What you need to know

The major story in 2020 is the ongoing impact of COVID-19. Prior to this outbreak, the market for major domestic appliances had actually recovered momentum, with sales up 1.6% as they neared £4 billion in 2019. This was underpinned by stability in the housing market and ongoing real wage growth, while price deflation encouraged shoppers to upgrade.

However, this will all be brought to an end by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mintel estimates that sales will fall 11% in 2020, as stores closed. Online sales will offset some of the sales lost on the high street, but demand will be limited to essential purchasing, such as that triggered by breakdowns, as heightened caution sees consumers either redirect income to other categories, such as grocery, or into savings.

This exodus from the high street will speed the shift to online purchasing, which has already grown sharply over the past decade. This is particularly true among older consumers, as its traditionally least-engaged demographic are disproportionately forced online, bringing a new audience into the market of ordering major domestic appliances online.

There are nonetheless avenues for growth in the market with interest in innovation remaining rife, particularly in technology, for example through the use of augmented reality or connected smart technology. There is also an opportunity for subscription services that allow consumers to ensure that they’ve always got the latest technology. The popularity of the likes of personal contract plans in the car market show that people are happy to accept products that blur the boundaries between ownership and hire, if it offers greater flexibility at a reasonable price.

Key issues covered in this Report

  • The impact of COVID-19 on the Major Domestic Appliances over the course of 2020.

  • The changes that COVID-19 will trigger in the market over the longer term.

  • How the growing importance of sustainability, and its increasing prioritisation among consumers, is changing the way that people shop for major domestic appliances.

  • What stores must do to ensure they remain relevant amid the rising tide of online retailers.

  • New innovations and growth opportunities for brands.

Products covered in this Report

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

  • Fitted and freestanding

  • Dishwasher

  • Refrigeration appliances, ie fridges, fridge-freezers and freezers including wine coolers

  • Cooking appliances, ie ovens, hobs, cookers using gas and/or electricity

  • Laundry appliances, ie washing machines, tumble dryers and washer-dryers

  • Microwave ovens.

The definition excludes:

  • Major domestic appliances sold via the trade or as part of a housing transaction

  • Small kitchen appliances such as kettles, table-top cookers, food processors, coffee machines

  • Vacuum cleaners and other electrical floor cleaning equipment

  • Irons

  • Cooker hoods and extractor fans

  • Other fitted electrical appliances for kitchens such as grinders, boiling water taps.

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