KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
31st October 2020
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John and I made the decision to temporarily reduce the frequency of KBzine - this industry's oldest e-zine - early on in the pandemic because it was clear that the sector was going to be badly hit by the measures being taken to keep the virus at bay. My normally overflowing mailbox became quite sparse and we started to receive large numbers of broadcast bounce-backs as more people became furloughed.
At the opposite end of the scale, work on Cleanzine - our e-zine which we started broadcasting when Richard and Debbie Schwarz launched KBzine as part of a joint portfolio - got silly. Cleaning became recognised, globally, as one of the most important industries in the world and we could have produced a bulging issue twice daily, as the sector waded in to produce extra supplies of PPE, sanitisers, foggers and the like and train cleaners in different disciplines to ensure that our facilities and people who had to go out to work, were as safe as possible. As a result, John and I didn't take our two-week annual break and I think it was this, together with a multitude of phone calls from cleaning industry colleagues throughout the day and sometimes at weekends, along with caring for my mother who has advanced dementia, which meant that KBzine was put on the back burner for longer than it should have been. It wasn't planned; it was more a case of running out of time each day and falling into my bed exhausted - but determined to produce an issue the following day. Best laid plans eh?
I last wrote a KBzine leader on 1st September fully expecting to follow up with another on 1st October, which I just couldn't get around to finishing - despite having plenty to write about. John and I even discussed, just in passing, the possibility of giving up. I've absent-mindedly mulled it over but hadn't given it much thought because I've been so frazzled.
Well hey - I love this industry and John does too! So here we are; we're staying - and - while we're not yet going to revert to weekly broadcasts, we're not going to leave it quite as long before the next one.
So how are you doing? I know some in the sector are launching new products and ranges, but how are you finding business? What are you doing to overcome the problems the pandemic has put in your way? I really would like to know, so please do get in touch.
This Week's News
September saw British Institute of KBB Installation CEO Damian Walters warn the industry to "act now to avoid a catastrophe" as he called upon the sector to unite on the subject of Apprenticeships.
Oxfordshire based VitrA Bathrooms is part of one of Turkey's most prominent industrial groups. Throughout the global pandemic, the Group's 13 production facilities have maintained supply of bathroom products for VitrA. VitrA has grown steadily in the UK for over 25 years thanks to enduring design and hygiene features and benefits that have always been core to the company's product development.
Developing a toilet that can work in a weightless environment and on the moon, sounds like quite a tricky task! That is why NASA offered a $35,000 prize for the three best designs - for which they received 20,000 proposals from participants around the world.
New from Keller is the Glam Chic flexible design which oozes class and is reminiscent of a luxury hotel with sophisticated elements applied in a modern way for the home. Pictured is a design which encompasses the current trends for clever, subtle LED lighting, peninsulas, smoked glass, precious metals and dark woods.
The Bathroom Manufacturers Association Industry Conference has been rearranged to now take place on 8th June 2021, at Carden Park, Cheshire and focus on the topic of 'sustainability in the sector.'
Following hard on the heels of launching an extended brassware range - the warmly received Uptown collection - shower manufacturer Aqualisa has introduced two more ranges of brassware under the new Downtown and Central branding.
The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association and corporate member Quooker have released a consumer insert as part of the KBSA's £250,000 support package for kitchen retailers, which will reach more than 1.2 million readers.
Königstone is a go-to brand for fantastic worktop surfaces in quartz, granite, marble and semi-precious materials and the team rightly prides itself on great, successful relationships with customers and the resultant projects are testament to these. One such customer is Lima and Joanne Bull of Königstone and Elizabeth Pantling-Jones of Lima Kitchens had a conversation to understand exactly how they work together…
Just as the leaves take on a golden or reddish hue in Autumn, Crosswater's Belgravia collection now includes a stunning new finish. Perfect for adding an elegant touch to bathrooms, the new Unlacquered Brass finish offers a classic aesthetic with a nod to contemporary style, and joins two existing finishes - Chrome and Nickel - to complete this much-loved traditional range.
As part of its major product launch for Summer 2020, Utopia has introduced a highly innovative new super matt, soft touch foil finish, available in four of the newly launched colours - Blush, Sea Green, Azure Blue and Storm Grey.
One of the things most people take for granted and think little about is using the toilet. However, for some people, this seemingly simple procedure can become very challenging. That is why AKW, one of the UK's leading providers of accessibility solutions, has launched its new AKW Bidet.
Leading worktop and surface specialist, Königstone, is seeking a new fabrication partner in the North West of UK to supplement the company's healthy growth and expansion.
This is following on from the success of Königstone's debut presence at KBB 2020 which generated much excitement from visitors to the show.
Königstone supplies an impressive range of supreme quality kitchen surfaces with both a natural stone and elegant Quartz range. Recent developments include the innovative new Königsink and breath-taking portfolio of semi-precious materials for use in unique kitchen features.
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Following the temporary closure of our head office operation in March, and in response to the national Coronavirus lockdown, we have managed to continue the delivery of our service remotely.
In an effort to support those working on the front line of the pandemic, Whirlpool UK donated appliances including washing machines, microwaves, dishwashers and refrigerators to several NHS hospitals across the UK.