The builder channel is becoming an increasingly important adjunct for appliance retailers — and a mainstay of majap manufacturers.
To underscore the point, the Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC) is enjoying an ever-greater profile and this year’s event saw the introduction of new kitchen collections by two of the world’s largest white-goods makers.
Samsung came to the Golden State bearing a newly redesigned Chef Collection line of premium built-in appliances, featuring two new fully integrated, built-in refrigerators, including what it describes as the industry’s first built-in, four-door Flex model, which provides a convertible refrigerator-to-freezer compartment.
The Wi-Fi-enabled collection, available later this year, also offers builders and installers time-saving value-adds like pre-drilled holes, easy leveling, web-based diagnostic tests, and less cumbersome packaging.
The line includes:
● 30-inch wall ovens with steam cooking and a divisible (Flex) bottom oven cavity;
● 30-and 36-inch induction and gas cooktops – the former with virtual flame technology, the latter with a 22,000 Btu dual power brass burner – and Bluetooth-enabled range hoods;
● Samsung’s acclaimed WaterWall technology dishwasher, which provides corner-to-corner cleaning; and
● refrigerator compartment cameras that allow consumers to check the contents remotely.
“As homes have become more modern, we felt it was important to give consumers choice when selecting premium appliances that complement their elevated sense of style,” said John Herrington, home appliances senior VP/general manager for Samsung Electronics America. “With the reimagined Chef Collection, we’ve integrated our best and brightest innovations and design details in a premium built-in platform that meets the needs and priorities of modern families and fits how they live their lives.”
Meanwhile, Whirlpool’s contribution was a Sunset Bronze kitchen suite, featuring a warm-toned stainless-steel finish. The shade, which is achieved by color-blocking painted stainless steel, is a blend of gold, copper and bronze hues that can fit into any kitchen aesthetic, the company said.
The finish is also fingerprint resistant, and the collection is expected to ship this fall.
Sunset Bronze joins a fingerprint-resistant Black Stainless kitchen suite with matte-black finish that also was shown at the show.
“We’re blurring the line between furniture and machine in our designs,” said Jason Tippetts, Whirlpool’s global brands design manager. “Satin and matte finishes help builders blend with other materials in the kitchen, creating continuity from surface to surface. This is especially important because the kitchen has integrated into families’ living spaces and is truly the hub of the home.”