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Recovering from a big decline in 2011, sales within the Chinese microwave market rebounded in 2012 with moderate volume growth of 4%, reaching 12 million units.
2011 was a sluggish year for the Chinese microwave market, not only caused by the fading stimulus of government-supported polices and the slow real estate market, but also affected by the poor performances of Galanz and Midea, the two biggest companies in the domestic microwave sector.
While market competition has shifted from price to technology and service, business competition has shifted from single function microwave ovens to multi-function models.
With combined volume share of over 80%, sales in the China microwaves market remained highly centralised towards Galanz Enterprises Group and GD Midea Holding over the past few years, mainly underpinned by the overwhelming advantages in terms of establishment of distribution networks in lower-tier markets where household penetration of microwaves is still rather low and technological advancement in terms of energy-efficiency and multi-functionality.
Facing strong domination from domestic giants, multinational players have continued to suffer from a loss of share since 2007, with the combined volume share of Sanyo, Panasonic and LG decreasing from 7.3% to 6.7%. Living space for international brands became even more niche in 2012.
Electronics and appliance specialist retailers multiples was the major distribution channel for microwaves in 2012, accounting for a 50% share of volume sales, slightly lower than in 2011.
This was partially due to increasing competition from alternative channels, represented by internet retailing, with its volume share increasing from 9% in 2011 to 16% in 2012.
Recovering from the downturn in 2011, the Chinese microwave market is expected to register volume and constant value CAGRs of 8% and 5%, respectively, through to 2017, driven mainly by upgrading amongst urban households and increasing first time purchase demand from the rural market.
For more information on the Chinese microwave market, see the latest research: Chinese Microwave Market
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