KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
26th October 2012


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

International News

F & P Wholesale launches luxurious Diamond Collection and Refressshed brochure

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Meeting the increasing demands to deliver luxurious bathroom solutions, F & P Wholesale has launched the new Fresssh Diamond Collection, which judging by its looks, is set to become one of the most desirable bathroom ranges available in the UK.

US home remodelling spending set to accelerate

An improving housing market and record low interest rates are driving projections of strong gains in home improvement activity through the end of the year and into the first half of 2013, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released yesterday by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

A green sweep for Lec

Refrigeration specialist, Lec, has obtained Energy Saving Trust approval across its entire product range.

Volante sliding door system - new from ECF

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The benefits of sliding door storage systems over standard hinged doors are well known and have been utilised in Europe for many years. Their space saving characteristics, the ease of access they afford, and their sleek contemporary styling makes them a highly practical solution for the homes of today. ECF's Volante sliding door system follows these principles, helping to solve your storage needs.

Amica to introduce @micaSmart - at the heart of the kitchen

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The UK's protected brand, Amica, is bringing what it believes is the easiest to use technology to cooking with the introduction of a brand new 7in. fully-interactive touch-control TFT programmer on the top models from its Platinum oven collection.

Hettich App now available

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Hettich has introduced what it believes is the most comprehensive furniture fittings App to be offered in the UK.

White open-zone induction hob joins intelligent cooking from Amica

Induction cooking gets another boost this month with the introduction of a new white model from Amica

Axor Starck Organic: Harmony of head and heart

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This stunning new collection combines organic-minimalist design with a responsible way to handle water - it offers a flow rate of just 3.5 litres per minute without any compromise in functionality. A new type of spray brings a new water sensation to the wash basin and there are separate controls for water volume and temperature. Produced using an innovative and sustainable manufacturing process, it is intuitive, ergonomic and economical.

Amica set to bring Red Dot winning oven to UK... if market wants it!

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The Red Dot Best of The Best oven, Zen, from Amica, is being considered for the UK market following IFA, Berlin. But the company would like input from the UK kitchen and electrical retailers on its unusual qualities.

Business leader warns companies about investing outside established markets

The head of Europe's leading employers' body has called for companies that have their principal markets in Europe to reassess the risks and opportunities of concentrating their production and service centres at locations far removed from their customers.

Metropolis... just as the name suggests

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Metropolis; a range of stylish contemporary stainless steel handles and knobs designed to suit the modern home...

Exclusive to Hafele UK, Metropolis hosts a selection of bar, bow, pull handles as well as square, classic mushroom and tapered knobs.

A self sustaining solution for electronically controlled taps

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With water saving being a crucial factor in the building and refurbishment of commerical projects to ensure that they meet the necessary criteria for efficiency and sustainability, Geberit has launched a new innovation that ensures its electronically controlled taps are the most energy efficient on the market.

Another success in the kitchen for Hi-Macs

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The merger of Karim Rashid's futuristic vision with the extraordinary properties of Hi-Macs, the latest-generation acrylic stone, has given rise to Kook and Karan, two kitchens manufactured by Aran Cucine, remarkable for their ultimate originality.

Welcome to the



There's been a surprising upturn for this time of year at my weekend job/hobby selling houses. Generally, come mid-October, the market dies down as people start to gear up for Christmas, but it's got really busy lately and it's taken everyone by surprise.

Speaking to my counterparts in other agencies, it's something that's being reciprocated around much of the country too - and because there are more buyers about, we're finding it easier to persuade householders that phone to enquire about the state of the market, to put their properties up for sale.

I'm wondering whether it's down to the fact that much of the year has been taken up either anticipating, watching or even taking part in the Diamond Jubilee, the Olympic Games or the Paralympics, or perhaps it's just because we've finally got used to being in recession (just as the figures say we're out of it!) and are feeling a bit gung ho about the whole thing... I just don't know.

But it appears that it's not just the housing market that's been affected, for if the latest newsletter from the UK Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association is anything to go by, house refurbishment projects are on the increase too with lots of new kitchens and bathrooms being sold by Association members.

Bearing in mind that generally the first thing new occupants want to change when they move into a new property is the bathroom and then the kitchen, this has to be good news all round, as what appears to be a brief upturn for the KBB market will surely continue into the Christmas period and beyond as sales of the houses now coming to market complete over the coming months and the new occupants start to put their stamp on them.

Good luck everyone!




Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Soapbox: One swallow does not make a Summer

Robin Chater, the Secretary-General of the Federation of European Employers, comments on the latest UK GDP figures...

The UK's Office for National Statistics has just published GDP figures for Q3 2012. Although these show the UK economy to have officially grown by 1% since Q2 2012 little can be assumed from a single statistic and the continued decline of the construction sector indicates that the underlying economic condition of the UK remains very weak.

Lawcris opens new doors with Hettich

* Hettich-TopLine.jpgThe practicality, performance and style of Hettich's sliding door mechanisms are now available from Lawcris. The nationwide distributor of panel products and fittings has chosen to stock a choice of InLine and TopLine systems as part of an expanded Hettich offering.

Charnwood Period Style bedroom doors look the business but don't break the budget!

* Beaumanor-suede-mussel.jpgWith its unique patented construction process, the Charnwood collection from ECF gives the frontal appearance of a traditionally constructed door, yet maintains the flexibility afforded by the modern manufacturing methods used in the production of vinyl wrapped doors.

Azea launches 2013 behavioural safety training campaign for construction and utilities sectors

Behavioural safety training and accident reduction specialist Azea has announced the launch of a new campaign to promote its safety training programmes aimed at improving workplace safety and reducing workplace accidents in the construction and utilities sectors throughout 2013.

Abode introduces Euphoria shower pack

* Abode-Euphoria-shower-pack.jpgAbode's Euphoria showers and accessories have been designed exclusively to co-ordinate with the complete Abode bathroom offering. The portfolio contains a myriad of outstanding design pieces.

Ellis Furniture creates bright kitchens with the new Solar range

* Ellis-solar-gloss.jpgThe new Solar range of kitchens from Ellis Furniture is set to brighten up the heart of any home. Available now, Solar with its high gloss finish and shaker style doors, marries contemporary chic with classic charm.

FIRA strengthens its testing team

FIRA International has announced an investment in both staff and equipment within its world-renowned furniture testing centre.

The improvements are the result of a strategic review by new Chief Operating Office, Phil Reynolds, and are part of an ongoing programme to ensure the highest quality of service.

10 new high gloss colours from Renolit

* HG Gerbia_rosso.jpgRenolit now offers a total of 15 Renolit Alkoren high gloss colours with the addition of 10 new colours i to its collection of classic 3D forming foils.

High Gloss remains a strong market trend and the introduction of these new items provides the market with attractive, high performing products in a range of commercial colours.

Team Roman runs up funds

* GNR-Team-Roman.jpgA team of Roman employees has raised more than £2300 for charity by participating in the Great North Run and the Bristol Half Marathon in September.

The charities set to receive funds from the team includes; Help for Heroes, NSPCC, Cancer Research UK, Marie Curie, Yorkshire Cancer Research and Tree of Hope.

Carron Phoenix launches Autumn Winter retail promotion

* Carron-Phoenix-Debut150-granite-sink.jpgIn a bid to support retailers in the pre-Christmas trading period, Carron Phoenix has launched a price-busting promotion that will run to 31st December.

Carron has strategically selected some key products to offer a sink option in all materials, delivering choice, quality and excellent value.

IDS announces winner of its national design competition for the company's new HQ

* IDS-Design-Award.jpgInternational Decorative Surfaces hosted an awards dinner at the Potter's Club in Stoke last Thursday where it announced the three winners of a national competition for students to design aspects of its new company headquarters centred around IDS's core values of innovation, creativity and sustainability.

KitchenAid teams up with baker

* Maria-Mayerhofer-Baker.jpgWith the nation in the grip of baking fervour, as cookery programmes gain record viewing figures and consumers experiment with different styles and flavours, aiming to impress friends and family, many are turning to dedicated schools for advice and expertise.

New appointment puts emphasis on export opportunities

* Jason-Newman_Croydex.jpgAs part of its continuing expansion on an international level, bathroom fittings and accessories manufacturer, Croydex, has appointed Jason Newman to the role of Export Sales Manager.

The KBzine Archive Search

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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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Recent News

Cutting a greener deal for consumers

Huge improvements in appliance performance now mean that replacing an old fridge freezer can bring the same environmental benefit as installing double-glazing according to AMDEA (The Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances). The industry is calling on Government to work with it to encourage consumers to replace their old appliances and use energy saving features - to cut their electricity bills and carbon dioxide emissions.

Record month for Schuller sees new record set for September

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InHouse has broken the €1 million barrier for Schüller sales in September. The month is 40% up on last year and puts InHouse in line for another record breaking year.

Furniture retail quality Group publishes new guide for glass in furniture

FIRA has announced the publication of a new industry Standard for glass in furniture: FIRA-FRQG G001 Glass in furniture - requirements. The document has been produced by FIRA in conjunction with the Furniture Retail Quality Group (FRQG), comprising technologists from the major retailers of furniture in the UK. It has been introduced to ensure that basic safety levels relating to glass in furniture and mirrors are maintained.

Companies north of the border to get lifesaving advice

Construction companies in Dumfries & Galloway are to receive potentially lifesaving advice at a free event aimed at preventing injury and ill health on site.

Carron Phoenix announces the sale of its commercial business to Franke UK

Carron Phoenix has agreed the sale and transfer of its commercial business to Franke UK, forming a single legal entity for the trading of both brands in the UK and Ireland markets.

Symphony adds important green award to its collection

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Symphony, the UK fitted furniture manufacturer with over 40 years of heritage, has added yet another award to its collection, having been awarded Zero Waste to Landfill status.

Tradesmen need to take online reputation management seriously...

Negative mentions about a business or its products on the Internet could hit a company in the balance sheet, and once a company has a poor online reputation, it could spread like a virus. Companies need to take ownership of their online reputation to avoid potential disaster.

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