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refrigeration ‘Keeping up with the demands


of modern day life’ Refrigeration remains one of the core markets in domestic appliances. IER spoke to category experts to see what trends are driving sales


A


massive replacement market and opportunities to trade up to the latest technologies mean the


refrigeration category is in rude health. Glen Dimplex Home Appliances head of


category for refrigeration Stuart Netscher comments: “The refrigeration sector is growing, with 11,000 additional units sold in the last year alone. However, it’s worth noting that this growth came from earlier in 2016, with a poor summer slowing things down. “The market is worth over £700m and


fridges seem to be driving that growth, with a 3.4% growth in value and 1.1% growth in volume. Fridge freezers are still the big players in the market, worth approximately 68% of the overall sector and growing in value by 2.3%.” LG UK head of marketing Carolyn Anderson notes that price declines contributed to overall market growth in 2016. “Last year was positive for the refrigeration market,” she explains. “While refrigerator and home appliances sales are generally steady, the average selling price of refrigerators dropped slightly in 2016, helping to drive sales and growth. Improvements in the customer experience, through more retailers offering quicker delivery and replacement of old appliances, could also have helped contribute towards this positive performance.”


Consumers are increasingly


looking at home appliance purchases as a longer term investment and are adjusting their spending accordingly


Liebherr UK divisional manager Tim


Hutchinson believes improvements in technology, as well as improving consumer knowledge, have also bolstered the market. “The introduction of new innovations and


technology has seen the quality end of the cooling appliance market grow faster than


20 | www.innovativeelectricalretailing.co.uk


the volume end: resulting in greater attention from the UK homeowner,” he says. “With the influx of cookery programmes in the last few years, consumers have also now become more aware of how they should be storing different types of food. “With the abovementioned informed education on the practical features of appliances, consumers are now more aware of how smart technology and practical features can benefit their food storage. For example, our new premium BluPerfomance models are able to keep more food fresh as it’s equipped with significantly larger BioFresh safes in its internal storage. Our BioFresh drawers provide the right humidity for specific types of food such as fish, exotic fruits and meat and dairy, providing the perfect conditions for maintaining the freshness, flavour, nutrients and texture of the food.” Leveraging intelligent products to give consumer benefits has been a core objective for Samsung, explains Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland home appliances head of product management Nick Bevan. “The refrigeration market has changed over


recent years, particularly as more and more people are opening up to the idea of having a connected home,” he explains. “At Samsung, we are continuing to develop innovative home appliances that are designed with consumers’ evolving lifestyles in mind; appliances which generate as well as share information to ultimately offer user-friendly tech that makes people’s lives easier.” He continues: “Our hugely popular Family


Hub refrigerator, for example, provides new ways to cook and manage food, as well as helping users to plan family life and enhance the home entertainment experience; it really is the ultimate smart home appliance. Three inner-view cameras take photos of the refrigerator’s content each time the doors close, which users can access at any time using their smartphone, in order to keep track of their groceries, so you’ll never be caught short without milk for your tea again. “What’s more, it’s easy to keep an eye on expiration dates by entering the number of days that food has left on the appliance’s


Samsung aims to make the refrigerator the heart of the modern home with the connected Family Hub refrigerator


touchscreen, helping families to save more money by making sure they waste less. In addition, the CoolSelect Plus Zone means the bottom compartment can be easily converted from fridge to freezer to meet your food storage needs, keeping food fresher for longer with its Triple Cooling system. Combined with a whole host of other flexible design features, the Family Hub combines superior performance with unmatched innovation and design to keep up with the demands of modern day life.”


‘Open plan living is growing in popularity’ One of the areas seeing most vigorous growth is built-in refrigeration. Beko plc cooling product manager Gino


Grossi explains: “Freestanding refrigerators still account for almost 85% of the category, but in 2016 we saw sales of built-in models rise by an incredible 20%, compared with 2% for freestanding. With many new build properties boasting open-plan kitchens, built-in appliances are now seeing growth across the board. For those with smaller kitchens, a built-in combi fridge freezer is a popular solution, helping achieve a sleek look without compromising on valuable storage space.”


February 2017


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