Shower toilet launch for Grohe brand
Grohe has signalled plans to move beyond being a shower, tap and frame brand, with the introduction of its first sanitaryware in the UK.
As part of a five-strong product launch at the Sleep exhibition, Grohe unveiled the Sensia shower toilet. However, Grohe branded sanitaryware has been available on the Asian market for a year and a half.
It follows the acquisition of the company by the Lixil Corporation, which also includes American Standard, Joyou and Lixil/Inax brands.
The Corporation has recently restructured to create a Water Technology Group, which will be led by Grohe chairman and CEO David Haines into four territories of Japan, EMEA, the Americas and Asia.
Grohe will be the bathroom brand for the EMEA market, plus Joyou will also continue to serve this market. Managing director of Grohe UK, Maha El Kharbotly said: “Grohe has not gone to someone else in a different country and bought it and stuck our name on it. What we’re doing is working with a Lixil company…and launching it with the Grohe brand. This is Lixil’s expertise. Between all the brands it has [Lixil] is the largest manufacturer of toilets in the world.”
When asked how a brassware specialist brand can compete against traditional sanitaryware manufacturers, she commented: “What you see in [the UK] market is that there are a lot of local brands that have expanded dramatically, which tells you this market is very receptive to taking brands across [categories].”
El Kharbotly said Grohe will start promoting sanitaryware through its strongest channel which is commercial but has not been given any set targets to achieve for these sales: “Grohe really wants us to do it the right way, rather than just hitting numbers. It’s not about launching but doing it the right way and providing the right service. I do not have one single penny of a target to hit next year.”
She adds: “In the building industry, they are looking for a complete package and this was the part we were lacking. We can now offer a complete service and a complete package.”
Grohe will be exhibiting its brand portfolio at ISH, as part of the Lixil Corporation, which will be taking over both floors of the Festhalle.