GE announces appliances for millennials

steph2000June 28, 2013

An article from the WP Post today

"The products are targeted toward first-time millennial home buyers, some of the 80 million Americans born after 1980 who are now investing in real estate. GE hopes that Artistry�s design, price and energy efficiency will click with the sensibilities of younger consumers....

The Artistry bottom-freezer refrigerator, gas range, electric range, dishwasher and over-the-range microwave have clean lines and basic features. "If you put yourself into the mind of a consumer buying their first home, most don�t have a budget to redo all the cabinetry, but they want nice appliances with simple features," DeLuna says. "These products are meant to be very affordable."

DeLuna says GE made them available in only a white or black gloss finish to keep prices down. The brushed stainless knobs and handles have distinctive shapes, including horizontal handles on the fridge. The stove has old-fashioned analog clock instead of a digital one to provide a simple focal point, because the oven controls in this model were moved to the front. The GE logo has a bit of a retro feel.

The Artistry appliances will be available in September, according to a GE spokeswoman. The estimated retail prices: refrigerator $1,099; dishwasher $499; microwave $219; gas or electric range $599. The dishwasher and refrigerator are Energy Star-qualified. No washer or dryer is planned for the series, DeLuna says. But then, millennials are known for bringing their laundry to their parents� house."

Kinda interesting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Article Link

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I don't know any young person that likes machines with "simple features." "Simple" price yes but not lack of gizmos.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 4:13AM
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Fascinating. I'm a millennial. Just bought a first house. Searched high and low for a simple, classic yet stylish stove with analog features and front controls on the oven. I got laughed out of several stores. But if that ge gas stove had been around this summer, I might have considered it. (The fridges aren't so pretty, though.)

I have no idea if I'm typical, but quality and practicality matter to me in appliances; I want fridges and stoves like the ones my grandparents bought decades ago that still function today. If I really wanted an ugly digital clock added on, I could buy one at any yard sale.

Growing up with gizmos teaches you that what's new and high tech today will be obsolete tomorrow, and most likely, broken, too. If it's something you mean to keep, low tech = good.

(Also: it's true we don't have the budget to buy new cabinets. After seeing the exorbitant prices and so-so products, we're seriously thinking about building our own.)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 10:56PM
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so you've tossed away your smartphone and use only a rotary-dial landline?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 2:23PM
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Since when is simplicity and classic styling millenial? This boomer has been looking for a simple, affordable stove that fits into my vintage industrial-farmhouse style kitchen and the stove is perfect - right down to the clock face being a.... well, a clock and not a digital display. Can't wait to see it and hopefully buy!

(PS - editted to add - I considered some of the repro appliance lines like Elvira but they were kinda over-the-top with the Victorian styling, not to mention expensive.)

This post was edited by kashka_kat on Wed, Jul 3, 13 at 14:46

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 2:44PM
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Who dreams up this stuff? I agree with kashka ... It seems like they've got their marketing demographic backwards.

Just give me a simple, reliable appliance that doesn't make a racket when it runs and I'll be happy. I gotta laugh at the new marketing pitch for "dual compressors" ... as if one noisy compressor isn't enough!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 3:08PM
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I gotta laugh at the new marketing pitch for "dual compressors" ... as if one noisy compressor isn't enough!

I gotta laugh at anyone who thinks one large standard compressor makes less noise that two smaller compressors that total the same power.

so you've tossed away your smartphone and use only a rotary-dial landline?

Exactly, I don't think the lesson learned by young people is that simple technology is better.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 4:35PM
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Speaking of classic - I wish GE would reissue the monitor top fridges with legs! I had one a long time ago and wish I'd kept it. Maybe use a safer refrigerant but keep the cool classic style with the chrome and foot pedal to open it. Legs make so much sense. Whoever designed the modern fridges never had to mop the kitchen floor or see what ends up underneath a fridge.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 4:47PM
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"I gotta laugh at anyone who thinks one large standard compressor makes less noise than two smaller compressors that total the same power."

Ouch! Why so harsh? Sheesh ... I was only making a joke. Besides, they aren't marketing them as dual "silent" compressors, so I only assumed. Laugh away ... apparently your knowledge of compressors is far superior to mine.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 5:04PM
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My point may not have been clear enough. Yes, I depend on the latest smartphone + tablet + various and sundry gadgets. Not throwing those away. But I will be. They are DISPOSABLE, because of the pace of innovation. They will be obsolete or broken in a few years, at most. Then I'll happily spend my money on a new gadget when there is a true tech innovation that is useful to me. Innovation is the key word.

What in the world is innovative about a stove or even a fridge? Sure, the door position, size and color might change. Maybe even energy efficiency. But appliances need not be disposable -- the pace of innovation in the underlying functionality is glacial -- and weren't these things once referred to as "durable goods?" So, it seems best to seek out classic style and longevity in things you expect to keep for more than 18 months.

And the more gadgets you play with, the more you realize that simplicity, easily replaceable parts and as low-tech as possible design to get the job done is what creates longevity. Not things that are over-engineered with random bells and whistles. Those things break and start to look dated.

Can't claim to speak for others my age. But that is what having my hands on mouse (then touchpad) from an early age has taught me. That, plus a little experience with the recent economy.

There is also some appeal in simply taking a break from tech stuff when I can. Maybe not to the point of using rotary phones for communication, wristwatches for telling time or old globes for navigation. (Though some my age are using those things as retro objets d'art.) But keeping things simple where possible is one way of making home a haven.

Just trying to offer a different perspective. Could be I'm just totally weird!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 8:55PM
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Well said, Mousun.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 9:18PM
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Well, I'm far from a millennial, but all I can say is those appliances are utterly gorgeous.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 12:10PM
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While I do find the design very appealing --- yet another boomer approval --- I have found virtually nothing in the way of actual specifications, yet. I find myself wondering if there is anything to the Artistry line but new (and more attractive) sheet metal on the most basic of GE's appliances. Also, I have to wonder if the actual pricing next fall is going to be any better than what can be had currently with the most basic of GE appliances.

For example, GE currently makes a basic gas range with all knob controls down front and no digital anything --- not even the clock on the Artistry line --- but it may be a bit too basic for many. The stoves have four 9500 btu-hr sealed burners, manual cleaning oven and a broiler drawer. This is a style of stove that GE has been selling for decades Very little to go wrong, of course, which does have a certain appeal which has to be balanced against functionality that is too limited to appeal to many of us here. The currently models are available from the likes of Home Depot at around $450 (and less when on sale).

There also will be a radiant electric stove in the line up and that, to me, looks more promising for future designs. Found a a picture of it here:

What I personally like about this electric stove is that it has all of the knob controls down front rather than on the backsplash. If there is no control lock-out, that might be concern to folks with small children. The current $450 GE radiant stove has two 1.5kWh burners and two 2kWh burners, the latter being undersized by my standards.

Likewise, GE also has a basic, 20 cu. ft. bottom freezer fridge --- one with a freezer compartment drawer rather than the swinging door shown in the Artistry photos. It can be had for around $1050. Is the Artistry fridge yet another GE venture into the outsourcing that put its fridge reliability at the bottom of the list (with LG) for much of the last decade? Will the street price be less than current, comparable models? Will it be more reliable or just better looking? Hard to know.

Seems to me that if I wanted/needed to buy the most basic level of appliances, I could do pretty much the same pricewise with GE's current line-up..

Now, if GE could figure out how to migrate this style to some of its higher end stoves, and offer one of its induction ranges with knob controls down front, I would be very interested. YMMV, of course.

We'll have to see how this plays out.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 3:04PM
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