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EDITOR'S COMMENT Jack Cheeseman


Not going out!


never been through before and, as a result, we just had to take each day as it came. There was no crystal ball to predict how things were going to play out; likewise, there was no rule book for what we should all think or how we should behave. All we knew was that we had to stay at home. Staying in was the new going out! Week after


T


week… after week. So what did people do to pass the time? To steal the opening line from Gogglebox, “in the year we all had to stay indoors, we enjoyed lots of great tele”. Viewing time shot up rapidly for most households across the UK, as we indulged in programmes like Tiger King, Line of Duty and… Schitt’s Creek?! (The double entendre here is painfully hilarious!)


here’s been no easy way to predict consumer trends in the past 18 months or so. We’ve all been through something we’ve


Not being content with using their existing


TV sets, and also finding themselves with a little more disposable income, sales of televisions and audio equipment started to rise. But the same was also happening in other market segments. Small domestic appliances became hugely popular during lockdown as butchers and bakers (but not the candlestick makers) spent more time in their kitchens; various gadgets and gizmos were flying off the shelves as curious cooks experimented with their endless amount of free time. In one particular product area, however,


consumer trends are slightly harder to summarise. On the one hand, people were not using headphones and earbuds for their usual activities such as commuting to work or hitting the gym, and GfK said the market failed to


reach 10 million units in 2020 for the first time in almost 10 years… confirmation that lockdown did not encourage consumers to spend liberally. On the other hand, headphones stood out as


the top tech product purchased during lockdown; this was according to Futuresource Consulting, although this was from a survey carried out across the UK and other countries. So it’s a real mixed picture when it comes to


personal audio. Thankfully, this month ERT has got a special headphones feature where we analyse market trends, and leading brands share details of their latest products. Have a read from page 28. And as it happens, there’s also our Premium


SDA feature from page 20, looking at all the innovations in this sector.


13


July/August 2021 ertonline.co.uk


Also in this month’s issue, you can read my exclusive interview with Peter Booth, LG’s Commercial Director CE. Last month I was lucky enough to visit the


fancy new product showroom at the Weybridge HQ – entered through a huge bank of TV screens that split down the middle. It’s impressive, as you can see above and in the article from page 16.


Seen here, we are standing in the dedicated


product demo room with a very swish revolving wall housing the latest LG tech. Peter and I covered many topics during our


time together, chief among which was LG’s current brand campaign called ‘The Smart Good Life’ – you’ve probably seen the TV advert with the tune from ‘Annie’. Peter told me how important this campaign is to


showcase the company’s electronics and appliances together; while the white goods business is bigger than people think, he said, in the UK it’s still smaller than home entertainment. So there is a huge focus on building this side up. “We are in a massively crowded market,” Peter


added. “We are working hard to really show off the features and benefits of all our innovations.”


Email the editor at jackcheeseman@ertonline.co.uk What do you think


?


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