Retail of Furniture, Appliances and White Goods in South Africa
Despite losing weeks of trade as stores were closed during hard lockdown, retailer’s sales of furniture, appliances and white goods declined by only 3.7% in 2020, at a slightly lower rate than total retail sales. Sales recovered strongly in the early months of 2021, but following the onset of the third wave of the pandemic, unrest in July and supply constraints, sales were slower in June, July and August. The industry has benefitted from people establishing offices to work from home and increased spending on home furniture and appliances as people have had to spend more time at home.
An increasing number of furniture and appliance sales in the country are now concluded online. Sales of small home appliances like kettles, coffee makers, microwaves and vacuum cleaners, grew in 2020 as consumers stuck at home during lockdown bought new appliances. In the constrained economic environment, sales are increasingly being driven by promotions. Credit sales continue to decline as a percentage of retail sales. Some retailers have increased their stock levels amid concerns over supply constraints.
Most chains have centralised distribution and have implemented warehouse management technologies to cut costs and ensure little disruption to supply. Logistics and distribution is a major challenge for retailers that operate on the African continent and companies often need to make significant upfront investment in distribution centres. Most freight to Africa is transported on roads
This report focuses on the retail of furniture, appliances and white goods in South Africa, and includes comprehensive information on the state and size of the sector, sales, trade, developments and corporate actions. There are profiles of 26 companies, including the major players JD Group, Shoprite and Lewis, which together account for just under half of industry revenue, second-hand retailers such as Cash Converters and Cash Crusaders and online retailers such as Takealot.