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According to the Small Domestic Electrical Appliances 2012, a new report published by the market intelligence provider Key Note, the market rose by 3.5% to £1.04bn in 2011. Within the industry, coffee makers are the fastest-growing appliances, followed by electric toothbrushes. The market owes its resilience mainly to changes in consumer habits as a result of the economic crisis.
With their financial belts being squeezed by economic hard times, consumers are finding ways to save money. In spite of the downturn, however, they still want to maintain a certain degree of luxury in their lifestyles. As a result, consumers are investing in premium small domestic electrical appliances that offer consumers quality, while being an economical investment in the long run. Thus, although the overall electronics industry has suffered severely from a downturn in sales, the small domestic electrical appliances industry has benefitted from the crisis.
Small domestic electrical appliances are separated into three main categories: small kitchen appliances, personal-care appliances and non-kitchen appliances. The small kitchen appliances segment is the largest subsector and grew by 4.7% in 2011. Consumers, who are spending more time at home in an effort to cut back costs, are finding ways to keep busy, including cooking meals from scratch. To maximise the experience, they are opting to invest in quality products that are convenient. Moreover, manufacturers are pushing sales in the sector with gadgets and colour variety. Finally, the growing popularity of coffee in the UK, combined with the expense of buying coffee from shops on a daily basis, is driving both value and volume sales of coffee makers, the star product in the UK's small domestic electrical appliance industry.
Key Note sub-divides the personal-care appliances category into hair-care appliances, shaving appliances and electric toothbrushes. The value of hair dryers and hair accessories has remained relatively static over the past 5 years. Market saturation and durability of products has slowed demand. Technological advancements in women's shavers have increased the subsector's value, while the growing importance of male grooming in the UK has additionally contributed to the segment's growth. Still, the total sector's value has primarily been driven by the demand and growing importance of electric toothbrushes. These are more efficient than traditional toothbrushes. Furthermore, special features that enhance the occasion have also contributed to sales. Finally, social pressure to have a bright, white smile, as a result of American influence, has further pushed value and volume sales of the appliance.
The only category that failed to grow in 2011 is the non-kitchen appliances subsector. The subsector is made up of irons and hand-held vacuum cleaners. Key Note calculates that its value rose a mere 0.5% in 2011. In spite of innovation, market saturation and consumer interest in other products instead -- such as ironless shirts and robotic vacuum cleaners -- has reduced the demand for the appliances and stunted value growth.
Key Note expects 2012 to be a good year for the industry overall, as the economic crisis persists. Consumers will continue to invest in quality products, while manufacturers introduce innovative products that facilitate consumers' experiences, in an effort to ease their busy lifestyles. The demand for green products will rise, while the Internet will play an increasingly important role, at the expense of electronics outlets. The market is expected to be worth £1.26bn by 2016, after rising by 16.9% over the next 5 years.