e&s: Investment in the kitchen bigger than ever before

With consumers purchasing multiple appliances just for cooking.

e&s managing director, Rob Sinclair shares his insights on the retail market and his expectations for the remainder of 2017.

The biggest industry trend I have seen is… During my time in the industry, I have seen the kitchen evolve from a room where you simply cook and slave away hours on end, to an open plan, sophisticated space where we are proud to show off our appliances.

The list goes on when it comes to the advancements in kitchen appliances. Back when I started in 1981, kitchen customers would mostly purchase an oven and fridge for their renovation or build versus now, where we’ll sell six kitchen appliances just for cooking – and we haven’t even got to the kitchen benchtop yet.

Gone are days of just purchasing an upright stove, we now have customers investing in multiple-use and specialty appliances that offer so much more control and flexibility in the home. Programs like Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules have played a part in the growing kitchen trend. Now there is a genuine desire to get in the kitchen and enjoy cooking and creating. In fact, I’d say the kitchen revolution is the biggest trend I’ve seen in my time.

My industry prediction for the future is…Retailers gaining more data on what customers really want, and then delivering experiences that live up to their expectations. For example, the display technology Fisher & Paykel have implemented in e&s showrooms enables us – with the touch of button – to scroll through the product range, tap on specifications and email those specifications and images straight to the customer, while they are still in the store. Technology that engages customers will help sell the true value of products, and the ability to ‘try before you buy’ will continue to be important.

My observation on the industry is…We have seen significant investments in delivering amazing retail experiences, engaging consumers and taking them on an interactive journey. However, we are seeing cases where retail experiences are dated and uninspiring, with staff that lack the training and skills to talk about products, and are only equipped to talk price with a customer, which has sadly led to price erosion in some categories.

My message to suppliers is…To try and understand individual retailer needs and for the organisation to deliver high quality displays and professionally trained staff who can confidently explain product features and benefits. This ensures both retailers and suppliers can exist in profitable harmony, which ultimately leads to the strength of a great industry.

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