Sales of Airconditioners in India picks up from end- February onwards every year and peaks around April-May when summer hits the roof across India ranging from 37* C to 45* C from Chennai to Delhi, Mumbai to Kolkata. This is the period when Retailers selling Consumer Durables including A/c, Refrigerators, Coolers and Fans see a huge spike in Sales. At last count, India sell over 75 lakh units of A/c every year of which at least half of them are during these 3-4 months.
After a washout during the same time in 2020, sales have dropped 75% over 2019 numbers according to market data. With monsoon setting in on time, in fact two days earlier, June doesn’t seem to be a favourable period ahead for the A/c Industry which has been impacted twice due to the pandemic led-lockdown and related economic impact in 2020 and 2021. With an intense second wave in India since April onwards, many consumers have refrained from usage of A/c, Refridgerators as well as consumption of cold drinks for fear of spreading the infection further.
It could be a saving grace that WFH has now been extended for a few more months and the scare of a third wave, which may especially impact children as per various predictions, means that school and colleges may remain closed for a longer period of time than anticipated. Therefore, studies and work from home may continue for 2 more Quarters, which could marginally propel the purchase of various household items including A/c.
However, one’s gain is another loss. The already severely affected Stationery and Books (school/college education related) have seen a huge erosion of business. The segment, represented over 99% by the semi- and unorganised industry including small corner shops have been thrown out of business since educational institutions have been shut since 16 Mar. 2020.