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Country covered in kitchens thanks to ITM

MEDIA RELEASE

Criterion has the country covered in kitchens thanks to ITM


Auckland, 05 July 2006: New Zealand furniture leader, Criterion Group, has reached agreement with ITM to provide kitchens to its 87 independently owned stores nationwide. The partnership with the leading timber, hardware and building supply merchants guarantees Criterion national penetration with its modular kitchen solution concept.

Criterion Group, Australasia’s no.1 manufacturer of flat panel lifestyle, entertainment and home office furniture, announced its intention late last year to enter the kitchen sector, which has become a $1 billion-a-year market in New Zealand. Since then it has been busy establishing channels to help bring its product to market and according to Stuart French, manager of Criterion’s kitchen division, it views its partnership with ITM as a major breakthrough.

“They are a $500 million-a-year business with 85% of their customers involved in the building industry, so we see it as a win-win for everyone,” he says. “We’re a high-volume manufacturer and can provide the trade with strong, durable ready-to-go doors, panels and cabinets which offer them a quick and efficient solution.

“We also have an extensive range of kitchen models, in six popular colours from white to dark oak. And unlike designer kitchens which can take from 3-4 weeks to deliver at a cost of $20,000 - $40,000, we offer an affordable quality modular solution within 2-3 days.” The Criterion kitchens are available starting from $3,000.

ITM Category Manager, Greg Wala, says Criterion kitchens have quickly proven popular with many of the stores. “The Criterion kitchen concept has been very well received with many of the stores already selling a number of kitchens,” he says. “We are now in a position to offer our builders a full ‘house lot’ solution that is second to none.” “When we began looking into selling kitchens we considered a number of suppliers and felt Criterion provided the best quality product out of all reviewed options,” he says. “The systems set up by Criterion have been excellent.”

According to industry figures there are around 1.5 million households in New Zealand and on average a kitchen is changed once every ten years. “If you include the 25,000 new building consents that makes around 175,000 new kitchens being installed each year,” says Mr French. “We see that as a big opportunity.”

“But we intend to concentrate on ensuring that we are the very best market supplier of a range of components and look forward to working with ITM stores to provide the ultimate kitchen solution for their customers.” Criterion currently has kitchen showrooms or is selling kitchens in 12 ITM outlets and expects to have 25 stores set up with kitchens by the end of the year.

ENDS

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