seeing strong demand for Samsung tablets coming from tier-2 and tier-3 cities as well. We recently closed multiple deals for several thousand Samsung tablets with institutions based in places such as Sambalpur in Odisha and Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh. Samsung is also running a special ‘Student Purchase Program’ where students can validate themselves and buy a tablet device online with added benefits,” said Saxenaa.

Dell Technologies has also witnessed increased conversions on its online consumer stores and retail outlets, said Raj Kumar Rishi, Vice-President and Managing Director, Consumer and Small Business, Dell Technologies, India. Previously, only one out of five walk-ins would purchase a device, but now the ratio has improved, he added. At Acer too, it has seen a surge in demand for PCs across the spectrum both from the personal and commercial side, said Sudhir Goel, Chief Business Officer, Acer India. “We believe that remote working and learning is likely to become mainstream and the penetration of devices in each household is predicted to go up,” said Goel.

Covid-19 to hit buying power

“But there is a catch — about how big this demand is, and whether it will be large enough to give a positive (year-on-year) growth this year for the PC market. There I have doubts,” IDC’s Singh pointed out. This also because last year saw a good demand in the PC market, largely propelled by the government-driven education projects and upgrade purchases for Windows 10, he said. “There will be demand in the next few months, but as the entire macroeconomics is going to be impacted due to Covid-19, this will also impact the overall buying power of the people and that of enterprises,” added Singh.

Demand in certain home appliances also seems to be picking up. Since the easing of the lockdown, Panasonic India has started inching towards steady sales fuelled largely by rural demands, said Takamatsu. The year-on-year sales for the company during the month of June has grown by 20 per cent in vacuum cleaners and 40 per cent in refrigerators. Grooming products, especially trimmers, have seen a 5X growth during this period, as consumers are depending less on salons to ensure safety and hygiene, he said. Microwave and washing machines (top-load) also saw an uptake of 44 per cent and 24 per cent respectively, he added.

Shashank Sinha, Chief Transformation Officer and Head of Marketing, Eureka Forbes Limited, said its vacuum cleaner and steam cleaner segments are seeing an increased demand. “Customer awareness towards cleaning and sanitisation has increased drastically and with the current pandemic at hand, everyone wants to clean their homes efficiently and conveniently,” he said.

Rise in dishwasher sales

“Particularly with reference to the dishwasher category, which is a relatively new segment, we were pleasantly surprised with an exponential growth in sales of over 200 per cent compared to that recorded in the same period, last year,” said Pradeep Bakshi, MD and CEO, Voltas Ltd. Voltas has also seen a “significant improvement” in the sales of ACs in the last one-and-a-half months, owing to the extreme heat, apart from a “huge growth” in the sale of refrigerators and washing machines.

“In the next few months, as we usher in the festive season, we expect categories like washing machines and refrigerators to gain more momentum,” said Bakshi. Takamatsu also said that he is hopeful that the festive season will help recover some of the losses incurred during the lockdown.

Published on July 02, 2020

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