ECONOMY

Hard hit electrical appliance sector regroups

Wholesale electrical goods suppliers are regrouping in order to offset the negative impact from falling sales and to also protect themselves from the possibility of operations in the retail sector going bust.

The market has already seen an estimated decline in revenues of 30 percent as industry sources hope that the largest drop in sales is behind them.

The last time the market saw growth was in 2008 when turnover among retailers reached two billion euros, not including value added tax. Revenues in the wholesale sector reached 1.5 billion euros for the same period.

In 2011, it is estimated that turnover among retailers will drop to 1.3 to 1.4 billion euros and 1.1 billion euros for wholesalers.

Industry officials believe that further drops cannot be much larger as they point to the example of Argentina, where sector peers saw a 35 percent drop in business, the largest seen globally.

Given that most wholesale companies in Greece are subsidiaries of foreign multinationals, they follow the instructions of parent companies and adjust their strategy accordingly.

Increasing the number of retail outlets, moving offices or even dropping production lines are among the decisions they have been making.

For example, Candy Hellas, a subsidiary of Candy Hoover Group, is broadening its product range.

Dimitriou AEVE, is examining, among other options, a way to boost the Singer brand name.

On the other hand, BSH, a leader in the wholesale business which sells Bosch, Siemens, and Pitsos products, is moving its production facilities to Aspropirgo, west of Athens, from Renti, in a bid to cut costs.

At the same time, it is examining the possibility of stopping the production of washing machines and refrigerators in Greece.

In the event of the company going ahead with this move, then it will keep operating only the production of electrical cooking appliances and whatever that may means for its labour force.