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Bosch enters consumer retail space

The Times of India:  December 27, 2013

Bangalore: Bosch India, known for its technology prowess in the automotive market, has entered the Indian consumer retail space with the launch of its first home appliance store in Bangalore. It's also Bosch's first retail store in the world.

"India is a very different market where you have this concept of independent brand stores. And this concept of exclusive brand stores for Bosch is unique globally," said Michael Steinborn, director, head of business development Asia, BSH (Bosch and Siemens Home Appliances Group).

BSH is a joint venture company that Bosch has with Siemens AG that is the largest manufacturer of home appliances in Europe and the third-largest home appliances manufacturer worldwide.

With a plan to open 10 retail stores by the end of next year across Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune and Delhi, Bosch will be taking on the likes of South Korean majors Samsung and LG, and US-based Whirlpool, all of who have gained significant market share over the last decade.

However, Bosch is looking to tap the premium end of the market in appliances, carrying a 10% to 15% premium over its competitors. Last year, Bosch had announced an investment of around Euro 50 million to set up a manufacturing facility in Chennai for its consumer retail business, which would be operational by the end of the next year.

The retail stores will also include consumer products from the Robert Bosch Power Tools division such as garden equipments and DIY (do-it-yourself) products. The DIY segment had sales of Rs 30 crore last year. The company aims to grow the business to Rs 100 crore in the next 2 years through the consumer retail channel and exclusive DIY centres.

"On a global level, this is the first store where Bosch home appliances, power tools and security solutions will be retailed under one roof," said Vijay Pandey, VP, Power Tools Division. Bosch entered the Indian home appliance market two years ago with a range of refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, but was present through organized multi-brand electronic retail channels. "Our success in India has been tremendous. At the moment we are the market leader in imported refrigerators," added Steinborn.

By the second quarter of next year the company will launch its range of kitchen appliances such as hoods and hobs, a segment where homegrown players TTK Prestige and Pigeon dominate.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.