Don’t miss out on the rise of the robot vac

Retailers not selling robotic vacuum cleaners may be missing out on a huge opportunity, judging from the experience of online gadgets e-tailer Appliances Direct.

“More and more people are becoming open to the idea of investing in this kind of appliance,” said Appliances Direct marketing director Mark Kelly.

And he should know, as the company revealed that its sales of robotic cleaners, like iRobot’s Roomba
800 (pictured), rocketed by 259 per cent in the past six months. Its sales of robotic mopping products were also up by an equally impressive 173 per cent in the same period.

Research conducted by Appliances Direct showed that one-in-three people were now relying on outside help with housework.

The survey found that one-in-four had used professional cleaning services at least once in the past, while 16 per cent said they enlisted the help of a cleaner on a regular basis. Forty-one per cent of respondents would pay for a cleaner if they could afford it.

According to the e-tailer, consumers could save money by investing in a robot vacuum cleaner. These range in price from £120 to £500, whereas hiring a cleaning company could cost as much as £1,470 a year to clean a two-bedroom house.

Mr Kelly said: “It’s quite apparent from the research findings that adults in the UK no longer see cleaning as a compulsory task they must carry out themselves. We know that 21st century lifestyles tend to be quite busy, but it’s interesting to see how this is impacting on the choices people make about how they spend their time.”

He added: “Once upon a time, having an electronic device that would independently clean your house for you while you get on with your life was only a pipe dream. And even in the time since these devices became a reality, they were often seen as an expensive luxury. But from our sales data and the research, it seems they are becoming more commonplace.”

Mr Kelly emphasised the potential for sales in this sector going forward: “Britons no longer have to rely on paying out on a regular basis in order to get this assistance. The surge in sales we have seen over the past six months shows just how much demand is increasing for help that is less intrusive and more economical in the long term.”