Sharp’s electronics business is currently in such dire straits that it’s now asking its workers to buy its own products to help it pull in some much needed revenue.
While you might consider it a matter of routine for company employees to consider their own products over a rival’s, the Japanese company’s timing suggests that in this case, their livelihoods may depend on such action.
To ensure it doesn’t put too much pressure on its lower-paid workers, the company has even created a list recommending how much each employee should spend according to their position and income.
High-earning executives, for example, have been told to purchase Sharp products to the value of at least 200,000 yen ($1,622) , while those working in middle management are being told to fork out at least 100,000 yen ($811). Meanwhile, front line staff need to spend a minimum of 50,000 yen ($405) on Sharp-made goods, the FT reported this week, adding that purchases should be made in the next two months.
Plenty to choose from
Items they can stock up on – whether for themselves, loved ones, or the attic – include TVs, washers, audio systems, smartphones, microwaves, and air purifiers. Sadly, its wonderfully unique and utterly bonkers RoBoHon robot smartphone isn’t available just yet.
Sharp, whose Japanese workforce currently stands at around 18,000, told the FT the sale was voluntary, though to encourage participation a 2 percent discount is being offered on all items.
Troubled Sharp has been bailed out twice since 2012 as it battles increasing competition from manufacturers in countries such as China and Taiwan. For the first six months of 2015 it reported a net loss of 83.6 billion yen ($6.8 bn). In an effort to get the tech firm back on track, it’s cut thousands of jobs and earlier this year sold its TV business in the Americas to Hisense.
Yoshisuke Hasegawa, head of Sharp’s electronics unit, reportedly sent a memo to workers recently asking them to help pull the firm through its “extreme difficulty” by opening their wallets and treating themselves to some Sharp-made products.