WASHINGTON – Factory shipments of major appliances rose 7 percent in unit volume in October as retailers stocked up for the busy Black Friday period.
According to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), which compiles monthly wholesale data on imported and domestically produced products, vendors shipped some 4.6 million majaps to retailers in October, bringing the year-to-date total to 53.5 million pieces, up 4.1 percent from 2012.
Leading white-goods chains including The Home Depot and h.h.gregg acknowledged that Black Friday has assumed even greater significance for the category this year. For Home Depot, November promotions will comprise about 20 percent of its annual majap business, while h.h.gregg expects to reap 40 percent of its annual appliance sales during the fourth quarter (see TWICE, Nov. 18).
Broken out by product, October’s biggest gains came from dehumidifiers, gas cooktops, refrigerators, upright freezers, disposers and built-in dishwashers.
Shipments of dehumidifiers increased 228.3 percent and gas cooktop volume rose 21 percent, while within the food preservation category the core refrigerator segment grew 13.8 percent followed by a 13.6 percent gain for freestanding upright freezers.
Within the kitchen cleanup sector, disposer shipments rose 16.7 percent while built-in dishwasher volume increased 11.4 percent year over year.
Posting more modest single-digit gains for the month was home laundry, where washer volume rose 3.5 percent to about 610,300 units and dryer shipments edged up 2.9 percent, as modest gains for electric models offset an 8.7 percent rise for gas-fueled units.
Only cooking showed a net decline in October as a nearly 13 percent drop in microwave oven shipments offset strength in gas cooktops and high single-digits increases in electric and gas ranges.
Providing a snapshot of the industry is the AHAM 6, an amalgam of the core washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer, range and oven categories, which rose 7.1 percent in October and is up 8.5 percent for the year through Oct. 26.