General Merchandise/HBC

Heavy Precipitation Spurs Wiper Growth … Except When It Doesn't

Previous above-average precipitation already accounted for purchase, says NPD

HOUSTON -- Heavy precipitation in the first half of the year resulted in a lot of wiper sales, although heavy precipitation in July did not get the same result, according to a report by The NPD Group, a leading global information company.

NPD windshield wipers

Through April 2013, the wipers category was the fastest growing do-it-yourself automotive category out of 29 categories tracked by NPD's Retail Tracking Service, which monitors sales of automotive products from 25,000 retailers across the mass and automotive specialty channels. NPD reports that the monthly sales of wipers correlated with the amount of precipitation each month until July. Wipers growth slowed in July falling to the No. 15 category position at 1.9% dollar volume growth versus last year, despite National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reporting that July was the fifth wettest July in the past 119 years.

"The answer to the riddle is that consumers already replaced their wipers given three prior months of above average precipitation," said David Portalatin, aftermarket industry analyst. "What this says to manufacturers and retailers is that they should tag the heavy purchase months in the first half of the year and gear up to promote replacement blades in several months."

The NPD Group, Houston, provides global information and advisory services for sectors including automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, entertainment, fashion, food and foodservice, home, luxury, mobile, office supplies, sports, technology, toys and video games.

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