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Hungarians Opt for Affordable and Energy-Efficient Tech, Even with Imperfections

As consumers begin to catch up on purchases postponed last year, time is still needed for improvements in electronics stores, report the leaders at Media Markt.
Interest in the middle price range has nearly vanished, with those unable to afford premium products now looking for entry-level options.

According to a survey conducted by Media Markt, 42 percent of respondents acknowledged a decline in their financial situation since last fall, with no expectations of improvement. Twenty-two percent feel their economic status is unchanged and remain pessimistic about the future. For most respondents, monthly fixed expenses have increased by between 31,000 and 50,000 forints.

Sales in electronics outlets denote a slight increase compared to this time last year, explained Gábor Szilágyi, the CEO of Media Markt. While the number of store visitors has declined, those who do enter are beginning to shop more confidently, likely making up for previously deferred purchases.

Consumer habits have shifted, with a 10-15 percent higher growth in sales of energy-efficient products compared to their less efficient counterparts. Another significant trend is "downgrading" – consumers opting for cheaper, albeit not perfect, items. This has been reported by 62 percent of respondents regarding tech purchases, a notable shift, though less pronounced than in food shopping, where 85 percent reported similar behavior.

A marked disappearance in interest for mid-range priced goods has also been observed; those who can afford premium products continue to seek them out, while others turn to entry-level options instead. Price, alongside product functionality and energy efficiency, are the primary considerations for Hungarian shoppers.

Demand for solar generators has surged in recent months, alongside an increased interest in e-scooters and related safety gear. A noteworthy change associated with the younger generation is a decline in TV purchases, with a preference for mobile phones and computers. The upcoming football European Championship is, however, expected to boost TV sales by 15-30 percent.

Media Markt anticipates an improving situation in the latter half of the year. Expansion plans are underway, with a new store set to open in Eger by the end of spring and a logistics center in Ecser, scheduled for an August move-in.

Norbert Magyar, the Commercial Director, shared that younger customers are educating older family members on extending the lifecycle of tech products and the benefits of refurbishing or exchanging old devices. This year, the company plans to launch an exchange program for mobile phones and laptops, offering to buy back old devices, refurbish them, and resell them. This initiative is not limited to IT products - in other countries, similar schemes for appliances like washing machines and refrigerators have proven successful.
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