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K/BIS A No-Show For Majap Makers


The major appliance trade has largely
taken a pass on this month’s Kitchen/Bath Industry Show

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 their toll.

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

The balance of the exhibitors
is small, niche manufacturers
such as American
Range, Arda Appliances, Five-
Star 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 brand. 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 whitegoods
wares again at International
CES, following the first
major majap showing there in

Other alternate venues include
the Architectural Digest
Home Design Show,
held each March in New York,
where premium appliance
distributor Eastern Marketing
commanded a 50-foot booth
last month near exhibits by
Miele and Sub-Zero. “It’s a
good show for us,” Eastern
president Marty Friedman noted.
“Apparently the designers
and architects and high-end buyers think that this is their
replacement for K/BIS, which is failing.”

For its part, long-time K/BIS exhibitor Dacor has not
ruled out the possibility of attending CES in the future, a
spokesperson said, but the company “really likes getting
in front of designers and specifiers and K/BIS is the best
place to do that.”

Ironically, this year’s K/BIS returns to the Las Vegas
Convention Center, home of CES, April 26-28.