Planika Moves into Gas
Monday, March 11, 2019
From Richard Wright
Hearth & Home: When and where was Planika created?
Nick Woyna: “Planika was created over 16 years ago. Due to logistic factors we decided to locate our production plant in Poland, Central Europe. This was dictated by the fact that we are exporting our products to countries all over the world, including the U.S. market which we entered in 2005.
“We have a branch and a logistic center in New Jersey dedicated for the U.S. market. It’s a team working with American dealers.”
Through which channels do you market your ethanol products?
Woyna: “We sell mainly through a network of distributors around the world. These are mainly fireplace and furniture shops. Our offering includes a Professional Collection, which focuses on products made to order. For this reason we cooperate with architectural offices. We also offer our LifeStyle Collection with ready-to-use products through our online shop – store.planikausa.com. You can buy our Fanola fuel there as well.”
Who is the end user of the majority of your ethanol products? Is it hospitality businesses such as restaurants? Is it residences, people’s homes? What is the largest channel?
Woyna: “Our end customers are mainly owners of commercial and residential spaces. Planika’s offering covers ready-to-use products available online, but also fireplaces that designers and architects carefully adapt in their projects.”
Do you sell a lot online?
Woyna: “At the moment it is not our primary channel, but we can see it has a lot of potential. This is the reason we are developing our online sales. However, we are aware that most of our clients are looking for customized products, which are not possible to be sold online.”
Can you give me a sense of the price ranges for your bioethanol products?
Woyna: “Automatic fireplaces start from $1,500 U.S. In case of models with custom length or color, the price is specified by our project department, depending on the advancement of the project.
“We also offer a selection of outdoor products, that’s our Commerce Technology, with prices starting from $200 U.S.”
|A bioethanol fireplace insert from Planika.|
Are you already into gas?
Was that a difficult transition for you?
Woyna: “Actually, it wasn’t a transition. We were making our offering complete. It was a natural direction of the company’s development, and it was primarily dictated by the needs of our clients. Planika is the leader in the bioethanol fireplace market, and the only challenging task for us was to create an equally prestigious collection of gas fireplaces.
“You asked if it was difficult, and the answer is ‘yes.’ We were closeted in the lab for almost three years to create this collection. Thanks to our extensive knowledge and experience, we managed to create fireplaces that stand out among other products on the market. We hope for the same success when it comes to gas fireplaces.”
With gas, you have entered a category that is loaded with manufacturers making gas products. If I’m your customer and I ask, ‘How do your gas products differ from all the other gas products on the market?’ What would you tell me?
Woyna: “What makes Planika Gas Fireplaces innovative from other brands on the market is the shape of the burner. Planika applies innovative technological solutions, including the elevated burner, which was inspired by the appearance of a traditional wood-fired hearth, providing a natural and vivid look of the flame.
“The main part of the fireplace is a uniquely-shaped burner construction surrounded by an attractive composition of ceramic logs. The fire has rich orange color without any blue tint at the bottom. Also our multidimensional linear burner is not designed in a typical single row, but is arranged in short sections that interchange in two lines and slightly overlap each other, providing additional aesthetic value to the flame.
“Another innovative solution is that the product design allows us to install an inspection door anywhere below the fireplace surface so that the access to the controller is easier and faster. Planika Gas Fireplaces also introduce unique safety features – gas, CO, and power-vent sensors that control the quality of air and its proper flow in the chimney.”
|The double-sided fireplace from Planika.|
Do you already have many hearth specialty retailers in the U.S. selling your ethanol products?
Woyna: “We do. We have a chain of distributors selling our ethanol products in the United States and Canada. But we are also open to developing a network of distributors for our gas fireplaces.”
You mentioned how good the flame is. That’s the main selling point for many of these retailers. Whoever has the best flame is where they want to go.
Woyna: “We are sure that our flame stands out from other manufacturers. The only way to find out is to visit our website, watch our videos, or see our products in reality at the HPBExpo.”
What is the price range of your gas products?
Woyna: “We put a lot of attention into the quality of our products. It is obvious that a fireplace must be safe. Depending on the project, our gas fireplaces start from $6,000 U.S.”
What have I not asked you in this interview?
Woyna: “Today, Planika with subsidiaries in the U.S., sells its products worldwide and has more and more appreciation among clients of private and public sectors, as well as architects. The design process of our bio and gas fireplaces takes place in the Planika offices.
“By using the most advanced equipment, we can provide reliable and durable products, since every Planika fireplace is carefully tested before it leaves the factory. Our success lies in designing a new form that corresponds with the constantly changing technology.”