By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
LAS VEGAS – Electrolux and Viking Range are topping the short list of majap makers to exhibit at February’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS).
The manufacturers said their decisions to return after multiyear absences were influenced by the show’s concurrent run with the International Builders’ Show (IBS), which draws the homebuilder and designer trades.
The shows will be held together for the first time Feb. 4-6, 2014, at the Las Vegas Convention Center under the banner of “Design and Construction Week.”
In a statement, Electrolux spokesperson Eloise Hale noted, “The newly combined show allows us to work with a stronger, more influential audience, while also providing a showcase for our latest innovations. The combination creates a powerful show, rivaling IFA in our minds.”
Electrolux will be spotlighting a number of recent introductions including a stainless-steel dishwasher with 14 wash cycles and an innovative racking system that can fit more than 180 items of all sizes and shapes; a freestanding induction range (see TWICE, Oct. 7, p. 37); and a French door refrigerator that boasts the industry’s greatest organizational capacity and increased interior space without extending the exterior dimensions.
Viking, which was acquired last December by The Middelby Corp., a major supplier of commercial kitchen appliances, said it considers KBIS an opportunity to reinforce its brand to its “core influencers,” which include designers, builders, architects and remodelers.
“The design and builder communities are critically important to Viking and we are excited to be a part of this mega-event to showcase so many innovative new Viking products,” said Viking marketing director Tim Tyler.
Tyler noted that Viking will highlight dozens of new products and advanced technologies introduced over an August through January launch window. “We are eager to show the industry all of the new projects that we have been working on at Viking over the past year and to share our vision for the future of the Viking brand,” he said.
Brand management director Brent Bailey said Viking’s booth will also play to the international contingent that the shows draw. “Not only will Viking domestic product lines be on display, but we will also be showcasing our extensive and growing lineup of Viking products available globally,” he said. “We look forward to meeting many international attendees at the show and introducing them to the Viking brand for use with their clients.”
The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), KBIS’s producer, noted that the show floor sold out in mid-October, and that Design and Construction Week is expected to draw some 70,000 residential design and construction professionals as the housing market continues its recovery.
“We anticipate huge benefits to exhibitors in both shows — as well as to attendees — because there will be so much more to see in one location,” Viking’s Tyler added.
KBIS had long been the prime showcase for the major appliance industry, serving as the white-goods equivalent of International CES. But the recession and the collapse of the housing market in 2008 took a toll on attendance and exhibitor support, and many manufacturers have since opted to open their own showrooms, exhibit at CES, or hold private off-site events during KBIS in lieu of exhibiting there.
Despite piggybacking KBIS with IBS, another traditional platform for majap introductions, Electrolux and Viking will still be joining a diminished white-goods exhibitor list that also includes Liebherr, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, ProHoods and InSinkErator.
Electrolux will be located in booth N3005 and Viking can be found in booth N1215 of the Las Vegas Convention Center. — Additional reporting by Doug Olenick
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