KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
12th April 2013


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

International News

Vado becomes part of Norcros

Norcros, the supplier of branded showers, tiles and adhesives with group operating companies including Triton Showers, Johnson Tiles and Norcros Adhesive - and which is also active overseas with operations in South Africa and Australia, has acquired brassware specialist Vado.

SBID joins 'the acronyms' to bring learning opportunity to design students on both sides of the Atlantic

This Summer will see the Society of British Interior Design launch an exchange programme to create educational opportunities and professional exposure for interior design students from both sides of the Atlantic. The move comes following a meeting with similar bodies from other parts of the world, which has been dubbed the 'Acronyms meeting'

Fantastic Fantasia - Elica's stunning new Vertical Hood

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Fantasia, the latest wall-mounted, vertical cooker hood to be launched by high-end Italian designer Elica has been awarded a prestigious 2013 Red Dot Design Award.

Sense the difference with Britannia: All-new range cooker collection revealed

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Premium kitchen appliance specialist Britannia Living is delighted to announce the launch of its all-new range cooker collection. With four new families - Delphi, Fleet, Q Line and Wyre - the collection boasts the premium quality customers have come to expect from the Britannia brand; combined with subtle styling updates and improved features. The result is an enhanced range designed to delight the senses and help consumers discover the true pleasure in cooking.

Whirlpool named one of Fortune's World's most admired companies for third time

The Whirlpool Corporation has been recognised as one of Fortune Magazine's World's Most Admired Companies in the Home Equipment, Furnishings industry sector. The company finished first in this sector for the third year in a row.

Belling launches new range of 50cm ceramic hotplate cookers: Popular Belling aesthetic applied to new models

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British cooking brand, Belling, has extended its freestanding collection, applying its popular aesthetic to a number of new AA rated 50cm ceramic cookers.

Millions won't be celebrating World Water Day

Half of humans lack safe drinking water, while competition for water from agriculture and industry could put more people at risk in years to come, says a Portuguese lawyer who is the United Nations' independent advocate for the right to water. Catarina de Albuquerque, speaking ahead of World Water Day earlier today, said the official UN figure - 800 million - doesn't provide a full picture of water poverty, estimating that some 3.5 billion people lack a safe supply.

Make valuable space in the kitchen with InSinkErator

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We all yearn for the perfect, uncluttered modern kitchen that we see in glossy pictures and lifestyle TV programmes. But in the everyday living of life, it doesn't always work out that way. Our nice worktops soon fill up with numerous accessories, crumbs and other mysterious little bits and pieces that just seem to materialise out of nowhere.

Welcome to the


An email from US company Vocus reminded me of when I was little and we had a huge case of washing powder delivered. My parents told me it was a gift from Hotpoint to thank them for recommending the washing machine they’d just bought to a neighbour, who bought one too and happened to mention their recommendation to the salesperson.

I’m not revealing how long ago that was, but it was far enough back for the impact of that gift to be clear. The loyalty it created has meant that my mother has never veered away from her original choice of washing machine manufacturer.

Times are tough, so it would do us all well to remember the ‘80/20’ rule, which suggests that often, 80% of revenue comes from just 20% of a business’s customers.

As well as being extremely valuable right now, our most loyal customers are also the future of our businesses – so engaging them and keeping them loyal is crucial, just as Hotpoint did with my parents all those years ago. So how do we do it?

Vocus suggests creating a loyalty programme; rewarding customers for renewing contracts, purchasing products and referring new customers. Consider a programme that provides free products and services as a reward for repeat business, or allows customers to accumulate redeemable points.

Another idea is to foster a sense of ownership. Are you launching a new service or developing a product? Invite your most loyal customers to become beta users and solicit their feedback. This will give them a sense of being a stakeholder in your brand, as well as helping you create a tested offering.  Also, if a small proportion of customers are responsible for most of your revenue, provide them with premium-level customer service. This could be anything from waiving fees and shipping costs, to offering service outside normal business hours.

Exclusive perks let customers know how much you value their business. Let them preview and purchase new offerings before they’re available to everyone else. Host exclusive events for top customers. Or for a more cost-effective option, profile your best customers in your email marketing campaigns or with social media shout-outs.

And finally, reward customers who recommend your business to others, with discounts and other rewards. Customer referrals are a powerful tool in business development, so let current customers know how much you value their recommendations, just as Hotpoint did with my family all those years ago…





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Coram Showers advances its portfolio with new Premier range

* CORAM-SHOWERS.jpgCoram Showers tells us it is proud to announce that its already established and celebrated Premier range has undergone a complete makeover and upgrade and is available now!

Betta Living unveils record year-end results

Dean House, owner of the Betta Living retail brand, has reported record year-end results to 20thNovember 2012, with turnover up 22% to £29.9m and pre-tax profits up 44% to £1.5m.

Betta Living, which was founded in Oldham in 1966 and specialises in the design, build and installation of fitted kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms, operates through 29 retail locations across the UK with at least two further stores planned in 2013.

Director of Brand, Marketing & Culture of London Olympics to headline this year's Bathroom Conference

* Olympics-brand-director.jpgThe multi award winning Bathroom Manufacturers Association has announced that Greg Nugent, Director of Brand, Marketing & Culture for the London Olympics and Paralympics, will headline the Bathroom Business Conference 2013.

Shortlisted entries for kbb LDN Innovation Awards announced

The organisers of kbb LDN, which takes place at ExCeL London from 19th - 21st May, have finally revealed the products that have made it onto the shortlist for the Innovation Awards 2013.

In conjunction with Designer Magazine, industry judges have been looking for the most innovative products in terms of ingenuity, design and sustainability and 20 of the very latest innovations and new launches will be displayed at the Show, for you to examine at your leisure.

Reframing modern bathroom design with Lardo by Pelipal

* Pelipal1.jpgIt is said that the essence of great design is for function to merge effortlessly with aesthetic. This is exactly what the new Lardo collection from renowned German manufacturer Pelipal does so well... A strong robust design with solid statement vertical lines in which beautiful reproduction wood grain sits perfectly with coordinated fronts in high gloss and neutral tones.

A new hero: Whirlpool's ADG 8410 FD built-in dishwasher

* ADG-8410FD-Whirlpool.jpgThe new Whirlpool ADG 8410 FD built-in dishwasher is the hero of the company's latest collection and with much justification... Super quiet, super energy and water efficient and with all the space you need. The sophisticated ADG 8410 FD offers the very best of Whirlpool's advanced technology along with great design and practicality. The capacious model has 13 place settings, 10 programmes and a low water consumption of just 10 litres.

Steel expands its collection with compact combi-steam range cooker

* Steel-G7S-41-compact-combi-steam.jpgSteel, renowned throughout Europe for its quality and beautifully designed professional kitchen appliances, has expanded its combi-steam range cooker collection with the introduction of a 70 cm compact appliance.

Boudoir bliss with the Altino Drift from Caple

* Altino-Drift-bedroom.jpgThe new Altino Drift furniture from Caple demonstrates how a luxury boudoir in deep, rich shades can be lifted in an instant with beautiful, textured grain-effect cabinets in a light finish.

Why InSinkErator waste disposers are such a clean addition to the kitchen

* InSinkErator-food-waste.jpgIt took us a while as consumers to fully recognise the importance of hygiene in the kitchen. The preparation of good food is a romantic and sexy concept and we didn't always care to acknowledge the dirty side of it!

New senior designer appointment at Holloways of Ludlow

* Richard-McGee.jpgAward-winning kitchen designer, Holloways of Ludlow has announced the appointment of Richard McGee as a Senior Designer to join its expanding team at its Design Studio in East Sheen, West London.

Distinctly Abode publishes new 2013 sink brochure

* Abode-2013-sink_taps-brochure.jpgThe new sink brochure from Abode is the second in a series of three coffee table style brochures illustrating the full portfolio of products available for 2013. The B5 soft cover, matte finish brochure is designed to provide product information in an aesthetically appealing and succinct way. The 162 page brochure is launched now, in readiness for the KBB show in May.

LDL enhances next day delivery promise

* LDL-next-day.jpgLDL Components, the popular nationwide distributor of premium fittings and accessories for the fitted furniture industry, is now offering guaranteed next working day delivery to all UK mainland addresses on orders received up to 17.00. The previous cut-off point for receipt of orders was 16.30.

"It is our exceptional level of customer service that has always differentiated our offer and we are very pleased to introduce this additional benefit," comments Matthew Lord, director.

Apollo Blinds innovates with new products

* Apollo-roller-floral.jpgApollo Blinds has unveiled a number of new window blind systems and fabrics that will help homeowners enhance their windows both aesthetically and by delivering better operation.

The KBzine Archive Search

We keep an extensive archive of news stories and product information that have featured in past issues of The KBzine. If you would like to run a search of the The KBzine web site using the search tool below please just go ahead by entering in the name of the person, product or company or any other key words that you are looking for.

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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

Let local people build their own homes, says think tank

First time buyers and pensioners looking to downsize will be able to benefit from a radically new proposal that allows local people to buy their own plot of land and design their own custom built home.

BMA does the double

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Over two consecutive nights, the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, under the leadership of Yvonne Orgill, has picked up not one but two business awards for its pioneering Water Label.

British Ceramic Tile responds to budget's Climate Change Levy exemptions

Responding to the announcement in the Chancellor's 2013 budget that the ceramic and steel industries will be exempt from the climate change levy from 2014, Chief Executive Tony Taylor from British Ceramic Tile said:

A good news budget

Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association CEO Graham Ball has welcomed this week’s budget as one that will help KBB retailers and encourage small businesses to invest.

KBSA announces new design award

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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has added a new award - the KBSA Kitchen Concept Designer of the Year, to this year's categories. The award is designed to test a designer's skill in working to a specific brief in an average size kitchen.

Portway customers 'enjoy it twice a week'!

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Leading white goods distributor Portway domestic appliances, now offers its customers an even better service... Building on the continued expansion of its customer base during 2012, Portway has announced that with immediate effect its customers can receive appliances twice a week nationwide.

Atlanta Bathrooms launches 'Trade Space', a new 'connecting' service

Atlanta bathrooms is launching Trade Space; a free and innovative new service which connects the installer with the homeowner.

De Dietrich appliances chosen for new cookery school at Wellbeing Farm

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De Dietrich appliances have been exclusively chosen by Lancashire-based The Wellbeing Farm for its brand new purpose-built Cookery School. A prestigious launch event was held on 4th March 2013 for VIP guests, who were treated to a cookery demonstration by Mike Harrison, one of a number of chefs who will be teaching a variety of courses at the School.

'Talk to your tradesman' app puts spring into home improvements

Springtime is the traditional season for home improvements, but if the seasonal urge to tend to our nests is not enough, two thirds of British first-time homeowners admit to be further motivated by the secret embarrassment at the state of their home when friends and family pop over to visit.


AEG's The Lab set to stir up a foodie frenzy!

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Home appliances brand AEG is working in partnership with Taste Festivals to bring some of the world's most experimental chefs together in a unique experiential event fronted by Gizzi Erskine - The Lab comes to London.

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