NEW YORK —
It was no easy feat.
But in a market than many dealers described as the worst ever in memory, the 100 largest major appliance merchants managed to post a cumulative 5.5 percent increase in white-goods sales last year, to $24.3 billion, readily besting the prior year’s 3.7 percent decline.
The tally comes courtesy of TWICE’s annual Top 100 Appliance Retailers Report, which was prepared with market research partner The Stevenson Company and covers more than 90 percent of U.S. majap sell-through.
Topping the charts again with $7.5 billion in whitegoods sales is perennial favorite
, although its decade-long market-share slide continued in 2010. Second- place
’s narrowed the gap to just more than $2 billion by more than doubling Sears’ sales pace, and together with No. 3
The Home Depot
and No. 15
widened the home-improvement channel’s industry- topping lead to a 37.4 percent share of Top 100 sales.
Following the Big Three are:
, which edged up 2.7 percent to $1.8 billion, but is looking to pick up the pace by expanding its test of Pacific Sales in-store appliance departments from eight to 30 boxes next year, and by employing the departments’ labor and operating model in 350 locations;
, which sold $722 million worth of ACs and microwave ovens last year;
, which added 46 stores and 26 percent more majap dollar volume; and
P.C. Richard & Son
, the family-held New York metro chain that has streamed into Connecticut with seven locations to fill the vacuum left by Bernie’s, and opened a second major distribution center to support its New Jersey and Philadelphia stores.
Taken together, the Top 10 majap merchants, which also includes
, accounted for 85 percent of Top 100 revenue last year.
Joining the Top 100 rankings in 28th place is
, which grew its nascent appliance business 20 percent to $62 million in such brands as Electrolux, Frigidaire, GE, LG, Miele and Whirlpool. While much of that business is done by third-party sellers — including Top 100 dealers
’s — Amazon is also direct- selling washers, refrigerators, ranges and dishwashers from Haier, Fagor and, most troubling for other dealers, Whirlpool’s Amana brand.
Aside from adding new stores and SKUs, dealers also boosted sales through aggressive holiday promotions that reached a fever pitch on Black Friday, and by leveraging last year’s $300 million appliance rebate program, which was funded by the federal government and administered by states.
For others, like
John D. Marcella Appliances
(No. 84) in Schenectady, N.Y., the independent dealer overcame “the most difficult year in my 60 years in the appliance and TV business” by consolidating its two locations down to a single, newly constructed state-of-the-art store and limiting the number of SKUs it carries, stocks and displays. The less-is-more strategy, combined with tighter expense controls, increased training, additional store hours and heightened promotional activity, led to an 18 percent increase in sales last year, Marcella said.