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The Party’s Over In Appliances, For Now

Naysayers had said the $300 million in federal “cash for appliances” rebates was too little to stimulate sales, but the ebb and flow of factory shipments clearly jibes with the program’s state-level rollouts last spring.
As AHAM’s data show, shipments returned to the plus column last March and hit a 12.3 percent growth peak in April before tapering off to flat gains in August.
Now that government inducements are gone, you can expect some brass-knuckle promotions to begin building through Black Friday in an effort to draw traffic and move inventory. But absent any improvement in the housing market, the industry faces what NATM president Bill Trawick describes as “a slow grind” into 2011, when a new generation of “smart” appliances may give consumers a reason to spend again.