Sharp to Unveil Its Full Built-in Kitchen Suite
Sharp Electronics Co. of America (SHCA) is using the occasion of next week’s Nationwide PrimeTime exhibition to take the wraps off its full built-in kitchen suite – populated by first-ever, IoT-enabled versions of the company’s SuperSteam+ combination superheated steam/convection oven and its Microwave Drawer.
“There’s fidelity in sight, sound and technology all together in our brand-new kitchen suite,” Peter Weedfald, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Sharp Electronics Marketing Co. of America, remarked to Dealerscope in describing the rollout, which is taking place during Sharp’s first appearance at a Nationwide show.
Besides the SuperSteam oven and Microwave Drawer, the roster of appliances includes induction cooktops, wall ovens, and over-the range (OTR) microwaves. Sharp is also introducing complementary kitchen appliances including a refrigerator, dishwasher and an OTR hood to complete the package.
“We’re well known for our cooking products’ heritage,” said Weedfald, “but now we’ll be well known for being a first-class, tony, well-appointed player in a full kitchen suite inclusive of IoT technology. It’s the most affable way to go to market, and Nationwide gives us a halo marketing effect. A lot of those dealers have already purchased our appliances, and now, our full coming-out party is with them. The pre-information we received is that the dealers are fired up.”
The suite is aimed squarely at the mass premium consumer, said Weedfald. “Based on all the early studies we’ve done, and in talking to dealers, we feel this is where they believe we belong.”
The move is a logical next step for Sharp, he said. “We have 100 percent market share with our built-in Microwave Drawer already, but now it can be attached to a built-in kitchen suite that matches that European luxury design aesthetic, with edge-to-edge black glass. It will super-fuel our brand and make a lot of dealers very happy.”
The Sharp Model SSC2489ES 24-inch IoT SuperSteam+ built-in oven offers five cooking modes: steam, steam bake, convection bake, super steam grill and super steam roast. There are 12 preloaded Smart Cook settings and the oven is “Powered by Side Chef,” an app which endows it with the ability to gather steam-specific recipes and download them into the oven, explained Weedfald. Its design also enables greater placement flexibility. “This new model allows you to put it under your island, which wasn’t possible earlier due to heat requirements,” he told us.
The SMD2489ES 24-inch IoT Microwave Drawer maintains the same family look and feel, and is the first such product to integrate with the smart home, said Weedfald. It features a drop-down control panel, built-in airflow control for flush mounting, and maintains the product’s signature “Easy Wave Open” feature that will allow the cook to open the drawer by waving a hand in front. A Sharp kitchen mobile app for iOS and Android enables the smart features of this microwave.
Sharp will also introduce complementary kitchen appliances including a refrigerator, dishwasher, and OTR hood. The 24-inch dishwasher offers a Turbo Wash feature, and the refrigerator is 22.5 cubic feet and counter depth, with the ability to control temperature in all four drawers.
The suite will be shown in vignettes, said Weedfald, and Sharp will encourage and offer assistance to dealers in displaying the product suite as such.
“We now are coming to market with not only an alternative to what’s out today, but also with a ‘wow’ look and feel,” Weedfald said. “It’s all about our cosmetics, full edge-to-edge glass, European design, the sexiness and the ‘wow’ power of the look and feel - now connected with IoT - healthy cooking with superheated steam, and the entire suite. This is uniquely different than anything else that’s out on the market today. We’re going on the brand, product, marketplace and competitive offense to make and take opportunity, based on earning the right to bring this whole new kitchen to market with the strong reputation of Sharp as high quality and best of breed – and an original company. That’s our tagline: Be Original. And this is a Be Original kitchen… It’s mass premium at an affordable price for consumers who want to step up. We’re not a boundary blur of sameness – it just pops. It’s different than anything else on the floor and it’s built-in IoT.”
The full appliances line will be offered in a variety of widths and cubic-foot capacities, and will be available at retail locations in early 2020, with prices to be announced.