feature: laundry

cent of purchases are driven by a breakdown or fault. Washing machines in particular are also very popular purchases for the 25-34 age bracket as they move into their own homes. “As these appliances are necessities, it’s no

surprise that they command more market share than, for instance, dishwashers and microwaves, which make up only 10 per cent and four per cent, respectively. “There is certainly a big drive towards eco-

friendly washing cycles, particularly as these tend to be more efficient and therefore cost-effective.” For Sara Bazeley, Brand Manager at Indesit, the

growth of freestanding appliances has a number of drivers. “Freestanding laundry appliances are a popular choice for consumers due to the many

benefits that they offer, including the fact that they offer larger capacity options, as integrated appliances are constrained by the addition of the integrated door. What’s more, consumers have the choice of taking freestanding appliances with them if they move, and are also able to renovate their kitchen with relative ease. “Washer dryers in particular appeal to families

that are limited on space, as they combine two appliances into one model, offering further space saving opportunities within the home. In addition to its range of freestanding washer dryers, Indesit has introduced a built-in washer dryer (BI WDIL 7125 UK). Built-in laundry appliances enable consumers to disguise modern technology behind traditional kitchen cabinets, without compromising on their preferred kitchen style.” Keval Shah sees consumer desire for larger

capacity as a direct function of the pace of today’s lifestyles. “As people lead busier lives, we’ve noticed a trend for larger capacity models. Families want to spend less time doing chores, and more time with each other. So, to save time they’re looking to fit more into their machines to reduce the number of loads they need to put on. “ And lest we forget, laundry covers not just

MDAs but also SDAs like irons. Komal Sawley, Senior Product Manager at Groupe SEB UK Ltd, sees huge growth in the sector, which she attributes to the following factors. “Firstly the increasing number of people who are looking for an easier way to iron, they’re busier than ever before and consequently they need an easy solution to accommodate their busy lifestyles. “Secondly fabrics have become easier to iron

and workplace dress codes are becoming more relaxed therefore the need for tools which make clothing completely crisp aren’t as required as they once were.”

October/November 2019

With the laundry market seemingly buoyant,

retailers will be keen to ensure they stay competitive and maximise the sales opportunities which come their way, so what advice can the brands offer? For Keval Shah, training is key. “It’s important to train up staff on the smart home proposition to ensure they fully understand all the features and benefits of each appliance, and how they work with the apps in order to be able to give customers a thorough, informed demonstration. With smart technology being relatively new to market, having an expert on-hand to explain the technology and its real-life benefits helps convert store visits into sales. Consider setting up bespoke training sessions for staff interested in knowing more, for example at your own show room where everything is set-up and ready. Once retailers have bought into the concept, provide the relevant support to help them make space in-store for an impressive smart home display which can capture a customer’s imagination.” Ros Collins, Category Manager Home Laundry, BSH Home Appliances Ltd, says the retailer should be aware of the customer’s reasons for buying the appliance. “If the customer is making a distress purchase, they will buy just on price and whether the appliance covers all of their requirements. But if the consumer is spending a bit more or even redesigning their kitchen, they’ll want to match the laundry appliances with their other appliances. In open-plan environments, the customer will want the washing machine or dryer to look good as part of the kitchen design. Where possible our appliances coordinate, for instance the Bosch 10kg washer dryer has the same control dial as the Bosch oven. A complete range of coordinating appliances may help the retailer to encourage the consumer to trade up.” Catherine Balderson agrees. “For many | 23

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