Wine refrigerators, which were initially designed for use by wine dealers, have has successful sales among South Korean wine enthusiasts in the first half of this year.
In fact, the popularity of wine refrigerators is pushing domestic and overseas companies into intense competition, according to some home appliance industry sources.
Carrier Korea, which reportedly introduced the South Korean market's first wine refrigerators in 2000, sold 30 percent more during the 6-month period compared to a year ago.
"Since the latter half of last year, sales have increased steadily among individual wine lovers and 98 percent of the buyers this year were individuals," the company said.
Carrier plans various marketing promotions to meet the increasing demand and to introduce premium wine refrigerators, which are 20-percent more expensive.
GE Appliances introduced a 57-bottle capacity unit worth 350 million won (U.S. $2,965), encouraged by this year's sales boom.
Though it sold an annual average of only 100 units since 2001, the amount of sales has risen 20-30 percent this year. GE also expects sales in the latter half of this year to rise more than 50-60 percent due to new product introductions.
Samsung Electronics, which moved into the foreign-dominated wine refrigerator market in March, recorded a 100-percent increase in overall sales in July compared with April.
LG Electronics, whose refrigerator bears a low price of 2 million won ($1,694), has a sales target of 1,000 units among young wine enthusiasts.
According to one industry source: "After the success of Kimchi refrigerators, home appliance companies are turning to the wine refrigerator market due to the popularity of wine." (Asia Pulse)
to Daily News