Mitsubishi Electric has broadened its range of refrigeration with the launch of a new three-door red and black gloss refrigerator, building on the strong platform of growth over the last 12 months.
According to Mitsubishi Electric managing director, Jeremy Needham, the launch of the two refrigerators follows a recent lift in sales in the category.
“For a whole bunch of reasons – the economy, open plan living, the growth of higher end apartments in Australia – the higher end of fridges is doing very well.
“As property values have increased, people are more comfortable with a $30,000 or $40,000 kitchen and these refrigerators are around the $5,000 mark and people are fine with this,” he said.
“At Mitsubishi Electric, our market share for fridges has doubled in value in the last 12 months. We have the right fridges at the time when this market is growing. Right now, we have the right product at the right time.
“Our brand is very important – we don’t have low cost products. We doubled our market share before we released the WX fridge. In May 2015, which is normally a quieter month of the year, we sold more fridges than ever before.
“We find this works in very well with our retail partners. They would rather sell one high end fridge than five cheaper ones.
“The WX fridge with a glass front is selling so well. We sell through Domayne, Harvey Norman and a lot of the Narta retailers – Betta, Bing Lee, Winnings, Appliances Online.”
Needham said he is excited about the launch of the new red and black gloss three-door refrigerator (RRP $1459) onto the Australian market. While he admitted Mitsubishi Electric is not the first to think of bringing colour into the whitegoods category, he said the company is the first to do this in the higher end.
“Smeg has an old-fashioned fridge that’s red so we are not the first. But in the high end refrigeration market, there is not a lot of colour so our new range will change that. Our agents in New Zealand have had surprising success with these red fridges. Usually high end fridges are stainless steel but now we have glass fridges in white and mahogany,” he added.
As well as the red and black three-door models which will be exclusive to the Narta group, Mitsubishi Electric will release what they call the ‘L4 Mini’. The L4 Grande, which is already available in the market, is a large two door fridge which is 1820mm high. In Australia, this height was not as popular as people prefer to have some cupboard space above their fridges, so Mitsubishi Electric will now release the L4 Mini at 1700mm high.
“The good thing for consumers is the L4 Mini will be well under the $3,000 mark, hitting the sweet spot which is in the high end range – but not out of reach.”