issue: December 2009 APPLIANCE Magazine
Making the Most of Festival Season
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Adite Banerjie, India correspondent
Appliance makers are staging big promotions to spur sales during India’s fall festival season.
Autumn is India’s festival time of year.
Back-to-back festivals start with Dusshera in late September and go on
through Diwali in mid-October. The festive season even extends right up
to Christmas. This is season when consumer product manufacturers and
retailers gear up in an effort to attract sales of big-ticket items.
Traditionally speaking, this is the time when, across all regions of
India, families set out to buy consumer durables. It coincides with the
harvesting season, when farmers and rural consumers are cash-rich.
year, however, retailers and manufacturers were a little anxious about
sales trends. Even though recessionary trends have abated, bad monsoons
in most parts of the country did not bode well for sales of consumer
durables. Though sales of durables were not radically hit because of
recessionary trends during the last year, the fear is that the bad
monsoons and drought-hit status of several states in India will lead
consumers to restrain their festival shopping. Media reports, too,
suggest that even though there is an upswing in shopping
trends—particularly as sales of cars have picked over the past few
months—shoppers are wary of spending on consumer durables. One reason
could be the job losses that have happened across all sectors. Another
reason is the inflationary trend in food prices.
Indian Households Cut Back Spending
estimate that households are currently spending 15–20% more on food
items and this may have curtailed expenditure on non-food items.
Moreover, overall growth rates of modern retail formats have dropped
from 35–40% over the past few years to about 10–15%. There is a growing
preference for ‘value-for-money’ formats, and as the trend shifts from
premium, lifestyle products to value products, marketers must realign
their marketing strategies.
surprising that leading appliance marketers like Samsung and Whirlpool
were pitching big during festival promotions. Samsung had a budget of
Rs 250 million (more than US$5 million) for this year’s festival
promotions. Samsung appliance promotions include giving a free vacuum
cleaner with the purchase of a fully automatic front-loading washing
machine. The company also increased the warranty offers on
refrigerators to eight years. Purchase of a Samsung refrigerator now
entitles the consumer to a complete warranty on the product for one
year, an additional four years’ warranty on the sealed system and eight
years warranty on the compressor—but it applies only to refrigerators
purchased during the festival season.
who purchased a Samsung LED TV 40 in. or larger received a 22-in.
Samsung LCD TV for free. Samsung currently has three LED Series models
across 32-, 40-, 46-, and 55-in. screen size segments priced in the
range between Rs 69,900 and Rs 350,000. Consumers purchasing a 32-in.
LED TV or any Samsung Plasma or LCD TV with a screen size of 37 in. and
bigger also received a Samsung DVD Player Model H1080 as a freebie.
Consumers purchasing a popular size 32-in. LCD TV received a DVD-490
player as a gift, Those buying LCDs in 22- and 26-in. sizes received a
pack of 50 DVD movies for free.
looking at a business of Rs 17 billion (approx. $360 million) from our
Consumer Electronics Business during the September–October 2009 period,
which will translate into a 40% growth over our sales in the
corresponding period last year,” states Mr. R. Zutshi, deputy managing
director, Samsung India.
also hoped to increase its sales by 35–40% over the last year and aimed
at a sales target of Rs 6 billion (approx. $129 million) during the
festive season. It introduced a new line of semi-automatic washing
machines in three capacities. It also launched new microwave grill and
convection models and new color finishes for its refrigerators.
consumer who bought a Whirlpool appliance during the festival season
not only received a free gift but also an opportunity for additional
value-added offers. All were awarded through a card with three scratch
offers that were handed over to the consumer when the Whirlpool
appliance was purchased. With the first scratch, consumers were
guaranteed to win either a Whirlpool microwave or a Reebok wristwatch
worth Rs 2599 (about $55). Whirlpool planned to give away 25,000
microwaves during the offer period.
scratch-off entitled the consumer to get a special offer on Whirlpool
Purafresh Deluxe, the company’s very successful Reverse Osmosis Water
Purifier, at a special price of Rs 11,999 (approx. $255), down from the
regular price of Rs 15,950 (approx. $340). The third scratch-off was an
offer to consumers to purchase a Whirlpool Microwave 20 Litre Grill,
the electric model, at a special price of Rs 4990 (approx. $105)
against a regular retail price of Rs 6490 (approx. $140).
appliance makers like Samsung and Whirlpool did their utmost to ensure
that the festive season was a win-win for both themselves and
Read more of Adite Banerjie’s India Reports at: ApplianceMagazine.com/india