As consumers invest in major appliances.

The Winning Group has experienced a busy 2016 so far, with more news to come in the latter half of the year. CEO John Winning told Appliance Retailer about the company’s recent activity, why retailers need to take advantage of home renovations, Amazon in the Australian market and his pick of the crop in the appliance market.

How has the first half of 2016 been for your business?

The Winning Group has experienced growth in our online and offline businesses within the first half of 2016. We recently opened a new distribution centre in Darwin, through a partnership with a local family business, and a satellite warehouse in Queanbeyan NSW, which means that Appliances Online can offer free, next-day delivery to more of the Australian population. We also have some exciting things happening in our Winning Appliances business that we are currently working on, which will occur later in the year.

What are your predictions for the second half of the year?

We expect Australians to continue to renovate their homes into the second half of the year, which will have a continued positive impact on the appliance industry. Winning Appliances’ annual Renovation Intentions Study (conducted by Galaxy Research) revealed that Australians are to spend $24.43 billion on renovations within the next 12 months. Among those planning to renovate in the next 12 months, the average budget is $18,227 (which is up from $14,700 in 2014 and $16,130 in 2013) and kitchens and bathrooms remain the number one priority for renovations.

This is all good news for appliance retailers. You would also expect that after the Federal Election on 2 July, consumer confidence will improve, with Australians more willing to make decisions about purchasing large electrical goods.

John Winning

The Winning Group CEO, John Winning. 

What opportunities do you see for the electrical retailing industry?

There is a great opportunity for appliance retailers to take advantage of homeowners choosing to renovate their homes in 2016. Kitchens are the statement areas of homes with Australians investing in appliances and finishes that ultimately add value to their property when they decide to sell.

What threats are currently present in the industry?

The impending presence of Amazon in the Australian market is a threat to those electrical retailers who have not yet established a sophisticated online offering. It’s not enough to have product images on a website and a checkout process. Serious investment into the customer experience and service online and offline, is required to compete with both domestic and international online retailers.

What is your favourite product for 2016 so far?

For smalls, it would have to be the Phillips Pasta and Noodle Maker, which is a great addition for any home chef.

From a washing machine and dryer perspective, you can’t go past Fisher & Paykel’s 8.5kg Front Load Washing Machine and their 8kg Condenser Dryer.

Miele’s TwinDos automatic dispensing feature in their washing machines is a great offering.

For dishwashers the Euromaid DR14S Dishwasher is a great entry option and Asko’s D5646SSXXL Built-in Dishwasher is a good buy as it has large capacity and turbo drying.

From a cooking perspective, V-ZUG’s XSL combi-steam oven and Smeg’s 90cm built-in oven are both impressive. Westinghouse’s Family Flex Space Induction Cooktop is great for when you require multiple pots and pans at one time. Liebherr’s new black steel fridge is definitely eye catching and from an AV perspective Samsung’s new 65-inch SUHD TV will definitely be popular this year.