In our Influencers series run in conjunction with Appliance Retailer magazine, we speak to the industry leaders, big brands and well-known identities that have helped shape the electrical retail industry in 2013.
Andrew Cronin, MD of Smeg Australia, today delivers some positivity, saying Smeg has a huge year ahead and that ‘forward-thinking’ retailers can beneifit.
How has the first half of 2013 been for your business?
Smeg has had a very strong first half of 2013. We have performed well in all categories, driving interest by constantly striving to raise the bar in terms of innovation and design. New and unique products such as the Victoria freestanding cooker and the FAB28 Denim refrigerator have contributed to the brand’s profile and registered with the consumer looking for inspiration in their kitchens.
What are your predictions for the second half of the year?
Smeg has a huge second half planned. We have new products launching in practically every category, particularly in the inbuilt ovens segment, and will be participating in major culinary and design events, partnering with some of the country’s best chefs and leading design houses.
What opportunities do you see for the electrical retailing industry?
There are great opportunities for those forward-looking retailers who don’t constantly look back at the way things have changed but look forward to the great innovation that is taking place in the world of appliances. They can play a key role in engaging with the consumer, educating the consumer and inspiring the consumer in what can be a complex arena of fast-changing technology and design.
What threats are currently present in the industry?
The dumping of cheap, ‘no brand’ appliances on the market, which in the-long run is an expensive option because of poor quality and lack of functionality. Also, the better-quality brand names chasing market share at the expense of average selling price.
What is your favourite product of 2013 so far?
Hard choice, but I would have to say our new Semi-Pro dishwashers, which can perform a washing cycle in only 16 minutes, that launched in June. These epitomise everything Smeg stands for: Innovation, design and technology. It is genuinely satisfying to be able to deliver on the Smeg promise of ‘Technology with Style’.