Japan TV ad
Sales fall by 90% from one day to the next, as government energy-efficiency points cut on December 1

Japanese domestic flatscreen TV sales, which were being buoyed up by a government eco-points programme, fell sharply last week as the promotion moved into its final phase before it's withdrawn, with the halving of the incentive to replace old appliances with greener models.

Sales on Tuesday November 30 were running at record levels, with analysts putting November sales at 4000 mass retailers at 530% of those for the same month last. But come December 1, when the eco-points system changed, sales fell 90% overnight, and were down 40% on the same day last year.

The eco-points promotion also saw exceptional demand for the two other product sectors to which it was applied: air conditioners and fridges. Sales of the former were up almost 300%, twice as many refrigerators were sold, compared to November 2009.

It remains to be seen how retailers and manufacturers will cope with this lull after the sales frenzy: commentators are expecting New Year sales to start early, in a bid to keep consumers spending.Follow whathifi.com on Twitter Join whathifi.com on Facebook