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Sharp decline for new electronics

SALES of new consumer electronics have declined by between 20 to 30 percent so far this year, as rising secondhand sales dampened demand, according to importers.

Consumers were not spending on electronics, despite other sectors rebounding as Cambodia’s economy improved, according to Sunsimexco marketing manager Taing Sothearith.

Sunsimexco is the Kingdom’s oldest electronics distributor in operation, and imports the products of eight brands including Sony, Samsung, and Panasonic.

“Restaurants are opening everywhere with lots of customers – I don’t know why our sales are still not good,” he said yesterday.

Pi Meng Leang, a senior salesman at K-Four, said that an increase in secondhand products was damping sales of new electronics.

The firm has three Phnom Penh branches and one in Siem Reap, and presently imports brand-name electronic equipment from Singapore.

“K-Four’s sales have declined by 30 percent so far this year, despite us discounting prices by 10 percent,” said Pi Meng Leang.

“Buyers are getting clever. Before they come to us, they are checking with secondhand shops that sell good-quality products.”

Vendors of used electronics generally claimed stronger sales so far this year compared to the first six months of 2009, as attractive pricing brought increased spending from the Kingdom’s middle and lower income families.

“Our sales are strong this year, especially from ordinary people such as farmers,” said Sok Chea, owner of a self-named electronics store on Phnom Penh’s Kampuchea Krom Boulevard.

“Now, the quality of secondhand products is comparable to brand-new items, while the price is completely different,” he said.

Sunsimexco’s Taing Sothearith said that despite a poor start to 2010, he expected sales to be in line with last year’s figures when high season ramped up next month.

However, he said the availability of counterfeit goods may also be partly to blame for falling demand.

“People are using our brand names on fake products – this contributes to the drop in sales,” he said.

The Kingdom is planning to establish a sub-committee on intellectual property rights enforcement, said Intellectual Property Rights Department Director Var Roth San.

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