March 02, 2018 08:35
Toxic smog in Korea is changing the home appliance market. Air purifiers, once seen as a luxury or niche item, have hit the mainstream, selling nearly 2 million units a year.
Humidifiers, dehumidifiers and steam closets now have air purifying function as a matter of course, and tumble dryers are selling like hot cakes now that people are reluctant to expose their washing to the open air.
The biggest shift is in air purifiers becoming essentials in many homes along with TVs, washing machines, and refrigerators. Their sales first exceeded 1 million units in 2016 and are expected to reach 2 million this year.
Air conditioners, which used to only get a workout in the summer, now do all-year duty as air purifiers. Chang Hye-won at LG said, "People are now buying air conditioners in the winter rather than the summer because they use them year-round."
For those who are still skeptical about the effectiveness of air purifiers, Samsung latest air purifier comes with LED-lights that change color depending on air quality.
Another trend is protecting clothes from fine dust. LG's TROM Styler has a specific function to remove fine dust particles from clothes and sells 10,000 units per month at the moment.
Samsung and LG used to make their tumble dryers mainly for overseas markets, but for the last two years they have been making more marketing efforts at home.
Many Korean customers were worried about the space they take up and huge electricity bills, but newer models can be put directly on top of a washing machine in most flats and only cost about W117 to W130 of power per cycle thanks to improved efficiency (US$1=W1,084).
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com