Viking is the brand best known for being the crowning touch to kitchens. Viking Range began by adapting commercial stoves for use in homes. The company manufactures and markets high-end, professional-grade appliances, such as dishwashers, disposals, refrigerators, freezers, ovens, blenders, mixers, outdoor grills, cookware -- and, of course, stoves. The firm, which also makes its own branded cookware and cutlery, makes both kitchen and outdoor cabinets through one of its divisions: St. Charles Cabinetry. Viking's items are made in the US and sold worldwide through appliance distributors. Viking has been a subsidiary of oven machinery-making giant The Middleby Corporation since 2012.
Change of Company Type
Viking was acquired by The Middleby Corporation in late 2012 for $380 million. Middleby, whose portfolio includes more than 30 brands, is a major producer of commercial cooking and food processing and packaging equipment for the foodservice industry.
Under Middleby's umbrella, Viking is continuing to expand its portfolio of products. It's aggressively developing new products to serve additional cooking areas both indoor and outdoor. Extending its reach well beyond its flagship freestanding ranges, Viking's comprehensive product line includes built-in range tops and cooktops, built-in ovens, popular warming drawers, dishwashers, trash compactors, refrigerators, freezers, and wine cellars. For outdoor kitchens, it now makes grills, warming drawers, refrigerators, and stainless steel cabinetry.
Viking is also looking to leverage Middleby's expertise in truvection, induction, and speed-cooking technologies to expand its portfolio.
Giving the company more control over its distribution channels, Viking has been purchasing its distribution partners in the US and Canada. One such deal is its 2014 acquisition of HADCO. The company, which now functions as Viking Distribution East, provides sales, service, and parts support for the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and New England markets. The distribution arm is headquartered in Suwanee, Georgia, and operates showrooms in Atlanta; Winter Park, Florida; Dulles, Virginia; and Wallingford, Connecticut. Previous purchases included longtime distribution partners Kimball Distributing, The Gene Schnick Company, Young & Brown, and Gateway Appliance Distributing.
Viking's also extending its global reach by expanding the company's international distribution channels. The move involves leveraging Middleby Worldwide Distribution to boast its own global service and sales force in more than 40 countries.
Sales and Marketing
The Viking product line is sold through independent, authorized dealers.
One of Viking's strengths is targeting and maintaining an upscale client base and bringing onboard consumers who aspire to have commercial-grade kitchen appliances and finishes in their homes and outdoor kitchens.
Viking has been noted for its focus on lifestyle -- with cooking schools (The Viking Life) and travel components (Worlds of Flavor) as its way of connecting with its customers. Altogether, the company hosts 6,300 cooking classes nationwide for more than 77,000 students. The effort makes Viking the largest provider of cooking classes for the recreational cook in the US.
Viking sells its products worldwide through appliance distributors.
Viking operates a handful of manufacturing facilities (including a plant that makes dishwashers), a tool and die center, and a distribution center in Greenwood, Mississippi. Altogether, its manufacturing and distribution footprint there spans more than 500,000 sq. ft. Its Mississippi operations are supported by distribution centers nationwide. The company's indoor and outdoor cabinets are made by division St. Charles Cabinetry.