Belling in £1.5m range cooker revamp and return to home laundry
Belling has invested £1.5 million in the relaunch of two of its most iconic range cookers, the Farmhouse and the Cookcentre.
Available now, the new products have been manufactured at the Glen Dimplex Home Appliances (GDHA) factory in Prescot, Merseyside, and are the result of the company’s biggest investment in the range cooker sector for over 10 years.
Originally launched in 1994, the Farmhouse (pictured left) is said to have kick-started the mass-market range cooker sector and was Belling’s first move into the manufacture of gas cooking appliances.
The Cookcentre first came to market in 1997.
Speaking to ERT, Jonathan Casley, managing director of GDHA, said: “We’ve streamlined the manufacturing process – we had a clean sheet of paper to redesign the range.
“It’s a big investment for us – we’ve spent around £1.5 million and it’s a completely new design platform and brand new hob tooling. We’ve now got one-piece hotplates, stainless steel hobs, new pan supports and 4kW wok burners. We’ve got a lot more products in the range – it’s doubled to around 120 SKUs.
“The Farmhouse is our traditional proposition. There are a lot of people out there who already own a Farmhouse product and there’s a lot of awareness of it. We’ve deliberately brought the name back.
“Farmhouse was launched in 1994 and it was instrumental in the growth and development of the mass-market range cooker. The Belling brand and Farmhouse are synonymous with range cookers.”
The new Farmhouse collection includes three size options – 900mm, 1,000mm and 1,100mm. It’s available in a choice of dual-fuel, ceramic or induction.
The standard colour options are cream, black and silver, but the products are also available in the full range of Colour Boutique shades and can be made to order and delivered in four to five weeks.
The Belling Cookcentre now has a modern, contemporary design, spacious cavities and a robust build quality.
Available in silver, black and professional stainless steel, the product comes in 900mm, 1,000mm and 1,100mm size options.
Belling has also announced its return to the freestanding home laundry market with the launch of a suite of new products – the Sensicare Collection.
Aimed at the mid-to premium end of the market, the new line-up includes four washing machines, a washer-dryer, two tumble-dryers and a 15-place setting dishwasher.
The 600mm A+++ rated Sensicare washing machines range in capacity from 7kg to 10kg and have features, such as Pluswash – which allows you to pause the wash mid-cycle to add extra items, and Sensiwash – an integrated sensor that weighs the load to adjust water and energy requirements to save time and money.
Said Mr Casley: “We haven’t been in the home laundry market since 2001. We pulled out because the reality was that the supply partner we had at the time wasn’t right for what we wanted.”
Asked what prompted Belling to re-enter the home laundry, Mr Casley said: “We’re looking to develop and grow the business and we did some research. Belling’s our biggest brand – 52 per cent of consumers we asked assumed Belling was a major appliance brand. Belling’s strength is that it’s a family brand – two-thirds of older consumers thought we already did major appliances. It seemed a bit of a no-brainer.”
Added Mr Casley: “We’re creating Belling Home Laundry Centres for independents – we’re targeting 50 by the end of December. We currently have around 40. If you’re a Euronics or a Sirius buying group member and you display four of our products in-store, you can become a Belling Home Laundry Centre. We’ll give you display stands, you’ll be on our website and you’ll get an additional year’s guarantee. The Sensicare range comes as standard with a two-year guarantee, but if you’re a Belling Home Laundry Centre, you’ll get a three-year guarantee.”
The laundry products, which are available now, are being manufactured in the Far East, but based on Belling designs and specifications for the UK and Irish markets.
The 9kg and 10kg models use a Silentdrive inverter motor, which has a 12-year parts warranty.