KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
17th May 2013
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The Building Research Establishment is working with Franshion Properties (China), one of China's leading state owned developers, to give businesses an opportunity to showcase their most innovative and sustainable technologies in a new eco-city in China.
Barry Ashmore, construction industry veteran and founder of StreetwiseSubbie.com, was invited to an evidence session in Parliament this week to speak to a cross party group of MPs regarding the state of the construction industry owing to late payments and unfair payment terms.
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I can remember my mother being quite put out a few years back when I refused to shop at the new Homebase superstore that had ousted the local independent garden centre, so you can perhaps imagine that she would have become quite cross with me when the new Sainsbury's superstore opened up on the outskirts of town and I refused to take her there too. I said she'd rue the day she supported such outlets; that they would put the smaller independents out of business, subsequently take away our choice and make life difficult for those that had to rely on public transport.
Before long our town centre Sainsbury's closed down (it had probably been planned that way from the beginning despite assurances that it would remain open) and we had to get used to the superstore as it was the only proper store within easy driving distance. Then someone decided it was too small, it was almost doubled in size and try as she might my mother can't shop there as she can't stay on her feet for the three-plus hours it takes to get around and locate what she needs. Most other shoppers look thoroughly tired and miserable too, they can be quite grumpy and the place certainly seems a lot emptier than it used to be.
And if I want to buy a nail or cuphook of a particular size I can no longer visit the local hardware shop as it's not there anymore; I have to go to Homebase and buy a packet - most of the contents of which will be wasted. But at least I have a car and can get there; many others don't and the buses don't stop nearby either.
Talk to the independent kitchen, bathroom and bedroom retailers and they'll tell you business is suffering because consumers feel more comfortable visiting the big DIY stores to choose their new wares and that one of the reasons for this is that they feel they'll need to spend less. That's not always the case though, is it? But how do we let them know that?
Two companies I've spoken with this week are tackling the problem head on with a view to enticing consumers back into the smaller, independent shops. You can read all about their initiatives - one aimed at the bathroom market and the other at kitchens, below.
Another - independent retailer Heart of the Home - is taking its business to the consumers in the form of a small lorry kitted out with some fabulous cabinetry, which I've seen at my local market a couple of times on a Saturday... I'll be talking to the company soon to see whether this exercise is proving worthwhile.
I don't know who said, "Use them or lose them" but I couldn't agree more...
This Week's News
Why are consumers staying away from bathroom showrooms in favour of the Internet, the chains and DIY multiples? According to Roger Cooper, director at UK Bathroom Brands, one of the main reasons is that the big names are not doing enough to drive customers into showrooms.
Franke has updated its popular 'Franke Experience' App for iPad users as part of its major 2013 product update which boasts a range of new products. The App was first released in early 2012 and is a tool for retailers and consumers, enabling them to browse the full Franke portfolio of products in sinks, taps, hoods and waste management products.
Dave Button has joined the Board of Crosswater Holdings as Sales Director. Dave, who was with Ideal Standard for 25 years until 2011, joins Crosswater at an exciting time for the company. In his new position, he will take responsibility for the company's retail team and also spearhead the overall market development of Crosswater's value brand, Adora.
According to the Health & Safety Executive's 'Driving at Work' publication, the biggest cause of occupational fatality is driving on business. There are more than 20 people killed and a further 250 seriously injured every week.
Renowned innovator in sanitary technology, Geberit, is supporting the launch of its new shower toilet, Geberit AquaClean Sela, with a heavyweight consumer marketing campaign throughout 2013.
Gorenje has received The Reader's Digest Trusted Brand award in the category of home appliances in Slovenia for the seventh year in a row.
Vado's recently introduced Vertix collection includes stylish vertical thermostatic shower valves specifically designed to give a sleeker profile than equivalent horizontal exposed shower valves. A compact, easy to fit shower valve, its distinctive vertical fitting creates a streamlined, minimalist effect on the wall.
Hot on the heels of its highly successful real kitchens' project, PWS has launched a duo of web-based tools to champion its independent Second Nature retailers.
Gas hobs add drama and flair to cooking, which is ideal for when entertaining at home, and is the fuel of choice for the hobby chef. Steel's new Genesi collection of built-in gas hobs is available in three sizes to suit a range of kitchen styles, with both four and five burner models on offer.
Dimplex has introduced a new electric Compact Corner towel rail, perfect for utilising the corner space in a bathroom or wet room. The CPTC Compact Corner towel rail can be mounted at any height to suit other fittings and adds a touch of luxury to any bathroom.
Finished in high quality chrome, it not only rapidly dries and warms towels, but it is also an excellent storage solution as towels can be neatly folded and placed in the individual sections.
For its 2013 product update, Carron Phoenix has revamped its brochure format. In place of one single brochure, now there are two which segment the company's product offer into the Essential and Elite ranges.
Award-winning kitchen and furniture designer, Holloways of Ludlow, have announced that Emma Jordan has been promoted to Project Manager for the company's bespoke cabinet making business.
The Cannes Film Festival opening gala dinner was held within the Electrolux Agora Pavilion for the third consecutive year. Guests, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman were treated to a five course meal all cooked on Electrolux professional appliances.
InSinkErator presents the perfect companion to its steaming hot water taps; a compact Under-Sink Chiller that provides perfectly chilled and filtered water at the touch of a lever.
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A package of measures put in place by the logistics sector for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games that includes more night-time deliveries could, if adopted permanently, improve some of our traffic issues and bring environmental benefits too, while helping to make roads safer for cyclists and other vulnerable users.
Leading experts in Environment from EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, and manufacturing companies across the UK met this week to make key recommendations to the revision of guidance to ISO14001, the widely used standard for Environmental Management Systems that customers use to differentiate between suppliers.
The hunt is on once again for Britain's most efficient and sustainable manufacturers. EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, and ENER-G have launched the Environment award category as part of the fifth annual Future Manufacturing Awards with companies eligible to win two prestigious awards at regional and national level.
July sees the beginning once more of Independent Retailer Month - a campaign that has been supported since its launch by The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association.
Van users have been reminded by The Fuelcard People of ever-tighter emissions controls. Steve Clarke, group marketing manager, said: "Life is already tough for anyone running vans or other LCVs, but those who fail to address emissions reduction will find it getting harder. As restrictions spread, the worst polluters will soon find themselves running out of road.
Electrolux says it is delighted to be hosting the fabulous CookIt! competition for children in its fully kitted training kitchens at the company's Luton Head Office.