De Dietrich returning to the Australian market after turbulent time in the wilderness

De Dietrich's famous Le Piano induction cooktop will form part of the new range, distributed in Australia by Eurolinx.

De Dietrich’s famous Le Piano induction cooktop will form part of the new range, distributed in Australia by Eurolinx.

Premium French appliance brand De Dietrich has a history dating back 330 years to 1684, but in Australia, the last two years stand out as a rollercoaster ride for the brand. After moving from Hagemeyer Brands Australia to Shriro and then leaving the Australian retail landscape altogether, De Dietrich is back, joining Italian brand ILVE at the Eurolinx brand stable.

Appliance Retailer spoke to Eurolinx marketing manager Daniel Bertuccio about the return of De Dietrich to the Australian market after an 18 month absence.

“We’re excited about bringing De Dietrich back to Australia,” said Bertuccio. “Obviously it’s gone away for about 18 months due to previous distributors, so we’re happy to have it in our stable. Our plans for it are to maintain its niche, very premium status.”

While De Dietrich has a legacy in the Australian market, Bertuccio also acknowledges that it hasn’t always had a smooth run. Former distributors Shriro bought De Dietrich from Hagemeyer in 2011, but exited the brand just over a year later, selling stock in a Grays Online fire sale. Bertuccio admits this was not ideal.

“Unfortunately the way it was sold on Grays was completely out of our control. [Shriro] had stock they no longer needed, they needed to get rid of it somewhere and Grays was the obvious outlet. It’s been 12 months since that Grays fire sale and one of the reasons we’ve delayed our launch was strategic on our part — obviously it’s not the worst thing in the world to let that ‘fire sale’ impression of the brand go away.”

Speaking about the former distributors, Bertuccio said they fell victim to “unfortunate circumstances” including a major retail collapse.

“Obviously they wouldn’t have budgeted for Clive Peeters to do what they did,” he said. “Their loss is our gain — that’s kind of the way we have to look at it.

“The only place that didn’t have a massive presence with the Clive Peeters brand was Sydney — which is the biggest market. Soon after Clive Peeters came to Sydney it went down, so it wasn’t the ideal situation. A few Harvey Norman stores sold it, but it hasn’t got the following that it should have. So there’s a bit of hard work for us there, but we’ll get there.

“The important part is, being a niche and truly premium product and brand, we don’t want to bastardise it by throwing it out and having it everywhere. We want to have select retailers and get it going on a slower level, to make sure it’s well received and represented the right way.”

As part of that measured approach, Eurolinx has been renovating its showrooms around the country to make way for De Dietrich appliances and preparing for a national launch event. The brand also launched a locally-focused De Dietrich website late last year, and ran teaser campaigns in targeted lifestyle magazines to gauge consumer interest.

“We thought we’d throw some ads out there to see if people recognised the brand and wanted to get more information, to see if we had repeat customers or new customers or people that thought it was simply not available anymore. They were very well received — we were getting phone calls almost as soon as the magazines hit the shelves.

“We’ve come to realise that a lot of people that had De Dietrich ovens will take pride in the fact that they do have a De Dietrich oven. As soon as the brand was back, the response we got was almost instant.”

Eurolinx has selected a range of roughly 65 SKUs from the global De Dietrich range, including ovens and induction cooktops, which Bertuccio said is “where the brand’s strengths lie”. The focus will be on advanced technology and “cutting edge” products, pitched at the high end of the market.

“From the research we’ve done, the De Dietrich customer is very much an upmarket customer,” he said. “It’s definitely not a mid-range product; the price-points are definitely demanding of a top-end consumer.”

But despite its niche, high-end status, Bertuccio said there is still space for De Dietrich in the crowded cooking appliance market.

“The brand was here before, so there’s already space for it — we’re just taking back that space.”

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