x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Dyson held back by hired help

The number of housemaids and cleaners employed in the GCC region is holding back sales of premium household goods and appliances according to the chief executive of Dyson.

Dyson is opening a shop in the Dubai Mall to showcase its range of products. David Parry / PA Archive
Dyson is opening a shop in the Dubai Mall to showcase its range of products. David Parry / PA Archive

The number of housemaids and cleaners employed in the GCC region is holding back sales of premium household goods and appliances, according to the chief executive of Dyson.

The British manufacturer of vacuum cleaners and washing machines is hoping to overcome this problem by opening a shop in the Dubai Mall to showcase its range of products, including its latest cordless vacuum cleaner.

"In the developed world there is not much household help because salaries are very high so it is not affordable [to hire help]. In the developing world, whether that is Asia or the Middle East there is a relatively high percentage of customers that have help in their homes and they question - if I have help in my home, why should I invest in a [premium] vacuum cleaner," said Max Conze, the chief executive.

By showcasing its products and the technology behind them to the public, Mr Conze is hoping that attitudes will change.

"You can engage with the story, the technology, you don't just see the machine, you see what is inside the machine and you appreciate what it is all about. When that happens, then people get really interested and excited. That is our fundamental strategy and that is why we are interested in building a shop in Dubai Mall," said Mr Conze.

The company is in talks with Dubai Mall to open a store "soon". Describing the mall as "one of the biggest show windows in the world", Mr Conze said the store would give the company and its products more visibility, which would help them to reach consumers interested in technology and willing to spend money on it.

"The Middle East is very important for us as a region and we are at the beginning of stepping up our efforts and we are getting much more serious going forward," said Mr Conze. Dyson will begin to introduce its products to Saudi Arabia next year and will also focus more on the commercial market now that hotel construction is booming once again in the region.

"If you cut the world by construction volume, the Middle East is a very, very significant part of that with a lot of prestige projects. We think people will appreciate and enjoy going to a bathroom and experiencing an airblade [hand dryer]," said Mr Conze.

Famous for its innovative and brightly coloured appliances with focus on modern-day engineering, Dyson has invested 36 per cent of last year's profits of £364 million (Dh2.09 billion) back into research and development.

 

thamid@thenational.ae