By James Wells

MELBOURNE: Miele Australia Chartered Agents previewed a new branding concept from the German appliance manufacturer at the opening of the Gallery showroom at the company’s head office in Knoxfield.

The Miele Gallery showroom is an Australian-first for the company and follows other showrooms opened in Paris, Milan, Dubai, Moscow, Cape Town as well as the company’s Forum at the company’s head office Gutersloh in Germany and its Experience Centre in the United Kingdom.

“The opening celebration is of considerable significance to us,” said Miele Australia managing director, Michael Jeanes, in his first public presentation to retailers since his appointment in January this year.

“It is a premium facility unrivalled within Australia and is the first of a number of similar showroom spaces planned in key locations around the country.”

The showroom design incorporates pieces of art which are interspersed with Miele domestic and commercial products in a lifestyle format and will be reproduced within retail stores who are exclusively contracted as Miele Chartered Agents.

According to Jeanes, Miele Chartered Agents will be approached to use the new look within their stores to attract consumers to the brand which specialises in major cooking appliances as well as front load washing machines, dishwashers and floorcare.

“We will roll this out in a smaller format – a mini Miele Gallery. We already have good displays, but they no longer look very different from our competition. Six years ago we were ahead of the competition, but now they are catching up to us.

They haven’t caught us yet, but I will be showing the concept to our Chartered Agents and we will see who is interested,” he said.

“If retailers want to get on board – we are ready to go.”
Jeanes said he is confident that several Chartered Agents will feature the new Gallery concept by the end of the financial year.

Several retailers including 13 Harvey Norman stores in Ireland now feature an updated look based on the Miele Gallery concept, which is known as the Experience Centre in Great Britain.

“In its presentation, the Miele Gallery serves to inspire customers as they view the latest and most comprehensive ranges of our prestigious appliances. It also enables homemakers and professionals alike to easily select the ideal specifications to meet their needs so that they can confidently finalise their purchase with any of our Miele Chartered Agents,” Jeanes said.

Other Miele Gallery concepts will be installed at the South Melbourne showroom, which turned over $2 million in 2005, as well as at the new state office in Queensland at Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast or the Gold Coast, which is yet to be built.

Attending the launch of the Miele Gallery yesterday evening were co-proprietors and joint managing directors of Miele – Dr Markus Miele and Dr Reinhard Zinkann, who traveled to Australia together for the first time.

Retailers, interior designers members of the media as well as Miele staff attended the event called Celebration of the Senses – which included food created by one of Melbourne’s most famous chefs – Vue de Monde’s Shannon Bennett – who presented a degustation menu including a truffle risotto using over $3,000 worth of fresh truffles.

The Gallery was designed by Australian architect Robert Bain from RBi Architecture in conjunction with Miele architects in Germany.

The showroom, located at 1 Gilbert Park Drive in Knoxfield, is open Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm.