NEW YORK — It was no easy feat.
But in a market than many dealers described as the
worst ever in memory, the 100 largest major appliance
merchants managed to post a cumulative 5.5 percent
increase in white-goods sales last year, to $24.3 billion,
readily besting the prior year’s 3.7 percent decline.
The tally comes courtesy of TWICE’s annual Top 100
Appliance Retailers Report, which was prepared with
market research partner The Stevenson Company and
covers more than 90 percent of U.S. majap sell-through.
Topping the charts again with $7.5 billion in whitegoods
sales is perennial favorite Sears, although its
decade-long market-share slide continued in 2010. Second-
place Lowe’s narrowed the gap to just more than
$2 billion by more than doubling Sears’ sales pace, and together with No. 3 The Home Depot and No. 15 Menards widened the home-improvement channel’s industry-
topping lead to a 37.4 percent share of Top 100 sales.
Following the Big Three are:
• Best Buy, which edged up 2.7 percent to $1.8 billion,
but is looking to pick up the pace by expanding its
test of Pacific Sales in-store appliance departments from
eight to 30 boxes next year, and by employing the departments’
labor and operating model in 350 locations;
• Walmart, which sold $722 million worth of ACs and
microwave ovens last year;
• hhgregg, which added 46 stores and 26 percent
more majap dollar volume; and
• P.C. Richard & Son, the family-held New York metro
chain that has streamed into Connecticut with seven locations
to fill the vacuum left by Bernie’s, and opened a
second major distribution center to support its New Jersey
and Philadelphia stores.
Taken together, the Top 10 majap merchants, which
also includes BrandsMart USA, Costco and Target,
accounted for 85 percent of Top 100 revenue last year.
Joining the Top 100 rankings in 28th place is Amazon.com, which grew its nascent appliance business
20 percent to $62 million in such brands as Electrolux,
Frigidaire, GE, LG, Miele and Whirlpool. While much of
that business is done by third-party sellers — including
Top 100 dealers Abt and Vann’s — Amazon is also direct-
selling washers, refrigerators, ranges and dishwashers
from Haier, Fagor and, most troubling for other dealers,
Whirlpool’s Amana brand.
Aside from adding new stores and SKUs, dealers also
boosted sales through aggressive holiday promotions
that reached a fever pitch on Black Friday, and by leveraging
last year’s $300 million appliance rebate program,
which was funded by the federal government and administered
For others, like John D. Marcella Appliances (No.
84) in Schenectady, N.Y., the independent dealer overcame
“the most difficult year in my 60 years in the appliance
and TV business” by consolidating its two locations
down to a single, newly constructed state-of-the-art store
and limiting the number of SKUs it carries, stocks and
displays. The less-is-more strategy, combined with tighter
expense controls, increased training, additional store
hours and heightened promotional activity, led to an 18
percent increase in sales last year, Marcella said.