Las Vegas - The major
appliance trade has largely taken a pass on this month's Kitchen/Bath Industry
Once the premier showcase
for white-goods makers, the event has steadily lost majap industry support over
the last four years as high costs, low attendance and competitive venues took
This month's roster of
majap exhibitors has dwindled to 12, led by Dacor, a California maker of
premium kitchen appliances, and Equator, a Texas company known for its compact
laundry and kitchen products.
The balance of the
exhibitors is small, niche manufacturers such as American Range, Arda
Appliances, FiveStar Range and Summit, and China-based factory exporters including
Chinabest and Wuxi Little Swan.
K/BIS began losing
support in 2007 when Whirlpool and Electrolux sat out the show and GE limited
its presence to its premium Monogram line. Electrolux returned with its own
booth for the last time in 2008, and for the past two years Whirlpool had been
represented there solely by its premium Jenn-Air line. Other leading majap
vendors, including LG, have often opted in recent years to meet with customers
at more cost-effective offsite facilities.
Also sitting out this
year's show is Sears Kenmore, whose last exhibit, in 2009, piggybacked BSH,
Electrolux and Samsung.
Both Sears and Whirlpool
have since opened their own showrooms in Chicago, and both companies, along
with GE, Haier, LG and Samsung, will likely show their white-goods wares again
at International CES, following the first major majap showing there in January.
Ironically, this year's
K/BIS returns to the Las Vegas Convention Center, home of International CES,