(MADISON, WI - MAY, 2001) - The game plan for the
expansion of Sub-Zero into cooking appliances is well on track following its
acquisition a year ago of Wolf Gourmet.
James Bakke, president of the 55-year-old manufacturer of the ultimate brand
in refrigeration, said, "The transition has been exceedingly smooth, both from
an operations perspective and also on a marketing level. The primary goal now is
to inter-link the brands and their identities and communicate to the marketplace
that ours is the ultimate family of kitchen appliances."
Most significant in the transition process has been the physical relocation
of the Wolf manufacturing facilities. It was not simply a matter of moving from
its former home in Compton, CA. Rather, it involved the construction of a
completely new 300,000-square-foot factory plus office space here in Madison.
Sub-Zero made the investment in the new production quarters, including the
purchase of all-new machinery and tooling for the manufacturing of the Wolf
"We wanted to ensure the utmost in quality would be attained," said Bakke.
"And, though it was a more costly way to consolidate the companies, it was, in
our estimation, the best way to secure our future together."
According to Bakke, the transfer of all production was completed and
operations were up and running at the end of January.
The next phase of development now underway on the 62-acre Sub-Zero/Wolf
campus is construction of a 30,000-square-foot training and educational center.
Not only will it be used for sales and installation training, but it also is
envisioned to become a hub for a variety of programming, such as guest
appearances and demonstrations by famous international culinary talents, wine
and food tastings, and other special events for both professionals, as well as
the general public.
One challenge still facing Sub-Zero as it completes the integration of Wolf
into its family fold is how to raise consumer awareness for the Wolf brand to
the same level of recognition Sub-Zero enjoys. To this end, one of the initial
steps Sub-Zero has taken is to simplify the name from Wolf Gourmet to Wolf. A
cleaner logo has been created, dropping the image of a wolf's head and adding a
red flame to the W, to underscore that it is in the business of cooking.
"These are only a few of the basics we've begun to address in our marketing,"
explained Paul Leuthe, Sub-Zero's corporate marketing manager. "It is the
outcome of extensive focus group research we conducted in major markets,
including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco."