Thor Brings Pro-Style Kitchens to Budget-Conscious Consumers

Thor Kitchen’s 48-inch dual-fuel range reflects its promise of mass-premium kitchen appliances at competitive prices.

By Alan Wolf, YSN

Thor Kitchen, a recent BrandSource vendor partner, is aptly named.

When the white-goods maker first introduced its competitively priced, pro-style appliances in 2015, you could almost hear the thunderclap from the hammer of the legendary Norse god from whom it took its name.

Thor’s disruptive, opening salvo: an entire stainless-steel kitchen suite, including pro-style gas range, under cabinet range hood, French door fridge, and 24-inch Professional Series dishwasher, all for under $5,500 retail.

Since then the Southern California company has extended its sales network and expanded its product line to include dual-fuel ranges, ventilation hoods and dual-zone wine coolers, all while keeping true to its original vision of offering premium, pro-style features at an affordable price. As a result, Thor Kitchen products are now sold and distributed across the U.S. and Canada through a valued network of dealer and distributor partners as well as select e-commerce sites, the company said.

The concept was the brainchild of managing director Kyle You and his founding partner Ken Yang, who design their products in SoCal, source components worldwide (gas valves from Spain, burners from Italy, igniters from the U.S.), and assemble the finished goods in China.

“Since its introduction into the market, Thor Kitchen has always challenged the status quo to offer customers the power and performance of mass-premium professional appliances at a practical price,” You told YSN. “Thor Kitchen has built a robust sales network and enhanced resources to offer quick, reliable support to local customers. As trends in home cooking and kitchen design change and evolve, Thor has the ability to pivot quickly and respond to industry trends.”

That nimbleness would prove invaluable in the wake of the pandemic, as supply chains slowed, demand for home products surged, and vendors and retailers found themselves scrambling to keep pace. “Since the beginning, Thor’s business model has been very agile and we have been quick to respond to the market and consumer trends with our product offerings,” You noted. “With this infrastructure in place and the ability to recognize and adjust to meet shifting market needs, it allowed us to quickly adapt to the ‘new normal’ set in place by the pandemic.”

To that end, Thor continuously monitors inventory to fulfill order requests as quickly as possible; has enhanced its catalog of resources to help service providers better understand its product design; and continues to build strong relationships with builders, interior designers and other trade professionals. “As priorities change in the post-virus world, consumers are focusing more than ever on investing in their homes,” You observed, “so we have expanded our well-rounded product line with even more choices to fulfill new needs and lifestyles.”

For example, after discerning a growing trend of men spending more time in the kitchen, the company began targeting the budget-savvy male home chef with powerful features like high-intensity burners, metal knobs that illuminate in a striking blue, and commercial-style cast iron cooking grates that add a masculine design aesthetic.

Thor and BrandSource first formally crossed paths last year when the company participated in the 2019 Convention, and the vendor made a return appearance this summer at the group’s first virtual show.  “Thor Kitchen is committed to making every effort to support local independent dealers,” You said, “especially through the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 crisis.”

Specifically, Thor enforces MAP protection to ensure strong profit margins for independents; is offering BrandSource members a free vignette display, valued at $2,200, to floor a full Thor kitchen suite; provides a full, two-year warranty on all major appliances, plus an additional free one-year warranty on parts for registered consumers; and affords BrandSource members generous, high double-digit dealer display discounts.

Added You, “We look forward to furthering our partnership with BrandSource and working together to provide local independent dealers with the tools, resources and support to navigate these uncertain times.”

BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, mattress, furniture and CE dealers.