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On the sidelines of the launch of the Grohe flagship showroom in Hanoi at the end of July, Lixil Vietnam's general director Masahiko Hiramoto talked to VIR’s Hong Anh about the potential for growth of the luxury bathroom fixture market in Vietnam, as well as Lixil’s overall strategy in the country.
Why is Lixil launching Grohe Spa showrooms in Vietnam now? What segment of customers do you target with the Grohe brand?
The Vietnamese real estate mar-ket has seen recovery and growth in the past year. By extension, so has the building material and sanitary ware market. The high-end apartment segment has recently seen big growth with remarkable sales throughout the country, so we can see that the potential of both the markets for bathroom fixtures and luxury bathroom fixtures are very high. That’s why we decided to launch four Grohe Spa showrooms in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, and Nha Trang.
At the Grohe Spa showrooms, Grohe introduces consumers to innovative products such as shower system SmartControl, F-Digital Deluxe, the ever-popular collection of Allure Brilliant, Grandera, Eurocube, and thousands of other revolutionary products. Here, we focus on Grohe’s signature product line. Grohe Spa has the concept - Home is Where My Grohe Spa is - bringing customers the spa experience right in their own bathroom.
What are the benefits that Grohe and Lixil are going to bring to customers in Vietnam in their new showrooms?
At Lixil, Grohe is positioned as an independent brand. So Grohe has retained its core values of technology, quality, design, and sustainability for decades. It’s still able to deliver “pure freude an wasser”, which means “pure joy of water”.
The global production network of Grohe is based on precision technology, as well as high performance and efficiency in production. The innovation, design, and development activities for Grohe are centred in Germany, with three production plants operating in Germany alone.
When merging into Lixil, which already had a consistent distribution and after-sale care network that covers the whole of Vietnam, Grohe benefited from significant growth in its distribution network in the country.
At the Grohe brand relaunch event and press conference, we announced a new distribution network in order to enable consumers and developers to better choose Grohe products.
Many high quality bathroom fix-ture brands are expanding sales in Vietnam. How do you stand out?
The Grohe brand and its excel-lent products have made their mark on the market for many decades. A brand with a great capacity for innovation, Grohe has a long track record as the world’s largest manufacturer of premium sanitary fittings in terms of innovation, quality, design, and sustainability.
Grohe is not new in Vietnam. Before joining Lixil, Grohe was already being utilised in many highend projects throughout the country, and is much loved by customers. Examples of projects using Grohe include JW Marriot Hanoi, Lotte Hanoi, Intercontinental Danang, Angsana Lang Co, Times Square (The Reverie Saigon), Renaissance Riverside Saigon, and Le Meridien, in addition to many high-end commercial and housing projects.
We don’t worry about the activities of competitors. What we care about the most is creating the highest quality products and expanding our distribution system in order to bring the highest value to users.
Besides the Grohe brand, Lixil is providing many other brands which target lower-end segments in the Vietnamese market. What is your plan in the upcoming years for the whole product line-up?
Vietnam is one of our focus markets in Asia. We currently have 12 factories in five cities and provinces across the country, including Hanoi, Hung Yen, Quang Nam, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, and Binh Duong. Besides Grohe, Lixil Vietnam currently distributes mar-ket-leading brands such as Inax, American Standard, and the alu-minium window and door brand Tostem.
With the Grohe brand and Grohe Spa showrooms, we target high-end customers and projects. Meanwhile at our 60 Lixil stores we target the middle-end segment with the high-est quality products at competitive prices. With such a diverse product portfolio, we are going to develop all four brands in order to meet the many demands of developers and consumers in Vietnam.