KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
30th March 2012


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Please note that you are viewing an archived issue of The KBzine.

International News

EQ Software

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"KBB 2012 has proved to be the most successful show we have ever done," exclaimed a delighted Leigh Martin, Managing Director of EQ Software, explaining that the provider of kbb business management software had what can only be described as "a frenzy of activity" on its stand for the four day exhibition, resulting in a record number of new customers and leads.

20-20 Technologies

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The many visitors to the 20-20 Technologies were treated to individual demonstrations of how the company's design software can add value to a business, complement its existing expertise and offer customers the opportunity to experience their dream kitchen or bathroom, before it's even installed.

Managing Director Craig Rothwell told us that the stand had been "inundated with new business start-ups, keen to find out as much as possible about the industry and what's available to them to make their businesses as successful as possible."

And we thought we were supposed to be hovering on the brink of another recession...

Welcome to the

I said it at the start of last year's public sector strikes and I'll say it again. Now is not the time for workers disgruntled about their pay and conditions to down tools and stop work.

European stocks fell on Wednesday as a result of concerns over China's slowing economy and the poor growth outlook for the Eurozone, while figures released on Wednesday night show that the British economy has shrunk more than had been previously thought. A further negative contraction over this first quarter would place us officially in recession again.

Will the Unite union do its bit to prevent this from happening by calling off the threatened strike action by fuel tanker drivers? I doubt it.

So here we are on the brink of another recession and 2,000-plus fuel tanker drivers, servicing some 90% of our petrol stations, are about to push us right over the edge by preventing us from going about our work - supposedly because they are concerned about safety standards - as well of course as the 'terms and conditions', which to you and me involves pay (despite what the union says).

Unite warns us that fuel is likely to start running out within 48 hours of the start of a strike and there has already been panic buying on the forecourts.

This does not bode well for British business - nor anyone else's that involves importing goods into this country - and with the global economy in such turmoil I can only think that most people, like me, will consider this action both stupid and selfish.

The good news today is that a strike will not take place prior to the Easter break and I understand that the Government is in talks with hauliers to see if they can help distribute fuel in the event of a strike byt the tanker drivers - if your company or anyone you deal with is involved in this I'd love to hear about it.

This week sees the 4th and final part of our KBB show review.  



Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

kbb Birmingham exceeded expectations and really delivered

A press release issued by the organisers of KBB Birmingham echoes what we've been saying ourselves; that the show was a great success, there was a real air of optimism from exhibitors and visitors alike and those that decided not to support it this year, definitely missed out.

It has been hailed a huge success and credited with delivering a much needed confidence boost to the KBB industry. And with a positive buzz around the show throughout the entire four days, an overwhelming number of exhibitors are reported to have had a fantastic show.


* Nolte-Manhattan.jpgNolte Kuechen, Germany's renowned 'green' kitchen brand had a great show, as Bob Marsden, Nolte's UK Country Manager for retail, explained:

"It's hard to see how KBB could have gone much better for Nolte," he enthused. "Before the show I had an idea of what I thought would be a good result for us over the four days, and we eclipsed that at the end of day one! The comments from visitors to the stand have been unanimously positive and the number of qualified leads that we have taken for both retail and contract potential customers will keep us very busy for the next few months.


* Jetstone.jpgWe all know that worktops should be treated with care (and that some can be easily damaged if they're not) so when we saw someone attacking one with a couple of blowtorches we just had to stop and find out more!

Jetstone, the masonry worktop specialist that currently supplies kitchen retailers with an extensive range of granite, quartz composite and glass, was using the blowtorches to draw attention to its stand and had drawn quite a crowd.


* Traditional-Ivory-Shaker.jpgMereway kitchens was keen to promote its new Trend Interiors range which embraces the rapidly growing internet channel, creating a new package for retailers and offering a wide range of affordable, quality kitchens in classic, contemporary and modern styles.

The top end of the price range includes a solid oak shaker style that can be 'mixed and matched' with six different painted finishes in classic colours that include Ivory, White, Cream, Blue, Sage Green and French Grey. A more traditional Pippy Oak is available in an Antique or a Light finish.


* Chris-Pepper_Caesarstone.jpgCaesarstone had a large stand and with lots of fabulous products on display it was easy to see why. Business Development Manager Chris Pepper talked us through the new Supremo Collection before being persuaded to have his picture taken at the desk cleverly made from the beautiful Supremo 'Queen of Hearts'. With its translucent pink and white patterns, it is delicate, yet intense - and really unusual.

"Distinctly different from any other quartz surface on the market, each slab is a one-of-a-kind creation and comes in its own unique flow of colour and pattern," explained Chris. "There is a range of six spectacular colours, some of which are translucent and can be backlit for creating a soft, atmospheric effect."


* Damixa-tap.jpgWith the brassware chosen for the kitchen having a huge effect on the look and feel of the space, Danish brassware manufacturer Damixa felt it should show its complete kitchen taps collection.

Reflecting the trend for minimal design in the kitchen, the new recently launched Slate kitchen tap is far from minimal in terms of features and function. Available in several versions including a High J Spout Mixer, High L Spout Mixer and High C Spout Mixer, each Slate tap sports a slate grey lever handle to make a subtle style statement.

Apex Interior Systems

* Apex.jpgDespite having been manufacturing bespoke vinyl wrapped kitchen and bedroom doors, drawers, panelling and accessories for the past 17 years from its premises in Burscough, Lancashire, specialist supplier to independent installers, retailers and manufacturers, Apex Interior Systems, was exhibiting at KBB Birmingham for the first time!

We spoke to Andrew Ashworth on the final day and he told us: "We absolutely happy that we decided to take part. It's been fantastic!"


* Kaldewei_Conoflat.jpgStylish enamelled floor level shower trays have become an integral part of modern, design-inspired bathrooms and the displays on Kaldewei's stand showed how far things have come in recent years, with the company presenting the perfect solution for wetrooms with its floor-level Conoflat shower tray and ESR II Installation Frame System for installing flush-with-the-floor shower trays.

The team explained that the award-winning Conoflat is available in 22 bathroom colours and 12 new matt shades to complement the latest flooring colour trends. The matt options range from gentle creams to lava black with earthy tones such as Maple Brown and City-Anthracite.


* SYMPHONY_PERSPECTIVES.jpgRenowned furniture manufacturer Symphony took the opportunity to talk to people about the changes to its retail offer with the launch of a major new support package.

Bringing together an entirely fresh approach for retail and an exciting new era for the business, 'New Perspectives' is Symphony's most comprehensive support package for KBB retailers to date, designed to help them attract more customers, win more orders and significantly increase their sales margins.

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Jan Hobbs
Publishing Editor
Tel: +44 (0)1372 811 307 
Mobile: 07980 288 373

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John Austen
Publishing Director
Tel: +44 (0)1580 755 863
Mobile: 07766 707 888
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Recent News

Winners of the KBB Review Awards 2012 announced at dazzling ceremony

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The winners of the kbbreview Awards 2012 were revealed at an exquisite and much-anticipated ceremony a little after the Show closed its doors on Monday. The awards, hosted by Taylist Media's kbbreview magazine, recognised the very best in the kitchen and bathroom industry, with categories ranging from design to business.

Drawers, doors and lifting systems - a study into the real usage of kitchens

FIRA Project Manager, Sue Calver, presented the findings of a study into the real usage of kitchens at kbb 2012 on Monday.

BMA and B&Q team up at Show to help industry 'talk clearly' to consumers

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.

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