“As you know our company mainly works in retail sales and we have our own brand of shops. However, this year we plan to bring our production to the shopping networks of Georgia. This will enable us to increase sales still further,” said Vladimer Chkhikvadze, Director of KUPPERSBERG.
“A trend of the development of trade centres and networks has been identified and it is understandable that customers prefer to choose and buy a product under one roof, in a single space, rather than having to go to different retail stores. This way they save time and energy. For the brands it is also better to be in a competitive environment in one space,” he added.
Sales of KUPPERSBERG kitchen appliances and accessories increased by about 20 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, while this year the company expects an even greater increase in sales.
German brand KUPPERSBERG appeared on the Georgian market in 2012. Taking into account the company’s small scale; the high level of competition with cheap Turkish and Chinese products; and the fact that integrated kitchen design and technology was a novelty for Georgian customers, KUPPERSBERG management initially decided to start importing just a small selection of products.
However, year after year the company has managed to become an even more famous and respected brand on the Georgian market, and this year KUPPERSBERG received its second Golden Brand award, considered the most prestigious and influential business awards ceremony in Georgia. Over 100 experts and about 2,000 surveyed customers named KUPPERSBERG their favourite company in its segment.
As of today, KUPPERSBERG offers a full built-in kitchen appliances package, including cooktops; cooker hoods; ovens; kitchen sinks; mixer taps; microwave ovens; steam ovens; dishwashers; washing machines; refrigerators; and different accessories.
Overall, customers can choose from more than 150 different models of household appliances of various designs, ranging from budget options to true works of art.
Chkhikvadze said that in recent times dishwashers have become particularly popular.
KUPPERSBERG operates in Georgia with three showrooms – two in Georgia’s capital city Tbilisi, and the other in the Black Sea resort town of Batumi. In addition, KUPPERSBERG products are represented in almost every network of major technology stores.
Q. Last year you were planning to increase the assortment and offer new products. Which new products has the company introduced in Georgia recently?
A. You can now find production of the brand HOOVER at our stores. HOOVER was the American company that initially produced vacuum cleaners. Several years ago the company was purchased by the famous Italian brand Candy, and as a result today HOOVER produces ovens, cooktops, hoods, and other built-in kitchen appliances too.
HOOVER is cheaper than KUPPERSBERG and FRANKE, but is a very famous brand due to its quality and attractive design.
Q. Also last year, KUPPERSBERG designed a special series of granite sinks, which were exclusively sold on the Georgian market. What impression did this product make among Georgian customers?
A. These initiatives have realized our hopes and we can say that the exclusive series of granite sinks outshone our traditional models of kitchen appliances. We are satisfied with this collection and I see that the customers are also satisfied with the exclusive design and quality of the granite sinks.
Q. KUPPERSBERG does not participate in tenders, however last year you had business meetings with several construction companies. Do you have any new plans for this direction?
A. Unfortunately, the cooperation with construction companies has been unsuccessful. This is somewhat due to the fact that our products are premium class and therefore have a higher price than average. Apparently, construction companies are not yet interested in introducing expensive goods into their hotels or apartments.
Q. What can you tell us about the competition in your field?
A. Sadly, there are many low-quality products at lower prices in Georgia which somehow creates an unhealthy environment for competition. However, in the premium segment we hold worthy and leading positions.
Unfortunately the Georgian market is not growing at a proper rate. The banking regulations introduced in 2019 reduced the average solvency rate and decreased sales. This has been noticeable not only in our business but in every field in general. This is currently the biggest challenge that businesses are facing.
As you know, regulations on responsible lending practice mean that commercial banks in Georgia are restricted when it comes to issuing loans without meaningful analysis of consumers’ solvency. This means that customers are no longer able to easily take out loans to purchase items.
Devaluation of the Georgian national currency, the Lari, is also another challenge. We purchase our production in a foreign currency and it is a challenge for us to keep up with the growth rates of inflation.
For the further development of the market I would wish for there to be healthy competition between quality companies and fitting banking regulations that are in the interests of customers.
Q. What is the market share of KUPPERSBERG?
A. I’m glad to be asked this question but unfortunately I do not have the answer. We have appealed to the National Statistics Office of Georgia several times but have not yet been successful in finding out what the market share of our company is.
As I mentioned, sales of KUPPERSBERG products increased by 20% in 2018, but this is according to our internal data. The Statistics Office should be able to tell us what the share of our competitor companies is in relation to ours.
Q. Congratulations on winning a Golden Brand award. This was the second Golden Brand win for KUPPERSBERG. What led KUPPERSBERG to this success in your opinion?
A. First of all I would like to thank the organizers of the Golden Brand awards. Such business award ceremonies are important for improving the business environment and the quality of the competition in the country.
Several factors led KUPPERSBERG to winning this Golden Brand award. These factors are its high quality European production; operational delivery of goods to consumers; and four-year complete guarantee. These are the reasons why customers choose KUPPERSBERG. By ‘complete guarantee’ we mean that if a product is damaged by a customer our service department will still serve them for free.
Additionally, KUPPERSBERG production is distinguished for its design.
I would like to use this opportunity to announce that several months ago we welcomed new products at our stores – washing machines and classic style double-door refrigerators. Also, in the nearest future we expect to have new freestanding ovens (not built-in ovens) and gas-stoves. We promise there are many surprises to come for customers.