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Vijay Bhardwaj, Marketing Director, Beko UK & Ireland OPINION


September 2020 ertonline.co.uk


A bright future for the home appliance category


As consumers have drastically changed their habits around the home this year, the longer-term future of the home appliance category has never looked brighter, says Vijay Bhardwaj from Beko UK & Ireland.


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previously flourishing have been hit hard. We all feel for those adversely affected in these unprecedented, difficult times. As with any crisis, however, there are some good news stories. It was a pleasure to see many businesses help


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their local communities during the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic. I am personally proud to work for Beko plc where we donated over 1,700 free appliances to over 50 NHS hospitals, charities and various emergency services across the UK. Moving beyond the lockdown period, there


has been an incredible surge in demand for many household appliances, driven in part by the release of pent up demand following lockdown. Beko’s number one priority then and now remains to service this demand surge by supporting our retailers with as much stock as we can safely produce. Looking forward to the medium and longer


term there is more positive news for the household and kitchen appliances category. Households have changed their home habits and are now preparing more home meals, cooking more from scratch and wanting more chilled/frozen food storage space as a result. We are cleaning and washing more often with an increased focus on personal and home hygiene. The longer-term future of the category has never looked brighter. At Beko we are continuing our long-term


commitment to growing category value by building brand equity, introducing new products that also care for the environment, developing the best 360-degree brand experience possible, all whilst supporting our retail partners by driving footfall to their stores. In terms of building brand equity, we have been


developing our new technologies that make people’s day-to-day lives easier. In 2019, for example, we launched Beko ‘Aquatech’ washing machines and this year we have launched our new


‘Harvest Fresh’ cooling range, that mimics the natural sunlight cycle to preserve vitamins in vegetables and fruit for longer, therefore saving households money through wastage. We will continue to launch new technologies,


advertising them to drive footfall into our retail partners’ stores. Prior to the pandemic, we saw households


were increasingly concerned about the environment. This has only increased post- pandemic as consumers are actively searching for sustainable solutions. Beko continues to invest in manufacturing solutions and has reduced water and energy usage per product by circa 50 per cent since 2016, whilst increasing waste recyclability by up to 98 per cent. With our focus on reducing plastic pollution in


the oceans, we have a range of washing machines where the tubs are made from recycled PET bottles


– a total of 25 million PET bottles (250 tons of plastic) were recycled into our washing machine tubs last year. We also reduce marine pollution by using recycled fishing nets from the ocean to make oven and dishwasher parts. The coming COVID-19 recession is going to be


an extremely stressful time for many. Brand loyalty and trust will be more important than ever as people look for guaranteed high quality where we spend our hard-earned money. I truly believe that our sector will remain buoyant because as we all look to make choices on where we spend our hard earned money, spending more time at home with the pride we all have in our homes, will result in us looking to upgrade our household and kitchen appliances more often. Personally, I am looking forward to a


prosperous period of category growth and long- term value creation for us all.


as there ever been a stranger year for us personally or in business? Lives have been turned upside down and businesses and products that were


Families have spent much more time together at home in recent months, using the kitchen as a focal point in the house.


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