KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
11th February 2011


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Please note that you are viewing an archived issue of The KBzine.

International News

LDL expands nationwide presence with new Scottish office

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LDL, the nationwide distributor of quality furniture fittings, has joined forces with AH Distributors of Cumbernauld to form LDL (Scotland). Designed to consolidate and strengthen LDL's presence in Scotland, the office and showroom will be run by Lloyd Connachan, founding director of AH Distributors.

Maytag adds to iconic refrigeration range

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Top quality manufacturer Maytag has added to its iconic and highly distinctive range of refrigeration appliances with the launch of a new stainless steel MNN20FCSl7 side-by-side fridge freezer.

World Plumbing Day 2011 to see increased industry activity

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It looks likely that the second World Plumbing Day - on Friday 1th March 2011,will see even more industry activity than on the first Day in 2010.

Grohe grows

In the first nine months of 2010, Grohe has posted further strong growth in terms of both sales and earnings.

Bauformat scores Top 10 position in Markt Intern 2010/2011

German kitchen and bathroom manufacturer Bauformat, hit the Top 10 on several counts in Markt Intern 2010/2011 - the independent survey of German kitchen manufacturers, which is carried out every two years. Even better, it won in the 'Best Representation' category.

Its results were:

No.1 - Representation
No.3 - after-sales service
No.8 - Promotion and Sales Support
No.10 - Product Design

T: +44 1922 698000
F: +44 1922 698001
E: sales@bauformat.co.uk
W: www.bauformat.co.uk

Going Global in a Day

Whether you are an experienced exporter or considering trading overseas for the first time, research the world in a day by attending this valuable seminar, being held on Thursday 17th February, from 09:30 - 17:00, at the Copthorne Hotel, Slough-Windsor.

Brabantia kicks-off 2011 with new on-line design competition

Following the success of its 'Iron In Style' competition two years ago, Brabantia is to run the event again in the UK, Belgium, The Netherlands and France. The previous competition was a huge hit, attracting some 1,100 entries, and the company is keen to repeat that success.

The house that Ray built - in Romania!

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Ray Isted, Head of Training at Whirlpool UK, recently volunteered to build a house in Romania!

KBA announces newest KBB industry Hall of Fame member

The US National Kitchen & Bath Association has announced the 2011 inductee into the Kitchen & Bath Industry Hall of Fame, which honours individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the industry. The inductee, Surjit Kalsi, is Chairman of Capital Cooking Equipment and is considered one of the foremost experts in cooking range design and manufacturing.

Welcome to the



In 2008/09, only 9% of all households in England (2.0 million) had moved to their current homes within the previous 12 months - the lowest number since records began in 1994/95, according to the latest chapter of Social Trends, published this week by the Office for National Statistics.

Between 2007 and 2008 the number of property sales over £40,000 in the UK fell by 44% from 1.6 million to 900,000 due to the recession. The picture was similar across the English regions and Wales with property transactions falling by between 42% and 48%. The number of transactions in Scotland fell by less (33%), while in Northern Ireland they fell by more (61%).

In 2009 the average price paid for a dwelling in the UK was £194,235, down 8.1% on 2008. Changes in the average price paid for a dwelling over the same period varied very little between England and Wales, at 8.4 and 8.2% respectively. However, Scotland saw a smaller decrease (2.6%), while Northern Ireland a much larger one (15.7%).

British Bankers' Association figures show that in the last 12 years the number of loans approved for house purchase peaked in March 2002 at 92,912. The number of loans approved in July 2007, the month before the credit freeze began was 62,363. However, approvals fell rapidly to reach a low of 17,421 in November 2008.

The average value of mortgages for house purchase peaked in June 2007 in the UK at £159,600 before decreasing to a low of £116,100 in December 2008.

The number of repossessions reached its peak in 1991 when 75,500 properties were repossessed. Repossessions then fell to reach a low in 2004 of 8,200. Since 2004 repossessions have increased nearly six-fold to 47,900 in 2009.

Despite the increases in repossessions, a Flash Eurobarometer report in 2010 found that 57% of UK adults felt that there was no risk at all of falling behind with either rent or mortgage payments, while 37% felt that there was either a low or moderate risk and just 6% a high risk.

It's a shame that these figures are not more up-to-date as although they're the latest available, things have moved on since then.However, one advantage of this is that the KBB industry will have recorded its own trends. What I'd like to know is, the effect trends such as these recorded here, have on people ordering new kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms...

When people move into a new home, do they automatically covet a new bathroom or kitchen, because, for example, the one they've inherited has been used by someone else and as a result, will never feel quite clean enough? Or if whatever they've inherited is in decent condition and suits their tastes, are they happy to live with it?
Are kitchens and bathrooms in repossessed homes in such a state of disrepair that they simply have to be replaced (or indeed have they been ripped out and sold on the second hand market by the soon-to-be-repossessed)?
Are vendors of properties being persuaded by their estate agents that they need to replace their current kitchens and bathrooms if they want to secure a quick sale? Or are they being told that the new buyer would prefer to "put their own stamp" on the property?

With more people now needing to rent their homes as they're unable to secure a mortgage, are landlords fitting new kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms with a view to attracting a better type of tenant, or are they sticking with what they already have, knowing that there's such a shortage of rental properties on the market that the tenants will be fighting over what's available, whatever state it's in?
Is the fact that interest rates have remained low for so long, encouraging householders to refurbish their homes or are they using the extra cash to repay their mortgages early?

Do KBB manufacturers, retailers and fitters ever ask why customers are buying these items... not just why they're buying the particular range they've chosen, but why they're buying at all?

If you have the answers to any of these questions, or even an opinion on them, I'd love to hear from you. For surely, if the various trends just highlighted by the ONS do actually impact on our industry, it would be worthwhile paying greater attention to them... 




Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Extraction on demand

Premium Italian cooker hood producer Falmec has introduced Plane On Demand, the new customisable extractor based on its popular Plane model.

Manufactured in high grade 304 stainless steel, Plane on Demand has a high performance internal 800m3/h motor, removable and washable grease filters and is suitable for ducted or recirculating installation. The soft-touch electronic controls are lit by a delicate blue backlight and functional halogen lighting with Falmec's 'easy open' light fittings illuminate the cooktop.

The latest in steam cuisine

* Baumatic-BCS460SS.jpgOffering a healthy, convenient alternative to conventional cooking methods, appliance manufacturer Baumatic has launched a new compact steam combi oven into its popular Premium-Line collection.

Steam ovens are ideal for healthy cooking, as no nutrients are lost during the cooking process and no extra fat needs to be added. The texture, colour and shape of the food is also retained, unlike in a conventional oven. What's more, there is no transfer of flavours or odours between foods, so sweet and savoury dishes can be cooked together without any adverse effects on the food.

Gorenje joins Hollywood star in raising money for charity

* Kevin-Costner.jpgGorenje, the Slovenian manufacturer famed for its creative and innovative appliances, joined Hollywood star Kevin Costner in raising money for a good cause at a 'Diners Club of Slovenia' event.

Actor, director and winner of two Academy Awards, Kevin Costner, and his country rock band 'Modern West', played for an audience of more than 1,200 guests at a black tie dinner in Slovenia. The Diners Club of Slovenia event also included a charity auction of three Gorenje Crystallized Swarovski Elements fridge freezers, a pair of special edition Elan skis and Kevin Costner's autographed guitar.

EQ announces Betta Living deal

Formed in 1966, Betta Living has enjoyed astonishing growth in recent years with 2010 seeing a sales increase of 46% and employees topping the 300 mark. Further expansion plans include new machinery to manufacture more products, plus the opening of a 20th showroom.

Key to the organisation's sustained growth is the announcement that it will be introducing EQ's KBB market business management software into 25 sites. Well over 100 staff will use the system - predominantly in the marketing, installation and aftercare departments.

Russia warms to steam free mirrors

* Demista.jpgClaimed to be Russia's largest manufacturer of bathroom furniture, Aquaton, has warmed to demista heated mirror pads for its fitted vanity units. Ruth and David Perl of R & D Marketing (demista ) met the Aquaton management at the Mosbuild trade show in Moscow in 2008. "They showed tremendous interest in our products," reports David.

Since then, orders from Aquaton have increased steadily and so far over 18,500 demista pads have been delivered to the Aquaton manufacturing plant in the Moscow region. The heated mirror pads keep the mirror free of condensation however steamy the bathroom. Aquaton fits them behind the mirrors of its extensive range of fitted bathroom furniture. Various demista sizes are being supplied.

Australians spend record sums on kitchens and bathrooms

Australians are demanding more luxurious kitchens and bathrooms, with a report from the Housing Industry Association predicting the value of K&B installations and renovations will hit a record $12.3 billion by 2011/12.

The HIA Kitchens & Bathrooms Report highlights the amount of money Australians spend each year on new and renovated kitchens and bathrooms and the state of industry activity.

Chalon awarded furniture Manufacturing Guild Mark for excellence

* guild_logo_lrg.jpgChalon UK has been awarded the prestigious Manufacturing Guild Mark, awarded by the City livery company, the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers, to only to the very best of British furniture manufacturers.

Launched in 1994 and now celebrating its 16th year, the MGM is specifically aimed at British volume manufacturing firms committed to design and innovation, the highest standards of production/craftsmanship, impeccable customer service and training.

'Small Cooking Appliances' market reports now available

Market Publishers informs us that new Euromonitor International reports, on small cooking appliances markets in various countries, are available in its catalogue.

Each report offers a comprehensive guide to the size and shape of the market at a national level. It provides the latest retail sales data (2005-2009), allowing users to identify the sectors driving growth. It identifies the leading companies, the leading brands and offers a strategic analysis of key factors influencing the market - be they legislative, distribution or pricing issues. Forecasts to 2014 illustrate how the market is set to change.

VADO donates £1000 to BIBIC

* Vado-cheque.jpgBrassware manufacturer Vado has just donated £1000 to the British Institute for Brain Injured Children. For the last few years VADO, like many other companies, has decided against sending Christmas cards to customers, staff and suppliers and instead donated the equivalent cost of the cards and postage to a worthwhile cause.

The KBzine Archive Search

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News in Brief
Ideal Standard has just announced its new brand strategy for 2011 and has unveiled a host of new bathroom products. Watch this space...
Kitchen designers and installers can benefit from a free course being held on 24th February at Rehau's specialist training academy in Ross on Wye, on the application and installation of Rehau's roller shutter systems. E: Roshni.Patel@rehau.com
Douglas Delabie has extended its Securitherm range with new thermostatic basin and sink mixers, which offer up to 50% water savings without compromising on fill time. T: 01491 824449
Dutch built-in kitchen appliance manufacturer Atag, has launched a Winter Sale promotion, offering 10% off every order of four or more products and a free five-year parts & labour guarantee, until 31st March. T: 0208 247 3993
Michele Rockett, previously of Cifial and Aqualisa, has replaced Martin Voisy as Vado's Area Sales Manager for the South West. Martin has been promoted to National Account Manager. E: sales@vado-uk.com
How to contact us at The KBzine:
Jan Hobbs
Publishing Editor
Tel: +44 (0)1372 811 307 
Mobile: 07980 288 373

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John Austen
Publishing Director
Tel: +44 (0)1580 755 863
Mobile: 07766 707 888
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