Chinese manufacturer Haier continues to strengthen its position in the UK.
The company has just opened its new offices in Westgate House in West London. The 353m² offices and product showroom offer easy access for its trade customers and give the Chinese brand adequate room for expansion.
At the same time, Haier unveiled a new laundry range with a number of innovative features, including an anti-bacterial seal and a detergent drawer.
The door seal and the detergent drawer on all models in three-tier laundry collection, the 86, 82 and 79 series (including washer dryers and dryers), has ABT coating that prevents bacteria growth throughout the entire life cycle of the product. The flagship model of the 86 series, is an A+++ rated 8kg washing machine with 11 pre-recorded programmes. It is equipped with a Memo function that enables pre-setting of washing programmes to users’ individual requirements, such as wash length, temperature or spin speed (valid for cotton, synthetic and mixed fabric cycles). Meanwhile the time Delay function allows postponing the wash from 30 minutes to 24 hours.
All 86 series washing machines are equipped with an inverter motor which prolongs the life of the appliance and makes it quieter. The new Wave drum design creates waves of water for gentler treatment of textiles and improved wash results.
“These developments reflect Haier’s commitment to the UK market,” Jeff Moody, Haier’s sales and marketing director, UK and Ireland told IER. “The company has taken a ten-year lease on the Westgate offices and we have opened a second warehouse near London. In the past Haier was perceived as a containerised business – a retailer had to buy a container of products to stockpile. Now the independent can buy Haier’s products either through the distributors or through its direct accounts facility but we also carry stock so the retailer can select individual products. Haier now has five sales reps exclusively focused on the independent channel.
“The company is also committed to after-sales service. JTM and independent service providers give a complete nationwide service of our products. Haier has been in the UK for over 20 years so the company has developed a service back-up over many years. Haier also gives independents a two-year warranty on every product – making it a unique proposition for the channel.
“We are also rolling out a retail display programme to identify the dealers who will become our key stockists. We already have eighteen retail displays but the target is to reach 150 so we are looking for top independents that can display our premium products. We have a good product proposition for them since Haier is a brand that covers a full price spectrum – good, better and best models – such as the latest laundry series.
“We are not chasing volume; we wish to build brand awareness and reach the premium and mid-market sectors,” stressed Mr Moody.
Mr Moody also revealed that Haier is planning several new product launches for 2012 which will include built-in refrigeration, glass-fronted dishwashers and cooking. The manufacturer’s distribution strategy will be focused on bricks & mortar retailers and kitchen showroom specialists.