KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
15th June 2018


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Bearing in mind that I can't actually recall ever having bought a kitchen appliance from anywhere other than Comet, it was a bit of a personal shock to learn this week that the company is about to go into administration - despite all the warnings there have been and the closure last year of a number of stores and service centres. Of course I'll be able to source my next appliance from another store but I'm not quite sure where I'll go to see the vast choice of products my nearest Comet superstore currently offers. But at least I'm not looking for a new job...

I gather also that Homebase is planning to close some stores over the coming year - which is where lots of my friends go to look for new kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms. I have to admit that I refused to shop in my local out-of-town Homebase superstore for many years after it opened because I felt it was taking away business from the town centre - and of course we all know how much our local High Streets are suffering, don't we?  Admittedly the out of town retail parks are only one cause of the problem and I'm glad that the move to revitalise our ailing High Streets is gaining momentum (see more below).

As someone whose first Saturday job was in a hardware store weighing out nails, manually cutting keys and dispensing bottles of paraffin, etc, one of the objections I had to these superstores was that they would eventually cut down our choice. I believe I was right when it comes to the big DIY stores but I'll admit that I was wrong about the large retailers of electrical goods, such as Comet, which gave shoppers a vast choice to examine.

One appliance I've never entertained but which I'm now warming to the idea of, is the tumble dryer. I'm a bit of a fanatic when it comes to looking after the environment  so have steered clear of them in favour of the old-fashioned washing line in the back garden when the weather permits. However, the rain we've had for much of the year means that mine has become one of the 87% of households that often dries washing inside, in the living areas and the study by the Mackintosh School of Architecture which hit the news today, has made me think twice!

The researchers found that many homes have health-threatening amounts of moisture and up to a third of this is attributed to drying laundry. The fact that one load of washing can emit two litres of water explains why my house can sometimes feel a little less than comfortable...The researchers have called on architects and housebuilders to design dedicated drying areas with heating and ventilating into new housing, but in the meantime - and for those of use that don't wish to move house, I can see a run on retailers' stocks of tumble dryers!



Jan Hobbs


2nd November 2012

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