Thai floods dent Q4 sales

Last week, hard drive manufacturer Western Digital said its Thailand production lines were beginning to return to normal. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the floods severely impacted October’s supply chain of many other classes of consumer electronics items.

“As flood waters progressively travelled from the northern region southwards and inundated Central Thailand by October, increasing number of industrial estates and consumers became severely affected, causing direct impact on industrial production and consumer spending habits,” reports market analysts GfK.

According to GfK, Thailand’s October retail audit figures, a general downward trend has been reflected across all product categories. Retail sales have either declined from the previous month, or in cases where growth were registered, results were weak and paled considerably from market performance during this same period a year ago.

“The flood has definitely affected the technical consumer goods industry in several ways,” said Dr Wichit Purepong, General Manager of GfK Thailand. “For one, residents facing the crisis would have probably lost any mood to shop, especially when it comes to big ticket items. On top of this, travelling and transportation at places where the situation is more extreme has become a huge challenge and deterrence for consumers.”

“For instance, sales of bulky products such as washing machines, television sets, desktop computers, and printers fell in the month of October. However, it was the air-conditioner segment that bore the greatest brunt, reporting a substantial 36 per cent decrease in volume over September.”

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