Two Years Since Haier Acquisition, GE Appliances Highlights Major Investment Plans
In the two years since being acquired by Haier, GE Appliances (GEA) has been quietly working towards becoming one of the leading major appliance brands in the U.S. On the second anniversary of that acquisition, the company announced its plans on becoming the number-one appliance brand in the country, and detailed how it hopes to achieve that goal.
“One of the most liberating things about being part of Haier is how they are helping us realize our potential and their desire to see GE Appliances grow. We’re free to reinvent our business to achieve growth and industry leadership,” Kevin Nolan, president & chief executive officer for GE Appliances, said in a statement. “Our goal is to become the leading, most consumer-focused and contemporary appliance business in America.”
Nolan said that the Haier acquisition has fundamentally changed the way GE Appliances operates as a company, allowing them to think of themselves “as a two-year-old startup” that just happens to have a century’s worth of industry expertise and the backing of one of the world’s largest appliance brands.
Over the last two years the company has invested heavily in new technology, products, and manufacturing capability. Over the next five, GE Appliances said it will do much of the same while also focusing on expanding its U.S. manufacturing and distribution network. Specifically, three key areas the company will focus on include growing its position in the IoT category, investing in its nine U.S. production operations, and expanding its distribution network through new facilities planned in a number of major cities—Dallas, Denver, Atlanta, and Northern California. The latter item will result in over 220 new jobs in distribution, delivery, and in-home installation, the company said.
Additionally, GE Appliances detailed two initiatives that it will take up moving forward: a new consumer-focused operational strategy, and a new go-to-market strategy. The former will adopting Haier’s “proven practice of creating independent business units that are grounded and guided by local markets and consumer connection.” These localized entrepreneurial “microenterprises” will enable GEA to be quickly pivot their approach and seize new market opportunities that “create value for consumers.”
The latter strategy shift is the result of several years of research and evaluation into the appliance-buying segment. Under the guiding principle that the “Owner is Boss,” GEA has seen itself shift from a “branded house to a House of Brands.” The result is a series of distinct go-to-market strategies for each of its brands—Hotpoint, GE, Haier, GE Profile, GE Café, and Monogram—that match what each owner segment truly wants.
“Haier encourages us to think differently about our future and how we serve our consumers and customers,” Nolan said.
And judging by all of the investments made and new initiatives taken up over the past two years, GE Appliances is taking its new parent company’s advice and running with it.