KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
15th July 2011
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As the official British partner of Maison & Objet,The Society of British Interior Design is delighted to be launching the inaugural International Design Awards to both SBID and non-SBID interior design professionals from around the world. The competition will measure six categories of interior design excellence.
Welcome to the
I don't know what overseas drivers think of British roads and speed limits but I do know that those of us who've lived and driven in the UK for many years despair at how much more difficult it is to get from A to B than it used to be, what with heavy traffic throughout much of the day and extensive roadworks leading to the inevitable, soul destroying traffic jams.
But what's the answer?
I try and drive when no-one else is on the roads but am frustrated that I have to sit at traffic lights when there isn't another car in sight, or creep along at 20 or 30 mph in a road with a school, when it could easily take a car travelling at 40 mph as the school isn't going to be open for another 12 hours, so I believe it would be a good idea for traffic signals and some speed limits to be suspended between certain times. That would allow many of us to be off the road network before others with more fixed journeys set off. Less traffic on the road would mean fewer traffic jams.
Another help would be an increase in motorway speed limits and fleet managers polled by vehicle tracking specialist Navman Wireless, (www.navmanwireless.co.uk/blog) on the Government's suggested 80mph limit increase, generally agree, saying it would benefit business.
The apparent simplicity of the change belies a number of complex factors it opens for consideration. The potential for increased productivity must be balanced against fuel costs, safety and environmental impact - or whether it will have any real impact on fleets at all, as recognising that many drivers ignore the current limit, some respondents consider that a rise to 80mph will make little difference, or will encourage driving at speeds closer to 90mph.
Challenges are also being made as to whether a change in speed limit is the best way to improve motorway driving - with calls for more investment in infrastructure, such as additional lanes and 'no overtaking' sections for HGVs on busy stretches of road. Poor driver behaviour, such as incorrect use of the middle lane, is highlighted as another significant barrier to productivity.
I'd be really interested in learning your views on these arguments and would love to hear from those of you who regularly drive in different countries as well as the UK
I can't help wondering whether there isn't actually a solution to our traffic problems because the UK - and particularly England, is simply too crowded these days...
This Week's News
The new report on the UK Bathroom Retailers Market has now been published.
Written specifically for bathroom product manufacturers, distributors and retailers and based on actual sales returns, this comprehensive 180+ page report reviews the UK Bathroom Retailers market size from 2005 to 2011, with forecasts to 2015 alongside analysis of product mix & trends for Sanitaryware/Baths; Bathroom Furniture; Brassware; Showers/Enclosures/Trays; Bathroom Heating; Bathroom Lighting and Bathroom Accessories.
This detailed report also provides sales estimates, profiles & mailing leads for 100 of the leading retailers/installers, enabling bathroom product suppliers to grow sales through this channel and retailers to develop an in-depth understanding of their competitive environment. The report also includes four years of financial history for more than 100 retailers, enabling companies to develop effective marketing strategies based on sound market intelligence.
Unislope, the new all-in-one-pack solution for installing a wet room floor and linear drain, now offers a comprehensive range of superior grade solid stainless steel grates and custom panels that complement both the function and the form of a designer wet room.
"Wet room retailers seeking a product range with both kerb appeal and worthwhile returns might consider the Unislope range of 1k and 4k wet floor solutions alongside their existing ranges of glass panels and wet room enclosure,." suggests Jane Sharp, sales & marketing manager for UniSlope.
Stunningly beautiful, packed with style and ultra-modern. That's how the BMA has described the venue for this year's Annual Bathroom Conference.
"The high street is still in the doldrums so this year's conference is more relevant than ever," comments Yvonne Orgill, CEO of the BMA. "We shall be discussing, in depth, how the bathroom industry can embrace the increasingly important green agenda and profit from the opportunities it creates."
Imperial Bathrooms - the leading British manufacturer of bathroom products for the discerning client - continues to distinguish itself in the bathroom market with the launch of a new and extensive basin stand collection that recreates the classical elegance of the British bathroom.
Designed to provide a classical and timeless alternative to the traditional pedestal, these latest basin stands will appeal to connoisseurs of excellence and to all who appreciate exceptional quality.
Wolseley has announced this week that it has signed an agreement to sell its Electric Center business to Edmundson Electrical, a leading distributor of electrical equipment to trade and industry in the UK. Completion will follow a period of employee consultation and is expected to occur in the next few weeks.
In the year ended 31st July 2010, the business generated revenue of £130 million and trading profit of £1.5 million. In the 10 months ended 31st May 2011, revenue was £115 million and trading profit was £2.2 million. Net assets at completion are expected to be around £29 million and the transaction is expected to generate a small gain on disposal. The cash consideration will be used to pay down debt.
The latest launch showcases new products designed to enhance and complement two of the existing ranges.
The new Culisense oven from AEG offers the future right now in cooking with an abundance of expert functions, including the innovative AutoCook. The Culisense oven is equipped with a rich database of expert recipes and advanced sensors which can detect the weight and volume of the food to be cooked - calculating the right cooking temperature and time. The Culisense oven does the work for you; so you don't have to.
With the new, intelligent function of AutoCook, cooking has never been easier. While keeping the sleek design, the Culisense oven remains stunningly simple to use with the help of NaviSight navigational controls. This now means there are only three cooking steps needed for culinary perfection.
"British manufacturing at its best!"
That was the enthusiastic reaction from one retailer in response to Utopia's recent groundbreaking product launch and I have to say I was just as impressed - not only with the products themselves but also with the clever and useful way they were presented.
Kitchen and joinery specialist Magnet Trade has added a new dimension to its Strata range of kitchens. Strata Walnut, the fifth in the Strata collection, features a truly distinctive walnut effect grain with rich contrast between its lighter cream hues and deep, dark browns.
Strata is Magnet Trade's popular collection of simple, functional, affordable kitchens. The stylish yet practical designs and exceptional value means the Strata kitchens are perfect for landlords, developers and contract work. The range's functional slab design means it is perfect for converting and refurbishing rental properties and the modern finishes of Walnut, Maple, Gloss White, Oak and Cream mean that the Strata range can be mixed and matched so customers can add another dimension to the look of the kitchen.
With tough competition from suppliers throughout Ireland, Uform is delighted to have just been crowned 'Best supplier to the independent kitchen and retail manufacturing sector' at the annual 'Kitchen Retailer Ireland Awards', held at the Four Seasons hotel in Dublin.
Established in 1993 by the Donnelly family, Uform has grown to become one of the UK's largest manufacturers and distributors of kitchen doors and components and sells direct to kitchen retailers and manufacturers throughout Ireland and the UK. The company has a 75,000 sq. ft. factory in Stonebridge, Country Antrim with over 70 employees.
In a major new initiative through its dealers which starts on August 1st, Carron Phoenix is supporting Oxfam's gifting initiative Oxfam Unwrapped, with a commitment to purchase the charity's 'Safe Water for 10 People' gifts, with donations generated from every tap sold.
The gifts enable Oxfam to set up or maintain a safe water supply, whatever the circumstances and in whatever form it is needed for washing, drinking or cooking. Equipment can be in the form of water pumps, water tanks, purification systems or pipes set up in a village for the first time or restoring supply after an emergency.
Darren Vickers who joined Apex Interior Systems as Operations Manager in 2010 has been promoted to the position of General Manager. Darren initially working primarily in making changes operationally and improving processes; his success has improved productivity immensely. In his new position, he takes on the responsibility of continuing to make operational and engineering changes but also adds the telesales department and salesforce to his remit.
Following a successful three days at the KBB London exhibition, Bohle, the UK's major glass processing consumables specialist, presented its iPad prize draw from all the visitors to its stand, to Darren Hales, General Manager of Showerpower.
Bohle offered all visitors to the stand the opportunity to be entered into the prize draw to win an iPad and Darren Hales was just one of almost 200 people who entered the draw.
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The property and construction sector will be hit with an increase of £50m in finance costs, equivalent to 1.5% of total profits, due to the revised IAS19 which will take effect for accounting periods beginning on or after 1st January 2013, according to a survey of property and construction companies in the FTSE350, conducted by Barnett Waddingham, the independent firm of actuaries and consultants.
A worker was injured by a falling stack of cookers and washing machines at one of the UK's largest electrical equipment recycle firms, which has been fined as a result.