Strong downturns for built-in ovens and freezers, very slight growths for dishwashers and toasters: in France, 2018-year will not be remembered as positive for economy, especially in the household appliance world, concerning both white and brown goods.
France, with 67 million inhabitants, (according to the latest INSEE surveys), ranks second among the European Union nations by population, preceded by the only Germany. In addition, it is also second by importance among the destinations of the Italian export of white and brown goods. Its per capita income was calculated as amounting to about 45,000 dollars for 2018: exceeding by around 15% the Italian one but lower by 10% than the German one. In spite of that, still according INSEE data, 14% of French people live under the poverty threshold.
The market of white goods
“2018 witnessed a drop of product purchases, a rise of consumer prices, a braking of the construction activity and, at the end of the year, a decrease of the attendance at stores under the impact of social upheavals”. This statement, released to the press by Brigitte Petit, President of GIFAM, the body representing French white goods, synthesizes the trend of the past year in France. They sold 62.0 million appliances in all, of which 15.1 million big and 46.9 million small. This results in an installed fleet of about 206 million big appliances and 468 million small ones, besides about 90 million thermal appliances.
The two tables report some differences, introduced by Gifam, versus last year. Wine fridges have joined big appliances while only recently the category including orange juicers and fruit extractors has been inserted among small appliances. The survey does not include instead cooktops whereas new classification criteria for vacuum cleaners and electronic shavers make data not comparable with previous years’.
Only dishwashers, among big appliances, and toasters among small ones show a slight growth; 2018 was negative for all other products. The strongest downturns occurred for built-in ovens and freezers, among big appliances, for hair dryers, hair curlers and kitchen robots among small ones.
Gifam indicates the global value of 2018-sales in about 5.2 billion Euros for big appliances, 3.0 for small ones, with a total of 8.2 billion Euros. The 2.5% rise versus 2017 is due to a propensity for higher comfort products.
Even if official data are missing, in France consumer electronics sales in 2018 are estimated in around 14 billion euros, with the -2% drop compared to 2017. TV set sales seem to be stable at around 4 million units in all.
In 2019, the French economy will grow by 1.2%. A year of stability is expected for household appliances, with sale adjustments on current levels.
Sales of big white goods in France (1000 units)
|2016||2017||2018/17||% variat. 2018/2017||% presence rate|
|Built-in ovens||1,097||1,176||1,181||– 5.6||80|
n.a. = not available
Source: Gifam (Groupement Interprofessionel des Fabricants d’Appareils
Sales of some small appliances in France (1000 units)
|2016||2017||2018||% variat. 2018/2017||% presence|
|Kitchen robots||1,156||1,089||1,000||– 8.2||57|
|Steam ironing plants||880||858||820||-4.4||29|
|Filter coffeepots||4,178||4,078||3,920||– 3.9||45|
|Orange juicers/fruit extractors||n.a.||n.a.||755||n.a.||34|
|Razors and hair trimmers||n.a.||n.a.||4,602||n.a.||41|
|Hair dryers and curlers||4,424||4,180||3,711||-11.2||97|