By Claire Reilly
Following a busy Christmas, small appliance brands are once again gearing up for another peak sales period in the lead up to Mother’s Day. For its part, Breville has high hopes for the coming months and the year ahead, with the company looking forward to a strong year in retail.
As retailers prepare to see new stock coming into their stores, Current.com.au spoke to the general manager of Breville, Jeremy Sargeant, about plans for the year ahead and what the brand would be focusing on in 2013.
“We’re continuing to drive for innovation in products and to add value to the category,” said Sargeant. “Breville average selling prices have increased over the last year, whereas in many cases in other categories, they’ve deflated. So that’s our major focus. Business is good in small appliances and we believe we can help continue to drive some growth in a market that is fairly tough.
“For 2013 we’re positive about Australia bouncing back and starting to engage retail a little bit more. Certainly in our category, there is a lot of interest from consumers and the one thing that we have found is that, if you’ve got a good product and you’ve got some innovation, consumers are still out there with money to buy it.”
Acknowledging the importance of innovation, Sargeant said Breville would continue to invest in its Australian research and development, which is a “major focus” of the business. This was especially important as brands such as Breville sought to distinguish themselves from retail house brands.
“With any of the major retailers, they’ve got the facility and the ability to source their own products directly,” he said. “The challenge for brands is to make sure a brand has differentiation and can stand up against the house brand product. That’s why we focus so heavily on building innovation into our products, so that the consumer can see an obvious difference in what is a price-targeted item, as opposed to something that has added value to it and can command a premium price.”
While Sargeant was staying tight-lipped on what products would be hitting the market for Mother’s Day, he had strong hopes for the buying period.
“I’m hoping to see that our categories grow, that the consumer re-engages in our products and continues to help drive some growth in a marketplace that’s been doing it fairly tough,” he said.
“But I’m positive. We’ve already done some launches to our major retailers and had some very positive feedback with what we’re doing. They’re always excited about Breville products!”