President of Elica Francesco Casoli told retailers that service and quality of people can defeat the challenge of online sales. At the opening of its UK trade showroom, he continued to discuss the influence of the Internet of Things in relation to aspiration.
Casoli officially opened the 110sqm space in Aldershot, Hampshire, which can now be used by independent kitchen retailers, consultants and interior designers to view the company’s latest ranges.
These include its latest launches from Eurocucina, which number NikolaTesla, an integrated extractor and induction hob; Loop, a vertical hood with Tune White LED lighting that can be changed from cool to warm white; Majestic Sense, a vertical hood with demister to prevent condensation when using an induction hob; Interstellar, a larger version of its Celestial hood in clear or black glass; Shining, a suspended hood in four finishes including polished copper and machined steel, plus Snap an air quality balancer which can work in tandem with a hood
Speaking at the showroom opening, Francesco Casoli said: “This new facility perfectly displays our determination to constantly innovate and to create products which meet the constantly changing demands of our customers.” He continued: “Our products prove that there need not be any compromise between performance, design and technical innovation. We are sure that our existing and future UK clients will make great use of this facility for the benefit of their own businesses.”
Elica has a turnover of 500million Euros, globally, with a UK turnover of 20million Euros making it the fourth largest market for the hood manufacturer.
Francesco Casoli commented the sales growth in the UK came from “a very good relationship with our kitchen studios. We have a very good relationship through our distributor with these people”.
When asked how Elica was helping retailers face the challenge of internet sales, Casoli stated: “We do not deal directly with the internet but it’s normal that somewhere in the world, there is someone using the internet to sell stocks – product that is maybe old – to sell product that is not UK equipped – so this is something that we have to cope with. It’s only with service and quality of people that you can beat this threat.”
And Casoli pointed to opportunities for further global sales growth, as he said: “We are now doubling our factory in Mexico. We are going from 700 people to 1,500. So for us, the Americas – Central and North – is a big opportunity.” He continued: “A big opportunity for us in the UK is the new line of production that is aspiration and hob together. It is something very new. It is something we can invest, not only in communication, but invest in story-telling.”
Although expanding its induction hob line-up, with the introduction of the integrated extractor, Casoli decried any suggestion it aimed to challenge major household appliance manufacturers: “No. We are Elica and we do not want to compete with these big guys. We want to play our role, which is a niche role. We want to stay in our place and in our niche we can play a nice game – for us and for the market.”
However with the introduction of Snap, its wireless air quality balancer, Casoli agreed the company has been looking beyond the confines of the kitchen for future sales .
“We want to go out from the kitchen. We are experts in quality of air, in aspiration, in controlling the quality of the air. I think with this new product, we came out from the kitchen and gave the possiblity to the final customer to use a tablet or smartphone to control the air system in the house. I think it’s the future. I think it’s a good way to use the Internet of Things.”
But he added: “We don’t want to change the world, we just want to change the air.”