Electrolux has pot shot at rival suppliers

By Patrick Avenell

MELBOURNE, VIC: Electrolux has gone on the front foot in the highly competitive cooking category, with its category manager saying that his company’s Australian-based operations keeps them on top of its OEM-based rivals.

The cooking category is one of the most densely packed segments in the appliance market, with over 40 suppliers currently distributing products. Electrolux, which also owns the Chef and Westinghouse brands, is seen as a leader in this category, and recently won the 2009 ERA for Cooking Brand Of The Year.

One of the reasons for this perceived superiority, according to category manager, food preparation and dishcare, Leigh Knight, is Electrolux’ Australian base.

“From the point of view of design and engineering, we do a lot of design and engineering in Australia, which is something that our competitors don’t do,” he said. “They generally source their products directly from their OEM suppliers or from their own factory, if they’re a distributor from the actual manufacturer’s factory overseas.”

“So they’re sort of reliant on the overseas companies and taking specifications that [are] suitable overseas, and [fitting] it into the Australian marketplace.

“We’ve got a full design studio in Australia. We’ve got a full R and D centre in Australia, so we’re very well resourced to meet the Australian market needs, much more so than our competitors.

“And that’s great for retailers because we can talk to retailers and feed that back through to our R and D centres and basically meet the market need better than probably anyone else can.”

Knight made these comments for the upcoming cooking feature in the August issue of Appliance Retailer magazine.

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