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LG Electronics Maintains Front-Load Lead

LG Electronics has retained its lead as the No. 1 brand in front-load laundry.

John Herrington, president of the company’s digital home appliance division, told TWICE at an LG summer line show here earlier this month that the brand held onto its market share lead in residential front-load clothes washers and dryers in the latest Stevenson Company TraQline report.

Stevenson, a market-research firm serving the CE and majap industries, conducts quarterly surveys of 150,000 shoppers to measure retail purchases and derive market share data.

Stevenson also uses its TraQline data to develop TWICE’s annual Top 100 CE and Majap Retailer Reports and Top 25 rankings for computer and car electronics dealers.

LG became the front-load leader during the second quarter of 2007, after only five years in the U.S. market.

Michael Ahn, president/CEO of LG Electronics North America, said LG’s total market share in majaps grew 1 percent during the quarter amid the backdrop of a struggling industry whose factory shipments fell 9 percent during the period.

“We tried hard, and we grew just 1 percent, but it was more than our competitors,” he said.

Ahn attributed LG’s gains to “product leadership,” as demonstrated by its new square-door design front-load steam washer and dryer with an industry-leading 4.5 cubic feet of capacity, and its new $3,000, ice- and water-dispensing four-door refrigerator, which has been selling at a rate of 1,000 units a week since its rollout in June.

John Weinstock, marketing VP for the digital appliance division, also credited LG’s white-goods growth to its ability to identify consumer trends and to leverage the design and technical expertise of its video and mobile phone divisions. As an example, he cited the intuitive LCD touchscreen panel on the company’s new built-in double wall oven, which borrows from LG’s mobile phone designs.

Weinstock said the company has also made a significant investment in advertising, and that its current TV campaign, which shows consumers daydreaming of destroying their appliances to make room for new LG products, has increased brand awareness 26 percent in its first six months.

LG appliances are also predominantly displayed on retail floors and in dealers’ advertising circulars thanks to their attractive styling, Weinstock said.

He added that LG will mount another brand-building program in the fourth quarter with live demonstrations at shopping malls and other high-traffic venues to drive awareness.