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Research on the fridge market in China

1.First-time purchase in rural area

Low penetration rate of refrigerator in rural area will be raised due to present continuous growth of rural inhabitant income. The potential of the rural market is enormous.

2.Second-time purchase: upgrade and replacement of old refrigerator

51% families have owned their refrigerator since 1994. Based on refrigerator ‘s service life that is from 10 years to 15 years, these families now become the major consumers to conduct second time purchase to upgrade and replace refrigerators. Only 17.1% families have replaced refrigerators. In the future 5 years, 23 million refrigerators will be in need.

3. Newlywed and relocation demands

The prosperous real estate market and numerous newlyweds in China boost the growth of household appliances market. Brand new household appliances are necessary to those families.

4. Government policy: trade in old home appliance for a new one

In June 2009, China launched a home appliances and electronics trade-in implementation solution that people who have the registered residences in the pilot provinces and cities can gain a 10% subsidy when buying new home appliances products if they provide their old ones at the time of purchase.

The home appliances trade-in policy is reportedly the sister policy of China’s rural home appliances subsidy program and it helped many Chinese manufacturers cover deficits and increase surpluses.

 Sales channels

Sales channels in the mainland kitchen and bathroom appliances market fall into two types: traditional channels and new channels.

Traditional channels:

In this channel you will find large, medium and small department stores as well as franchised stores.

New channels:    

In this channel you will find:

1.Home appliance retailers

国美 GuoMei

苏宁 SuNing

2.Building materials chain stores


3.General merchandise stores (e.g. Carrefour, Wal-Mart)

4.E commerce:

(1) Individual e-commerce platform of each brand

海尔商城 Haier









(2)  Taobao Tmall: a Chinese-language website for business-to-consumer (B2C) online retail, spun off from Taobao, operated in the People’s Republic of China by Alibaba Group. It is a platform for local Chinese and international businesses to sell quality, brand name goods to consumers in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Taobao: a C2C platform

(4) Individual e-commerce platform of home appliance retailer

国美 GuoMei

苏宁 SuNing

(3) Dangdang’s main product categories include household merchandise, cosmetics, digital, home appliances, books, audio, and dozens of clothing and maternal and child categories.

(4)  库巴 Kuba: main product categories include household merchandise, cosmetics, digital, home appliances, books, audio, and dozens of clothing and maternal and child categories.

(5)   新七天XinQiTian

New 7’s main product categories include digital, home appliances

Where to buy refrigerators?

The new channel is growing and rapidly expanding. After several years of development, home appliance retail chain stores have become the major channel for people buying household appliances. It is estimated that specialized home appliance chain stores account for over 70% of the home appliance retail market in large and medium-sized cities, and they are extending to small cities.

Young consumers tend to conduct purchases of home appliance on E-commerce platform because the price is lower and the process is convenient. Taobao and Jingdong are their first choices.

But most people would like to see the real products instead of the picture on the website, and sometime to use the products by themselves. So many of them nowadays check out the products in store then conducting purchases on line.

Article by Qinwen for Daxue China consulting and on Linkedin about Daxue China Research (Facebook: clieck here, twitter: click here)