Small Appliances Remain Key Q4 In-Store Retail Destination


SAN FRANCISCO— Traditional brick-and-mortar retail brands increased their importance as destinations for small appliances during the fourth quarter of 2017, according to proprietary consumer data from InfoScout, a consumer market analytics company based here.

InfoScout collected detailed receipt data from its proprietary panel of more than 300,000 households representing nearly 100,000 small kitchen appliance shopping trips for the past year, according to Peter Greene, InfoScout’s practice director for consumer durables. The company defines a trip as a purchase occasion including a given category, in this case small appliances.

“We analyzed this information to understand where consumers shopped in 2017, to identify how their shopping habits changed during the fourth quarter holiday season and to identify which retailers benefited from these changes,” Greene said.

Walmart, Target and Bed Bath & Beyond each experienced fourth quarter increases of 70% or more in their monthly average of small appliances trips (combining in-store and online traffic) compared to the monthly average of such trips for each retailer during the first, second and third quarters. Amazon, by comparison, saw just a 36% fourth quarter increase in its monthly small appliance trip average over its monthly trip average in the first three quarters.

Costco saw a 268% increase in its monthly small electrics trip average in the fourth quarter versus its first-through-third-quarter monthly trip average.

Looking at percentages of trips for small kitchen appliances by category, InfoScout reported small kitchen appliance staples such as coffeemakers, food processors, blenders, slow/pressure/multi cookers performed well, while trips for “novelty” appliances, which includes a combination of categories including ice cream makers and popcorn makers, surged in the fourth quarter, Greene said.

Nearly a third of Costco’s small kitchen appliance trips during the fourth quarter included a novelty appliance, compared to 10% for Amazon.

“Key brick-and-mortar retailers experienced increases in store and online trips during the fourth quarter that included a novelty appliance, except for Amazon, which remained steady compared to its novelty appliance trips during the balance of the year,” Greene said.