Thu, Jan 13, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Hypermarkets offer big deals on electronics

PRE-HOLIDAY DRIVE Retailers are offering discounts as big as 30 percent and a variety of promotional programs

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Now is a good time to buy digital gadgets and electric appliances as hypermarket chains and consumer-electronics outlets are launching promotions ahead of the Lunar New Year that include some of best offers of the year, industry veterans said yesterday.

"To tap the yearly bonanza driven by `Wei Ya' parties, retailers usually offer their best deals on household appliances this month," said Brenda Yen (嚴必文), public relations manager of Far Eastern Geant (愛買吉安).

Falling on the 16th day of the 12th lunar month, Wei Ya refers to the big feasts -- complete with big door prizes or lucky draw gifts -- that bosses treat their employees to to thank them for their hard work.

Household appliances have become the most popular items on such gift lists, ranging from high-end flat-panel televisions and digital cameras to ovens and hair dryers priced around NT$500.

As consumers are becoming more price-sensitive, retailers are offering discounts as big as 30 percent on such items, as well as promotional programs for busi-nessnes such as "buy-10-get-one-free" targeting or free home delivery services to encourage individual buyers.

For example, the price for 30-inch liquid-crystal-display (LCD) panels by Kolin Co (歌林) have dropped from NT$59,900 to NT$42,900 each at Far Eastern Geant. Tesco Stores (Taiwan) Co is offering AOC-branded 23-inch LCD TVs for NT$19,988, down from NT$24,900.

Carrefour Taiwan boasts that it is offering the lowest-priced iPod minis in the country at NT$7,998 apiece.

Retailers are predicting double-digit growth in household appliance sales from a year ago.

Daisy Lee (李如秀), Tesco's corporate affairs manager, said part of this month's booming business is due to a bounce-back in consumer confidence after news reports early last year that some flawed appliances had been sold by hypermarkets.

"Now orders are flowing in and we expect that computers, LCD TVs, mobile phones and digital cameras will be flying off the shelves as a result of promotions and coupon offerings," Lee said.

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