Sales of air conditioners, coolers, refrigerators and fans have are rising a month early this year, with February heat breaking record levels.
Usually, cooling appliances are in demand starting from March, but with early onset of summer this year, manufacturers are already clocking good sales numbers, and the coming season is likely to see peak demand.
“Most consumers today are looking at advanced features that cater to their health and hygiene requirements, along with being energy-efficient. The industry is poised for double-digit growth in both volume and value this season, across both offline and online channels,” said Bakshi. The company is also gearing up to launch a new range of cooling products across categories and will also roll out offers as summer begins in full swing.
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At Godrej Appliances, the company is targeting a growth of 40% this summer over last year from its entire range of cooling appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators, air coolers and deep freezers. The company recently launched a leak-proof split air conditioner, with which it now has a range of over 25 SKUs in the AC segment. “We anticipate over 2x growth in AC sales compared to last year. We are expecting a severe and prolonged summer this year and as a result demand for the cooling categories will be high. Some upswing is expected in the discretionary spending as well this year with the recent announcement by the government on tax relief,” said Kamal Nandi, business head and executive vice president, Godrej Appliances.
With early data suggesting a strong probability of el Niño, leading to a potentially warmer summer this year, analysts at Axis Securities have forecast higher demand for cooling products in the March and June quarters. “The RAC (room air conditioner) market remains under penetrated at 7-8% versus the global average of around 42%, thereby providing huge headroom for growth in the medium to long term. We further believe that the increasing disposable income of the aspirational class of consumers, rising demand for energy efficient products, and availability of finance is expected to drive RAC demand in the medium to long term,” analysts said.
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LG India too is witnessing “unprecedented demand” for air conditioners and refrigerators, said Deepak Bansal, vice president (home appliances & AC), LG India. “Consumers are increasingly opting for higher capacity refrigerators and fully automatic washing machines. Our two manufacturing facilities are running at full capacity to meet this growing demand. Going forward, we are expecting double-digit growth in overall business, and increased demand for energy-efficient products,” he said.
B Thiagarajan, managing director, Blue Star