As part of its strategy to position itself as a complete appliances specialist brand, Electrolux India has plans to enter a new segment -- hobs and hoods -- in January 2005.
"The segment may be small, but has immense growth potential," said Ajay Kapila, vice president of Sales and Marketing. "Factors fuelling growth are real estate development, lifestyle changes, and altering consumer demands. We will have the advantage of our credible positioning as a complete appliances specialist."
Last year, the company entered two other new categories -- microwave ovens and air-conditioners. Both categories have seen good growth. Electrolux also has plans to get into more categories next year like dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, and professional outdoor equipment categories like chain saws and lawn mowers.
Electrolux expects to use a differentiated proposition in technology and design to make its presence felt in the hobs and hood segment. It will be launching seven models in the price range of Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000 (approx. U.S. $554 to $1,109). With almost 80 percent of sales in the segment coming from combination sales, it will also target new apartments with special kitchen packages.
Electrolux is also strengthening its distribution by getting a second line of retail distribution through sanitary stores and electrical stores. As part of its mainline distribution plans, it will open 50 Electrolux Homes -- one-point outlets offering complete solutions.
It has also recently tied up with Kinetic Market & Services Ltd (KMS), which has a presence in 14 states, for direct sales of microwave ovens. KMS will market Electrolux Microwaves in Delhi, Pune, Jaipur, Kanpur, Lucknow, and Bhubaneswar and subsequently extend it across the country and other product categories. Some believe this, along with its 4,000-outlet strong retail network and exclusive brand outlets, will strengthen its network considerably.
"Microwaves being a demonstrable product, we feel that direct marketing is the most appropriate route to reach out to our customers," noted Mr. Kapila. "It has been seen that people perceive microwaves as a mere heating device. With the direct marketing initiative, we propose to change this by giving home demonstrations, which will ensure that customers put the product to proper usage." (The Financial Express, Mukta Magazine)
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