As communicated by GfK Temax Korea, in the country only two of the seven technical consumer goods categories – major domestic appliances and small domestic appliances – reported expansion in Q1 2015, compared to the same period last year. Five other sectors decreased, with telecommunications, consumer electronics and photography down by double digits from Q1 2014. The overall market declined considerably (-16.1%) in the first quarter 2015.
Small domestic appliances
The growth of 10.4% in the SDA sector was contributed by two major product groups – vacuum cleaners and rice cookers – which expanded by 32.1% and 14.5% respectively in Q1 2015, compared to Q1 2014. These performances, together with growth in other segments such as toasters, bread makers, deep fryers and dental care products, helped to generate over KRW467 billion in the first three months of the year.
Major domestic appliances
The MDA sector generated a total of KRW872 billion in Q1 2015 – up by 8.8% compared to Q1 2014, but down significantly from the previous quarter. Compared to a year ago, all but one of the segments in this sector registered growth, led by dishwashers, food waste disposal products, washing machines and cooling products which all generated increases in sales of more than 10%.
Mediatablets continued to surge in Q1 2015, registering an increase in sales of 7.8% compared to Q1 2014. However, this gain was not able to make up for the decline in the two biggest segments in the IT sector (desktop computers and mobile computing products) which fell by 10.5% and 9.3% respectively. Korea’s IT sector totaled over KRW1 billion in Q1 2015, down from the same period a year ago, but still up from the previous quarter.
Office equipment and consumables
In Q1 2015, this sector reported a 9% drop in sales over the previous year, caused by the sharp fall of 27.1% in the demand of printers. The slight growth in sales of multifunctional devices did not help to drive the overall sales figure, which reported sales of KRW49 trillion in the first three months of this year.
Although the interchangeable lenses segment increased sales by a healthy 13.9%, the digital cameras segment declined by 18.8%, compared to Q1 last year. This helped to bring overall sales in the photography sector down by 11.6%, when Q1 2015 is compared to Q1 2014, resulting in KRW141 billion. Also, the mirrorless cameras segment – usually a boost to the total digital cameras segment – reported negative growth.
In the CE sector, only the docking/mini speakers and home audio systems reported positive growth in Q1 2015. The majority of the other products in this sector, including the largest segment (panel TVs), reported a drop in sales in Q1 2015, when compared to Q1 2015. Overall, the CE sector was down 12.8% in revenue to reach KRW573 billion.
In the first quarter of 2015, the telecommunications sector was yet again the sector with the steepest decline. Sales fell by 35.7% to reach KRW1.48 trillion. Both handsets and phablets declined in demand, with only headsets growing by 25.5%, compared to the same period last year.