New Opportunities Eyed By Samsung With Demand For Home Appliances Surging During Pandemic

The novel coronavirus pandemic has stoked demand for home appliances ranging from products to sanitize closets to customizable fridges.

This has benefited the South Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and the company is now adding warehouses and is making efforts to take more of its popular products to more markets.

Products that make their homes cleaner are the items that consumers have been particularly focused on and have spent more on.

Those households which prior to the pandemic relied on maids are now investing in dishwashers and robot vacuum cleaners in Brazil and other emerging economies. This perhaps the reason that the overseas sales of air purifiers form Samsung of saw an uptick of more than five times in the months between January and July compared to the same months a year ago.

An increasing sale for Samsung’s AirDresser which is a closet that steam cleans clothes and kills bacteria was noted by the company. British furniture firm Lux Group for example, had ordered 1,000 pieces of the product earlier in the year. And with people cooking more often at home and therefore looking out for freezer with larger storing space, the sale of big fridges of the company have also climbed in popularity, Samsung said.

“Sales are doing well in all but a few countries,” Lee Jae-seung, executive vice president of Samsung Electronics’ digital appliance business, told the media in an interview.

The company’s factories in the United States, Mexico, Poland, India and other countries that make household appliances have been working at full capacity, he said, and added that the company was looking out for more warehouse space in the United States, South Korea and Europe.

“There was a lot of pent-up demand in the U.S and elsewhere,” Lee said.

A much greater willingness to spend money that they would have otherwise used on trips and outdoor activities was seen among many consumers to upgrade their household interiors, he also noted.

In the first half of the current year, there was a 30 per cent year on year increase in fridge sales of Samsung in its home market, because of the company’s “Bespoke” refrigerators. Earlier this year, the company launched these customizable fridges which come in a wide range of compartment sizes, panel types and colours that customers can alter top mix and match. The fridges would be available for sale in northern Europe from October.

Earning for the home appliance business is not disclosed separately by Samsung. But according to UBS, an operating profit of 337 billion won ($284.48 million) in the April-June quarter was made by the company’s home appliance business. That was about 30 per cent greater than the number for the company in the same period a year earlier, according to Seoul-based KTB Securities.

(Adapted from BusinessWorld.in)

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