14 March 2008

Appliance field trip

I took a client shopping for appliances today and we spent the better part of the day in a really beautiful showroom at The Appliance Gallery in Largo. The Appliance Gallery is unique in that they show luxury appliances in room settings. From what I know, they are the only place in this market that shows their wares that way. Anybody else has a warehouse when you can go look at a $9,000 refrigerators in packing crates. Call me crazy, but an appliance that costs that much money loses a lot of its charm in a dirty warehouse.

I keep up to date on a lot of products and industries, and I take particular joy from the appliance industry. The amount of research and product development that goes into them is amazing. What really gets me though is how quickly the innovations that the high end brands pioneer trickle down to the consumer level. It takes them a couple of years, but the Whirlpools and the Amanas of the world eventually catch on.

Of particular note to me today were the energy ratings on the appliances we saw and they bought. It bothers me that the more money something like a refrigerator costs, the more efficient it is. The Sub-Zero 695 I'm showing here is about a $9,000 fridge. It uses about as much electricity as a flashlight. Yet; most $2000, better-quality, consumer-grade fridges don't come close to a Sub's efficiency. A Sub-Zero not only uses electricity more efficiently, it preserves food better than a consumer-grade fridge.

Now there are two innovations that can't trickle down soon enough.

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