Nuremberg, 26.02.2016

Q4 2015: A successful year end for the Western European Technical Consumer Goods market


Results for GfK TEMAX® Western Europe for the fourth quarter of 2015

In the fourth quarter of 2015, the Western European Technical Consumer Goods (TCG) market closed with a sales volume of approximately €62.8 billion. This corresponded to an increase of 2.8 percent, compared to Q4 2014. The whole of 2015 was also successful with a growth rate of 2.9 percent, compared to 2014. The total sales volume in 2015 amounted to about €208.9 billion. The best sectors in terms of growth were Telecommunications (TC) and Small as well as Major Domestic Appliances (SDA and MDA).

Small Domestic Appliances: strong growth throughout the categories

In Q4 2015, the SDA sector in Western European grew again – this time by 9.0 percent, compared to Q4 2014, with revenue of around €5.1 billion. Total sales volume in 2015 amounted to €15.9 billion – an increase of 8.8 percent, compared to 2014. As a result, 2015 was a very successful year. The principal sales drivers during the Christmas period were fully automatic espresso machines handstick and robotic vacuum cleaners. Personal care products were also in demand.

Telecommunications: replacement purchases for smartphones stimulated demand

In the final quarter of 2015, the Western Europe TC market increased sales by 8.5 percent, compared to Q4 2014 – up to €16.1 billion. Throughout the whole year, the sector even grew 11.7 percent, compared to 2014, and generated a total sales volume of €51.1 billion. Although there were signs that the smartphones market was saturated in most of the Western European territories, replacement purchases in this segment provided a strong, ongoing stimulus.

Major Domestic Appliances: washing machines, cookers, and microwave ovens – growth rates above average

In Q4 2015, the Western European MDA sector grew by 4.9 percent, compared to the same period in 2014, and rose to around €8.9 billion. As a result, the sector ended a successful 2015 with a total sales volume of almost €33 billion. This corresponded to an increase of 5.3 percent, compared to the whole of 2014. All product groups contributed to the positive growth and prices remained very stable throughout the year. The main growth drivers were energy saving appliances with A++ and A+++ labels. Washing machines, cookers and microwave ovens achieved above average growth in the final quarter. 

Office Equipment and Consumables: a long-term positive trend in the printers segment

The Western European Office Equipment and Consumables (OE) market remained largely stable in Q4 2015 and generated a sales volume of €4.8 billion. Throughout the whole year, total sales volume amounted to approximately €18 billion. The market witnessed an ongoing positive trend in the printers segment. Inkjet printing products and laser multifunctional devices (MFD) again improved their performance due to a magnificent Christmas period.

Information Technology: positive expectations after a year of transformation

In Q4 2015, the Information Technology (IT) market in Western Europe decline slightly – down by 0.3 percent, compared to Q4 2014, to €16.8 billion. The total sales volume in 2015 amounted to €55.9 billion. This also represented a slight fall of 0.9 percent. 2015 was a year of re-adjustment, change and restructuring in the IT sector – especially in the computing products segment. New models, operating systems and cloud products started to provide a new value proposition. This will be the basis for growth in 2016 and beyond. It is anticipated that mobility, connectivity, and multi-device usage will be the key trends in 2016.

Consumer Electronics: negative trend caused by falls in sales of TVs

Once again, in the fourth quarter of 2015, the Western European Consumer Electronics (CE) market failed to achieve a turnaround. On a year-on-year basis, the market closed with a sales volume of €9.5 billion, which corresponded to a decrease of 2.1 percent compared to Q4 2014. However, when 2014 in total is compared to 2015, the sales volume of around €29 billion represented a decrease of 5.2 percent. As the market for CE products is strongly linked to the market for TVs, the negative tendency registered in 2015 was very much in line with a fall in sales of TVs. The audio products segment continued its positive development as innovative products and solutions accelerated.

Photography*: growth for cameras above €1,000 

The Photography (PH) sector generated a sales volume of €1.5 billion in Q4 2015. This corresponded to a 5.7 percent decrease compared to Q4 2014. However, on a country level, Denmark, Italy, Spain and Greece achieved a positive growth rate. The total sales volume in 2015 amounted to roughly €5.6 billion, a fall of 6.9 percent compared to 2014. Nevertheless, demand for high-quality cameras over €1,000 grew. In addition, changeable lenses contributed to the stable sales trend.

* Photography includes digital cameras and photography accessories. Due to a change in digital camera reporting (camera kits are no longer split into separate cameras and lenses products, but are reported together), data has been reworked for the Photography sector.

GfK TEMAX® Western Europe: a good ending to a successful year

The growing danger of terrorism and the continuous stream of refugees had only a small effect on the European consumer climate towards the end of 2015. The increasingly good economic conditions in almost all European countries, as well as the ongoing, extremely low energy costs even led to a rise in indicators in Q4 2015. Against that background, the Western European TCG market again increased between October and December and ended 2015 on a positive and successful note. 

December 2015 growth rates were calculated on the basis of comparable number of weeks.

The Survey

GfK TEMAX® is an index developed by GfK to track the technical consumer goods markets. The findings are based on surveys carried out on a regular basis by the retail panel of GfK. The retail panel comprises data from over 425,000 retail outlets worldwide. Since 2009, GfK has also been compiling the GfK TEMAX® index at international level in more than 30 countries. It is the first index that includes all of the markets for technical consumer goods in different countries. GfK TEMAX® Western Europe directly includes data from thirteen countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and UK). All directly included country reports and press releases are available at Besides them, Norway and Switzerland are represented by extrapolated data.

If information from this press release or is cited, GfK TEMAX® should be explicitly indicated as the source.

Further information:

Stefan Schmidt, T +49 911 395-3108,
Wolfgang Seubold, T +49 911 395-3570, wolfgang.seubold(at)

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Jan Saeger
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D-90419 Nuremberg
T: +49 911 395 4087

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