By Alan Wolf, YSN
The end of the summer brought a seasonal retrenchment to the home appliance industry, as retailers’ unsold air conditioners contributed to a 4.5 percent drop in total factory shipments in September.
According to the latest vendor tallies by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), an industry trade group, wholesale unit sales of room ACs fell 67 percent year over year, while its sister category, dehumidifiers, experienced a 50 percent falloff.
Also taking it on the chin were chest-style freezers, with shipments down 44 percent, and electric cooktops, which declined 15 percent from last year.
Among core categories, clothes dryers slipped 5.3 percent on weakness in gas models; washer shipments dipped 2.3 percent; and the overall cooking segment was flat.
But the news wasn’t all bad: shipments of full-size refrigerators were up nearly 2 percent year over year, and wholesale sales of built-in dishwashers soared 7 percent, AHAM reported.
Nonetheless, year-to-date shipments through Sept. 28 were still in negative territory, down 4.6 percent from the comparable period in 2018.
The downturn in September jibes with U.S. Census Bureau sales figures for the month showing a 1.9 percent decline in sell-through for electronics and appliance specialty retailers.