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GLOBAL: Whirlpool optimistic about lifting sales

By Zeba Fatima

According to the Whirlpool, CEO Jeff Fettig, global demand has been weak for whirlpool. He’s optimistic that a rebound in the U.S. housing market and consumers’ need to replace old appliances will boost sales during the next three to five years.

“This is another year, where we’re bouncing along the bottom in terms of demand from a recessionary level — down about 25 percent from the high in 2006.”  he said .

The company is forecasting another 1 to 2 percent decrease this year as consumers make few discretionary appliance purchases.

Europe and Asia have also been weak, while Latin America has proven to be a strong market for Whirlpool.

Although looking out a bit further, Fettig is positive that a housing market will make a comeback and will raise product demand and more consumers will begin to replace appliances bought during the early part of the housing boom in 2003.

He told CNBC’s Squawk on the Street that” I really believe we have a significant amount of pent up demand today and we’ll get a catalyst from both housing and the replacement cycle over the next three to five years.”
However, Fettig did warn that any increase in taxes that erodes disposable income could put more pressure on consumers, who may continue to delay purchases of new dishwashers and washing machines.

The Whirlpool executive said in a statement that “Improvement in existing home sales will stimulate demand, but what the consumer will have to do is balance that with an overall added pressure if taxes are increased.”

Whirlpool has also been improving its operating margin by cutting fixed costs and improving productivity. Innovative new products have also helped.

Fettig stated that “Even in a difficult market, consumers will pay for innovation that has really helped our price mix quite a bit.” By 2014 Whirlpool expect these trends to continue and for its operating margin to increase above 8 percent.

GLOBAL: Samsung’s microwaves with Eco Mode

By Zeba Fatima

By using the Eco Mode feature on Samsung’s over-the-range microwaves one can help save the environment! How?  The manufacturer’s green claim got the experts at Consumer Reports wondering how much energy Eco Mode would save you. Here’s what they found.

The claims: As mentioned by the Samsung’s website that Use Eco Mode and help save the environment, power as well as money. Samsung microwaves and its site simply says, “Eco Mode reduces standby power.”

The check: Ultimate tests of microwaves added two Samsung over-the-range microwaves, model SMH1926[S], $360, from Lowe’s, and model SMH1927[S], $400.Report found that selecting the Eco Mode feature shuts off the microwave’s time display and possibly other internal power drains but the energy usage reduction was small. Based on  limited test and assuming the reduction is achieved 24/7, estimate savings of about $2 a year was observed using the national average electric rate of 11.8 cents per kilowatt hour.

Based on restricted test and assuming the reduction is achieved 24/7, estimate savings of about $2 a year using the national average electric rate of 11.8 cents per kilowatt hour

Warehouse looking to secure appliance brands

By Virin Gomber

Analysts are predicting the acquisition of the appliance retailer Noel Leeming Group will make it easier for The Warehouse to secure appliance brands it has been unable to stock so far.

Chief executive, Mark Powell, recently described the challenges the company had faced in its attempts to secure big-name appliance brands, an APN report mentioned.

Powell said the $65 million purchase of Noel Leeming Group’s 92 stores, including the Bond & Bond chain, would help The Warehouse in its plan to stock more well-known electronics brands.

“But the company would take a very considered approach. There won’t be a sort of wholesale move of brands from Noel Leeming into The Warehouse,” Powell said.

An analyst at market research firm Coriolis, Tim Morris, said the purchase was one of the best strategic moves The Warehouse could have made.

“For 20 years The Warehouse has been struggling to get big brands, particularly in electronics and whiteware. Now, in one swoop, they’re going to get access to them,” Morris said.

Till recently, Noel Leeming was owned by Gresham Group, an Australian private equity firm that bought the appliance retail business from Pacific Retail Group for $138 million in 2004.

Powell said Noel Leeming’s debt-laden capital structure was the cause of the company’s $615 million loss in the year to March 31 this year, and that The Warehouse had not taken on any of the debt.

Online appliance deals to brighten up Christmas

By Virin Gomber

An online reviewing company has released a list of the best home appliance deals for Christmas from some of the top online retailers.

The list from MarketersBlackBook.com (MBB) details product stock and price information, with discounts on offer, to help shoppers maximise holiday shopping dollars with e-merchants.

Included in the list is the latest Cuisinart GR-1 Griddler Panini and Sandwich Press, which makes it possible to prepare Panini and other famous restaurant sandwiches at home. The steel construction and timed cooking surface help to make effortless breakfast, lunch or dinner sandwiches.

MBB said consumers who purchase coffee from restaurants or retail establishments could save money by making gourmet coffee at home with the help of the Caféjo My French-Press appliance, one of the latest breakthroughs in the home coffee industry. This appliance is not yet sold in stores and must be purchased online or by mail order.

To help the health-conscious to make homemade yogurt, T-Fal Balanced Living Yogurt Maker now offers a fast solution. This table-top device offers a way to make retail comparable fruit, plain and natural yogurts without preservatives, for those with no culinary skills to make yogurt.

The information in MBB’s new list is expected to remain updated as the Christmas season approaches. Consumers purchasing an appliance for use in the home can use this list to obtain sizable discounts for purchases made online.

KitchenAid celebrates mixer milestone

By Virin Gomber

KitchenAid is celebrating a milestone achieving an annual production of two million stand mixers, an appliance that has received praise from generations of noted chefs and showcased as a design icon in museum exhibits.

General manager of KitchenAid small appliances, David Elliott, said this was by far the largest number they had ever produced in their Ohio plant, where every stand mixer sold around the world is built.

“Given the craftsmanship that goes into assembling each stand mixer, we’re very proud to have the skilled work force and manufacturing process needed to fulfill increasing demand while maintaining the premium quality consumers expect from KitchenAid®,” Elliott said.

Since its introduction in 1919, the KitchenAid® stand mixer has been touted in countless ways as an essential culinary workhorse.

Versatile features

A key feature of every KitchenAid® stand mixer is a unique hub that taps into the powerful motor to accommodate over a dozen optional attachments for everything from grinding grain and meat to kneading dough, slicing vegetables, rolling and cutting pasta, and even making ice cream.

Consumers have a range of KitchenAid® stand mixers to choose from in either a tilt-head or bowl-lift design. Capacity ranges from 4-1/2 quart models that can handle up to 8 cups of flour; 5-quart models that handle 9 cups; 6-quart models that handle 14 cups; and 7-quart models that can handle enough batter to make 14 dozen cookies.

Every model includes three basic accessories: a flat beater for mixing batters, making pie dough or mashing potatoes; a dough hook for kneading everything from soft dough to stiff pizza dough; and a wire whip for beating egg whites and whipping cream.

The KitchenAid® stand mixer collection offers an unsurpassed range of colours and finishes, with over 40 colours and finish options.

Smart toaster senses hue

By Virin Gomber

While toasters are an integral part of every kitchen, toaster technology has barely kept pace with advances in other household consumer appliances, except until now.

A new ‘Hue’ toaster promises to change the way we look at toasters, or rather not look at them when using them.

Designed by student Basheer Tome, the smart toaster uses photo sensors to determine the colour of the bread as it toasts, and once it reaches pre-selected level of doneness, it pops up the perfectly toasted slice as desired.

Tome realised that the numbers on the toasting level dial, using current technology, really don’t mean much, as one toaster may burn the bread at level 5, another one might need the user to drop the bread in twice to get the job done.

So, the new toaster ditches traditional time settings in favour of a state-of-the-art colour-sensing method to ensure the bread inside never burns, a Daily Mail report said.

When the bread is put into the toaster an electronic screen on the machine displays the colour of the slice as it is.

A circular touch-display screen gives the user the various shades of brown they can select for their toast and even shows them the colour it will be when cooked.

It automatically varies the toasting time depending on what’s dropped in the slot. So if a frozen slice of bread straight from the freezer is used, ‘Hue’ will first thaw the bread then continue operating until it’s toasted. Thicker slices of bread and bagels that sit closer to the heating elements and therefore toast faster will be toasted accordingly.

The toaster, still in prototype stage, is made of aluminium, steel and double-paned glass.


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