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Appliance Dealers Downbeat: Survey

More than half of major appliance dealers doubt that sales will improve in the coming months, a recent survey shows.

According to a query of 100 major home appliance retailers in the United States and Europe by Longbow Research analyst David MacGregor, only 40 percent of U.S. dealers feel that sales will soon improve. Of the balance, 27 percent projected sales declines, and 33 percent said business would be flat in the coming months.

The outlook for dealers was quite different one year ago, when 83 percent projected improvement in coming quarter and only 2 percent foresaw declines.

The U.S. respondents reported that September sales were down from August levels, and had declined by the mid-teens year-over-year. Weakness was felt across the board regardless of price range, the dealers said, and with the exception of clearance sales, pricing has remained fairly stable following a major round of vendor price hikes in July.