Interest in TVs has faded

The TV market in the first quarter sank by 15% year-on-year in piece terms, distributors calculated. In money terms, sales against the background of rising prices fell by only 3%, to 44.4 billion rubles. Last year, amid the pandemic, many Russians made repairs and bought new housing, equipping it with TVs and appliances, but now the demand is almost satisfied, experts say. Retailers expect the European Football Championship to revive the market.

Sales of TVs in Russia in the first quarter fell by 15% compared to the same period in 2020, to 1.7 million devices, told Kommersant in Marvel Distribution. In monetary terms, according to the company, the market decreased by 3%, to about 44.4 billion rubles. According to the M.Video-Eldorado network, in unit terms, sales of TVs in the first quarter were indeed below the level of the same period last year: then their sales were stimulated by a high rate and news about a lockdown. But compared to the first quarter of 2019, sales increased by 11%, the company added. In monetary terms, sales were comparable to the results of the first quarter of 2020, but exceeded the indicators of 2019 by 20%.

In “Citylink” sales in January-March increased by 25% in monetary terms compared to last year, said the head of the purchasing group of the retailer Yegor Panin. The amount that buyers spend on screens has also grown – from 15 thousand rubles. in the first quarter of last year up to 23 thousand rubles. in the first quarter of this year, Ozon said. This is due to the fact that consumers are inclined towards more technological models with a larger screen diagonal, according to the company.

According to the analytical center GS Group, imports of TVs to Russia decreased by 34%. “At the same time, the price soared by 21% in dollars or by 35% in rubles,” said the head of the center, Alexander Surkov. According to him, the share of imported TVs on the market is already low, about 10%, but now it can decrease even more.

In China, due to US sanctions and the pandemic, prices for components for TVs have risen, as well as logistics have risen in price, so the cost of the devices themselves has increased, says Alexei Gribovsky, general manager of the Positronic network. In particular, for models with a diagonal of up to 32 inches, according to him, prices have increased by 30-50% and continue to rise. For premium models of large diagonals, prices, Mr. Gribovsky specifies, are still at the level of last year.

TV manufacturers are increasing prices as the cost of components, in particular TV matrices, is increasing, said Tatiana Skokova, distribution director at Merlion. According to her, purchase prices for TVs also increased by the end of the first quarter by about 20% compared to the summer of 2020 and continue to increase. The most popular devices with a diagonal of up to 42 inches have risen in price by at least 30%, Ms. Skokova adds. Now manufacturers can restrain price increases only through their own profits and a large batch of components purchased at 2020 prices, adds Anton Fomin.

The growth in sales in the segment stopped against the background of initial saturation amid a pandemic, Mr. Fomin believes: “Last year, citizens invested money not spent on seasonal needs in household appliances and gadgets.”

Vladimir Pozner, TV presenter, in May 2020 (on the Pozner Online portal)

People stopped believing information, they lost interest in television to some extent.

Mobile Research Group analyst Eldar Murtazin notes that TV sales in Russia have sagged for the first time since 2015: “Demand in 2020 was due to the fact that many were doing repairs during the pandemic and buying housing, which was furnished with new technology, but now this factor has lost its relevance.” … According to Mr. Murtazin, in conditions of rising prices, retailers can stimulate demand only with a discount, but even taking into account discounts, the cost of TVs will not return to last year’s level. Now the demand is shifting towards simpler models, adds Tatyana Skokova.

According to Aleksey Gribovskiy, the demand for TVs “intensified slightly” in the second quarter, in connection with the start of the summer season and the upcoming European Football Championship. But Anton Fomin doubts that this seriously stimulates sales: “Demand this year will be lower than last year, but if it reaches those indicators, it will not be earlier than the fourth quarter due to seasonality.” According to Ms. Skokova’s forecast, the rise in prices for TVs will continue at least until the beginning of October.

Anastasia Gavrilyuk