The major provider of cookware globally, Groupe SEB, has entered into an agreement with South African cookware manufacturer, Hendler & Hart, which will see the local company spearheading the sales and distribution of the premium range of Tefal/T-fal and Krups brands into Southern Africa.
Hendler & Hart, which celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2017, currently manufactures a broad range of aluminium and stainless steel products under its core brands - Hart, Aloe, CaterPride, Impala and Pointerware.
Hendler & Hart CEO Nash Soni says, “Our new association with SEB is of significant strategic value in light of our goal to grow our presence in previously untapped South African market segments. To date, our primary target market has been the lower to middle-income consumer base but as this market undergoes rapid socio-economic advancement, we have realised that there is a gap in our current offering for a premium range of products that will better serve the burgeoning middle to upper-income consumer base in South Africa.”
Groupe SEB VP for Africa, Eugène de Parscau comments, “South Africa has always been a key market for Groupe SEB in terms of its size and attractiveness, however, it is also a very competitive market. That is why we have chosen to go through a partnership with a local distributor and we strongly believe Hendler & Hart is the best partner in South Africa for cookware.”
He cites the company’s knowledge of the local market and consumer mindsets stemming from 125 years of operation, its experienced team, strong relationships with retailers and a wide distribution network extending into neighbouring countries (Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Swaziland) as key factors which make it the best partner for Groupe SEB in South Africa.
From a product portfolio perspective, the agreement with SEB will also allow Hendler & Hart to add a range of innovative new products to its current offering, incorporating features such as resistant non-stick coatings and Tefal’s patented Thermo-Spot technology.
Full steam ahead
Hendler & Hart says it is committed to staying relevant through innovation and it plans to implement a substantial two-year re-engineering process at its Boksburg manufacturing plant, based on the concept of constant improvement. A key focus will be the enhancement of the stainless steel line producing the Aloe range of products benchmarked against the best in the world.
This will allow the plant to manufacture in line with modern processes and adapt to new technological improvements in products that the market demands, for example, induction cookware. The overall aim is to increase productivity by at least 20% and create a far more agile production process, resulting in it being able to meet the ever-changing market needs and sectoral demand.
“We continue on a strong growth path despite tough market conditions and we believe this new venture will not only be beneficial to both our companies but also to our trading partners,” concludes Soni.
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