Retailer Comes First, Then Brand When Shopping for Vacuums

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According to a new report from The NPD Group, Inc., pricing and convenience weigh heavily in consumers' minds when deciding where to shop for vacuum products. As this new report further reveals, many consumers consider the store first, and then shop among the brands and models of vacuums offered. Consumer Spending logo

While the importance of price and convenience has worked in favor of mass merchants, the emphasis on retailers may be troubling for manufacturers, as it calls brand loyalty into question. Adding to this concern, about half of indoor vacuum owners surveyed said that the brand of their primary vacuum is different from one previously owned.

"These insights speak volumes, emphasizing that manufacturers need to constantly ‘re-sell' their brand, even to current owners," said Peter Goldman, president of NPD's home industry sector. "In the ongoing effort to build brand equity, manufacturers may want to re-examine how they utilize their advertising and marketing dollars, strategizing not only within their organization, but with their retail partners as well," said Goldman.

Keeping it Clean

When it comes to ownership, nearly nine in 10 respondents own some type of electric floor care product*, with most ownership falling within the vacuum family. The average household owns 2–3 electric floor care appliances. Some electric floor care categories, such as carpet sweepers and bare-floor cleaners, are new to the market, and thus are more likely to have been purchased in the last two years.

Within vacuums, uprights account for the majority owned (69%), followed by workshops and handhelds. The average household owns 2.0 vacuum cleaners in total.

Owners of vacuums told NPD when purchasing their next vacuum they will consider suctioning power, product durability, ease of use, and ease of mobility. Though mass will continue to be their channel of choice, the majority of vacuum owners are realistic that they need to pay a premium for certain features.  Those who own and use an indoor vacuum expect to pay an average of $232.50 to replace their current vacuum cleaner.

"Considering the wide range of price points available to vacuum consumers, this number sends a clear picture of what they consider to be a premium price. Consumers, while clear on the features they want in a vacuum, continue to be driven by the economy as well, with more focus on the price and value of these products than in recent years," said Goldman.

*Electric floor care products refers to all vacuums, as well as electric bare-floor cleaners/steam mops, carpet sweepers, deep carpet cleaner/extractors, and other types of electric floor care products.

Research conducted by The NPD Group, November 23, 2009.  Website: www​.npd​.com.