Impact of COVID-19 on consumer electronics turnover in Belgium 2020

The coronavirus outbreak caused the turnover of home office equipment (laptops, monitors, printers, and headsets) in Belgium to increase with 5.5 million euros in week 12 of 2020 compared to the same week in 2019. In sharp contrast, the mobile phone market saw a decrease in revenue of a whopping 5.2 million euros. This meant a turnover decrease of almost 50 percent. In relative terms, freezers enjoyed the biggest surge in sales, with a turnover increase of 344 percent. On the other side, declining digital camera sales caused their total revenue to decrease with 72 percent. The COVID-19 outbreak in Belgium had a major impact on non-food retail.

Winners and losers in pandemic circumstances

The present graph compares the best and worst performing product categories in the Belgium consumer electronics and household appliances market. The data perfectly reflects changing consumer behavior as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Firstly, a sales increase of laptops, monitors, printers and headsets indicates that consumers collectively set up their home offices, a logical consequence of the (work) travel restrictions imposed by the Belgian government. Secondly, the freezer sales increase goes hand in hand with an increase in frozen food sales to stock the “pandemic pantry”. On the flip side, the decrease in sales of products such as mobile phones and digital cameras was a direct consequence of this spending spree. As consumers spent their money on home office equipment, non-priority item sales naturally decreased, and they suffered a decrease in turnover.

The Belgian electronics market

All in all, the electro industry in Belgium stagnated in week 12, with a total turnover change of a mere -0.4 percent, a soft blow compared to other industries in the Benelux. This figure suggests a stable market, but this is far from the truth. Aside from massive product differences, as illustrated in the graph, a major shift in purchasing channel took place: online sales increased with 166 percent, while in-store sales dropped by 56 percent. This was caused by physical store closures and a lack of foot traffic in inner cities due to coronavirus fear .

Consumer electronics turnover change in Belgium in week 12 of 2020, compared to week 12 of 2019

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Release date

March 2020



Survey time period

Week 12, 2020

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Statistics on "Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Belgium"

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