Electronics retailers are the latest victims of the economic downturn, with Taiwan’s two major players reporting double-digit declines in sales last month. Both retailers launched large-scale promotions last weekend in an attempt to stimulate flagging sales.
Tsann Kuen Enterprise Co (燦坤實業), Taiwan’s largest home appliance and consumer electronics retailer in terms of sales, saw sales plummet by 11.7 percent last month from a year earlier to reach NT$1.9 billion (US$57 million). In the first 10 months of this year, sales were NT$25.2 billion, down by 1.3 percent.
E-Life Mall Corp (全國電子), the nation’s second-largest electronics retail chain, registered sales of NT$841 million last month, a 23.3 percent decline from October last year. Sales in the first 10 months of this year were NT$12.17 billion, sliding 6.4 percent.
To bolster lackluster sales, Tsann Kuen launched a four-day promotion that ended on Monday, with discounts on liquid-crystal-display TVs, computers and home appliances, in the hope of attracting skittish buyers. E-Life Mall followed suit and offered discounts on more than 100 products with a zero-interest payment plan.
Retailers said sales last month were especially hurt by a ripple effect from the wider economy. They said demand for replacing old electronic goods still exists, but that consumers were cutting back on inessential spending because of the economic downturn.
Retailers said they were placing their hopes in sales this month and next — peak season for the consumer electronics industry, with consumers tending to buy goods ahead of the Lunar New Year and companies furnishing year-end parties for employees.