Domestic electronics businesses have been grappling with a slowdown in sales since the beginning of the year.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade's recently released statistics revealed that only refrigerator and freezer sales saw a year-on-year increase of 10.5 percent in the first quarter, while other products experienced slumping sales, with air conditioners witnessing the greatest drop of 30 percent.

Ngo Thanh Dat, marketing director of Tran Anh Company, blamed the trend on skyrocketing fees for prime retail space, which he said has led to less sales as businesses struggle to secure good locations for their stores.

The Tran Anh Company recently lost half of the retail space used by its electronics supermarket in Long Bien district.

The high volume of stockpiled electronics due to slumping purchasing power and harsher competition from foreign rivals in the domestic market were also factors, he said.

Media Mart marketing director Nguyen Thanh Hai said his electronics supermarket also witnessed a significant drop in sales after the Tet holiday, resulting in a large quantity of electronics, especially electrical appliances, in stock.

As consumers cut down on spending, electronics supermarkets has to focus on providing cheap electronics while also working on promotion programmes to attract more customers, Hai said.

However, the current slump in domestic purchasing power will help motivate electronics enterprises to improve their long-term development strategies and prepare sufficient financial sources to expand their business in the time ahead, industry insiders say.

Vietnam Fan Joint Stock Co plans to open retail stores in rural areas in a move to exploit new business opportunities, said the firm's deputy general director Tran Thach Quang.

Better customer-care and warranty services are also a priority, Quang said.

Media Mart general director Le Quang Vu, meanwhile, emphasised the importance of cutting unnecessary costs to reduce product prices and offering attractive promotion programmes.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has predicted the local electronics market will rebound as demand for electronics such as fans, air conditioners and refrigerators will rise during the upcoming summer.-VNA