Loewe sets sights on Sony and Sharp
27th Nov 2008 | 08:06
High-end television makers hitting UK streets
Loewe CEO Frieder Löhrer has told TechRadar that his company has set its sights on competing with not just traditional high-end rival Bang & Olufsen but also the likes of Sony and Sharp as it launches a major push into the British high street.
Loewe have just set up five 'galleries' which are essentially high-street shops run by partners that showcase the company's rather stunning and very pricey televisions, but the company is looking to bring that number up to 50 to make Loewe as much of a force in the UK as it is in Germany.
Speaking exclusively to TechRadar, Löhrer, who arrived as CEO of the company earlier this year, explained that Loewe wanted to be a player in the UK consumer market.
"We have very substantial market in Germany as well as the Benelux, Austria and Switzerland and we believe that we as a brand and as a company should also be very strong and present in a market like the UK," said Lohrer.
"Specifically, that's because the UK is the largest consumer market in Europe and if we can succeed in the UK then we can succeed anywhere.
"When I came together with [UK CE] Kevin Kelly we asked 'what do we really want to be in the UK? Do we want to be present or do we want to be a player?' Let me tell you, I really like to be a player!
"So we decided to change the way in which we distribute our products. Rather than having a few metres in a store we wanted to have real space to show exactly what the brand and the design is, so we decided to establish a number of galleries. "
Harrods, Hampstead and Selfridges
Britain's five galleries include two in London high streets, one in Selfridges, one in Harrods and one in Glasgow, and Lohrer is keen to not just compete with B&O but also some more mainstream television brands.
"I think the biggest competitor is B&O and we have high esteem and values for that company," Lohrer said when asked who the main competitors were in the UK.
"Unfortunately B&O is in some trouble at the moment but this is normal for any industry. I'm sure they can come back and maybe even stronger than they were before.
"They are our main competitor and we like a strong competitor because it stimulates the industry.
"Then, a huge step away is Sony – a company that is strong and has very innovative concepts but that we believe we distinguish ourselves significantly from with the values that we offer in the company.
"And then it is another huge step and we come to a company like Sharp."
Loewe's ambition is clear, and Lohrer insists that the company is pushing on at the right time, despite the credit crunch biting into people's disposable income.
"I think that the credit crunch is a virus and our televisions are the vaccination," he insists.