By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Electrolux has developed a new kitchen line exclusively for Lowe's that features a proprietary metallic finish and premium price points.
The Frigidaire-branded program, dubbed Elements, includes side-by-side refrigerators; dishwashers; ranges; a warming drawer; an OTR microwave; drop-in cooktops; and vent hoods. All feature Electrolux's flecked metallic nickel finish, which the vendor and retailer describe as an industry first. The finish is touted as durable, fingerprint resistant and competitively priced compared to stainless steel, while the color is considered a new neutral that will coordinate with any decorating scheme.
"The new line gives consumers a premium, affordable line in a new metallic neutral that works well in any décor," said Tom Anderson, Frigidaire's director of sales.
Price points range from $750 for the dishwasher to $2,400 for a counter-depth refrigerator, and complete packages will be offered from $4,500 to $7,500.
Electrolux has shipped the line to all Lowe's stores, half of which are displaying Elements within vignettes and half on end-cap specials. The collection is also being promoted in stores via take-with brochures, and on cable's HGTV channel via a 12-week run of Lowe's spots.
The partners have also established a consumer Web site, www.frigidaireelements.com, which features style guides, tips and trends, accessories and product descriptions. Besides serving as a sales tool, the site also "enhances the post-purchase experience," an area that has long been overlooked by most white goods retailers and manufacturers, observed Electrolux national accounts VP Kevin Dexter.
Elements' unique textured finished is achieved through a "waterfall finish technology," borrowed from the auto industry, in which cold rolled steel is taken through a "waterfall" of protective metal flecks. A protective coating is then applied, followed by a protective glaze.
The elements of Elements include:
Two side-by-side refrigerators, including standard and counter-depth models that feature Frigidaire's PureSource 2 water filtration system;
Built-in dishwashers that can hold up to 14 place settings and feature Frigidaire's AquaSurge technology that uses variable water pressure that adjusts to suit the load;
Electric and gas top ranges that allow consumers to cook in convection mode with the touch of a button. Cooking models include 30-inch gas and electric freestanding and slide-in ranges; 30-inch wall ovens in double and single configurations; a 30-inch over-the-range microwave; a 30-inch warming drawer; gas and electric drop-in cooktops in 30-inch and 36-inch models; and overhead vent hoods in 30-inch and 36-inch sizes.
To help promote the 18-SKU program, Lowe's has enlisted the services of designer Sarah Richardson, host of HGTV's "Design, Inc." and "Room Service" shows. "This new metallic nickel finish is going to be the next big neutral appliance color," she predicted. "It's warmer than stainless steel and will coordinate with any decorating scheme, from dark wood to cottage white or red lacquer."
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