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Belling’s Centenary 1967

“The current market situation is difficult for everyone. In 2011, the overall cooker market was down by 7% but I am an optimist and I believe that 93% of the market is still there for us to try to get a fair share of it. I also think that the lesson all manufacturers should have taken from the recession is: don’t chase volume.”

Made in Britain

“Bringing the majority of our product manufacturing back to the UK has also played a vital role in strengthening the brand. Less than five years ago more than 50% of products were made abroad and now 90% are made in Prescot. “We have interviewed 1,000 people last year about manufacturing in Britain. About 50% respondents didn’t know which products were made in Britain. 66% were in favour of a mark that would indicate which products are manufactured in Britain. Therefore we started promoting the Made in Britain ethos with various business communities and with politicians. There are now 350 companies in the Made in Britain Scheme. “However for me the scheme is not only about incentivising consumers to buy British. If we are making good products, well designed and at a competitive price – we should be able to compete with other manufactures. The Made in Britain logo is only an additional bonus. I would like to think that if the customer compares two similarly specified products, the Made in Britain mark may be that tipping point. I was surprised with the positive feedback we got from different countries where our products are exported. In these countries Made in Britain is synonymous with high quality. This year, with the Olympics and the Queen Diamond Jubilee, Britain has a

high profile in the world and this is going to benefit us.”

The way ahead “In the future, we will continue what Belling has always done: brining out product innovations to the market. Moreover, customer care has always been our top priority: three times in a row we won the D&G TEQ Awards (Total Excellence and Quality Awards) in the white goods manufacturer category – and this shows the consistency of our customer care policy. And we will continue with this as well.

“In terms of new product developments, we are going to become more fashionable and adventurous with finishes and colour. When Britain emerges from the recession, people will become more confident in expressing themselves and we should respond to this trend.”

The 100 Collection

Last month, to mark its centenary year Belling has launched the 100 Collection – a range of limited edition cooking appliances. The Collection includes four freestanding ovens, four range cookers, four built-in ovens and a new-look for the iconic Baby Belling. The design of the appliances combines clean lines with a white glass finish and chrome accents to create a ‘wow’ factor. A contribution from sales of the 100 Collection will be made to Belling’s charity of the year, Anthony Nolan, which saves the lives of people with blood cancer. “The key to Belling’s success has always been innovation, responding creatively to the needs of families and British cooks, and this has continued apace in the 20 years since Glen Dimplex UK Ltd bought the business.”

Belling 100 Collection

• The launch of the Compact Super Four, the first four ring cooker to fit flush with kitchen units

1971 • Belling unveils the Classic Double Extra, the UK’s first domestic fan oven

1974 • The brand adds built-in products to its portfolio

1977 • The launch of the Black Magic, the first black ceramic hob

1979 • Belling launches its first microwave oven

1982 • Another UK first with the Belling Format, the first slot-in oven. The brand also introduces its first gas hob

1992 • Belling is purchased by Glen Dimplex Group from receivership

1994 • Launch of the Belling Farmhouse cooker, which marked the beginning of the range cooker sector

1996 • The brand extends its range to include dishwashers, fridges and freezers

2000 • Launch of the technologically advanced Omega

2001 • Parent company, Glen Dimplex, purchases Stoves and New World, allowing Belling to begin manufacturing again in the UK

2009 • Belling announces its intention to return all manufacturing back to Britain. It unveils a suite of induction appliances including the world’s first eco induction oven

• Production of the legendary Baby Belling is returned to Prescot

2010 • Belling and parent company Glen Dimplex Home Appliances becoming the first company to be approved and recommended by the Energy Saving Trust (EST) across freestanding, built-in and range cooking

2011 • Sales of Belling’s range cookers had outperformed the market, growing by 32%, Belling’s focus on its Made in Britain products began to pay dividends, with Glen Dimplex Home Appliances reporting international sales up by more than 150%.

May 2012 The Independent Electrical Retailer 35

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