Samsung wants top spot in fridges and washing machines

By Matthew Henry

MELBOURNE: Samsung Electronics has vowed to replicate the success of its Australian television business with its home appliances and has set the goal of becoming the leading refrigeration and washing machines brand by 2009.

Speaking at a retail trade event last night in Melbourne’s Hilton on the Park for the launch of the brand’s 2007 whitegoods and cookware range, Samsung’s new managing director, Kevin Choi, said the company’s home appliances business lags behind other regions, despite strong performance in categories such as LCD TV. 

“One of my keys goals is to lead Samsung Electronics Australia’s home appliances to the level of success we have achieved in other regions such as Europe. I believe we can convert the success of our LCD TV business to Samsung’s home appliance business in Australia,” he said.

Last year Samsung’s home appliance business generated over $US100 million in Australia, but the company hopes for 20 per cent growth in 2007 and has appealed to retailers for their support in achieving this.

Last night saw the unveiling of the brand’s debut cookware range including built-in ovens and gas and ceramic cooktops.

The new range will be promoted by celebrity chef Iain “Hewy” Hewitson on his daytime cooking show.

Samsung marketing manager, Kurt Jovais, told retailers last night that market research conducted by the brand found that consumer preference for the Samsung brand is at an all time high, but the association is mainly with AV products rather than home appliances.

However, Jovais added that the research shows promise for stronger identification with the company’s other products including cookware.

“Our brand equity is tied up in our TVs and AV products, but our research has found that this translates to other product categories. The results of looking into consumer response to our cookware range have been very impressive. Samsung is a brand that consumers want,” said Jovais.

“There is no reason Samsung cannot achieve the success in Australia that it has in other markets.”

Globally, Samsung’s 2006 sales were over $77 billion. Lee claims the Samsung company is bigger than Microsoft, Coca Cola and McDonalds put together.

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