SEOUL, April 17 (Korea Bizwire) — In recent months, the air purifier industry has struggled as sales have plummeted as unprecedented clear weather continues.
Fine dust, which was an uninvited guest in spring, has become an afterthought as factories around the world – and most importantly, those in China – have stopped operating.
In the February-March period of this year, sales of air purifiers dropped 24 percent on-year, a survey conducted by electronics retailer ET Land showed.
Compared with 114 percent growth in 2018 and 85 percent growth in 2019, this year’s sales decline was completely unexpected.
Industry sources say the drop in demand for air purifiers this year is due to unusually clear weather.
From December last year to March of this year, the average concentration of ultrafine dust dropped 27 percent compared to the same period a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Environment.
During the same period, the number of days of high fine dust concentration also plunged from 18 last year to 2 this year.
This is attributed to the decrease in fine dust with the sharp drop of factory operation rates in China and South Korea, and the decrease in car exhaust as the government encouraged citizens to stay home along with a strict social distancing campaign.
Analysts say that as air quality has improved significantly, consumers are less likely to need air purifiers.
“We thought that the coronavirus would play a positive role to increase sales as people spend more time at home, but we are witnessing an unexpected slump,” an official at an air purifier rental company said.
Meanwhile, the air purifier industry is struggling to boost sales.
However, the industry is also cautious about marketing as companies would like to avoid creating an image in which they only think of making profits amid the coronavirus crisis.
“As we made improvements to filtering technology, it is possible to filter out some of the COVID-19 virus particles,” an industry official explained.
“It is difficult to actively sell air purifier with COVID-19 related marketing as the filtering effects vary greatly depending on the living and indoor environment and air purifier usage patterns,” an official added.
D. M. Park (firstname.lastname@example.org)