For the first time in a long while, the opening press conference for IFA 2019 painted a struggling global consumer electronics market. The first half data for the market showed 450 billion Euros in CE sales ($496 billion USD), which was down 2 percent from a year ago. That said, gfu, the association behind the annual IFA consumer electronics and home appliances show in Berlin, forecasts that the industry will finish in a relative tie for CE sales by the end of the year at just over 1 trillion Euro ($1.1 trillion USD).
On the appliance side of the business, things are relatively rosy. According to data from the press conference, market researchers expect small electrical appliances to grow at a pace of around 9.4 percent to just under 90 billion Euros ($99.21 billion USD), while sales of large electrical appliances will grow 2.2 percent to just under 182 billion Euros ($200.6 billion USD).
All of these figures are despite a global political climate that includes economic impacts of Brexit, trade wars, and other political unrest.
According to gfu Supervisory Board Chairman Hans-Joachim Kamp, the relative strength of the consumer electronics and home appliance market—given those external factors—is put on display at a show like IFA 2019.
“IFA’s success story is underpinned by the constant innovation in our industries, and their agility to react to consumers’ needs,” he said. “IFA continues to be the world's most important platform for consumer electronics and home appliances and is a key driver for our industries’ growth and innovation. During the six days ahead, our exhibitors, trade visitors, the media and the general public will see more innovation and new products than ever before.”
One area in particular that Kamp called out as a major opportunity for retailers and the CE industry related to TVs. Specifically, he believes that, with better coordination and a stronger to-market pricing strategy, retailers and manufacturers could put an end to the declining margins presented by the TV industry. To that end, industry data show that consumers are purchasing higher end TVs at an increasing rate, and they’ve shown that they’re willing to spend more on them. However, the industry has seen the average sales price for those higher-end TVs (UHD and OLED models) decrease by 11 percent each.
Another opportunity presented during the IFA 2019 opening keynote: gaming hardware. As something we’ve touched on previously, this should come as no surprise. But to reinforce that fact, GfK data show that the total expected value of the gaming hardware market in 2019 will reach 12.4 billion Euros ($13.67 billion USD).