By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
LOUISVILLE, KY. – GE Appliances has created a new Artistry-series kitchen platform that targets millennials with its clean, simple design and affordable pricing.
The five-SKU series includes a 20.3-cubic- foot bottom-mount refrigerator, a range, a dishwasher and an over-the-range (OTR) microwave oven. The products are finished in high-gloss black or white, and feature metallic highlights such as horizontal brushedsteel handles on the refrigerator, an analog clock on the range backsplash, and a onepiece stamped aluminum “General Electric” badge fronting each of the items.
The overall effect creates a sleek, modern feel with a hint of 1950s retro design that Artistry’s lead industrial designer Tomas DeLuna called “a nod to the past.” Indeed, user controls are kept to a minimum, and the range does away with digital touchscreens and push controls for heavy, temperaturenotched knobs on the front panel.
The retro-tech approach, and offshore manufacturing in Mexico and China, keeps pricing affordable for young, first-time homebuyers on a budget, which GE’s chief marketing officer Eddie Martin described on a video conference as an underserved market. The entire suite carries a suggested retail of $2,400, and targeted price points for the individual pieces include $1,099 for the fridge, $599 for the range, $499 for the dishwasher and $219 for the OTR microwave.
Martin said GE is planning a “full frontal assault” for the August rollout that includes broad distribution through Sears, the homeimprovement chains, independent dealers and the contract channel.
GE said millennials comprise a significant number of first-time homebuyers, and cited real estate listings site Redfin which points to 25- to 34-year-olds as the largest segment of homebuyers by age.
“These buyers are price conscious and design savvy, but also want appliances from a brand they trust,” added Lou Lenzi, director of GE’s industrial design operation. “In today’s marketplace, affordable appliances tend to look the same. GE Artistry series fills that void for consumers by offering uniquelooking products not currently sold by other manufacturers.”
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