Major Appliance Briefs

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April Majap Shipments Increase 3%: AHAM

WASHINGTON – Factory shipments of major appliances rose 3 percent in April to about 5.4 million units. According to the latest monthly vendor tally compiled by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), solid single-digits gains in cooking, laundry and refrigeration were tempered by steep declines in room air, which fell 21.2 percent.

Dehumidifiers were the biggest gainers, up 208 percent year over year, while gas ovens were the least favored category, falling 25.5 percent to 1.8 million units shipped.

The good news: the core washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer, range and oven categories, or AHAM 6, grew more than 6 percent in April. The bad news: total year-to-date shipments are essentially flat, up just 0.8 percent against tough year-ago comps.

hhgregg Placing Big Bets On Appliances

INDIANAPOLIS – hhgregg is doubling down on major appliances, which already represents 50 percent of company sales. President/CEO Dennis May told analysts on a fourth-quarter earnings call that the chain is re-emphasizing majaps in its marketing, will more than double its five Fine Lines premium appliance stores, and is providing localized product assortments.

“We believe that we’re making the right investments in the appliance category to better position hhgregg to gain market share,” he said.

May attributed the category’s slow start this year to extreme weather in Q1, and anticipates improvement in second half. His confidence is based on an historical sales trend: 65 percent of purchases are to replace for a broken appliance. Said May, “You have this dead rock that makes this such a stable business.”

Appliance Parts

Electrolux is investing $30 million in its top-mount and under-the-counter refrigeration plant in Anderson, S.C. to add advanced manufacturing capability and capacity … Wolf Appliance has launched Wolf Gourmet, a new line of luxury countertop kitchen appliances and tools developed with Hamilton Beach … Just in time for summer, Perlick, a maker of underthe- counter and outdoor refrigeration, has launched a 24-inch C-Series beer dispenser featuring stainless steel interior, electromechanical temperature controller and light, and room for two faucets and up to a third of a barrel of beer.

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