Sat, Aug 05, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Tatung to revamp stores in bid to boost retail sales

EXTREME MAKEOVER The nation's leading appliance manufacturer said it would give all its stores a new look in a bid to boost sales of LCD TVs and air conditioners

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Tatung Co (大同), the nation's leading home appliance maker, said yesterday it was planning to fork out NT$270 million (US$8.23 million) over the next three years to give its stores nationwide a facelift.

"Customers prefer to browse through merchandise in spacious, comfortable showrooms with well-trained staff tending to their needs," Larry Hsiao (蕭綮鞍), president of Tatung's marketing arm, Tatung Consumer Products Taiwan Co (大同綜合訊電), told reporters on the sidelines of a product launch.

To offer customers a brand new shopping experience, Tatung will renovate its 200 retail outlets nationwide within three years, he said.

Many of the stores will be upgraded into flagship showrooms by next April, and will take up around NT$50 million of the total NT$270 million budget, he said.

The facelifts have already borne fruit, as Tatung's first flagship showroom reported a record increase in business during the first month, reaping in sales of NT$8 million compared to NT$2.5 million before the renovation, he said.

Located near the intersection of Zhongxiao E Road and Fuxing S Road, the company's first flagship showroom opened on July 7, occupying 180 ping (596m2) over two floors.

There will be a second flagship showroom ready in Jhonghe (中和), Taipei County, by the end of this month, covering an area of 80 ping, according to Hsiao.

With steady sales reported from products such as air conditioners and liquid-crystal-display (LCD) televisions, Tatung Consumer Products is set to book net income of NT$60 million and sales of NT$8 billion this year.

Net income and sales for the first seven months hit NT$38 million and NT$4.5 billion respectively, the company said.

While launching its new 32 and 37-inch LCD TV models, Tatung said it has sold 38,000 LCD televisions during the January to July period, and the figure will top 85,000 by the end of the year. This will give it a foothold in the local market, which will amount to 500,000 LCD TVs this year, according to Hsiao.

To reflect the fall in panel prices, rival Taiwan Kolin Co (歌林) announced it would lower retail prices of its LCD televisions starting this month.

Prices of Kolin's 20-inch, 23-inch, 42-inch and 47-inch LCD models will be reduced by between NT$2,000 and NT$30,000.

However, Hsiao said consumers should not expect further price cuts in LCD televisions.

"LCD panel prices have hit bottom and television prices should maintain their current level for now," he added.

Tatung's shares closed down 2.17 percent at NT$11.25 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

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