Growing business on the range

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Capitalising on the growing appeal of range cookers, Glen Dimplex Home Appliances has unveiled a new retailer support scheme for independents to help them to grow the range cooking business. Rob Burton, commercial manager for Range at GDHA, told Anna Ryland, how the scheme is expected to benefit both the manufacturer and its independent dealers.



In April 2009, Glen Dimplex Home Appliances made the decision to change the way it marketed and sold its range cookers, restructuring and clarifying its brand and product offering, and creating a separate business division, headed up by commercial manager Rob Burton.

“The company decided to become a category specialist in this product area. Historically we had a strong brand franchise in this category and we let it slip to a some degree, but we realised with the right support we could again grow market share in this category,” explains Rob Burton.

The company decided to challenge the dominance of the established range cooker brands. “Our market intelligence showed that this market was growing by approximately 10% annually and an increasing number of consumers aspired to have a range cooker as a focal point of their kitchens. We felt that we were not taking advantage of this growth and therefore decided to take a close look at our products and re-examine our brand architecture.

“We had three brands in this category, with Stoves being the premium brand, Belling positioned for mid-market and New World – the market-entry brand. However some Stoves and Belling products were in competition with each other. For example, Belling’s Kensington model had a very similar specification to Stoves’ Richmond model, with Belling being over-specified. Therefore we re-speced Belling making it more of a mid-range brand which allowed us to hit the correct price points. Meanwhile Stoves was kept as a premium brand.

“The range market is split between classic and contemporary products. In addition to the Belling Classics we’ve introduced the very contemporary DB4 90cm Belling model which is priced at around £1,000. We continued with the popular Stoves Richmond model and complemented it with the contemporary Stoves Stirling cooker adding a separate grill which is popular with customers.”

The channel support

With its new brand architecture, the company needed the support of both the multiple and the independent sectors. “We had to go the multiples to get listings in this sector. However, first of all we wished to get the support of the independents.

“The Range Centre initiative was aimed only at the independent. To support them we recruited a specialist sales force. We also have a new dedicated product management and technical support teams. We also developed a new website, listing participating retailers, and designed new display units to enhance in-store presence of our products and help retailers selling them.”

To become a strategic partner of the Range Centre initiative, an independent needs to display a minimum of six range cookers – a mix of Stoves and Belling. GDHA will supply and install a free display unit, help the retailer with promotional activities, and provide staff training as a minimum two of the retailer’s staff are expected to become specialist in the GDHA products.

“We had a superb response to this initiative from our independent dealers and have already seen between 3 and 5% increase in our market share.

The next step

In the course of the next few months, the company plans to take its brands down “the environmental route”, including induction. “There will be new products in both Belling and Stoves, which will take our Belling cookers into a new territory,” concludes Rob. N

GDHA range cookers – brand and product structure

Belling:

• Gourmet

• Country Classic Electric

• Classic

• DB4 Professional

Stoves:

• Richmond Classic 90cm

& 1100 cm

• Sterling 90cm

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