Monday, September 28th, 2015 - Roy Morgan Research

From toasters to vacuums to microwaves to shavers, Australians spend over $260 million buying almost 1.7 million small electrical items in an average four weeks, new retail data from Roy Morgan Research shows.

Two bricks-and-mortar retail stores dominate the category in terms of the sheer number of items sold: in the 12 months to June 2015, we bought 233,500 small electrical goods from The Good Guys during an average four-week period, and another 208,000 from Harvey Norman. Together, these retailers account for over 1 in 4 of all new small electrical items sold (26%). 

The competition is equally fierce among the discount and department stores. Big W sells157,500 small electrical items in an average four weeks, just eclipsing the 145,500 items taken home from Kmart, while 93,500 items are bought from Target or Target Country and 73,500 from Myer.

Specialising in one type of small electrical item—vacuum cleaners—is enough to net Godfrey’s 50,500 sales in an average four weeks, while the only supermarket among the Top 10 retailers is ALDI with 40,500. Bing Lee and JB Hi-Fi round out the Top 10 with Australians buying 37,500 and 37,000 small electrical items respectively from those stores in an average four weeks.

Number of Small Electrical Items bought in average four weeks at Store

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2014 – June 2015, n=14,987 Australians 14+

Over 1 in 10 small electronic items are now purchased online (179,000 during an average four weeks). Of these, we buy 134,500 items through online-only stores such as Appliances Online and Deals Direct. The remainder are purchased via the online sites of bricks-and-mortar retailers.

In an average four weeks, Australians buy 57,000 small electrical items through online auction site Ebay—by far the largest individual online retailer in the category.

Over 400,000 more small electrical items are bought during a four-week period from other bricks-and-mortar stores, with individual sales volumes below the top 10 above—equivalent to around 25% of the overall market. These include Betta Electrical (27,000) and Dick Smith Electronic, as well as Bunnings (33,000) and other hardware stores, plus other supermarkets, other discount and department stores, and smaller niche retailers.

Andrew Price, General Manager – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Australians buy almost 1.7 million small electrical items during an average four weeks, spending an average $154 per item. 

“While the average small electrical item bought from a discount store such as Big W, Kmart or Target costs $72, it’s over $200 at market leaders Harvey Norman and The Good Guys. So while these two sell 26% of all individual small electrical items, these sales represent 37% of the market by dollar value, or over $96 million in an average four weeks between them.

"Overall, Australians spent around $27 million on small electrical items online in an average four weeks, whether through Ebay, an online-only retailer or the internet site of a bricks-and-mortar store. This represents only around 10% of our total spend in the category. Unlike items such as clothing and books, it can cost too much for consumers to ship small electrical goods from overseas—and in many cases they can’t even be plugged in here. This has made the category safe from international sites such as Amazon.”

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Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332


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