27,000 Appliances Sold In 2.5 Hours In Rebate Program
By: Francine Knowles
September 25, 2010
Illinois consumers shopping for energy-efficient appliances snapped up an estimated $3.6 million in rebates by 10:30 a.m. Friday morning, according to Gov. Quinn's office.
"We figure approximately 27,000 appliances were sold in two and a half hours," said Illinois Retail Merchants Association President and Chief Executive Officer David Vite. "We have never seen anything quite like this."I think they're all trying to come up for oxygen," he said of retailers.
The rebate program generated $25 million in sales, Quinn's office said.
The program, which began at 8 a.m., offered 15 percent rebates at checkout, up to $250 per appliance, on energy Star-qualified refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers and clothes washers for Friday only. The program was slated to last until the money ran out.
Well over 1,000 people lined up outside Abt Electronics in Glenview store looking to take advantage of the program, said store manager Randy Goldman.
"From what I hear, some people were here as early as 5 a.m," he said. "We were very busy."
By contrast, a $6.2 million federal rebate program in April lasted 11 hours before its funding ran out.
Roughly 200 shoppers waited outside Woodfield Mall's Sears store by 8 a.m. Friday, said Sears spokesman Larry Costello.
"As we saw last April, the program did result in really strong customer turnout," Costello said, declining to disclose sales figures.
The $3.6 million rebate program included $2.4 million in federal funds and more than $1.2 million from a state fund for energy-efficient residential use. The state had earlier estimated that $3 million in rebates would be given out Friday. Excluding the state funding, the rebates came from federal stimulus money.
Some retailers in Friday's rebate program are continuing to offer their own promotions and discounts throughout the weekend, Vite noted. For a list of the more than 450 retailers that participated in the program, visit IllinoisEnergy.org/appliances.
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