Factory unit shipments
of major appliances fell 2.9 percent
in June, led lower by high stockpiles
of room air conditioners and weakness
in refrigerators and gas ovens.
According to the latest data compiled
by the Association of Home Appliance
Manufacturers (AHAM), room
air shipments tumbled 22.3 percent
year over year, to some 956,000 units,
while wholesale sales of dehumidifiers
fell nearly 37 percent in June.
Merchants caught short by last
year’s AC stock-outs bought more robustly
in advance of the 2012 season,
retailers, distributors and buying group
execs reported, leading to weak roomair
comps (see TWICE, July 16).
Meanwhile, shipments of full-size refrigerators
fell 6.4 percent, to 974,300
units, and are down 5.5 percent for the
year. In contrast, chest-style standalone
freezers enjoyed a nearly 9 percent spike
in June, compared with an 18 percent
decline in freestanding upright models.
Also taking it on the chin was gas
ovens, shipments of which declined
12.5 percent from the year-ago period.
Ironically, every other cooking category
saw gains this past June, led by an 8
percent surge in electric ovens and a
nearly 17 percent pop in gas cooktops.
Elsewhere, home laundry shipments
rose 3.8 percent, which included a 3.2
percent increase in washers and a 6.2
percent hike in electric dryers. Once
again, gas models fell into disfavor, as
shipments of gas-fueled dryers dipped
June’s biggest gainer was kitchen
cleanup, which rose 8.5 percent on
a 13.2 percent spike in built-in dishwasher
shipments, which stands in
contrast to an otherwise flat year for
Providing a snapshot of business activity
in June is the AHAM 6, an amalgam
of the core washer, dryer, dishwasher,
refrigerator, freezer, range and
oven categories. Shipments for these
key product sectors rose 2.2 percent
that month, but are still down 4.7 percent
year to date.