South Korea’s Samsung is one of the largest electronics and component manufacturers in the world—so the company’s announcement that it has stopped selling consumer electronics like flat panel televisions in Japan comes as something of a surprise. But according to Samsung, it just can’t make enough money in Japan to justify its presence in the market. Samsung stopped selling goods in retail outlets in August, and has now stopped online sales of its consumer goods in Japan as well.
According to Samsung spokesperson Lee Eun-hee, "We found direct sales to individual consumers are less profitable than business-to-business sales."
According to Samsung, sales of consumer goods via retail and online channels in Japan amounted to less than one percent of the company’s total sales in Japan, which topped over $9 billion.
Although Samsung has worked with several Japanese companies—including producing LCD panels in a joint venture with Sony—Samsung has been unable to establish a consumer presence in a market where home-grown rivals like Matsushita, Sony, and Sharp have long-established presences in the marketplace. Samsung has had significant successes in Europe and the United States over the last ten years.
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