Seeking a heavenly shower experience? Methven launches halo shower head; hopes to lift profit

Methven hopes “revolutionary” shower head design will help boost profits

“Design innovation” and “bathroom fittings” are not terms that automatically go together in a punter’s mind. However New Zealand tap and showerware company Methven reckons it’s come up with a shower head concept that will revolutionise washing as we know it.

Building on the insight that for many of us showering is the only time we get to spend in blissful solitude, Methven have taken its mission “to create amazing water experiences” into a new dimension.

Instead of your standard solid shower head, Methven’s Aurajet is reimagined as a halo – an outside circle of metal, with a hole in the middle. Nozzles built into the halo at strategic angles are designed to generate a fan of dense droplets, delivering “20% more total spray force than a Methven conventional shower, and double the overall water coverage on the skin”

Journalists invited to the black tie, gala launch in Auckland last week (again, cocktail dresses aren’t normally de rigueur  for bathroom fitting product launches) weren’t encouraged to strip off and hop under the “Aurajet”.

But they did get to see another cunning Methven design feature – the inside of the shower head halo comes in a range of colours to match your bathroom.

There are only five colour options at the moment (and sadly you can’t change out the colour insert if you repaint the walls), but Methven promises annual updates.

CEO David Banfield, who joined the company just over a year ago, says thousands of hours of research went into the design of the Aurajet.

“With each hidden surface set at a different angle, we have been able to produce a wide, even shower spray, with no gaps and enhanced droplet density.

“We think Aurajet will go down as one of the most significant developments in shower design and technology in history.”

Methven was founded in Dunedin in 1886, and the company will certainly be hoping its new range will help lift its failing financial fortunes.

Although the 2013-2014 financial year saw Methven pick up a slew of international design awards, the company saw profits decline for the fifth year in a row.

Pressure on margins, particularly in Australia, was a key problem, the company said in its 2014 annual report. Its mission: to “translate our technology and product advantages into profitable top-line sales growth in the coming year”.

Net profit picked up slightly in the six months to September 2014, when the company said it was on track to lift profits 15%-25%.