The economy of Myanmar has been witnessing strong growth in recent years following the country’s liberalization, leading to rapid adoption and penetration of modern technology in many households. Latest study commissioned by GfK Asia in the country’s Mandalay and Yangon regions reflected consecutive monthly growth in adoption of flat screen TVs, washing machines and air-conditioners in the first three months of 2016.
The January to March period reported nearly 152,000 units of TVs being snapped up in Yangon and Mandalay, generating sales totaling over USD 36 million. While nearly half of the total (49%) market demand was skewed towards 32 inch LED TV models in the first quarter, a rising take-up was seen in the latter months, where share of the 40-43 inch segment grew from 12 percent in January to reach 20 percent of the total monthly sales volume in March. A similar trend was also reflected for the for the full-HD and UHD segments—in a market which is largely made up of HD-ready-only models (55%).
“The Burmese new year—the most celebrated event in the country—takes place around mid-April and the months leading up to this day tend to witness robust purchasing activities by locals in preparation for the festivities,” highlighted Stanley Kee, Managing Director for Southeast Asia at GfK. “This is also an important period for local retailers as aggressive efforts to drive sales are in full force to stimulate consumer spending.”
While nearly two in every five (38%) TV units sold fell in the USD 200-300 price range, GfK findings showed consecutive monthly incremental demand for the USD400 and above range of TVs—where its volume share nearly tripled from 5 percent in January to 15 percent in March. In value terms, the segment accounted for over a third (36%) of the entire TV pie in that month alone. Overall, Smart TVs made up less than one in ten (7%) TV sets sold in the country.
Two major home appliances which also witnessed successive monthly growths in February and March were refrigerators and washing machines. In the refrigerator market, the quantity sold in March itself was more than the combined total sales in January and February, achieving USD 6.9 million within a single month. One in three (34%) was a two-door-freezer-top model while one-door remained the dominant type, accounting for 65 percent of sales volume in Yangon and Mandalay. Consumers spent USD 21.5 million on nearly 116,000 units of refrigerators in the first quarter of the year.
Meanwhile, households in the two regions also snapped up over 59,000 washing machines valued at nearly USD 10.5 million in the first three months of the year. Single tub washers dominated the market at 70 percent volume share while the rest was largely contributed by sales of double tub models. GfK findings showed an apparent month-on-month increase in demand for single tub models—the fully automatic, and more expensive type of washers—in February and March.
“We have observed a consistent uptrend in consumer spending on these products—indication of the rising consumer buying power as well as greater discernment towards better brands and models,” said Kee. “As one of the Southeast Asia’s most promising market currently, opportunities are aplenty and many business sectors are set for rapid growth in the years to come, especially in Mandalay where the upgrading trend is now in effect,” he concluded.
- Survey period: Jan – March 2016
- Survey was conducted in Yangon and Mandalay only
- TVs tracked in survey refer to flat screen TV only