Trends, predictions and observations.
2018 is a watershed year for Smeg Australia as it celebrates its 70 year anniversary and takes product design and technology to the next level, according to managing director, Jim Kalotheos.
“Now is a really exciting time to engage with our brand,” he told Appliance Retailer. “We have so many stories to tell, on so many levels – and that’s exactly what great sales people do, tell great stories. Do not underestimate how much the consumer is looking to us, the industry, to inspire them and help them realise their dreams of the perfect kitchen.”
And when it comes to the kitchen, the role of design is key. “Kitchen appliances have evolved from formulaic boxes to beautifully designed furniture,” Kalotheos said.
“Authenticity is also key and something Smeg has been passionate about for decades as the only brand to work with world leading architects and designers to ensure integrity and authenticity in design.”
Technology is another huge trend but it has to make a genuine contribution to ease of life. “Consumers no longer want technology for technology’s sake. At EuroCucina, Smeg showcased appliances with accompanying apps that demonstrate real consumer benefit and the response was overwhelming. Attendance on the Smeg stand was 45% up on last year,” he said.
As for the market, he praised low interest rates which have driven a strong renovation market – a great boon to kitchen appliances. “Although the market is buoyant there will be increased retail competition – consumers are looking for far more than a good deal,” he said.
“Brands will increasingly try to introduce appliances that are individual in design, colour and finish. But if it is not within the corporate structure of a company to do this, it will be privately owned companies with the passion and belief in outstanding design that will invest in totally consumer focused products. Smeg will continue to infuse products with fun, edgy design, features and facets that only Smeg could deliver. In essence, that’s who Smeg is and that’s how we bring family together.”