Daewoo sticks to UK plans despite Valera knockback

Daewoo Electronics has vowed that its plans to conquer the commercial microwave oven market will not be blown off course by exclusive UK partner Valera’s recent administration.

Daewoo launched its first ever range of own-brand commercial microwaves to the UK market in August after appointing Valera as its sole distributor.

At the time, Daewoo said Valera was the “ideal” partner to develop the business due to its long history of selling commercial microwaves in the UK.

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But three months on the brand is having to revise its distribution set-up after Valera was forced into administration last month.

When contacted by Catering Insight, Daewoo’s UK sales director, Simon Drought, confirmed the company was currently exploring its options for commercial microwave distribution, but stressed that it remained firmly committed to the UK market.

“The one thing that has become absolutely clear is that there is a strong demand for the products out there,” he said. “We have had a lot of approaches from various people that want to get involved in distributing it, but we are not going to rush into anything.”

Drought said the company is hoping to finalise new distribution arrangements within the next couple of weeks, but added that dealers were welcome to contact Daewoo directly in the meantime for any product queries.

He denied that Valera’s plight had created supply issues for the company, saying that product is available to the market even though there is a question mark over who it is fulfilled by while its new distribution structure is sorted out.

Drought said: “What I am absolutely determined is that we are not going to lose the momentum that we have built up, and also that any product currently out there is fully supported. We will not leave the product unsupported.”

Daewoo has successfully sold microwaves into the domestic market for many years, but the launch of the commercial range during the summer marked its first attempt at cracking the professional sector under its own label.

It had appointed Valera to market and supply the range to the dealer channel, as well as provide after-sales support.

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