The U.S. home appliance market is one of the largest, and toughest, nuts to crack.
Yet HomeEasy, the 10-year-old Hong Kong resource, has managed to make some major inroads here in less than three years.
Armed with the iconic Emerson Quiet Kool brand, and supported by national distributor Almo, HomeEasy’s Fairfield, N.J.-based American arm has since captured 2 percent of the domestic home comfort market, reported sales and marketing director Jack Zheng, with a line that includes window, through-the-window and portable air conditioners, as well as dehumidifiers.
Beyond name recognition though, Zheng said Emerson’s pricing, marketplace positioning and industry-leading manufacturer’s warranty have helped re-establish Emerson Quiet Kool as a top-tier name at retail.
Specifically, he said, HomeEasy has targeted the popular Frigidaire line with an “opening price point plus one” strategy that prices out a 5,000 Btu room AC at $129 retail.
Taking it further, the company backs up its products with a one year labor, two years parts warranty, which bests the industry standard of one year for each. And coverage is even more robust on Emerson’s through-the-wall models, introduced this year, which come with five-year warranties for both parts and labor.
“Emerson Quiet Kool is growing tremendously,” Zheng told TWICE.
Doubling down on its initial success, HomeEasy also launched Geek Appliances, a house brand for “unique, differentiated and innovative products” like outdoor infrared heaters, oversized, oval-shaped pressure cookers, and rechargeable outdoor floor fans. The assortment is sold online at Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, The Home Depot and Walmart, and over broadcast TV on HSN.
Together, he said, the two brand families have helped the U.S. division double its sales this year, despite their exposure to the Trump administration’s 10-percent import tariff on Chinese-made goods. “We were able to pass the cost onto the buyers,” he noted. “The industry is accepting it.”
Looking ahead to 2019, HomeEasy plans to further fuel the Emerson Quiet Kool brand with its first smart dehumidifiers and ACs, including through-the-wall units, which will all be compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. The company has already received commitments from current and new accounts, both national and regional, Zheng said, and shipping will begin in the second quarter.
Not to be outdone, HomeEasy will also raise Geek Appliances’ profile with its debut appearance at the International Home + Housewares Show this March in Chicago.
“We’re gaining shelf space and both brands are growing,” said Zheng. “We’re happy with the business.”