Room heater sales soar as mercury drops

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KOLKATA: Sales of room heaters clocked one of their best ever business this winter with sales more than doubling in North, especially in belts like Delhi-NCR, due to a sharp decline in the mercury level. Manufacturers and retailers said all brands have stocked out during the year-end cold wave spell. Even products like geysers have grown at 40%. “There is total stock out of oil filled radiator room heaters and heat convector, with everything getting sold off in one week,” said Orient ElectricNSE -0.44 % business head (home appliances) Salil Kappoor. He said the company has grown sales by 150% across its two brands – De’Longhi and Orient.

Bajaj ElectricalsNSE -2.51 % chairman and managing director Shekhar Bajaj said he is flooded with calls for room heaters. “Forecasting demand is a tricky situation since room heaters sell for only two months and unsold stock is continued for 11 months. Due to robust room heater and even geyser demand, our consumer business has grown in double digit,” he said.

The oil filled models are imported making it impossible for companies to meet up the current stock out situation while some brands have restarted production for the basic models to meet up the continued demand, industry executives said.

Last month, Delhi reported its chilliest day in more than a century during the year-end due to a coldwave which also shook the entire North with several cities and towns reported sub-10 degree Celsius of maximum temperature. While the maximum temperature has gone up in last couple of days, but there are predictions of the cold wave returning back.

Electronics retailer Vijay Sales director Nilesh Gupta said supplies have resumed for some basic room heaters which are locally manufactured. “While Delhi-NCR weather has become little warm now, but cold spell will return whereby the category which has already doubled will grow further. There is good growth for geysers too with consumers buying larger capacities or upgrading models,” he said.

Winter wear sales too shot up in the region, but at a slower pace of 9-10%. “There was some impact but no major spike since consumers already have their winter wardrobe ready,” said department store chain Lifestyle MD Vasanth Kumar.