KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
14th October 2011


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

International News

WEEE Directive recast negotiations sparking disagreements

The European Parliament and the 27 EU member states are set for difficult negotiations over the recast of the bloc's electronic waste directive as MEPs insist on ambitious targets for collecting and recycling discarded fridges, phones and other e-waste than the member states can accept, reports EurActiv.

Purple microwave takes it to the Max!

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Whirlpool's MAX 35 range of stylish and colourful microwave ovens has been extended to include a striking new model in on-trend purple. The fashionable and contemporary range already includes colour options of black, cream, red, silver, and white.

China Xiamen International Kitchen & Bathroom Fair 2011 takes place next month

China Xiamen International Kitchen & Bathroom Fair will take place from November 5th to 8th, 2011 at Xiamen International Conference & Exhibition Centre. It is being organised by the Xiamen Jinhongxin Exhibition Co along with the Fujian Association of Plumbing Sanitary & Valve Industry, the Kitchen Cabinet Chamber of Commerce of Fujian, the Xiamen Bath & Kitchen Association and the Kitchen Cabinet Chamber of Commerce of Xiamen.

Ellis Furniture introduces space saving cloakroom furniture

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Making limited space work in a small bathroom or cloakroom is now a whole lot easier, thanks to the Cloakroom range from leading manufacturer Ellis Furniture, offering the perfect solution for compact spaces.

Steel adds Mega Wok burner to hob options

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Steel, renowned throughout Europe for its quality and beautifully designed professional range cookers and kitchen appliances, is adding a Mega Wok burner to its extensive range of hob options.

Imperial Bathrooms unveils luxurious marble & granite consoles

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Imperial Bathrooms - the renowned British manufacturer of luxury bathroom products for the discerning - has further extended its collection of free-standing basin stands with a range of marble and granite consoles that boast 'his and hers' options.

Product launch success

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The recent success of Utopia's Spring Product Launch has surpassed the company's expectations, with significant numbers of new displays featuring i-line, Symmetry and Encurva, appearing in retailer showrooms.

Stuart Turner launches Wasteflo range

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Stuart Turner remains at the forefront of design technology and product innovation and while this has traditionally enabled the company to engineer solutions to boost clean water, this October will see its product portfolio strengthened further with the introduction of the all new 'wasteflo' brand!

Solo style for the cloakroom from HiB

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Exclusive to popular bathroom products supplier HiB, two new Solo floor standing furniture units have been designed to advance both contemporary style and quality in the cloakroom of the modern home.

When a Little John makes a big difference...

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2011 is a landmark year for LittleJohn, the Hampshire-based bathroom retailer, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. Founded by Bill Gosney and his wife Pearl in 1991, the family-run business has flourished over the years. Today it employs 18 people and has designed and installed around 2,500 quality bathrooms across Hampshire, West Sussex and Surrey.

Bushboard's premium Omega laminate worktop range now even better!

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Hot on the heels of the August Encore solid surface relaunch, Bushboard is continuing its proactive product drive with a newly unveiled upgraded Omega laminate worksurface range.

Carron Phoenix's new Bali tap complements best-selling Bali sink range

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Designed with its popular Bali sink range in mind, Carron Phoenix has developed a dedicated tap range to ensure the perfect design complement responding to both retailer and consumer demand for a matching tap.

Mereway joins the Articad supplier partnership

CAD specialist for the KBB sector, ArtiCAD, has announced that Mereway has joined the company's thriving Supplier Partnership Programme. The full range of Mereway's kitchen cabinets, encompassing over 70 different finishes, including MFC, foil-wrapped, veneer, solid wood and painted finishes in slab, shaker and curved door styles, are now available as a comprehensive and easy to search graphics catalogue within ArtiCAD-Pro.

Exquisite Elba from Franke

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The Elba ELK sink from Franke is stylish, practical and great value for money. To cater for all requirements, two models are available.

The heavy duty Elba ELK has an attractive drainer design and is finished in gloss white for a fashionable look that is equally at home in either a modern or traditional kitchen.

Welcome to the

As if times weren't hard enough right now, small businesses are having to be extra vigilant when taking online payments for goods sold as they are seen as easy targets by experienced fraudsters.

Recent figures from the UK Cards Association show that, while debit and credit card fraud has fallen to its lowest level for 11 years as a result of chip and pin technology, attempts to infiltrate consumer accounts, steal identities and forge payments are increasing and many small businesses are bearing the brunt of breaches of supposedly secure payment systems.

For example, in instances where credit card information gained illegally is used to place an order for which the original cardholder will not pay out, the e-Commerce merchant is expected refund all the expenses and cover the hassle by paying a chargeback fee.  There are also instances of Mastercard and Visa  imposing fines on card acquirers running into tens of thousands of pounds where card data has been misused by members of staff because it has not been held securely, with the card acquirer ultimately passing these fines on to the merchant.

Richard Bradley of Accept Cards, who advises the Forum of Private Business (www.fpb.org) on Merchant Services, is urging business owners to be more proactive in preventing credit card fraud, including ensuring they fully understand and properly utilise the banks' security systems.

He notes a recent scam where fraudsters order high-value goods and have them delivered to what they claim is their child's university address, but in reality the child does not exist and the address is just a pick up point for the fraudster to collect the goods.




Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

New format a success for KBSA AGM

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A new format for the The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association's AGM was warmly welcomed by members and judged a great success by those who attended the event on 4th October.

Suppliers receive their awards

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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association presented the KBSA supplier awards at the recent 2011 kbbr Kitchen Conference. The awards recognise excellence in those companies that supply products to KBSA retailers and are the only awards of their kind that represent the views of retailers and not a panel of judges.

Whirlpool wins International Design & Architecture Award

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Whirlpool has won an International Design & Architecture Award for its stunning Nova American-style, side-by-side fridge freezer.

The International Design and Architecture Awards, organised by Design et al magazine, aim to celebrate the best in interior design, architecture and innovation from around the world. The awards inspire others, create opportunities and celebrate the best in design. The successful shortlist is judged online by industry professionals, readers of Design et al and the general public.

New AMA report provides major review of the UK Shower Market

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The UK shower equipment market has an estimated value of around £438 million at Manufacturers Selling Prices in 2011. This represents a moderate increase of around 1% when compared to the market size in 2010 and reflects the continuing fragility of the UK economy.

KitchenAid's Vacuum Machine has the 'Chef Touch'

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Proper food preservation has not only become an increasingly important issue but also an essential science. With its built-in Vacuum Machine, premium manufacturer KitchenAid has produced a remarkably versatile product that preserves food up to three times longer than traditional methods to maintain organoleptic properties, nutrients, taste and colour.

Atag extends popular promotions

Atag, the Dutch company famous for its technologically advanced built-in kitchen appliances exclusively available to the kitchen specialist, has extended its excellent Summer offers until the end of the year.

The two promotions, which are now extended until 31st December 2011, give the kitchen specialist superb savings on some of Atag's most desirable products.

Naked Collection

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At the recent Cersaie show, Glass Idromassaggio, the dynamic wellbeing producer from Italy, presented Naked, a highly original collection of baths designed by Giopato & Coombes.

Tile a kitchen floor or bathroom walls from only £99

Homeowners in the South East who may be putting off home improvements due to cost can now take advantage of a fantastic recession-busting deal from Tile Depot.

The UK independent tile and stone retailer has introduced a choice of packages, which provide customers with tiles, adhesive, spacers and grout for their kitchen floor or bathroom walls, from a staggeringly low £99 including VAT.

50 grassroots rugby teams given new kits & chance to train with England

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A total of 50 schools and junior rugby clubs throughout the UK are being given the chance to win the prize of a lifetime - a training day with the England rugby team. The teams, which have already won themselves an Ultimate Kit & Laundry Package, which includes 22 bespoke Samurai kits and a top-of-the range AEG 9 series washing machine and tumble dryer, will compete against each other to gain the most votes for a chance to learn to kick like Wilkinson, lead a team like Moody or cross the try line like Ashton.

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.

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News in Brief
Congratulations to Indesit whose environmental management system won its logistics division the 'Business Recycler of the Year' award at the 2011 National Recycling Awards. www.indesit.ie

Luxury interiors specialist Intervari is sole UK distributor for Spanish manufacturer Mobalco's award-winning kitchen furniture and products. E: design@intervari.com
Kaldewei's Classic Duo Oval Wide baths feature in 45 bathrooms in Berlin's new 4-star nhow hotel. E: info@kaldewei.de

Spectra SP457, Aqata's new frameless hinged shower door, is fitter friendly, allowing up to 25mm adjustment to cope with out-of-true walls. E: sales@aqata.co.uk
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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Recent News

Furniture Industry Research Association offers PhD opportunity

The Furniture Industry Research Association has announced the sponsorship of a PhD Studentship, offering a bursary of up to £9,300 per annum towards tuition fees and living costs. The research is to focus on design or manufacturing of contemporary furniture, looking at the development of either innovative furniture materials or volume production processes that can be embraced by British furniture manufacturers.

Herman Miller awarded BIFMA level 3

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Contract furniture maker Herman Miller has been certified by global public health and environmental organisation NSF International to the highest level for sustainable furniture - BIFMA level 3. Products certified to the level program may satisfy US state and federal purchasing requirements and earn points toward LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

A new Abode (albeit brief!) for needy children

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The Safe Anchor Trust is an award winning charity based at Shepley Bridge Marina in Mirfield, West Yorkshire. Les Moss, founder of the charity and his team provide an annual programme of canal trips aboard narrow boats on the local waterways, specifically for special needs groups, those with health and mobility problems and socially disadvantaged groups.

Stourbridge builder fined for illegal gas work

James Raybould, who trades as Jim Raybould Electrical, Plumbing & Building Services, has been prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive for carrying out gas work at four houses in Worcester between September 2009 and July 2010, despite not being Gas Safe registered.

National Heat Pump Awards becomes annual event following launch success

Following the outstanding success of last year's inaugural event, the National Heat Pump Awards 2012 have been launched in an expanded format and the event established as a regular annual highlight in the industry's calendar.

More UK retailers could collapse ahead of rent quarter due

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Retailers woes likely to mean more firms going under this week rather than pay their next quarter's rent, a property specialist warns.


iKBBI Launch Installation Standards Pledge

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The iKBBI is excited to announce the introduction of its innovative Installation Standards Pledge.

Issue 7 of AMA's Quarterly Housebuilding Bulletin just published

The 7th issue of the 'Housebuilding and RMI Forecasts Bulletin Great Britain' is now available, providing a quarterly review of the domestic construction sector including new housebuild and RMI.

Smart Systems partners with Miele on innovative online contract quoting service

Smart Systems, a pioneer in business solutions for the kitchen and bathroom industry, and Miele, a world leader in the production of high quality domestic appliances, have announced the launch of an online contract quoting facility, which aims to provide Miele's Project Partners with the highest level of service in the industry. The system, which utilises Cloud computing, is open to all Miele Project Partners and promises to instantly deliver increased efficiency.

Cut the Vat, says the BMA!

The Bathroom Manufacturers Association has been a long supporter of the campaign for a reduced rate of VAT on home repair and improvement work.


Harry Wins Gold at Skillbuild Final

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The Skillbuild 2011 National Final took place from 14th to 16th September at Leeds College of Building, with the College's own Harry Coyle taking 1st place in the Wall & Floor Tiling category.


EQ expanding businesses online

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KBB retailers and manufacturers wishing to expand their businesses selling products online and has caused some controversy in recent months. EQ Software, a facilitator for this increased activity through its popular eStore web solution, has proved with many customer sites now developed and live, that kbb business on the web is growing at a rapid pace and is here to stay.


Ellis Furniture unveils impressive bathroom and kitchen brochures

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Ellis Furniture - a leading manufacturer of kitchen, bathroom and bedroom furniture - has launched two impressive brochures to tempt consumers. The new bathroom range brochure and kitchen supplement present the high quality, beautifully designed furniture, and support the introduction of 18 new product ranges.

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