By Patrick Avenell
Six months after speaking out against destructive rumours harming its business, GAF Control is now looking forward to the Christmas gift-giving season and hot weather for the seasonal category.
“It’s been a good year for GAF Control — a year of consolidation and steady sales growth — after a rocky period earlier in the year due to some destabilising external factors, which have now completely receded,” said general manager Nicholas Fry.
Back in June 2012, Fry’s boss and GAF Control managing director Stuart Foley launched an extraordinary attack on former employees he claimed were waging a guerrilla war against the company, which supplies the Heller, Sunair, Pye and Tiffany brands.
“These rumours reflect [us] terribly and it’s quite a shock to me,” Foley said at the time. “I wish to hell I could take legal action against people, but the people that are doing this wouldn’t have a dime to rub together.”
With these troubles now in the past, Fry has been able to focus on preparing for GAF’s important cooling season and expand the business into new categories.
“Our small and large appliances businesses are expanding and we had a very successful heating season,” Fry said.
“The main areas of growth have been in our wide range of small appliances under the Tiffany and Heller brands. Our whitegoods range continues to perform strongly, and our hardware business goes from strength to strength.”
Fry said there would be a considerable expansion of GAF’s small appliance range, including new deep fryers, hand mixers, frypans, hand vacs and an electric wok.
Before this roll-out, however, Fry must contend with the notoriously unpredictable seasonal category, which is heavily reliant on early hot weather for cooling appliance sales.
“Warmer than normal waters persisting in the Indian Ocean, as well as warmer than normal tropical Pacific waters will see above-average temperatures across Australia for the December-February period,” predicted Fry.
“It’s been a few years since we had a warmer-than-average summer, so we are excited at the prospect of providing our retail partners an opportunity to access our wide range of cooling products.
“We have planned aggressively, we are in stock and pre-summer sales have been extremely positive so far.”