During the month-long period from early October to Dhanteras-Diwali, sales of smartphones and electronics grew 15 to 20%. This was led by higher demand for mid-to-premium products and price increases.
Analysts believe electronics and smartphones would have done even better if supplies hadn’t been constrained, taking a hit on volumes which went up in low single digits from 2020’s record surge. Companies said consumer sentiment and demand were better than last year. There was noted higher ticket sizes, which was driven by improvements in income, employment stability, low COVID-19 infection rates and economic outlook.
Deepak Bansal, vice president, LG Electronics India, told ET that the festive season growth has been steady. He said it could have been better if supplies of premium products were consistent, since consumer sentiments have been extremely buoyant. The report highlights that LG and Samsung expanded festive revenue by over 20% from last year, and Realme’s sales grew by over 40% with an 11% surge in average selling prices – indicating greater purchase of premium products; and Panasonic grew sales by 42%.
Madhav Sheth, president of Realme’s international business, expects festive sales to extend through the weekend. He said actual sales would have been significantly higher of if the supply chain gap could have been closed. Rajendra Kalkar, president, west, Phoenix Mills, which operates more than half a dozen malls in Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru, highlighted that both sales and footfalls were higher across categories compared to the 2019 level. “We are experiencing the best sales performance since the pandemic. Categories such as jewellery and ethnic are growing at the fastest pace, indicating a positive consumer sentiment and festive mindset.”
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Eric Braganza, president of the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association, shared that demand has been higher for mid-to-premium end products with consumers preferring to upgrade, including in smaller towns. Companies said while ecommerce marketplaces such as Amazon and Flipkart gave the initial boost to this year’s festive sales by kicking things off a few days before Navratri and running promotions consistently for a month, footfalls in malls and brick-and-mortar too improved. This was aided by high vaccination numbers.