KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
17th October 2014
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Life’s getting interesting, isn’t it? The inflation rate in the UK and the Eurozone is at its lowest level for five years and in the UK, we’ve just recorded the largest annual fall in unemployment on record, since such records began in 1972. A survey just published by the British Retail Consortium reports that sales are at their weakest level in six years, yet a new study by the Federation of Master Builders claims that almost a third of UK homeowners are set to spend £6 billion between them on property upgrades over the next three years.
I wonder, perhaps, whether we’re staying away from the shops because we’re saving so hard to pay for these forthcoming upgrades?
With almost 40% of those planning to improve their homes, saying they will be major refurbishments such as new kitchens, bathrooms and extensions, this bodes very well for the KBB industry indeed, so I hope that everyone sticks to their plans.
The study, which you can learn more about below, also shows that when it comes to choosing a builder, one in four homeowners feel out of their depth. Don’t I just know about that! I now go through several websites making a shortlist - and whatever industry associations those on it are members of, if they’ve not got a good number of excellent reviews on CheckaTrade and the like, with a score of almost a perfect 10 and the price charged the same as the estimate given, I don’t bother to contact them. I’ve come unstuck too many times to be slaphappy in my choice.
Apparently, most people choose their builder on personal recommendations. I’ve come unstuck this way too, as of course a builder performing well on just one job, isn’t necessarily going to come up trumps every time, is he (or she)? And of course we all have different expectations (in my case, builders knowing what they’re doing is one of them!) ‘Safety in numbers’ has become my mantra and it’s paying off, although it does mean I have to wait longer to have the work done, as those I want to do it, seem to take more holidays than most! I suppose that figures though…
This Week's News
Nearly a third of UK home owners are looking to carry out work on their home in the next three years, with up to £6BN in projected works planned annually, according to a new study from the Federation of Master Builders.
Encouragingly, almost 40% of these are set to be major refurbishments, including new kitchens, new bathrooms and home extensions, while smaller works such as loft conversions and conservatories account for 38%. More than one in five home owners (22%) cited that the primary reason for their home improvements is being unable to buy a new home, and thus feeling compelled to upgrade their current space.
With an olde worlde charm and sophisticated elegance, Retro Nouveau inspires creativity in the classically styled bathroom, with a range of washbasin and sanitaryware options, co-ordinating brassware in a depth of finishes, luxurious bath tubs and stylish accessories.
Commenting on yesterday's report from the Federation of Master Builders, which revealed that nearly a third of UK homeowners are set to spend £6 billion on property upgrades in the next three years, Andrew Livingston, CEO of Screwfix, said:
"Our insight from tradesmen echoes today's research by the Federation of Master Builders into the amount of work homeowners are planning to carry out on their home over the next three years.
Geberit has introduced a new addition to its best-selling Monolith sanitary module, with the Geberit Monolith Plus. Featuring the same sleek, elegant glass frontage as the original model, this latest addition not only conceals all plumbing worn neatly out of sight, but also integrates a wealth of technology to raise the comfort levels in the contemporary bathroom.
Available in a choice of white or black glass, the elegant sanitary module has a discreet and indirect ComfortLight, providing a warm glow behind the module, which is automatically activated as the user approaches. This makes it perfect for when using the bathroom at night, or for creating a calming ambience at bath-time.
Encompassing a complete bathroom portfolio including sanitaryware, baths, bath and shower screens, towel warmers and accessories, Ben de Lisi's organically-designed collection will allow the designer to create the perfect room; while liaising with only one supplier.
The Bathroom Manufacturers Association tells us it is thrilled to reveal its new logo and new visual branding, which together with the recently launched new website, highlight the strategic focus to set new standards as a leading light in the bathroom industry.
"The release of the new logo and visual brand is a significant milestone and marks the start of a new era for the BMA, as it demonstrates our vision and ambition for the future," says Yvonne Orgill, chief executive.
"We are proud to be a British manufacturer investing heavily in new product development, new equipment and also recruiting additional staff," says Ian Hall, joint managing director. "This latest launch demonstrates yet again that furniture design is our forte and we look forward to driving the sector with these exciting new products."
Sanitec enjoyed net sales of EUR 702 million in 2013 with an earnings before interest and taxes margin of 9.7%. The company has 6,200 employees worldwide, 18 production facilities and 24 sales units in Europe. Best known in the UK for Twyford, it practices a multi-brand strategy with 14 leading brands operating in Europe on a local basis.
Triton's T80Z Fast-Fit has continued to hold its own as the original and best replacement electric shower on the market. Providing installers with the ideal unit for shower replacements, the T80Z Fast-Fit has become Triton's best-selling product thanks to its array of retro fit credentials.
Triton's T80 range was first launched in 1978 and has been developed ever since to remain the number one for shower replacements.
Wirquin has launched a new pocket guide for customers to quickly identify the innovative products they need on the job.
Franke has introduced two new Maris tap styles to complement its popular Maris sinks range, making it easy for retailers to offer an integrated sink and tap combination that simplifies decision-making for the consumer.
The Maris offers the popular U-shaped spout design that works with so many kitchen styles, and features a striking cylindrical body with upright paddle levers. Finished in sparkling chrome or sleek silksteel, the tap measures 319mm in height, has a spout reach of 197mm, and a slim overall width of 120mm.
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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has said that this year's AGM, National Meeting and Networking Dinner were their most successful since the start of the recession. Attended by over 40 retailers and almost 30 corporates, the event attracted almost 120 delegates.
The now traditional Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association Supplier Awards were announced at the 2014 KBB Review Kitchen Conference this week, and again, KBSA members voted for those suppliers that they thought had excelled in their service to them in 2013/14.
New research conducted by an online bathroom retailer in the UK has revealed the top desirable wish list bathroom features which create the most luxurious bathroom environments.
Almost a quarter (24%) of UK based businesses believe that their marketing isn't performing as it should be, with a third of these (33%) complaining that the difficulty of making an impact with the advertising they do, is the biggest barrier to success.