By Patrick Avenell
Smeg Australia managing director Andrew Cronin has issued a short statement in response to several claims made about the relationship between Smeg and Omega during the brands' time together at Hagemeyer.
At the relaunch of the Omega brand in Sydney on Tuesday, national sales and marketing manager Craig Handley spoke at length about the relationship between Smeg and Omega.
"Omega’s never had a significant marketing budget and it’s never had a direct sales team," Handley told retailers at the launch. "Omega products have always had to be positioned underneath Smeg, or in line with Smeg being the premier brand, and the brand has not truly had its own identity.
"These are all the things that we’re going to change, so Omega now stands alone."
In response to this, Cronin send the following statement to Current.com.au:
"I find the celebration of the Smeg brand at the relaunch of Omega very flattering, if somewhat confusing! Omega did certainly gain both a profile and a distribution benefit from being part of the same stable as Smeg up to December 2010.
"That time has now passed and I would have thought it would be in the interests of the company to start focusing on its own brand and any contribution it can make to its chosen sector of the appliance market."
Before Smeg departed Hagemeyer to become a stand-alone company, Hagemeyer distributed the Smeg, Omega, Blanco and De Dietrich cooking brands. Those last three brands are now owned by Shriro Australia.