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Pandemic sparks surge in home appliance sales

Working from home is fueling online sales of home electronics and appliances in Finland.

Kuulokkeita esillä kodinkoneliikkeessä
Work-from-home tech items are hot now, according to retailers. Image: Petteri Sopanen / Yle

Teleworking during the pandemic has caused sales of electronics and home appliances to rise by seven to ten percent over 2019, according to Elektroniikan Tukkukauppiaat (ETK), a lobby group representing appliance manufacturers and wholesalers.

The group said home appliance sales for 2020 could reach 2.5 billion euros.

"Last year’s Black Friday ja Singles Day campaigns were a success, and January sales are also off to a good start, so we expect this to be another good year," said ETK chair Markus Nummisalo.

Large retailers in the sector were equally confident while noting that many consumers were avoiding in-person shopping.

"Coronavirus has changed everyday life. People are spending a lot more time at home than before," said Niko Sandström, head of sales at home appliance retailer Gigantti.

He said shopping habits had also changed, with drive-through purchases and contactless delivery becoming popular.

Other retailers in the sector also said customers were increasingly making home appliance purchases online.

"People have typically visited stores to buy home appliances. This behaviour changed over the past year," said Vesa Järveläinen, commercial director at Verkkokauppa.com.

He said the shift to telework was apparent in the popularity of work-from-home tech, including headphones, monitors, computers and adjustable desks.

In addition to elements related to home working, Juha-Mikko Saviluoto, CEO of retailer Power Finland, said the company had seen an increase in demand for games and consumer electronics.

"The way people work and spend their free time has definitely changed for the long term," Saviluoto said.

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