Appliance Shipments Tanked in October: AHAM

By Alan Wolf, YSN

Vendor shipments of major appliances nosedived in October, falling almost 12 percent in unit volume year over year.

The decline, due in part to disappointing sales within the home improvement channel, was captured in a monthly sales tally by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), an industry trade group. Wholesale volume fell by nearly 700,000 units, to just over 5 million pieces shipped, AHAM’s report showed.

By comparison, shipments fell 4.5 percent in September and were essentially flat in October 2018.

Chad Evans, AVB’s GM of Merchandising, attributed this October’s decline to softness at the big home improvement chains, with at least one leading player still working down inventories. (In contrast, BrandSource dealers have by all accounts been gaining share, AVB’s Chief Marketing Officer John White reported on a group webinar.)

In addition, last year’s tightness in front-load supply compelled retailers to load up on washers for the fourth quarter, making for a tough year-over-year comparison, Evans said.

Decreases were recorded in every segment tracked by AHAM. The biggest downturn was in room air conditioners, whose wholesale volume dropped nearly 80 percent compared to last year’s hard-to-match 668 percent gain.

Full-size refrigerators also struggled, with unit shipments down by almost 22 percent on top of a year-ago decline of 1.4 percent.

Also taking it on the chin: Laundry, with washer and dryer shipments declining by about 10 percent, followed by the cooking category, which slipped just over 7 percent on weakness in microwave ovens.

The sharp falloff in October widened the industry’s year-to-date decline to -5.3 percent through October 26, AHAM reported.

YSN is published by BrandSource parent company AVB Inc.