Power Electronics

Supplier Competition in Plug-In Surge Suppressor Market

Over the past few years, significant changes have occurred in market share among the top suppliers of plug-in power line surge suppressors to the North American market. According to recent analysis by Venture Development Corporation (VDC), this market averaged 5% growth over the last two years, despite a difficult 2001. Leading suppliers have recognized this growth and are implementing strategies to increase their market share.

Significant changes in market share have occurred over the past two years. The primary driver of these changes has been the winning of channel accounts. Belkin, for example, has successfully focused on winning retail accounts in the hardware/home center channel over the last few years. Belkin has emerged as the leading plug-in surge suppressor vendor to the North American market.

Also emerging as a top player in the industry is UPS specialist American Power Conversion (APC). APC has leveraged its strong relationships in the distribution channel, developed through its UPS business, to make the company a leading surge suppressor vendor. Both APC and Belkin have developed products with distinctive designs and packaging rather than simply slapping their name on a generic private label product. This— with their relative strength in their respective primary channels— resulted in significant market share gains over the past few years.

Ranking of Leading North American Plug-in Power Line Surge Suppressor Suppliers:
All Plug-in Products

  1. Belkin
  2. American Power Conversion
  3. Tripp Lite (S.L. Waber)
  4. Power Sentry (Newpoint)
  5. Leviton Mfg. (Pacific Electricord)
  6. Line Cord Products

  7. Belkin
  8. American Power Conversion
  9. Power Sentry (Newpoint)
  10. Wall Plug Products

  11. Tripp Lite (S.L. Waber)
  12. Panamax
  13. Woods Industries
  14. Power Control Center Products

  15. Tripp Lite (S.L. Waber)
  16. Kensington Technology
  17. Belkin
  18. The plug-in surge suppressor market shows signs of becoming very much like a commodity business. There are few barriers to entry, and the competition for shelf space is intense. There has been a relatively slow trend toward consolidation in the industry, one that is not expected to increase rapidly in the near future. Such an intense business environment is increasingly forcing vendors to look for, and exploit, means by which they can gain a competitive advantage. Because end users still find it difficult to understand surge suppressor specifications and technical capabilities, enabling them to make better “apples to apples” product comparisons, vendors are vying to gain greater market share through greater “mind awareness.” Most vendors are making larger investments in advertising, marketing, and promotional activities, which aid in capturing the hearts and minds of the customers. Companies such as Belkin, APC and others have done well by fighting the commodization trend through distinctive and consistent product designs, product colors, and package graphics - not to mention high quality products. Factors such as brand name recognition, innovative packaging concepts, and value-added product features are believed to be crucial in enabling vendors to shape the purchasing decisions of end users that are, despite growing awareness, still uneducated on the needs for, and benefits of, surge protection.

    Given the increasing levels of intense competition over price, shelf space, and other critical issues, it seems likely that there will be growing consolidation among manufacturers of plug-in surge suppressor products over the next three to five years.

    To view the entire press release, including charts, visit www.vdc-corp.com/power/press/03/pr03-32.html.

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