Brian Kelley

by Jamie Latshaw DALLAS--The outdoor kitchen grew beyond the massive grills that were so popular at last year's major appliance shows to now include UL approved outdoor refrigerators, beer kegs and in-the-works approvals for warming draws. Outdoor Kitchens At this year's International Builders' Show, Viking showed its concept of an entire outdoor kitchen after having made a big splash in the industry with its deluxe-style outdoor grills. The company has a UL-approved outdoor refrigerator, available in Viking's stainless finish or in its blue, forest green or graphite gray colored finishes to match its outdoor gas grills. An outdoor beer tap and warming draws are being considered.. Marvel has

Brian Kelley, Vice President, Sales - GE Appliances 1) How did 1998's financial turmoil affect your business? There was no significant impact to GE Appliances from any global financial instability in 1998, other than a slowing of revenue growth in Asia and Latin America. Exports remain a small share of our sales. This had very little impact on domestic consumer purchases of major appliances. 2) What's your forecast for 1999, and how will you adjust your business plan to address it? We see 1999 shaping-up to once again be a very competitive year for the appliance industry. We expect the economy to slow somewhat in 1999 but do not

By Jamie Latshaw What was hot in '98 in major appliance stores? Product innovation and a little help from Mother Nature made 1998 a very good year. The weather was a considerable factor, putting retailers in position for a stable year as the sale of air conditioners rose from 1997, with a cool, low-humidity summer and not many a/c sales. In addition, a number of product trends took hold this year and likely will keep the market going into 1999. Healthy Water Hype Water filtration systems in side-by-side refrigerators saw a big push. Maytag's lines, specifically the Jenn-Air Twin Fresh side-by-sides, promote its "fresh ideas" in refrigeration and water filtration. GE Appliances

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