Are U.S. city-dwellers ready for European appliances?
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Blomberg—not exactly a household name in the United States—aims to dramatically increase its American market presence in 2014 and beyond. Rather than targeting suburban families with plenty of space (and gigantic appliances to match), the Turkish brand is setting its sights on apartment dwellers.
In most of Europe, high-rise apartment appliances match the apartments themselves in terms of scale. These appliances are only as large as they need to be, given the space.
European refrigerators look positively miniature beside American models, but consider for a moment just how much space is wasted in the typical fridge (or at least in mine), and you may find yourself subscribing to Europe's "less is more" mentality.
For example, Blomberg's latest dishwasher is counter-height, but only 18 inches wide. It's more than enough for the dirty plates of two people, so if that's how you're living, why would you need anything larger? Same for the company's latest fridge: It's counter-depth, of average height, but roughly half the width of an American french door fridge.
If there's a newborn in the apartment, Blomberg appliances are also deliberately quiet. The company's WM87120 washing machine clocks in at only 65 decibels, and certain brushless dishwashers are only 45 decibels. These appliances are quick and convenient too: some dishwashing cycles are just 30 minutes long.
To get consumers up and running with Blomberg appliances right away, the company has already contracted with three major Manhattan developers. Blomberg's BRFB1450 refrigerators are being featured in two different Manhattan apartment buildings: 900 units in the Mercedes House on West 54th Street and 302 more at the Beatrice Residences above Kimpton's Eventi Hotel on Sixth Ave. 165 Blomberg dishwashers will be used in Sunshine Developers properties on Fifth Avenue.
Compact appliances from other brands like Miele and Liebherr tend to be extremely expensive, while Blomberg's options are some of the most affordable in their size category. True, you still have to pay a small premium for the compact size, but the valuable square feet you'll gain in your kitchen will more than make up the difference.
Unfortunately, Blomberg's appliances—at least in the U.S.—are still available from only a short list of distributors, found here. But if all goes well and city-dwelling Americans catch the European appliance bug, this list could be expanding dramatically very soon.
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