In the July/August issue of ERT…

View the July/August 2021 digital issue of ERT

Editor’s comment: Not going out!

Welcome to the July/August edition of ERT! This month you can read my exclusive interview with Peter Booth, LG’s Commercial Director CE. When we met up I was lucky enough to visit the fancy new product showroom at the Weybridge HQ – entered through a huge bank of TV screens that split down the middle. It’s impressive, as you can see in the article from page 16.

Peter and I covered many topics during our time together, chief among which was LG’s current brand campaign called ‘The Smart Good Life’ – you’ve probably seen the TV advert with the tune from ‘Annie’. Peter told me how important this campaign is to showcase the company’s electronics and appliances together; while the white goods business is bigger than people think, he said, in the UK it’s still smaller than home entertainment. So there is a huge focus on building this side up.

“We are in a massively crowded market,” Peter added. “We are working hard to really show off the features and benefits of all our innovations.”

There’s been no easy way to predict consumer trends in the past 18 months or so. We didn’t have a crystal ball to predict how things would play out, or a rule book to tell us what we should all think or how we should behave.

Staying in was the new going out! Week after week… after week. TV viewing time shot up rapidly for most households across the UK, as we indulged in programmes like Tiger King, Line of Duty and… Schitt’s Creek?! (The double entendre here is painfully hilarious!)

Not being content with using their existing TV sets, and also finding themselves with a little more disposable income, sales of televisions and audio equipment started to rise. But the same was also happening in other market segments. Small domestic appliances became hugely popular during lockdown as butchers and bakers (but not the candlestick makers) spent more time in their kitchens; various gadgets and gizmos were flying off the shelves as curious cooks experimented with their endless amount of free time.

In one particular product area, however, consumer trends are slightly harder to summarise. On the one hand, people were not using headphones and earbuds for their usual activities such as commuting to work or hitting the gym, and GfK said the market failed to reach 10 million units in 2020 for the first time in almost 10 years.

On the other hand, headphones stood out as the top tech product purchased during lockdown, according to Futuresource Consulting.

So it’s a real mixed picture when it comes to personal audio. Thankfully, this month ERT has got a special headphones feature where we analyse market trends. Have a read from page 28. And as it happens, there’s also our Premium SDA feature from page 20 as well.

Jack Cheeseman – Editor –

View the July/August 2021 digital issue of ERT here