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Whirlpool Refrigerators Dominate Dealer Floors

Refrigerators made by Whirlpool and its extended family of brands dominated retail sales floors in January.

According to the latest Shelf Share Report by IFR Monitoring, a global market research firm, the world’s largest appliance manufacturer lead in floor share in every configuration of refrigerator/freezer.

IFR, with United States offices here, monitors national and regional retailers in more than 20 markets based on demography, geography and competitive placement.

Whirlpool enjoyed the largest lead among three-door refrigerators that feature ice and water dispensers, with nearly 43.7 percent of floor models in that configuration bearing a Whirlpool brand family badge. LG came in second, with 20.3 percent of floor share, followed by GE at 16.5 percent and Samsung at 15.2 percent.

Whirlpool also had the greatest in-store exposure of bottom-mount refrigerators last month, with nearly 38 percent of floor space. Samsung was the No. 2 supplier in this category, with 19.9 percent of display models, followed by LG at 16.2 percent and GE at 5.6 percent.

Electrolux had a strong showing in traditional top-mount refrigerators, ostensibly through its Frigidaire sister brand. The company garnered a 27.1 percent floor share, placing it in second place ahead of GE, at 13.4 percent, and LG, with 0.2 percent of displays. Whirlpool again claimed most of the real estate, pulling a 31.8 percent share.

In side-by-sides, Whirlpool had 27.3 percent of dealer floor space, followed by GE, with a 22.2 percent share. Electrolux models claimed 15.9 percent of available display space for this configuration, while LG and Samsung were virtually tied for fourth place, with 6.3 percent and 6.1 percent of floor share, respectively.

Premium majap maker BSH Home Appliances had a slim 0.1 percent toehold in side-by-sides.

The real estate race was closest in three-door fridges, where Whirlpool controlled 23.8 percent of sales floor footage compared with category pioneer LG, which was a percentage point behind with a 22.8 percent share. Samsung was third last month, with 18.8 percent of floor space, followed by GE with a 15.8 percent share.

Whirlpool was less aggressive when it came to price increases. In-store retail prices rose an average of 2.9 percent on Whirlpool products from December to January, compared with BSH, whose price points increased 5.2 percent month-to-month.

Electrolux and Samsung showed the most modest price hikes, at 1.4 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, followed by GE with a 2 percent gain. Prices rose nearly twice as much on LG models, which showed a 3.9 percent increase month over month, IFR reported.

The price hikes reflect the latest round of cost increases that manufacturers passed along to retailers effective with the new year (see story, right).

January 2009 Refrigerator In-Store Share of Floor (by Parent Brand)