Retail Observer

May 2017

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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RETAILOBSERVER.COM MAY 2017 18 representatives, a state-of-the-art training center, show room and large warehouse for spare parts management. The training center will aim to certify contractors, installers and distributers on Midea's air conditioning business, specifically for installation and repair. Additional enhanced support features will come later this year and include online product registration and chat support through the website. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT Midea is also amplifying its research and development efforts in North America. Established in early 2015, the Midea America Research Center (MARC) in Louisville, KY, provides technical expertise in developing home appliance products for the U.S. market. MARC quickly outgrew its initial offices and broke ground on a new custom-designed office and lab space last fall. The brand new, 30,000 sq. ft. building will incorporate state-of-the-art lab facilities, testing equipment, and engineering areas, as well as office space for more than 60 people. It is scheduled to be fully operational this spring. Additionally, Midea's new emerging technology office is based in San Jose (Silicon Valley), CA, and will focus on the company's connected home products. There is also a new office in Boston, MA, which is home to Midea's floor care product division, under the Eureka brand. EXPANDED CORPORATE OFFICE LOCATIONS Finally, Midea is investing in its corporate sales and management facilities to support its continued business growth. In particular, while the company's Canadian office has relocated to a larger space in Toronto due to the growing business in the region, Midea America has hired dozens of employees in the last six months for its offices across North America. Please visit for additional information on Midea and its portfolio of products. CONVERSATIONAL APPLIANCES: CONTROL YOUR HOME WITH YOUR VOICE Amazon Alexa and GE Appliances collaboration enables hands-free convenience with voice control What if you could find out when your dishwasher cycle would be finished, preheat your oven or find out if your clothes are clean– all with the sound of your voice? GE Appliances, a Haier company, is the first Alexa skill to control a broad range of kitchen appliances including refrigerators, dishwashers, wall ovens, ranges, laundry and more. "Voice connectivity has a big role in the Internet of Things, as well as in the home," said Liz VerSchure, vice president responsible for GE Appliances connected strategy. "Integrating our connected appliances with Alexa will help make consumers' lives easier, more productive, and a little more fun." Have your hands full or cleaning up a mess? GE Appliances and Alexa now make it possible to preheat your oven with just your voice. Hate to leave the kids while you check on the wash? Ask Alexa the status of your cycle and save a trip. Last year, Amazon launched the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) and Alexa Voice Service (AVS), allowing developers to build Alexa skills or integrate Alexa directly into their hardware, product or service. Alexa is the brain behind Amazon Echo, a cloud- connected speaker that offers hands-free voice control for everything from music to weather and alarms. Today Alexa has over 2,000 skills and continues to grow, with new skills being added by third parties like GE Appliances, who want to connect their products to voice capabilities. I N D U S T R Y [ N E W S ]

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