KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
21st September 2012
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by John Swain, Product Manager for Franke UK
Pictured here is the new Renolit Covaren Moulins; a design reminiscent of a concrete structure with a subtle two colour square print. Given its very subtle printed design, the finish can also be used as a pseudo solid colour.
Selected to enhance and complement any piece of furniture, each handle has been individually chosen to add drama to the furniture. This avant-garde category includes Heritage, French, New Victorian, Oriental or Art Deco selections.
Pictured here is the new Renolit Covaren Cobra - a fantasy design which picks up on the current trend towards irregular stripes and geometric patterns
At least 85% of electrical and electronic waste generated in the European Union will have to be recycled by 2020 under new rules that took effect on Monday.
An article in my local paper got me thinking about how much the sales side of the industry has changed over the years. The Epsom Guardian drew my attention to the story by showing an image that was captioned: 'Simplicity itself: a little loo'.
Of course, as an ex-Council Member of the British Toilet Association and someone who's guest judged the Loo of the Year Awards, this was one story I couldn't resist!
The publication reports that Bourne Hall museum, just down the road from me, houses quite a collection of historical artefacts that aren't on display - including a porcelain loo complete with the beginnings of a wastepipe, measuring just five inches tall by two inches wide. A miniature of the Victorian 'Simplicitas' lavatory bowl manufactured in the 1920s by the renowned sanitaryware engineer, Doulton, it - and others like it - were handed out by travelling salesmen as samples prior to the advent of glossy advertising brochures and magazines (and of course the wondrous Internet!) to show potential customers just how the full-sized item would look and feel.
Nowadays of course, it would be impossible to demonstrate the attributes of most of the KBB items being sold by leaving miniature versions with potential customers. They're far too clever! I've held many a listener enthralled by my description of a loo which is programmed with the individual family members' preferences when it comes to seat temperature, direction/ type/temperature of spray that washes the user and temperature/velocity of air that dries them afterwards. Oh - and there's the choice of music too - all pre-programmed in and selected via a button on the remote control.
And then of course there are the dishwashers that leave your crockery sparkling on just six litres of water (having used the previous load's rinsewater for the pre-wash), fridges that tell you when your food's about to go off, ovens that do away with the headache of turning out a perfectly cooked joint of beef by calculating cooking times and temperatures for you and microwaves that glow a particular colour and play a certain tune depending upon the function being used...
Indeed times have changed and manufacturers keep coming up with new technology; turning out products with features we'd never have thought possible even a few years ago. How on earth the salespeople manage to keep up-to-date with it all I just don't know!
This Week's News
New figures released this week* show that it is now £130 a month cheaper to buy a property than rent, putting home ownership within reach of millions looking to get on the property ladder. For those who can save a deposit, the extra money freed up by paying a mortgage rather than paying rent, makes purchasing home improvement items a lot easier - and the industry is already seeing a difference.
Our industry, bathrooms and kitchens, is going through a massive upheaval.
We all know that.
Changing routes to market, the influence of the internet, price comparison sites, decline in the high street, consumer confidence, stiffer competition... The list seems endless.
The best performing Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association suppliers have been recognised during an awards ceremony at the 2012 KBBR Kitchen Conference. The awards recognise excellence in those companies that supply products to KBSA retailers and are the only awards of their kind that represent the views of retailers and not a panel of judges.
There was standing room only at the KBSA AGM, which was held at the Billesley Manor Hotel in Warwickshire earlier this month. Almost 90 retail and corporate members attended the AGM which was followed by the national meeting and a dinner in the evening, which included the presentation of the KBSA Designer Awards.
Highly respected for introducing Corian to the UK, Britain's original solid surface distributor CD (UK) has become a corporate member of the iKBBI.
Reflecting the trend for the return of colour to the kitchen, the sleek, smooth sinks are available in Polar White, Coffee or Onyx.
As the hub of the home and the most used room in the house, the kitchen - and thus its design and accessories, is highly important. When it comes to taps, choice is what most consumers want, along with guaranteed quality. Pegler Yorkshire has developed its Francis Pegler Kitchen tap range to offer both of these essential qualities.
As part of this season's launch of new kitchen ranges, Ellis Furniture is adding a new twist to handle-less designs with minimo push-to-open doors and drawers. The technology behind minimo works by lightly pushing the door or drawer, which then gently springs open.
Bushboard has opened a brand new showroom and training centre dedicated to its worktop brands at the company's factory and head office at Wellingborough. The new facilities are aimed at retailers, installers and the company's distribution partners.
A group of intrepid cyclists from British Ceramic Tile endured harrowing hill climbs and sore limbs all in the name of charity, raising over £1000 for Cancer Research UK.
A Rochdale man has been sentenced after he put lives at risk by illegally carrying out gas work at three homes in the borough. Paul Gregory was prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive after he left a newly installed gas hob in a condition classified as 'immediately dangerous' at one house on Holmes Street in Rochdale.
Dust extraction specialist, Dustcontrol UK, has unveiled a new training programme to help combat the serious issue of Silica within the work place.
Fitted bedroom furniture company Hepplewhite is offering its best-performing dealers the chance to win some fantastic new technology as a sales incentive this Autumn.
For every £1000 worth of orders received at Hepplewhite during the promotional period of 22nd September to 30th November 2012, retailers will receive a virtual ticket.
A shopaholic, film fan and would-be marathon runner who likes to socialise has joined the permanent staff at the Bathroom Manufacturers Association.
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The Government has published legislation which will enable it to guarantee up to £40 billion of investment in infrastructure, and up to £10 billion in new homes. The Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill gives statutory backing to the UK Guarantees programme announced in July and the housing guarantee schemes also announced last week.
Coventry based Showerlux UK ceased trading from its Coventry base in Sibree Road on 23rd August 2012 with 16 staff being made redundant.
Sensio is delighted that it is now a corporate member of the Kitchen Bathroom and Bedroom Specialists Association. As a leading lighting manufacturer, Sensio has joined the organisation with a goal of providing help and support to all kitchen retail KBSA members.