Sharp tells employees to buy products

Sharp TV Image copyright AFP
Image caption Sharp announced in May that it was cutting 10% of its global workforce, including 3,500 jobs in Japan

Troubled Japanese electronics giant Sharp is trying to persuade its employees to buy its products in a bid to help sales.

The firm said it was not mandatory for staff to buy its goods, but confirmed that it wanted workers to choose its products over that of its competitors.

Local media had reported that Sharp had set targets for executives, managers and other staff to buy its products.

Sharp has been bailed out twice in the past three years by its lenders.

The company has been under pressure from its banks to sell its loss-making LCD business, and announced last month that it was in talks with several companies to make such a deal.

It also announced that its operating profit tumbled 86% in the September quarter from a year ago, while the LCD unit saw a loss of 12.7bn yen ($102m; £67m).

The dismal earnings come after the firm reported losses in the year to March and announced more job cuts.

'Voluntary' participation

Sharp's spokesman in Japan, Kyo Ontani, told the BBC that no targets had been set for staff to buy its products, but such a sale was taking place.

He said employee participation in the event was completely voluntary, and the company had not decided what products would be on sale.

The tech giant, well known for its television and solar panels, pulled out of the television market in North America and has been facing stiff competition from cheaper Chinese and Taiwanese rivals.

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