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Spain consumer appliances market affected by reduced purchasing power over recent years
Consumer Appliances in Spain - a new market research report on 2014-05-01 03:17:01
2013 proved to be another tough year for Spanish households. Despite slight improvements to macroeconomic indicators, high unemployment rates have continued to negatively affect the population and drastically reduce purchasing power. A continued difficult environment for banks and new capital restrictions have meant that it has remained hard for consumers to access credit facilities, further undermining purchases of high-ticket appliances. In addition, deep crisis within the building sector and a drastic fall in new dwelling purchases has pushed consumer appliance sales downwards, especially hitting built-in products.

Despite energy-efficient products having been present in Spain for more than a decade, it was only in 2013 that the great majority of Spanish consumers discovered the real value of energy labelling. During the review period, manufacturers and central government focused attention on developing appliances with reduced consumption of water and energy, while central government also implemented its "Plan Renove" in 2007, offering significant discounts for replacing old appliances with new, more efficient ones. In addition, the credit crunch and rising energy costs have made consumers appreciate energy-efficient appliances.

Since Spaniards have been obliged to reduce their expenditure, buying a new consumer appliance, especially a large one, represents an important outflow in the available monthly budget. Consequently, consumers have gone back to their former habit of repairing old appliances instead of throwing them away to buy new ones. With this in mind, manufacturers and retailers have looked to boost after-sales and repair services in a bid to recover some lost revenue from fewer sales of new products. Extension of warranty length, as in the case of main players, such as BSH Electrodomésticos España SA or Fagor, has become a competitive factor, able to influence the final choice made by consumers.

Manufacturers understand that, in a situation of economic restriction, a successful way to induce consumers to purchase new products is by offering those new appliances and technologies which represent consistent advantages compared to the old products. Dishwashers, home laundry and refrigeration appliances concentrate on most important innovations, boosted by energy efficiency requirements and labelling. New technologies represent important advances in terms of durability and quality and largely improve on old appliances´ performances which turn out to be important sales inducements.

The negative performance of consumer appliances in Spain in the review period was disastrous for small independent retailers. Consequently, big chains have gained retail volume shares by offering lower prices and thanks to growth of their private label products. Even so, big chains have also faced drops in sales and are seeking other paths in order to stabilise their revenues. Massive promotions and new services have been operated by all of the most important players, bringing competition to the highest levels.

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