Suppliers turned out in strength for the opening of WA’s ultra-premium appliance store.

Two hundred and fifty executives behind Australia’s prestigious appliance brands flew into Perth last Wednesday for the official launch of Leibe +  Haus, the latest store in the Kambos chain. Joining them in Osborne Park was owner Peter Kambouris and his extended family along with Narta chair Kay Spencer and CEO Michael Jackson.

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When Appliance Retailer caught up with Kambouris at his  1300sqm store,  it was obvious that the opening event was the culmination of an investment of time, energy and intention.As the verb Love doesn’t usually feature in a retailers livery, the first question I asked him was “Why Liebe + Haus?” (For the uninitiated, it means Love + Home)

“We were looking for a name that would sound, look and feel premium and have a meaning that we could convey to the public,” Kambouris replied.

“The name means Love + Home, and I don’t think there is a better example of a message that says, ‘We have created a store for people that love their homes’.”

The brands that are at the front line of this message read like an ingredient list from an elite European menu: Miele, Smeg, Neff, Gaggenau, Ilve, Siemens, Bosch, F&P, De Dietrich, AEG, BORA, Beko, Electrolux, Falcon, Whispaire, Franke, Schweigan, Zip, Blanco, Liebher, FHIABA, Mitsubishi and LG.

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And that’s just the major appliances. In the SDA category, Bugatti and Smeg  are ranged while Jura is the only coffee supplier . There is also a hand-picked range of homewares from Vera Wang, Le Creuset, Swiss Diamond, Scan Pan, Royal Doulton and Thomas Loft amongst others.

Affluent target market

Kambouris described the target customer as “wealthier” who isn’t chasing the best price but the right information as well as the right products for their cooking needs.  “As we all know sometimes buying the right equipment ends up being the best bargain!”

As a magnet to attract this affluent shopper to Liebe + Haus, Kambouris has invested in a topline promotion. Anyone who makes a purchase at the new store by mid-December could win a  Lexus IS300H Hybrid Luxury Car valued at $80,000.

Although the company already had six stores in Malaga, Canning Vale, Midland, Kwinana, Joondalup and Harvey as well as Kambos online,  Kambouris began hatching the concept in 2013 and, according to Kambouris, took around two years to bring it to fruition. The Osborne Park store opened for business six months ago, while the new 1100sqm at Myaree was only opened on September 1. He described the Liebe + Haus concept as remarkedly different from his existing stores.

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“It’s designed for people who love their home and enjoy the idea of using the very best in their kitchens and laundries. Our expert professional salespeople have been handpicked, are industry best-in-class and specialise in both kitchen and laundry. In our other stores, more general knowledge is needed but the requirements here are very specific,” he explained.

While Kambouris is boasting of the “best displays in Australia, the world’s best brands, and the best specialised staff in WA,” he pointed to the Barrel Room as the store’s most outstanding feature.

The room has the latest steam combination ovens and induction cooktops enabling instant demonstrations. It seats up to fifty people who can overlook the entire showroom.

Where to from here?

2016 has seen a sizeable investment by Kambouris into his business. The company has also opened a large distribution and administration centre as well as another Kambo’s store in Kwinana on top of the two new Liebe + Haus stores.

“I think we will now access where we are at during the remainder of 2016 and look to deciding on the future Then I can tell you that [new store growth] is certainly on the table now, but its fruition will depend on the success these new locations provide over the next 12 months.