New hope from consumer electronics?

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The audio/visual segment of the consumer electronics sector stablised for the first time in April 2012 since June 2010, reported GfK.

“For the first time since June 2010, the consumer electronics category did not decline in value compared to the same month one year before. Factors include new models and events, such as the forthcoming European Football Championships and the Digital Switchover. Their influence and that of the Olympics, may well keep CE in growth for a few months across the summer,” commented GfK’s business group director, Nigel Catlow.

In particular the television category delivered unexpectedly good news.  For the first time since 2007, in April 2012 its sales volume was up an impressive 15% on April 2011. “With the Digital Switchover almost complete, it is not surprising that 22in and 24n TV sales are up 6% to 2 million units as consumers replace second and third small screen analogue TVs,” said Nick Simon, GfK account director.

“Looking to other categories, April was in general a good month,” continued Mr Catlow. “IT rose around 20%, white goods 9% and small domestic appliances 15%. Growth was mixed, so in IT for example, a lot of the positivity is down to low ownership devices, such as tablets and electronic readers, with other more replacement led markets showing some slight declines.

“The only ‘fly in the ointment’ category is photo. Here, April 2012 value was worse than April 2011 by around 13%. This decline is a result of a value and volume drop in standard compact cameras as the ‘great cannibaliser’, the smart phone, impacts the volume sector of the photo market.”

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