KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
16th March 2012
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Welcome to the
Welcome to Part Two of our KBB Birmingham 2012 show review.
No doubt when you've read it, you'll agree that there were some fantastic new products and schemes launched.
More next week...
This Week's News
'Sensational surfaces for kitchens and bathrooms' said it all on the Bushboard stand as the company previewed its latest designs and innovations in laminates, solid surfacing and a new man-made stone brand.
"That's an unusual light," remarked John. I agreed, until on closer examination I realised it was a cooker hood! And once we'd been drawn onto the stand we couldn't help notice that it was full of unusual cooker hoods and lights. Talk about statement pieces!
Our favourite cooker hood was the aptly named Cobra (pictured in the background below) as it looks as if it's a cobra drawn back and ready to strike.
This year Rangemaster used the show to launch the Professional+ FX 100. The brand new contemporary design features Rangemaster's celebrated drop down doors for flexible and easy access to your dishes, paired with the sought-after 'continental' style twin cavity, already synonymous with the Rangemaster Professional and Classic Deluxe ranges.
Pegler always does something special to attract visitors to its stand; last time it was a craftsman sculpting one of the company's range of taps from a block of ice; this year it was a shower falling in a pattern that showed images and the company's name spelled out against a coloured backdrop. The team told us it looked even bolder when the lights were off but we thought it was brilliant as it was!
The exhibition attracted just the right kind of people for Bohle, the Manchester-based manufacturer and supplier of glass installation products. Alic McCabe, Sales Promotion Manager, said on the final day: "We've had a steady stream of visitors every day and unusually we even took orders on the stand for our new sliding glass door system, Portavant 60 (pictured above). For Bohle, KBB 2012 has been well worthwhile.
Franke's stand was constantly busy and it was the last day before we were able to speak to Marketing Manager Jeanette Ward and Commercial Director David Houghton (pictured below) to discuss the many new sinks, taps and hoods on show. With the kitchen very much a fashion statement today, the company is consciously adapting designs to fit various materials in its product portfolio.
A new launch - and seen for the first time in the UK - is the fantastic next125 kitchen NX902 in stone grey glass.
The Kitchen, Bedrooms, Bathrooms National Training Group; The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association; the Bathroom Manufacturers Association and EQ Software used the show to launch the new CPD (Continuous Professional Development) workshops. They are all clearly excited at the development of training programmes specifically for the kbb sectors, as they are not brand-specific activities - but offer the designers a total market view - which research has shown is what they are asking for.
It wasn't surprising perhaps, that Roca's stand was so busy, since it was showcasing the company's fantastic collection of new products for 2012.
Carron Phoenix had an enormous stand, which Sales & Marketing Manager Neil Clark (pictured below) explained had been set up as six pavilions to make navigation easier for those visitors searching for a particular range or something in a particular price bracket. Clever that!
Creating natural stone and wood furniture has been a huge success in the bathroom industry. So, keen to take its sleek bathrooms to the next level, Stonearth Interiors used the show to launch a sister brand, Austin Bathrooms.
Simple, stylish designs and precision engineering is what were told Austin products are all about. The company's innovative range ticks every box, thanks to its MarbleTech material. The basins and baths crafted with it are stone rich, seamlessly solid and warm to the touch.
Croydex has brought a splash of colour to its bathroom cabinets and accessories offering, with a range of coloured steel cabinets which enables homeowners to add a splash of brightness to the any-sized bathroom. And the display certainly stopped visitors in their tracks!
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FIRA Project Manager, Sue Calver, presented the findings of a study into the real usage of kitchens at kbb 2012 on Monday.
The Bathroom Manufacturers Association and DIY retailer B&Q have announced following KBB Birmingham that they are to collaborate on a new piece of research into how the industry should communicate with consumers about saving water.
* Stronger expansion of new business supports rise in output
* Employment falls, but only marginally
* Business confidence reaches a nine-month high
February data signalled a solid rise in the UK construction sector output, extending the current sequence of growth to 14 months. The stronger expansion in activity was supported by a sharp rise in new work intakes. However, accelerated growth of both new business and output were insufficient to prevent a fall in employment. Meanwhile, a fourth successive improvement in confidence was indicated.
BAFTA award winning documentary company Dragonfly Film and Television, maker of super hit shows The Hotel and One Born Every Minute is looking to produce a feel-good documentary series that profiles remarkable businesses to find out what working life is like in a 21st century British workplace.
The news that the Homeform Group will not pay out on any customer warranties or guarantees has prompted the national trade association for the kitchen bathroom and bedroom industry, the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association, to warn consumers that it is still vital to buy from retailers that offer financial protection.
The Furniture Industry Research Association has announced the publication of a new standard for furniture hardware: 'BS EN 15939: 2011 Hardware for furniture. Strength and loading capacity of wall attachment devices'.
Roman Dietsche Gmbh, the well-respected German bathroom products manufacturer, has become the latest recruit to the expanding Bathroom Manufacturers Association.
Ecobuild, the world's biggest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment, opens in exactly a month and the organisers are promising:
Highlighting the value of belonging to a professional association, especially in a tough economic climate, the Kitchen Bathroom Specialists Association has announced the return of three previous members.