Every Kitchen's Best Friend

An Israeli importer has acquired the franchise to sell KitchenAid products here, including major appliances like ovens, refrigerators and dishwashers.

Ovens, refrigerators and other major appliances manufactured by KitchenAid will soon be sold in Israel, as appliance distributor Crystal recently acquired the franchise to sell the American company's products here. At present, only smaller KitchenAid appliances - such as food mixers and blenders - are available in Israel, marketed by Newpan.

KitchenAid is part of the Whirlpool appliance group.

The company's refrigerators will sell here for between NIS 9,900 and NIS 40,000. Its ovens will cost from NIS 6,990 to NIS 15,990, while stove tops will go for NIS 5,490 to NIS 15,990. KitchenAid dishwashers will cost between NIS 7,990 and NIS 19,990.

Crystal said it will also sell KitchenAid mixers, which it plans to purchase from Newpan. Moshe Mamrod, the owner of Crystal, said thus far no arrangement has been made for Newpan to sell larger KitchenAid appliances in Israel as well, but he did not exclude the possibility.

"The premium market in Israel is directed at several thousand families right now, but we want to expand it," he explained.

"The timing of the product launch, immediately following the season finale of the 'Master Chef' television show, is truly optimal," he added.

"It appears that people already love cooking and the culinary arts, and we haven't even imported [KitchenAid's] most expensive products yet."

According to Mamrod, the market segment for premium appliances accounts for about 10% of the entire electrical appliance market, comprising approximately NIS 600 million in sales per year.

"We would like to get five to 10 percent of the premium market and take in NIS 40 million in turnover in 2011 from KitchenAid products," he said.

"It is not our intention to lead the premium market, of which currently no one claims ownership."

After acquiring the KitchenAid franchise in Israel, Crystal developed plans to open a concept store in Herzliya Pituah. It reportedly made an investment of about NIS 4 million devoted entirely to the American brand.

"During the initial phase, we will sell the products at several dozen points of sale," Mamrod said, adding that they will only be sold in concept stores and kitchen showrooms, not in regular appliance stores.

"People who buy KitchenAid are generally people who are looking to buy an entire kitchen, rather than those looking to replace one item or another, and so it involves a much more complex sale," he said.