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Cleaning appliance sales increase as hygiene concerns rise

A customer looks at a dryer at E-mart. (E-mart)
A customer looks at a dryer at E-mart. (E-mart)

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak across South Korea, more people appear to be buying cleaning appliances as hygiene concerns rise, according to the retail industry Sunday.

According to figures released by the country’s largest retail chain E-mart, dryers and garment care appliances saw sales go up by 26.6 percent and 38.5 percent, respectively, from Jan. 20 to Thursday, compared to the year earlier. Jan. 20 is the day the first COVID-19 patient was confirmed in Korea.

Fabric care appliances beat sales of other steady-selling home care appliances during the period, to rank second after sales of TVs. Refrigerators followed in third, and then came home care appliances, which includes air purifiers and air-frying machines.

E-mart said the clothes-related appliances are gaining popularity as people are becoming more aware of the hygiene of garments that touch the skin.

The retailer also said sales of dishwashers had surged by 950 percent on-year, as people are staying at home to avoid contracting the novel coronavirus and are cooking their own meals more frequently.

Kitchen detergents, including products used for dishwashers, have also sold 32 percent more in the same period.

“The increased awareness in hygiene and the fatigue from household chores appear to have led to the sales of drying machines, garment management appliances and dishwashers going up,” an E-mart official said. 

Home organization products (Lotte Shopping)
Home organization products (Lotte Shopping)

Sales of home organization products are also on the rise, as people are spending more time in their homes.

According to Lotte Shopping, the sales of house maintenance products, such as adhesives and window screens on its online outlet, surged by 52 percent during the period from March 1 to Thursday, on-year.

Electricity-related goods such as sockets and plugs sold 31.8 percent more and candles and diffusers saw an increase of 16.3 percent in sales, in the same period. Gardening tools were up 59.5 percent.

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