Rhythm Clockmaker Focuses on Middle East in Global Sales Push

DUBAI — Sales in the Middle East and the rest of the world for Japan’s Rhywaco Company, manufacturer of Rhythm branded clocks, grew by more than five per cent in the first half of the year, in spite of the recession and the increased pressure on Japanese exports from a 20 per cent appreciation in the yen.

By Issac John

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Published: Tue 4 Aug 2009, 2:25 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 9:31 PM

Takanori Kudo, President of Rhywaco Hong Kong Rhythm Clocks, the company’s marketing arm, said the clock-maker accounts for more than half of global retail clock sales and that it could boost its sales by expanding into new markets and developing a new product range.

First-half clock sales in the UAE, Rhythm’s largest market in the Middle East, rose by 10 per cent from the same period of 2008, he said on Sunday. Annual worldwide sales of Rhythm clocks, manufactured in Japan and China, amount to 10 million units. In the Middle East, sales surged by 20 per cent in 2008 to half a million units.

A stronger yen over the past year has presented a challenge, Kudo said, by making the clocks more expensive when priced in other currencies.

The Rhythm range, currently available in 70 countries, made its debut in Costa Rica, Peru, Bolivia, Nigeria and Kirghizstan during the first half of the year and would soon enter Jordan.

“By next year, we hope to expand into Mexico,” Kudo said. Also in the pipeline is a plan to set up a manufacturing plant in India. “We want to establish a sales network before opening the plant in India, hopefully in a couple of years,” he said on the sidelines of a special dealers’ conference to mark Rhythm’s 47 years of association with the Dubai-based Cosmos-ITL Group, the clock-maker’s distributor in the UAE. Kudo said that Rhythm would focus further on the Middle East — a key growth market for the brand — through a new strategy involving upgraded products and niche marketing.

· issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com

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