NEW YORK — Although the holiday number crunching is still going on, sales of major appliances, such as washers and dryers, are becoming more of factor at this time of year, especially on Black Friday, according to a host of store reports.
For the past three years, major-appliance sales have had a growing impact on holiday sales totals. Spurred by discounts and rebates, washers and dryers vied with TVs and jewelry for a large piece of the Black Friday pie. It wasn’t uncommon to see washer-dryer pairs packaged as a two-for-one deal.
According to PriceGrabber.com, appliances were the fourth most popular Black Friday category visited on the company's iPhone shopping application that day. PriceGrabber analytics also revealed that washers were among the top five non-tech growth categories on Black Friday. Washer sales were up 60% from 2009.
What’s also interesting is that color, along with innovation, is driving sales, according to store reports. Customer preferences have changed since 2008. In 2008, top-loader sales took a hit, as front-loader models tripled in growth and doubled in dollar growth during Black Friday week.
However, consumers are starting to put more top loaders in their home. Top-loader sales bounced back in 2009 as greater wash capacities and higher energy and water efficiency helped bring sales back to 2007 levels, which contributed to a 20% decline in front-loader sales compared with Black Friday 2008.
Color, as well as drum configuration, played a role in recent Black Friday sales, especially in 2009. Color washers and dryers are heavily promoted categories on Black Friday, and while white remains a favorite with consumers, color models tripled their dollar sales during Black Friday week 2009, according to the NPD Group, a global provider of consumer and retail market research information for a wide range of industries.