PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y.–Sales of major appliances generated double-digit dollar and unit growth of 16 and 12 percent respectively, from January to May 2010, versus January to May 2009, according to the market research company The NPD Group.
“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 –pent-up demand started it, but now we’re seeing results driven by consumer confidence and rebate programs augmented by strong retailer promotions,” said Mark Delaney, director of The NPD Group’s home division.
Most major appliance categories are seeing a boost in sales, but the largest overall increases came from dishwashers, refrigerators, clothes dryers, and washing machines, each with double-digit growth in units and dollars, compared to the first five months of 2009.
Consumers are upgrading. In refrigeration, 27 percent of consumers that purchased a refrigerator between January and May 2010, upgraded from the model they had previously, versus 20 percent at the same time in 2009.
In the washing machine category, consumers responded best to high-efficiency, top-load models, which are well-suited to compete with the benefits of feature-filled, front load models, such as energy efficiency and water savings.
“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.”