It was all giant pretzels and chilled beers as Bora celebrated the grand opening of its new showroom, German style, in Sydney’s inner west last night.
The new showroom, located on busy Victoria Road in Drummoyne, opposite the old Sydney Sony Centre, is the first for the Australian market and the first outside Europe. With plenty of the company’s head honchos flown in from Germany, as well as retailers from interstate, it was clearly an occasion to celebrate.
Bora Australia CEO Markus Ostermaier kicked off proceedings talking up the showroom as a “world-class experience of Bora technology and design” and a place that was bringing “a touch of Bavaria” to Australian shores.
Bora’s technology and design was in full force at the showroom, quite literally, with the brand’s signature integrated cooktop extractors working overtime to keep the air clean from the smell of searing steak and the vapour of vigorously boiling water.
Bora’s signature innovation is its extractor systems — vents that are installed next to the brand’s similarly powerful cooktops that pull smoke, steam, cooking smells and vapours down and away from the cooktop, eliminating the need for bulky overhead units and taking the noise of the extractor motor away from ear height. The result is a cooktop that can be installed in the middle of the kitchen in the heart of the action — a convenient selling point that the assembled retailers were certainly happy about.
Indeed, it’s those retailers who will need to get excited about Bora if it is to find success in Australia. There is little doubt that this is a product that requires demonstration to fully understand and appreciate, and if last night’s crowd was anything to go by, the power of demonstration is very convincing. (For our part, Appliance Retailer was impressed with the display — eight kilograms of steak on a Teppanyaki plate and no hint of smoke or cooking smells).
Ostermaier also paid special attention to the retailers at the event.
“Without our retail partners, we cannot be successful,” he said. “The Collaboration and support of our partners has been instrumental to our launch in Australia.”
For their part, retailers such as Sydney’s DK Design Kitchens and Melbourne’s Camberwell Electrics were out to show their support for the nascent brand which has a select distribution in Australia. (A hat tip goes to Camberwell director Hans Vanderstadt who was busy taking videos and photos of the product in action to share with his team back in Melbourne).
As the first market that Bora has launched into outside Europe, the approach to Australian retail has been slow and steady. Last night, Bora’s German head of marketing Hansgeorg Derks conceded many may have wondered, “Why they hell did you go to Australia?” — but Ostermaier’s experience in the local market and passion for the brand were called out as two of the main reasons he was keen to share the Bora message down under.
Derks reiterated that “live performance is a necessity” to selling Bora, in order to create “the big ‘aha!’”. To that end, the brand will be rolling out live demonstrations in store, and encouraging its hand-picked retailers to do the same.
While Bora has been slowly planting the seeds for growth, both with retailers and in the minds of consumers (thanks to public events such as the Grand Designs Live home show), Australia can expect to see plenty more from this unique brand.