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Competition heats up in appliances market

Date Posted: 2006-04-15

The invasion of large mainland Japan manufacturers is altering the competition landscape for Okinawa consumers.

Competition triggered by discount giants Kojima Denki and Yamada Denki are putting pressure on Okinawa’s leaders. Best Denki and DeoDeo – San A manufacturers are feeling the pinch, and business is dropping off.

Local manufacturers admit customers are getting a good deal because of the competition, but say the customers are better off sticking with them in order to receive quality after service.

The start of all digital broadcasts this month by Japanese television is sending many consumers to stores for new tuners. The start of the warm season is also motivating many Okinawans to think about buying new air conditioners. Yamada Denki’s Director, Tetsuo Koiko, says people like inexpensive shops, but if Kojima Denki tries to discount sales prices too much, it will destroy every price.” Kojima Denki’s director acknowledges that “we always do more discount pricing to shoppers.” He says his company not only offers discount prices, but customer care as well.

A San A Deo Deo staff member says “there’s not much difference in customer levels, yet. Even though Kojima wants to discount prices, our customers will never lose.” He added “for customers, it is good to have many manufacturers” to choose from. The local manufacturer says “we can offer better prices, better quality and better services.”

The big potential losers are the small electrical appliance shops. For them, it is becoming a hard life because they cannot compete with the giant merchandisers. There are dozens of small shops in Naha City, Urasoe City and Okinawa City and they’re questioning how they can go against the big buys.

“We give good service for our customers, and more warm care,” said one, but then wondered if that would be enough to keep them in business.

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