The South Korean consumer appliances market recorded slower growth in volume terms through 2012, when compared to 2011. Unit prices declined mainly due to smart consumers turning to value-for-money products.
Major appliances performed slower than small appliances. Among total consumer appliances, automatic tumble dryers, pod coffee machines and fryers witnessed a sharp boost due to consumer demand, while some major appliances such as dishwashers recorded a downturn.
The main trend for consumer appliances in 2012 can be summarised in four words; size, smart, simple and style. The 'size' trend moved in two opposite directions. With refrigeration appliances, the trend for large size dominated, while other appliances such as home laundry appliances, smaller size with efficient function was popular.
Players state that the exclusive size trend in refrigeration appliances is because it is used as a technology demonstrating method. Unlike other consumer appliances, refrigeration appliances do not have many ways to prove its performance. Therefore, the most effective demonstration is by size dominance.
The smart function is rapidly growing along with smart phone expansion and consumer interest. Appliances with simple functions were significantly popular among many housewives. In addition to these factors, stylish design was important.
Even though the leading brand per consumer appliance category was different, there was a basic general trend amongst the leaders. Local manufacturers such as LG Corp, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Haatz Co Ltd were significant in major appliances. On the other hand, imported brands such as Philips Korea Ltd and Groupe SEB Korea Ltd were strong in small appliances.
In order to expand internet retailing to major appliances, internet retailers should benchmark LG and Samsung outlets, as they provide a seamless service when consumers purchase through their website.
Local brand presence was supported by the manufacturers' focused efforts in certain major appliances such as home laundry appliances, refrigeration appliances and large cooking appliances. Expensive prices of imported brands compared to the country of its origin helped to boost local brands' worth.
For more information on the South Korean consumer appliances market, see the latest research: South Korean Consumer Appliances Market
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