KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
17th January 2014
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FagorBrandt (France) has announced that all French production sites have reopened. This follows the announcement on November 8th that FagorBrandt (France) had legally separated its activities from Fagor Electrodomesticos (Spain).
Refrigerants used in millions of air conditioning and refrigeration systems across the UK and Europe are to be subject to strict new EU regulations. Those that are not up to date with the changes, might well benefit from a visit to the ACR Show 2014, which takes place at the NEC, from 11 to 13 February, 2014. At the show, industry experts will brief visitors on the changes and their practical consequences in a series of free seminars.
Bushboard's approach to KBB will be to showcase brand new and existing products across its Encore solid surface, Omega and Prima laminate, and M-Stone quartz worksurface brands, as well as its strong commitment to retailers with installer training, POS and 360 customer service.
In this week’s issue is a report on how WaterAid is stepping up its advocacy on behalf of the 2.5 billion people across the globe that don’t have a toilet. It’s when we think about statements like that – two fifths of the world’s population having to get by without a toilet – that we realise just how lucky we are in the developed world.
But while the vast majority of us in the UK have toilets in our homes and workplaces, the number of facilities available for us to use outside these havens, is dwindling rapidly. If it continues the way it is for much longer, many of us will one day become elderly people who are confined to our homes, afraid to be ‘caught short’ away from home and perhaps miles away from a decent washroom.
Fighting hard to bring attention to the need to keep the nation’s washrooms open, clean and well-stocked, are Mike Bone of the Loo of the Year Awards and the team from the British Toilet Association. If you’re not familiar with the Awards, they’re open to any ‘away from home’ washroom, (yes – anywhere you can think of, from high end hotel, club, bar or restaurant to visitor attractions, shopping malls and motorway service centres) and the publicity everyone involved receives – whether as winners, finalists, or sponsors - is far reaching.
Although I’ve always attended the Awards in my capacity as an editor in the cleaning industry, the connection between public washrooms and the KBB industry has not escaped me. I’ve judged entries in the past and it’s your hardware I’ve been examining and the architects, designers, builders and specialist tradespeople from this industry – and no doubt some of the retailers - who’ve put them in there. We stand for many of the same things… ensuring that we as human beings have access to good washroom facilities and thus be clean and comfortable – and our growing need to conserve water, are two that immediately spring to mind.
Mike’s eager to sign up some new sponsors for 2014 and beyond. Why not consider supporting a very worthwhile cause while benefiting from the global publicity this awards programme inevitably brings to all those involved? You can contact Mike via:
This Week's News
As the world marks the 80th birthday of Gross Domestic Product, a new Worldwatch Institute report examines its inadequacy as the sole metric for prosperity.
In 2012, Gross World Product increased to just over $83 trillion, a 4.85% increase over 2011. On the surface, this metric supports the argument that the worst of the global recession is in the past; however, the economy continues a pattern of slowing growth rates since 2010 and 2011, when GWP grew 6.35% and 5.67%, respectively. Moreover, closer inspection shows that growth is taking place mostly in emerging economies: the GDP of emerging economies is now roughly equal to that of all the advanced economies, write Worldwatch researchers in the Institute's latest Vital Signs Online trend.
Feature walls have been a real favourite with consumers over the past few years with wallpapers and tiles being used creatively in the home to give real impact to walls. British Ceramic Tile's new Statement collection taps into this trend offering a new range of ceramic tiles that will instantly create a striking feature wall.
Available in black, white, cream and grey, the range features plain field tiles as well as a coordinating decor tile with classic damask pattern finished with a metallic lustre for added wow factor.
As David Cameron puts emphasis on the value of apprenticeships in bridging the skills gap to get young people into their first jobs, Better Bathrooms is launching an apprenticeship scheme aimed at local young people. The scheme will run across the business with opportunities in Accounts, IT, Design and Administration.
Apprenticeships will last for 12 - 18 months with a view to securing full time employment at the end. The aim is to engage with young people who are more practically minded and want to build up a skillset that is not available through the academic curriculum. Participants will attend college part time, studying a related subject, but will also work in the Better Bathrooms office part time gaining practical, hands-on experience through a bespoke training programme.
Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is continuing to plague employees across a wide range of industries, who regularly use vibrating equipment for long periods, despite there being plenty of precautions to reduce the risks according to workplace equipment supplier Slingsby.
HAVS, which is also known as Vibration White Finger or dead finger, is usually a permanent condition that is caused by the extended use of hand-held or hand-guided equipment. Symptoms can include poor circulation which can result in the fingers turning white, a tingling sensation and numbness.
Following the infamous collaboration between award-winning appliance manufacturer Smeg, Italian car manufacturer Fiat and prestigious designers Italia Independent, the SMEG500 refrigerator is now available to the UK market in a vibrant red shade in addition to green and white.
The iconic SMEG500 embraces the recognisable aesthetics of the Fiat 500 and makes a bold statement in any interior, from design-led kitchens to fashionable bars, particularly when the headlights are switched on for dramatic effect.
Clever and well designed interior storage solutions are now getting the attention they deserve. Whether it's down to the rise of concealed kitchens and integrated living spaces, or a desire for a sense of control over the clutter and busyness of everyday life, storage solutions have never been so popular.
WaterAid has this week announced a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that puts the global sanitation crisis at the forefront of advocacy efforts aimed at improving the lives of millions of people living without toilets or sanitation in Ghana, India and Senegal.
The $2 million grant comes at a time when support for the sanitation crisis is critical: nearly two fifths of the world's population do not have access to a toilet.
Exhibiting alongside sister company Franke UK for the first time at KBB, Carron Phoenix will be demonstrating its credentials as a brand synonymous with exceptional quality and value for its target mid to lower end of the market.
A key focus will be on Carron's highly popular Value Packs which have been updated to offer an even wider product choice and even better value with prices being pegged at 2013 levels to protect retailer margins.
The fundraising campaign will see four runners from the bathroom accessories specialist competing in the Brighton Marathon on 6th April 2014 - with part of their training taking place at KBB Birmingham, in the form of a treadmill challenge.
The Zanussi ZTH485 tumble dryer has been awarded the prestigious Which? Best Buy status after extensive testing with an overall test score of 66%.
Laura undertook some work experience at Roman during her last year at University. After studying German and Business Studies in Leeds, she went on to work at the Bathroom Manufacturers Association in Stoke-on-Trent. Laura was involved in various roles within the association, which included marketing, PR and training.
Renowned tile manufacturer and distributor, British Ceramic Tile, has teamed up with independent charity Empty Homes, to breathe new life into uninhabitable houses throughout the UK.
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A brand new, £8m initiative, designed to re-invigorate UK high streets, has been announced by Science & Universities Minister, David Willetts, today.
Towns and city centres have until Friday 31st January to apply for the Revive & Thrive Challenge which aims to bring people and businesses together to breathe new life into their high street.
More than 200 premier brands will be setting up home at the NEC Birmingham, from 2nd – 5th March, to show off their wares at the industry’s eagerly-anticipated event - kbb Birmingham 2014.
The show’s organiser, UBM Live Built Environment, promises that a multitude of key brands from the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom arena will be joining a whole host of well-established international, component and appliance companies such as Laufen, Blum, Sensio and British Ceramic Tiles – and that the line up will include many familiar favourites, plus new brands to the show, such as Samat, Terrence Ball Kitchens and RotPunkt Kitchens. There will also be a packed seminar programme, which is being sponsored by Formica.
More in Store is the big business message on the Franke stand at KBB, where the company is re-affirming its support for its specialist showroom retailers with a major campaign initiative, together with a strong new product line-up.
The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association tells us that, having analysed the results of its recent research project, it is going to work towards repositioning itself in order to develop consumer interest and awareness. This will include new messaging and a new value proposition for both consumers and current / potential members.
More in Store is the major new campaign being launched by Franke on January 1st and continues Franke's strategy to directly support its independent specialist retailers.
The campaign follows on from the recent introduction of new sales and distribution policies designed to uphold the values of the Franke brand and protect retailers from unregulated internet trading by 'market free-riders.'