Household appliances, market in lights and shadows but the challenge remains energy

The President of APPLiA Italia Paolo Lioy

The household appliance market is crossed by notably diversified consumer dynamics and market. This was highlighted by the yearly meeting with the press of APPLiA Italia, Confindustria association of the enterprises operating in Italy in the sector of household appliances and professional equipment. Three are the challenges issued to the sector: energy efficiency, sustainability and support to the high-quality industry. 2022-data (processed with the support of Gfk) indicate a drop of the domestic and European market of household appliances, where the negative rebound is summed to the decline in consumers’ confidence attitude caused by the inflation and by the short-term business trend, with the counter-tendency of small appliances’ growth. Positive signs come from the sectors connected with tourism and building industry, with professional appliances, fireplaces and biomass heating. However, 2023 will be especially the crucial year for energy efficiency and sustainability, a development course for the market that will increasingly demand for a targeted efficacious support, also in view of an expected cost of the electric energy that might remain high in the medium-term.
“We all are facing a period of not easy interpretation – Paolo Lioy, President of APPLiA Italia, explained – which is strongly affected by the disruptions that have struck the market, the supply chain and consumers’ habits in the last two years of pandemic. They are worsened by a multiplicity of variables that does not facilitate the business planning. In spite of that, also in a so particular historical time, our industry is strongly focused on going on proposing efficient innovative solutions that can really make the difference in terms of sustainability”.
Sell-in and production data highlight how, concerning household appliances, after the 2021-boom, we are witnessing a shrinkage of sales in Italy and abroad, with consequent manufacturing decrease that has concerned not only our Country but the whole European Union, with a scissor pattern between big and small appliances. As far as big household appliances are concerned, in 2022 production decreased by 18%, with a more remarkable downturn in the second part of the year (-24.7% in the third quarter and -35.7% in the fourth) and a difficulty registered mainly by the washing industry. Positive trend for small appliances that, after the exploit of 2020, 2021 with positive sign and a negative 2022 start, express again a positive performance in the third quarter and close the year with a positive growth in value by +3.4% (sell-out data by Gfk). This trend is especially supported by the Person (+6.9%), Cooking (+2.3%) and Home (+2.1%) fields.
Energy saving and sustainability remain the inseparable pair that accompanies the current and future evolution of the market, also in the light of hardly foreseeable dynamics dictated by the international geopolitical scenario: the first step, as Lioy has underlined, remains the replacement of old appliances with state-of-the-art models able to decrease the energy consumption by over 60-70% on average versus appliances older than 10 years.