KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
29th September 2017
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The four sinks have a strong organic design style to them... rounded corners, sumptuous bowls and a stunning ripple-effect practical drainer pattern. These creative features are the backbone to the design which is right 'on trend' with current kitchen design fashion.
Available now, the new Space Tower offers virtually unlimited co-ordination opportunities with the external kitchen design.
I've had an interesting response to last week's leader from my good friend Stephen Munton of the Domestic Cleaners Alliance (you can read it below). It has taken me back through a history of the electrical appliance industry that I hadn't known existed, because of the long break between the end of my freelance writing for the then-IPC/Reed trade publications ERT & lesser known sister publication Electrical &Electronic Trader, and taking the helm of KBzine.
Stephen, who once worked in electrical retailing, talks about changes to the industry, to products and the way electrical retailers worked when in 1998 the Government brought in laws against price fixing, before moving on to the impact made by the Internet and the growth in online shopping.
His words reminded me of a conversation I had with a group of toilet tissue sales managers, who'd faced similar issues in terms of prices being driven down until they were selling at a loss, in the hope that they could make profit on other items that would become part of the order. Quality dropped and some manufacturers found ways to make it look as if there was a great deal more tissue on their rolls than there actually was, such as bigger cores and/or fluffing up with talcum powder. Customers complained and companies went out of business - and not just the companies that were selling sub-standard products but also those that couldn't sustain the practice of selling product in bulk, at a loss.
Eventually though, it dawned on facilities providing a washroom service (stores, motorway service stations, hotels, shopping centres, bars, restaurants, etc) - and also we as consumers, that although we might be getting a cheap deal, we were also getting a product that didn't last long and which certainly didn't do its job properly. We realised that far from saving money by buying cheap, we were actually squandering it.
Stephen makes the point that much of the white goods production that had been based in the UK, now takes place in other countries where costs are lower, to enable manufacturers to supply quality goods at lower prices - something that once again took me back to my days at IPC when I asked a colleague why our magazines were now being printed in Singapore. I had no idea back then, that we'd be reading news online and following computerised recipes displayed on our oven doors...
This Week's News
New from Crosswater, the Zion floor-standing basin unit looks to redefine the concept of bathroom furniture for modern family living. Combining simple yet stunning style with everyday functionality, each aspect of the design has been carefully considered using the latest materials and resilient surface technology to ensure a high-quality furniture collection that will cater to every member of the family.
An optimal choice for bathrooms of most sizes, Zion's slim cabinetry projects into the room by a minimal 37 cm, saving on precious floor space and helping to create a streamlined look. Customers can also choose from three widths, ranging from a compact 60 cm, perfect for downstairs WCs, up to an impressive 120cm unit that is suitable for family bathrooms and larger wash spaces.
Hansgrohe Group is strengthening its management team and increasing its focus on key areas that will fortify sales and sales-related functions - the cornerstones of the company's growth strategy. As of 1st January 2018, the Hansgrohe SE Executive Board will include two members responsible for sales as well as a chief financial officer as of 1 October 2017.
All European sales, including Germany, will now be bundled into one area of management headed by Christophe Gourlan (pictured), who up until now has been vice president sales Europe. Born in France and a graduate in international commerce, he has already spent some 20 years working successfully for the Hansgrohe Group.
Available now, the Vision brings to life the brand's 'born innovative' strapline, with a design that combines a clean, sleek style with powerful technology.
The smallest room in the home can be big on style, with clever solutions and products that are designed with compact spaces in mind. Every bathroom needs good storage, but the smaller the bathroom the more important it becomes. Whether it is a cloakroom, en suite or small bathroom, The Geberit Bathroom Collection offers the perfect solution to maximise on space.
From compact and short-projection ceramics to cleverly designed storage units with intergrated lighting and technology, creating a luxurious and functional space without compromising on style is made easier.
Jan - brilliant article as always. Between March 1997 and February 2002 I was working in a Co-Op electrical showroom and up until that point manufacturers of white goods had always set the lowest possible retail prices - God help any retailer who went below it! In the Autumn of 1998 the government of the time made this practice of "price fixing" (as they called it) unlawful as they felt it went against the basic principles of competition - which of course it did. But what it also did was make sure there was at least some profit in an industry sector where very little profit was being made.
Bringing a well-balanced fusion of 'classic meets modern', the traditional features of this kitchen are defined by Rotpunkt's Pastel Smoke Oak shaker-style cabinetry with one-panel design door and drawer fronts.
Designed to make the installation of built-in bath and shower mixers fast and simple, V-Box from VitrA is the new generation of standard and thermostatic shower solutions. The box can be used with X-Line, Pure, Nest and Suit brassware from VitrA and is the ideal money and time saving choice for both installers and consumers.
The box is just 146mm wide and contains a concealed universal valve that can be used for up to three-way outlets - making the combination of a bath filler, overhead shower and hand shower possible and simple.
Labour will need to work with businesses large and small to deliver its vision of a strong economy, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) says in response to Jeremy Corbyn's speech at the Labour Party Conference.
"Jeremy Corbyn's focus on the importance of investing in training and upskilling is welcome," says Brian Berry, FMB Chief Executive. "Our industry desperately needs more of the construction apprentices Mr Corbyn mentioned in his speech to be the skilled workers of tomorrow. Our members, thousands of small businesses across the UK, are united in wanting to see many more young people being trained to higher skill levels.
Bushboard, now part of the Wilsonart Group, and the UK's leading producer of laminate worksurfaces, is exhibiting at the Kitchens & Bathrooms Live event at the NEC, Birmingham, 10th - 12th October 2017.
Jo Gilhooly, marketing director for Bushboard explains: "Kitchens & Bathrooms Live is running during Grand Design, BUiLD Show and the Surface Materials Show as part of UK Contruction Week. The combination of consumers, specifiers and designers in the arena at the same time offers us a unqiue platform to showcase Nuance as the alternative to bathroom tiling. Nuance is a product that offers stunning design advantages and real savings on installation time, money, and ongoing maintenance."
Members of the Scottish Building Federation (SBF) and the Scottish Decorators' Federation (SDF) have both voted overwhelmingly to reject the Construction Industry Training Board's (CITB) proposals to continue to raise the construction industry training levy.
Since its establishment in 1964, CITB has consulted industry every three years on future arrangements for the Construction Levy. Across the UK, a total of 14 organisations are prescribed to respond to this consultation process based on a consensus of their members' views. SBF and SDF are two of only three wholly Scottish membership bodies to feature on this list of prescribed organisations.
Hotpoint has partnered with Procter & Gamble to offer consumers a free supply of Fairy dishwasher tablets. The promotion is available on the purchase of a selected model from the range of Hotpoint dishwashers and applies to purchases made until 31st December 2017. Consumers will receive a three months' supply of Fairy Platinum dishwasher tablets.
Retailers have access to a raft of point of sale material to support and alert consumers in-store to the promotion, which is available via their Hotpoint account manager.
After 20 years of working with Hamberger Sanitary, Peter Taylor, from Product Management, has retired. Thanks to this collaboration, Hamberger Sanitary, with its brands Haro and Cedo, is now a major player in the UK and Eire markets for quality toilet seats, as well as being known for its reliable service.
A team of 17 based at the brand's HQ in Abingdon took to the waters of the Thames in a grueling race to the finish line, a 250 metre sprint away. A drummer at the front of the boat kept all of the paddle strokes in time to ensure that the team flew through the water!
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GM Distribution of Milton Keynes has joined the Bathroom Manufacturers Association as a new affiliate member. This takes the number of brands which the trade association supports to well over 100 and GMGB's additional wealth of understanding and knowledge of the industry will be much appreciated throughout the BMA.
The first edition of Franke's new flagship thought leadership event 'Think Next by Franke' brought almost 500 guests to the company's headquarters in Aarburg, Switzerland.