TCL Electronics Pictures Broader Appliances Market Beyond TVs in Thailand

TCL Electronics, a Chinese electrical appliance manufacturer that sells televisions in Thailand, is considering expanding its product range in the country.

The company is conducting a market study that may pave the way for it to sell other home appliance products, including air-conditioners, refrigerators, and washing machines. Such a move would reduce TCL’s reliance on only one product line in the Thai market.

The overall sales of home appliance products in Thailand, such as refrigerators, air-conditioners, and washing machines, increased by 6 per cent to Bt54 billion in the first 11 months of 2016.

Sandy Zhou, head of marketing at TCL Electronics (Thailand), said TCL Thailand was keen to add a broader range of electrical appliances to its offerings in Thailand, meeting rising consumer demand in the segment. The strategy also would help TCL to improve its operational efficiency and lower management risk.

She said that TCL Thailand achieved sales of Bt2.5 billion last year, maintaining its position as a top-three TV player in Thailand with 8 per cent market share.

Zhou said TCL’s main income is derived from products such as Smart TV and QUHD TV, which cover the mid to premium ends of the market. TCL’s customer base can be categorised as 45 per cent in Bangkok, with 55 per cent in the rest of the country.

“TCL Thailand expects to increase our market share in the local TV market to 10 per cent or approximately 300,000 units (Bt3.2 billion in sales value) this year. For other home appliances, our products will be launched on the market in the third and fourth quarters of this year,” she said.

“We however have no plan to set up a manufacturing facility for our consumer electronic and home appliance products in Thailand at this moment,” said Zhou.

TCL Thailand has been established in Thailand for more than 13 years, building up a brand loyalty and good teamwork in its workforce.

“For this year, our strategy is to expand our sales channels domestically. We plan to increase the number of our dealers here by 30 per cent, and by 15 per cent for the number of modern retail stores. We also plan to adjust the image of our existing 100 showrooms in the Kingdom to be under the ‘Creative Life’ concept,” she said.

Zhou said that TCL had 75,000 employees throughout Asia, the Americas, Europe and Oceania, with sales organisations in more than 80 countries and regions, and 23 research institutions and 21 manufacturing and processing bases worldwide.

“TCL Thailand will focus on Thailand only. TCL Group also has offices in the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia,” she added.

TCL Thailand pursues its business with customer- and product-oriented strategies. Core strategies include a focus on brand awareness and price performance through maximising product value and performance efficiency.

According to Wannapong Tawara, associate director of GFK Retail and Technology, a market research company in Thailand, electrical appliances including TVs that are designed to be connected with other applications appeared to be in high demand, tapping into new consumer lifestyles, Wannapong said. With this in mind, electric appliance makers should consider introducing a variety of products that offer complex entertainment and service options and are well priced and easy to use, while coming with good after-sales service.

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