The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new rules and government-level measures to our lives. Whether we like these measures or not, they still led to a boom for some sectors. One such sector that benefited from the pandemic is the electrical household appliances, demand for which skyrocketed in Turkey last year.
The country saw more than a 300% increase in domestic sales of electrical household appliances such as electronic bread makers, blow dryers, shaving sets, yogurt makers and scales, Mesut Öksüz, the head of the Turkish Houseware Association (Zücder), told Anadolu Agency (AA) Tuesday.
Personal care and kitchen appliances were the most popular items of last year, he said.
Forced to stay at home, people took up new hobbies such as baking bread, while with hairdressers and spas closed, people began buying self-grooming personal care items.
Noting that the sales shifted toward online platforms, Öksüz said, companies struggled initially to meet the rising demand.
"We solved the supply issue in a short time which occurred due to disruptions in imports," he noted.
On the overseas sales side, Öksüz said Turkey's electrical household appliances sector generated $831 million (TL 6.35 billion) in export revenues last year.
Turkey is the 12th largest electrical household appliances exporter globally and 40th largest importer, he added.
"This shows the power of domestic production as the sector has registered more than $600 million of foreign trade surplus since 2008," he said, adding the figure rose to $720 million in 2020.
While Turkey's electrical household appliances exports remained stable in 2019 compared with a year ago, they fell 16% year-on-year in 2020.
Vacuum cleaners, shaving, hair cutting and epilation devices, irons, hairdryers and water heaters garnered great demand from abroad last year, Öksüz said.
Stressing that Turkish appliances manufacturers have a wide export market of 170 countries, Öksüz said the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, Italy, Poland, Greece, Netherlands, Spain and Romania were the top recipients of Turkish-made electrical appliances.
Touching on the sector's expectations for the coming years, he pointed out the necessity of removing the tax burden on electric appliances to spur domestic consumer demand.
"The Special Consumption Tax (ÖTV) on electrical household appliances personal care and household appliances should be lifted as their usage is compulsory in daily life, and they cannot be considered as luxury," Öksüz noted.
Murat Kolbaşı, the CEO of electronic home appliances company Arzum, said as people became more interested in a healthy diet amid virus concerns, demand for products that support nutrition boomed.
Especially as the country lifted the strict social distancing and isolation measures implemented during the first half of last year, the company's new generation electric lunch-boxes sold like hot cakes.
"Those who continue going to their offices showed a great interest in our electric lunchbox Foodie, which is a first in Turkey. It became the star of this period," Kolbaşı noted.
The lunchbox comes with a mechanism to heat food on the go.
Technologies and designs that save time and offer convenience have now become a necessity, not a luxury, he noted.
Even if the pandemic ends, consumption of a healthy diet is here to stay, Kolbaşı said.