July 05, 2016 13:26
Home appliance makers are targeting niche markets to lift sales amid the ongoing slump.
A prime example is stick vacuum cleaner, which are useful for tackling dust in tight corners but not a lot more. The domestic market for the slim products has grown to around 500,000 units a year.
Samsung rolled out a new product this year called Power Stick, which can be recharged wirelessly and is slim enough to vacuum under furniture.
LG launched a stick vacuum cleaner in May that can mop floors as well.
An industry insider said the markets for stick and robot vacuum cleaners have grown sharply over the last two years to half the level of conventional vacuum cleaners.
Then there are ultra-small washing machines. LG introduced a twin washer that pairs a main front-loader with a mini top-loader, which has become a hit.
Sales of Dongbu Daewoo's Mini washing machines surged 30 percent in the first six months of this year compared to the same period of 2015. They hold only five T-shirts at a time.
A Dongbu Daewoo staffer said, "We intended to sell the Mini as a secondary washer at home but demand from growing one-person households has led to unexpected increase in sales."
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