Happy New Year and Merry Christmas messages are displayed on an LED board at Ratchaprasong intersection last year. The Federation of Thai Industries predicts sluggish sales of festive items for the New Year holiday this year. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Festive items for the New Year holiday, including calendars, diaries and cards, are likely to have sluggish sales as their purchase orders are down 15-20% from the third quarter last year because of the impact of the pandemic, says the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).
The purchase orders usually occur in the third quarter of each year when companies prepare to give gifts to their customers for the new year during December and January.
According to FTI, sales of calendars, diaries and New Year cards are valued at around 1 billion baht.
“2020 is a bad year for this business,” said FTI vice-chairman Kriangkrai Tiannukul.
“The pandemic dealt a blow to the revenue of many companies, causing them to reduce budget and spend money only on necessities.”
Mr Kriangkrai expects this sombre mood to continue into next year, causing companies to continue saving money and looking for ways to maintain their cash on hand.
Clients who buy calendars, diaries and New Year cards are usually large companies, notably in energy and banking businesses. They continue to make purchase orders this year despite the economic slowdown, he said.
But mid-sized and small companies have made fewer purchase orders because they have to reduce costs to survive in this ear, said Mr Kriangkrai.
“More hanging calendars are being bought than table calendars,” he said.
Sales of the latter plunged in part because more people use smartphones and computer tablets as calendars, said Mr Kriangkrai.
Purchase orders for New Year cards have plunged by 90% over the past 5-6 years as they are replaced by e-cards, he said. Many websites, both in Thailand and overseas, also offer to send e-cards with attractive designs during holidays. The result is traditional cards will gradually disappear, said Mr Kriangkrai.