By Patrick Avenell
Electrolux Floor Care and Small Appliances president and CEO Henrik Bergström last night introduced the Swedish company’s retail partners to the latest products in its expanding range.
Management and buyers from dealers including Myer, Bing Lee, Radio Rentals, Masters and Harvey Norman descended on Sydney for the event, which was organised by John Maher, managing director of Electrolux Floor Care’s Australian office.
In his speech to his retail partners, Bergström paid tribute to his hosts, his business partners and the history of the Electrolux company.
Loves Australia: Henrik Bergström.
“It’s a great pleasure to be here — what a beautiful city – it’s fantastic – I was pleasantly surprised, many people have talked about Sydney, but experiencing it first hand is something quite unique,” Bergström said, immediately ingratiating himself to the audience.
“It’s great to be here with some of our great partners. This is a place that’s important for us. Australia is a presence for us that actually dates back all the way to 1925.
“In 1925, somebody went here, probably on a long journey, to open up the first sales operation of vacuum cleaners, and then in 1926 the first factory was started in Australia, and in 1927 the first factory was started in New Zealand, so there’s a very longstanding relationship here
“I think our founder, Axel Wenner-Gren, probably said ‘go sell a vacuum cleaner to every Australian and, by the way, go do that in New Zealand as well’.”
The new range includes three steam irons, a hand mixer, a non-electronic water purifier, a new stick vacuum and a new coffee machine in co-operation with its capsule partner Lavazza.
Bergström, who has an economics background and Electrolux experience spanning four continents, said the company is focused on introducing quality products to expanding categories. Rather than flooding whole categories with hundreds of SKUs (stock keeping units), Bergström said Electrolux was taking a targeted approach.
From the outside-looking-in, this strategy appears somewhat scattergun, though Bergström strongly hinted that a more complete range will eventually emerge through gradual introductions.
The new closed portion machine using the Lavazza coffee system is called Favola, and it will make its official debut at IFA in Berlin at the end of this month. For the first time in the Electrolux range, this machine will incorporate a milk frother into the machine, suiting Australia’s penchant for milk-based coffee drinks.
Electrolux's new garment care range (click image for closer look).
Electrolux's new coffee machine range (click image for closer look).