CLEVELAND–Sales of major appliances have continued to deteriorate, according to a survey of appliance manufacturers conducted by Longbow Research.
The results also suggest that industry sales haven’t yet bottomed out, said David MacGregor, a Longbow Research analyst. Noting that half of appliance sales are replacement sales and the other half are discretionary purchases, MacGregor said, “We believe replacement demand is down 5 percent to 10 percent as some consumers postpone replacement purchases. This would suggest that discretionary demand is down 30 percent to 35 percent. We believe that as consumer confidence collapses over the weeks ahead, discretionary demand could come down 55 percent to 60 percent, implying industry shipments may decline to a rate of negative 30 percent at its worst.”
Judging from responses to the survey, MacGregor said the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first half of 2009 will be “difficult” for both manufacturers and retailers of appliances.