According to GfK Temax, the German TCG market ended the final quarter of 2014 with a substantial sales increase of 5.8%. Except for the photography and consumer electronics sectors, all other sectors achieved a positive result. In Q4 2014, the German market achieved its biggest sales volume of the year. Sales between October and December amounted to €16.7 billion. The annual balance was positive too, with a growth rate of 4.6% and a total sales volume of €56.6 billion. High value, innovative or mobile appliances were in demand and the best sectors for growth were telecommunications and information technology.
Major domestic appliances
The major domestic appliances market had a strong final quarter. On a year-on-year basis, turnover grew by 7.3%, corresponding to approximately €2.4 billion. The total sales volume generated in 2014 stood at €8.5 billion, an increase of 5.2%, compared to the previous year. All product groups contributed to that good result. The strongest growth came from the tumble dryers segment which gained momentum out of the demand for appliances with capacities of over 7 kg. Good sales results came from the cooking equipment segment, as more consumers chose high-value appliances with self-cleaning functions.
Small domestic appliances
The German market for small domestic appliances managed to increase its turnover in Q4 2014 by 6.4% to €1.1 billion. The yearly performance in 2014 was also pleasing with a growth rate of 4.6% and a total sales volume of €3.5 billion. Positive sales impetus came from all areas with hand blenders, electric tooth brushes, kitchen machines and hair styling products among the most dynamic sales drivers throughout the year. However, capsule and pad coffee machines, traditional steam irons, and floor vacuum cleaners all declined.
The telecommunications market led the way among the sectors surveyed in Q4 2014 with a growth rate of 16.7%. Thanks to an ongoing trend towards higher-value appliances, sales generated between October and December amounted to €3.2 billion. Smartphones and telephone systems were especially in demand. The overall performance of the telecommunications sector in 2014 was excellent with growth of 8%, and total sales of €9.8 billion.
In 2014, the IT sector was the best in terms of sales growth and the second best growth rate occurred in Q4. Information technology produced the largest sales volumes of all the sectors (in absolute terms), growing by nearly 10% in 2014, corresponding to a total turnover of €19.6 billion. This growth was based across a number of segments, including different product categories. The biggest impetus, however, came from the mobile computing segment. This is a trend which is likely to continue in 2015, along with the ongoing interest for high-quality, designed appliances. Additional sales potential will come from the areas of cloud computing and internet of things.
Office equipment and consumables
During the Christmas season, the German office equipment and consumables market barely managed to continue its positive sales trend in Q4 2014. A marginal growth rate of 0.4% was generated between October and December, corresponding to roughly €1.3 billion. But over the whole year, the total increase in turnover stood at 2.2%, corresponding to a sales volume of nearly €4.9 billion. Inkjet printing devices performed well throughout the year, especially business ink multifunctional models. The biggest growth rates, however, came from the lettering devices segment. Label printers proved particularly strong, but endless tape devices also performed well.
Although the German consumer electronics market faced a sales decline of 3.1% to €8.4 billion, the overall trend was more positive, compared to the previous year. In the TVs segment in particular, there were many innovations with great sales potential. Ultra HD devices, curved TVs, smart TVs and OLED TVs all generated growing demand. However, sales development lagged behind because of further falls in average prices. New developments could also be seen in the in-car electronics segment. The transformation from classical car radio to smartphone device continued. Previously, it was mainly about the sound quality of the music whereas now, the main topic is the connectivity of the smartphone in the car.
2014 turned out to be a difficult year for the sector and the respective product groups surveyed. In the end, total sales volume amounted to roughly €1.9 billion, corresponding to a decline of 18%, compared to 2013. The growing competitive pressure from better (and better-equipped) smartphones was instrumental in the falling demand for basic compact system cameras. The market penetration by digital cameras in Germany is already very high, while innovations – which could boost sales – are rare. However, high-quality products were in demand in this environment. Also, compact system cameras and fixed-lens cameras in the high-end ranges are developing promising sales potential for the future. Interest in better-equipped cameras will boost sales of lenses and other photographic accessories.
*Photography includes digital cameras and photo accessories.