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Building on a head of fourth-quarter steam, major appliance makers kicked off the new year with a 4.9 percent gain in January wholesale sales, according to the latest data collected by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM).
Leading the charge was food preservation, which grew 15.7 percent over January 2001 factory shipments to approximately 715,800 units. Rebounding from earlier changeover problems as vendors switched platforms, refrigerators showed a healthy 16.4 percent gain last month to about 568,200 units. But even that double-digit climb was outdistanced by percentage gains in upright freezers, which rocketed 21.6 percent to some 69,600 units.
Coming in second in category growth was the cooking classification, another double-digit gainer with a 13.1 percent hike in factory sales to 1.1 million units. The top performer here was microwave ovens, sales of which soared 19.8 percent to about 570,400 units, while electric and gas ranges registered respectable gains of 6.7 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively.
Vying for third place was kitchen cleanup, ahead 6.4 percent, and home laundry, up 6.1 percent. Built-in dishwashers were the workhorses for the former, scoring a 9.9 percent gain in wholesale sales to some 382,900 units. Those gains were offset, however, by a nearly 16 percent decline in shipments of portable dishwashers to about 11,500 units. Meanwhile, automatic washers cleaned up in laundry, where shipments of some 530,200 units represented a 7.5 percent increase in factory sales over the prior-year period.
Lagging its category peers was home comfort, whose precipitous 65.9 percent decline — comprised of a 56.1 percent drop in room air and a 93.6 percent plunge in dehumidifiers — proved a profound drag on total results. By contrast, the so-called AHAM 6, comprised of the core washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer and range sectors, was up 9.2 percent for the month for a total of 2.5 million units shipped.Industry Shipments Of Major Appliances*
|Product||2002 JANUARY||2001 JANUARY||% Chg.||2002 1 mo.||2001 1 mo.||% Chg.|
|ALL MAJOR APPLIANCES||3,723.5||3,550.1||4.9||3,723.5||3,550.1||4.9|
|COOKING - TOTAL||1,102.1||974.3||13.1||1,102.1||974.3||13.1|
|ELECTRIC RANGES - TOTAL||332.8||311.8||6.7||332.8||311.8||6.7|
|Surface Cooking Units||35.4||33.9||4.5||35.4||33.9||4.5|
|GAS RANGES - TOTAL||199||186.3||6.8||199.0||186.3||6.8|
|Surface Cooking Units||24.3||23.3||4.2||24.3||23.3||4.2|
|HOME LAUNDRY - TOTAL||1,014.0||955.8||6.1||1,014.0||955.8||6.1|
|DRYERS - TOTAL||483.8||462.4||4.6||483.8||462.4||4.6|
|KITCHEN CLEAN UP - TOTAL||810.0||761.6||6.4||810.0||761.6||6.4|
|DISHWASHERS - TOTAL||394.3||362.1||8.9||394.3||362.1||8.9|
|FOOD PRESERVATION - TOTAL||715.8||618.9||15.7||715.8||618.9||15.7|
|FREEZERS - TOTAL||147.6||130.7||12.9||147.6||130.7||12.9|
|HOME COMFORT - TOTAL||81.7||239.5||-65.9||81.7||239.5||-65.9|
|ROOM AIR CONDITIONERS||77.7||177.0||-56.1||77.7||177||-56.1|
|*Domestic shipments only. Includes U.S. produced and imported products.|
** AHAM 6 includes: Washer, Dryers, Dishwashers, Refrigerator, Freezers, and Free-Standing and Built-In Ranges.
Source: AHAM ©TWICE 2002
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.