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Himani Chandna Gurtoo, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, August 29, 2013
Don’t expect much cash discounts this festive season. The festive season beginning with Onam and ending with Diwali has always been a good bet for consumer durables companies. According to industry experts, the period accounts for 30-35% of annual sales revenue of companies . This year, however, the mood is dull, essentially because of a falling rupee and increasing input costs putting pressure on margins.

Companies though are still hopeful. “We are still optimistic that the upcoming festive season will help in improving customer spirits and sentiments,” said an LG India spokesperson.

Japanese major Sony Corp’s India venture, Sony India, is experiencing pre-Onam sales in south India. “We have seen significant increase in sales, which promises that the upcoming festive season will be as euphoric as it used to be,” said Sunil Nayyar, sales head, Sony India. Haier India president Eric Braganza also said that the festivities would continue.
 
To cash in on the festive demand, companies generally go in for freebies including aggressive promotions, new products, exchange programmes, zero per cent financing schemes.

“Expect the fanfare but not the riot of demand,” said Shantanu Dasgupta, vice-president, corporate affairs and strategy, Whirlpool. “Companies will launch new products but they will roll out volumes carefully.”

Companies are conservatively deciding target revenues, sales, prices and marketing strategies for the near future. “We are closely watching the situation as the scenario is very fluid,” said a Samsung India spokesperson.