KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
18th November 2011
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The National Kitchen & Bath Association released the results of the US Kitchen & Bath Market Report for the third quarter, reflecting a rise in showroom traffic and an increase in kitchen remodels from one year ago. Although the number of bathroom remodels declined from the second quarter, results show a significant increase over the bathroom sales of a year ago.
The Furniture Industry Research Association's Hong Kong furniture testing facility, FIRA-CMA Testing Services, is celebrating after achieving accreditation to the International Standard ISO 17025 from the Hong Kong Laboratory Accreditation Scheme for Physical and Mechanical Testing.
The iF Product Design Awards are amongst the most prestigious design awards in the world. This year, Electrolux has won a total of nine of the iF awards for its AEG Neue Kollektion products. The winning appliances were selected by an international jury who sifted through 2,923 entries from 48 countries. The winning appliances were assessed on the level of innovation, functionality, quality and ecological compatibility.
With recent conversations and news highlighting water conditions, it's natural that Americans seek the highest in water quality in their homes. Today, the Kenmore brand is offering a comprehensive, household approach to water solutions that together, make water at home cleaner and better tasting while extending the life of the home's appliances.
Blum UK Marketing Director, David Sanders, says that "functional cabinets" are the way to go: "We buy a refrigerator or an oven for a specific purpose, so why shouldn't every kitchen cabinet have a specific storage purpose," he asks.
The efforts of British furniture manufacturers to become greener are to be recognised by a new annual award from the industry's Livery company, the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers.
As a measure of success, the UK is beyond its target to meet the carbon emissions set out in the Kyoto protocol, according to a new publication by the NHBC Foundation.
Welcome to the
Figures released yesterday show that UK unemployment has reached 2.62 million and the Governor of the Bank of England has again cut the UK growth forecast. The UK is not alone though as many countries - and particularly those in mainland Europe - are in a similar (and in some cases far worse) situation.
Those of us who have jobs or run businesses should be doing all we can to ensure that our competition doesn't steal a march on us.
Reputation - always important - becomes even more valuable. This is something that takes a long time to build up, yet it can be destroyed incredibly quickly - and even more so in these days of social media.
In this week's news, under the heading: 'Customers are shouting, but is anybody listening?' we report on the results of a survey into customer complaints, what companies do about them and the damage social media can do to an organisation's reputation. The survey reveals that while the majority of British consumers will complain about poor service, almost half believe that their complaints fall on deaf ears.
Whereas poor service used to be discussed at dinner parties or the local pub and tended not to go much further than that, those with a grievance who feel they are being ignored can these days, easily air their complaint on Facebook or one of the other social media sites and the resulting damage can be enormous.
Almost half of consumers surveyed said that social media can hold brands and organisations to account like never before and I witnessed this only today. Often asked to 'like' people's businesses on Facebook, I visited one, only to see a discussion that had started up, about how bad some of the manufacturer's kitchen appliances were! Of course they may not be bad at all, but the seeds of doubt have been sown and the company's reputation has become tarnished.
My advice would be that if you can't ensure that all your customers feel well looked after and valued, you should at least keep an eye on your Facebook page! Or perhaps you should leave Facebook for the purpose it was set up - fun and not a work-related thing. At least with your own company's site, disgruntled customers can't make their feelings public. You don't have any control over what people write on your Facebook page and there is simply too much at stake to take any chances - particularly these days!
This Week's News
The Tile Association has come to the rescue of standards within the tiling industry by hosting the plenary meeting of the International Standards Organisation (ISO). In the world of Ceramic Tiles and Adhesives, it is this governing body that creates the standards to protect consumers and trade users.
Fitted furniture manufacturer Symphony, has formally launched its biggest ever investment in bathroom products to KBB retailers, with a series of customer events held at its 18,000 sq ft state-of-the-art marketing suite in Barnsley last month.
The new bathroom collection won much praise from the 180 customers that attended the launch events in October, generating immediate orders and confirming the company's place as a leading player in the bathroom market.
Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced new measures to ensure more young people benefit from an apprenticeship, and to help employers gain the skilled workers they need to grow.
It becomes quickly apparent why KitchenAid's premium KOLS 7010 built-in multifunction oven is called the Lab oven. With 28 cooking modes and superb technology packed into its robust but stylish frame, this incredibly versatile model is a must-have for both professional chefs and keen cooks who love to experiment with food.
KitchenAid's reputation as a premium manufacturer is clearly evident in the styling and the many features available. With a generous, 73-litre capacity, the Lab oven offers 16 professional cooking functions, six special and six traditional functions.
Most British consumers (89%) are likely to tell the organisations they do business with if they receive poor service, yet almost half (44%) do not believe they take notice of, or really care about, the feedback shared, according to a study published this week by the Customer Contact Association and sponsored by Verint Systems.
Mistral solid surface worktops by Karonia have been specified throughout the innovative new 'Green Street in The Meadows' development in Nottingham. The inspiring 38 home development has been designed to an unprecedented standard of quality and sustainability, making the houses significantly cheaper to run than comparable homes.
The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced that one of the UK's leading distributors of high quality furniture fittings has become a corporate member.
Now in its eighth year, LDL Components is one of the UK's leading nationwide distributors of quality fittings and accessories for the fitted furniture industry. In addition to the Head Office and the Sales Office based in Bath, LDL Components also has a Distribution and Logistics Centre in Glossop and a new Scottish office and showroom in Cumbernauld. Future plans include a brand new showroom at the Bath headquarters and a new interactive website, now nearing completion.
Atag, the Dutch company famous for its technologically advanced built-in kitchen appliances, exclusively available to the kitchen specialist, has a 17-place setting dishwasher which is perfect for the season of festivities and entertaining.
The VA9611TT fully integrated XXL dishwasher is capable of washing up to 17-place settings in its four spacious baskets, and is an excellent choice for those who love to entertain at home. This deluxe model uses a very economical 9.9 litres of water per cycle, therefore saving money and energy during this expensive time of year.
An new product catalogue is now available from CME, A Wirquin Group company, in an easy-reference format that will help customers to quickly and easily select products to meet their specific project requirements.
The 120 page catalogue is divided into six sections to reflect CME's comprehensive product range including toilet seats, flushing, in wall frames, wastes & connectors, wetrooms and greywater systems.
Customers at award-winning electrical retailer Barretts Digital World were treated to a mouthwatering cookery masterclass by celebrity chef Brian Turner during a recent open evening.
More than 200 customers attended the event at Barretts in Canterbury, and helped to raise £350 for the local branch of the NSPCC.
Building Adhesive, the parent company of BAL and Dunlop Adhesives, has announced the appointment of Peter Bell as its new managing director. Peter's appointment will take place with immediate effect following the departure of David O'Neill, who leaves the post as managing director to pursue his career elsewhere.
With the US National Kitchen & Bath Association reporting a 42% increase in showroom visits and double-digit increases in remodel sales volume for kitchens (36%) and baths (85%) over one year ago, more homeowners will need the Kitchens and Baths planning guides on HGTVRemodels.com. In its quarterly Market Index Report released last week, the NKBA also found a 69% increase in revenue among kitchen and bath dealers since the third quarter 2010.
"The numbers from a year ago are encouragingly higher, ranging in increase from 4% to 85% higher on various points," stated Bill Darcy, executive vice president of the NKBA when the report was released. "We've seen an overall increase in sales volume and consumer traffic to showrooms in the past year."
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News in Brief
There are some great introductions to the Schuller.C collection 2012 ranges. T: 01661 842304
Hansgrohe AG is now ranked Number 11 out of almost 2000 companies listed in the International Forum Design corporate rankings of good design. www.hansgrohe.com
Here in rainy Britain, we know a thing or two about showers, so where could be better to manufacture industry-leading shower systems? asks British manufacturer Hudson Reed. T: 01282 418000
Ripples New Spring Collection 2012 bathroom brochure is now available. T: 01225 335111
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The bulletin reveals that:
A Birmingham handyman has been prosecuted after releasing asbestos fibres while refurbishing a kitchen at a flat in Solihull.
The Furniture Industry Research Association will be sharing the findings of a key furniture industry research project that has assessed the feasibility of providing the UK furniture industry with product carbon footprint benchmarks. The event, which is open to those within the furniture industry, will be held on Tuesday 6th December, at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, between 10.00 and 16.00.
The seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers' Index registered a five-month high of 53.9 in October, up from 50.1 in September.
The launch of the new design show 'W12 - Working with Design', will be an important national event for KBB designers , manufacturers and retailers alike.
The Tile Association has announced its support for the 'Cut The VAT' campaign, adding its name to an ever growing list of organisations encouraging the UK Government to reduce VAT on all home repair, maintenance and improvement work from 20% to 5%.