TV sales down despite Cricket World Cup
With just days to go before ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, television purchases should have naturally picked up by now, with demand primarily expected to arise from sports enthusiasts trying to make do with limited means.
However, sales in September were 30 percent lower than that in the same month last year, which market insiders attribute to people tightening their belts to cope with the inflation-induced rise in the cost of living.
Tuning in to the matches on a new TV could come with a hefty price tag, as the Consumer Price Index has gone up 9.02 per cent in 2022-23, the highest average inflation rate in 12 years, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.
The local consumer electronics market is dominated by companies such as Walton Group, Transcom Digital, RANGS eMART, Best Electronics, MyOne Electronics Industries, Jamuna Electronics, VISION Electronics, Esquire Electronics and Electra International.
Products of foreign companies such as Samsung, LG, General, Sharp and Whirlpool are also popular among local consumers.
"No only TV but also overall electronic home appliance sales witnessed a dull season in September…around three months past Eid-ul-Azha," said Ritesh Ranjan, head of business at Transcom Digital.
Sales in September were 30 percent lower than that in the same month last year, which market insiders attribute to people tightening their belts
Overall TV sales were not that good due to inflationary pressure, with TV prices having increased by around 32 per cent over the past year due to the devaluation of the taka against the greenback, he said.
However, sales of high-end TVs, particularly those with screens of over 55 inches, is slight better than the regular ones, he said.
Transom Digital is trying to attract customers offering cash discounts, gifts and match tickets, including one for the Bangladesh-Pakistan game coupled with a one-night hotel stay, he said.
This offer is only for Transtec and ROWA brands, he said, citing that they have targeted a sales growth of at least 10 percent during the tournament.
Md Manzurul Karim, general manager of Esquire Electronics, the sole distributor of Japanese electronic brands General and Sharp, said they were yet to start any campaigns or make offers marking the Cricket World Cup.
The situation of the market is not favourable as the country's economy is yet to become stable, he said.
Besides, they have a slight shortage of products as goods were stuck at the port for delays by customs is releasing the products, he said.
Sales of TVs will not reach volumes recorded during the 2022 FIFA World Cup around 11 months back, as customers do not have sufficient money at hand, he said.
Moreover, people are less likely to purchase a TV to watch the cricket tournament in contrast to what they would do to watch football during a FIFA World Cup, said Karim.
Salim Ullah, director, marketing, Jamuna Electronics, said they were offering up to 45 percent cashback on all TVs to attract customers during ICC World Cup.
But sales are not satisfactory due to the ongoing economic crisis. Moreover, a good number of customers purchased TVs during the last FIFA World Cup, he said.
For this, TV sales will not increase during the ICC World Cup, he noted.
Sales for Samsung, one of the most popular foreign brands, was no different.
"…in terms of quantity, the sales volume of TVs has declined but it increased in terms of quality," said Md Shariful Islam, chief manager of product planning at Samsung Bangladesh.
According to him, the sales of TVs with screens of less than 43 inches declined by around 40 percent while sales of high-end TVs with screens of over 55 inches increased by double digits.
It means that the demand for TVs among the middle-income segment of society is low while the higher middle-income and premium product-seeking customers have the ability to purchase TVs amidst the ongoing economic situation, he said.
Stating that they were happy with the sales growth of high-end, big screen TVs, Islam said Samsung was offering cashbacks of up to Tk 20,000 on a newly introduced c-series TVs marking the ICC World Cup.
For other TVs, customers will get a gift box with sports merchandise, he said.