By Claire Reilly
Shriro Australia held the official launch of its new showroom and office in the Sydney suburb of Kingsgrove over night, with staff members, their families and a number of industry heavyweights attending the event.
The company – which owns the Omega, Omega Altise, Blanco and Everdure appliance brands – put on quite a show at the event, with music from Doug Parkinson, appearances by TV personality Richard Wilkins and MasterChef Australia Season 1 winner Julie Goodwin, as well as an impromptu opera performance in the main showroom.
The jumping castle and face painting for the children was curiously contrasted by scantily-clad Brazilian dancers who were there to entertain the adults and promote Everdure’s range of Brazilian-inspired Churrasco barbecues.
Speaking at the event, Mike Westrup, CEO of Shriro Australia, regaled the crowd with the story of Shriro’s history – from its Russian heritage and the company’s origins in the fur trade right up to Shriro’s purchase of Hagemeyer Brands Australia in 2011.
“We’re quite a diverse company," said Westrup. "It’s a growing company that’s been growing and growing and growing. What we’ve got today in Australia is a business that’s pretty special for us.
“One of the philosophies we’ve always had is to invest not only in our brands and in our products, but also our people. Consequently, this year we’ve spent just under $3 million around Australia developing showrooms in Perth, showrooms and offices in Melbourne and Sydney, and also renovating a showroom in Brisbane.
“The acquisition of Hagemeyer was not a small one. We actually purchased a company that was just under two-and-a-half times bigger than us which, by any stretch of the imagination is not an easy task. However, we’re very happy with the company that we’ve got.”
In his concluding comments, Westrup thanked Shriro’s staff, customers and suppliers, before saving the final thanks for the company’s lawyers and “our new soul mates, the bank”.
Guests enjoyed snacks cooked on Everdure barbecues.
Knee-high boots and feathers shown off by the Brazilian dancers recruited to entertain the crowd.
Shriro Australia CEO, Mike Westrup.
Blanco products on display.
The showroom also has space dedicated to Omega.
MasterChef Australia star Julie Goodwin gives a cooking demonstration to guests.