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16th November 2018


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International News

Stoves launches retro-style fridge freezer

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UK appliance brand, Stoves, has launched a new retro-style combi fridge freezer. The new A+ rated 70:30 combi is available in three gloss colours - black, red and cream - with stylish chrome handles and bold chrome branding.

'Strength in Detail' with MGS Ergon from Grange Design

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The newest interior fashions set to hit the bathroom in 2019 feature 'usability design' with ergonomic product solutions. To answer this trend, UK based designer, manufacturer and specialist distributor, Grange Design, has introduced MGS's Ergon Collection: a knurled handle tap collection that optimises utility and impact.

The only way is SX...

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With excellent price-performance, the especially hygienic Toto Washlet models have become an exclusive standard choice for private households and luxury hotels. The new, streamlined SX model is the latest addition to Toto's range of shower toilets.

Blanco's smooth Zia sink portfolio offers something special for everyone

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The Zia sink range from Blanco UK combines beauty and practicality. The modern design of the Silgranit PuraDur sink includes a deep spacious bowl, for reversible installation, and a draining board which is surrounded by an indented tap ledge to widen the draining area.

Rangemaster unveils new 'inspired' sinks and taps price guide for the trade

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Rangemaster has unveiled its new 16-page, full-colour sinks and taps pricing supplement - The Inspired Price Guide 2018 - which features a comprehensive round-up of the company's latest stainless steel, composite and fireclay sinks, which are available in various inset and undermount options.

Stay trendy with Keller's industrial style

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The new kitchen from Keller comprises a choice of artistic melamine cabinetry in various shades and finishes to offer an industrial look. The Elba model is available in nine colours from the Master Collection and 14 colours from the Comfort Collection, including Graphite Fleetwood (pictured) which gives a wood-effect appearance, whilst remaining less vulnerable to scratches and scrapes than real wood.

Rangemaster unveils broader strategy as it launches four new built-in products

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Rangemaster has launched four new Built-in products with a view to creating an enhanced offering, which will enable retailers to cross-sell to customers across the portfolio.

The Signature Collection by Masterclass Kitchens offers design flexibility

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With kitchen design now based around lifestyle choices and no two spaces ever being the same, Masterclass Kitchens introduces The Signature Collection, a series of iconic products that make every kitchen special and confirm that beauty is more than skin deep.

Introducing the V&A Brompton collection from British Ceramic Tile

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Tap into the nation's passion for pattern in the home with the V&A Brompton range. No longer a style choice confined to the more adventurous designers amongst us, pattern is everywhere and it's packing a punch. From walls through to floors, retailers can help consumers embrace the current pattern trend, transforming a plain, neutral space into one brimming with individuality with this new collection.

Half hour test success for SWA creates new openings for steel doorsets

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A painstaking programme of development and testing, conducted by the Steel Window Association's technical committee, has led to the UK's top-rated fire testing centre granting a half-hour test certificate for both single and double W20 doorsets. Ongoing work by SWA member companies over the past eight months has culminated in the full fire test, carried out at the facilities of Exova Warrington, under BS 476:Pt 22: resulting in a 30-0 rating.

VitrA presents its latest designer collaboration and most iconic designs at Sleep + Eat 2018

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Plush bathroom brand VitrA Bathrooms will present its latest designer collaboration alongside some of its most iconic designs on Stand J23 at Europe's prominent hotel design event Sleep + Eat, taking place for the first time at London's historical venue Olympia (20th - 21st November).

Winchester by Keller Kitchens; a modern twist to a countryside style

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Bringing a modern country vibe into the home is Keller Kitchens' new Winchester model. The kitchen, pictured in stain on veneer colour Grey, creates a warm and natural look featuring flaming rough veneers, with vertical grooves spaced 15cm apart.

Available in silk gloss lacquer or structured lacquer, the Winchester kitchen boasts beautiful colours from the Master, Trend and Comfort Collections, including 1,950 hues and natural stain on veneer shades, such as honey and oak, allowing homeowners to create their favourite look and feel.

Welcome to the



As if the closures of many of our civic amenity tips, plus shorter opening hours and closed gates two-days a week at others wasn't enough, the cost of hiring a skip to facilitate safe and easy disposal of waste following home improvements, has increased. This doesn't bode well for consumers, suppliers, the home improvement industry or our environment, does it?

The Federation of Master Builders says the average cost of an eight-yard skip has gone up from £246 to £270 over the past year, increasing the cost of the average extension by £360. With two-thirds of builders admitting they've passed skip price increases on to clients, I daresay clients on a tight budget will have been forced to cut their cloth accordingly - perhaps going without that new appliance or opting for a cheaper worktop or taps.

On the other hand, builders who can't afford to reduce their margins or pass skip costs on, may resort to fly tipping or filling householders' bins with rubbish that could be recycled if the whole process weren't being made so darned difficult!

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, says it's not just disposal costs but diesel price increases too that are causing problems. He says these have come at a bad time for builders who are already struggling to cover higher wages because of worsening skills shortages. Further, he warns that almost 90% believe that material prices will rise in the next six months. "We're advising builders to price jobs with this plethora of price rises in mind to avoid a further squeeze on already razor thin margins," he admits.

I'm always disappointed to see skips piled with items that could have been given to others who need them, via schemes such as Gumtree or Freecycle, and I love seeing appliances or furniture left at the property's edge with signs saying: "Good working order/very comfy - please take". I've disposed of some of my own unwanted items in this way; it saves hassle, keeps costs down, reduces landfill requirements and makes me happy that I'm helping others. And having had a second-hand tumble dryer stolen from my driveway in the time it had taken me to get help carrying it indoors, I know just how quickly things can go!

The need to dispose of waste is a problem that affects us all. What can we as an industry do to encourage people to pass on, rather than throw out, I wonder? Are you involved in a recycling scheme that's enjoying success? If you are, I'd love to hear about it.




Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

BiKBBI's HMRC approval is great news for membership

* Bikbbi.jpgThe British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation's recent approval by The Commissioners for HM Revenue & Customs is great news for both its retail and installer members, who can now claim income tax rebates against membership fees, which for most would equate to a significant reduction on their annual subscriptions.

"Our HMRC approval is great for us, because its recognition from the Government of our industry placement - but more importantly to me, is that it is absolutely fabulous news for our members, because they will pay less for BiKBBI membership, at a time when we're strengthening member benefits too," notes CEO Damian Walters.

Sirius Annual Awards & Gala Dinner 2018

* Sirius-Annual-Awards.jpgSirius Buying Group honoured some of its approved suppliers and members at its Annual Awards & Gala Dinner recently. The event, which proved the perfect finale to the Group's exclusive two-day Members Trade Show, enabled Sirius to recognise industry excellence across the electrical appliance retail sectors and thank everyone for their continued support and investment in the Group, both a professional and personal scale. The Award Winners were:

* Manufacturer of the Year: Hoover Candy Group
* Distributor of the Year: Pik a Pak/Statesman
* SDA Supplier of the Year: Connect Distribution
* Retailer of the Year (Large): Appliance World (NW)
* Retailer of the Year (Medium): Future Appliances
* Representative of the Year: Ian Cullen - GDHA
* Lifetime Achievement: Colin Jones - Enterprise 2000

Sleek stainless steel tap for kitchen elegance

* Blanco-sleek-stainless-steel-tap.jpgBlanco UK continues to offer kitchen elegance with the beautiful Lanora-S stainless steel tap.

The L-shaped spout is practical as well as fashionable; it allows for plenty of space to fill and wash larger saucepans or vases and can be turned by 190 degrees for easy use while the cleverly-designed, retractable hose is seamlessly concealed within the spout which enhances the sleek style.

The Lanora-S comes in a beautiful brushed steel finish and has a default cold-setting to save energy.

T: 01923 635200
W: www.blanco.co.uk

Say hey, good lookin' - what ya got cookin'?

* Say-hey-good-lookin.jpgJoining Caple's collection of metallic gunmetal ovens, a fridge-freezer, wine, sink and tap for those who require a cohesive look in their hub of the home, the 67-litre Sense C2401GM pyrolytic oven benefits from Caple's signature MotionHeat+, which browns food evenly, while preventing flavour or aroma transfer.

With an A-rating for energy efficiency, this new model features stylish touch controls on a white LED display and 13 functions for easy programming.

KitchenAid launches new freestanding combination microwave oven

* KitchenAid-combi-mw.jpgKitchenAid has launched a new freestanding combination microwave oven that has been inspired by the professional culinary sphere. The KMQFX 33910 (UK) has an impressive range of chef-inspired functions, to enthuse and embolden those who are serious about food. With a 33 litre capacity, more than 50 pre-programmed recipes and five professional functions, the appliance is a triumph in the kitchen.

KitchenAid ensures the most even microwave circulation thanks to an innovative and fully three-dimensional microwave distribution system. The 3D System forges a complex pattern to ensure that the microwave energy produces perfectly even cooking results, while intuitive sensor technology adjusts the duration and microwave power required, according to the moisture content and temperature of the food.

'Power of possibilities' with 2019 kitchen trends from Rotpunkt UK

* Power-of-Possibilities.jpgMatt Phillips, head of UK operations, Rotpunkt, looks at the latest interior trends set to 'wow' the kitchen market in 2019...

"I strongly believe as we move into 2019 that furniture will be 'defined by difference' and by this I mean a brave mix of stand-out finishes and materials being used to identify different pieces of furniture and create zonal kitchen schemes that are not restricted by four walls or customary layouts.

Top and shop with Evolve

* Evolve1.jpgBushboard's Evolve solid core worksurface promotion has been perfectly timed for festive season - particularly as the worksurfaces are proving a major success with consumers who appreciate the on-trend slim lines, easy cleaning and straightforward fitting offered by this unique material.

To celebrate the success of Evolve, Bushboard is offering retailers a £20 Love to Shop voucher for every single 650mm worksurface sold. This is for every top, not every order - so if a retailer sells three tops to one customer £60 worth of vouchers will be awarded.

Nando's Sydenham, is no chicken when it comes to making a design statement

* Nandos.jpgWorking closely with Fusion DNA Architects, I-am WOW Contractors and tiling Contractor C & J Metcalf, CTD Architectural has recently delivered a bespoke fabricated tile design for Nando's Sydenham, resulting in a distinctive look for the restaurant.

Following the architect's brief to provide something unique in design, CTD created a bespoke offering from the popular Kursaal range. Creating a statement entrance, a mixture of two colours from the range was used, Kursaal Slate and Kursaal Raven, supplied in specific cuts all fabricated especially for this project.

T: 0800 021 4835

Hands-on training to create the perfect kitchen surface

* Hands-on-training.jpgWilsonart UK, the world's largest worksurface manufacturer, has completed two weeks of bespoke training workshops for Symphony Group installers.

Symphony is the UK's largest privately-owned manufacturer of fitted kitchen, fitted bedroom and fitted bathrooms. Installer teams from the company attended Wilsonart UK head office in County Durham for specialist installation training for Wilsonart Earthstone, Wilsonart's solid surface worksurface material.

British icons team up to launch bold new collection of bathroom accessories

* Toilet-Seat.jpgCroydex has teamed up with one of the UK's best-loved artists, Steven Brown, for a new range of McZoo shower curtains and toilet seats. The collaboration between the 100-year-old bathroom accessories specialist and the Ayrshire artist sees the launch of shower curtains and Flexi-Fix toilet seats featuring the iconic Angus McCoo, and giraffe double-act, Francie and Josie McZoo.

They are the brainwave of Croydex Project Manager, Margaret Carruthers who is a fan of the brightly coloured designs and spotted a gap in the accessory market.

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Jan Hobbs
Publishing Editor
Tel: +44 (0)1372 811 307 
Mobile: 07980 288 373

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Publishing Director
Tel: +44 (0)1580 755 863
Mobile: 07766 707 888
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Recent News

Seven new members as KBSA continues recruitment drive

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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced that seven new members have been accepted into the Association, continuing the drive towards 50 new retail members by summer 2019.

Soapbox: A good week for toilet talk

By Yvonne Orgill, CEO of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association...

"It has been a good week for toilet talk. First we had the chancellor making numerous toilet jokes as he announced in the budget that owners will no longer pay business rates on public toilets. Then Microsoft founder Bill Gates unveils a futuristic toilet that doesn't need water by making a presentation with a jar of human faeces on show beside him.

CIH announces new Associate Membership

Combined Independents (Holdings) has introduced an associate membership package, to extend the benefits of being part of Europe's largest buying group to even more independent retailers of electrical appliances.

Bushboard wears-it-pink for breast cancer awareness

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Management and staff at Bushboard's head office in Wellingborough dressed up in pink to raise valuable funds for Breast Cancer Now during October 2018.

"It's such a great cause, it touches so many people's lives," says Hannah Abbott from Bushboard. "Everyone got into the pink-spirit as you can see."

Industry is missing opportunity to gain more sales and impact on water efficiency

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Bathroom Manufacturers Association CEO Yvonne Orgill has called on the bathroom industry to provide more water efficiency information on products, following the results of its consumer research.

Laufen congratulates 2018 Aia UK Student Charrette winner: University of Westminster

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The AIA UK Student Charette returned for its eighth consecutive year and once again the one-day student design competition was hosted by the Roca London Gallery and supported by Swiss bathroom specialist Laufen.

The UK Chapter of the AIA (The American Institute of Architects) revealed that the winner of this year's challenge is the University of Westminster, for its highly-commended project; 'Squares of Light'.

Blanco UK supports young kitchen designer

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Blanco UK has, once again, sponsored an aspiring young kitchen designer, Beth Elson, so that she can progress her career by taking a course with The Kitchen Education Trust (TKET) in Bucks University.

InSinkErator wins contract with Galliard Homes

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InSinkErator is supplying its 3N1 steaming hot water taps to the new Galliard Homes development, Maine Tower, in London's Docklands. The Maine Tower, a focal point of the Harbour Central development, is to comprise 297 exquisite apartments situated over 42 floors. Each will feature an InSinkErator 3N1 L Shape steaming hot water tap finished in Brushed Steel.

Bathroom & kitchen business conference that looks to the future hailed as great success

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The 2018 Bathroom and Kitchen Business Conference, delivered by the BMA, was hailed as a huge success by delegates that attended the event at the Vale Hotel and Resort, in the Vale of Glamorgan, last week.


Danny steps up to new customer service management role

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Leading sinks and tap manufacturer Abode has bolstered its customer service team with the appointment of Danny Atkinson as its new customer service team leader. Danny has been with Abode for eight years and is very familiar with the business and its products, having been a warehouse operative for five years, before moving to the customer service department to answer customers' technical queries.

New southern business development manager for Wirquin

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Richard Whittington has been appointed as the new business development manager for Wirquin, supporting customers in the South West, Wales & West Midlands region.


Masterclass retailers cook up a treat at Smeg HQ

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Masterclass Platinum Partners put their culinary skills to the test on a recent visit to Smeg UK headquarters, cooking up authentic Italian pizzas for lunch.

Dan Doherty cooks up bonfire night feast with Leisure Range Cookers

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To position its range cookers as the perfect partner for creative cooks, Leisure is running a new campaign with Dan Doherty, chef and owner of refurbished Marylebone pub The Royal Oak.

Saniflo launches new website

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Saniflo UK - the country's leading designer and manufacturer of macerators, pumps and shower cubicles - has launched a new website available at saniflo.co.uk, offering access to a a raft of information for homeowners wishing to find out more and upgrade their homes using a Saniflo product.

The new website makes it easy for homeowners to search and find the products they need.

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