Demand for automatic washing machines rising in PH

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Growing affluence and shortage of time have started to change the way Filipino households wash their clothes. Encouraged by their greater awareness towards the functions and effectiveness of washing machines, many consumers have in recent years progressed from hand washing their laundry to utilizing washing machines, driving the healthy sales of this household appliance.

According to GfK findings, around 458,000 units of washing machines worth $86 million were sold in the first eight months of this year, reflecting an increased demand by nearly 22,000 units compared to the same timeframe last year.

?The landscape of the washing machine market has been evolving over the years, with significant progress in the way households in the country are doing their laundry,? said Benny Villanueva, managing director for
GfK in the Philippines.

?Where hand washing was, and still is, predominant in the less developed provinces, other more economically progressive areas such as Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon have seen their local households eagerly adopting this new technology and buying their first washing machines for their homes or even upgrading to models with more advanced features.?

In January to August this year, GfK retail audit reports revealed the basic manual washing machine models declining in sales volume, due largely to consumer trend shifting towards higher-priced segments that offer more functions.

Hence, while manual washing machines continue to make up a substantial proportion of all units sold, its volume share of total washing machine sales has dropped from 41 to 38 percent and its value contribution is now down to 19 percent.

Meanwhile, the semi-automatic washers recorded nearly 7-percent rise in unit sales while the fully automatic segments are showing greater expansion; with sales of top-load units spiking by 15 percent and sales of front-load jumping by 26 percent. Their combined share has climbed from 17 to 19 percent.

In value terms, the fully automatic segments now make up over two-fifths (42 percent) of the washing machine market, outpacing the semi-automatic segment?s value share of 40 percent while the manual segment accounts for only 19 percent.

?Time-starved consumers who are seeking greater convenience prefer washers which can operate on its own throughout the whole washing process rather than the basic models which need someone to return to do the rinsing manually or start the rinsing function separately,? said Villanueva.

Regions outside NCR saw the highest surge in demand for the fully automatic segment with southern Luzon recording the greatest increment in contribution from 19 to 22 percent in units and 18 to 23 percent in value.

?There is still much room for the washing machine market in the Philippines to continue developing as penetration rate of the appliance in the country is still low,? said Villanueva.

?In particular, with the growing shift toward condominium living, we can anticipate the fully automatic segment, especially front load which is more space-saving, to be at the forefront, propelling the sector?s continued healthy performance in the coming years,? he concluded.

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