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Premium Brands Expand Big-Box Distribution

MINNEAPOLIS — Taking a page
from the consumer electronics industry,
which has blurred if not dismantled barriers
between sales channels, two premium
major appliance makers — Bosch
and Dacor — have broadened their distribution
to big-box accounts.

For Bosch, the new retail partner is
Best Buy, which will carry its high-end
laundry products and dishwashers in
stores, and will offer its freestanding
ranges, over-the-range microwaves and
refrigeration by special order.

Bosch’s other big-box accounts include
hhgregg, Lowe’s and Sears.

According to Best Buy’s home life
VP Liz Haesler, the decision to bring
in Bosch was prompted by customer demand
and requests by “Blue Shirt” sales
associates. “We see Bosch as a natural
addition to our home appliance department,”
she noted, “as we share their vision
to bring the consumer a high-quality,
high-efficiency appliance option.”

Indeed, Bosch, a division of Germany’s
BSH Bosch and Siemens Home Appliance
Group, has positioned itself as the
only U.S.-manufactured brand with entire
product lines of Energy Star-qualified dishwashers, washers and refrigeration.
Its commitment to the environment,
from green manufacturing to efficient
appliance performance, has earned it
the Department of Energy’s Energy Star
Partner of the Year Award for Appliances
for two consecutive years, and Bosch
recently launched a “Green Technology
Inside” icon and designation to make it
easier for shoppers to identify its most efficient

“Consumers are increasingly looking
to lead greener lives, and home appliances
are a key part of that equation,” said
John Iacoviello, sales senior VP for BSH
Home Appliances. “We are very excited
to continue expanding the availability of
our efficient appliance options through
this partnership with Best Buy.”

Best Buy will carry Bosch’s Vision
washers, which use only 13 gallons of water
per load thanks to a network of sensors
that monitor and adjust the cycle for
optimized operation, and dishwashers
with an EcoSense feature that analyzes
soil levels in the water and customizes
the cycle to save on water and energy.

For Dacor, the big news is the placement
of its new “mass premium” Distinctive
series of competitively priced cooking
appliances at more than 320 Sears stores
effective this month. The manufacturer
has a history with the No. 1 white-goods
retailer via its The Great Indoors, Allied
Builder and Commercial Sales divisions,
and sees the expansion as an opportunity
to increase brand awareness within the
growing entry-level luxury market.

The Costa Mesa, Calif.-based company
said it will continue to remain committed
to its independent dealer network
and believes the broadened partnership
with Sears “will strengthen Dacor’s business
and stimulate sales across regions
for all valued partners.”

The expansion is part of a broader corporate
strategy to reach a wider range of
customers, the 45-year-old, family-owned
manufacturer said.

Dacor described the stainless-steel
Distinctive platform as a combination of
contemporary style with premium performance
that was designed to appeal to
a broader segment of the appliance market.
Suggested retails range from $2,000
for a 30-inch wall oven to $3,800 for a
30-inch dual-fuel range. The line, like all
Dacor appliances, is manufactured and
assembled by hand in California.

The Sears deal follows last month’s
announced expansion into Best Buyowned
Pacific Sales Kitchen & Bath (Pac
Sales), the premium majap, home-improvement
and home-furnishings chain
serving the California, Nevada and Arizona

“This expansion in the Southern California
region gives Dacor the opportunity
to increase our presence in one of the
country’s leading markets,” said Dacor
chairman/CEO Michael Joseph. “We
are excited about the potential for growth
and look forward to a long and profitable
relationship with Pacific Sales.”

Dacor has installed in-store displays
within 37 Pac Sales locations and has
made its complete line available to the