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The Australian demand for New Zealand made energy efficient gas heating has seen local manufacturer Rinnai grow export earnings to this market by 51% over the last two years. 
The company’s general manager for sales and marketing, Mark McCutcheon, says Rinnai is now shipping more than five containers of product monthly to Australia.
This growth, he says, is the result of significantly upgrading the range of fireplaces offered in the Rinnai range to meet core customer requirements.  
“We have conducted market research to help identify what our customers truly value in a fireplace. This has allowed the team to focus on delivering these few important attributes across the new product range,” says McCutcheon.
“We are certainly not finished; however demand for our range of fireplaces is already showing a strong sustained increase in an otherwise static market. This is a pleasing result to date,” he says.
McCutcheon says sales have also been enhanced through establishing a Rinnai Premium Dealer network in the state of Victoria. 
This has allowed the company to work with a dedicated number of retailers to boost product displays in store, product knowledge and set sales targets through the network. 
Same store sales are up 92% year on year in 2012 as a result of this programme, he says.
“The individual store sales are due to the product ranges winning higher consumer appeal in the market than they had done previously.”
"We are encouraged by this early success and are now in the process of rolling out the network throughout Australia,” he says.
McCutcheon says the new growth has also increased the need for manufacturing staff at its Auckland headquarters with another 10 new jobs being created over the past two years as a result of this and other wider business growth initiatives.
Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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