Samsung consumer electronics sales boosted by India's festive season

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics Co is seeing a big surge in consumer appliance sales during India’s festive season, a senior company executive said, helped by pent-up demand following a nationwide lockdown to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

The logo of Samsung Electronics is pictured at the company’s factory in Tijuana, Mexico, June 1, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Duenes/Files

A slew of new launches across categories like televisions, refrigerators, and washing machines as well as financing schemes have buoyed sales, said Raju Pullan, senior vice president for consumer electronics at Samsung India.

“We’re seeing 32% growth (year-on-year) across televisions, refrigerators, washing machines and microwaves,” Pullan told Reuters on Thursday.

The demand uptick is good news for the Indian economy, which contracted by 23.9% in April-June during a stringent lockdown to slow the spread of the pandemic.

Indians typically make big-ticket purchases of everything from gold to cars and electronics during the country’s festive season, which typically begins around October and lasts until the end of the year.

While the value of overall sales last month was much higher in cities like Delhi and Mumbai, sales growth in smaller towns outpaced the bigger cities, Pullan said.

Samsung also witnessed a shift in consumer behaviour with growing purchases of pricey, high-end televisions.

“Consumers are spending more time at home, and are not able to venture out for entertainment,” said Pullan. “That’s leading to some quality purchases.”

As India’s coronavirus infections reach 8.36 million, people are being cautious in stepping out for daily purchases. That has also boosted sales of large-capacity refrigerators for Samsung, Pullan said.

Samsung’s overall consumer electronics sales grew an annual 20% in Aug-Sept after India’s economy began opening up, Pullan said, declining to comment whether sales in the second half of the year would be enough to bridge the shortfall during the lockdown period.

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