Double digit growth in dishwashers.
Miele ANZ managing director, Sjaak Brouwer has seen the company flourish in the first half of the year and expects the positive trend to continue. He has told Appliance Retailer about the importance of a physical retail store presence, investment in training and the integration of connectivity in the appliance category.
How has the first half of 2016 been for your business?
While the overall SDA/MDA market demonstrated strong growth in 2015, Miele outperformed the market to gain market share in most categories in which we operate. This positive trend continued in the first months of this year. In the dishwasher category, Miele was a stand-out, achieving strong double digit growth both in value and volume. This was significantly due to recently launched products, positioned at price points, greeted enthusiastically by the customers and consumers alike.
What are your predictions for the second half of the year?
We expect a positive trend for the rest of the year, although market growth won’t be as spectacular as last year. We at Miele are confident that our new product program in combination with a strong media communication and promotional support plan will drive the business in a positive direction.
What opportunities do you see for the electrical retailing industry?
Recent research indicates that more than 50% of consumers visit a physical store to get information on the product. This is despite the fact that the importance of online is developing. Consumers in Australia still value face to face relationships, and that is a great insight. Since consumers seek to be engaged, retailers can make a significant difference at point of sale, delivering added value and maximising consumer experience. At the same time, retail has to be prepared for digital marketing. To a certain extent, online already is a significant part of the purchase process and this will only increase into the future.
What threats are currently present in the industry?
Currently, we observe, many more new brands are entering the Australian market and gaining distribution. Listing increasing numbers of new brands can achieve dilution in the quality of their presentation and sales support. More brands means more training needs, reallocation of floor space and the resulting clear risk of losing focus.
What is your favourite product for 2016 so far?
There is so much happening in the field of connectivity in the home with numerous integrated systems on the market across many product categories. I particularly like the new convenience concepts which enhance the easiness of use for consumers. A great example is the TwinDOS automatic dosing system featured in the Miele W1 washing machines. Digital connectivity offers even further opportunities. This new technology, which has recently been launched in Europe, actually connects your washing machine and detergent usage. When detergent is running low, you get a message on your mobile device and, with a simple click, you can order for next day delivery at the desired location.