Volume sales of microwaves have declined due to store closures, especially electronics and appliance specialist retailers, as the French government has introduced two national lockdowns in 2020 to curb COVID-19. Because electronics and appliance specialists is the main channel for retail sales of consumer appliances, microwaves has decreased by a percentage similar to that of other major appliances.
In 2020, Samsung is maintaining its lead in microwaves in France, losing sales at a rate similar to the category average. As well as contending with the French government’s closure of non-essential sales channels, Whirlpool France still seems to be suffering slightly from the negative impact that the closure of its Amiens production facility has had on its brand, although its share has been more stable in 2020.
Microwaves continue to have important advantages in French consumers’ busy lifestyles – being simple, quick and convenient to use – so they are set to remain popular with time-pressed consumers, who value these benefits. Equipment upgrades and renewals along the lines of combined microwave ovens have been helping drive sales.
In line with an uneven review period performance, microwaves posted small volume growth in 2019 following a decrease of a similar magnitude in 2018. Some good news for the category is that in 2021, the economic downturn caused by the health crisis is unlikely to affect sales significantly thanks to the low prices many microwaves are available at, which will limit any trading down or postponing of purchases among consumers.
In microwaves, freestanding models, while in decline, will continue to dominate overall sales due to their ease of access and replacement compared with built-in products. Most innovations are expected to continue to be seen in freestanding microwaves.
In spite of the popularity of the products, the sales performance of microwaves will be limited as it is a highly mature category with a very high penetration rate. Price promotions and innovations with advanced technology – such as the Whirlpool Smart Countertop Oven that recognises the food inside – should help to stimulate sales.
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This report originates from Passport, our Microwaves research and analysis database.
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