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Shopping for Major Appliances - US - March 2015

"The major appliance market has rebounded in recent years, driven by improvement in the overall economy and in the real estate and home renovation markets. Low prices remain an essential part of the major appliance shopping process, but a variety of other factors come into play as well and provide retailers with opportunities to set themselves apart. Shoppers consult an increasingly wide array of information sources both online and off, but a strong, well-informed in-store sales team remains essential to closing the deal."

- John Owen, Senior Analyst, Household

This report covers the following areas:

  • Replacement most common motivation, but other factors represent opportunities for growth
  • Remodeling continues to trend higher
  • For 25-44s, trade-ups and multiple appliance purchases boost amount spent
  • Personal touch: Amid wider array of info sources, salesperson still plays key role
  • Beyond price: Focus on selection and service
  • Omnichannel experience: Integrate in-store and online]

While major appliance purchasers cite a variety of reasons for buying new appliances, the replacement of a broken-down machine is by far the most common reason, providing a relatively steady base of sales for the market. To increase sales and share beyond this base level, manufacturers and retailers must exploit and encourage other motivations. 

While the hunt for low prices is an undeniably important part of the major appliance shopping process, other factors, including brand selection, location, and a reputation for service, are equally important and provide retailers with opportunities to set themselves apart and build business. In addition, while shoppers consult an increasingly wide array of information sources both online and off, a strong, well-informed in-store sales team remains essential to closing the deal. 

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Replacement most common motivation, but other factors represent opportunities for growth
            • Figure 1: Reasons for most recent major appliance purchase, December 2014
          • Remodeling continues to trend higher
            • Figure 2: NAHB Remodeling Market Index (RMI), 2009-14
          • For 25-44s, trade-ups and multiple appliance purchases boost amount spent
            • Figure 3: Average amount spent on most recent major appliance purchase, by age, December 2014
          • The opportunities
            • Personal touch: Amid wider array of info sources, salesperson still plays key role
              • Figure 4: Helpfulness of information sources – Very helpful, by amount spent, December 2014
            • Beyond price: Focus on selection and service
              • Figure 5: Reasons for selecting major appliances purchase location – very important, by amount spent, December 2014
            • Omnichannel experience: Integrate in-store and online
              • Figure 6: Major appliance purchase behaviors and attitudes, by amount spent, December 2014
            • What it means
            • The Market – What you Need to Know

              • Appliance sales rebound
                • Efficiency and features motivate sales.
                  • Home renovations maintain momentum.
                  • Market Perspective

                    • Improving economic picture helps lift major appliance categories
                      • Retailers positioned to convert innovation into sales
                        • Figure 7: Total US sales of major appliances, by category, 2009-14
                    • Market Factors

                      • Replacement most common motivation, but other factors come into play
                        • Figure 8: Reasons for most recent major appliance purchase, December 2014
                      • Remodeling continues to trend higher
                        • Figure 9: NAHB Remodeling Market Index (RMI), 2009-14
                      • Consumer confidence fluctuates month-to-month but trends higher
                        • Figure 10: Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, 2009-15
                      • Home sales lose some momentum in 2014
                        • Figure 11: New and existing home sales, 2009-14
                      • Home ownership rates continue to slip, especially for younger adults
                        • Figure 12: Homeownership rate by age of householder, 2009-14
                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                      • Big-box home centers build on convenience and context
                        • Specialist retailers face increasing challenges, focus on service and selection
                          • An opportunity to bring smart-home solutions to life
                          • What’s Working?

                            • Overview: Big-box home centers continue to gain
                              • Big-box home centers build on convenience and context
                                • Lowe’s claims top spot
                                  • Home Depot caters omnichannel shopping
                                    • Best Buy highlights appliances in Pacific Kitchen & Home store-within-a-store
                                    • What’s Struggling?

                                      • Specialists face increasing challenges, focus on service and selection
                                      • What’s Next?

                                        • Samsung tests kiosks and store-within-a-store concepts
                                          • Sears looks to sell smart solutions
                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                            • Younger adults a key target
                                              • Spending peaks in 35-44 age group
                                                • Replacement tops long list of purchase motivations
                                                  • Online purchases gain ground
                                                    • Store selection based on more than just price
                                                      • Even amid online alternatives, salesperson still a key influencer
                                                        • Omnichannel shopping prevalent
                                                        • Major Appliances Purchased

                                                          • Fridge or freezer an increasingly common and lifestyle-oriented purchase
                                                            • Young adults most likely to be in appliance acquisition mode
                                                              • Figure 13: Types of major appliances purchased, by age, December 2014
                                                            • Kitchen appliances a focal point for big purchases
                                                              • Figure 14: Types of major appliances purchased, by amount purchased, December 2014
                                                          • Purchase Timing and Amount Spent

                                                            • Young adults more likely to have purchased recently
                                                              • Figure 15: Types of major appliances purchased, by age, December 2014
                                                            • For 35-44s, trade-ups may boost amount spent
                                                              • Figure 16: Average amount spent on most recent major appliance purchase, by age, December 2014
                                                          • Reasons for Most Recent Purchase

                                                            • Renovation projects drive biggest purchases
                                                              • Opportunity to help appliance shoppers visualize new appliances in their kitchens
                                                                • Figure 17: Reasons for most recent major appliance purchase, by amount spent, December 2014
                                                            • Location of Most Recent Purchase

                                                              • Sears still a top retailer but faces competition from all angles
                                                                • Online gains in importance
                                                                  • Figure 18: Major appliances purchase locations, by in-store or online, December 2014
                                                              • Reasons for Selecting Purchase Location

                                                                • Beyond price: Selection, service, store reputation key in store selection
                                                                  • Figure 19: Reasons for selecting major appliances purchase location – Very important, by amount spent, December 2014
                                                                • In their words
                                                                • Helpfulness of Information Sources

                                                                  • Salesperson still plays essential role
                                                                    • In their words
                                                                      • Big-ticket purchasers likely to consult and value more info sources
                                                                        • Figure 20: Helpfulness of information sources – very helpful, by amount spent, December 2014
                                                                    • Shopping Attitudes and Behaviors

                                                                      • A more involved process for bigger-ticket purchases
                                                                        • Figure 21: Major appliance purchase behaviors and attitudes, by amount spent, December 2014
                                                                      • In their words
                                                                      • Appendix: Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                                            • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                              • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                  • Terms

                                                                                  Companies Covered

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                                                                                  Shopping for Major Appliances - US - March 2015

                                                                                  US $3,995.00 (Excl.Tax)