Former VP at Whirlpool Corp
- Trends and developments within the home appliance industry, focusing on Whirlpool
- Growth dynamics and demand outlook amid nesting trends and strong replacement cycle
- Margin dynamics, focusing on cost cutting initiatives and cost inflation pressures
- Medium-to-long term outlook
Could you share 2-3 key trends or developments that you’ve been following in the home appliance industry?
You discussed the customer journey and the shift or change of urbanisation. Given the coronavirus backdrop, what I found in New York City at least was people really fled the city. It seems as though that’s perhaps coming back a bit. Is that trend to urbanisation and smaller living consistent and still going to continue, or has that been disrupted over the pandemic?
How has the industry performed throughout coronavirus? Do you see any longer-lasting or permanent impacts on the industry arising from the pandemic?
Could you share the rough size of the market and how this breaks down in terms of geographies in which Whirlpool operates?
Could you give us a sense of the pace of growth in the different markets you just outlined and how you see growth in 2022 vs 2019? Do you have any expectations over the next 3-5 years?
What were your assumptions around the growth you’re expecting out of the EMEA region?
Thinking of Whirlpool and the broader competitive landscape, could you outline your thoughts on the landscape and how we should think about the evolution of competition in the market?
How has GE Appliances changed its strategy or competitiveness since being acquired by Haier? Has it become more aggressive around product launches, or has its cost competitiveness improved relative to Whirlpool by taking advantage of Haier’s supply chain?
LG seems to have gained some market share in the North American market through launching a significant number of these premium, more innovative products that you’ve discussed as a major trend. Has Whirlpool lagged in this kind of product innovation in recent years?
Given Whirlpool’s dominance or very strong position in the industry, are there any areas of concern or areas the company needs to be shoring up or improving to ensure it maintains its competitive positioning?
Could you outline how Whirlpool thought about capital investment and which products and categories to invest more heavily in? Could you contextualise your comments on this?
How has the effort around D2C evolved? How has buying online or directly been received by customers? Has Whirlpool been successful in delivering that more D2C model?
Could you outline the demand dynamics for home appliances? What is the typical life cycle for home appliances and where are we in that cycle?
You made comments earlier around a few of Whirlpool’s products. What are your thoughts on the rest of the company’s product portfolio and your outlook for their performance? Which segments have the strongest growth potential in the next few years?
How would you characterise Whirlpool’s pricing strategy and how do you expect pricing to evolve throughout 2022?
Given raw material prices have increased significantly in the past 1-2 years, have Whirlpool and its competitors passed through most of this into product prices, or is this something we’ll observe much more as we go into 2022? Do you expect any significant impact on demand from doing this?
You discussed the strength of Whirlpool’s margins and the balancing act of increasing prices and maintaining their discipline on longer-term margin targets. What’s your outlook for the company’s profitability profile over the next few years?
Could you summarise your thoughts? What might be the best- and worst-case scenarios for Whirlpool over the next 12-18 months?
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