According to data published by GfK Temax, Duch market for technical consumer goods increased by 4.9% in the final quarter of 2014 compared to the correspondent period of 2013. Sales of major domestic appliances, smartphones, action cameras and mini speakers registered a growth.
Major domestic appliances
With a growth of 14% in Q4 2014, turnover in the major domestic appliances sector surpassed all expectations. The recovery of the housing market, fueled by tax benefits, stimulated volume. All product groups benefited, and the decisions of consumers to buy better products sustained both average prices and turnover. This was particularly evident in the high-load capacity washing machines and heat-pump dryers segments. The market for cooling products benefited the most from the recovery in the housing market. Here, the emphasis on energy efficiency, together with the support of cashback campaigns on the better models, paid off for the industry, retailers and consumers.
Small domestic appliances
For the fifth quarter in a row, the Dutch small domestic appliances market reported an increase in sales. With an overall increase in sales of 5.6% in Q4 2014, compared to the same period last year, the whole year also ended positively. Again, small kitchen appliances and household appliances contributed strongly to this growth – especially deep fryers, food preparation products, and vacuum cleaners – all of which reported double-digit growth. The sudden growth in sales of vacuum cleaners was a result of recently introduced EU energy labels. Newly introduced vacuum cleaners added value to the market as average prices increased. Within the area of personal care products, sales grew slightly (by almost 1%). Major growth was recorded in the dental care, shavers, hair clippers, and hairdryers segments.
The fourth quarter of 2014 showed good results for both the smartphones and the mobile phones segments. Devices are increasingly being sold with Near Field Communication (NFC). This method of communication can be used for making wireless payments. SIM-free is now the most popular way of buying in The Netherlands.
Turnover in Q4 2014 amounted to €644 million, 5% lower than in Q4 2013. This quarter showed the sharpest drop in turnover of all the quarters in 2014. The total turnover for 2014 was 4.4% less, compared to 2013. The highest turnover was in the laptops segment. However, this could not compensate for the drop in turnover in the tablets market. Last year, support for Windows XP ended, and “2-in-1” models were introduced – laptops with the look and feel of a tablet. Both of these events helped to push sales in the laptops market. With the need for the network to be optimal in every room, and available for all mobile devices, repeaters and Plan devices also grew in turnover.
Office equipment and consumables
Turnover in Q4 2014 amounted to €163 million, the same result as in Q4 2013. The total turnover in 2014 grew by 4.5%, compared to 2013. Turnover in data/video projectors improved for the sixth quarter in a row. Also, inkjet cartridges improved turnover for the fifth quarter in a row. This growth was caused by improved multipack sales.
During the whole of 2014, €1.44 billion was spent on consumer electronics products, 1.5% less than in 2013. The fourth quarter closed with a fall in sales of 1.5%, resulting in a turnover of €391 million. Ultra HD is a new technology and in 2014 sales increased to almost 50,000 units. Also, over the last two years, the average price has halved. More and more consumers will therefore be able to buy this product. It is anticipated that 2015 will be the year when Oled and curved TVs will break through. Due to the connectivity phenomenon, there are positive developments in the audio products segment. Amplifiers, network music systems, docking/ minispeakers and loudspeakers (including soundbars) all showed double-digit growth.
The last quarter of 2014 showed a decline in turnover of 15.7%, compared to the same quarter last year – the turnover was €39 million. There was a sharp drop in sales of compact cameras, with a smaller decline in sales of cameras with interchangeable lenses. This smaller decline can be attributed mainly to SLR cameras. Moreover, sales of system cameras improved, compared to last year. Turnover showed growth in double digits. As well as an improvement in the sales of system cameras, there was also considerable growth in sales of action cameras – sales tripled in 2014. Turnover and sales of action cameras were larger than that for traditional camcorders.