KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
1st February 2013
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All signs point to a strong rebound for home improvement activity in 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.
The American Hardwood Export Council will showcase Out of the Woods: Adventures of 12 Hardwood Chairs at the Stockholm Furniture Fair from 5th - 9th February 2013. The project is a collaboration between Product Design students from the Royal College of Art in London, British Furniture maker Benchmark and the American Hardwood Export Council that began over 12 months ago, culminating in an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum for the London Design Festival 2012.
On 3rd March 2013, a new EU Timber Regulation, which will affect the entire furniture supply chain, comes into force.
In 2003, the General Accounting Office in the United States issued a report warning that the US was entering a new era of water scarcity. The report projected that by 2013 at least 36 states could face water shortages. However, the report was incorrect. By 2008, five years earlier than projected, at least 36 states were already dealing with periodic, if not chronic, water shortages with California, New Mexico, and Arizona at the top of the list.
You may recall me whingeing recently about incompetent loft/cavity wall insulation surveyors who had me clearing the way for installers who ended up unable to do the job (or perhaps you’ve been left in the same position)? You are probably also aware of my passion for recycling and have heeded my regular calls for you to spread the word about not dumping old furniture, unwanted appliances and even kitchens but instead getting people to donate them to charity, put them on Gumtree or sell them to someone who may not be able to buy new.
Well I scored something of a double whammy late last month. Over the years I’ve committed hundreds of two litre plastic drinks bottles to the local recycling facility and have often wondered what they were going to be made into… I knew I wasn’t being eco-friendly buying drinks in plastic bottles but took comfort in knowing that they would at least be put to good use after I’d finished with them.
My guilty conscience was appeased while researching how to top up my loft insulation myself, and discovering that one of the cheapest rolls – and also one of the most effective as it had the highest thermal rating – was made from recycled plastic bottles. And it was a double whammy too as the insulation prevents loss of heat from my home and reduces my impact on the environment! The product was easy to fit, did not require protective clothing and as the recent snow remained on my roof long after it had melted on neighbouring roofs, it’s clearly doing the job. I’ve lost more than a few minutes’ sleep though, wondering whether any bottles that I, personally, have recycled, are now part of that blanket of insulation helping keep my home warm!
The New Year is a time for making resolutions and although we’re already a twelfth of the way through 2013 it’s not too late to start making an effort to spread the message about the need to dispose of our unwanted goods in a responsible fashion.
If you’re selling appliances and/or kitchens and bedrooms (but perhaps not bathrooms!) do please remind your customers about passing unwanted items on. And for a more memorable service you could even supply relevant website information and telephone numbers. Remember - the British Heart Foundation will collect and carry out minor repairs on electrical items and PAT test them before selling them on and many other charities will collect and redistribute other items.
Remember to let everyone know about the new ‘3 Rs’ - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. It’s not a lot of extra effort to make but it will make a difference to the environment AND your customers’ impression of your company’s ethics.
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This Week's News
Hard on the heels of the five manufacturers and media companies which joined the Bathroom Manufacturers Association last month, two more manufacturers and a media group have joined the association.
Salamader Pumps, the Sunderland-based shower pump manufacturer, has grown exponentially in the last decade and is now firmly established as one of the leading manufacturers of shower pumps in the UK.
This week's Soapbox comes courtesy of Neil Schofield who tells us that it is with "a heavy heart and a tinge of sadness" that his time as part of the senior management team at EQ Software has come to an end, due to changes in structure and strategy with the company. Here Neil shares some really interesting theories on why some people are more successful at reaching the top of the tree when it comes to sales (and football) than others...
Imperial Bathrooms - the quintessential British bathroom manufacturer - has dramatically increased its lighting collection to include five ranges of wall lamps. Named after some of the company's bestselling bathroom collections, the new additions - Carlyon, Radcliffe, Pendant, Astoria and Brokton - provide the perfect complement to its bathroom line up. All new lighting ranges are guaranteed to cast the ideal atmosphere in any bathroom, en suite and downstairs cloakroom.
Thank you for your wise words.
When I voted for Britain to join the European Economic Community in 1975 I was told and believed that I had agreed to the UK joining a free trade area. I have never agreed to give the rights and responsibilities for non trade powers to any other entity.
With a diameter of 460mm and standing at 900mm tall, Rio is guaranteed to be a focal point of the bathroom. Made entirely from marble, no two Rio washbasins will ever be entirely the same thanks its natural markings.
Electrolux is delighted to announce that 'The Dining with the Stars' culinary extravaganza hosted by five Michelin star chefs, all of whom cooked at The Cube by Electrolux, raised over £100,000 for The Bobby Moore Fund. The fund was established by Stephanie Moore MBE, in partnership with Cancer Research UK, in 1993 in memory of Stephanie's late husband, legendary footballer Bobby Moore. Bobby sadly died from bowel cancer aged just 51. All money raised on the night is going towards the charity's pioneering research into the disease.
Slovenian manufacturer Gorenje, is appearing at Between Sense and Sanity, a Slovenian fashion and product design exhibition.
Figures released this week from NHBC indicate that the overall level of house building declined during 2012 with 104,510 new homes registered during 2012; a 9% decrease on 2011 (114,930). This decline was entirely contributable to public sector housing registrations which dropped from 36,680 in 2011, to 26,390 in 2012.
Aimed at high-end furniture manufacturers, the hand-crafted collection of elegant, classically styled handles is made in the Italian province of Bresica, an area with an impressive heritage in metal craftsmanship.
Swiss bathroom specialist Laufen has launched two new washbasin bowls manufactured from its revolutionary new ceramic SaphirKeramik, which was first seen two years ago as a prototype.
The Kitchen Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association has been advised that there is at least one scam in operation at the moment targeting specialist retailers for appliance purchases. Requests are received via email/Internet.
Rick Duriez, of Walkden, has won the national 'Tiler of the Month' accolade from TilerWorld, the free web site for tilers and their customers. Rick was chosen for his tiling quality and high standards of customer service, shown by reviews posted on TilerWorld alongside customer ratings.
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Industry report finds lack of awareness at board level of spending habits and inefficient supply chains holding back businesses.