Home appliance rental boom continues this year
According to Gmarket, in the first half of this year when compared to the same period a year earlier, home appliance rentals increased 48 percent.
Although the rate is slower than the 299 percent year-on-year increase in the first half of 2020, when the pandemic first emerged, rental demand remained strong.
Among the products, washing machine rentals jumped 550 percent, followed by microwaves, at 278 percent.
Rental demand for TVs, refrigerators and air conditioners was also solid.
TV rentals were up 18 percent, while last year in the first half, they jumped 1,185 percent. Refrigerator rentals in the first half of 2021 rose 87 percent, whereas last year in the first half, they jumped 2,347 percent.
Air conditioner rentals this year were up 19 percent, slower than 953 percent year-on-year increase in the first half 2020.
The slower growth is largely expected to be the result of people already having rent those consumer items, while the easing regulations before the fourth wave are also considered to have played a role in the slower increase.
As the heat wave is expected to intensify this week, the rental of air conditioners and refrigerators is likely to surge.
According to Tmon, another online market, sales of cooling consumer products such as air conditioners increased more than five-fold between June 29 and July 12 compared to the same period a year earlier. Window air conditioner sales have increased 15-fold during the same period.
“Demand for appliances and furniture have increased as more people are spending time at home due to Covid-19,” said Lee Young-eun, Gmarket manager. “Subscription consumption, which is an extension of rental, is gaining huge popularity as people can own and use the products without having to purchase by paying large amounts and only need to pay monthly subscription fees.”
BY LEE HO-JEONG [email@example.com]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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