SEOUL, March 16 (Korea Bizwire) – Recent data shows that sales of laundry soap bars has increased at large discount stores in an era when the penetration rate of washing machines is virtually 100 percent.
According to the discount store Emart, total sales of detergent decreased by nine percent year over year as of March, while laundry soap bars alone saw a four percent rise.
Sales of powdered detergent and liquid detergent dropped 15 percent and nine percent respectively. The fall was seen to have been influenced by an increase in the number of online shoppers, and the improved quality of detergent, which has lead to longer purchasing cycles.
Data from 2015 also showed an eight percent drop in total sales of detergent, but a two percent rise in soap bars. Although the increase appears to be modest, and bar soap still has a market share of less than 10 percent, the fact that laundry soap bar sales are increasing while other detergent falters shows that these products are achieving unexpected success.
Although various types of detergents such as capsules, liquids, and sheets are being launched in the market, the reason soap bars are making a comeback is because of the increase in the number of single-person households.
“As households are becoming smaller, the amount of laundry is also decreasing”, Emart officials said. “Instead of waiting for a considerable amount of laundry to pile up, people are hand-washing socks and underwear right then and there, increasing the demand for laundry soap bars”, they add.
More users are also pre-washing their laundry before putting it into the washing machine to make their clothes cleaner, which is another factor leading to an increase in bar soap sales.
Reflecting the demand, Emart launched laundry soap bars under its ‘No Brand’ label in May 2015. The company has already sold more than 320,000 bars of the new soap.
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)