OSAKA -- Sharp Corp. announced on April 21 that it will temporarily suspend sales of masks on its shopping website after an enormous number of would-be buyers made it inaccessible.
It is uncertain when the site will be back up, the company said.
The Japanese electronics giant started producing masks at its liquid crystal display factory in the Mie Prefecture town of Taki, central Japan, in March to ease the mask shortage in Japan. It put the products on its web shop for general consumers at 10 a.m. on April 21, priced at 3,278 yen including tax for a box of 50 masks, plus 660 yen for shipping.
The firm limited purchases to one box per site visit to prevent stockpiling, but traffic spiked beyond all expectations. A company representative said, "We will resume sales as soon as we can fix the website. We are still producing the masks."
(Japanese original by Yuhi Sugiyama, Osaka Business News Department)