White Goods - UK - June 2009
White goods, like so much other expenditure on the home, has been hit hard by more nervous consumers reining in their discretionary spending due to the knock-on impact of the credit crunch, a collapse in property prices and rising unemployment. But while there has been a slackening of demand, as the UK economy moved into recession, manufacturers and retailers of white goods are also faced with the problem of needing to raise prices, as a result of the rising cost of raw materials and a weaker exchange rate.
Despite these challenges, manufacturers continue to invest in new product development, creating new reasons for reluctant consumers to replace old appliances. Improved energy and water efficiency, and ‘intelligent’ technology features that make cooking, washing and the management of other household tasks easier are just two areas of innovation that will be key to persuading consumers to spend on white goods.
How seriously are the recession and the slump in the housing market affecting sales of large kitchen appliances?
What are the latest innovations in the white goods sector in terms of added features and new technologies?
How can manufacturers make the most of the opportunity to educate consumers on the benefits of replacing older models with more energy- and water-efficient appliances?
Is design (in terms of look) of appliances becoming more important to consumers as kitchens increasingly become a central room in the home?
Is the trend towards more entertaining at home as the recession bites likely to represent an opportunity to increase the penetration of dishwashers, as well as larger cookers/ovens?
In terms of size of appliances, which way is the market heading – supersize US-style appliances or more compact appliances for small kitchens?
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