KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
7th January 2011
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In an era where hobs are aplenty but often indistinguishable in terms of design and performance, the importance of staying one step ahead is paramount as budgets are being continually squeezed.
The Hydroslide system accommodates the option of floor to near ceiling glass panels with a sliding door. Bottom fixed glass attachments and handles can be ordered separately.
Welcome to the
John and I hope that 2011 has got off to a good start for you and that it proves to be a healthy, happy and prosperous year for us all.
The weather has created something of a difficult start for all of us and our thoughts are with those having to cope with the heavy flooding in Queensland. Floodwater invading your home and place of work is an ordeal at the best of times but the threat of encountering an angry snake or a hungry saltwater crocodile in the water, takes it to another level, doesn't it?
On the positive side, the catastrophe will provide a great boost for the KBB industry over there once the floodwaters have receded and the complicated cleaning up and drying out processes have been completed!
Closer to home, I am pleased that the Government has recognised the need to promote UK manufacturing with the unveiling of its proposals for a £200 million network of Technology and Innovation Centres (see 'This Week's News', below). I've been regularly amazed by some of the innovations I've discovered during my two years in the KBB industry but am sure that there is still more to come, so am hoping to see some familiar names becoming involved.
In other news just in, business advisory firm Deloitte (www.deloitte.co.uk) reports that company administrations declined by 35% in 2010 - from 3,188 in 2009 to 2,086 - and that the property and construction sector accounts for one in five of those administrations.
The last quarter of 2010 saw a decline of 6% on the previous quarter, with a total of 438 companies falling into administration compared with 467 in Q310.
Of course while statistics may have improved, the reality is that many companies are still in a precarious position. A large number of these have been able to stay afloat because of low interest rates, a lenient approach by lenders and HMRC's favourable 'Time to Pay' scheme. Deloitte believes that the rapidly changing economic environment will no longer make this sustainable.
The property and construction sector bore the brunt of the economic downturn in 2010, with 453 companies going insolvent. However, this is a significant decline of 34% from 2009 when 683 companies in this sector went into administration.
"Risk of insolvency plays a big part in the property and construction industry because of its heavy reliance on supply chain relationships. Whilst many of the smaller property and construction firms would have been affected in 2008 during the early stages of the downturn, the sector still remains the largest to be hit by the market slow down, accounting for one in five administrations in 2010," say the researchers.
The retail industry showed healthy signs of resurgence in 2010 with a 43% decline in administrations from 165 compared to 290 in 2009.
Whilst these figures will no doubt encourage those in the retail sector, we will undoubtedly see a growing number struggle to cope over the coming months as they buckle under the pressure of Government spending cuts and the increase in VAT and fuel costs which will see consumers cut back on spending in an attempt to make ends meet.
This Week's News
The US National Kitchen & Bath Association has announced the election results for the 2011 NKBA Executive Committee, which will be led by 2011 President David Alderman, CMKBD of Chesapeake, Virginia. The 2010 Vice President Alan Zielinski, CKD of Niles, Illinois will become President-Elect, while 2010 NKBA Secretary John Morgan of Glyndon, Maryland has been elected Vice President. Mark L. Karas, CMKBD will serve as Immediate Past President.
The two newest members of the Executive Committee are Carolyn Cheetham, CMKBD of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, who has been elected 2011 Secretary, while John Petrie, CMKBD of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania has been elected Treasurer.
Sponsored by Essential Kitchen & Bathroom Business Magazine and hosted by Ulrika Jonsson, with special guests BBC newsreader Nicholas Owen and Radio Two DJ Ricky Salmon, BCG greeted 150 guests to enjoy a glitzy Hollywood themed dinner, Big Tour awards ceremony and Action for Children charity auction.
UK Intellectual Property Minister Baroness Wilcox has welcomed new arrangements for filing patents in Europe which will cut costs for businesses.
From now, applicants will have to supply the European Patent Office with fewer documents than before, which will save companies money on the fees they pay agents for making the application.
The 1000 and 1100mm Stoves Sterling models have been reconfigured to offer even more cooking capacity with the addition of a separate grill.
Yesterday the Government invited organisations to register their interest in forming a technology and innovation centre focused on the area of high value manufacturing.
The centre will be the first of an elite national network of centres, to be established and overseen by the Technology Strategy Board, that will work in partnership with universities and businesses to help commercialise the results of research in specific technology areas where there are potential multi-billion pound global markets.
Demonstrating its versatility for the bathroom, Bushboard's Nuance range has been used in a pilot project at a McCarthy & Stone development in Inverness to superb effect. The Nuance laminate panels were used in the creation of a level access wetroom, underlining the product's unique advantage of being what is thought to be the only laminate product on the market able to do so and guarantee to be 100% waterproof without unsightly extrusions.
The scheme was designed by Lisa McMyn, managing director of Ruby Slippers. The company focuses on home enhancements for independent living and specialises in helping the ageing population enjoy living at home for as long as possible, providing a one-stop-service from initial planning and design through to the installation of bathrooms, kitchens, stai
Electrolux Design Lab 2011 invites industrial design students and recent graduates of industrial design to compete for a six-month paid internship and prize money by submitting ideas that consider intelligent mobility within home appliances. The brief specifically seeks solutions that address how people prepare food, clean and do dishes both within and beyond the home.
"Now in its ninth year, Electrolux Design Lab allows young designers to test themselves and gain valuable insight in to the world of commercial product design," says Henrik Otto, SVP of Global Design at Electrolux. "In particular, the 2011 brief seeks design concepts that will inspire users whilst utilising existing technology to offer support and guidance.
Bringing a huge amount of relevant experience and knowledge from a background in sales, Tracey will be responsible for retailers in the area, looking after the main distribution partners and building strategic relationships with key kitchen furniture retailers, in order to enhance Liebherr's reputation in this channel.
"I am really pleased to be joining such a well respected brand and I am looking forward to developing the area and increasing business," promises Tracey. "It's an exciting time for the Liebherr brand, with lots of technological innovations in the pipeline."
T: 08444 122 655
A new brochure, focusing entirely on Blanco's extensive range of taps, is being launched this month by Blanco UK. As well as the stylish chrome and brushed steel taps for which the company is well known, the brochure also includes the latest selection of the coloured styles which are currently capturing the consumer imagination.
With up to 10 coloured finishes available, the taps offer new design options in the kitchen, to complement (or contrast with) Blanco's extensive range of Silgranit Puradur II sinks, as well as the latest range of ceramic sinks.
Tile Depot, the independent tile and stone retailer with 15 stores in London and the South East, has held the cost of home improvements with 2011 tiles and tiling products at 2010 pre-VAT hike prices until the end of its Winter sale.
Tile Depot will pay the additional VAT on everything sold throughout January and until the end of its sale so customers make double savings, bagging an extra bargain when purchasing sale items with up to 50% off a large selection of ceramic and porcelain tiles as well as trims and tiling tools.
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News in Brief
Two KBB-related shows take place this month. On 12th and 13th at London's Design Centre, The ARC Show will feature more than 100 lighting suppliers (www.thearcshow.com). From 23rd - 26th, Birmingham's NEC will showcase the latest offerings from furniture and accessories manufacturers at Interiors 2011. (www.interiorsbirmingham.com)
Burbidge's Alto contemporary kitchen range is now available in Textured Cream. T: 024 7667 1600.
PJH Group is featuring Merlyn showering products for the first time, adding the new look 'Vivid' enclosure range to its Bathroom Collection. E: info@pjhgroup
Gorenje has added an elegant white induction hob to its Karim Rashid collection. T: 0208 247 3980.
Keith McLoughlin, formerly responsible for Electrolux Major Appliances' R&D, Manufacturing & Purchasing, has been appointed President and CEO of Electrolux. www.electrolux.co.uk
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2011 will see a surge in minimalist and luxury kitchen styles, according to solid surface distributor Staron UK.
With up to 20cm of additional snow forecast in parts of the UK today and the immediate weather outlook offering little respite, employers across the country are increasingly having to cope with a reduced workforce as staff struggle to get to work. The Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development's (CIPD) employee relations adviser, Mike Emmott, advises employers to be flexible with employees during bouts of adverse weather: