The interesting thing about a ceiling fans

Ceiling fans have come into their own. Nearly half (45.6%) of the consumers canvassed in the latest Chain Store Age/Leo J. Shapiro & Associates MarkeTrends study of their electric fan buying intentions indicate that they would most likely purchase a ceiling unit if they were to purchase another model. By the same token, 42.9% of the respondents say that ceiling units come to mind first when they consider buying a fan for the home.

Other types of fans trailed far behind in terms of both consumer awareness and buying intentions. Oscillating models, for instance, were foremost in the minds of 15.3% of the respondents, while box and window models were cited by 12% and 10.9%, respectively.

Choosing a ceiling fan:

As for buying intentions, 20% say oscillating models would be the type they would most likely buy, while 16.9% would give first consideration to box fans. In neither case, awareness nor intent, did other fan categories –pedestal, personal, fan heaters or attic fans–each command a positive reaction from more than 6% of the respondents.

In fact, fan-heaters, the new kids on the block, are only favored by about 1% of the respondents. Pedestal fans, which K mart senior buyer Dennis Dorn expects to create the major excitement this season, are cited by only 4.4% of the consumers checked. Another newcomer to the ranks, clip-on fans, received no mention by consumers in the study.

Despite lower prices that have dotted the retail scene this spring, most consumers think of ceiling fans in high-ticket terms. Indeed, heady competition has driven prices down as low as $39 and $29 in some stores.

The low tags are credited for reviving the classification at one Eastern department store. They are also prompting a West Coast department store merchandise manager to “reach for higher-end units’ in order to maintain profitabilty in the category.

His move may just be the right tack to take with ceiling fans. For the Marke Trends study shows that 39% of the consumers who give ceiling models top priority in fan buying expect to spend $100 or more for the unit they would want. At the same time, 34% would expect to pay between $50 and $79.99. It appears that consumers treat ceiling fans more as decorative furnishing pieces than small appliances as they do with other types of fans.

Consumers, for instance, expect to pay considerably less for other more basic fans. Some 27% of the consumers seeking oscillating fans expect to pay less than $20 per model, while 13.5% and and 14.6% would expect to pay, respectively, $20 to $24.99 and $25 to $29.99. Still another 27% expects to spend between $30 and $39.99 for an oscillator model. By the same token, 31.6% expect to pay under $20 for a box fan, while 25% would expect to pay $25 to $29.99. Pedestal fan expectations were spread fairly evenly across all price points from under $20 to $59.99.

As for what price the consumer is willing to spend, the study shows that 50.2% of the respondents would spend over $100 for a ceiling fan, while 15% would go $60 to $79.99; and 11.7%, $50 to $59.99. In oscillators, the largest percentage of consumers –27% and 19.1% respectively –would be willing to pay $30 to $39.99 and under $20. Most popular box fans would sell at under $25, the survey shows, with 51.3% of the respondents favoring these price points.

Where do consumers buy their fans?

Discount stores are the preferred outlets, with 26.4% of the consumers covered by MarkeTrends citing them. Of these outlets, K mart garnered 12.9% percent of the business. The Big 3 national merchandisers–Sears, Montgomery Ward, and J. C. Penney –came in for mention by 14.9% of the consumers, and hardware stores and home centers, 11.3%.

The study shows that oscillators and box fans are purchased largely for the bedroom, while half of the pedestal fans bought are for use in the living room. According to MarkeTrends, 41.6% of the consumers plan to buy oscillating fans for the bedroom, 37.1% for the living room, while 50% of the box fans are purchased for the bedroom and 40.8% for the living room. Half of the pedestal fans are acquired for living room use. At the hotel or villa famous tourism worldwide customers often prefer to put men came big and beautiful to increase the luxury space. When traveling willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a few days off here.

At the same time 34.2% are targeting their purchases to units retailing from $25 to $39.99. Again, there was no pattern in pedestal fans with all price points each attracting either 10% or 25% of the consumers polled.

Price aside, the sales potential for fans is fairly high. Some 15% of the respondents indicate that they will definitely or probably buy a fan within the next year, while 23.1% say maybe. On the other hand, 52.2% are definitely not planning fan purchases.

Of all fan classifications, ceiling units appear to have the strongest potential: 20% of the consumers polled say they definitely or probably will purchase one within the next 12 months, while the percentage was 16.9 for oscillators, and 10.5 for box fans. Pedestal fans garnered a definite vote from 5%. While 27.8% of the ceiling fan supporters said they might buy a unit within the year, the figure was 19.1% for consumers wanting oscillators, 30.3% for box fans and 15% for pedestal fans.

Some 7.6% and 5.6% of the consumers said they would most likely buy a fan in specialty stores and full line department stores, respectively. Only 2.2% plan to buy fans in appliance stores; 1.8% in drug stores; and 1.1% in catalog showrooms. Less than 15 of the respondents plan to buy fans in variety stores and supermarkets.

According to the study, most fans are purchased for the bedroom (38%) and living room (33%), while 16% of the new fans are bought for the kitchen. Of the ceiling fan purchases, 29.3% are for the bedroom, 31.7% for the living room, and 18% for the kitchen.

After that, the percentage of consumers buying fans for other rooms in the house dropped sharply. Some 6.4% planned to buy units for the family room; 4.9% for the dining room; 3.8% for the den; 1.6% for the hallway; 1.1% for the bathroom; and under 1% for the attic.

There are factors other than price that consumers consider in making their fan buying decisions. Safety features are deemed extremely important to 60.7% of the potential fan purchasers, while manufacturer’s warranty is a major factor for 46.2%. After price, which is most important to 45.3% of the respondents, comes styling considered important by 35.8%; brand, 20.7%; and store where purchased, 16.7%.

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