NORTH CANTON, OHIO -Factory sales of full-size household vacuum cleaners set a record high in 2000, according to the latest figures from the Vacuum Cleaner Manufacturers Association (VCMA).
The group reported that wholesale shipments totaled 19.5 million units last year, which represents an 8 percent increase over factory sales in 1999, the previous best-selling year for vacuums.
Although fourth-quarter shipments of 5.1 millions units were down 1 percent from the year-ago period, it was the third time in VCMA records that quarterly sales surpassed the 5 million-unit mark, suggesting that the vacuum cleaner business remains robust despite the general economic downturn.
Vacuum cleaner sales have increased substantially over the past 15 years, growing from 9.3 million units sold in 1985 to nearly 20 million shipped in 2000. In the process, shipments set record high sales in 12 of those 15 years.
Meanwhile, sales of central vacuum cleaners (not included in the aforementioned figures), increased 2.6 percent in 2000 to record levels, following several years of steady gains.