Bangkok Crystal: campaign to boost local sales

Bangkok Crystal is hoping to lift domestic sales and increase revenue with a campaign to inform the public about crystal glassware, marketing manager Sukho Ngerdum says.
Domestic sales are much lower…

Bangkok Crystal is hoping to lift domestic sales and increase revenue with a campaign to inform the public about crystal glassware, marketing manager Sukho Ngerdum says. Domestic sales are much lower than export sales, he said, because most Thais think crystal glasses are luxury items. “Our customer base is small, and domestic sales make up only 20% of our revenue,” he said. Bangkok Crystal produces glass tableware, including stem glasses, and glass-blocks. The company achieved revenue of THB 341 million in 2003, of which stem glasses contributed THB 85 million, or 25%, and glass-block products made up the remaining THB 256 million. The company expects to achieve revenue of THB 421 million in 2004, he said, 23% up from 2003. The firm hopes to increase advertising in the print media to educate consumers about the differences and use of glassware. He said the firm would also participate in exhibitions and fairs. Bangkok Crystal is currently promoting a three-series collection under the Crysterna brand. The collection comprises the Royal Salute, Regina and Connoisseur series, Sukho said. The company“s largest foreign market is Japan, he said, followed by Asean countries, Australia, North America, South America and the Middle East. “We mainly focus on countries in Asia because freight costs are cheaper and marketing activities are easier to set up,” he said. The company“s Chang Kaew brand glass-block products account for 80% of domestic revenue, he said, because Thais want to buy strong and fashionable items for their houses. However, Bangkok Crystal and other Thai glass-producers are facing strong competition from Indonesian companies which are accused of dumping products in the Thai market: the low-priced imports retail at THB 32 per block, compared to THB 50-60 per from local producers. “In December we asked the Commerce Ministry to help local operators compete against Indonesia, but there was no reaction,” he said. Somporn Temudomsomboon, a factory manager at Bangkok Crystal, said the company“s long-term problem was the quality of silica sand from Rayong. The sand has declined in quality as industry has developed in the province. As a result, the company is trying to find alternative sources at home and abroad. The company, which has a registered capital of THB 250 million, is coming to the end of the rehabilitation process it has been carrying out since 2001, having quickly improved its financial status. “We can exit the plan before the 2013 deadline because our creditors took a debt haircut from THB 1.2 billion to THB 500 million,” he said. The company“s main shareholder is Siam Commercial Bank with 75%.