Load-shedding has become history, and people now have no qualms about splurging on electrical home appliances like refrigerators, electric fans, air conditioners and coolers, and demand has taken off accordingly, traders said.
A regular supply of power means householders no longer have to worry that their expensive purchases will sit like a piece of furniture when the electricity goes off. Since 2017, the country has been free from the brownouts that had been a curse for decades. The energy shortage dampened sales of home appliances, but merchants were not complaining because backup power equipment like batteries and generators were flying off the shelves.
According to the Department of Customs, the country imported refrigerators worth Rs2.94 billion and fans valued at Rs1.86 billion in the last fiscal year 2017-18. Air conditioners worth Rs1.59 billion and coolers worth Rs253.8 million also entered the country during the same period. The electronic goods sold in Nepal mostly come from India and China.
According to Shailendra Jha, senior manager of CG Electronics who looks after TCL and Godrej products, mid-April to mid-June is the peak season for electronic goods as 45-50 percent of sales happen during these months. Domestic distributors of Godrej, TCL and Colors brands have been launching new models with New Year schemes.
Temperatures have started to rise, and demand for summer electronic goods has soared accordingly, said Jha. The company expects a 35-40 percent growth in sales of electronic goods this season. He said that prices of electronic goods this season had not changed from last year.
Mid-priced single-door refrigerators costing between Rs21,000 and Rs30,000 are selling especially well, Jha added. Sales of air conditioners have also swelled in recent years as they are becoming cheaper. Jha expects sales of air conditioners to grow 25-30 percent this season. The use of home air conditioners is increasing due to a rise in disposable incomes and craving for comfort, said Sanjay Rajbhandary, communications and brand management head at CG Electronics.
The company offers a wide range of consumer electronic goods including small summer appliances like fans and coolers that are power-saving and environment-friendly. LG is more focused on inverter technology refrigerators which are energy efficient, he said.
The company offers TCL split air conditioners at prices ranging from Rs52,000 to Rs129,990. Cassette air conditioners cost between Rs199,990 and Rs229,990. Cassette air conditioners are mostly used in corporate offices, shopping malls, hotels and restaurants. A rapid growth in the number of corporate offices, business complexes and shopping malls has pushed up demand for air conditioners.
Lalit Kumar Mishra, CEO of Universal Electrocom, said that prices of summer electronic goods had swelled 6-7 percent this season due to an increase in the price of raw materials in the international market and a stronger dollar. According to him, a customer’s decision to buy electronic goods is influenced by brand and price.
The company has set a sales target of 30,000 electric fans this season. The company offers ceiling fans costing Rs2,000 to Rs3,200 and wall and stand fans costing Rs3,200 to Rs4,700. The company is offering a 25 percent discount as a New Year scheme.
The Kathmandu post