People visit Moen’s booth at the 2021 Kitchen & Bath China Exhibition, in Shanghai on May 26, 2021 [Photo provided to]

Fortune Brands Home & Security Inc, the parent company of Moen – the sanitary ware and smart home services provider — will expand both its online and offline presence across China to further compete with other established rivals in the coming years, said its senior executives.

Many opportunities come from the country’s ongoing consumption upgrading boom, fast urbanization pace and the rising appetite among certain consumers for customized products such as shower rooms and kitchen sinks, said George Wu, president for Asia of Fortune Brands Global Plumbing Group, a business unit of FBHS.

Apart from running franchised stores in more than 300 Chinese cities, the Illinois-headquartered group plans to introduce more flagship stores for the next step to support its retail business, and keep deploying resources into online sales platforms, including Tmall and JD, to ensure robust sales.

Thanks to the soaring demand generated from China’s e-commerce business and the increase in the proportion of well-decorated houses in recent years, the executive said the market growth space in these areas is fairly promising.

Wu said FBHS began to conduct localized product development for the entire Asian market two decades ago, and the group’s business in this part is not dominated by its headquarters in the United States.

“Moen’s advantages in Chinese markets come from sufficient manufacturing capacities in the country, a wide range of household products, a well-developed sales network and years of brand influence,” he added.

Even though disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Moen witnessed fast growth in China in 2020. While many economies are seeking solutions to mitigate the impact caused by the contagion, Moen started to increase its production capacity in its plants in China to ensure sufficient supplies to other global locations last year.

Lisa Xu, brand director for FBHS-GPG Asia, said the sanitary ware sector is being reshaped by artificial intelligence and the internet of things.

Chinese household products will enter a new era of the smart home economy and need to embrace digitalization to transition to the intelligent product era, to better meet people’s demands for a high-quality life,” she said, adding the company will accelerate the transformation of its business nature from a manufacturing company to a service-oriented manufacturer to better adapt to China’s changing market environment.

In 2020, FBHS posted net sales of $6.1 billion, with the strategy focusing on growing organically and through strategic acquisitions.

China’s smart home market is expected to see rapid growth in the coming years as high-end AI-powered products grow in popularity, said Guo Xin, a marketing professor at Beijing Technology and Business University.

Moreover, the pandemic has also pushed the growth potential of the stay-at-home economy, as more people stay at home longer and purchase more household appliances, such as kitchenware, sanitary products, smart cooking machines and other products these days, she said.