With each crisis, the good old reflexes reappear. In the spring of 2020, during the first confinement, the French rushed to buy basic necessities, such as pasta, rice or toilet paper. Today, precautionary purchases relate to everything that makes it possible to guard against possible power cuts this winter.
At Le Vieux Campeur, for example, sales of small camping stoves have increased tenfold since December. “It’s becoming the trendy gift for Christmas, especially since the manufacturers have made great efforts in design”underlines Aymeric de Rorthays, the general manager of the brand.
For gas cylinders, sales have quintupled, as for portable batteries. And they doubled for the batteries. “There are two types of buyers: those who are afraid and come to buy something specific and those who add certain products to their basket saying that it can always be used, just in case, such as rechargeable lanterns whose sales have also been multiplied by ten”, adds the boss of the Old Camper. At Decathlon, the same phenomenon is observed on all these products.
Suppliers struggle to keep up
The generator set is also becoming the fashionable product. For a mid-range model, which runs on petrol or diesel, it takes between €450 and €600. It can supply the main household appliances (refrigerator, freezer, cooking appliance) for several hours with a full tank. It is a product that arouses a lot of interest in rural areas, where the quality of the current is not always there. Small traders and restaurateurs, all of whom fear losing their goods in the event of power cuts, are also driving demand.
To the point, moreover, that the large DIY stores, which had nevertheless inflated their stock this summer, are beginning to have difficulties in obtaining supplies. At Castorama, sales have multiplied by 2.5 over the past four months and by four over the past two weeks. For Mr. Bricolage, the equivalent of one year’s turnover on this product has been achieved over the last three months.
As a result, suppliers are also struggling to keep up. This is the case, for example, of Gelec in Brittany, which manufactures generating sets for industrial use. Since the end of August, its orders have jumped 80% year on year. The company will therefore hire and expand its warehouse.
Signs multiply promotions
Households are also looking for alternatives in terms of heating. At ManoMano, the e-commerce specialist in DIY, sales of wood-burning stoves and pellet boilers have increased by 274% over one year.
Everything that can be used to reduce your bill is also a hit on the shelves, such as thermostats, remotely controlled devices, but more simply also window seals or even door draft excluders, which are showing double-digit sales growth. figures. “With the rise in energy prices, there is an awareness of the need to improve one’s housing. Our role is to facilitate the journey of the consumer so that he finds himself there »underlines Céline Brisson, marketing manager at ManoMano.
The major DIY groups have understood this and are increasing commercial operations. Leroy Merlin has undertaken this winter to lock in the prices of around a hundred products that reduce its energy consumption. Castorama has launched promotional offers on items considered emblematic of energy renovation, such as glass wool or high-efficiency radiators, which are sold at cost price or at a very high discount.
On their websites, the brands compete for advice on how to save energy with a few simple solutions. Some go even further, by financing the energy audits that their customers wish to carry out at home. This is the case of Brico Dépôt (subsidiary of the British group Kingfischer), as of Castorama, which however puts two conditions: to have the loyalty card of the store and to commit to carrying out the renovation work with a partner company. For its part, Leroy Merlin offers financial aid of up to €2,000, subject to conditions and in the form of vouchers.
Source : BBN NEWS