The heat was clearly on for the major appliance industry this summer, which enjoyed robust double-digit factory shipments in response to blistering demand for room air, microwave ovens and standalone freezers in July.
According to the latest vendor data compiled by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), these traditionally strong summertime categories didn’t disappoint, and helped fuel an 11.2 percent increase in wholesale volume for the month, to some 5.6 million units.
Leading the charge was room air, which rebounded from 2014’s soft summer season to post a 52.5 percent increase in July (albeit against weak numbers).
Second place went to microwaves, which cooked up a 24 percent increase year over year and helped put the sizzle back in the cooking category. Total cooking shipments were up 16.3 percent, with an additional assist from gasfueled cooktops and ranges, up 11.2 percent and 10.1 percent, respectively.
Food preservation, a seasonal favorite as older products succumb to the hot clime, was no slouch either, as standalone chest-style freezers posted a 13.1 percent increase and full-size fridges were up 8.3 percent year over year.
Laundry also enjoyed an auspicious month, with shipments of electric dryers ahead by 13.2 percent over the previous July, giving the total home laundry category a 7.8 percent boost.
Less propitious was the kitchen clean up category, which was up 4.8 percent on strength in portable dishwashers and garbage disposers, but saw compactor shipments dip 12 percent while the core built-in dishwasher segment remained static.
Providing a bird’s-eye view of the period is the AHAM 6, an amalgam of the core washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer, range and oven categories. That classification was up 6.3 percent for the month and 3.5 percent for the year.
Total industry shipments were similarly up 6.2 percent year to date, with some 43.5 million units hitting retail warehouses and sales floors.