KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
20th January 2012
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As 2012 fast approaches, Ideal Standard International designer Robin Levien gives his bathroom predictions for next year:
We are living through uncertain times once again and this creates insecurity. This insecurity translates into nostalgia for a supposedly better time. This time is usually the 'vintage era' of the mid-20th century and will impact the bathroom through optimistic splashes of colour or fabrics and even bold geometric patterns to brighten up bathrooms.
IDS has had a showroom presence in the Norwich area for six years, servicing a varied customer base in the Norfolk area. Strong business growth, coupled with an expanding customer base and product portfolio, resulted in IDS looking for a larger site for the next stage in its development . The new site boasts a superb geographical location facilitating easy access for trade customers to visit, as well as fast road access for prompt deliveries in line with IDS's policy of 24-48 hours from stock.
Welcome to the
The Christmas and New Year holidays were not ambushed by the snowy and icy weather that had threatened - well - in my neck of the woods anyway, so I took advantage of mild days and an extended break from producing KBZine to do some much needed clearing out in my home and garden.
This resulted in numerous trips to the British Heart Foundation shop (which takes furniture and electrical goods) and other charity shops, as well as frequent visits to the local dump.
I was not the only one making changes at home and the dump was fairly busy.
On each trip I was dismayed to see skips full of clearly reusable items, from household and office furniture of all types to toys and garden items - much of it newer and in seemingly better condition than that which I have at home. The charity shops could have had a field day with that lot!
And while I know that there's a thriving scrap metal industry (in more ways than one!) I couldn't help but wonder whether better use could be put to the rows of fridges, freezers, cookers, hobs, extractors etc, which were lined up like soldiers in seemingly endless rows.
Looking at them, it occurred to me that the KBB sector had done pretty well in my area with lots of refurbishments taking place over the holidays, so something good had come from their disposal.
This Week's News
Graham Ball, Acting Chair, KBB National Training Group discusses some misconceptions regarding the role of the National Training Group in the KBB sector
There appears to be a lack of knowledge amongst some blogtwitbookers about the role of the NTG in today's KBB markets, so let me give them some relevant facts.
After a slow start, home improvement spending is expected to trend up later this year, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released this week by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. If this momentum continues to build during the second half of the year, remodelling activity is on course to end 2012 on a positive note.
"We're beginning to see some hopeful signs in the economy, and the housing market is finally starting its slow recovery," says Eric S. Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center. "That should prove helpful for home improvement spending as the year progresses."
The Furniture Industry Research Association has announced the publication of a new best practice guide for flammability testing of upholstery on behalf of the Furniture Retail Quality Group, the technical committee representing all major UK furniture retailers.
The new guide - FIRA-FRQG F001: 2011 - has been developed by FRQG to fulfil four major functions:
With water saving increasingly front of mind, Methven UK is expanding the Deva Contemporary Collection of tapware with the addition of the Lace and Adore mono basin mixers with Enviro-Klick. These stylish and worthy additions to any modern bathroom - Lace with its ergonomic looped handle and Adore with its sleek, flat lever handle - can help reduce water wastage with their clever flow reduction technology.
Enviro-Klick technology can achieve a substantial reduction in water consumption, compared with a standard tap. From the off position, the lever handle is moved to the 'reduced flow' mode, which delivers 80% less water than a standard tap cartridge. This equates to just 1.8 litres a minute at 0.5 bar, offering the greatest savings of all similar technology currently available.
PJH has become Franke's newest UK national distributor, supplying the entire Franke range of over 700 products, from stock, from 1st February 2012.
The addition of the 700+ Franke product portfolio to PJH's kitchen sink and tap range presents customers with a partnership of market leading excellence.
A study of 2,000 adults found while most blokes can comfortably 'drive' a string of household electrical gadgets a few of them regularly prove to be a step too far. A quarter of men admitted they had no idea how to use their washing machine and a similar number were clueless when it came to using the grill or oven.
An apprentice from Huddersfield-based manufacturer Ellis Furniture, Chris Mattimoe, recently had the honour of meeting The Duke of Gloucester during his official visit to Leeds College of Building, the UK's only specialist construction college.
Whilst on official engagements in Yorkshire, The Duke, a former architect who now represents The Queen at royal engagements, requested a visit to the college after learning of numerous national and international accolades the students have secured.
As cooker hoods have assumed almost iconic status as fashion statements in the kitchen, so the choices in style and methods of extraction have increased accordingly. For those who want to create the maximum amount of space, the discreet downdraft hood is the perfect choice.
Rather than sitting above the hob, the KitchenAid retractable KCDD 9010 downdraft hood is installed behind it. Suitable for any kind of hob, it slides up into position only when needed, resting invisibly below the worksurface at other times. This design innovation creates a new sense of space in the kitchen, giving users the freedom to achieve the state-of-the-art interior they desire.
DuraStone shower trays incorporate all the benefits of the latest materials and technologies in producing probably the most sophisticated and versatile low profile shower tray in today's market. The tray's construction consists of a 2.2mm ABS acrylic capped shell that is filled with a mineral stone resin mix. The monocoque construction is then completed with a 2mm ABS embossed base that helps adhesion when installing.
The DuraStone shower tray incorporates the added benefit of torsion beams, creating rigidity to the overall tray structure. At 60% lighter than a traditional stone resin tray, DuraStone complies with the HSE regulations for a one-man lift. Manufactured to BS EN14527:2006, these trays are made using WRAS approved Phthalate free materials.
I am pleased to confirm the following dates and venues for my Sales and Customer care courses Jan-April 2012. I do hope that companies will send their delegates along to these courses as the benefit will be increased profitable sales for their organisations.
Over the last five years, I have trained over 770 KBB delegates on my courses and helped them improve their skills in delivering exceptional customer care (thereby ensuring prompt payments and extra referral business) and increase their business in a very competitive market.
Swiss premium appliances company V-ZUG is pleased to announce it has joined the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association, which gives consumers confidence when purchasing a new appliance. The KBSA trademark assures the consumer they are using a reputable retailer.
As a member, V- Zug agrees to adhere to the association's strict guidelines, which is to ensure a high level of service in the areas of design, supply and installation. The KBSA has more than 300 fully accredited, independent kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and home office retailers across the UK.
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A new Foresight project investigating the future of manufacturing out to 2050 was launched this week by Business Secretary Vince Cable.
Steve Macdonald, marketing director of Hoover Candy, shares his views on the pent-up consumer. He argues that the will and need for consumers to invest in new kitchens is there but unless the industry can make it comfortable to pay for their investment, they will remain 'pent -up'.
UK mums are dreaming of a white goods Christmas, according to money-saving site ILoveCashback.com
Top 10 Christmas searches at Britain's popular shopping site that combines price comparison, voucher codes and cashback, include the ever-helpful 'dishwasher', 'microwave' and even the good old 'refrigerator'!
Design is to play a central role in the Government's new Innovation & Research Strategy for Growth - unveiled recently by the Department of Business Innovation & Skills.
Hoover's ovens are proving to be a hit with a chef on Britain's Best Dish as he claimed the oven is as good as a professional oven when producing a winning meal on the programme.
The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced that three new quality retailers have joined as members. Bank Interiors with a showroom in Kenilworth, Osborne Interiors of Chiswick and S&T Kitchens in Berkshire.