are stainless steel kitchen appliances passe?

‘after stainless, now what?’, an article by ellen byron in the 5 september 2012 wall street journal, suggests that stainless steel kitchen appliances are becoming passe.

so, appliance manufacturers are introducing new finishes as an alternative to stainless steel.  could this be an attempt to increase sales, which have declined along with the housing market?  or, to increase profits by offsetting manufacturer discounts?

stainless steel, considered the premium kitchen appliance finish for 25 years, generates 35% of all appliance sales.  usually, consumers only purchase new kitchen appliances when they are building a house, remodeling their kitchen, or replacing a broken appliance.  since they don’t purchase new appliances very often, consumers often mix and match appliance brands.

if you were purchasing new kitchen appliances, which finish would you choose?

white ice or white?  black ice or black?  or, stainless steel?

whirlpool | ice collection | white ice

introduced in 2012

whirlpool | ice collection | black ice

introduced in 2012

photo credits whirlpool and whirlpool

high gloss white, high gloss black, slate gray?  or, stainless steel?

ge | profile collection | slate gray

introduced in 2012

photo credits ge appliances and general electric
floating glass white, floating glass black, oiled bronze?  or, stainless steel?

jenn air | oiled bronze

introduced in 2007

photo credits jenn air and kitchenandresidentialdesign.com

viking range offers stainless steel plus 23 other finishes.

‘i’d say 80% of our sales are still stainless steel.’

-brent bailey, design director, viking range corporation 

viking range | professional series | stainless steel

kitchen | sleepy hollow, VA | interior design by doug deluca

photo credit viking range


viking range | color finishes

photo credit viking range

‘i could add another 100 colors and the percentage wouldn’t change much.’

-brent bailey, design director, viking range corporation

do you think that stainless steel kitchen appliances are a cliche?  or, a classic?

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