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August 8, 2009

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Kitchen cabinet market's bright

UNITED States-based Kohler Co yesterday opened its first kitchen cabinet-making factory in China in Changshu in Jiangsu Province as it taps the business in the country.

Kohler, which spent more than US$20 million on the 100,000-square-meter factory, planned to invest in the second phase construction due to the huge potential of China's market for kitchen cabinets. The firm will also set up a research and development center for kitchen products in Changshu - its first kitchen research facility globally.

"China's kitchen cabinet market has been one of the fastest growing in Asia Pacific," said Derrick Tay, president of Kohler kitchen & bath for Asia Pacific. "With increasing consumer recognition, Kohler has made a large investment in our research, development and production."

The market could reach 50 billion yuan (US$7.3 billion) before 2010 as kitchen cabinet ownership in China is far behind that of more mature countries, according to the China Building Decoration Association.

"We planned to open more outlets to bring the total number to 50 by the end of this year as orders for kitchen products have been increasing significantly," said Sidney Cheung, general manager of cabinetry for Kohler China.

The company had earlier opened a two-story Kohler Kitchen showroom in Shanghai to create consumer awareness of its kitchen business as the firm is already known for its bathroom products.


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