Consumers may be falling out of love with their front-load washing machines, according to a survey by The NPD Group, a market research firm based in Port Washington, N.Y. A study of consumer shopping habits in the kitchen appliance category showed that top-load washers are outpacing front loaders in terms of dollar growth, up 8% vs. a slower increase of 5% for front-loaders.
“In laundry, the front-load washer craze may seem to have run its course, as top-load washers make a come-back,” said Mark Delaney, director of The NPD Group’s home division. “On the other hand, it may just be a case of the early adopters needing to be re-sold on replacing their current front-load model with a newer version."
Another trend indicated by the data was in refrigeration, where French door models continue to see growth. Sales were up 15% in November 2010 compared to November 2009.
“French door refrigerators appear to be so strong that even as the premium market struggles, they’re thriving, and actually growing in size as well as share,” said Delaney.