Siemens Home Appliances wants to shed it image as a “washing machine” brand among consumers. The company has forayed into the “exclusive” retail outlet format —- or “Siemens exhibition rooms” — where all the company’s products would be displayed, said Vipul Raval, managing director of RBS Home Appliances, the sole distributor of Siemens, speaking to FE.
The new format is an effort to strengthen its brand among the customers. Starting with Salem in Tamil Nadu, the company plans to open 20 outlets across the country in major metros and min-metros by end 2005, with a target of Rs 100 crore turnover. Currently, Siemens, which is into premium home appliances is present only through multi brand outlets.
Siemens is a premium brand which is 12 to 15 per cent more expensive and the new format is expected to boost sales and give better brand visibility.
The premium segment accounts for around 10 per cent of the total home appliances market. Siemens is expecting over 20 per cent growth with the launch of this new format.
Currently, the company imports and sells around 10,000 refrigerators and 12,000 washing machines in the country and has revenues of around Rs 40 crore.
South and West are the major markets for Siemens at present and the company plans to enter the North and East regions this year, Mr Raval said. ‘‘More than 50 per cent of our washing machine sales is from South, out of which 18 per cent is from Tamil Nadu, which is why we decided our first outlet to be in Salem’’, he said.
As part of it plans to expand geographically, Siemens will enter the markets in Chandigarh, Goa, Calcutta and Jaipur before Diwali. The company has also tied up with Voltas to extent after sales service support for the Siemens customers across the country. Voltas has 650 service outlets which would service Siemens products. Siemens is also looking at increasing its dealers from the current 300 to 1000 by 2005.