For many South Africans, there are trusted household brands that they turn to when it comes to home appliances.

 

Now in comes Beko, an unknown into a pandemic-challenged market for cash-strapped South Africans, and while you may vaguely remember their name from the last FC Barcelona match you watched, where they are partners, not much is known about the brand locally.

 

The brand opens on 28 August at Design Quarter in Fourways, Gauteng, and the second store opens at The Crescent at Umhlanga Ridge, KwaZulu-Natal, in September.

 

Beko is a subsidiary of Arçelik, the durables and electronics manufacturer and the parent company of Defy Appliance.

 

All4Women checked out the store and here’s what we thought:

 

It’s more than just an appliance store

 

Aside from excellent product knowledge from staff, the spacious store is more conceptual than it is completely retail, meaning cooking demonstrations with well-known chefs from across South Africa will feature in-store.

 

You will be able to see products such as microwaves, ovens and fridges in action. From time to time, the store will be activated with live demonstrations. Plus, it already features a PlayStation area for kids while parents shop.

 

They’ve taken hygiene in their products to a new level

 

A stand-out product in the store worth checking out is an oven which sterilises anything from pizza boxes to baby bottles.

 

Rajan Gungiah, ​​Beko regional marketing director for sub-Saharan Africa, says: “One of the many interesting consumer trends to emerge from the pandemic is a greater curiosity about products that can safeguard households from infection. Hygiene is no longer a nice-to-have.”

 

According to the report, “The Age of Nesting” – created by Beko in partnership with foresight consultancy The Future Lab – people want home innovations designed to reduce exposure to viruses and pollutants and to maximise personal hygiene, in their bid to protect themselves and their families from present and future pandemics.

 

They’ve got some pretty things too

 

Working from home has seen a huge uptake in how consumers view their small domestic appliances such as toasters, kettles and irons, and that makes total sense because it’s staring you in the face daily.

 

As much as a kettle “just boils water”, it is also an aesthetic that adds to the look and feel of people’s kitchens and says something about the homeowner. This can be seen in how South African consumers post their Smeg items on social media.

 

The Beko Cosmopolis Kettle & Toaster Set in white and rose gold, with its retro feel, is in line with current trends predicted by the Beko team three years ago.

 

“We do extensive research into the market which focus on look and feel and the other which focuses on quality, which focuses on neuro testing. This simulates the experience of the product through touching certain buttons and this releases certain chemicals that test how the product makes people feel,” says Gungiah.

 

They’re smart

 

One of the biggest issues Beko will probably contend with is that they will need to compete with what many South Africans perceive to be its competitors, where tech is concerned, in terms of smart devices and smart homes.

 

However, Beko has already planned for this with many of its appliances focusing on the future of technology when South African homes become “smart”, i.e. “hey Siri, close the curtains, turn on the lights, switch on the washing machine”.

 

Beko products range from the AquaTech Front Loader, boasting high-energy efficiency, and the freshness-engaging EverFresh+ Fridge, to products with bio-composites for the planet like the BioCoffee Espresso Machine

 

To find out more about Beko visit www.beko.com/za-en