Sales of appliances and electronics have been falling from the beginning of the year, surprising the retailers

Only by the end of February, there has been a recovery.
Sales of the main types of consumer electronics and household appliances since the beginning of 2017 suddenly for the sellers turned negative, both in volume and in value terms, according to the GfK data, as Vedomosti wrote. The two retail chains selling household appliances and electronics, confirmed them.

Sales of portable computers, tablets, TVs, telephones, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, cookers, washing machines and other equipment were in negative throughout the eight weeks of this year, according to data analysts. In the first week of January, sales fell by 2.1% in annual terms, and accelerated to 11% by the end of the month, and only by the end of February, the fall slowed. The most significant decrease was in tablets (six of the seven weeks from the beginning of the year exceeded the sales drop of 20%), phones (by an average of 4%), refrigerators and stoves.

In monetary terms, sales of basic goods appliances and electronics declined for three weeks in January and two in February; in late January to early February, falling sales reached 11-14%, according to the expert data. A slight improvement in the situation was only in the seventh week of 2017, when the sales in pcs. decreased by only 0.6%, and even grew up in value terms by 8.3%.

This decline was a surprise, but it began in December 2016; when the decline was about 10% and it affected all product categories, says one of the largest retailers of home appliances and electronics; all the months before that were more or less positive, there was the growth in sales compared to 2015

Earlier, Initiative's survey found that in December 2016 the Russian consumers weakened the regime savings on food, leisure and alcohol, but began to save more on electronics. Stocks of appliances and gadges made in the midst of crisis 2014-2015, when there was high demand, the experts assumed.

"After January and February we are in a misunderstanding of what is happening," says the retailer of household appliances and electronics. "First we explained it by the fact that the devaluation was a small surge in demand, so the January sales in 2017 seem weaker than in January 2016, but then they continued to fall in February. " Not only the total check or conversion fall, but there's reduced traffic in the stores and online sales actually have no growth, either.

One suggestion, why it happened is that the strengthening of ruble affects the formation of the expectations of consumers, says one of the largest retailers of home appliances and electronics, "Maybe, consumers expect that the price will fall, so they postpone the purchases."

In January 2017 the trend in consumer demand was the same as the whole of last year, said a representative of Svyaznoy.

 "If there's a fall, it is small," says Dmitry Alexeev, co-owner of the network DNS, which is part of the three largest retail chains selling electronics and appliances. Alexeyev also does not exclude that restrained consumer behavior may be associated with the strengthening of ruble against the major world currencies and the expectation of the fall in prices.

"We are growing year by year in all product categories, but we have heard negative comments about the overall situation in the market," said General Director of the Citylink retailer Mikhail Slavinskiy.

But GfK collects major retailers' data and these data suggest that now the main factor for the consumer is the price, he says.

However, interest grew to the individual brands: Apple MacBook sales in January increased in annual terms, both in money and in pieces, gives an example the representative of Inventive Retail Group (re:Store, Samsung, Sony, etc.) Lyudmila Semushina. "Before the New Year the Russian market saw new models, and still the demand is high, there's a large number of pre-orders," she continues. "In general, our portfolio of brands has no reduction of sales. "

On the one hand, there are more buyers of expensive gadgets, and on the other the buyers choose them rationally preferring to maximize the functionality of the device and actively use credit programs, describes the situation a representative of Svyaznoy: smart phone is still the first screen for the buyer and the basic gadget that replaces, for example, compact cameras and tablet computers. Turnover of Svyaznoy as a whole in January 2017 remained the same as in January 2016, according to a network's spokesperson.

"I do not have any main version relating to the psychology of the buyer now," says Slavinskiy. Perhaps consumers spent their bonuses for the year in the New Year's eve to pay for gifts, and then returned to saving the money, says he: "The question is why: whether for future spending on vacation, whether to continues to stockpile because of the continuing period of instability, it is difficult to say for sure."