August 28, 2014

Black Friday Appliance Sales Results

Major appliances have never been a traditional holiday gift category, and as such have always taken a back seat to electronics, apparel and home fashions in the pantheon of Black Friday promotions.

All that began to change last year when Sears offered an Electrolux front-load laundry pair for $600 the morning after Thanksgiving. This year, following one of the most challenging periods in recent white-goods memory, appliance offers came fast and furious on Black Friday, rivaling consumer electronics doorbusters in sales.

Apparently the ploy was effective: According to comparison shopping service PriceGrabber.com, sales of laundry pairs, one of the most heavily discounted categories of the holiday weekend, rose 70 percent on Black Friday compared with 2008.

One of the biggest major appliance blowouts was mounted by The Home Depot, which offered deep discounts on LG and Whirlpool’s Amana- and Maytag-branded products. Holiday specials included the high-efficiency Maytag Bravos 4.7-cubic-foot top-load washer and companion dryer for $499 each, down from $799 and $699, respectively, and a 19.7-cubic-foot LG French-door refrigerator, in white, for $798, down from $1,199.

Whirlpool was also front-and-center at Lowe’s on Black Friday, where $998 bought a 4-cubic-foot Duet front-load or Cabrio high-efficiency 4.7-cubic-foot top-load laundry pair, and $898 fetched a 25-cubic-foot French-door fridge in black or white (regularly $1,298).

New York metro area appliance titan P.C. Richard & Son was equally aggressive, offering $1,000 Samsung and Whirlpool front-load laundry pairs, both with 4-cubic-foot washers, and a 3.1-cubic-foot front-load Frigidaire washer and companion dryer for just $500.

But the day still belonged to Sears, which leveraged its private-label Kenmore brand to follow up last year’s Black Friday offering with a 3.5-cubic-foot front-load laundry pair for $580, a 23-cubic-foot French door fridge for $750, and a 4.7-cubic-foot high-efficiency Kenmore Elite Oasis laundry pair for $850. All were advertised as 50 percent or more off from Sears’ regular prices, but shoppers were warned that inventory was limited to only about two SKUs per model per store.
You can read this whole story at Twice.com

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.