KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
20th April 2012


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

International News

Mike Campbell writes about the opening of Sally UK Shower Equipment's UK Office

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"Zhongshan Sally Shower Equipment has been trading here in the UK now for over six years with some excellent OEM and Bathroom product distributors, our main customers being handled either directly through our international trade department or our European based trading agent", states Mike Campbell Managing Director of Sally UK.

The iKBBI is moving

After five years at its headquarters in Canary Wharf, London, The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers is moving to new offices east of the capital.

Inta lobbies on behalf of the Water Label

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Anti-scald tap, shower and valve manufacturer Inta has received a commitment from Jeremy Lefroy, MP for Stafford, that he will support the Water Label within Parliament and lobby for bathroom products to be included in the Government's forthcoming Green Deal.

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.

Apex Interior Systems

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Despite 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!

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

Regular readers of KBZine will be aware that I have a passion for recycling, be it adding peelings, used teabags and grass cuttings to the compost bin; the stuff that is removed each week by our local councils, or the giving (or selling) of unwanted furniture and appliances to others - rather than taking it to the local dump.

In yesterday's issue of KBZine's sister publication Cleanzine (www.thecleanzine.com) I applauded the RecycleMania initiative, whereby schools and colleges across the US race to collect the heaviest load of recyclables over an eight week period. The total collected was 92,000,000 lbs, which prevented the release of nearly 150,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E). This reduction in greenhouse gases is, apparently, the equivalent to the annual emissions from more than 25,840 passenger cars; electricity use of more than nearly 16,406 homes. Not bad eh?

What disappointed me was that despite the UK supposedly taking part in this initiative, I didn't know anything about it, which meant that either it wasn't getting the publicity it deserves, or we haven't quite grasped the concept.

I've just received a press release headed up: 'Earth Day 2012: Groups organise to bring recycling into 21st Century: New coalition seeks to make manufacturers responsible for collecting and recycling products' and I wonder whether again this is also going to be an initiative embraced by our US neighbours and largely ignored by us over here.

I know that the EU has decreed that we as consumers can take our packaging back the store that supplied our purchases and the incumbent packaging, but how many of us actually do so? And can our industry do more to make this happen?

I'd love to have your thoughts on the above, as well as your thoughts on the initiative, which is outlined in the following release:



Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

KBSA announces judges for Design Awards

Following the recent announcement that the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association, KBSA, will be relaunching its annual awards, comes confirmation of the expert designers who will be assigned the task of judging them.

Open to all KBSA retail members the awards will recognise and reward the high standards of professionalism and design skills in kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and home office.

Symphony's Spring Promotion shows support for retailers

* Zara_on_Ivory.jpgUK fitted furniture manufacturer Symphony, is continuing to show its support to retailers with a major spring price promotion.

Until July this year, up to 50% off will be applied to selected bathroom and bedroom ranges and over 50% off will be given to selected Gallery kitchen ranges, offering retailers a much needed, recession-beating boost.

Brussels is to push for EU-wide minimum wage

Yesterday, the European Commission proposed the introduction of a minimum wage in countries such as Germany - which doesn't at present have one - and raise wages where they are considered too low, according to a draft seen by EurActiv.

Having a job will not necessarily ward off poverty in Europe, argues the organisation, pointing out that some 8% of European workers are having to survive on wages that keep them below the poverty threshold.

Intelligent building technology from Hafele

* Hafele-Gira-Radio-Bus-System.jpgThe Gira Radio Bus system is a flexible, intelligent system which allows you to control lighting, heating and security systems around commercial and domestic properties.

This clever system consists of receivers and wireless transmitters allowing it to be retro-fitted into existing buildings with minimum fuss. Signals are transmitted via radio to each individual receiver, perfect for installing onto glass, furniture or where a lack of cabling would normally prevent the fitting of controls - such as a kitchen island for example.

Gira Radio Bus is the perfect solution for any renovation and modernisation project.

T: 01788 548811
W: www.hafele.co.uk

Franke inspires customers with a new app

* Franke-app.jpgFranke has designed a new iPad app so that customers can discover the complete UK product range of sinks, taps and cooker hoods at their fingertips, and be inspired when designing their perfect kitchen. The app allows customers to select from one of two main options: celebrity experience or product experience.

The celebrity experience section provides images from the Franke celebrity campaign featuring Heidi Klum - including 'behind the scenes' footage

Legion's Home Improvement Service Goes National

The Royal British Legion is expanding its Home Improvement Service for the beneficiaries it supports across the UK and is seeking suitable partners to provide cover in all areas in the UK. In Scotland the service will be provided by Poppyscotland.

Sleek and efficient by design; the new Aquaflux Aqanomic

* Aquaflux-TFL1CM-tap.jpgThe new Aquaflux Aquanomic tap from Leisure Sinks effortlessly combines ultimate elegance with convenience and practicality. Manufactured from robustly engineered chrome plated brass, it features a high quality design, with easy to use levers, ensuring a sleek and reliable tap to suit a variety of sink and kitchen styles.

Designed by Leisure Sinks to meet the highest levels of the Code for Sustainable Homes, the new Aquaflux Aquanomic (TFL1CM/-AN) kitchen tap has factory fitted flow restrictors, developed using a water usage calculator, to maintain a maximum flow rate of 3.8 litres per minute and meet the stringent water use levels in the Code. Operating at a minimum pressure of 2.0 bar, it features a quarter turn lever action for precise flow control as well as an anti-splash spout supplie

New value granite sink range from Carron Phoenix makes its debut

* Carron-Phoenix-Debut-Sink.jpgLaunched at KBB and rolled out as a keen price-fighter, Debut is a range of granite sinks that combine sound design and functionality. Introduced by Carron Phoenix as a replacement for its Summit range, which has been moved to the price-pointed Essential Value Sink & Tap Pack Collection, Debut represents the new value granite product in Carron's retail offer.

Debut complements the popular and keenly priced Contessa stainless steel range and provides the retailer with the strategic benefit of a pair of price-pointed sinks in a choice of materials to appeal to the budget-conscious consumer.

Ecobuild unites global sustainable built environment community with over 57,000 attendees


Ecobuild, the world's leading event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment, brought together more than 57,000 industry professionals last month at London's ExCeL.

Over the three days visitors explored the products, services and innovations from more than 1,500 exhibitors including world-renowned organisations, Schueco, E.ON, Saint-Gobain, BASF, Kingspan, Vaillant, and Worcester Bosch. In addition to the industry's heavy-weights, visitors were also able to explore up and coming companies in the exclusive entrepreneur's zone, Green Shoots.

IDS doubles stockholding at Swindon to enhance customer service

* IDS-Swindon.jpgSurface materials distributor IDS has doubled the stockholding capacity at its Swindon site to enhance service for customers in the south, south west and Wales. Cantilever racking supplied by Stakapal was installed during March within the 27,000 sq ft warehouse with the project team ensuring there was no disruption to the IDS site and the smooth running of its delivery service.

NKBA announces the 2011/2012 Student Design Competition winners

The US National Kitchen & Bath Association has this week announced the 10 winners of the 2011/2012 NKBA Student Design Competition, which offers more than $10,000 in scholarships and prizes. The winners will be awarded at the NKBA Design Competition Awards event nextTuesday, April 24th at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) held at Chicago's McCormick Place This prominent industry event will also recognise the professional designers who created the best kitchens and baths of the past year. The event is an exclusive event available only to the press, top designers, and select industry insiders.

Stylish kitchen showroom opens in Perth

* Perth-Showroom-group.jpgOpening a new kitchen showroom in these tough times may be seen as madness but for quality kitchen designer Kitchens Internationa,l this is all part of an expansion programme with two new showrooms opened in Scotland in two years.

With six showrooms across Scotland the company offers customers an opportunity to get designer kitchens from locations from Aberdeen to Glasgow. This new design studio in Perth has stunning displays of Callerton and Leicht kitchens and was opened recently by celebrity chef Nick Nairn at a VIP day.

Ellis Furniture praises enduring popularity of apprenticeship schemes

* Ellis-Furniture-apprentices.jpgEllis Furniture - a leading manufacturer of kitchen and bathroom furniture - is praising the enduring popularity of its apprenticeship scheme after 120 years, claiming it is just as popular today as it was back then, with more than a quarter of current employees having joined the company as apprentices. The renowned manufacturer places quality craftmanship and attention to detail at the heart of its business philosophy and considers apprentices invaluable in achieving business goals.

The value of apprenticeships was recently highlighted by David Cameron, when he announced a new round of Government funding to help secure much needed skills in industry. He said: "I'm delighted to underline our commitment to strengthen our economy by helping employers to take on apprentices and ensure that the

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News in Brief

Diary date: KBSA regional meeting, Scotland
There will be a regional meeting of the UK Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association at 15.00 on 9th May 2012 at Carron Phoenix's premises in Falkirk, Scotland. Carron Phoenix is kindly sponsoring this meeting and invitations will be sent out to KBSA members at around the end of April.
For further information; to find out more about the benefits of being a KBSA member: T: 01623 818808 E: Dawnharlow@kbsa.org.uk www.kbsa.org.uk

How to contact us at The KBzine:
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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