Protecting the mid-market

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Indesit Company welcomed 650 retailers at its 2011 product launch in London to preview some of its 300 new products and to announce a £10 million advertising spend to promote its flagship brand.

In a ‘period’ setting of the 1960s, 1970s and 1990s kitchens the company demonstrated the evolution of Hotpoint appliances and the brand’s continued presence in British homes, helping it to win again and again the accolade of the most trusted DA brand in the UK.

Living up to its reputation as product innovator, the company showcased its flagship products for 2011.

Hotpoint’s Aqualtis range was re-launched with new styling and the introduction of A+++ energy rated, 11kg washing machines. These appliances incorporate an insulated Fibretech tub inside a titanium drum for enhanced care of coloured fabrics. Also new was the Aqualtis tumble dryer that uses a heat pump drying process and boasts an A+++ energy rating.

Hotpoint’s Ultima, Aquarius+ and Aquarius ranges have also been completely redesigned. The new matching washing machines and tumble dryers have a 340cm wide porthole for easier loading, specialist anti-allergy programmes and an anti-stain programme.

The showstopper of the event was Luce – Hotpoint’s premium built-in collection inspired by minimalist Italian design. The range, offering intelligent features and energy efficient technology, will be available through kitchen specialists from July 2011, and to the independents in 2012.  The Luce collection incorporates ovens, hobs, hoods, fridge drawers, a dishwasher and 45cm compact appliances.

Indesit is also revamping its entire cooking range with modern styling, new colours and improved energy efficiency. This is the first redesign of Indesit’s freestanding range for nine years.

Adam Woolf, Indesit Company marketing director, commented to IER:

“The launch of over 300 new products this year is testimony to the company’s leadership in this market and its commitment to driving the category’s value up in the middle point of the market since we believe this is where the profit is to be made.

“Indesit Company is very strong in the laundry sector, but the area which we perceive as a growth opportunity is built-in cooking, and our Luce collection is going to address it. It will help us to establish Hotpoint as a credible cooking brand. Aligning the premium Cannon brand with Hotpoint branding from autumn this year will also contribute to this.” 

The middle market

James Goldsmith, Indesit Company commercial director, explained the rationale behind the Indesit strategy for 2011. “We are seeing a stable premium sector, a bit of a flight to the entry sector, but we believe that the middle market is the area that matters most. Most of our innovations will be made in the middle market and we’ll have trade up routes to capture the value here.” 

John Morrissey, CEO of Indesit Company, took a broader look at the market situation and the opportunities it presents. “As we went into the recession at the end of 2009 and in the first part of 2010, a flight to value was clearly visible and we saw a significant share growth from the trade brands. In the second part of 2010 and beginning of 2011, we saw some of these trends reverse. Consumers are squeezed but they are prepared to invest in innovation; the launch of the iPad 2 clearly demonstrates this. If we get the right proposition supported with education of our trade partners and the consumer than we can drive better average price in the market. Consumers will benefit from better products and the trade will get higher margins.”

Hotpoint InStore

James Goldsmith also revealed to IER the company’s plans for revamping the Hotpoint Centres concept. “We are launching a new concept of Hotpoint Centres – Hotpoint InStore – which will involve a different way of working with us. For example we want to make sure that the retailers are rewarded for displaying our products in their stores; we will also be launching dedicated promotions to drive customers to independent stores. From 1 July our new in-store programme will be visible on the shopfloor. We will also be using our 20 field trainers during 14 roadshows to educate independents about our new product propositions.

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