By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Declines in factory shipments of major appliances eased in August to the high single digits following months of double-digit decreases.
According to the latest data compiled by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), total shipments fell 9.4 percent in August, to 4.3 approximately million units, representing the strongest monthly showing to date in 2009. Year-to-date shipments are still down 18.4 percent, reflecting monthly double-digit declines of as high as 29 percent (in June).
Giving the August shipment results a major boost was the home comfort category, which rocketed up 31.3 percent following regular monthly declines. Late summer heat in many parts of the country contributed to the surge, which sent room air shipments up nearly 24 percent and factory sales of dehumidifiers up 37 percent.
Also showing renewed vigor was the home laundry category, with shipments slipping just 1.7 percent to about 1.2 million units. Dryer shipments actually broke into positive territory, ahead 1.2 percent on a 2.1 percent increase in electric models, which helped offset a 2.3 percent decrease in wholesale sales of gas-heated models.
Washer shipments fell nearly 4 percent, representing a major comeback for a category that was down nearly 15 percent in July and 19 percent in June.
The upturns confirm anecdotal reports from dealers and buying groups that the 3-year-old majap malaise may be bottoming out, as some previously depressed markets have begun enjoying renewed consumer demand.
Not all categories participated in the August resurgence, however. Cooking and food preservation remained mired in double-digit dips, with the former down 19 percent on weakness in microwave ovens, cooktops and electric ovens, masking a 3 percent gain in gas ranges. Refrigerator shipments were down nearly 11 percent, compared to a nearly 16 percent decline for the full year.
In kitchen cleanup, a 31-percent drop in compactors shipments offset a more moderate 6 percent decline in wholesale dishwasher sales.
Industry Shipments of Major Appliances*
(In Thousands of Units)
|Product||2009 AUG.||2008 AUG.||% Chg.||2009 YTD||2008 YTD||% Chg.|
|*Domestic shipments only. Includes U.S. produced and imported products.
**AHAM 6 includes: Washer, Dryers, Dishwashers, Refrigerators, Freezers, and Free-Standing and Built-In Ranges.
Source: AHAM ©TWICE 2009
|All Major Appliances||4,251.1||4,691.6||(9.4)%||40,271.8||49,327.7||(18.4)%|
|Electric Cooking - Total||358.7||435.8||(17.7)%||2,750.7||3,430.2||(19.8)%|
|Surface Cooking Units||26.0||33.3||(21.7)%||217.4||297.9||(27.0)%|
|Gas Cooking - Total||214.4||233.4||(8.1)%||1,608.3||1,880.6||(14.5)%|
|Surface Cooking Units||22.2||29.3||(24.0)%||181.5||268.0||(32.3)%|
|Home Laundry - Total||1,125.8||1,144.8||(1.7)%||9,192.8||10,466.4||(12.2)%|
|Dryers - Total||502.6||496.7||1.2%||4,126.8||4,755.1||(13.2)%|
|Kitchen Clean Up - Total||874.3||952.5||(8.2)%||6,912.7||8,040.1||(14.0)%|
|Dishwashers - Total||455.6||484.0||(5.9)%||3,452.4||4,140.9||(16.6)%|
|Food Preservation - Total||935.1||1,039.2||(10.0)%||6,820.1||7,875.9||(13.4)%|
|Freezers - Total||181.0||193.7||(6.6)%||1,313.1||1,346.0||(2.4)%|
|Home Comfort - Total||146.6||111.5||31.4%||6,899.5||10,204.6||(32.4)%|
|Room Air Conditioners||57.9||46.8||23.6%||5,475.9||8,843.2||(38.1)%|
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.