Cambodian consumer spending in $90M surge

Consumer spending on mobile phones, consumer electronics and home appliances surged last year, with total spending accounting for at least $413 million, revealed G-Gear CEO Sok Piseth.

Piseth, who is also the LG Electronics partner in the Kingdom, was quoting figures from market research firm GfK during a meeting with dealers late on Wednesday.

He said the figures showed that of the $413 million that Cambodians spent on electronics last year, $282 million was spent on mobile phones, while spending on consumer electronics such as televisions sets, and home appliances like washing machines, air conditioners and refrigerators combined was valued at $121 million.

Last year’s figure shows a 28 per cent jump from 2017 when Cambodians spent around $323 million – $214 million on mobile phones and $109 million in total on various consumer electronics.

Piseth said the Kingdom’s economic growth has improved the living conditions of Cambodians, resulting in an increasing demand for major domestic appliances.

He said the increasing rate of housing construction projects is also a major contributor to home appliance sales.

“That apart, the rising incomes of Cambodians and wider coverage of electricity supply to rural areas at lower prices have been contributing significantly to increasing electronic product sales,” he said.

He said improving living conditions have boosted the demand for modern products which help to improve comfort. When more affordable electricity supply further expands to rural areas, he said, there is an immediate increase in television, refrigerator and washing machine sales, though air-conditioner demand takes longer to grow.

Beside rising incomes, more flexible payment options like instalment plans should be a major factor to strengthen product sales. People previously needed to pay full price in cash up front, but now many can enjoy paying in several instalments.

An appliance seller at Aeon Mall, who asked not to be named, said on Thursday that appliance sales have seen an annual increase and the majority of purchases were made through instalment plans.

“Sales might be much slower if we require the customer to pay full price at once in cash. But now, payment is flexible and people can afford what they need based on their income,” the seller told The Post on Thursday.

Despite the increasing appliance demand, Piseth said official distributors like G-Gear are facing major issues in terms of unfair competition as they needed to compete with grey importers who smuggle goods into the Kingdom and undercut market prices.

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