More Japanese buying air purifiers to avoid new flu | world | Hindustan Times
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More Japanese buying air purifiers to avoid new flu

The new strain of influenza that has spread worldwide has created an unexpected opportunity for makers and retailers of home-use air purifiers in Japan.

world Updated: Jun 06, 2009 16:17 IST

The new strain of influenza that has spread worldwide has created an unexpected opportunity for makers and retailers of home-use air purifiers in Japan.

Consumers are snapping up air cleaners apparently in the belief that the appliances will help them to avoid the new strain of flu.

Sales of air purifiers across Japan surged about 50 per cent in the last week of May from a year earlier, according to a research by GfK Marketing Services Japan.

The company surveyed around 4,500 consumer electronics shops and found that shipments of models with a humidifying function had nearly tripled.

Models that are selling well cost from 20,000 yen to 60,000 yen while the most popular price range is somewhere between 30,000 yen and 40,000 yen.

However, makers and retailers are a bit nonplussed about the new trend as they doubt their products will actually keep the flu at bay as the virus does not spread through air but by patients’ coughs.

“Air purifiers are not medical equipment aimed at preventing a disease,” an official with a major manufacturer said.

Nonetheless, “Sales began to increase mainly in the greater Tokyo area from late April (when reports on confirmed flu cases overseas began reaching Japan) and the upturn might continue for some time,” an official with GfK Marketing said.