Consumers Want More, Pay More For Appliances

Oct 13, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Home appliance retailers are reporting consumers are paying for more feature-laden and expensive models.

Bruce Ballard, merchandising vice president for the home improvement and appliance retailer, Lowe’s, told Reuters, “Customers are finding ways to make their life easier
by spending a little more on some of these appliance products than they have in the past.”

Front-loading washing machines like Whirlpool’s Duet and Maytag’s Neptune are hot sellers at Lowe’s. Each model “sells for more than $1,200, nearly three times the average washer
price of $426 in 2002.”

Bill Lennie, senior vice president for decor at Home Depot told the news service a similar occurrence is taking place in the chain’s stores. “Times are tough, yet we continue
to see people willing to invest in their home.”

Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on consumers trading up in the home appliance category? Are there lessons for other product category manufacturers
and retailers in this story?
Anderson – Moderator

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