Sales of microwaves in South Africa in 2020 will decline strongly due to COVID-19. The ban on sales of non-essential items and temporary store closures prevented consumers from purchasing such products for several weeks, thus severely impacting the yearly sales.
Freestanding microwaves remain the most popular format by far among consumers, given their versatility and relatively affordable price. Additionally, lower-income households and those living in small apartments prefer the freestanding format as their limited kitchen space leaves them with no choice but to purchase cheaper, smaller microwaves that fit in small spaces and easily moved around.
The share of e-commerce sales in microwaves will be boosted in 2020 as the channel benefits from consumers’ home seclusion and social distancing. Third-party e-commerce companies, such as Takealot, reported strong month-on-month growth in sales for consumer appliances (including microwaves) when sales of consumers appliances were allowed to begin again.
Microwaves will see limit new product development in 2020 as the pandemic reduces manufacturers’ willingness to invest in major projects and innovation when the landscape is so unstable. The temporary ban on sales of non-essential items and in-store retailing closures made it difficult to roll out new products and the financial impact among consumers meant that many were unwilling to spend on new products anyway.
A stable recovery is expected for microwaves over the forecast period, with the category benefitting from being low-cost when compared with other major appliances. Additionally, the rise of home-cooking and convenient meal trends will boost sales, particularly since work-from-home measures are expected to persist.
Over the forecast period, it is expected that the replacement cycle of microwaves with lengthen as consumers, in the aftermath of COVID-19, will aim to save money. The financial effects of the virus are likely to linger at least somewhat throughout the forecast period, and therefore consumers are likely to continue using appliances for longer if still functioning.
The review period has witnessed the emergence of private label microwaves as strong competitors in the microwave category. Large South Africans retailers including Pick n Pay and Checkers, with their respective Ottimo and AIM brands, have driven growth in the private label segment of the market.
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This report originates from Passport, our Microwaves research and analysis database.
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