KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
22nd October 2010
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Welcome to the
A positive outcome of this week's Comprehensive Spending Review is what Chancellor George Osborne announced is the "largest ever investment in apprenticeships by a government" - the promise of a 50% rise in funding, taking it to some £250 million a year, with the aim of recruiting 75,000 new apprentices by 2014.
I do hope that a large chunk of this funding is going to be earmarked for those wishing to enter the building trades in a way that will make learning a trade more accessible.
Having young daughters I've come across quite a number of their friends who, rather than going to university, have wanted to learn a building trade but have been unable to find a way into the industry.
No wonder this organisation - and others like it - has to advertise so heavily... Perhaps if they charged less for their courses they wouldn't need to advertise so much, as word-of-mouth recommendation would get them all the applicants they need!
I feel that were consumers confident that they would be able to find good, trustworthy, hard-working, honest and competent tradespeople to look after their projects, they would be far more likely to invest in a new kitchen or bathroom. I know from personal experience that the fear of poor workmanship and all the hassle that this involves, is a real deterrent to those wanting to refurbish their homes!
And try finding a good gas fitter at this time of year, who can sort out your heating this week rather than next, without charging an exorbitant sum...
This Week's News
'Kitchen Concepts - Virtual & Reality', the re-opening showroom event at Hettich in Clerkenwell, London, was a hit with the 80 invited guests from the kitchen specialist, architectural and interior design industries who attended.
The theme of the event was the 'Intelligent Kitchen Concept'. Leading German furniture fittings manufacturer Hettich combined a holistic look into the history and future of kitchen design, with live cooking demonstrations, the very latest product innovations and the highly successful Intelligent Kitchens design specification tool.
Figures released yesterday reveal that the net number of homes added to the housing stock in England fell to a record low in 2009-10, down 23% on 2008/9.
Just 128,680 net additional dwellings were provided last year compared with around 167,000 in 2008/9. This figure is even lower than the previous record low of 130,510. Fewer net additional dwellings were supplied in the 2009-10 financial year than in the previous year in every English region. The North West saw the largest annual decrease (38%), followed by the South East (32%).
Calling all UK Kitchen & Bathroom retailers, this one's for you... If ever there was somewhere you needed to be, then this is it!
Leading kitchen, bathroom & heating distributor, BCG, has made sure that this year's Big Tour 2010, the UK's only travelling exhibition to focus on the kitchen & bathroom industry, has something that every one of the retailers attending, will benefit from.
With Big Tour 2010 fast approaching, BCG is taking the opportunity to launch three new brands to its kitchen and bathroom retail customers.
BCG has chosen Big Tour 2010 as the platform to launch three highly recognised and industry respected brands. Baumatic, GE and Jacuzzi will all join BCG's already desirable portfolio and will exhibit their existing, new - and in some cases - exclusive ranges to BCG's retail customers at this year's five Big Tour venues.
Pitacs is delighted to announce that its new Ultraheat Kolon and Sofi radiator designs are 'selling like hot cakes'. In stock since April 2010, these two models from Ultraheat's Premier Range are significant upgrades from standard panel radiators with an appealing design edge and price.
Monthly sales of each style are more than 450 units, with 60% of orders going to plumbers merchants and 40% to Aeon showrooms or kitchen and bathroom studios.
Switching to energy-efficient appliances in your kitchen is a great way to make your personal contribution to reducing greenhouse emissions. So is looking at the way you cook: Using a steam oven greatly reduces cooking time and temperature compared to using a conventional oven, while bringing out tastes and controlling textures like no other cooking method.
Working in the factory as a senior team leader for Burbidge, the Coventry based kitchen manufacturer, Steve often shared his fears with his colleagues and friends.
HiB's Dante design is a good example - a flat, clear glass round showerlight that enhances the shower area. Dante uses a low energy bulb and requires no transformer. The energy needed is a mere 11W but gives the illumination equivalent to a 50W halogen bulb.
The single bowl 105 model offers a roomy single bowl measuring 494mm x 464mm, which is larger than the average sink found in a 1.5 or double bowl option, yet has the advantage of fitting into a slimmer 500mm cabinet. For the user, this gives the enhanced functionality of a spacious bowl for coping with larger items that don't fit in a dishwasher, without losing valuable worksurface area.
The FurnitureFootprinter is already the premier carbon footprint calculator for the furniture industry and has now been updated to deliver improved results with an ultra-user-friendly design. The online tool, with its useful 'drag and drop' capability, allows all parties within the furniture supply chain to generate and compare carbon footprints for their businesses and products quickly and easily.
Calculating, and reducing, your product's carbon footprints can deliver many benefits, such as:
Reacting to these credit crunching times Swiss bathroom manufacturer Laufen has lowered the price on some of its most popular products, making them more attractive than ever to consumers and enabling retailers to extend their profit margins during the months leading up to Christmas.
Two of Laufen's best-selling bathtub ranges are available with up to 30% off selected models for a limited period and there is also a reduction in price in its ever-popular Pro soft-close toilet seat, with the introduction of the Pro X - exactly the same product but sourced from an alternative official Laufen Swiss approved supplier, enabling the cost to be lowered at a very reasonable £65 excluding VAT until December and held at just £85 thereafter.
Hansgrohe, the bathroom and sanitation specialist, has opened a new branch in Brazil. This means that Hansgrohe has now entered the fourth and last of the BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China), consistent with its ongoing internationalisation strategy.
"We estimate that about 50% of Hansgrohe's growth will be contributed by these emerging markets and the so-called 'Next Eleven'," explains Siegfried Gänßlen, CEO of Hansgrohe AG.
Figura is the ultimate in individually designed, joinery-made, hand crafted furniture and bespoke kitchens for your home.
The company looks at each project in isolation and with an open mind, taking each client's ideas and the property as a whole into consideration. It does not provide preconceived ranges of furniture.
The KBSA was situated in the Expert Advice Centre and had an expert on hand to answer any visitors' questions on buying a new kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or home office.
The KBzine Archive Search
We keep an extensive archive of news stories and product information that have featured in past issues of The KBzine. If you would like to run a search of the The KBzine web site using the search tool below please just go ahead by entering in the name of the person, product or company or any other key words that you are looking for.
News in Brief
Crown Imperial has launched a range of painted solid real wood framed, kitchen cupboard doors in three styles and 18 paint colours. T: 01227 742424
From sliding and hinged to walk in, Amode's new Italian-built bedroom furniture features well organised spaces with a wide range of containers and accessories dedicated to specific functions. E: email@example.com
German kitchen specialist Kuetchenhaus will be opening a £1 million, 8000 sq ft flagship showroom in The Trafford Centre's Barton Square, next May. The existing Manchester showroom will relocate to the store, taking its team members with it. 0161 749 4110
Raines & Willow's Oxford White Glass bedroom furniture is a modern design with solid frames surrounded by heat proof and stain resistant white glass. The dramatic sheen reflects light from the high-gloss glass, making a striking statement. E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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