Changes at the top, exciting new technology and Ultimate Guides detailing all the best brands and products in the various Major Appliance categories captivated readers through 2014. As we close off the year we are looking back at the most popular stories on this website.

Appliance Retailer’s Top 10 Major Appliances Stories of 2014

10. Wash Cycles & Dry Spells! It’s the 2014 Ultimate Guide to Laundry Appliances (24 September 2014)

Brands are doing their very best to make outsourcing caring for clothes to the local laundromat obsolete with the standardisation of intuitive washing programs, bigger barrel sizes, gentle steam cleans and automatic dispensers dosing clothes with the optimum amount of detergent.

Across the board, energy and water efficiency are obligatory considerations for laundry appliances, and brands also like to distinguish themselves with other factors such as wash speed and sensitive treatments to take the best care of clothes with minimal effort.

9. Miele ‘putting people on the ground to win the retail battle’ as sales surge 12 per cent (28 November 2014)

Miele Australia managing director Michael Jeanes has today reaffirmed that the company’s decision to switch its sales team from a salaried employee system to a third party agency is not a cost-cutting exercise. Rather than be about saving money, the change is to better serve its retail partners to win the battle on the shop floor.

Jeanes wanted to make it clear that Miele Australia is currently enjoying one of its strongest years, with orders up 12.2 per cent year-on-year, according to the company’s own record keeping, and that this restructure is about providing the most effective support for Miele’s retail partners, known as Chartered Agents, through 2015.

8. Former Harvey Norman manager appointed to lead Fisher & Paykel’s ‘integrated’ sales team (6 August 2014)

Fisher & Paykel has appointed Ben Normoyle as general manager, retail sales, to lead an integrated team of Haier and Fisher & Paykel salespeople.

The sales force for both brands was ‘integrated’ after Fisher & Paykel Australia decided to restructure its sales force for Haier product, bringing it in-house.

7. Grilliant! The Ultimate Guide to Barbecues and Outdoor Lifestyle for Summer 2015 (26 September 2014)

The importing of poorly-featured, basic barbecue models to be sold cheaply as spot purchase is impacting sales in the barbecue category. To counter this trend, serious suppliers have chosen to hold their ground, and their RRPs, by continuing to market products with a focus on quality. They are banking on Australians’ love of barbecuing and foodie culture to keep average sales prices (ASPs) in the category high.

6. How the Miele Chartered Agency system works and why Miele is not treating JB Home with contempt (26 November 2014)

A story appeared today on a rival website accusing Miele of treating JB Home and its customers with contempt. The article, carrying the headline “JB Hi Fi Home Customers Not Good Enough For New Miele Ironing Board” (sic) says Miele has refused to allow JB Home to sell its new FashionMaster ironing system, a $2,199 steam system with integrated ironing board, which is slowly being rolled out ahead of an official launch in early 2015.

5. Electrolux acquires market-leading BeefEater barbecue brand from Woodland Home Products (7 October 2014)

Electrolux Home Products has purchased the BeefEater brand of barbecues and outdoor lifestyle appliances from Woodland Home Products. Staff of both companies were informed this morning of this new addition to Electrolux’s broad brand stable, which is effective 1 November 2014.

Mike Putt, Electrolux Home Product’s acting managing director, said this acquisition was part of a larger strategy to grow barbecues to a bigger part of Electrolux’s business. The company already has a range of high-end models marketed under its own brand but this move immediately provides it with a complete range of units, including kettles, compacts and built-in models.

4. Miele outsourcing sales team to agency, moving to key account management system (26 November 2014)

Due to the changing nature of the Australian appliance industry, which has seen Miele consumer points decline from over 650 to only 400 over the past two years, the German company has decided to restructure its sales team.

The company will be integrating a new key account management system, supported by merchandising staff from third party agency Demoplus, in advance of the release of its new W1 and T1 premium laundry appliances in the first quarter of 2015.

3. Battle for energy efficiency supremacy in new Samsung and LG refrigerator ranges (2 April 2014)

Samsung and LG have each launched a new range of refrigerators aiming to please different consumer tastes, with top mount versus bottom mount designs.

2. Best new dishwashers of 2014 from the best brands in the market (4 June 2014)

As a complement to Appliance Retailer’s Ultimate Guide to the 2014 Australian Dishwashing Market, here is a selection of the best new models from the best brands on the market.

…and the #1 Major Appliances story of 2014:

1. Ultimate Guide to Steam, Convection, Combo and Traditional Microwaves in 2014 (21 January 2014)

The traditional microwave meal was always associated with TV dinners that could easily and conveniently be whipped up in two minutes. Just as our palates have improved with exposure to fancy dinners on TV programs, so too have microwaves become a lot more sophisticated.