PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — Retail
sales of major appliances were up by
the double digits in both dollars and units
for the first five months of the year.
According to new data from The
NPD Group, majap volume was up
16 percent in dollars and 12 percent in
units from January to May 2010, compared
with the year-ago period.
Mark Delaney, NPD’s home division
director, attributes the spike to a combination
of pent-up demand, returning
consumer confidence, aggressive
promotions and last season’s federally
funded majap-rebate program.
“Beginning last August we began to
see signs of a recovery for appliances, but
the new year confirmed that we’re truly
on a growth trajectory,” Delaney said.
“Pent-up demand started it, but now
we’re seeing results driven by consumer
confidence and rebate programs augmented
by strong retailer promotions.”
While the increases were largely seen
across the board, the biggest gains came
from dishwashers, refrigerators, clothes
dryers and washers, which all showed
double-digit dollar and unit growth
over the first five months of 2009.
NPD also found that consumers are
upgrading their appliances and investing
in better models. For example, 27
percent of consumers who purchased a
refrigerator between January and May
upgraded from their previous unit,
compared with 20 percent who did so
during the prior-year period.
In the washer category, consumers responded
best to high-efficiency top-load
models, which are now more competitive
with feature-filled front load units.
“It’s encouraging to see such positive
results in a sector that’s been struggling
for so long,” Delaney said. “If retailers
and manufacturers execute well with
their new product offerings and we see
sustained improvements in the housing
sector, the major appliance industry is
poised for a solid year.”
NPD’s point-of-sale data tracks refrigerators
washers, dryers, ranges, dishwashers,
microwave ovens, ovens, cooktops,
freezers, room air conditioners and