Source: All View Cloud

China’s laundry sector has entered an era where replacement needs dominate the market. Statistics show that the number of washing machines per 100 households came to 97.7 units in urban areas and 88.5 units in rural areas in 2018.

Washing machine sales in Q1

The pandemic dealt a heavy blow to the saturated washing machine market. Statistics from All View Cloud show that, washing machine sector saw retail sales value of 10.7 billion RMB in Q1, down by 34.8% year-on-year, and retail sales volume of 6.03 million units, down by 27.4% year-on-year, of which online sales value and volume posted 5.3 billion RMB and 3.96 million units respectively with a respective fall of 7.7% and 2.0% year-on-year, while offline sales value and volume posted 5.4 billion RMB and 2.08 million units respectively, with a respective fall of 49.4% and 51.4% year-on-year.

Structural changes of washing machine sector

 (1) Product type

While clothes drying machine rises to be a common demand of consumers instead of a targeted product designed for those suffering from rainy days, smog weathers and sand storms, washer-dryer combo becomes a major product upgrading direction. Statistics from All View Cloud show that, washer-dryer combo took a market share of 44.1% by retail sales value at offline washing machine market and 27% at online washing machine market in Q1 2020.

(2) Load size

Large load models are getting popular with 10kg models being the major trend. Statistics from All View Cloud show that, the online market share of 10kg top-load washers grew by 8.7% year-on-year in Q1 2020 while the online market share of 10kg front-load washers grew by 29.1% year-on-year.

(3) Channel

The pandemic brings the battlefield to online, driving the average online price of washing machines down by 5.8% year-on-year in Q1 2020 according to All View Cloud. It’s worth noting that, the average offline price of washing machines rose slightly thanks to industry players’ deployment in high quality, sleek high-end models at offline market while upgrading product designs and clothes cleaning and caring technologies.

The trending concept of healthy washing

As the concept of healthy washing (hygienic washing) gets more and more recognized, models equipped with high-temperature bacteria-removing function and self-cleaning function start to gain traction. For front-load washers, high-temperature washing has become a common setup. Plus, bacteria-removing technologies such as ultraviolet ray, ozone, silver ion have been applied to different types of washing machines.

The pandemic deters washing machine sales, but drives the sector to step up product upgrading, particularly bacteria-removing functions. Amid the pandemic, models with high-temperature washing procedure sells in huge numbers. It is believed that, models with bacteria-removing function, models with separate compartments and mini washers will get an opportunity to rise after the pandemic with consumers’ healthcare awareness well cultivated.

When it comes to yearly forecast, All View Cloud estimates that, retail sales volume of washing machines will come to around 36.32 million units this year, down by 5.2% year-on-year, and retail sales value 68 billion RMB, down by 10.6% year-on-year.