By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Indesit Company, a leading appliance manufacturer in Italy, will be debuting products from its Ariston brand at the Kitchen/Bath Industry Show and Conference (K/BIS) this week, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, here.
According to Indesit (formerly Merloni Elettrodomestici), the company is one of the top three household appliance manufacturers in Europe, producing and distributing more than 14 million units worldwide each year. The company's four main brands include Ariston, Indesit, Hotpoint and Scholtes.
Ultra 8, based in Las Vegas, is the authorized import distribution agent for the Ariston appliances. Ultra 8 has an established distribution network that is comprised of eight wholesale distributors in the United States (Florida, the Southeast, Northeast, Midwest and Central Plains, Southwest, and Northwest) and Canada (eastern and western).
“The main thing we're trying to do,” said Chris Kaeser, sales and marketing executive VP of Ultra 8, “is offer a much higher benefit-to-price ratio. We have a lot of features at price points that weren't there before.”
Kaeser said the company's target is the independent dealer who sells high-end products. “We're not looking to target national accounts at this point,” he said. “Our target is the brand specialists, and that's the network we're looking to grow through.”
Oscar Groet, international relations VP of Indesit, echoed this, saying, “Our approach is to grow through sales and then put money in the infrastructure. We are going to start out selling and see how far it goes. We are very hopeful and very happy to go to the U.S.A., and we think we can do great things.”
Kaeser said he thinks consumers will welcome the additions to the already-loaded majaps lines for several reasons, one being that Ariston products well-exceed EnergyStar requirements.
“Our dishwasher uses only four gallons of water, which is 25 to 60 percent better than EnergyStar requirements,” he said.
Also, Kaeser said, the dishwasher line starts at price points of $599, and all are equipped with water softeners. All dishwasher lines feature multi-system racks for open, flexible loading systems.
The three lead pieces debuting at K/BIS will be a refrigeration drawer, and a coffee center and wine cooler that are part of the company's Experience Style line.
“From the aspect of laundry,” Kaeser said, “we have a washer/dryer combo that's been quite successful.” Kaeser said the washer/dryer combo (suggested retail $1,399) is designed for tight spaces and spaces without ventilation. It will increase the current unit to 2.3 cubic feet, from 1.9 cubic feet, and features a fingerprint-free stainless-steel exterior.
One of the products debuting at K/BIS will be a 36-inch double cooling drawer (suggested retail $2,999) that can be designed into the kitchen flush and hidden with a custom panel of choice or stainless steel.
Ariston products released this year include several dishwashing and laundry products. The top-selling LL64S (suggested retail $1,039) stainless-steel dishwasher is geared toward young families who are starting to design their kitchens with stainless steel. It is part of the Premier line. The LI670S, part of the Elegance line, (suggested retail $1,139) features hidden controls and seven wash cycles. According to the company, both dishwashers use four gallons in a regular wash, holding the best energy stats on the market.
Products released this year will begin shipping in July.
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