Thailand: IT market facing shrinking sales
The IT market is facing subdued demand caused by economic challenges, high inflation and the weaker baht with the prospect of a sales contraction this year, according to IT product distributors.
IT retailers are offering discounts and longer instalment payment periods in a bid to reinvigorate purchases.
They shared their views on Thursday during the first day of flagship IT fair Commart, organised by ARIP Plc, at Bitec. The fair, titled “Commart Game On 2022”, runs through Sunday.
Pornchai Jantarasupasang, deputy general manager of ARIP, said Commart is seeing vendors offer a discount of at least 10-20%, and up to 60% discount for clearance items, to stimulate demand as the market has experienced a slowdown since the second quarter.
The market is seeing a transition of computer processors, which makes it harder to sell existing models.
Gaming notebooks priced at around 40,000 baht are expected to be the most desirable products at this edition of Commart, compared with two previous Commart events held earlier this year, when tailor-made gaming desktop computers were the no.1 item in terms of sales.
“Gamers typically change their notebook in less than a year,” he said.
“This Commart event is expected to see sales reach 3.3 billion baht, compared with the previous [mid-year] event which generated 3.2 billion baht in sales,” Mr Pornchai said.
“Thailand’s IT market is still better than the global one and still significant within Asean,” he added.
Takon Niyomthai, head of IT business development at SET-listed IT retail chain Com7, said there has been a slowdown in the IT market since May due to the economic woes despite an improvement in supply.
“Users have made significant purchases over the past two years, during which they had to work from home and study online,” said Mr Takon.
IT retailers have to release their inventory within 90 days to prevent having ageing products in stock, he said.
“The IT market last year experienced the biggest growth in nine years domestically and globally with a double-digit growth. But this year, the market is expected to contract to a single-digit growth,” he said.
At Commart, an instalment payment period of between 24-36 months will be offered to boost demand, he said.
“With the weaker baht, the prices of new products have increased by at least by 10% with a slowdown evident in the pre-order period,” said Mr Takon.
According to Mr Takon, the most popular products are gaming notebooks costing 25,000-30,000 baht while thin and light notebooks costing 18,000-20,000 baht are also expected to be well received.
Chukkrit Watcharasaksilp, chief sales, product and marketing officer of Advice, an IT distributor, pointed out that the consumer IT market has been in decline since May due to inflation as well as the fact that purchases had already been strong over the past two years during the pandemic.
Given this situation, large retail operators are expected to have the upper hand when compared with smaller ones.
“I think consumer IT products will see a contraction this year but the local market is still better than the global one. Although a contraction is expected, sales are expected to be better than they were before the pandemic,” said Mr Chukkrit.