Sales of small domestic appliances in the UK held firm last year, despite the tough economic environment faced by retailers.
According to a report by GfK Retail and Technology UK, sales of products such as espresso machines, vacuum cleaner accessories, bread makers and food steamers increased by 4.9 per cent year-on-year in 2011, pushing the value of the UK's small appliance market up to £2.4bn.
GfK described the figures as a silver lining to the cloud "in what has been a stormy economic sky".
Online sales helped to drive growth, the company said, especially in the coffee maker sector. Online purchases of products in this category increased represented 30.1 per cent of total sales in 2011, up from 22.8 per cent the previous year.
GfK spokesperson Sam Kelly said: "In a very challenging economic climate it is great to see value growth within Small Domestic Appliances; a sector that has shown great resilience over the last 12 months compared to many other durables categories."
Electronics manufacturer Panasonic said recently that it plans to focus on meeting local needs as part of a plan to increase its home appliance sales in emerging markets such as Brazil.