Today I am treating you to another post in my BlogTourNYC series introducing you to the sponsors that have made the trip possible. Scholtès is an Italian appliance brand renowned for its excellent design credentials, technological innovation and its professionalism. It is currently sold in Denmark, France, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain.
Whilst Scholtès is quite well known here in Europe, it wasn’t until 2011 that the Indesit Company identified a niche for high performance, European appliances in the US and expanded its Scholtès brand in to North America. Interestingly, the Scholtès North American product line has been specifically developed for the needs and requirements of that market. Product specifications acknowledge that consumers should not have to modify their own spaces and installation to accommodate European sizing.
I spoke with Marco D’Arsie, Manager, North American Market, to find out a little more about the company’s expansion into North America and what it has to offer to this new market.
Can you please tell us a little bit about the company?
Established in 1922, and purchased by the Indesit Company in 1975, the Scholtès brand is synonymous with innovation and avant-garde design in Europe. Technological advancement has always been a brand calling card with milestones such as the first enamelled steel cooker (1923) the first pyrolytic self-cleaning oven (1969), the first glass ceramic cooktop (1974) and the first induction cooktop (1979). In the last several decades, advances such as “touch control” cooktops with buttons (1990), the first “cold door” oven (1993) and the first oven with automatic cooking programmes (2000) were brought to the market by Scholtès.
Over the years, Indesit Company has invested in improving product performance and energy efficiency in response to the global challenge of climate change. Taking a proactive role on environmental issues, the company’s commitment translates into a series of decisions that aim to not only to guarantee compliance with environmental standards and but also to find advanced technological solutions to make products more eco-compatible.
What is it that sets you apart from your competitors?
The three pillars of the brand are professional performance, excellence in technology & innovation, and importantly, timeless design. Design is truly the Scholtès difference. They are able to offer the sleek built-in lines and European sensibilities to a product that has been built for the North American consumer. Also, re-thinking space is always an initiative for the brand – for example moving wine storage to eye level instead of under the counter and placing refrigeration under the counter in well-organized drawers for accessibility and more counter space.
Can you tell us about your most popular range?
We launched in North America with a core group of products based on market research. The current product line includes:
• 30” Built-in Ovens • Integrated and Panel-ready Dishwashers
• 30 & 36” Gas Cooktops • Beverage Centres
• 30 & 36” Electric Cooktops • 36 Bottle Built-in Wine Cabinets
• 30 & 36” Vent Hoods • 24 Bottle Built-in Wine Cabinets
• 36” Refrigeration Drawers • Coffee Machines
How have the Scholtès products been received on the North American market?
The biggest reaction we’ve got since the soft launch of Scholtès in October is to the wine storage units, especially the 24 bottle built-in unit. However, there has also been great interest in the under-counter refrigeration drawers for the great organization capabilities that it provides. There has been keen interest from high-end builders in the built-in oven because of the dual convection fans and full glide racks found only in more expensive brands. Designers have also keyed into the ability to “stack” the wine units with the coffee centre to create a beverage “tower”.
People also appreciate the simple details that Scholtès builds into its appliances. For example, on the gas cooktops we have incorporated a small, flat wing in the upper right-hand corners to lay spoons and other cooking utensils for quick clean-ups and to keep the surrounding counters clean. The dishwasher products are also popular as they have smart Euro features such as low noise emissions, 10 cycles, half-load features, stainless tubs and performance indicators comparable to those found in more expensive brands.
How did you get involved with BlogTour?
As a new brand in this market, we looked at strategic, cost-effective ways to build brand awareness with limited funds until our distribution is more wide spread. Modenus had been on our radar for a while due to its involvement with other more established brands, and it seems like a great fit for our launch in North America. I was convinced by the “power of Modenus” and Scholtès agreed that BlogTourNYC was a good opportunity to interact with the design community and build a buzz about this new product line in North America.
What can we expect to see from you at the Architectural Digest Home Show in NYC?
We are not displaying at the show, but we do have one small product placement in the Modern-Aire Ventilation booth (#392) designed by Susan Serra. Susan was looking for a sleek, electric cooktop for her cabinetry display that will appear in the Modern-Aire booth. It was a perfect match because Scholtès is also sold in Scandinavia where Susan draws her inspiration for design and function.
What are you hoping to achieve by sponsoring BlogTourNYC?
Our current goal in the North American market is to build a solid distribution network. In this economy, it’s extremely difficult to convince distributors and dealers to take on a brand they have never heard of because adding a brand to their existing offerings takes time and money. We hope that the more the design community asks about where these products can be purchased, that distributors and retailers will realize there is an opportunity to effectively market this brand for their own businesses.
Can you tell us something that not many people would know about the company?
North Americans, most of whom have never heard of the brand or the company, are usually surprised to hear that the Indesit Company is Europe’s second biggest producer of home appliances by market share, and the fifth largest appliance manufacturer in the world. For over 30 years Indesit Company has been making washing machines, dryers, washer-dryers, dishwashers, fridges, freezers, ovens and cooktops. While we’re launching in the North American market, we need to prove to distributors, dealers and consumers that this company is backed by a long history of R&D, tech advancements and financial strength in other markets.
Another interesting fact is that many North Americans think the name Scholtès sounds German, when it’s really an Italian company!
I would like to thank Marco for sharing these insights about Scholtès and I’m looking forward to finding out more about the company when I go to New York.
If you want to experience the trip along with us make sure you subscribe, follow and visit all the blogs taking part and don’t forget to follow us all on Twitter so you can keep up with the action as it happens. Also the official Twitter hashtag for the tour is #BlogTourNYC.