Port Washington, N.Y. - Retail sales of four-door refrigerators and high-efficiency top-load washers rose substantially in November, the NPD Group reported, buoyed by Black Friday promotions and the entry of new brands.
Stainless-steel four-doors, which have previously struggled to find sustained growth, posted a 140-percent increase in dollar volume year over year, while average selling prices (ASPs) rose 6 percent, the market research group said.
Conversely, dollar sales of stainless three-door French doors declined 6 percent, as many consumers opted for the four-door option.
Meanwhile, substantial promotional support from vendors helped push November sales of high-efficiency top-load washers up more 13 percent in dollars. Demand for the configuration has been growing in recent months despite a 9 percent increase in ASPs due to its "attractive balance" of energy savings, large capacity and traditional top-load design, NPD said.
In contrast, front-load washers saw a double-digit decline in dollar volume in November, despite - or perhaps because of - a slight increase in prices.
"The combination of innovation, increased Black Friday promotions, and new brands in both the four-door refrigerator and high-efficiency washer subcategories helped drive sales upward in November 2011," said Debra Mednick, NPD's home division executive director. "Most notable was the increase in average selling price that accompanied sales growth for these appliances. It is an encouraging sign that consumers are willing to pay the higher prices."