Fisher & Paykel opens first European Experience Centre in Wigmore Street

Minimal Kitchen on ground floor

Luxury appliance brand Fisher & Paykel has opened its first Experience Centre in Europe on London’s Wigmore Street.

The new London Experience Centre joins those already opened in Auckland, Sydney, Costa Mesa in California, and New York.

Set over two floors, the centre is aimed at architects, interior designs, specifiers, retailers and customers. In his opening address at the launch, Fisher & Paykel chief operating officer for the UK, Ireland and Europe, Stephen Rickersey, emphasised that the centre is not intended for sales but is there to provide an experience of their products and the design aesthetic behind them.

The showroom has been designed to showcase its products in a tasteful and understated way, reflecting its ‘Designed in New Zealand’ ethos prioritising architecture that “has meaningful connections to place and is respectful of culture, history and materials”.

As visitors enter, they see the Minimal Kitchen on the ground floor, intended to show the seamless integration of appliances, while downstairs is what F&P calls its Social Kitchen area, where the in-house chef can take them on a culinary experience, providing them with insights into F&P’s approach to food care and cooking.

Speaking to kbbreview at the launch event, Rickersey explained that the choice of Wigmore Street for the new Experience Centre reflected the brand’s strategy to expand its presence in the kitchen channel. And to that end, the ground floor display incorporates its latest, black glass handleless cooking appliances.

He told kbbreview: “We recognise London as the design centre of the world and Wigmore Street is ‘kitchen alley’, so it is very deliberate and part of our global experience centre strategy. It is fair to say that we are in a transition period from a refrigeration/dishwashing-led business to a full kitchen business.”

Stephen Rickersey, UK Ireland and Europe COO

He sees the new Experience Centre as a potentially valuable resource for retailers.

“Even in the best example of retailers, we may have one or two kitchens with maybe seven or eight products in,” said Rickersey. “Here there are probably 50 or more and typically [a retailer] might have one example of a refrigeration products, but there are so many options now. Here they can see all of the options that are available.”

Confirming Fisher & Paykel’s intention to expand its presence in the kitchen studio channel, Rickersey added: “We have high ambitions to multiply our current revenue in the market, so this is a major investment and part of our global intent to expand our market share in this sector.”

The centre had originally been scheduled to open last year. Rickersey explained why it was delayed: “We didn’t hold anything back here to get the perfect finish for everything. Getting the stone and wood we used, and getting the perfect level of finish we wanted just took longer. But we were never going to rush this place and open it before it was perfect.”

Rickersey also explained that Fisher & Paykel can offer retailers a high level of support. He told kbbreview: “We have seven regional sales managers and a design development team, who tend to build strong relationships with kitchen designers. That is working really well with many kitchen retailers. We have full coverage of the UK with our engineers and a five-year warranty. We have a full team in -house in the UK, supported by an 24/7 out-of-hours team in New Zealand. We also handle all of our deliveries in house. We deliberately don’t outsource things and we want to offer high quality service in every part of our business and be easy to do business with.”

Fisher & Paykel collaborated on the showroom’s design with architects Brinkworth, bespoke cabinet make Jacob Alexander and Alt Group.

Fisher & Paykel chief executive Daniel Witten-Hannah, said: “Throughout the London Experience Centre, every interaction has been crafted to resonate with who we are and every physical element is carefully considered – from the offering of kawakawa tea upon entry, to the descent of a discreet sculptural spiral stair into a luxurious vaulted space.”

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