The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and closure of non-essential retail stores, including electronics and appliance specialist retailers, as well as heightened economic concerns, saw a slump in retail volume sales of refrigeration appliances. While some demand shifted to e-commerce, most households halted or postponed home renovations and building work and delayed purchases of fridges, fridge freezers and freezers.
COVID-19 has accelerated, rather than created a decline in refrigeration appliances in both retail volume and current value sales terms. Refrigeration appliances has continued to be undermined by the poor performance of freezers, which is seen as a bulky and space-consuming product type, leading to a shift to fridge freezers.
Sales through specialist distribution formats, such as electronics and appliance specialist retailers, but also home and garden specialist retailers, have tended to decline through the review period, with e-commerce (click-and-mortar and pure players) fast gaining retail volume shares. With regard to refrigeration appliances, it is easy and convenient for consumers to peruse models online or via showrooms, then buy via e-commerce, especially for freestanding items.
In February 2020, Samsung Electronics Italia launched the Family Hub smart refrigeration appliance with “View Inside” (three internal cameras) function. The novelty was introduced to coincide with the “National Day Against Food Waste”.
Home working is expected to remain a possibility for many consumers in the short to medium term. Like other Western European markets, Italy was in the midst of a second wave of the virus in December 2020, while further waves and the extension of COVID-19-related lockdowns and restrictions are possible in 2021.
There is expected to be growing interest in connectivity/smart functions in refrigeration appliances in Italy in the forecast period. However, progress in this direction has been relatively slow, compared with some other Western European markets.
Having experienced months of home seclusion and limitations on personal movement, some consumers may try to move to larger and more convenient and comfortable living spaces. This is likely to become a consideration for more consumers as Italy struggles to emerge out of the pandemic, with a second wave of the virus underway and further restrictions imposed towards the end of 2020 and set to run into 2021.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Refrigeration Appliances industry in Italy with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Refrigeration Appliances research and analysis database.
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