Sharp, currently implementing management reconstruction measures, has asked all of its employees to set a target amount for purchasing the company's products.
The company has asked board members and executive officers to spend 200,000 yen on Sharp products; 100,000 yen for employees in management positions, and 50,000 yen for all other employees, according to a Sankei Shimbun report.
Furthermore, employees can buy TVs and refrigerators for a special price and get 2% of the total purchase price reimbursed. This program lasts until Jan 29, 2016.
Although Sharp says it is not mandatory for employees to comply with the request, the move has been criticized by media observers because employees have to make their purchases through a specific website, so the company can see who buys what.
Yoshisuke Hasegawa, a senior executive director, wrote in an internal document to employees, and which was leaked to Japanese media: "Please help us get through this difficult situations."
Sharp on Oct 31 posted a whopping six-month net loss of 83.6 billion yen, hit by restructuring costs and a slump in demand for its smartphone screens. Sharp posted the loss in the half-year through September, down from a small profit a year earlier, while revenue fell 3.6% to 1.28 trillion yen.
The liquid-crystal display giant, which is key supplier to Apple and other mobile phone makers, singled out a downturn in smartphone-screen demand in China for its latest set of poor results.
Earlier this year, Sharp said it was cutting 10% of its 49,000 global workforce as part of a turnaround plan intended to keep it afloat.
Sharp earlier announced the sale of the building that houses its Osaka headquarters and issued shares to its banks, in an apparent lifeline that underscored the company's desperate situation.
The once-mighty firm, like rivals Sony and Panasonic, has been working to move past years of gaping deficits, partly caused by steep losses in its television unit.
The trio were hammered by competition from lower-cost rivals, particularly from South Korea and Taiwan.© Japan Today/AFP