Demand for home appliances accelerates, with ‘smart’ features poised for rapid roll-out, Futuresource Consulting reports

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The home appliances sector accelerated in 2016, as global shipments grew by 4% to 247 million refrigeration and laundry units according to the latest ‘Worldwide Home Appliance Market Report’ published by Futuresource Consulting. Continued volume growth is expected over the next five years, for a market that is worth $85 billion a year.

Whilst growth in the established markets of North America and Western Europe was 3%, this solid performance was outstripped by emerging markets in Asia and Africa, where some consumers are acquiring devices for the first time. However, Latin America underperformed for the second year in a row due to economic headwinds.

 

Rapid roll-out of appliances with ‘smart’ features is now expected to be a priority for the industry. “Manufacturers are now focusing on the inclusion of smart features and we anticipate that half of all home appliances that ship in 2021 will offer online connectivity,” says Filipe Oliveira, Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. “For example LG and Hoover have committed to implementing connectivity within all their appliances this year.  Other major players such as Bosch and Samsung have announced plans to follow suit by 2020.

“Connectivity has the potential to open the door for manufacturers, to provide services linked to the major domestic appliances that they sell. These could include diagnostic and maintenance services, management and ordering of consumables, improved fabric care or even enhanced cooking experiences,” adds Oliveira.

In laundry, a trend towards high capacity models across all regions is noticeable. Dryers are experiencing a period of strong sales growth in Southern Europe, where historically uptake has been low.

In refrigeration, multi-door devices and premium features such as ice dispensers are making their way into the middle range of the market in the mature markets of Western Europe and North America.

The average retail price of major appliances is still declining but a move towards higher-end devices and the uptake of smart features in mature markets should help average prices stabilise.

Whirlpool, Electrolux and Haier continued to dominate the major domestic appliances global market in 2016, with a combined unit share of over 40%.