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Is KBIS in Trouble?

Reports are surfacing that the future of KBIS is at best shaky and at worst in deep trouble. After a stunningly unsuccessful show last year in Atlanta a KBIS press release reported that pre show attendance figures for this year were up 40%. However, for the second consecutive year the heavy hitters in the appliance biz have elected to pass on KBIS. Subzero, Wolf and Dacor to name just a few have been noticeably absent.

To  make matters worse, this week applianceadvisor.com is reporting that the appliance vendors who did choose to display were courted by representatives from CES (Consumer Electronics Show). Apparently, according this applianceadvisor post the CES reps were canvasing booth to booth looking for commitment from the KBIS appliance vendors for their annual January show in Las Vegas. They also report on previous posts that CES is privately pressing the big kitchen appliance companies for commitment.

What does this mean? Consider this. If the CES folks are successful at convincing just a few of the big shot appliance companies to come on board there very well could be a domino effect among other appliance manufacturers. Without appliances on display at KBIS what will be left?

For several years now the number of cabinet companies choosing to display has dwindled. In fact many have already been referring to KBIS as a plumbing show. So here are the key questions:

Will appliance manufacturers bail on KBIS in favor of perceived greener pastures at CES in Las Vegas?

Where and when will Subzero, Wolf, Dacor choose to exhibit next year?

Is KBIS done? Another victim of a sour economy?

I’ll keep you posted as the situation develops.

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