Cooling off for fridges

July 06, 2010, 8:14 PM GMT+0

Although 44% of UK adults see DIY and home maintenance as a pleasure rather than a chore, the domestic appliance market has slumped, and most would opt to replace domestic appliances via online stores, a YouGov SixthSense report reveals.

Despite a rise in the popularity of do-it-yourself home improvements, the recession has caused a fall in the sales of household appliances, and it is estimated that the value of the domestic appliance market has declined by ten percent since 2006.

This may be because people are more likely to replace a domestic appliance out of necessity – when it has broken or worn out (69%) – than to upgrade it for the latest model (6%). James McCoy, Research Director for YouGov SixthSense, elaborates, ‘New breakthroughs in consumer technology are often greeted with fanfare and media saturation, whereas new ‘intelligent’ designs in the domestic appliance sector go unnoticed. [For example,] few people wait for their Apple product to wear out before buying a new one, yet we will happily go 13 years before we change washing machines.’

However, when people do replace their goods, they are likely to shop around online – those planning to buy a fridge or freezer say they are more likely to do so from a website than from a physical store. For example, 47% of Argos customers would purchase online, compared to 31% who would opt to buy in-store.

Supermarket websites are an attractive option for shoppers, with 39% saying they would shop on such a site, while 36% would use a solely online store, such as Dixons, to purchase their fridge or freezer. As McCoy confirms, ‘The recent push by many supermarkets into non-food sectors would appear to be paying off. Equally their efforts at developing an internet presence also appear to be making them more attractive.’

See more about the YouGov Sixth Sense Domestic Applicances Report