COSTA MESA, Calif. — It’s a marquee brand in its native New Zealand and throughout Australasia — an 80-year-old home appliance company that is a household name throughout the tropical South Pacific region.
And although Fisher & Paykel has had a physical presence in North America for nearly two decades, the premium kitchen and laundry appliance brand is poised to raise its profile — especially in Southern California — with the relocation of its North America headquarters to the South Coast Plaza Office district.
The pioneering appliance company, famous for creating, in 1996, the two-drawer dishwasher, expects to open by Christmas a 15,500-square-foot office in the single-floor space at 695 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, previously occupied by The Spa and Fitness Club.
And by late 2015, Fisher & Paykel expects to complete an adjacent 6,500-square-foot showroom at 695 Town Center Drive that will allow the public, as well as members of the architecture and design community, to experience the brand through such activities as cooking classes.
About 50 Fisher & Paykel employees will work at the new location in the heart of Orange County’s retail and theater district.
“It’s exciting,” Scott Davies, Brand Marketing Manager, Fisher & Paykel North America, said of the relocation. “There are a lot of growth opportunities in this business, and we see our new home in the South Coast Plaza Office district as a win-win for us and our landlords.”
Originally located in Laguna Hills, Fisher & Paykel has, since 2005, housed its U.S. and Canada headquarters in a quiet industrial park off Skylab Road in Huntington Beach following its acquisition in 2004 of Dynamic Cooking Systems,
DCS by Fisher & Paykel, a manufacturer of high-end indoor and outdoor cooking equipment now is one of the company’s two premium brands.
The other is the namesake Fisher & Paykel line of home and kitchen appliances, whose contemporary European-styled products include stoves, ovens, cooktops, refrigerators, dishwashers, and laundry washing and drying machines
“Our brands are aspirational – and by offering both contemporary and professionally styled products, our target demographic has a solution for every need,” Davies said.
With its lease in Huntington Beach coming up at the end of 2014, Fisher & Paykel began looking around for a new home around August 2013.
The company wanted to be within a 5- to 10-mile radius of John Wayne Airport and to operate out of a high-end, premium office, Davies said.
From an original pool of eight to nine possible new homes, Fisher & Paykel narrowed the choice down to a couple. The 695 Town Center Drive address, however, quickly became a coveted choice, he said.
“Over the last three to four years, we’ve been clear on our business direction, which is targeting the design and architectural communities,” Davies said. “Retail always will be a vital component of our brand, and in fact still accounts for about 80 percent of our total revenues. But we are trying to build more awareness of our brand in the design and architecture communities, and this new locations fits in perfectly with our business strategy.”
The showroom at Fisher & Paykel’s new home in Costa Mesa will take its design cues from a 3,000-square-foot showroom the company opened in the design district of downtown Toronto a year-and-a-half ago, Davies said.
The showroom is meant to be a space for experiencing cooking demonstrations and meeting other people who are passionate about what Fisher & Paykel and DCS refers to as The Social Kitchen.
Part of a major brand revamping that launched in 2010, The Social Kitchen refers to Fisher & Paykel’s design philosophy of the kitchen being about people — their habits, the ways they live and interact — and how the company approaches appliances and kitchen planning.
Fisher & Paykel hired well-known Callison Global to be project manager for its new office in Costa Mesa.
“We gutted the whole thing,” Davies says of the space that formerly housed The Spa and Fitness Club.
“Our showroom will be a place for people to come and do much more than touch a knob on an oven and say, ‘Oh that’s great.’ It will be a place for them to have some fun and get their hands dirty, if you will.”