By Andrea Lillo
Marking the United States as priority growth area, DKB Household USA is poised to grow its business here, backed by parent company Diethelm Keller Brands.
“The U.S. is the market with the most potential for us,” said Will Symonds, who was installed as the managing director of DKB Household USA in January. He previously managed international sales for DKB Household UK.
With sales of more than $7 billion annually and offices in seven countries, DKB places high importance on what U.S. consumers want when designing product, Symonds said. “U.S. consumers are willing to spend more money on kitchen gadgets,” as well as try new things. The U.S. also has a “huge variety of food; it’s incredibly diverse,” he said. Color is also more important here than in Europe, Symonds added.
In its current brand portfolio, its mainstay brand, Zyliss, as well as the company’s more recent additions—Jamie Oliver and salt and pepper mill company Cole & Mason—all have “significant potential to grow,” Symonds said.
And other brands may join that group. “We’re on the acquisition trail—that’s definitely our goal,” Symonds said. Cole & Mason was the last brand purchased by the company, in 2006. “It’s about finding the right brand and the right fit, but we’re not waiting around for it.”
At the March International Home & Housewares Show, the company debuted almost 70 products, many of which were in new categories for the brands. Zyliss, for example, expanded into cutlery, and Jamie Oliver added cutting boards, cutlery and more gift lines. DKB Household, which has worked with Oliver since 2005, is working on other licenses for the Jamie Oliver line as well. And it helps that Oliver continues to gain recognition in the U.S., he added. “He’s huge now compared to where he was,” he said. “It’s easier to sell his product.”
The company’s strategy with its major accounts has also changed. Rather than just showing them finished product, Symonds wants to partner with them throughout the product design process. “We’ve done it before, but not to the level we want to take it,” he said.
And for its independent retailer base, the company launched the Dealer Club in March to give these accounts incentives to sell even more DKB product, Symonds said. “The club is a mechanism to help independent accounts be competitive,” he said. “It’s an investment in the independent sector.”