KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
14th June 2013


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

International News

New Whirlpool fridge freezer provides extra width and quality

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Whirlpool has created the ideal food preservation centre for consumers in the form of its new freestanding WBA 4328 NFTS fridge freezer. Big and beautiful with plenty of storage space, this extra wide model with an 'A+' energy rating is a great energy and money saving proposition for the retailer and an excellent opportunity to sell up.

Electrolux headlines Taste of Dublin 2013

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Electrolux is delighted to be headline sponsor of Taste of Dublin, Ireland's most exciting food festival, taking place at the stunning grounds of Iveagh Gardens from 13th -16th June 2013.

Ellis Furniture expands Cambourne kitchen range

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In response to the success of its Cambourne kitchen range, Ellis Furniture has added the striking Natural Oak finish to this versatile collection, which was launched in September 2012 in sophisticated Sage, cool, modern Chalk, classic Cream and pretty Almond.

Methven extends Kaha Satinjet range with latest award-winning technology

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Methven - the global designer and manufacturer of premium showers and tapware - has revamped and extended its award-winning range of Kaha Satinjet showers in the UK and Europe.

Geberit continues to make a splash to support retail partners

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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 once again named Slovenia's most trusted brand

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.

Vertix by Vado

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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.

Steel introduces new gas hob collection

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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 launches compact corner towel rail

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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.

Electrolux Hosts 2013 Cannes Film Festival Opening Gala Dinner

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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.

Kick back and cool down with the new InSinkErator under-sink chiller

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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.

Welcome to the


Like Jo Swinson, the Minister who unveiled the proposed new consumer rights bill this week, I would encourage both consumers and tradespeople striking a deal about the supply of goods and/or services, to record their conversations and confirm everything by email. Having been on the receiving end of what I can only describe as a scam a couple of years ago, it was a recording ‘for customer training purposes’ (which the supplier expected to use to extract money from me for a job not carried out correctly), that won my case without the need to involve the Courts.

dodgy-wiring-job.jpgI’d quibbled that I was being charged double what I’d been quoted and I asked for a copy of the tape, which proved that I’d been quoted the price for half an hour’s, rather than an hour’s work. The fact that the “per half hour” had been quote very quietly and that work was supposed to have taken 10 minutes didn’t come into it; the company thought it had me over a barrel.

What the tape also proved however, was that I’d booked a technician to replace a lead from my fridge freezer – not to repair it (the picture shows the repair, which used a plug taken from another appliance of mine as the technician had arrived without a new lead, nor indeed a plug – and prior to our falling out told me I’d need to buy some electrical tape from a DIY store which I’d need to fit myself, to make the repair safe!).

OK so this time the recording came down – quite rightly – on the side of the consumer, but I know also that many contractors’ businesses are folding because consumers and supposed professional organisations are withholding money without cause, often consistently paying late but sometimes finding a lame excuse to not pay at all. Having something recorded or in writing is the perfect way to help solve these issues for both sides, without resorting to legal redress.





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Launch of Fair Treatment Charter at sell-out conference could mark turning point for industry

Last Friday saw StreetwiseSubbie.com host its sell-out conference and launch its 'Fair Treatment Charter' to close to 100 delegates from the UK construction industry.

The buzz at the conference was felt by all as nine speakers took to the floor to each share their own knowledge, experiences and expertise in a bid to help specialist contractors take control of both their businesses and the future of the industry, which has long since been suffering at the hands of contractors who see it as purely a means to a financial end and pay late, pay less than agreed or don't pay at all.

Pebel Fragranite sink from Franke wins the Red Dot Design Award

* Franke-Pebel-lifestyle.jpgThe Pebel sink range in Fragranite, launched by Franke in 2012, has scooped a Red Dot Design Award in the latest batch of winners recently announced.

Red Dot is a coveted international design award, awarded to products recognised for their combination of stand-out design, functionality, quality and innovation.

Kirby Sebastian makes a big splash with bath collection

* Sienna-bath.jpgBathroom brand Kirby Sebastian (KS Bathrooms) has just launched two new freestanding baths, Palarmo and Sienna. The modern baths both feature simple yet elegant contemporary design that delivers both style and comfort.

The Palarmo has a rounded, softly curving design, whilst the Sienna is a double ended pool bath. Both baths are supplied without holes, offering the choice of wall mounted or freestanding tap mountings.

ECF introduces the elegant Devon and Cornwall in-frame doors

* ECF-Devon-Inframe.jpgEast Coast Fittings tells us it is delighted to introduce its stunning new range of painted timber doors presented in the classic in-frame style. Devon and Cornwall offer the perfect blend of the contemporary and the traditional, providing a timeless design whilst also being ideally suited to the demands of a modern kitchen environment.

Free app helping homeowners and tradesmen make most of proposed new consumer rights

In the week that the Government has unveiled its draft Consumer Rights Bill with a new right to enforce verbal agreements, TrustMark, the Government endorsed quality mark to help people find reputable tradesmen, is calling on home owners and tradesmen to have a full and open conversation at the start of every job to ensure a successful working relationship.

Take back some TI:ME with the latest Triton smart phone app

* Triton-TIME-iPhone-app.jpgTriton, the Great British Shower Company, has updated its popular Triton TI:ME iPhone application and created an Android version to offer installers promotional information and online shopping capabilities at their fingertips; as well as even more product information and installation advice.

Iain McKinlay leaves Hansgrohe UK

* Hansgrohe_Iain_Helen.jpgIain McKinlay, UK Managing Director of Hansgrohe, will leave at the end of June 2013. Being with the company for 24 years, Iain has been at the forefront of the development of the modern UK bathroom industry that we know today.

Methven launches innovative displays for merchants: Tippers first to have self-selection displays in store

* METHVEN-display2.jpgMethven, the global designer and manufacturer of premium showers and tapware, has joined forces with Midlands-based builders' merchant Tippers, to launch a new display concept for its Deva brand.

FIRA awards at the House of Lords

* FIRA-Blum-award.jpgAn event held by FIRA, the furniture industry's leading body, at the House of Lords last Friday, was a great success. Over 230 guests attended the prestigious annual event hosted by Lord Hoyle of Warrington which took place in the Cholmondley Room and on the terrace overlooking the Thames.

Bath Fitter's EducationAd advertising funds 26 Fisher House scholarships for military children

* EcoMeida-Bath-Fitter.jpgSome 26 sons and daughters of active, retired, or deceased service members are receiving $1,500 scholarships thanks to Bath Fitter and its EducationAd advertising through CBS EcoMedia. Each of the students are from the Philadelphia or Pittsburgh areas and will be getting vital funding for their payment of college tuition, books, lab fees and other related college expenses.

We have Mail: Swain retires from Franke 2

Dear Jan, 

Hope you are well. I know The Connection have contacted you on our behalf, as we'd like you to post a response for us if possible to Dave Hicks' note at page: 


The response is as follows: 

Dear Mr Hicks.

Thank you very much for your post on the KBZine and sharing your knowledge of the history of the Franke brand before Duncan Marr began selling from his garage!

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

Judges selected for KBSA Designer Awards

The KBSA has announced a new line-up of judges for the 2013 KBSA Designer Awards. Judges have been selected for their breadth of experience in the industry, covering everything from design skills through to retailing, customer service and understanding of the industry's specific needs.

The judges are:

And the kbb LDN 2013 Innovation Awards Winners were...

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The industry came together to celebrate the most innovative products in the KBB sector for the kbb LDN Innovation Awards 2013, sponsored by Blum UK.

Leisure Sinks to supply specialist plumbing and heating buying group PHG

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Leisure Sinks has signed an agreement with specialist plumbing and heating buying group PHG, which will allow the company's wide range of high quality sinks and taps to be supplied to a growing UK network of merchants.

Hippo signs three-year sponsorship deal with iKBBI

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The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers has announced that Hippo has this week agreed a three year sponsorship deal, supporting the Institute and its objectives until 2016.

Vado success at NMBS 2013

Vado tells us it has been a proud supplier to National Merchant Buying Society members since 2008 and that visitors to Vado's stand at this year's exhibition were able to take up some fantastic 'spot buy deals' on some of the company's best-selling ranges. Members placing orders on the day were also given a 'golden ticket' which automatically entered them into a draw to win a Nexus 7 tablet. The lucky winner was Kingsley Bathrooms, whose representatives were thrilled at winning the prize.

Broadcaster Nina Hossain to host this year's Bathroom Business Conference.

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The Bathroom Manufacturers Association has secured the well-known journalist and broadcaster Nina Hossain to act as host and facilitator at the Bathroom Business Conference on 8th October 2013. Nina is a familiar face on our screens, presenting and anchoring television news on the main UK news channels.

New FIRA Gold scheme launched at kbb LDN

At kbb LDN a scheme which signifies excellence in kitchen, bedroom and bathroom installation services was launched to independent retailers and the name of the first company to be awarded the accreditation was announced.

Romex launches new module to manage risk to drivers

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.


Karonia Store relaunched

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Karonia Store, the online shop for all solid surface tooling and accessories, has been relaunched.


Carron Phoenix launches brand new brochures for 2013

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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.

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