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Appliance sales hit by weaker buying power

Slow economy, political chaos to blame

Electrical-appliance firms are taking steps to maintain their financial performance as consumers watch their spending amid a slow economy and political chaos.

Toshiba (Thailand) says it will not revise its business plans for this year as it has factored in the impact of the prolonged domestic political impasse, which the company feels will gradually improve.

Thakol Niyomthai, general manager of the company's sales, marketing and service division, said the political stalemate and the sluggish economy had dampened domestic consumption as consumers are more cautious with their expenditures. However, Toshiba (Thailand) considers its overall sales as stable, weaker in information-technology and audio-visual products, but stronger in air-conditioners.

Moreover, Toshiba believes consumers' purchasing power and domestic consumption should improve in the second half of the year, and the company plans to launch aggressive sales, marketing and promotional campaigns to stimulate sales of its electrical appliances.

At LG Electronics (Thailand), assistant managing director Alongkorn Chujit said the company managed to post year-on-year sales growth of 3-5 per cent in the first quarter thanks to strong sales of digital televisions and air-conditioners. The company will focus on pushing products with strong sales potential. Digital TVs and air-conditioners should each contribute about Bt600 million in sales revenue. LG plans to launch more than 42 new digital-TV products into the Thai market this year.

If the domestic political situation improves soon, the overall electrical-appliance market should grow by about 5 per cent this year, Alongkorn said. This is less than the 10-per-cent growth in a typical normal year, but higher than last year's 3-per-cent growth, which was due to weaker purchasing power in the third quarter of 2013.


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