First retailer reaction: MD speaks about Sunbeam/Breville takeover

By Patrick Avenell

BRISBANE, QLD & SYDNEY, NSW: A merged super small appliance supplier, such as a combined Sunbeam and Breville, would not result in reduced competition when purchasing stock for sale at the retail level, according to BSR Group managing director Ian Brown.

Moments after the announcement, Brown spoke to Current.com.au, telling his retailers and the industry that he doesn’t expect this to have a detrimental effect on the category.

“The way I see it is, Sunbeam is providing us with exceptional service, and Breville is providing us with exceptional service, and we admire both those companies,” Brown said.

“The situation is quite simple: both brands have an enormous amount of value in Australia. Sunbeam, when [it] takes over Breville, providing the brand remains there, and the quality remains there: it won’t affect us at all.”

We asked Brown the question that will determine whether the ACCC green lights this takeover: will there be reduced competition?

“No, don’t worry about that,” was Brown’s immediate response.

“There’s enough competition in that particular category to make sure that their products are competitive, I’m not worried about that at all, I don’t see that as an issue.

“I know we thought about this, and we worried about this, when Electrolux took over Kelvinator and Simpson and we worried, and without a doubt they’ve all had to remain very competitive.”

Brown said he was not concerned at the prospect of conducting combined Sunbeam and Breville sales meetings. He said that the strength of their relationships would be key to a smooth transition.

“We have a very close working relationship with all the staff at Sunbeam and all the staff at Breville and they keep us in pretty good communication.

“Good luck to them, and I’m pretty sure it won’t have an impact, I’m pretty sure life will go on the way it is, I’m pretty sure it will be business as usual.”

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