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Attendance down, spirits up at KBIS 2009

 5 May 2009      

ATLANTA - There were fewer exhibits to see, and fewer people to see them at the 2009 Kitchen/Bath Industry Show (KBIS) held here last weekend, but spirits were still high as companies introduced their latest product lines.

Haier's new counter-depth
Haier's new counter-depth refrigerator.
Among the goodies making their debut were an ultra-high-end auto-touch refrigerator freezer compartment by LG that slides open like a DVD player drawer; black stainless steel finishes; and a double wall oven by GE that fits in the space normally occupied by a single unit.

However, despite showing optimism, industry giants like Electrolux, Samsung and Bosch scaled-down their exhibits, housing them inside a larger Sears display. Notable for their absence from this year's show were market leaders Whirlpool, Viking and Sub-Zero/Wolf, all of which begged off because of a downturn in business.

The smaller crowds of visitors still got their money's worth.

The LG auto-touch freezer, part of an enhanced, 28-cubic-foot, four-door refrigerator, was a big hit, as was the company's first slide-in electric range featuring dual convection fans and 5.4 cubic feet of capacity. Both products will ship in the fourth quarter of this year.

LG also introduced a new laundry line with the addition of Graphite Steel and Riviera Blue finishes, and such improved features as four separate motion patterns used by the washer drum, and an updated anti-vibration system.

Haier Group launched its new Encore laundry line that includes a super-capacity pulsator washer, an agitator washer and both electric and gas dryers. Its new automatic washer features a stainless-steel tub and brushed silver display and is Energy Star rated. Haier also unveiled a new 20.6 cubic-foot, counter-depth, four-door refrigerator with dual-pump, triple-filtration technology and stainless steel interiors.

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