Thu, Jan 06, 2005 - Page 10 News List

E-Life, Celetem offer loans to buy

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Alex Tsai, president of E-Life Mall Corp, left, announces a Lunar New Year promotion campaign in alliance with the Taipei branch of France's Celetem Bank. From today until Feb. 28, customers are offered a loan service and installment payment plan in which they can borrow the same amount as they spend at zero interest.

PHOTO: WANG PEI-HUA, TAIPEI TIMES

People who are short of cash can now enjoy buying goods on credit without paying any interest to observe Chinese New Year, as a home appliance retailer kicks off its New Year promotions to lure customers.

E-Life Mall Corp (全國電子), one of the nation's leading consumer electronics and home appliance chains, yesterday launched its happy-new-year promotions, offering customers a 12-month, zero-interest loan service and installment payment project, which runs from today through Feb. 28, in alliance with France's Celetem Bank Taipei Branch.

The promotion plan offers consumers loans of the same amount as their purchasing value.

For instance, consumers who purchase products to the value of NT$50,000 in E-Life can apply for a NT$50,000 loan from Celetem and pay it back in installments over 12 months while the retailer takes care of the interest costs.

E-Life's president Alex Tsai (蔡振豪) said the service could help consumers manage their budget while celebrating the Lunar New Year.

With such an offer, the company projected sales of NT$2.4 billion during the two-month promotion period, up from NT$2.2 billion a year ago, Tsai said.

E-Life generated a profit of about NT$460 million, or NT$4.6 per share, on annual revenue of NT$11.4 billion last year in its 248 outlets across the nation. The company plans to open 20 more outlets this year but declined to make a financial forecast for this year before the board's approval.

In addition to the regular consumer's purchasing sprees, companies' procurements of home appliances as gifts to staffers in their year-end banquets, or so-called Wei Ya (尾牙) parties, is also a lucrative business.

Tsai predicted sales for Wei Ya gifts to grow 20 percent this year from a year ago, with items like digital/flat-panel televisions, digital video recorders and digital cameras expected to perform well.

Other retailers are also eager to take a slice of the yearly bonanza.

"We have seen many companies order NT$1 million-worth of cou-pons or over 20 plasma/liquid-crystal-display TVs as Wei Ya gifts," said Belinda Chen, public relations director of Tsann Kuen Enterprise Co (燦坤實業), the nation's largest consumer electronics and home appliance retailer by sales.

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