By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Sharp declines in factory sales of built-in gas ranges and microwave ovens in October proved a drag on shipment totals for the month.
According to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), which tracks and tallies vendors' shipments monthly, wholesale sales of white goods rose a scant 0.6 percent to about 5.7 million units for the four weeks between Oct. 2 and Oct. 29.
The culprits — the aforementioned built-in gas ranges and microwave ovens — saw unit shipments fall 19.3 percent and 29.8 percent respectively, which offset gains in surface cooking units (8.9 percent) and freestanding electric ranges (5.9 percent). Taken together, wholesale sales for the overall cooking category dropped 18.9 percent that month, bringing year-to-date results down with it, to -5.4 percent.
The sales scene was vastly different in home laundry, which enjoyed a 24.7 percent surge in factory sales in October, to 1.3 million units. The category showed strength across the board, with washer sales up 23.1 percent and dryer sales up 26.4 percent (30 percent for electric models, and 13.2 percent for gas units). Year-to-date sales for the overall category stand at a respectable 5.6 percent.
Also putting in a solid October showing was food preservation, up 10.1 percent in unit sales, to 1.1 million pieces. The results were fueled by a 15.4 percent surge in refrigerator shipments, which offset the nearly 10 percent decline in wholesale sales of freezers.
Sales were solid in kitchen clean up as well, with the total category up 5.8 percent for the month, led by an 11 percent gain in built-in dishwasher volume, to approximately 588,000 units. The spike offset a 23.7 percent decline in portable dishwasher shipments, and a 5.4 percent drop in compactor sales. Disposers showed modest growth, up 1.7 percent.
Within the home comfort category, room air conditioners continued their retrenchment, with some 26,800 units making their way back to their makers — an improvement nonetheless over the 98,100 units returned during the year-ago period. Meanwhile, sales of dehumidifiers fell 11.5 percent, to some 73,300 units.
While sales for the core washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer and range group rose 13.1 percent in October, total year-to-date shipments for all major appliances are flat at 0.3 percent.Industry Shipments of Major Appliances*
|Product||2005 OCT.||2004 OCT.||Chg.||2005 10 mos.||2004 mos.||Chg.|
|All Major Appliances||5,680.6||5,644.8||0.6%||66,524.1||66,326.0||0.3%|
|Electric Ranges - Total||523.8||499.6||4.8||4,996.0||4,951.1||0.9|
|Surface Cooking Units||45.7||45.8||-0.2||439.3||466.6||-5.8|
|Gas Ranges - Total||321.2||323.7||-0.8||3,028.9||2,980.8||1.6|
|Surface Cooking Units||47.5||43.7||8.9||454.8||431.0||5.5|
|Home Laundry - Total||1,346.8||1,080.2||24.7||14,424.4||13,661.4||5.6|
|Dryers - total||640.9||507.0||26.4||6,683.4||6,456.9||3.5|
|Kitchen Clean Up - Total||1,186.1||1,121.4||5.8||12,080.8||11,406.0||5.9|
|Dishwashers - Total||597.1||541.4||10.3||6,095.5||5,802.5||5.0|
|Food Preservation - Total||1,121.6||1,018.8||10.1||11,007.5||11,228.3||-2.0|
|Freezers - Total||192.6||213.6||-9.9||1,802.0||2,082.7||-13.5|
|Home Comfort - Total||46.4||-15.3||NaN||9,623.8||9,530.1||1.0|
|Room Air Conditioners||-26.8||-98.1||NaN||7,727.5||7,951.0||-2.8|
|*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 2005
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