Jernej Hren, Gorenje UK’s managing director, has indicated that the year ahead looks positive for the home appliance sector.
Speaking exclusively to kbbreview last month from the company’s headquarters in Slovenia, Hren revealed that consumer confidence is growing strong and there are strong signs of a significant upturn towards the end of the year.
“From Gorenje’s perspective, we had a fantastic start to the year,” he said. “Though still cautious, consumers appear to be more optimistic and this looks set to continue. The signs show that consumer confidence is going to increase over the next couple of months and we will see a positive impact by the end of Q4. All the signs suggest that 2013 is going to be a positive and successful year for the industry.”
He revealed that sales of Gorenje products have shown 20% year-on-year growth in the UK boosted by positive developments in its retro and built-in product sectors.
Recognising that a growth in internet competition continues to threaten indpendents, Hren admitted that, as a lesser known brand in the UK, the internet has had more of a positive, rather than a negative, affect on Gorenje and its UK retailer network.
Remarking on the challenges of the internet on the appliance industry he said: “The internet has had a huge impact on our industry and the market is a completely different scenario to a couple of years ago. However, as Gorenje is not hugely exposed to the net, this gives us some shelter.
“On the other side, the internet gives brands positive exposure and can actually help retailers to sell brands because consumers know what to look for.
“When Gorenje started in the UK retailers really had to sell the product to consumers, but now, they’re asking for the brand specifically.
“The internet is certainly a challenge and needs to be tackled appropriately but I also feel that it gives the industry, retailers included, an opportunity to present products and services.”
He urged independent kitchen specialists to focus on providing consumers with a strong service proposition in order to beat ongoing threats from the internet and encouraged influential appliance brands to strengthen partnerships with dealers to help protect them against ongoing market challenges.
“Continuity is one of the most important factors that retailers are looking for from suppliers,“ he added. “It’s about working in partnership with dealers and recognising each business as an individual.”
The team at Kitchens Kitchens like the Gorenje brand, and one of our favourite all time appliances is their Karim Rashid Designer White Induction Hob which is simply stunning, so we are not surprised that Gorenje are doing well in this current, challenging climate.