Where Consumers Shop for Appliances

August 2018

The consumer appliances distribution landscape is witnessing dynamic shifts as consumers modify their shopping habits and preferences. As is the case with all other consumer goods, the appliances industry is significantly impacted by the rise of internet retailing, even as store-based shopping remains predominant. This briefing discusses key distribution trends and retailer strategies relevant to consumer appliances.

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Small and major appliances post robust volume growth

The overall consumer appliances industry posted healthy 4% volume growth in 2017, buoyed by macroeconomic recovery in Eastern Europe and Latin America, and steady volume demand from Asia Pacific.

Electronics and appliance specialist retailers lead distribution

In volume terms, electronics and appliance specialist retailers remained the largest distribution channel for consumer appliances in 2017, leading overall store-based channels and outselling non-store and non-retail channels.

Non-store retail outpaces store-based retail in growth terms

Led by consumer appliances internet retailing, non-store channels registered the most dynamic volume growth over 2012-2017 as consumers gravitated to online platforms for competitive prices and added convenience.

Construction and builders merchants remain relevant in developed and emerging markets

Despite holding a modest volume share of overall distribution of consumer appliances in 2017, non-retail channels (construction and builders merchants) remained important avenues for sales of built-in major appliances and air conditioners across both developed and emerging markets.

Private label most prevalent in small appliances; post volume decline in major appliances

Private label brands held an almost equal share of volume sales of small and major appliances in 2017. However, private label major appliances saw absolute volume declines over 2012-2017, while sales of private label small appliances continued to surpass major appliances and register steady volume growth.

Consumer appliances industry to see stable volume growth over forecast period

Over 2017-2022, the consumer appliances industry is set to grow by a forecast volume CAGR of 3%. Asia Pacific and Middle East and Africa are expected to lead volume growth thanks to increasing incomes, low overall product adoption, and rising urbanisation in these regions. 


Key findings

Industry Snapshot

Global consumer appliance sales rebound in 2017
Small and major appliances post robust volume growth in 2017
Asia Pacific is the largest and most dynamic region

Channel Shifts

Store-based channels remain in the lead
Internet retailing drives non-store growth
Competition, convenience and discounts lure more consumers online

Store-based Channels

Electronics and appliance specialist retailers lead store-based sales
Beauty specialist retailers the most dynamic store-based channel
Electronics and appliance specialist retailers the largest channel in 2017
Best Buy Co Inc leads due to its significant presence in the US
Modern grocery retailers support demand for small appliances
Walmart Inc leads modern grocery retail; Schwarz levels up
Private label most prevalent in small appliances
North America and Western Europe lead private label volume sales …
… but private label share in Australia and South Africa also ranks high

Non-store Channels

Internet retailing dominates non-store sales
Non-store retail growth led by internet retailing
Internet retailing makes gains in both major and small appliances…
…with a relatively comparable level of penetration in each sector
Asia Pacific is the most important region for internet retailing
Amazon retains internet retailing leadership; JD.com makes rapid gains
Omnichannel retailing balances in-store feel with digital convenience

Non-retail Channels

New housing projects; home renovations drive non-retail growth (1)
New housing projects; home renovations drive non-retail growth (2)

Future Developments

Asia Pacific to continue as the global growth engine
Online value sales projected to accelerate faster than store-based sales
Key recommendations

Report definitions

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