Coronavirus lockdown increases TV sales in UK

According to GfK, TV sales in Britain saw a 59.5% increase in volume from 15-21 March 2020, the week that Boris Johnson, the prime minister, told the nation to stay home.

The study, which compared figures to the same week last year, also found that TVs had jumped 43.3% in value. 

Since Britons were told to stay home and only leave the house for essential goods, TV sales have skyrocketed, with the highest jump in sales being for smaller screen sizes of 42-in or less. 

“Despite the jump in sales, the average price point of the overall purchases is at its lowest point seen this year,” explained Kelly Whitwick, UK retail lead for market insights at GfK. “This suggests people are buying basic models for practical solutions, rather than splashing out to enhance the viewing experience with a better model. 

“Basically, people are facing having their entire household at home every day; possibly with the need to keep distance from each other, and almost certainly with very different views on what they want to watch – so they are quickly buying an extra TV to spread out around the house.”

In terms of content being watched during this time, DVDs or Blu-ray content has increased from five percent in the week of 2 March 2020 to 11 percent the week after. Similarly, ‘download to own’ (DTO) content viewing has jumped from four percent up to nine percent. 

On the other hand, there has been a drop in access to premium TV packages, such as Sky Sports, dropping from 24% in the week of 2 March to 20% the following week. 

“Given the lack of live sports content available to view at the moment, we anticipate further drops in those accessing premium sport viewing services in the coming weeks,” Sam Tuck, associate director of consumer insights at GfK analysed. 

“Instead, we expect a rise in people signing up to video-on-demand platforms – albeit potentially only on a short-term or trail basis. Whether this will have a long-term benefit for the services, with people retaining subscription at the end of their trials, is something we will be tracking.”