Moderate raise keeps market af loat

What has by now become a cliché is the degree to which the economic crisis has impacted on the Romanian purchasing power and, subsequently, on the consumer behaviour throughout a wide range of sectors

Still, by reshuffling budgets or making an extra effort to secure a desired commodity, Romanians seem to have pushed the electronics market forward, according to a Gfk survey on the segment.


The market research company released figures for the second quarter of 2012, analyzing the moves on the market which is very volatile and is subject to overnight changes driven by a sensitive pricing factor.


Electronics: TV sets seem meant to ‘save’ the market


Sales for electronic equipments went up three per cent in the second quarter of 2012, reaching 58 million Euro, according to the Gfk survey. Significant increases were registered mainly in the total sales of flat-screen TVs, the two-digit increase rates on this market being supported by promotions, linked mainly to special events, such as the European Championships.


The TV market has also managed to generate added value by switching from LCD to LED devices. More than half of the sales were generated by the sale of LED models. Worth mentioning is the fact that sales for other electronic devices were either stable or negative in the second quarter of the year.


Telecom: Smartphones continue to boost the sector


The total value of the mobile phones and smartphones market in the second quarter of the year saw a slight increase, of just 0.7 per cent, over the corresponding period in 2011, to a total of 43 million Euro. Smartphones continue to grow in sales and managed to steer the Telecom segment on an uptrend.


As a particularity, Romanians prefer Android-endowed smartphones, which come with a 5.5 MP camera and a touch screen. Despite losing ground to smartphones, mobile phones are still dominating the telecom market, according to Gfk.


IT: Tablets still reign at the border between IT and Telecom


This year’s second quarter seemed relatively stable for the IT market. The sector dropped two per cent over the year-ago period, reaching 84 million Euro. Computer screens and desk computers also registered decreases of two per cent, while laptop sales were close to the value registered in the second quarter of 2011. What was revealed as a pleasant surprise in Q2 2012, was the slight increase in sales for peripherals (mice, keyboards, and webcams)


However, the ‘star’ at the frontier between IT and Telecom – the tablets – has this quarter as well managed to level the market, owing to the advantages it offers to the consumer: mobility, flexibility and a friendly interface.


Printers: laser multifunctionals ensure stability


The market for printers and multifunctionals remains stable, at around seven million Euro in the second quarter of 2012, with a slight decrease of 2.9 per cent over the previous year. This was largely due to an increase in sales for multifunctional devices mainly bought by home users. The inkjet market seems to lose ground to devices that come with laser technology, but they still rank high in the overall office equipment market.


The study says consumption stimulation instruments are needed to surpass the seven million Euro mark, both in the home segment and in the business-to-business one.


Small home appliances: segment sees challenges


The instable political environment, as well as the recession in many Euro zone countries, has led to a slow down of the Romanian economy growth, which was considerably felt on the segment of small home appliances. With a decrease of nine per cent in Euro, the value of the small home appliances market stood at 22 million Euro in the second quarter of the year, compared to 24 million Euro in Q2 2011.


Main product categories that have contributed to the decline were among the largest small home appliances segments, such as appliances to prepare food, vacuum cleaners and appliances that remove body and facial hair (for both male and female).

Only one category managed to ‘shine’ in this quarter again: beverage-making appliances. The remarkable increase in this quarter was pushed forward by sales of high-pressure equipment (full-automated espresso machines, capsule-based espresso machines and traditional espresso makers), as well as a good performance in sales by low-pressure, capsule-based coffee makers.


Despite descending tendencies in the category of small home appliances, there were also segments which registered a good evolution: vacuum cleaners without dust collectors – an increase of three per cent; ironing systems saw a two per cent increase, while fruit and vegetable squeezers also saw a slight increase of two per cent in sales.




Large home appliances: two-digit decrease rate in Q2


With over ten million Euro more in sales in the first quarter, but still ten per cent less than in Q2 2011, the segment of large home appliances ranks second in the long-term use consumer goods category. As a particularity, the interest rate had an impact on this market - while if evaluated in Euro, the segment decreased by ten per cent, in the national currency, the decrease stood at only three percent. When compared to the national currency, some categories, such as ovens, washing machines, freezers and cookers have witnessed increase rates.


Evolutions within the sector were diverse; whether the largest segments of large home appliances dropped two-digits in percentages, developing segments, such as ovens, cookers, dishwashers and dryers have decreased just slightly compared to the equivalent period of last year, in Euro. Despite these small segments registering good results from a quarter to another and promising good future results, they stand for only 12 per cent of the entire large home appliances market.


Despite retailers’ and producers’ expectations, aggressive promotions on the refrigerators and freezers markets did not manage to push forward sales above the 2011 value. Moreover, the microwave market sells 20 per cent less units than last year.


The washing machines market continues the decrease it began in Q1 2012, some types even by two digits. Consumers lose their trust and mood to buy, with a tendency to become reluctant in purchasing large home appliances this time of the year.