KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
29th 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
Some years back when our daughters were little, their father and I attended a 'self-build' show and came away determined to build our own home. We subscribed to all the magazines and Jason set about some major DIY jobs at our ramshackle Victorian semi, with a view to learning as much as he could about the various trades involved and how to go about them; the idea being that we would do what self-build work we could manage ourselves, but for what we couldn't do, we would be armed with the knowledge of what those tackling the larger jobs should be doing, when and how.
Back then (it was the early '80s) there weren't the mortgage constraints people have to overcome these days. We could borrow far more than we should have been allowed to (I believe it was slightly over eight times our income!) and our financial advisor knew all the tricks required to convince a lender that we could easily pay back whatever we might borrow. It rather frightens me to think about it now...
Our problem was though, that however hard we looked and however flexible we were prepared to be regarding its whereabouts, we just couldn't find any land. In the end this was a dream we had to give up on.
Twenty-odd years on and mortgages are really hard to come by. What little land there may have been has been built on. Within a five mile radius of my house alone, five large psychiatric hospitals and a convent school have been closed down and turned into sprawling housing estates and householders with larger gardens are being pressured by builders to sell off some of their land so a new property can be built there. I'm a sales negotiator at an estate agent's at the weekends and am well aware that every time a larger than average property comes to market, there will be queues of builders wanting to view the land (not the house) and learn about any previous planning proposals.
While I commend Housing Minister Grant Shapps highly supportive reaction to the National Self Build Association's report 'An Action Plan to promote the growth of self build housing in the UK' (see more below in this week's news) I can't help feeling that the reality - in my neck of the woods at least - will be nothing like the dream.
This Week's News
There was what may be good news for the KBB industry last week, with Grant Shapps welcoming a new action plan for the self build industry that he says could be the turning point that takes it to the masses.
Meeting with the National Self Build Association - the representatives of the self-build industry - Mr Shapps said that for too long obstacles have led to the UK having one of the lowest proportions of new homes built by self-builders in Europe, and that he wanted to see the self build industry become a mainstream housing option.
The UK domestic kitchen furniture market experienced steady growth in the 2002-2007 period, reaching a market size of £1,390m by the end of the period. The decline in the housebuilding sector, together with a downturn in consumer spending and tighter financial conditions resulted in a significant decline in the market in 2008 and an even steeper fall in 2009, however, the market began to show some stability in 2010.
During this period the level of price competition has remained high in most sectors of the market, but particularly in the low and mid priced sectors.
Steve Macdonald, marketing director of Hoover Candy shares his views on the growing rental market in the UK and how it could impact the industry:
In this recession driven economy where the consumer is King, retailers and manufacturers of high value products need to look at the key drivers in the marketplace to guarantee the success of the future.
"It goes without saying that no matter what the government says, we are still in the grips of a recession driven economy and as the consumer has learnt to live within a more frugal economy, consumers are also asking themselves with every product purchase, no matter how large or small; 'do I really need it?'
The privately owned, £3million turnover business, with offices in Blackburn and Reading, has outlined ambitious plans for growth, including increasing revenues by at least 50% in the next three years. Lanzet currently employs more than 30 people across its two sites and, through a partnership with fitted kitchen and bedroom retailer Betta Living, it manufactures all products in Oldham, Lancashire.
Appliance brands, Stoves and Belling have unveiled a new colour concept which will give consumers the opportunity to choose from 12 inspiring colours across some of the most popular range cookers.
Colour Boutique, initially available in Range Centres across the UK from September, can be applied to all size and fuel variants of the Stoves Richmond and Belling Classic models - offering a total of 180 personalised colour/cooker combinations which is believed to be the biggest colour offering in the market.
The Water Efficiency Product labelling scheme operated by the Bathroom Manufacturers Association has received a further endorsement from EQ Software. The UK-based business management software provider will incorporate water efficient products registered on WEPLS into the system, for specification and order by retailers.
At the recent Bathroom Manufacturers association AGM, Neil Schofield, Marketing Manager at EQ, outlined the company's commitment to the green agenda in a presentation to members.
As part of its popular Kaha collection, Methven - the global designer and manufacturer of superior quality showers and tapware - is launching Kaha tapware with soft curves and crisp edges that create a timeless design style. The rounded, tapering lines of Kaha tapware finish soft, slightly organic shapes.
Offering a choice of seven Kaha tapware designs, including 3-hole deck mounted basin and bath mixers, a basin mixer with swivel base, which allows the user to turn the entire tap in any direction to create more space around the basin, a wall-mounted single-lever mixer with or without backplate and a 3-hole wall-mounted mixer with or without backplate, the styling options with Kaha tapware are vast.
A Wolverhampton plumber has been given a 10-month suspended jail sentence for causing a gas explosion and fire in which a pensioner sustained 21% burns rescuing his nine-year-old granddaughter.
Peter Naylor, of Wednesfield, removed the gas meter at the property in to reach a leaking water stopcock he was repairing in December last year.
LDL Components has extended its range of LED lighting solutions with the new Linea range of recessed, semi-recessed angled and surface mounted display profiles, ideal for use in kitchens, studies, wardrobes, dressing rooms and also shop interiors.
Available to order in any size up to two metres, the new profiles are aluminium with a polycarbonate cover and are supplied with a two metre input cable, plug and end caps. Any LED tape from the LDL range can be used with the profiles, including the new high output tape. With 60 LEDs per metre, this self-adhesive tape is available in a choice of Warm White or Cool White.
The epitome of contemporary styling, Tulipano Grande is deliberately pitched to appeal to the discerning mid-top end consumer looking for a statement tap without compromising on functionality. Tulipano Grande is 100mm taller than the average tap which accentuates its distinctly sculptural feel with the slim spout developing into an elegant water droplet shape at the end. With its refined aesthetics, Tulipano Grande is beautiful in both form and function, with a directional spout and single lever operation. Tulipano Grande comes in a pristine highly polished chrome finish.
Tetbury features solid frame doors made from Ash in a rich oyster colour with grey undertones. The flowery grain of the solid timber fascias has been carefully exposed by wire brushing before painting giving an interesting 3D effect.
To complete the Uber offering, there is an exciting range of handles from which to choose. The Charleston handle, pictured, has pewter ends with a grey crackle ceramic centre to add a touch of class to any kitchen.
For more information, contact MGA Distributors on:
T: 01384 638700
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
Access Hansgrohe's new online planning tool for its Axor Bourellec bathroom collection at: www.pro.hansgrohe-int.com/axor-composer
HiB's beautiful new mono block basin mixer tap designs - Mesi and Neath - come with pop-up wastes. T: 0208 441 0352
Rangemaster's latest surface finish enhances the colour of steel, avoids yellowing and masks any natural defects. T: 0870 755 485
Ex-Focus DIY Category Buyer, Craig Hadley, is to head up the vitreous china product division,of PJH Group's Bathroom portfolio. T: 01204 707070
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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.
Stunningly beautiful, packed with style and ultra-modern. That's how the BMA has described the venue for this year's Annual Bathroom Conference.
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.