Exhibitors Move Offsite During K/BIS

By Alan Wolf On May 8 2012 - 4:01am




CHICAGO – Majap exhibitors continued to eschew last month’s Kitchen/Bath Industry Show (K/BIS), while some, including Whirlpool, GE and Sears, used their permanent facilities to showcase new products during exhibit week.

Whirlpool unveiled a raft of new majaps at its World of Whirlpool business facility here last month, including the newley launched Ice kitchen collection. The contemporary suite includes refrigerators, wall ovens, ranges and dishwashers in white and black finishes, the latter with metallic details. Both are accented with stainless steel, including new elegantly designed, user-friendly handles. Other new design elements include subtle, intuitive graphics and larger oven windows to meet homeowners’ needs for increased visibility, the company said.

Sears used its Kenmore Craftsman Live Experience showroom and studio here to highlight its Kenmore Elite electric freestanding double oven (starting at $1,999) and new slide-in range (starting at $2,499), both with dual 3.5-cubic-foot cavities and available in stainless, white and black. Sears also unveiled a 31-cubicfoot Grab-N-Go Trio addition to its Kenmore Signature refrigeration line that provides a separate push-button compartment for most frequently used items. Suggested retail: $3,299.

GE moved even further offsite, using its Monogram Design Center in New York to showcase its new generation of French door refrigerators. A GE Profile model, shipping this summer, features a hands-free water dispenser that is set into the door with an elegant “flowing water” design and can accurately top off or fill containers to a pre-determined level. A GE Café version, set to ship this fall, can also dispense heated water, an industry first.

Both offer an advanced filtration system that can remove 98 percent of five trace pharmaceuticals from drinking water and ice, plus twin-chill evaporators for separate airflow and temperature and humidity levels in the fresh food and freezer sections. The fridges will be available in 27- and 29-cubic-foot capacities at a suggested retail range of $1,700 to $3,000.

Not all majap makers moved offsite. Sub-Zero/Wolf returned to K/BIS with an expanded presence following a three-year absence to showcase its new steam convection oven, black glass E-series 30-inch double and single wall ovens, and a built-in French door fridge in 42- and 48-inch widths.

Other appliance exhibitors at Chicago’s McCormick Place facility included premium manufacturers AGA Marvel, Bertazzoni, Capital Cooking, Dacor and Liebherr, as well as the specialty appliance division of distributor Almo.

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