NEW YORK — The 10 largest retailers of major appliances accounted for more than 84 percent of sales volume on the TWICE Top 100 Appliance Retailers Report.
The 10 — Sears, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Best Buy, Walmart, hhgregg, P.C. Richard & Son, BrandsMart USA, Conn’s and Costco — together generated $19.1 billion in majap revenue last year.
While the 10 largest dealers weren’t immune to the effects of the recession and housing slump, with cumulative sales slipping 3.5 percent, they did manage to outperform the competition: Market share for the top 10 edged up 20 basis points, to 84.4 percent of total Top 100 sales volume.
The gains were largely ceded by midsized dealers. Indeed, those ranked 11th to 25th, which includes such chains as ABC Warehouse, Menards and Fry’s, relinquished 10 basis points of market share, to 7.7 percent of the Top 100, as total majap sales for this tier fell 4.5 percent to $1.7 billion.
Similarly, those ranked 26th to 50th, including such dealers as Karl’s, Jetson TV & Appliance Centers and Cowboy Maloney, also conceded 10 basis points of share, to 4.5 percent, as sales declined 5.1 percent $1 billion.
The smallest-volume dealers, which ranged from independents like Bill Smith and Van Vreede’s to chains like Boscov’s and BJ’s, were flat in market share shift but saw a 5.6 percent drop in cumulative sales, to $759 million.
Viewed by channel of distribution, the ranking’s four mass merchants — Sears, Walmart, Target and Kmart (the latter three included for their revenue in room air and microwave ovens) — were the leaders of the pack, with 35.8 percent of Top 100 sales volume. But sharp declines within this sector, led by respective revenue retreats of 10 percent at Kmart and 8.2 percent at sister chain Sears, led to an overall 8 percent sales decline, to $8.1 billion, and a striking 4.5 percent drop in market share.
Who were the biggest beneficiaries of the mass channel’s woes? Clearly the home-improvement sector made the most of last year’s weak majap market. The nearly 4 percent gain by No. 2 retailer Lowe’s helped off set single-digit declines at third-ranked The Home Depot and 16th place Menards, leaving sales within this strata flat at $8 billion, just behind the mass class. But with flat becoming the new measure of success in appliances, the results translated into a 3.8 percent gain in market share for the home-improvement gang, to 35.6 percent of Top 100 sales.
Also turning in a relatively strong performance were the multiregional CE and appliance chains, namely Best Buy, hhgregg and Fry’s. New store growth helped propel hhgregg and, to a lesser extent, Best Buy, to low-single-digit sales gains, which off set Fry’s 11 percent decline. Together the sector’s sales rose 2 percent to $2.3 billion, one of the few to experience gains, while its market share moved up 50 basis points to 10.1 percent.
On the whole, dealers that specialize in appliances only, typified by such independents as Warners’ Stellian and Appliance Direct, saw sales slip 3.3 percent to $612 million, giving this tier a Top 100 market share of 2.7 percent, which remained flat year over year.
Trailing the majap-only crowd were those retailers for whom furniture represents a significant part of the product mix, with a static 2.5 percent share.