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Malaysia: Consumers’ Prefer Larger Capacity Appliances

GfK logo_very smallLarge home appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators have seen dynamic development in Malaysia in recent years, largely unaffected by the impact of any negative market forces in and outside the country.

In the latest GfK retail audit findings, households in Malaysia purchased nearly 205,000 units of refrigerators and 264,000 units of washing machines through retail outlets in the first five months of 2013—reflecting growth in sales volume and value by 11 and 15 percent respectively.

According to GfK, demand for refrigerators and washing machines reached around 41,000 and nearly 52,700 respectively on average each month since the beginning of the year; more than last year’s 37,000 and 46,000 units.

“Considered a basic necessity in today’s modern society, demand for these appliances is still strong in spite of an already fairly high level of penetration in local households,” commented Selinna Chin, Managing Director of GfK in Malaysia. “Not only are Malaysian consumers buying more washing machines and refrigerators, they are also purchasing bigger and better models.”

Larger washing machines with capacity of 7kg and above are growing at a rapid rate of 37 percent. While the 8kg segment alone commanded 18 percent of the overall volume share last year, it has expanded to now account for nearly one in four, or 24 percent of total number of washing machines sold. Those above 10kgs are similarly rising in popularity, having grown 29 percent in take up rate over the past year. Correspondingly, 7 kg and below washing machines registered a decline of 11.5 percent.

A similar scenario is seen in the refrigerator market where bigger capacity models are taking the lead and selling more than smaller fridges. Although growth is seen in the overall refrigerator market as a whole, larger sized fridges of 500L and above are experiencing higher demand, evidenced by the segment’s 20 percent growth compared to the lower 10 percent registered by the 500L and below segment.

“Apart from offering more space, the latest models of higher capacity washing machines and refrigerators also come equipped with additional features such as energy efficacy and extended warranties,” observed Chin. “As the country progresses and its consumers become more savvy and affluent, such features tend to become basic requirements.”

Another indication of the bigger is better mindset towards this major household appliance is reflected by the take up of the different refrigerator types. The combined segments of multi-door refrigerators (3 doors and above) and side-by-side refrigerators are growing at 28 percent—a rate which is much faster than the market average of 11 percent.

“In line with market demand, more manufacturers are extending their lineup of higher capacity washing machines and refrigerators so consumers are availed a wider array with a variety of special features for their cherry picking,” Chin said. “Spurred by more affordable appliances driven by intensifying competition among brands as well as consumers continued propensity to spend, the strong growth of the major home appliances sector will be sustained for the next few years.”

About GfK

GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, around 13,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2012, GfK’s sales amounted to €1.51 billion.