October 22, 2014

Appliance Sales are Down

Here’s some bad news for appliance dealers (if they haven’t already noticed the effect in their own markets)

 Twice.com reports that according to AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers), January shipments of major appliances fell 17 percent to 3.9 million units compared with the 4.7 million major appliances sold during the year-ago period.

Taking the biggest hit was the home-comfort sector, which was dragged down by a nearly 60 percent drop in room air shipments. The decline was only minimally offset by a 2.8 percent increase in dehumidifier sales, AC’s sister category.

The cooking category also felt the heat, down 15.6 percent year-over-year to nearly 1.2 million units. Leading the decline was microwave ovens, off nearly 19 percent in January. Among ranges, ovens and cooktops, gas-fueled models fell 10.7 percent while electric models saw an 11 percent decline last month. Gas cooktops were singed by a 17.2 percent decline, marginally offset by a 1.2 percent increase in gas oven shipments. By contrast, electric cooktops enjoyed a 5.1 percent gain, while shipments of electric ovens dropped 10.6 percent.

Among the other core appliance categories, kitchen cleanup dropped nearly 14 percent to some 808,300 units, food preservation fell nearly 9 percent to approximately 623,700 units and home laundry slipped 3.1 percent to about 964,000 units.

There were, however, several bright spots. Besides the gain in electric cooktops, portable dishwashers saw shipments climb 21.3 percent and wholesale sales of gas clothes dryers were up nearly 6 percent. But among their category counterparts, electric dryers declined 3.1 percent and washing machine shipments were off by 4.5 percent, to about 519,300 units. Similarly, shipments of build-in dishwashers declined 7.8 percent, disposers fell 19.4 percent and compactors dropped 19.5 percent.

Within food preservation, refrigerator shipments declined 8.8 percent to some 513,700 units while freestanding freezers fell 9.5 percent, led by a 12.7 percent decline in chest-style models.

Summarizing the month is the AHAM 6, an amalgam of the industry’s core washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer, range and oven categories. Factory shipments for that grouping fell 7 percent in January, to 2.4 million units.