COVID-19 will lead to a slowdown in retail volume growth of microwaves during 2020. Retail volume sales of built-in microwaves will decline for the first time in seven years, as the pandemic will lead to a reduction in the number of people moving home – many Koreans remodel their kitchen when they move to a new home.
The growing popularity of light fryers began to weigh on growth in retail volume sales of microwaves during the latter part of the review period. These are increasingly favoured by local consumers because they produce crispy food that is not oily and thus healthier.
Three domestic players – Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, SK Magic Inc and LG Electronics Inc – account for more than 80% of retail volume sales of microwaves in South Korea. However, all three are losing volume share, mainly to local retail chain E-Mart Inc, which began to sell no brand microwaves during the review period.
SK Magic Inc’s MWO-AF3A1 microwave automatically calculates how long it will take to properly cook frozen food, based on its weight, helping to reduce meal preparation times. It is also energy efficient and offers a slick design.
Growth in retail volume sales of microwaves will be tepid during the forecast period. Continued growth in the popularity of light fryers will play a role in this, as will maturation: Most South Korean households now have a microwave, so most consumers will only now buy one when their existing model needs to be replaced.
Retail current value sales of microwaves are forecast to decline during the forecast period, as no brand offerings continue to put downward pressure on unit price, particularly for freestanding microwaves. As household size continues to shrink during the forecast period, demand for lower-capacity microwaves will grow, which will have a negative one on retail current value sales.
While electronics and appliance specialist retailers continue to account for a majority of retail volume sales of microwaves, the share of e-commerce has been significantly boosted by the pandemic. This is because many consumers have been anxious to avoid social contact, while consumers spending more time at home has led to a general increase in online shopping.
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