Sat, Jul 21, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Father’s Day goes high-tech: survey

RAZORS EDGED:Men like new gadgets, and razors just do not cut the mustard, leading department stores say. If you want to keep father happy get him the latest 3C device

By Yang Chiu-ying and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

With the approach of August, various department stores around the country said they have noticed a quiet shift in market trends for Father’s Day, away from the more mundane to the electronic.

Aug. 8 marks the nation’s Father’s Day because the Mandarin for the two numbers 8/8, baba (八 八), is a homophone for “father” (爸爸).

According to an estimate by Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, Far Eastern Department Store Co and Pacific Sogo, the top five categories of items purchased in anticipation of Father’s Day are consumer electronics items, health-related household electronics, attire and other accoutrements, facial care products and razors, and, last but not least — a Father’s Day meal.

Statistics from Pacific SogoO on sales of 3C products — a term that covers communication, computers and consumer electronics — show they have increased by 25 percent in just one year.

The results were similar to Shin Kong Mitsukoshi’s finding that Fayaque Co, a store dealing primarily in 3C products, has seen a 10 percent rise in sales in comparison with last year.

However, although electronics are “in,” electronic razors are not. Far Eastern public relations assistant manager Meo Cheng (鄭嘉蕙) and Shin Kong Mitsukoshi sales promotion manager Liu Chih-ting (劉智婷) said the decrease in razor sales was due to the improved quality of razors (so that they do not need to be replaced) and a lack of razors with unique capabilities.

Both Liu and Cheng said the market for 3C products with a rapid change-out was on the rise, especially as male consumers prefer new technology, such as digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, fixed-lens digital cameras or tablet computers.

Another category of items regarded as a potential Father’s Day gift is clothing or underwear that claims to cool wearers or absorb sweat, as well as shoes that take the pressure off the wearer’s feet.

A subsidiary of the Quanta Group was the first to promote cooling underwear. According to a report in the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper), the company added jade powder during the thread-drawing process to create more rapid thermal conduction and cooling.

The men’s skincare industry, claiming a hefty NT$1.7 billion (US$56.7 million) in sales last year, is also predicted to be hot this year, the department stores said, adding that all the major skincare companies have pushed out new products for men, including facial cleansing lotions and oil-control products.

Meanwhile, the Olympic Games, just a week away and hosted in London, have also influenced markets, department stores said.

Aside from discount offers for “Olympics fortnight,” some department stores are inviting basketball and baseball stars to promotions and hosting a string of events for dads, such as a chance to win a big prize if a father and son or daughter duo can correctly guess which country will win the most gold medals in the Olympics.

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