HOUSTON (Oct. 7, 2013) — NPD Group Inc. is reporting that of the 29 do-it-yourself automotive categories it tracks, wiper blades were fastest growing through April this year, but sales dropped of sharply in July.
Monthly wiper sales correlated with the amount of precipitation each month until July, when the category fell to the No. 15 position at 1.9-percent dollar volume growth over the same period in 2012, NPD said. This was despite the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's reporting that it was the fifth wettest July in the last 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 for NPD.
"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."
NPD Group provides global information and advisory services to drive better business decisions. The group's Retail Tracking Service monitors sales of automotive products from 25,000 retailers across mass and automotive specialty channels.