TOKYO: Sales of large-screen television sets are surging at major consumer electronics retailers in Japan ahead of the opening of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday.
As Olympic venues in Tokyo and some other prefectures are set to hold competitions without spectators due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, people are being asked to watch the events at home.
As result, sophisticated models with 50-inch and larger screens
offering smooth images and quality sounds are gaining popularity with consumers who want to feel like being at live events.
“Sales (of TVs) are stronger than last year, when 100,000 yen was distributed,” an official of Bic Camera Inc. said, rejoicing over the special demand created by the Olympics.
The Japanese government handed out 100,000 yen to each citizen as a coronavirus relief measure last year.
Bic Camera’s TV sales began rising in May and surged from late June. Sales in the week to July 4 were 10 pct larger than in the same period the previous year, when sales were strong due to the government benefits.
At Nojima Corp., TV sales in the week to last Sunday increased by 20 pct from a year earlier.
Sales at Yodobashi Camera Co. from January to June were 2.0-2.5 times higher than the year-before period.
The best-selling products at Bic Camera, Nojima and Yodobashi Camera are 65-inch organic light-emitting diode TVs.
The organic LED display offers richer colors and smoother images compared with liquid crystal displays. “Images are stable even in sports broadcasting,” a Big Camera official said.
According to a Yodobashi Camera official, Panasonic Corp.’s Viera models equipped with four kinds of speakers are also popular. “3D acoustics can be enjoyed with just TV sound,” the official said.
Competitions with no live audience will likely offer fans new ways of enjoying the Games from home, such as hearing the athletes breathing.