Changes Sweeping The Market


New lifestyles, newcomers challenge industry

One of the most traditional of businesses, vacuum cleaners, has been experiencing some significant changes.

The total market, as traditionally defined, may not be growing substantially, but some important developments are changing the industry:

–The consumer penchant today for more than one vac, exemplified by the popularity of the Dustbuster and substantiated by the anticipated growth of stick vacs and wet-day models.

–Product changes fueled by demographics. While a super-performance class is developing, lightweight and convenience features are becoming more important as the population ages and seeks labor saving tools.

–An influx of foreign suppliers moving to challenge the long established giants, Hoover and Eureka, who each claims 32 to 35 percent share of market. Sharp Electronics, Whirlpool, Miele Apppliances and Moulinex/Hamilton Beach have entered the American market within the year. At the same time, Pansonic, Black + Decker bdh2000plĀ and Sanyo are beefing up their lines to strengthen their position here -Market: the best car vacuum cleaner. [Read more…]


U.S. Vac Mfrs. Undaunted By Imports

BRIDGEPORT, CT–Domestic floor care manufacturers are by far and away the winners in the import war. Unlike their peers in the glassware and cookware industries, who have suffered tremendous blows from imports in recent years, domestic vacum cleaner manufacturers report little if any interference from overseas.

A report on imports from the U.S. Department of Commerce substantiates the strength of domestic vac manufacturers. Full-size vac imports in 1984 totaled 434,000 units, a figure that barely makes a dent in sales reported by domestic manufacturers of nearly 8.1 million units.

And while that same government report notes that imports of rechargeable hand vacs reached the 1.8 million unit level in 1984, domestic manufacturers remain unworried. A Black & Decker spokesperson stated that even though more rechargeable hand vacs are entering this country under well-known brand names, consumers realize the low quality and performance of the units, and will remain loyal to higher quality products like the Dustbuster line.

“The hand-held market has continued to expand,” the B&D spokesperson continued, “so imports have not impacted domestic manufacturers.” She added that while imports are not yet a substantial part of the rechargeable hand-held market, “they’re a continuing factor.” [Read more…]