“Apart from cooking, where built-in is ahead, freestanding rules in the appliance world, especially in cooling, dishwashers and washing machines,” says Steve Corbett, Marketing Manager at Amica.
“Independent electrical retailers and big online groups, such as AO and Appliance Direct, and national suppliers Argos and Curry’s are a major route to market for freestanding appliances – and the market is very competitive. This brings a need to be one step ahead with products that offer more.
“In the dishwasher market this means three washing spray levels and a top-level cutlery tray instead of the traditional basket. Capacity is the key with washing machines – Amica’s WMS914 will take a 9kg load and the company has also introduced valuable features, such as add wash and steam. Its new laundry collection offers some of the most competitive home and laundry products on the market. The energy ratings are impressive and features such as Opti Dose, add+ and Steam Touch make these machines family friendly. Best of all, they are easy to use – not always the case with machines that offer a lot of choices.
“Energy ratings have become more important to consumers against the background of constantly increasing electricity prices. A+ and A+++ ratings offer worthwhile savings, especially on cooling where the appliance is on all the time. Food waste has become a concern too, so cooling that keeps food fresher for longer is a definite trend. Coloured retro styling remains a popular choice in freestanding cooling – especially since it is seen on popular TV shows such as The Great British Bake Off.
“The freestanding cooker market is dominated by rental properties and by replacement. Customers look to trade up from an old freestanding gas or electric cooker to dual fuel or all electric with more than one oven and a ceramic or induction top. Induction hobs are on the increase in freestanding cooking as the technology has become more familiar to consumers and production prices have fallen making the cost more acceptable.
“Amica offers two freestanding cookers, both with two ovens and four-zone induction hobs. Knowing how induction works – and a live display if possible – are the keys to selling the technology. The replacement market has also meant that there is demand for the older 50-55cm sizes in cooking and refrigeration as when an old appliance finally bites the dust this is the space left to be filled.”