TV sales down as buyers rush for electric cookers

- SUMAN BASHYAL, Kathmandu

Dec 14, 2015-

Sales of consumer durables like televisions and home theatres have not been seeing the expected growth with people rushingfor electric cookers as gas

has become very scarce (andvery expensive).Most dealers said sales were down 30-50 percent compared to the same period lastyear. They added that sales

were just so-so even during big festivals like Dashain and Tihar when the whole country goes into a buying frenzy.

Companies have put their planned new launches of TVs and home theatres on hold due to the downturn in the market, and shifted their focus to microwave ovens, rice cookers and induction cookers which are all the rage due to the fuel crisis.

Samsung Electronics, which was scheduled to launch a new range of televisions before the festival season in September, is still waiting for a suitable

time. Ganesh Raj Pandey, sales manager of Him Electronics, one of the distributors of Samsung in Nepal, said that sales of televisions were 15 percent lower compared to last year.

“We had expected to see a 25-30 percent growth this year, but the blockade and unrest in the Tarai have spoiled out plans. People have been giving priority to their basic needs, and we are having a hard time fulfilling their requirements,” said Pandey. Samsung plans to launch its super ultra HD (SUHD) in the domestic market next month.

Likewise, Binil Bajracharya, sales manager of Triveni Byapar Company, the authorised distributor of Samsung, Panasonic, Yasuda and Sansui in Nepal, said that television sales had plunged 30 percent year on year.

“As households are having a hard time cooking food due to the LPG shortage, they are giving priority to rice cookers and induction cookers,” he said. He added that sales of electric cookershad doubled in recent months. “We are selling 2,000 units of rice cookers monthly against 500 to 1,000 units previously,” added Bajracharya.

Meanwhile, Sony’s authorised distributor Nepa Hima Trade Link has launched new televisions, but it is having a hard time delivering them as its shipments are stranded at border areas. The company has rolled out Bravia Android televisions ranging in size from 43 to 65 inches, and priced between Rs140,000 and Rs795,000.“We had launched new televisions with the hope of good

sales, but business has been dampened by the blockade and unrest in the Tarai,” said Subash Shrestha, marketing manager of the company.

However, sales of washing machines and heaters have soared with the start of the winterseason. LG and Samsunghave introduced new models of washer-dryers.

Purushottam Bhandari, sales manager of CG Electronics, the authorised distributor of LG in Nepal, said, “Although sales of televisions have been static, sales of refrigerators have startedpicking up. We hope the current crisis will end soon and the market will return to normalcy.” He added that sales of microwave ovens had also been swelling due to the LPG shortage.

Published: 14-12-2015 08:54

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