Bloomingdale’s – the famed upscale department store owned by
Macy’s – has earned a reputation for selling designer clothing, handbags, and
shoes. This American-only department store is widely recognized for its
originality, innovation, and fashion leadership, according
to Macy’s Inc. Until recently, they’ve never sold appliances and
electronics in order to maintain their reputation. However, consumer demand for
high-end appliances has become something they can’t ignore.
Through a partnership with LG Signature, Bloomingdale’s
began selling luxury appliances in stores and online on November 19, 2018. New
York’s 59th street flagship store was the first to get these luxury
appliances. Dan Leppo, an executive vice president from Bloomingdale’s, told CNBC if they generate enough sales
through the end of 2019, the company will begin selling appliances at other
LuxuryDaily.com reports the LG Signature
product line includes a $7,000 OLED television, refrigerators, washers and
dryers, air purifiers, ranges, and dishwashers. These luxury appliances are
more than sleek-looking toys. The Wi-Fi enabled washer can adjust the amount of
detergent dispensed based on soil level, and the oven range is both gas and
electric. They cost $3,200 and $3,600 respectively.
The company is hoping that with luxury appliances on the
salesfloor, customers can get a taste of how they can enhance their lifestyle.
A dual gas and electric stove is definitely one way to create a kitchen neighbors and friends will envy.
appliances are already a standard
Wi-Fi enabled devices aren’t new. You’ll find at least one
smart device in many American homes, not including a smartphone. Popular
devices include smart speakers, smart assistants, Wi-Fi security systems, and
even smart door locks. The smart home was once a vision of the future,
and has now become a reality.
Inexpensive smart devices have gained popularity in recent
years and are expected to continue to gain traction. In the luxury market,
however, LG Signature is upping the ante.
Recently launched in 2016, LG Signature has partnered with
interior designers, architects, and others to create smart luxury appliances
that are also functional. Perhaps Bloomingdale’s has taken a hint from other
luxury retailers like Selfridges and Harrods, who recently began selling
high-end appliances and electronics in their stores.
The market for major appliances has shifted in the last
decade. In 2016, J.C. Penney came out of a 33-year rest to sell major appliances
to Millennial homebuyers. In March 2018, Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy,
finalizing the end of a legend in home appliances.
So far, everyone seems to think this is a good move for
Bloomingdale’s, including Neil Saunders, managing director or GlobalData
Retail. “Other luxury departments stores like Harrods and Selfridges have
successfully sold electronics for a long time, and it is an integral part of
their offer,” he told RetailWire. “Moreover, Bloomingdale’s
shoppers already buy electronics, so it makes sense for the retailer to try and
get a slice of this spend.”
Although Bloomingdale’s is known for their luxury goods,
they’re not the only stores selling luxury smart appliances. Home Depot,
Lowe’s, Costco, and of course Amazon are going to be fierce competitors.
Especially since spending on major consumer appliances in the U.S. is on the
rise, increasing by 46% between 2012-2017. Euromonitor predicts the home
appliance industry will reach more than $38 billion by 2020.
The only problem with Bloomingdale’s luxury appliances is a
lack of brand choice for consumers. Right now, it’s LG or nothing. Consumers
who want a different brand must shop somewhere else. Although, loyal patrons of
Bloomingdale’s may choose to stick with LG just out of loyalty to the
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