GoldStar Targets Vac Shops With Floor Care Debut

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LG Electronics is taking a different route than most electronics/appliance suppliers with the introduction of its first GoldStar floor care line: For at least the initial stages of the product launch, the company is targeting vacuum cleaner specialty shops exclusively.

In March, LG Electronics began shipping its first two upright vacs, TwinTurbo models V7517T and V7513T. Both have 12-amp, two-stage motors with a bypass cleaning system so dirt is shunted past the motors. Other common features include a folding handle and a 15-inch vac head. Step-up model V7517T also offers a HEPA filtration system.

Through June, the GoldStar vacs are being supported with a $10 or $20 consumer rebate, depending on the model purchased.

Ami Desai Pandya, assistant manager of brand management for LG Electronics' home appliance division, said: "Initially, we're looking at a niche market, vac specialty shops. It's difficult to get into the floor care business through mass merchandisers and appliance stores. For example, features like our folding handle, which benefits from demonstration, are hard to sell at the mass-merchant level. So we're going to build our name in the marketplace through the vacuum cleaner specialists."

These initial two uprights are just the first rollout of the company's floor care plans, Pandya said. "We're looking at one more upright and probably a canister vac."

LG Electronics also entered the dehumidifier market this year, with new models first shown at the January Housewares Show. And the company added two new room air conditioners: a 13,800-Btu cool-only model and a heat/cool unit offering 17,500/18,000 Btu of cooling and 9,200/11.200 Btu of heating power. - Cathy Ciccolella

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