Sales of air conditioners have doubled year-on-year in April as people are seeking ways to get respite from the scorching summer.
Samsung posted 150 percent sales growth in April compared to the same month last year where Transtec raked in 100 percent sales growth since April 15.
The sales rose 91 percent for Walton last month, 90 percent for Esquire Electronics and 100 percent for Pran-RFL’s Vision brand.
“The growth of AC sales was not impressive last year because of heavy rainfall during summer. The scenario is different this time,” said Md Manzurul Karim, general manager of Esquire Electronics, authorised sole distributor of Japanese giant electronics brands General and Sharp.
April, May and June are the peak season for the outlets retailing ACs as temperature starts to rise from March. Nearly 90 percent of the ACs are sold during the months.
The rising mercury, which has been hovering around 35 degrees Celsius for a month, has brought a rising number of customers to the doors of retailers. The temperature has hit as high as 38 degrees Celsius for a number of times this month.
Market players are expecting that the sale of ACs will cross 7 lakh units this year, up 17 percent from a year ago. The market size will reach Tk 4,000 crore this year, from Tk 3,500 crore in 2018.
The annual demand for ACs has been rising 20 percent on average in the last six years, according to Uday Hakim, executive director of Walton, a local manufacturer.
“AC has become a mass product because of the rising spending capacity of people,” said Md Nahid Hassan, marketing manager of Transcom Digital.
In order to drive sales this year, manufacturers and retailers have come up with equated monthly installment (EMI), exchange offer, discount and cash back facilities for AC buyers.
“It is easy for customers to buy AC thanks to EMI facilities and exchange offer,” Hassan said.
Just a decade ago only higher income people would buy AC, but now the lower middle-income people can afford it due to the introduction of EMI through credit card, according to Karim.
Customers prefer 1.5-tonne AC for residential use and the preferred price range is Tk 45,000 to Tk 80,000. High-end customers, however, like to buy premium Japanese brands.
Transtec Digital retails ACs of Hitachi, Panasonic, Whirlpool, Samsung and Transtec brands to meet the growing demand of all segments of customers.
Hassan said most manufacturers in Bangladesh and global brands import compressors and major parts of AC and assemble the product in the country to keep the production cost low.
He said customers are shifting from non-inverter AC to inverter AC because of low energy consumption and better performance.
Hakim said Walton manufactures high quality air-conditioners using power-efficient inverter technology, keeping the products affordable.
Karim of Esquire Electronics says the company has set a target to double its growth this year and is offering from Tk 12,000 to Tk 16,000 cash back.
Md Shariful Islam, product manager (digital appliance) of Samsung, said the company is expecting to record 75 percent sales growth at the end of 2019 as the demand of its inverter AC is impressive.
Its AC price ranges from Tk 47,990 to TK 85,990.
Singer has introduced exciting offer for customers on the occasion of Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest spending season in Bangladesh. It is offering up to Tk 7,700 cash discount.
Customers can buy the item with EMI facility for 12 months after making Tk 4,000 in down payment. Singer accepts credit cards of 27 banks.
Kamruzzaman Kamal, director for marketing at Pran-RFL, said Vision brands recorded 100 percent sales growth last month. The brand assembles 10 models with price ranging from Tk 35,000 to Tk 165,000.
Region-wise, almost 60 percent ACs are sold in Dhaka city and the rest in divisional cities and district headquarters.