By Patrick Avenell
De’Longhi Australia has a good start to the 2012 calendar year, with its De’Longhi and Kenwood brands both performing well in a tough retail environment, according to CEO Paolo Albertoni.
The local boss of De’Longhi Australia was speaking in response to questions from Appliance Retailer magazine, as part of its 2012 Mid Year Report Card.
How has the first half of 2012 been for your business?
We have had another very solid result overall — not all the categories we are in though performed the same way — we have been able to drive growth through innovation with the launch of the Kenwood Kmix boutique range and we kept on growing in coffee, food preparation and breakfast. Comfort and major appliances have been stable and flat compared to last year.
What are your predictions for the second half of the year?
Clearly the overall economic climate is not ideal and there is a lot of uncertainty that affects consumer confidence. De’Longhi Australia, though, is still extremely confident and optimistic for the second half due to an array of new projects and products launch that will be introduced in the market. We think we really have some game changers that will accelerate further the growth of some of the categories we play in.
What opportunities do you see for the electrical retailing industry?
I guess that on both sides — retailers and suppliers — the game will be won by those that keep offering incremental value. We need to emotionally connect with our end consumers. At De’Longhi, we have products that convey emotions, but for those emotions to be conveyed, they need the right environment, which is in store. Those retailers that will deliver the best customer experience by bringing back “the theatre” of in-store, we think, will be the winners.
What’s your favourite product of 2012 so far?
It is not a product but it is a range of products: our Kenwood kmix boutique range. I think we have been able to tell a great story — by linking colours with personality we have been able to emotionally connect with the end consumers and we have brought excitement, freshness and an element of excitement back into stores, stimulating consumer interest, traffic in store and hopefully sales for our retail partners.
The Kmix blenders in the eight different colours of the range.
To find out how leading brands such as Sony, Panasonic, Samsung and LG have tracked during the first half of 2012, check out Appliance Retailer magazine's July issue, which includes the full Mid Year Report Card special feature.