Sunbeam charts path back to the top in five steps

After a challenging year for the small appliance brand, Sunbeam CEO Karen Hope today outlined the five pillars to “reinventing Sunbeam” in a presentation to investors today. These five steps are:

  1. Develop a high performance team
  2. Regain innovation leadership
  3. Win back consumer and customer preference
  4. Improve margins
  5. Simplify the way we do business

In its full year financial results for FY14, Sunbeam’s sales were down 9 per cent year-on-year to $117.2 million and the underlying EBIT was down 83 per cent to $1.5 million. The company cited difficult trading conditions caused by a decline in the Australian small appliances market, a lack of innovative new products and the declining Australian dollar.

In November, Sunbeam’s parent company GUD Holdings sold 49 per cent of Sunbeam to US-based Jarden Corporation, owner of the Sunbeam brand outside Australia and New Zealand.

As part of the deal, GUD purchased 49 per cent of Jarden’s Asian sales and marketing business. This business will operate under a unified management structure, which will be led by Hope as CEO. According to a statement from GUD, the new business is tasked with growing sales of both Sunbeam and Jarden’s array of products in the Asia-Pacific region. It is expected to be active in 20 countries across the region in 2015 and in FY15 the new venture is expected to generate sales of around AU $140 million on an annualised basis.

The first of the five pillars to reinventing Sunbeam is “develop a high performance team.”  This includes forming a new executive team, making the New Zealand office report into Australia and changes in key account management and field sales structure.

The second pillar, “regain innovation leadership”, addresses one of the key problems Sunbeam itself has identified: a lack of innovative new products. Sunbeam will rebuild its product pipeline and has already established an innovation hub with initial product ideas currently undergoing market testing.

The third pillar is “win back consumer and customer preference”. This will partly be achieved through disruptive and targeted marketing, such as Sunbeam’s current campaigns Real Men Cook, 7 Measures of Mixing, and Cooking is Competitive.

The 7 Measures of Mixing campaign to push Sunbeam’s bench mixers including this new copper Planetary Mixmaster.

The 7 Measures of Mixing campaign supports Sunbeam’s bench mixers including this new copper Planetary Mixmaster.

Pillar number four, “Improve margins”, includes price increases, changes to trading terms, logistics and supply chains, cost to serve, SKU rationalisation and outlet stores.

In July 2014, Appliance Retailer reported after a successful trial selling its accessories direct to customers via its website, Sunbeam added its food prep, cooking, cooling, coffee, ironing, personal care products and electric blankets to its online store.

Pillar five, “Simplify the way we do business”, concerns Sunbeam’s processes, tools and reporting.

The partnership with Jarden means Sunbeam will be able to overcome problems of scale and product development.

Jarden Consumer Solutions (JCS) is Jarden corporation’s small appliance subsidiary and it manages a portfolio of 16 brands — including Oster, Rival, Bionaire, Foodsaver, Mr Coffee and Crockpot — enabling Sunbeam to expand its offering and to compete more expansively in Australian and New Zealand.

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