HOUSTON, Texas The good news for windshield wiper manufacturers and retailers is that heavy precipitation in the first half of the year resulted in a lot of wiper sales, the not-so-good news is that heavy precipitation in July didn’t get the same result, finds The NPD Group, a leading global information company.
Through April 2013, the wipers category was the fastest-growing DIY 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. Wiper growth slowed in July, falling to the No. 15 category position at 1.9 percent dollar volume growth versus last year, despite 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.”