business

Panasonic orders 10,000 employees to buy its products by July

57 Comments

Panasonic Corp has directed about 10,000 managerial-level group employees to buy company products by July under the ''Buy Panasonic'' campaign to shore up shrinking sales that have eroded its profits, company officials said Friday.

Executives and senior managers are being asked to buy at least 200,000 yen worth of Panasonic goods, such as refrigerators, flat-panel TVs and Blu-ray disc players, said Akira Kadota, the spokesman. Lower level managers are asked to buy at least 100,000 yen worth of such products, he said.

The campaign is voluntary, but Panasonic is an old-style Japanese comany where loyalty to the company is deeply rooted among its ranks.

The "buy Panasonic" campaign follows a similar effort among managers at Toyota Motor Corp, who are being asked to buy a Toyota car.

Panasonic is expecting a 380 billion yen net loss for the fiscal year through March, its first annual net loss in six years, and is slashing about 15,000 jobs and shuttering 27 plants worldwide. Panasonic blamed plunging consumer demand, lower gadget prices and the soaring yen, which erodes overseas income, for the poor performance.

Toyota is sinking into its first net loss in since 1950, forecasting a 350 billion yen net loss for the fiscal year through March -- a stunning reversal from the record 1.72 trillion yen profit it posted the previous year.

© Wire reports

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

57 Comments
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Or what? When did the employment contract mean that employees loose their freedom of choice. This is the 21th Century, not some 19th Century coal pit where workers are forced to buy from the management-run canteen under threat of the sack.

Having read a number of stories like this over the last couple of weeks, I wish the government would step in and tell the companies to cease and desist such practices. Then again, many Japan and North Korea are not that different in terms of their manipulation of individual freedoms.

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too little, too late. Do employees have to prove they bought something? Maybe they will do it out of a sense of duty.

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You must not have ever worked in a consumer goods industry.

It has always been an unwritten part of employment in the consumer electronics industry that people will buy the products of their company in Japan. It happens in other countries too. Do you think a GM assembly plant worker in Detroit is not going to get any grief if he shows up for work driving a new Toyota? This just illustrates how dire the situation the situation is.

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Panicsonic

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It has always been an unwritten part of employment in the consumer electronics industry that people will buy the products of their company in Japan. It happens in other countries too.

I believe the unofficial term is "We eat our won dog (insert S word here)" Well you have to do what you have to do to survive right??

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Number 11. No GM employee is stupid enough to drive their new Toyota to the parking area. They drive their second hand GM car instead.

Moderator: The subject is Panasonic. Stay on topic please.

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haha Japan is concerned about the "Buy American" and then one of the biggest Japanese companies pulls this out.

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We eat our own dog (insert S word here)"

whoops typo.... I love Toyota!!

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For a 50% discount, why not?

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would buying Panasonic batteries for ones remote controle be ok ?

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Can you buy something, show bucho your receipt, and return it the next week?

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There was a news item back in 2006 about a Dearborn, Michigan Ford plant that had banned its employees from using the company parking lot if they weren’t driving Fords.

I’m not surprised to read about an ailing company doing something like this, but to actually order their employees to make purchases they wouldn’t otherwise make? That can’t be good for moral in any case. And as another poster asked, how will they verify it? Do you have to bring it receipts? Is their a minimum amount you must spend? What if what you are forced to buy is technologically inferior to rival products, like the Panasonic’s digital cameras which eliminated multi-language support from the camera’s operation options?

I understand the idea behind hoping your company produces products that your own employees would want to buy. Conversely, I’d like to work for a company with which I personally would do business and would recommend to others as well. But loyalty is earned, not mandated. This could bite them in the butt if they aren’t careful.

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They don't get a 50% discount.

You see now, this the problem with the internet. People just make stuff up and millions of others believe it and quote it. Oh, wait. That the problem with politics... and religion... and...

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What happens if they don't buy Panicsonic goods? Are they fired? Wages cut? You've got to love the work etics in Japan (or lack of). If they tried to this in Australia the unions would shut them down within a week.

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If the employees don't comply, they will be attacked with metal baseball bats.

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Wouldn't it be more honest (and equally appalling) to slash salaries, rather than demand those salaries return in a falsely-inflated balloon of orders?

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this ain't nothing new. Zig ziglar, legendary salesman, alwasy taught that you shouldn't sell something unless you own it. many small sales compnaies in the states use this model.

What should be unsettling to people is why aren't panasonic folks buying their producs, reguiring a public reminder from management?

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Maybe my FIL will buy me a new TV???

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This is nothing new, but the fact that Panasonic is demanding they by MORE is new. Usually a fraction of employees' bonuses are supposed to go towards the company's products with big electronics companies, but still...

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Why doesnt Panasonic just put a sign in the factory reading "The beatings will continue until morale improves". What a load of rubbish. How can an employer tell its employees how to spend their money? They have already put in the hours to earn the money, now the company wants it back to pump up the orders and, ultimately, the share price. But the insane thing is i bet the employees dont bat an eyelid and do it. Idiots.

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So Panasonic has 10,000 managerial level employees, eh?

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We all live in the same absurd condition. We live to work to buy the things we make at work to live.

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If the employees don't comply, they will be attacked with metal baseball bats.

does panasonic make baseball bats, remember need to keep the buy panasonic thing here ........

My BIL works at sanyo & in the 90s a couple times we wud get a call from the MIL telling my wife how much we had to spend on sanyo & to mail the original ryoshusho! Aint a whole lotta trust.

Hey I have a better idea, why dont panasonic employees tell their bosses instead of buying XXX panasonic thingamajiggy they find out the profit margin on XXXX & just give that to the company & tell to dont bother making 1 XXXX that way they cud at least save cash for something real.

Oh yeah & I love how j-politicians harp on about the US saying buy american & this J-crap policies are everywhere, how do you spell hypocrit, I spell it J A P A N E S E!

And I aint even a yankie!

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My company, involved in banking, issues credit cards. A few years ago a directive was issued to all employees, ordering them to apply for the credit cards and to use them.

Everyone dutifully did this, but I'm sure you can guess what happened with me, the only katakana-named foreign employee. My application for credit was rejected!

(Fortunately after the cards were issued, the whole thing was forgotten, and nobody even knows that I never got the company credit card.)

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So Panasonic has 10,000 managerial level employees, eh?> -- Kronos

That's only about 3% of its total employees. Duh...

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If they tried to this in Australia the unions would shut them down within a week.

And what good that will do?

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it means management wouldn't pull such a dumb stunt

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So Panasonic has 10,000 managerial level employees, eh?

People who have passed the "manager's exam". Very common in older companies, where you need this to become a kachou or section chief; and it includes getting a chair with arms, no paid overtime, expense account, certain privileges. However, many managerial level staff are not actual manager's, i.e. they are not in charge of a section or staff.

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How do you know that, wanderlust? I was an engineer, manager, marketing manager and factory manager probably before you were even born. You guys just pull this nonsense out of your butt.

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This is the most hilarious article I've read in a while.

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Timorborder said it all (almost).

The article put together by JT is lacking some very important details : does Pana propose a discount to their personnel ? What outlet(s) is (are) going to be used ?

In other words : is faithful little Taro going to buy his camcorder from the local retailer (please, show invoice to bucho-san), or is he instructed to buy it from a direct factory outlet, with computers whirring in the back room to put his purchase on record in his personnel-department files ?

And, in order to be sarcastic, after how many days can he put it on eBay ?

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"Panasonic is an old-style Japanese comany where loyalty to the company is deeply rooted among its ranks."

No, apparently it isn't, or this article would never have been written. I say let 'em sink. Employers PAY employess' salaries. Employees are not responsible for sinking their money back into the sinking ship.

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Ok now Boeing managers please buy one boeing plane each or at least some parts of the plane.

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One polite suggestion to managerial group of employees: part time & contract workers are already fired, so now you resign enmass, by doing so you will not only save Y200,000 but company may be compelled to take back few fired workers. No, this is Japan, nobody will dare to go for peaceful protest even !

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haha Japan is concerned about the "Buy American" and then one of the >biggest Japanese companies pulls this out.

The above is off the mark. It has nothing to do with trade or buying domestic. You think that Panasonic would be happy if their Employees bought Sony products?

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Oh yeah & I love how j-politicians harp on about the US saying buy >american & this J-crap policies are everywhere, how do you spell >hypocrit, I spell it J A P A N E S E!

This has Nothing to do with the trade issue. For one, a great deal of stuff made by Panasonic these days isn't even made in Japan. Second, if a consumer wanted to buy an American TV what are they going to buy? This is one manufacturer wanting it's OWN products bought by its employees, not Sony not Toshiba not Sanyo.

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Buy 10000 units (of course people will buy the cheapest items possible) of the products your company makes, but we'll still have to layoff at least 15000 employees. Yeah, it sounds like an Oscar Myer wiener to me.

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OssanAmerica

An employer cant tell its employees what to buy and when to buy it. The whole basis of liberalism is having the right to choose, regardless of who you work for, and anything other than that (i.e. an entity determining what people can and cant buy) smacks of socialism, communism, totalitarianism, facism or some other ism i havent mentioned. Whatever ism it is, it aint good.

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What a farce corporate Japan is showing itself to be again. "Buy our overpriced, bottom-of-class, made in China rubbish...or else ..." . Fujitsu last month also issued a similar directive to it's staff. I teach occasionally at Fujitsu, so I asked some of them if they were doing the corporate thing and buying their own product. They basically laughed at me and told me their company makes expensive, fragile junk, and refused to offer ANY discount, so why would they purchase it? Reading between the lines, Panasonic must be in really serious trouble...

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OssanAmerica

HaHa, When a J-pan company says it, its not supposed to smell as bad, so nothing is wronge with it and America should fell bad..

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Panasonic is doing fine, just need to focus in areas they are strong in, instead of everything.

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An employer cant tell its employees what to buy and when to buy it. The >whole basis of liberalism is having the right to choose,

That's a whole different issue and has nothing to do with trade or pretoectionism.

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HaHa, When a J-pan company says it, its not supposed to smell as bad, so >nothing is wronge with it and America should fell bad..

America has nothing to do with a Japanese Company's internal policies toward it's own empoyees.

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this is crazy !!!! whatta !!!

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Yeah buy a new TV then we'll lay you off. Sounds good where do I sign up? Another exapmle of how screwed up business practices are in our brave new world.

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I am amazed at some of the vitriolic comments written about Panasonic asking its 'managerial' employees to buy Panasonic products. You are obviously not aware of the company's business philosophy and history, otherwise you would understand why it does these things. In my opinion, if the rest of our global society behaved with the same values as Panasonic (aka Matsushita Electrical Industrial) the world would not be in the mess its in now. Loyalty seems to be something that the rest of this planet has forgotten.

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A job is your job like. It aint like family , where you have responsibilities above your job description.

If Panasonic want better sales, then sell better stuff and put the bleeding prices down.

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Ideas for life

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A job is your job like. It aint like family , where you have responsibilities above your job description.

You are so misguided. You seem to forget the job is what supports you and your family and think there are plenty of other opportunities. Put it to the test and see where it leaves you - and your family, particularly in times like these. Companies in Japan, traditionally in return for life long employment, expect loyalty from their employees, which looks to me like a fair trade off. It may not fit in the philosophy of the typical western worker with the 'screw the company' attitude. The evidence of the inability to see beyond the end of one's nose.

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An employer cant tell its employees what to buy and when to buy it. The whole basis of liberalism is having the right to choose,

And the choice is? How about having or not having a job? What good is any -ism liberal or otherwise if you can't put food on the table? If providing for my family means supporting my own company from my wallet, then that's what I do because there are precious few other options these days (unless you're a Wall St. banker of course).

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parting with 200,000 yen from an 8 million a year managerial position doesnt seem to be nearly as bad as being chopped,I'd pay and shut up..

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Lucky its panasonic - I like panasonic and have lots of their goods anyway. Would suck if you worked at an Electronics company that produced overpriced (i.e sony ) or just plain mediocre goods (i.e Sanyo). Could be worse.

besides this is just an extension of the bonus system they had last year where Panasonic workers got a bonus only if they spent it Panasonic goods.

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Rather than thinking of this as an infringement of the employees' rights, think of it as a means of avoiding layoffs by slightly reducing each employee's salary/wages on a one-time basis. Managers have their salaries reduced by 200,000 yen (less the value of the goods purchased for that amount), and lower level workers have their salaries reduced by 100,000 yen (less the value of the goods purchased by them). Production levels do not have to be reduced (at least not any more than they already may have been reduced) because the excess products are being purchased by the employees, and therefore layoffs can be avoided, at least temporarily.

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That's only about 3% of its total employees. Duh... - Number11

3% of its employees globally. The news does not specify but implies that the "buy order" is only given in Japan. It would be difficult to order your employees globally to purchase your goods. If we consider Japan only, 10,000 managerial level employees looked high and hence the comment.

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I would rather be asked to buy something from my company than be asked to take a pay cut

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you guys are complaining about " Buy USA" program and do the same stuff in Japan. very disappointed,,,,

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On the surface, this seems like an alright idea -buy company products to prop-up the company. However, it's your earned salary, you should be able to choose where to spend it. If they made good enough products, people (employees) would not have to be "persuaded" to buy "local", as it were. What would happen if/when all other companies were to start the same tactic and people (employees) had fewer disposable earnings for products exo-firma? It becomes a useless (and (self-)destructive) tactic.

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