TODAY’S kitchen is no longer just a plain, boring looking place for housewives or even husbands to whip up meals for their families or guests.
In the olden days, a kitchen was a part of the house which owners did not really give much attention unlike the living areas or the bedrooms.
But the trend has changed over the years, with many house owners willing to spend thousands of ringgit sprucing up their kitchens.
Banking on the trend, Johor-based HongLee Group (M) Sdn Bhd had decided to open its new showroom and sales gallery at the Tebrau industrial estate III.
“This is our flagship store and also a one-stop centre offering a wide range of our home products and kitchen cabinets for customers,’’ said managing director Tan Tiam Chai.
He said this in an interview with MetroBiz at the opening of the 6,500 sq ft showroom spread over two floors, over looking the busy Pasir Gudang Highway.
Tan said the company had invested over RM1mil on the store including for renovation works, displays of kitchen cabinets and related home products.
He said apart from easy accessibility from other parts of Johor Baru, the store was clearly visible from the highway with thousands of motorists using the stretch daily.
“Our decision to open the flagship store is also in line with the progress and development in Iskandar Malaysia since its inception seven years ago,’’ said Tan.
He said with the influx of expatriates and Singaporeans working and living here, the time was right to tap the growing demand for high-quality kitchen cabinets.
Products on display are the company’s in-house brand — Apresi, started in 2011, making up of kitchen cabinets, vanity and shoe cabinets, wardrobes and walk-in closets.
“Apresi is coined from the word appreciate, it sounds Italian and we have plans to market our in-house brands regionally in near future,’’ said Tan.
HongLee is also the first authorised distributor of the Italian-made Berloni kitchen in the country and has allocated 1,500 sq ft space showcasing the range of cabinets.
Berloni started in Italy in the early 1960s and today the brand is available in 50 countries and the Italian company is a world leader in the design and manufacture of modular kitchens and office furniture.
Asked whether there would be any conflict with the Apresi and Berloni brands available under one roof, he said “it was unlikely to happen”.
“We want to give our customers a choice between a local brand and an Italian name, but whatever their choice is, we will never compromise in quality and customer value for money,’’ added Tan.
He said customers have a choice of a modular set or customised to their preferences with prices starting from RM10,000 and above.
Tan said today’s customers were becoming more knowledgeable, thanks to the easy access to the Internet and television programmes on home décor.
“As a one-stop centre, we provide solutions to home owners because of our competence in product design, innovation and diversification,’’ he said.
HongLee, which started operations in 1996, is one of the leading suppliers of household aluminium items in Malaysia and the region.
The company which began by making conventional doors and windows, today produces more than 20 different home aluminium products.
They include aluminium kitchen cabinets, sash windows, high performance sliding and folding doors, pergolas, sun louvres, grilles, gates and fencing, magnetic insect screens and more.
It has a manufacturing plant in Taman Johor Jaya, Johor Baru and currently has 11 dealers and 13 showrooms in Malaysia, Singapore and Batam, Indonesia.
The company is a subsidiary of Bursa Malaysia-listed A-Rank Bhd and had attained the ISO9001:2008 accreditation since 2007.
It received the “Excellence Product Award” and “Excellence Brand Award” at the 11th Asia-Pacific International Entrepreneur Excellence Award in 2012.
HongLee showroom and sales gallery is located at BMS Mall, Jalan Kenchana 2/1, Tebrau III industrial estate, 81100 Johor Baru.
For details call 07-356 0096 or visit www.honglee.my.