Despite summers, sales of ACs, refrigerators to remain down; but, prices may go up

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April 22, 2020 4:15 PM

While summers are already knocking in many Indian cities, sales of ACs, refrigerators and other summer essentials durables are likely to remain down as retail stores and ecommerce channels are shut.

Mobile phones, televisions, refrigerators, laptops and stationary items will be allowed to be sold through e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal from April 20 during lockdown: OfficialsAfter the lifting of the lockdown, the players will focus on clearing their inventories and may reduce prices.

The consumer durables sector is in for a major loss due to lockdown. While summers are already knocking in many Indian cities, sales of ACs, refrigerators and other summer essentials durables are likely to remain down as retail stores and ecommerce channels are shut, at least till 3rd May for now. Supplies from China are also an issue. “Consumer durables and electronics will also be adversely affected by the Covid-19 as it is highly dependent on China for imports. India imports the majority of its units of consumer durables from China,” a CARE Ratings report said on Wednesday. 

Not just the finished product, India also imports components for the manufacturing of consumer durables from China. Since supplies are low, prices of these products may see an increase. However, after the lifting of the lockdown, the players will focus on clearing their inventories and may reduce prices.

Coronavirus may have severe impact on the country’s retail sector which is the fourth-largest global destination in the retail space after USA, China and Japan. Organised retail, which accounts for merely 12% of total Indian retail was pegged at about $95 billion in FY19, the CARE Ratings report said. “E-tail sales were at about $24 billion, accounting for about 25% of the organised market or 3% of the total retail market in India in FY19,” the report added. The coronavirus pandemic is aggravating a sector which has already been facing the headwinds of a slowdown for a year now.

Meanwhile, consumer spending has declined as India remains confined to their homes. Sectors such as fashion and lifestyle, which are some of the biggest areas in terms of consumer spending are also severely hit. “Even after the lockdown ends, it is likely that the spending on clothing and other accessories would not be much,” the report said, adding that the retailers may extend heavy discounts or sale periods to clear the piled up stock.

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