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16th June 2017
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Industry bodies come together as the Kitchen & Bathroom Forum
A story in the latest edition of kbbreview reports on the formation of a new think tank that brings together kitchen and bathroom related associations and organisations, with the aim of combining expertise and improving the sector as a whole.
Named 'The Kitchen & Bathroom Forum', its objectives include the exchange of information on each organisation's own strategies and initiatives - and how the Forum as a whole can help them - and identifying shared issues and goals that it can act on as a whole.
The aim is to meet several times a year with a different chairman each time taken from the participating bodies.
The initiative, which is still in its very early stages, began following a discussion at the kbbreview Kitchen Conference in September 2010 on the lack of coherent representation in the UK kitchen industry, and the possibility of setting up a formal 'Kitchen Association' that would include retailers, manufacturers, designers and suppliers.
However, in such a disparate industry, that is a daunting task unlikely to be undertaken by anyone to a significant degree. At the conference the point was made that a reasonable alternative would be to get as many existing organisations with an interest in the kitchen market as possible, and communicating and cooperating more.
Kbbreview editor Andrew Davies, who was taking part in the discussions, was asked by those present to try and get the project underway and steer it in its early stages.
Two preliminary meetings have taken place so far with Andrew as temporary chairman; he will also chair the first official meeting in September in anticipation of handing it over for subsequent gatherings.
The preliminary meeting took place at the KBB London exhibition in May, and the second at Blum's headquarters in Milton Keynes in July. At last month's meeting, it was decided that many of the organisations involved also operated in the bathroom arena and that this sector too would be included as part of the Forum.
The Forum's initial focus will be on improving the image of the kitchen and bathroom industry and coming up with ways to help reduce the £80m worth of consumer complaints it faces every year.
"This sounds like such a simple thing, but I believe it's a huge step forward for the kitchen and bathroom sector," says Andrew. "Especially for the kitchen industry in particular, which has always struggled with representation across the whole market. I hope the Forum can help it learn from the more experienced bathroom side.
"Working together on common goals can amplify any message the Forum wants to highlight. Speaking with one voice, it represents a multi-billion pound industry which will be hard to ignore.
"I hope we've finally come up with a format and plan that means cooperation without compromise for each organisation involved. I'm really looking forward to seeing what comes out of it."
Organisations signed up so far include:
Builders Merchants Federation (BMF);
Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA);
The Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA);
Society of British Interior Design (SBID);
Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers (iKBBI);
Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA);
Kitchen, Bathroom, Bedroom Specialists Association (KBSA);
KBB National Training Group (NTG);
National Association of Professional Inspectors & Testers (NAPIT)
Andrew says that any other associations or bodies that have an interest in the kitchen and bathroom market are invited to attend and can contact him on:
5th August 2011