Head of Retail and Contracts Gordon Dawson says investment into retail network has driven sales
Q: Why did you choose to exhibit at kbbBirmingham?
A: For us, kbb is a fantastic opportunity for us to engage with the kitchen community. We have partnered, this year, with Optiplan Kitchens. We have a whole new suite of AEG Mastery products and we really wanted to showcase them in a real-life environment.
Q: What has the reaction been like?
A: The reaction has been fantastic. We have been genuinely delighted over the last three or four days, with the number of good quality kitchen studios coming through the stand, engaging with the team and showing real interest in some of the key technologies AEG can offer. The five-year warranty, exclusively for Premier Partners, has gone done fantastically well.
Q: What has been the hero of the stand?
A: There are probably two, in all honesty. One is the Command Wheel AEG sous vide oven. It won the Product of the Year 2018. It is really simple to use, with a stunning design that means you can align full-sized single ovens with combination microwaves and warming drawers underneath. Secondly, our ComfortLift dishwasher where you can bring the lower basket up to waist height is really easy to load and unload.
Q: Has the show met with your expectations?
A: Yes I would say the show has met with our expectations. In fact, I would say it’s exceeded our expectations. The footfall has been fantastic and it’s not just the numbers coming through, it’s quality kitchen studios.
Q: How is business?
A: We’ve had a really good start to the year. Within our Premier Partner community, so our kitchen studio business, we’re up 40% versus January/February last year. So it is fantastic growth and I think it’s the increased investment in that part of the business which has driven that. Being able to offer a five-year warranty to Premier Partners, able to invest in live events in their studios where we send product experts to do cookery demonstrations or wine tastings to engage with the end consumer, and give the kitchen retail studio a point of difference. We’ve backed it up with some fantastic marketing. We’ve taken the prime time slots on the Food Network again, for the year. That worked really well through 2017 and we will continue that through 2018.