San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
De'Longhi, the high-end Italian white-goods vendor best known in the United States for its popular countertop appliances, will make its domestic majors debut at next month's Kitchen/Bath Industry Show & Conference (K/BIS) in Las Vegas.
That's when EuroChef USA, a U.S. importer of premium Italian cooking products, will formerly unveil its exclusive line of De'Longhi-branded ranges, cooktops, wall ovens and range hoods.
The 14-SKU showing at EuroChef's booth (No. 1773) will represent the culmination of an 18-month effort to bring the luxury line to U.S. and Canadian floors. The company, run by brothers Mark and Harvey Lubell, had already made its mark in the premium market with Verona Appliances, its own high-end collection of cooking equipment that's contract manufactured in Italy.
But the Lubells saw an opportunity to expand their business by bringing in something that had previously been foreign to these shores: a full-bore line of full-size cooking appliances by one of Europe's premier players. Indeed, De'Longhi is as well known on the Continent for its big ovens as it is here for its toaster ovens, and extending the franchise — particularly in the current super-heated luxury market — was a natural.
To that end, Mark set to work retrofitting existing cavities and creating totally new designs that would suit American specs, and De'Longhi began the long task of tooling up for its U.S. cooking debut. The fruits of those labors began to bear fruit last month, when the first wave of product shipped from EuroChef's Edgewood warehouse to some 13 dealer floors, including the legendary Karl's Appliance Stores in New Jersey.
The all stainless-steel electric and gas line offers such features as safety valve shut-offs on all gas burners, infrared broilers within gas ovens, a one-piece stacked double oven, and warming drawers with thermometers. The ranges are available in 24-inch, 36-inch and 48-inch sizes, with the latter carrying a suggested $7,000 retail. A 30-inch model is planned for next year.
Also in the works are six more SKUs, which will bring the collection to 20 units by year's end, plus an informational consumer Web site, Mark Lubell said. More immediately, EuroChef is planning a special reception at its K/BIS booth with guest of honor Giuseppe De'Longhi.