13383 Thu, 12/20/2007 - 7:18pm
Independent retailers' market share is on the rise, and it looks like the big-box stores are taking note. This is good news for independent appliance retailers. Finally, after years of playing catch-up with the mass merchants, they now have the upper hand.
Over 50 percent of consumers spend their dollars in the mass premium to premium appliance category, with independent retailers successfully earning 35 percent of that share. The mass merchants, on the other hand, have had some success in the high-end laundry business, but continue to struggle to really branch out into other high-end appliance categories.
Independents have found the mass premium to premium appliance business is a good fit for them because they can offer the service and selection that's needed. It also differentiates them from the mass merchants, attracts a more affluent and loyal customer base, and lets their staff do what they do best: excel in service and support. Many independent appliance dealers have even found their niche by simply serving this high-end market and offering the right products.
As a result, the footprints in an independent dealer's store are much different than those in the mass merchant's. The consumer is a different consumer, and their expectations are much different from those of a mass merchant patron. They're looking for breadth of selection, on-hand inventory, a knowledgeable staff and white glove service. Right now, there's not a single mass merchant store that can compete with the independent on these four requirements.
Independent dealers have even increased their high-end appliance business and service by building relationships with local architects, interior designers and custom home builders. They know their consumers and have partnered with their influencers to create a one-stop shop for custom projects for the home. It's a win-win-win relationship for all.
Major appliance manufacturers are also benefiting from the independents' success. The mass premium to premium category has become a significant piece of their overall business; and manufacturers are well aware that the category's growth is directly related to the independent retailers' efforts to capture the segment.
Right now, it's a great time to be an independent appliance dealer. Your market share is on the rise, thanks in part to the mass premium to premium appliance business; and you don't have to sacrifice margin to be successful. All you have to do is capitalize on what you do best and target that audience that appreciates the effort.
Adam Thomas is the vice president of marketing for appliances at Nationwide Marketing Group. He can be reached at
email@example.com - mail>firstname.lastname@example.org.