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Appliance spending surges

A customer looks at washing machines at a home appliance store in Phnom Penh
A customer looks at washing machines at a home appliance store in Phnom Penh on Friday. Cambodia has seen a 59 per cent jump in home appliance sales in the past year. Pha Lina

Appliance spending surges

Consumer spending on home appliances such as refrigerators, televisions and washing machines has surged over the past 12 months in Cambodia, according to market research firm GfK Global.

Germany-based GfK’s latest audit of eight Southeast Asian countries’ domestic appliance sales shows Cambodians spent some $50 million on about 137,000 items between July 2013 and August this year.

The figure represents a 59 per cent increase in sales volume compared with the year prior, according to September 25 statement issued by GfK.

“Cambodia is an emerging market and the demand of major domestic appliances is only just starting to boost thanks to the country’s economic and construction sector growth,” Seraphina Wee, communication manager of GfK said, adding that air-conditioners and refrigerators were the two most purchased appliances in Cambodia during the one-year period.

But according to Wee, such demand for home appliances is not expected to last.

“The trend of domestic appliance consumption in Cambodia will continue increasing, yes, but at a lower growth rate especially after such a strong boost this year.”

GfK’s audit included sales figures from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia and Laos. Of all the countries involved in the audit, the Kingdom recorded the largest jump in home appliance spending.

In total, the study revealed that over 20.5 billion units of air conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators, and microwaves were sold across all 10 nations during the 12 months leading up to August.

Hor Hab, head of sales at G-Gear, an LG electronics partner in Cambodia, estimated the local market for home appliances to be around $100 million. He said his company had seen sales increases of about 30 per cent over the last year with demand for new televisions and refrigerators accounting for the lion’s share.

“From the beginning of 2013, there has been a noticeable increase in demand for TV, refrigerator and air-conditioners because there has been a large increase in housing, building and apartments,” Hab said.

“However, the main portion of the sales – about 80 per cent – is still made only in Phnom Penh due to the rate of new developments. The rest go to other main provinces, or urban areas, where the construction industry is also rising.”

Daisuke Maeda, managing director of Aeon Microfinance Cambodia – which specialises in financing motorbikes, mobile phones and home appliances – told the Post in August that home appliance loans had increased five-fold between June 2013 and June this year.

“We can see some signs of a middle class family by the increase in electric appliance sales,” he said.

“People will go to mobile and motorbike first, of course, and as their income increases, they start to upgrade their lifestyle in the form of flat-screen TVs, home theatre and other home appliances.”

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