Currys boosted by sales of air fryers as squeezed customers strive to save on bills
Households are spending on air fryers and eco-friendly washing machines as they scramble to cut their energy bills, boosting sales at Currys.
The electronics retailer said shoppers were splashing out on household appliances that use less energy to run, with the company experiencing a 500pc surge in sales of air fryers compared to last year.
Studies have claimed that air fryers are around twice as energy efficient as ovens. Microwave sales are also up 30pc on last year at Currys, the retailer said. Microwaves also use significantly less energy to run than ovens, as they do not use energy to heat the air around the food, but heat the food itself and are on for less time.
Alex Baldock, chief executive of Currys, said: "Washing machines are another example of where customers have been happy spending more and trading up to more expensive products, because they understand that they're more energy efficient. So the total cost of that washing machine to them over the washing machine's life is going to be lower because it'll be more energy efficient."
It comes as families battle to keep costs down in a year in which energy bills have spiralled, with an average household facing an annual bill of around £2,500 currently, compared to £1,277 in October 2021. This is expected to rise to £3,000 in April.
Currys said the stronger demand for household appliances meant its UK business performed better than expected in the 10 weeks to Jan 7, offsetting a hit in its Nordics business, where rivals were racing to offload stock at fire-sale prices. This meant it was not changing its profit forecasts for the full year.
Shares in Currys jumped by almost 13pc, as investors cheered the move, coming after two profit warnings last year.
Mr Baldock pointed to further signs of brightness, saying Currys was starting to see some of its costs coming down, including freight costs. He said he was also expecting energy cost inflation to come down, which could point towards less pressure on retailers this year.
"We're not planning on the outlook getting better," he said. "We're not depending on it, but the UK inflationary pressure has now peaked, interest rates are near a peak, British consumers are sitting on quite a lot of untapped savings just waiting to be confident spenders.
“Assuming we don't have some new geopolitical nasty then I think you can see 12 months from now things looking brighter than many people still expect."