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Consumer electronics market expects 40% growth in festive season

Pent-up demand due to GST and favourable monsoons leading to good harvest shall boost the rural demand for consumer durables

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The manufacturers of consumer durables expect a 40 percent growth in their sales this festive season by offering freebies and discounts to woo consumers, hoping to put behind the woes they faced in the run-up to GST rollout.

Manufacturers, including Sony, LG, Panasonic, and Haier, are pinning hopes on pent-up demand post-GST after destocking by trade partners in June, to keep their sales counter ticking.

The companies are also loosening their purse strings for marketing campaigns, with Sony alone earmarking Rs 250 crore and Panasonic looking to spend 1.4 times more this season on branding and marketing exercise.

Haier is spending 70 percent more this year compared to last year."In the festive season this year, we plan 25 percent sales growth from August to November, 2017, over the corresponding period last year,” Kenichiro Hibi, Managing Director, Sony India told PTI.

There is a huge demand in the market and the same is expected to rise ahead of the festive season, he said, adding "we plan to invest Rs 250 crore towards our marketing activities". Industry body, Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA) said most of the factors point to favourable sales in the festive season.

"Pent-up demand due to GST and favourable monsoons leading to good harvest shall boost the rural demand for consumer durables," CEAMA President, Manish Sharma said. Moreover, an increase in central employees allowance and the rate cut by RBI in August will further build consumer confidence to drive the sales of consumer durables, he added. In June, the industry saw pre-GST clearance sale as stockists and trade partners sought to liquidate inventories to avoid losses during transition to the new tax regime.

Bullish on good sales across categories in the festive season, LG Electronics India CMO, Amit Gujral said, "We are expecting an upsurge in demand in various categories and have adequately geared up for the same."

Haier, which is expecting up to 50 percent rise in sales this year, sees online retail channels contributing to growth, besides the traditional retail format. "Overall, e-commerce contributes to 10 percent of our sales and were expecting the festive season to make this contribution more robust," said Haier India President, Eric Braganza.

Panasonic, which is looking at 30-40 percent growth, plans to invest 1.4 times more this season on branding and marketing to draw buyers.

"This will be in the form of TVC commercials, print ad, in-shop brandings, digital marketing efforts and hoardings, besides other local level below-the-line activities. The spend this time is about 1.4 times that of last year," said Sharma, who is also President and CEO of Panasonic India.

Likewise, Haier India is adopting an integrated marketing approach. "This year, we have increased our marketing spends by almost 70 percent across all mediums; electronic, print, out of home, digital and social and in-store branding," Braganza said.

The festive season in India has already started in south with Onam and will go up to Christmas in December.

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