Grand Has iPads!

Well, sort of. We’re not selling iPads, but we have them. Just about every one of us. That means when you walk into a Grand Appliance and TV location, your salesperson will not only be armed with the expertise and consultative selling approach you’ve come to expect from Grand, but also an iPad – and a world of information, interesting content and other tools to aid in your buying decision.

When did this happen?

Its been in the works for a while, but everyone got their new toys last night (June 6, 2013). We closed down the entire operation and gathered the entire sales force, management team and key operations personnel together for a company event to kick off the program. In total, 67 iPads were distributed to Grand employees across the organization.

The iPads were distributed last night (6/6/2013) at an all staff meeting to kick off Grand's iPad initiative.

Our stack of 67 iPads at the event to kick off our iPad Program (June 6, 2013)

Why are we doing this?

Simply put, we want to improve your experience at Grand and get better at what we do. iPads give us a valuable tool for both. Here’s a few ways we plan to use the iPads to enhance your in-store experience.

Competitive Price Checks

We can be more than competitive with the big box stores and we’re eager to prove it. Each salesperson’s iPad has been pre-configured with a smart price scanning app tailored for appliances, TVs and bedding. It grabs real time pricing from our local competition, even our larger regional competitors.

You may be wondering why we’re so eager to potentially lose profits by showing you what everyone else is doing. Well, that’s simple. We’re confident you’ve always gotten the best deal when you’ve shopped at Grand. We just never went out of our way to prove it. Now we are.

So, come on in, shop our vast selection, take advantage of our product expertise and know for a fact you’re getting the very best price – every time.

Quick Access to Specs and Product Information

We take a lot of pride in knowing the products we sell inside and out, but there are times when we need to double-check something to be sure we’re giving you the right information. Running back and forth to the computer to verify product information can really slow down a sale. Plus, starting and stopping can creates a pretty disjointed buying experience. With an iPad, we can answer any question you have about a product without stepping away. In addition, we can use dedicated apps from the brands we represent to take you on an interactive walk through each brand’s product offering.

Video Demonstrations

Most of the brands we represent have a wealth of content on video services like YouTube. In the past, if we thought one of these videos would help you understand a feature or product better, we had to walk away from the product and saddle up at one of our computers in the office area to access the video. Now, just like with the specs and information above, we can instantly access that video without leaving the product.

Smart Product Demonstrations

Many of the electronics products we sell can access web-enabled content and feature some degree of control via smartphone or tablet. Appliances and even bedding brands are following suit. Its one thing to talk about it, but we want to show you. Take Sonos multi-room audio products as an example. Sonos makes it ultra-simple to play your iTunes, favorite radio station, Pandora feeds and more in any room of your house thanks to their intuitive, user-friendly app for smart devices. I could spend the next 5,000 words talking about the what makes the app so special and I wouldn’t even touch the impact you’d get from a simple two minute hands-on demo.

Sonos App for iPad

Sonos App for iPad

In addition, let me be clear, all smart control apps are NOT created equal. Some load faster than others, are more intuitive than others, more capable than others, etc. If smart features are a key factor in your buying decision, the last thing we want is for you to be surprised when your so-called smart device isn’t quite as smart as you had hoped. We’d prefer you compare the products with smart features in the store to increase the chance that you’ll actually use and enjoy the features.

Email Integration

In retail, we work odd schedules. In fact, it’s not uncommon for our salespeople to work Saturday and Sunday and then have two days off during the week. This can make getting in touch with your salesperson difficult if you catch them on the wrong day. No longer the case. Each salesperson’s Grand email account has been integrated into their iPad. Our salespeople are true professionals and as such they requested the ability to stay connected to their customers – even when they’re away from the office. This small feature alone will allow us to provide faster responses to your urgent matters.

 

Conclusion

These are just a few of the ways we plan to integrate iPads into our business at the store level. There are many more ways we’ll use these devices and their roll in our operation will only expand as technology improves. We hope this program is a signal to you, our customers, that Grand is committed to doing whatever we can to stay provide you with the absolute best shopping experience.

 

New Bosch Dishwashers Have Arrived At Grand

The new Bosch dishwashers have arrived at Grand. There are some pretty cool features with the new line that separate it from other brands.

I could talk about superior quality claims, but that’s old news with Bosch. Every year the brand is a fixture atop quality rankings from leading consumer publications. In fact, Bosch dishwashers recently received #1 ratings from trusted sources like JD Power, Energy Star and Consumer Reports.

Same thing when it comes to quiet. Bosch has been universally regarded as one of the quietest dishwasher brands for more than a decade. So, while its impressive that the new line was rated as the quietest brand in America with models reaching decibel ratings of 38dBA, I simply chalk that up to more of the same from Bosch.

For me, the buzz around the new line is all about innovative design changes that enhance the flexibility of the line. The design changes affect both form and function as described in the sections below.

NOTE: If you’re interested in learning more about what makes Bosch an industry leader for quality, quiet operation, click here.

Form: New Door Front Options

The line features four dishwasher door front options as shown below.

13-Bosch dw launch handles2

  • Recessed Handle: The only door style with visible controls. The control panel is angled upward for easier control from a standing position. MSRPs starting at $649.
  • Flush Handle: Hidden controls door style with inset handle. The stainless version features a fully wrapped stainless steel door eliminating the black trim on most competitive models. Great option for hidden controls without a protruding handle. MSRPs starting at $799 MSRP
  • Bar Handle: Essentially a continuation of the handle style used throughout Bosch’s line of kitchen appliances, but also adds the unique, fully-wrapped stainless steel door featured on the flush handle door style above. MSRPs starting at $649.
  • Custom Panel: Like the bar handle design, the custom panel design is a continuation of previous custom panel models. MSRPs start at $849 plus the cost of a custom panel from your cabinet provider.

13-Bosch dw launch flush door-control lookWith these four options, Bosch is confident you’ll find a model to match your kitchen aesthetic – even if you’re replacing your dishwasher and the other appliances in your kitchen aren’t from Bosch. See the dishwasher shown to the right. This is an example of a flush handle door front. As you can see, there is no visible logo or Bosch branding anywhere on the front of the dishwasher. Instead, the logo is hidden with the dishwasher controls on the top of the door panel. The same is true of the bar handle option and custom panel door options. In other words, three of the four door options have absolutely no visible brand identification on the door of the dishwasher allowing for easy integration into a kitchen full of non-Bosch appliances.

What about custom kitchen installations? Can any of these be installed completely flush with standard-depth cabinetry? Absolutely. Each of the new dishwasher models, even the custom panel models, can be installed with the door front completely flush to your standard-depth cabinetry. Many other brands don’t even have a single dishwasher model capable of flush installation let alone the full line. When it comes to custom panel dishwashers, your flush mount options are even thinner. Bosch makes it easy to get the flush install you want. Simply pick the door style you like and rest assured it will fit seamlessly in your existing cabinetry. I know what you’re thinking, “Slimmer footprint? Must mean smaller capacity.” Not so. Bosch’s renowned team of engineers figured out how to reduce the overall depth while also increasing capacity!

The four door front options – including the non-branded options – and flush installation may seem like a small things, but a clean, unified look throughout the kitchen is very important to most of our customers. The appliances in the kitchen play a pivotal role in achieving this unified look – particularly if they’re heavily branded or have a unique handle or other exterior characteristic. Bosch’s door design changes ensure you can replace your existing dishwasher without worrying about it matching another appliance in your kitchen. Plus, if you choose a non-branded option you can enjoy all the benefits of owning a premium Bosch dishwasher with one less logo staring you in the face everyday.

Function: New and Improved Third Rack

The third rack concept itself is nothing new. In fact, many Bosch competitors have a three-rack solution of some sort included in their more premium models. If you’ve never seen a three-rack dishwasher or are unfamiliar with the feature, here’s a quick overview. The third rack is a shallow rack located at the top of the dishwasher tub originally developed to provide a better solution than the traditional silverware basket for cleaning silverware, cutlery, long spoons, spatulas, etc. You may never really think about your silverware basket, but there’s a couple key problems with your traditional silverware basket. First, it takes up valuable real estate on the bottom rack. Second, and more importantly, most baskets don’t allow for very thorough cleaning – particularly when the silverware has been haphazardly jammed into the compact slots in the basket. Plus, have you ever tried to put a large knife, spoon or other utensil in the basket? Doesn’t work so well in most dishwashers. In my house, these items are typically wedged into random openings on the other racks or – more likely – washed by hand.

13-bosch dw launch 3rd rack comparison

So what’s different about Bosch’s third rack? Take a look at the picture on the left for a comparison. For starters, notice the the third rack in Bosch’s new dishwasher is V-shaped while the “Other Guys'” rack is flat. This allows Bosch to not only accommodate silverware and low profile items like cooking spoons or larger cutlery but also oddly shaped items like whisks, tongs, ramekins, and even shallow bowls. The V-shape is key because it gives additional height in the center of the third rack – a spot that will likely have minimal impact on loading capacity of the rack beneath.

For added flexibility, the sides of the V on Bosch’s third rack can be lowered to the level of the center portion to accommodate several oddly shaped items. They lower independently allowing for one or both sides to be lowered for added space. Obviously adding space above reduces space below. That’s why all models with the third rack also feature a middle rack with Bosch’s RackMatic technology, a feature that allows you to easily raise or lower the middle rack based on your loading demands.

The adjustable V-shape combined with RackMatic technology increases the likelihood that you’ll actually use the functionality of the third rack. There’s no question that individually loading each piece of silverware into the third rack is far more cumbersome than simply tossing the soiled silverware into the traditional basket. That’s a key reason that most dishwasher manufacturers – Bosch included – still ship a traditional basket with their three-rack models. Many customers would just rather use the basket – or at least have the option to do so. With the V-shaped third rack and RackMatic technology, you have the option of using the third rack for silverware only to maximize your space elsewhere, loading silverware in the basket to maintain total flexibility in the top two racks or some combination of the two.

Conclusion

When you combine the flexibility created by Bosch’s innovative design changes with its continued superiority in high-quality, quiet operation, you’ve got a line of dishwashers few competitors can match. Click here to view our full Bosch dishwasher offering online. If you’d like to see the new models in person and talk through your options with one of our factory trained sales professionals, click here to find the store nearest you.

Viking Introduces D3 Appliance Line

Already a leading manufacturer of high end appliances, Viking continues to push the limits of innovation and design with its new D3 line of appliances. The D3 line features all the premium performance features you’d expect from Viking along with product customization options and lower pricing to make it the greatest consumer value in the luxury appliance segment.

The D3 line’s patent pending customization options include interchangeable knob and handle inserts that can match virtually any cabinetry finish or kitchen decor. Polished chrome inserts ship standard to match the stainless steel knobs and handles, but consumers can remove those inserts and replace with customized inserts to match their kitchen. Pre-finished wood inserts in popular colors are available to match most cabinets, but consumers can also purchase unfinished wood inserts that can be stained for an exact cabinetry match. For painted finished, consumers can purchase clear acrylic inserts that can be painted to match the color scheme in the room.

Just like all Viking appliances, D3 appliances are also available in 24 designer finishes. When you combine the design capabilities offered by custom color options and interchangeable knob and handle inserts you have an appliance line that offers flexibility unmatched by any manufacturer.

To help customers visualize all the different color and insert options, Viking has created a new D3 customization feature on its website. The tool allows consumers to change range colors and knob and handle inserts to view the available options. Click here to try it out yourself on a 30″ D3 gas range. 

We’ve started rolling Viking’s D3 line out at select locations, but it will soon be added to the floor lineup at all Grand stores. In the meantime, you can click here to view the full line on our website.