CHICAGO–Canister vacuum cleaner sales are continuing to play a game of catchup with uprights–the most popular cleaner category in the country. But this year, the sales gap between the two categories has narrowed to 4.3 million uprights sold vs. 3.2 million canisters.
The growth in canisters, especially in the high-end market, industry experts agree, is the result of the determination by foreign producers to capture a share of the American market with a strategy that is based on what they do best–the manufacture of canister cleaners.
Importers who have already established a solid base in this country with canisters include Sharp Electronics, Toshiba and Miele Appliances. Americans joining in the surge of canisters include The Eureka Co. (with its Express line), The Hoover Co. (Dimension canisters) and Whirlpool Corp.
Companies planning on canister introductions next year include Bionaire Corp.–which will introduce units at next Spring’s NHMA Show, and distribution by Schawbel Corp. of Rowenta canisters.
David Allen, division vp/marketing communications for Whirlpool, explained that high-end canister introductions by U.S. and foreign manufacturers is the result of the growth potential of the category. “If anyone enters this market (canisters) they’re not going to come in at the low-end. The high-end is where the profit is. [Read more…]