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Shoppers inspect air purifiers at a Suning outlet in Beijing. The online website of the electronics retailer saw a 70 percent month-on-month increase in air purifier sales on Tuesday. Xiao Chen / For China Daily
Major e-commerce websites assure consumers of sufficient inventory
Online sales of air purifiers are soaring as smog continues to take its toll on air quality.
Sales of purifiers at Suning.com, a leading e-commerce company, rose by about 70 percent month-on-month on Tuesday, according to Chen Gongjing, the company's marketing manager.
"As the yellow alert for smog was issued late on Tuesday morning in Beijing, it will take the market some while to react," Chen said.
"There was a huge increase in sales and searches for air purifiers on our website, but not as high as the last time heavy smog swept large parts of central and eastern parts of the country, in the middle of this month."
The company has sufficient supplies of purifiers, but to date is offering no special discounts.
Chen told customers that orders will be delivered "at the usual pace" even though many courier companies are about to suspend services as the Spring Festival holiday approaches.
"Most of our chain stores will still be open during the Spring Festival holiday. Meanwhile, we have our own delivery staff, so our delivery services will not be suspended as other express companies are doing. There might be slight delays due to weather conditions, but we promise it will be controlled," he said.
The page view for air purifiers on leading e-commerce company Gome.com.cn reached 340 in Beijing on Tuesday, three times the number for an average day, said Gome spokesman Peng Liang.
Peng said the seven-day Spring Festival holiday will not seriously affect deliveries. For most first-tier cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, delivery of most products, including air purifiers, will not be affected because there are sufficient supplies.
According to statistics provided by Taobao, a major online shopping website, its search rate for air purifiers this week is down 21.3 percent on levels recorded seven days ago. But the number has risen by 293.7 percent year-on-year.
The search rate this month is up 153.5 percent year-on-year and Taobao is predicting that the rate will remain steady for the next week.
Since the smog started to spread in most parts of the country in mid-January, sales of air purifiers on 360buy.com, another major online shopping site, have grown by 600 percent on average.
Sales of air purifiers have been more than 600 million yuan ($96.3 million) since the start of this year, the company said.
(China Daily 01/30/2013 page16)