Whirlpool Corp maintained its position as the leading manufacturer in the United States refrigeration appliances market in 2012 at the retail level. It continued to hold a 20% volume share, whilst both Sears Holdings and General Electric Co maintained 18% volume shares. Electrolux Home Products North America held fourth position with a 12% share of refrigeration appliances. Both Whirlpool and Electrolux increased their distribution in mid-2012, with the expansion of their refrigeration appliances into DIY and hardware chain Home Depot. Whilst this expanded distribution will ultimately boost sales, their overall share positions stayed the same in 2012.
Both Whirlpool and General Electric introduced new premium exterior finishes for kitchen appliances, which departed from the stainless steel finish which has traditionally been popular in luxury and premium kitchens. Whirlpool introduced its new "White Ice" finish in 2012, which features clean and simple lines, a white finish, silver accents and streamlined controls. Some have compared the design simplicity to Apple‟s design aesthetic. Similarly, GE introduced its latest "Slate" collection, which features muted gray tones. Miele is also following suit, and is expected to introduce a high-gloss finish in the near future.
As the economy and housing starts begin to improve, refrigeration appliances is expected to steadily grow in the forecast period to 2017, by a CAGR of 4% in volume terms to reach 16 million units. Value sales are expected to increase by a CAGR of 6% in constant terms to reach US$16.1 billion by 2017. The volume CAGR of 4% and higher constant value CAGR of 6% signals a true recovery for refrigeration appliances, which took a hit following the recession and the collapse of the housing market.
In the US, volume sales of refrigeration appliances remain flat in
2012, totalling 13 million units. Current value sales see a 3% increase
over the previous year, bringing retail sales to US$12.0 billion
- Stainless steel is out, and new finishes, such as slate and "ice" for premium kitchens, are gaining traction
- 2012 demonstrates a flat performance in overall refrigeration appliances, reaching 13.4 million units.
- Unit prices of almost all refrigeration appliances increase, resulting in value growth in all categories in 2012
- Whirlpool Corp remains the leader in refrigeration appliances in 2012, followed by Sears Holdings (Kenmore), General Electric Co (GE) and Electrolux Home Products North America
- Moderate growth is expected in refrigeration appliances over the forecast period, with a volume CAGR of 4% and a constant value CAGR of 6%
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