At the IFA 2020 exhibition, in Berlin, executive director and co-proprietor of Miele Reinhard Zinkann reported sales had grown despite the Coronavirus pandemic.
He reflected on the company’s current business situation, as he stated: “Dear 2020 what a year! Your days have been difficult.
“But it’s exactly because of these circumstance, I am even more delighted to tell you that the Miele Group has coped quite well with this year so far.”
Zinkann, who is the great-grandson of one of Miele’s two founding fathers, explained mid-point sales in 2020 had reached a level 2% higher than the same period in 2019.
This is despite the “huge slumps” experienced in March and April due to the Coronovirus pandemic, and lockdown.
He stated: “As things stand, we have achieved respectable growth compared to 2019, particularly in our key markets of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, in most of our Eastern European markets, and in markets such as China, Japan and Korea.”
“Our colleagues at Miele and retail partners all over the world have played a huge part in achieving these outcomes, so I would like to extend my sincere thanks to them on behalf of the entire executive board.”
Executive director marketing and sales Axel Kniehl explained why the company has been successful during the current climate, stating: “We are rather fortunate to be working in a particular sector of a particular industry.
“We had some spikes in demand where consumers were sitting at home.
“We also had fewer restrictions in supplying products to our partners around the world.”
He said despite retail businesses having to close temporarily “our partners were able to make up the ground rather quickly” and he pointed to an increase in online sales.
Axel Kniehl also reported Miele achieved success in the worldwide developer market.
However, he also pointed to the importance of consumer trust: “In times of economic uncertainty, consumers are looking for a safe haven and Miele is communicating the values that are important to our customers – durability, reliability and sustainability, as well as elegance and style. So Miele is the brand of trust.”
Zinkann looked to consumer purchasing trends which have “persisted and gained an even higher profile”, shaping its future appliance portfolio and sales.
These included the “number one priority” of “living a healthy and sustainable life by looking after hygiene and nutrition.”
He also pointed to digitalisation “an increasingly powerful force in virtually every aspect of life”, people moving to cities (urbanisation) and climate protection, as being on consumers’ agenda.
To meet these trends Miele used IFA 2020 to bring artificial intelligence to cooking appliances, with the launch of Smart Food ID, and a connectable version of its w1 washer dryer.