Kohler Novita targets overseas clients with premium bidet and small home appliance products

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : July 16, 2020, 17:40 | Updated : July 16, 2020, 17:40

[Photograph by Yoo Dae-gil = dbeorlf123@ajunews.com]

SEOUL -- After consolidating its firm position as a leading manufacturer of electronic bidet toilet seats in South Korea, Kohler Novita actively targets overseas markets, especially in Europe, with small home appliance and premium bidet products including one that can measure body indices such as fat, muscle and moisture through remote control.

"I will nurture Novita into a global leading brand in small home appliances," Kohler Novita managing director David Moon said in an interview with Aju Business Daily. "My personal dream is to do business globally," he said, putting his vision on taking a leap into a global player in small home appliance markets.

Bidets have a market centered on Asian countries such as South Korea, China, and Japan. From now on, Kohler Novita would actively target overseas markets as sanitary appliances attracted attention overseas due to a COVID-19 pandemic. Moon said his company would also introduce products that can meet the new needs of Korean consumers.

"The most important thing to improve this is experience," Moon said, citing Europe as the most eye-catching market for bidet exports. "Since there is already a concept of bidets in Europe, we predict that there will be demand if we give an experience of electronic bidets."

For a while, the company aims to focus on expanding bidet markets and developing new products in South Korea. "Although bidet seems to have become commonplace in South Korea, the penetration rate is still about 50 percent," he said, adding South Korea's bidet market has a five percent growth potential every year.

Since Kohler, an American manufacturing company best known for plumbing products, acquired Novita, a bidet producer in South Korea, in 2011, the Wisconsin-based company has tried to boost its brand awareness with an extensive selection of luxurious bath and kitchen products. "I think the Novita brand is well positioned," Moon said, pointing to greater interest in hygiene that created a new business opportunity in South Korea.

This year, Novita has targeted TV home shopping to sell a remote control model that did well thanks to the growing number of customers who became more sanitary-sensitive. The strategy helped Novita achieve single-digit growth in the first half of this year despite a difficult business situation in general.

"We are expanding our products so that consumers can experience various things through bidet," Moon said. "As consumers spend more time at home these days, they have responded most to products that can save time for themselves or their family members."

[This article was written by Aju Business Daily reporter Ryu Hye-kyung]
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