KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
28th April 2011
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An Irish Small Firms Association delegation met Minister Richard Bruton, TD, yesterday, to discuss its jobs and small business proposals. It was an important meeting as the small business sector currently employs half the private sector workforce, some 700,000 people.
The EU-27 and 19 other European countries are preparing to launch intergovernmental talks that are expected to result in a legally-binding agreement on sustainable use of forests in 2013. In parallel, the European Commission is kicking off talks to revamp its forest policy. An agreement to open negotiations is expected to be reached by the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, which will take place in Oslo, Norway, from 14th - 16th June.
Welcome to the
What a busy time Springtime is in this industry! Amongst the many bank holidays, we have Grand Designs Live opening its doors on Saturday and running through to the afternoon of Sunday 8th May (at London's ExCel), quickly followed at the same venue by KBB London (15th - 17th May).
But of course no-one's really going to be concentrating on the shows until we've got the Royal Wedding out the way... If you're joining in the celebrations have fun and stay safe!
I'm wondering when the first press release is going to arrive in my inbox, from some lucky PR whose client has been clever enough to supply some appliance or other to the new Royal kitchen, or has taken an order for a new bedroom or luxury bathroom suite for the newlyweds. What a coup that will be!
And talking of luxury bathrooms, I was treated to a tour of Utopia's new showrooms up in Wolverhampton recently and my goodness, have I got some delights to share with you over the coming weeks!
As they say, watch this space...
This Week's News
A range of bright orange, fluorescent, heavy-duty hose products specifically designed to reduce trip hazards on building sites is being launched by specialist hose manufacturer, Hozelock next month.
The fluorescent Hozelock Maxi Hi-Vis hose stands out brightly on the floor of a construction site, whether in full sun or poor light, so making it less likely that workmen or site visitors will trip over it.
Power-hungry commercial tumble dryers could soon be on their way out with the launch this week of German appliance maker Miele's, commercial grade heat-pump dryers. The heat-pump technology can reduce electricity consumption by up to 60% when compared with a conventional condenser dryer.
This energy saving technology features a closed circuit: hot, moisture-laden air from the dryer is passed through a heat-pump where is it cooled and dehumidified through condensation in a heat exchanger. The air then proceeds through a second heat exchanger, where it is re-heated before it is passed through the drum. The closed air circuit obviates the need for vent ducting, which can reduce the expense of installation.
The OFT's short market study into extended warranties for domestic electrical goods, which will focus on whether competition for warranties is sufficiently effective to ensure consumers get value for money in a market worth well over £750million, is now underway. The results will be published later this Summer.
The study follows an OFT review of aftermarkets for domestic electrical goods which was launched in November 2010. During this review, some parties raised credible concerns that competition is limited by retailers' advantage in being able to sell warranties at the same time as they sell domestic electrical goods. There were also more general concerns that warranties are not good value for money.
In what it believes is a first for UK industry, kitchen appliance manufacturer, Glen Dimplex Home Appliances, has launched a new service brand to make the company's UK-based maintenance, repair and customer care operation available to businesses seeking an outsourced service solution for their appliances and heating products.
The newly created Home Appliance Care, led by Customer Care Director, Paula Hodkinson, will continue to look after all of the company's existing in-house brands such as Stoves, Belling and Lec, while simultaneously enabling third parties to also tap into GDHA's award winning service.
One of the West County's best established kitchen retailers, Bradbury's, based in Exeter, has become an appointed Stoneham distributor and enjoyed almost immediate success with an important order.
Bradbury's has been selling kitchens for over 12 years and has an expansive showroom with over 20 room sets.
Following the highly successful launch of high-end brand Cosmic at KBB 2010, the Roca Group has implemented a new UK Account Management and Customer Service team to support the brand going forward and is offering special terms for retailers looking to enhance their showrooms by displaying this top-of-the-range Spanish brand.
The Cosmic brand represents the very pinnacle of luxury in the bathroom industry, adding to the Roca Group's existing duo of quality brands also available in the UK: Roca and Laufen. Cosmic offers high-end retailers the opportunity to access this quality brand, which is now backed up by a UK-based Customer Service team and to ensure speedy delivery selected products in the Cosmic range are also available in stock for delivery from the company's UK warehouse.
About 50,000 plumbers, gas fitters and heating engineers will start receiving letters this month from HM Revenue & Customs,alerting them to the chance to take advantage of a special time-limited tax plan to put right any gaps that might exist in their tax affairs.
The letter will explain that, once the opportunity expires, the tax authorities will begin a clampdown on those working in the sector who have failed to declare earnings and pay the tax they owe.
The Zanussi ZWJ14591W provides what the manufacturer says is the cleanest, most economical and efficient performance possible by automatically adjusting water consumption, energy and cycle time to suit the laundry load size. So no matter how big or small the wash load is, you can be sure precious water, energy and time will not be wasted and an A wash performance will be ensured.
Red Dot has honoured Amica of Poland with an Honourable Mention for the company's Integra (Platinum in the UK) range of built-in ovens. The line-up includes features like the innovative I-Cook timer and programmer that was designed specifically to mimic the smartphone icon technology, making it easy and familiar to use for all consumers ...Similarly the innovative Aqualytic cleaning system which uses a small amount of water to clean itself instead of costly pyrolytic function...
Both these groundbreaking features were specifically mentioned and appear on UK Platinum models, Aqualytic cleaning and the I-COOK TFT screen is on the 1143.4TfYX oven and also on the Amica Combi-steam oven the 1143.4TpYX.
Nearly 30% larger than Hoover's standard size ovens, the super-size, 75-litre unit Prodige offers all the space and power of a professional model but on some models comes complete with a novel dividing system that can be adjusted to suit different cooking requirements.
By inserting a simple shelf, cooks can split the Prodige model into up to two distinct 'flexi cooking zones', both of which have independent temperature control.
Palmer Timber was set up in 1916 and provides hardwood and softwood timber and wood-based panel products to a variety of industries - including the KBB industry.
A Bradford builder has been jailed for trying to cut costs by doing his own gas and electric installation in a granny flat he was building.
John Howe was taking so long finishing the construction the owner called in another builder who advised him that power connections in the flat may be dangerous.
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News in Brief
Burbidge's 'Malmö' contemporary handle-less kitchen, now includes curved doors with the option of double concave or wide curves and curved back panels. E: firstname.lastname@example.org
The SP455 has been added to Aqata's popular Spectra frameless collection, designed for minimal and wetroom style shower spaces. E: email@example.com
Douglas-Delabie says its new Temposoft 2 washbasin taps and mixers can save approximately 84% of water compared with a traditional basin tap. T: 01491 824 449
Laufen's compact sanitaryware and furniture collection 'Mimo', has been given a fresh look and is packed with new innovations and clever features - despite having an even smaller price tag! T: 01530 510007
Tile Depot has marked the opening of its new store in Vale Road, Tonbridge, with some fantastic opening offers for tradespeople. T: 01732 351600
The budget has been welcomed by the KBSA as a pro-business budget that should begin to offer the kind of support that businesses need. www.kbsa.org.uk
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More than 10,000 people a year accidentally throw their passports out with the rubbish, according to new figures released today by the UK's Identity and Passport Service.
A Warrington plumber has been able to return to work despite landing on his neck when he fell through a fragile ceiling tile, close to where a colleague had fallen previously but had managed to excape injury.
The likelihood of small businesses creating jobs to drive economic growth is in jeopardy because fewer believe they will be able to employ new staff in the year ahead, a new survey suggests.
The Low Pay Commission has welcomed the Government's confirmation yesterday that from October 2011 the National Minimum Wage will increase in line with its recommendations.
The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association was inundated with enquiries at the Homebuilding & Renovating Show 2011, making it the busiest ever for its resident expert Alan Stanford.
Circle Living, part of Circle, one of the UK's largest providers of affordable housing, has won a First Time Buyer Award