As the housing market continues to rebound, LG is wooing homebuilders with a new luxury appliance brand.
It’s called Signature Kitchen Suite, and it’s LG’s attempt to attract the built-in and high-end builder market by competing directly with the likes of Jenn-Air, Monogram, and Viking.
The first products on sale include a 42-inch built-in refrigerator (MSRP $9,799), a 36-inch door-in-door, counter-depth freestanding refrigerator (MSRP $4,499), a dishwasher with steam and a MultiMotion wash arm (MSRP $1,699), 30-inch double and single electric wall ovens (MSRP $5,499 double, $3,999 single), 30- and 36-inch gas and electric cooktops (MSRP $1,499-$1,799), 30-inch slide-in gas and electric ranges (MSRP $4,599 gas, $4,999 electric), and an over-the-range microwave oven (MSRP $999).
According to LG, Signature Kitchen Suite “is designed for those who seek premium elegance combined with technological innovation and peak performance,” and does so with “elegant craftsmanship” and an “updated, stylish look.”
All appliances come with smart connectivity features, which let homeowners monitor, control, and diagnose their appliances remotely. Handles are thick and streamlined, and swivel along with the user's hand—a feature we liked on Miele's M-Touch ranges and ovens. All surfaces are flat, and all controls are embedded in the stainless finish. No panel-ready options are available at launch.
LG has clearly targeted home builders with the Signature Kitchen Suite, as it adds ready-to-go packages a contractor can buy in bulk for a housing development or upscale condo project.
At MSRP, the cost for a suite could range from around $12,000 to upwards of $20,000—although it’s customary to see big discounts for package deals.
By comparison, you can purchase a GE Café set starting at under $7,000 or a Bosch 800 Series kitchen for under $6,000. At the high end, the likes of Monogram and Viking are around the same price as what LG is offering—except nearly every other high-end manufacturer offers more choices of sizes and a wider variety of products.
What’s missing are the replacement products that a remodeling homeowner would want. Say the owner of a broken 48-inch Sub-Zero refrigerator wants to swap in an LG. Well, they’d be out of luck, as built-in refrigeration only comes in a 42-inch side-by-side design. That completely ignores the now-popular all-fridge/all-freezer columns and 36-inch French door designs. There’s no induction option for cooking. And 30-inch slide-in ranges just can’t compete with pro-style models that cost around the same.
Leaving the LG badge off is a smart idea, as luxury consumers avoid the tell-tale whiff of mass-market products. That’s why GE dropped its own monogram from the Monogram line, Haier lets Fisher & Paykel do its own thing, and corporate parent Whirlpool’s name is nowhere to be found on Jenn-Air products.
As it turns out, those appliances aren’t part of the Signature Kitchen Suite—they’re simply among LG’s lineup of flagship products, which also get the Signature name. We don’t envy the chore the LG marketing team has been tasked with.
If LG is serious about customers putting their own signatures on receipts for new kitchen appliances, it will have to expand its lineup and clearly differentiate Signature Kitchen Suite products from its own internal competition.