KATHMANDU, April 22: Sales of washing machines have gone down by around 20 percent in the local market as rise in mercury level has propelled people to handwash clothes rather than rely on machines which needs continuous power supply and large ammount of water.
Traders around the valley say that sale of washing machines usually decline during summer because people prefer to hand wash clothes during this time of the year.
Shreeram Thapaliya, sales manager of Jumbo Electronics that deals with LG, IFB, Beko and Whirlpool brands of washing machines, said that at this time of the year even people who plan to purchase washing machines, usually put it off till winter when it is cold and handwashing clothes become a burdensome job to many.
"Instead of washing machines, they prefer to purchase refrigerators, air coolers, air conditioners and fans," he said.
He further said another reason behind the dip in the sales of washing machines is rise in prices. "This is because of rise in customs duty and devaluation of Nepali rupee," he said.
Currently, around 10 different brands of washing machines are available in the local market. Their prices range from Rs 15,000 to more than Rs 60,000.
For instance, prices of LG brand of washing machines, which are assembled in India, range between Rs 21,000 and Rs 60,000 per unit. IFB brand of washing machines are priced between Rs 22,000 to 62,000. Similarly, Beko washing machines are available in the range of Rs 11,000 to Rs 70,000, while Whirlpool brand of washing machines cost between Rs 15,000 to Rs 42,000.
Currently, two types of washing machines are available in the market - semi-automatic and automatic. Semi-automatic washing machines are human controlled in which processes such as adding and draining of water have to be overseen, whereas automatic washing machines, which come with either top or front loading systems, need no human involvement.
According to Anne Rijal, sales executive of Samsung Plaza at Civil Mall, demand for automatic washing machines is high because of its advanced technology.
Samsung automatic washing machines are priced between Rs 23,000 and Rs 60,000. The store is currently selling only one model of semiautomatic washing machine which is available for Rs 17,000.