By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Factory sales of full-size household vacuum cleaners were virtually flat last year, slipping less than 1 percent to 19.3 million units, according to the Vacuum Cleaner Manufacturers Association (VCMA).
Despite the slight downturn, the trade group hailed the results as a victory in light of the record prior-year comparison and the overall weak economy. "We attribute the strength in sales to new product innovation, in-store promotions and continued strong housing sales," said VCMA president Raymond Kirkpatrick, who heads H-P Products in Louisville, Ohio. "New innovations, especially bagless vacuums, are revolutionary enough that consumers already owning vacuum cleaners are looking to purchase these new products, keeping sales strong."
The VCMA also sited a 2.2 percent hike in sales of upright vacuum cleaners, including both self- and non-self-propelled models, from year-end 2000.
In other VCMA news, new officers and executive committee members were elected for the 2002-03 term during the group's annual membership meeting. Joining Kirkpatrick are VP John Arganbright, general manager/floor care division, Panasonic Home & Commercial Products Co., and treasurer Joseph Najm, VP/operations, HMI Industries.
Newly elected to the executive committee are Michael Merriman, president/CEO, Royal Appliance Manufacturing Co.; David Gault, VP/business planning, The Hoover Co.; and Scott Bolbock, director/product planning, The Eureka Co.
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.