Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. beat its rivals in the race to become the biggest market player in U.S. consumer electronics industry in the fourth quarter. This is no mean feat, considering it edged out seasoned rivals such as Whirlpool Corporation , research by TraQline showed.
The South Korean electronics giant accounted for 16.6 percent of U.S. consumer electronics sales between October and December last year, relegating long-time market leader Whirlpool to the second place with a market share of 15.7 percent.
TraQline, which is owned by Stevenson Company, conducts market surveys quarterly. The surveys involve questioning consumers on five consumer electronics appliances such as driers, washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators and ovens. The survey doesn’t take into account vacuums and air conditioners since these items are mostly bought by corporations, while the former is produced by several small producers.
Market Share Rises to 14.9 Percent
Samsung’s market share in the U.S. consumer appliances market stood at 14.9 percent in the entire 2015, compared with 16.4 percent for Whirlpool. General Electronics stood third with a market share of 14.3 percent, while LG Electronics Inc. followed with 13.5 percent.
The secret to Samsung’s exploits rest largely on its strategy to reach to the premium end of the U.S. consumer electronics market. The South Korean company, which also makes other sophisticated products such as Samsung Galaxy smartphones, launched Chef Collection range of its luxury consumer electronics products last June. The brand includes an oven, microwave, dishwasher and a refrigerator. The decision was successful as all products registered roaring sales.
Samsung was forced to increase the size of some of its appliances such as washing machine, refrigerator and dryer in order to satisfy the average American consumer’s appetite for large devices.
A consumer satisfaction survey conducted in 2015 by JD Power showed that Samsung’s front-load washing machine and “French door” refrigerator was one of the products that dominated the list of repeated purchases over the previous two years.
Rivals Not Left Out…
Samsung’s strategy to tap into the premium market has been aped by rivals such as LG Electronics, which launched its “Signature” line of premium consumer electronics that includes refrigerators, premium TVs and washing machines.
However, Samsung’s success in the U.S. consumer electronics market won’t come without a cost, going by recent behavior of disgruntled U.S. rivals that have resorted to courts and government petitions in order to hold on to their market share. Last week, the company’s smartphones division lost a case to Apple Inc. over patent-related issues. In December, Whirlpool petitioned U.S. government to slap duties on washing machines made by LG and Samsung in China. Whirlpool argues that Samsung and LG Electronics have increased their U.S. market share by retailing their washers at prices lower than the cost of production.