Home Depot and Others Fill in the Appliance Vacuum Left by Sears
By Rick Moss
According to data from research firm Stevenson Co., Sears Holdings Corp. is still the U.S. appliance market leader, with 34.1 percent share in 2005, but that’s down from 38.7
percent in 2002. Meanwhile, others are not sitting idly by and waiting for Sears to find a way to reinvigorate consumers’ interests in the Kenmore brand.
On Tuesday, as reported by Reuters, Home Depot merchandising and marketing chief Tom Taylor said the D-I-Y chain has “some pilots underway” to see about adding more brands
and expanding floor space devoted to washers and refrigerators.
Currently, Home Depot, which is “speaking to other companies,” sells appliances by LG Electronics, introduced last year, as well as washers and refrigerators by General Electric
Co. and Maytag Corp.
Taylor was optimistic about the chain’s ability to convince customers to go for high-ticket items based on other experiences they’ve had recently, such as the sale of $3000 built-in
kitchens and large home improvement installations.
“We see customers across every department shopping up our assortment,” Taylor said.
Home Depot has nearly doubled its market share in appliances over the past three years, from 5.5 percent to 9.7 percent last year. Although not as dramatic, it’s a similar story
at rival Lowe’s, that grew its market share to 15.8 percent from 12.8 in 2002. This trend seems characteristic of the home center channel only, as Best Buy’s market share has
remained flat, at 6.2 percent for the period.
Moderator’s Comment: What’s going on with the appliance business? Will the home center channel become the market share leader, or is this just a phase
while the traditional outlets turnaround their strategies? –
Rick Moss – Moderator