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Demand for fancy toilet bowls on the rise in S'pore
Publication Date : 22-12-2013
SINGAPORE: Despite being very expensive, toilet bowls with high-tech functions such as water pressure controls, automatic lids, ultraviolet light panels are in demand among Singaporeans.
Fancy toilet bowls have made their appearance in Singapore and despite their hefty price tags, are attracting growing interest, say retailers.
One of Japanese manufacturer Toto's newer models from the Neorest series, which went on sale two years ago, costs about S$24,500 (US$19,341) and is the most expensive model on the market.
Among other features, the integrated electronic toilet bowl has water pressure controls for front and rear cleansing, and a lid which opens automatically as the user approaches the toilet bowl.
Sebastian Chia, deputy general manager of Toto Asia Oceania's marketing department, said that about 5,000 Toto Neorest and Washlet models were sold here through its master distributor from last year to date.
The demand has been on the rise, with a year-on-year 15 per cent to 20 per cent growth in sales since 2010.
The annual turnover for its Neorest and Washlet models is about S$2.5 million, with hotels and private developers making up the bulk of its sales, added Chia.
These include hotels like Marina Bay Sands and the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, which have installed these toilet bowls in their suites or club lounge.
Chia said: "High-end hotels will install these products to cater to Japanese, Chinese and Middle Eastern guests as they have the culture of using bidets."
The latest Neorest model to be launched in the middle of next year is estimated to cost more than S$25,000. Unlike previous models, it will have an ultraviolet-light panel on the inside of the lid to break down even the smallest of organic matter.
Housewife Ng Mui Leng, 39, said that she first came to know of high-tech toilet bowls when she visited Japan.
Last year, she decided to buy two Toto Washlets when she moved into her new home in Shelford Road, in Bukit Timah.
"All the public toilets in Japan, even those at McDonald's, had toilet bowls with these functions. I was very impressed by them. I had not seen anything like it in Singapore," said Ng.
Distributor Streamolife, which sells electronic bidets from South Korea in the range of about S$800 to S$1,200, said that individuals make up most of its customers.
*US$1 = S$1.27