Sales of electric appliances in the first half rose by 3%, the best growth in three years.
Jakkrit Keeratichokchaikun, the chief business officer for speciality business at The Mall Group, said the electric appliance business grew by an average 1-2% in the past two years.
Demand for several important product categories such as air conditioners and TV sets contracted in those years, largely due to the slowing economy and relatively high household debt, which sapped consumers’ spending power.
“We’ve seen a clear sign of improvement in consumer spending power in the first half of this year,” Mr Jakkrit said. “Product categories that drove sales growth in electric appliances during January and June included air conditioners, in part because the weather was hotter than expected this year.”
Mobile phone operators also launched more active strategies in the first half to entice consumers to spend, he said.
“With the upcoming 5G technology, more artificial intelligence [AI] functions are being added to electric appliances, stimulating people to buy more products,” Mr Jakkrit said.
More products with AI and Internet of Things connecting to smartphones will be launched at the Power Mall Electrical Showcase held during June 20-July 14 at all Power Mall branches.
Masaki Matsumae, managing director of Sony Thai, said the company’s sales from January to June this year are expected to grow by 10% from the same period last year, driven by big-screen TVs, games and earphones.
“This year continues to be challenging for us,” Mr Matsumae said. “We are confident our sales will grow by 10% as expected because of clearer business strategies and attractive products.”
Thailand’s electric appliance market is worth 250 billion baht. With improving signs of consumer spending in the first half of this year, Mr Jakkrit expects the market will grow by 3% to 257.5 billion baht this year.
Of the total 250 billion baht, about 45% or 112.5 billion baht is from mobile phones, 35 billion baht from air conditioners, 32 billion baht from computers, 27 billion baht from TVs and the rest from other products such as cameras, washing machines and refrigerators.
Nonetheless, although several product categories fared better than expected in the first half, the demand for several product categories such as cameras remained weak.
The market value for cameras is forecast to drop to about 7 billion baht, from 10 billion baht last year.―Bangkokpost