KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
21st September 2018


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International News

New for 2018 at K├╝chenmeile: Holland Trend Haus

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Keller Kitchens, Dekker Zevenhuizen and ATAG Benelux have joined forces and will open the doors of Holland Trend Haus on 16th, 17th and 18th September. At ServicePoint A30 in Bünde, the three Dutch companies will present the latest trends and innovations in the field of kitchens, worktops and kitchen appliances.

Salice set for SICAM success

Salice tells us it is looking forward to showcasing its extensive product range at SICAM 2018, the International Exhibition of Components, Semi-finished Products and Accessories for the Furniture Industry, held in Pordenone, Italy between 16th-19th October 2018.

Miele's new CM 7550 bean-to-cup countertop coffee machine incorporates WiFi technology

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Premium domestic appliance manufacturer, Miele, showcased at IFA a new model for its range of countertop coffee machines, the CM 7550 Coffee Machine.

Blanco introduces super stylish stainless steel taps

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Ever the innovator in kitchen sinks and taps, Blanco UK has introduced a range of brushed stainless steel taps designed for today's busy home. The Ambis, Candor and Lanora-S have been designed to complement any design scheme, be it traditional or modern, and all stainless steel sink models from Blanco.

NoCode Versobox - innovation in shower valve technology

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NoCode's Versobox combines stylish looks with easy installation for any bathroom setting. The install box ensures a watertight installation for optimal product performance and tanking is also provided for additional waterproofing. The clear plastic front cover protects the valve during any plastering or wall finishing and acts as a tiling guide for an accurate finish.

Rangemaster updates iconic Elan range cooker by launching the Elan Deluxe

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Rangemaster has updated its popular Elan range cooker with the launch of the brand-new Elan Deluxe, available in both Dual Fuel and Induction models.

Illusion of wallpaper made possible with new V&A Serenity Collection from British Ceramic Tile

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Wallpaper enthusiasts rejoice. The illusion of wallpaper is now made possible with the new V&A Serenity collection from British Ceramic Tile. A collection of white, textured matt tiles inspired by the V&A's archive of wallpaper designs, V&A Serenity is all about discreet detail, creating a wall covering that's soft, serene and individually personal.

Worktop Express launches Wilsonart's Zenith Solid-Core slimline worktops

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The UK's leading online worktop specialist of worksurfaces in Gloucester has added three Wilsonart Zenith decors to its comprehensive range of Wilsonart worktops. Worktop Express, which started business in 2009, has built a compelling business initially supplying competitive solid wood worktops and has developed into offering all materials both online and through its eight national worktop showrooms.

Sleek with no leaks for the perfect wetroom

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"A few manufacturers have attempted to create something similar but, in our opinion, Abacus Elements has really nailed it with this clever design making it one of the best wetroom trays we have seen," Roger Bisby, Skill Builder.

Better than ever ceramic hobs from Amica

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Amica has redesigned two of its best-selling ceramic hobs, adding sophisticated features and safety improvements.

Matt black finds its surface match with CRL Quartz Vicenza

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Responding to many of the key trends in interior design while offering several practical advantages, CRL Quartz Vicenza is a new colour from CRL Stone suitable for kitchens and bathrooms.

Colour pop kitchens add real vibrancy to the home's hub

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This season it's all about eye-catching colour in the kitchen. Whether people are looking for an island with a vibrant pop of paint or a completely colourful kitchen, each of Burbidge's stylish designs can be hand sprayed in one of 30 shades from the kitchen specialist's Painted Palette, or colour matched to any paint manufacturer's colour, using the company's Bespoke service, ensuring that the chosen kitchen is perfectly paired with a hue that suits the householder.

Traditionally modern design for your kitchen

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Think traditional kitchen design and brass and ceramic are two materials that instantly spring to mind and the latest products from Abode combine both for a modern twist that turns the sink and tap into a stand-out feature.

Welcome to the



With the UK High Street having posted its worst August performance for three years and 50,000 retail jobs already lost this year because of people's apparent preference for buying online, the Federation of Small Businesses is calling for a series of clever measures to give our traditional way of shopping a better chance of survival. As well as the added costs local shops have to pay for rates and rents, the FSB says they also suffer because of the high cost of parking, poor infrastructure, potholes and the loss of banking services.

I agree something needs to be done to stop the rot - and soon, too. And being selfish, while we can research and perhaps enjoy lower prices online, there's nothing like real 'hands on' experience and human contact, is there?

My friends were in Homebase, South Wimbledon, a couple of weeks back; waiting for a staff member to check something out. As I joined them one said: "If all retail staff were like that, we wouldn't be seeing so many stores closing." I knew who they were talking about... the same chap who'd called out cheerily when my daughter and I wandered into the paint aisle the previous week: "Good morning ladies - can I be of any help to you?" We didn't think he could, but of course later we availed ourselves of his product expertise with regard to paint and many other items too. We shopped there twice more because we were confident we'd be advised by someone who knew what he was talking about and once he even finished his lunchbreak early as he'd seen us and knew we'd need his help.

During another visit, no-one was about so we tried customer services. "You should ask Andy," the assistant said. "I'll call him." Naturally, he came up trumps. He knows the stock inside out - and where to find it. He gave us advice that in cases saved us money, but alongside that he encouraged us to visit more often and to buy more whenever we did. It's not often I'm so impressed that I'll do this, but will someone please give Andy Sloan a job? He's been at Homebase for 16 years and his store is closing in a few weeks. And great as he is on the shop floor, he should really be training and managing other staff to be just like him.

Online shopping or service 'Andy style'? It's a no-brainer. Believe me, improving the in-store experience can really improve the bottom line!




Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Over 20% growth forecast for UK kitchen & bathroom worktops market over next five years

* Over-20-percent-growth.jpgAccording to a new report by AMA Research, there has been good growth in the domestic kitchen and bathroom worktops market in recent years and this is set to continue, with over 20% growth forecast over the next five years.

Between 2014 and 2017, the UK overall worktops market is estimated to have grown by 13%. The worktops market has performed fractionally better than in the kitchen furniture and overall bathroom markets over the last few years, reflecting a shift to higher value worktops and a trend for larger worktop areas, such as islands and peninsulas with waterfall worktops.

VitrA launches new Plural range at Design Junction. See it while you can!

* VitrA-Plural1.jpgThis week through to the evening of 23rd September, beautiful bathroom brand VitrA is participating for the first time in designjunction, London's premier exhibition for contemporary design and one of the main destinations of the London Design Festival.

The first bathroom brand to ever exhibit at the show, VitrA has chosen designjunction to launch Plural, the latest addition to its growing designers' portfolio, in the UK.

Who's Sirius' Manufacturer of the Year? Hoover, that's who!

* Sirius-Hoover.jpgHoover Candy has been crowned the Sirius Manufacturer of the Year for the fifth time in seven years. Judged and voted for by Sirius members, brands are scored on a range of criteria, including outstanding sales team support, service, products, innovation, quality and head office support.

The manufacturer, which has been a member of the Sirius Buying Group for more than 15 years, was the winner at the awards, held at The Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel and Country Club, on Wednesday.

Six new retailers boost KBSA membership

* KBDSA-6-new-retailers.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced that six new retailers have joined the association; that four new members also joined last month, and that there are a further 10 applications being progressed.

The latest new retailers include 3D Kitchens.Net in Halesowen; Luton Kitchens, Bathrooms & Bedrooms; Omni Home Design in St Albans; Oxford Kitchens & Bathrooms; John Ladbury & Co in Hertfordshire and Kitchen Livingin Hampshire.

Which? Best Buy accolade for Amica fridge freezer

* Amica-Best-Buy.jpgAmica is delighted to report that the FK3213DFX fridge freezer has been chosen as a Best Buy by Which? "This is a feature-rich model and has been a great seller for Amica," comments marketing manager Steve Corbett, "so we are thrilled to have this acknowledgement."

The review praised the fridge freezer for its reliable thermostat, excellent temperature stability and said that the appliance was quiet, easy to use and affordable. The fridge freezer was also applauded for its flame-retardant backing.

British Ceramic Tile refreshes retailer Rewards Club

* BCT-Retailer-Club.jpgBritish Ceramic Tile's reward scheme has been relaunched with a host of exciting offers, promotions and prizes in a move to make the scheme more attractive and beneficial to retail customers.

After months of development, premium retailers can join the new and improved scheme, which now offers an enhanced user experience and a number of incentives to encourage and support retail sales.

A 40th birthday celebration and pledge to invest in the future from KBSA

* KBSA-40th.jpgThe Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association's 2018 AGM Conference and Networking Dinner was a hailed as a huge success as the association celebrated 40 successful years and looked to the future with confidence. Over 115 delegates, with 55 of these being retailers attended the event which was held at The Stratford Manor Hotel, Stratford upon Avon.

An exclusive retailer dinner the night before included two presentations from Simon Jones, Director at BSH Home Appliances and John Seaman, Head of Sales at Blanco UK.

New Kinerock presenter from Saniflo

* Kinerock-presenter-Saniflo.jpgTo support sales and displays of the new Kinerock shower tray into bathroom display outlets, the team at Saniflo has developed a stylish presenter. The sturdy book-style unit contains six samples of the cut-able tray that showcases the range of available colours and the actual material of manufacture.

The presenter has been very well received by the Saniflo sales team as well as the retail outlets. Whilst initially designed to highlight the quality and features of the tray to showroom staff it has since been used as a sales aid with customers.

Rehau introduces new production line to UK plant

* Rehau.jpgAs Brexit draws ever closer there is more and more focus on the British manufacturing industry. At Rehau's plant in Amlwch they know how important the manufacturing trade is and the firm has recently introduced a new production line to the factory.

The move sees the production line for polypropylene edgeband material moved from a Rehau plant in Germany to the Welsh plant - something that was co-ordinated and carried out by the UK team itself.

Blanco ArchPro offers the expert look

* Blanco-ArchPro.jpgThe Blanco ArchPro series of taps demonstrates the expert design from Blanco UK. The semi-professional mixer tap has a twin lever to regulate the temperature of the water flow to suit the user's requirements.

The flexible spout is coiled to protect the hose and can easily be removed from the holder. Each ArchPro tap is fitted with a durable ceramic disc which guarantees the water flow turns off the instant the user moves the lever to the off position.

Abode takes up the Bake Off Challenge

* Abode-Bake-off1.jpgWith the Great British Bake Off back on the TV, the team at Abode HQ have been putting on their aprons and rolling up their sleeves to show off their own baking talents, in the Abode Bake Off Challenge.

Jumping on the baking bandwagon and giving Prue Leith a run for her money, cake creations in the challenge so far have included a culinary version of the Abode Vixo mixertap complete with cascading water and the rose gold Serenitie shower valve made from tasty orange cake.

Smeg teams up with Disney for limited edition, Mickey Mouse anniversary FAB fridge

* Smeg-Disney.jpgTo mark a year signified by two landmark anniversaries - its 70th anniversary as a company and the first birthday of its flagship London store - Smeg has teamed up with Disney to create a limited edition commemorative fridge.

To celebrate the special nature of the partnership, there will only be a total of 90 fridges made for the collection, one for each year since Mickey's debut back in 1928 - making this a true collector's item. Each fridge is decorated with a limited edition silver plaque signifying its unique number.

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Jan Hobbs
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Recent News

KBSA Designer Awards 2018 winners receive their trophies

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Hearty congratulations to all the winners of the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association Designer of the Year Awards 2018, who collected their awards at the Association's annual conference this week at the Stratford Manor Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon. The winners were:

Brassware and taps market enjoys 4% value growth despite intense pricing pressures

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The brassware and taps market in the UK, worth more than £200m, is estimated to have grown by 4% in 2017. Following a period of slow growth, the market improved between 2014 and 2016, driven by more favourable conditions in the new housebuilding sector and demand from the private commercial sector.

Poor consumer lending practices short-change UK businesses by some 40% of sales

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UK businesses are being unknowingly short-changed out of sales revenues - by as much as 40% - due to poor practices employed by consumer credit lenders, a new research report has found.

BMA works towards international agreement on water efficient products

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The Bathroom Manufacturers Association is working to influence the development of an international standard for a banding system to indicate the efficiency of water-using fittings and appliances, which will encourage water saving throughout the world.

Builders' merchants' sales soar as part of 0.9% rise in construction output

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Builders' merchants have reported a double-digit increase in June, with average daily sales up 11.2% up on June 2017. Their performance reinforces the release of the latest ONS data that has found construction output grew by 0.9% in Quarter 2 on 2018.

Abode scoops LTG's 'Best in Kitchen & Bathroom Accessories' Award

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Abode has won the 'Best in Kitchen & Bathroom Accessories Award' in the Luxury Travel Guide's 2019 Lifestyle Awards, which showcases the very best brands that enable affluent travellers to bring the benefits of their trip into everyday life.

Our industry's views of plastic waste: Franke's Snapshot Survey results revealed

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Franke's Snapshot Survey across the industry reveals commitment to reducing plastic waste, but that behavioural change is a much longer burn.

Carron Phoenix retailers to host 'World's Biggest Coffee Morning' for Macmillan

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Carron Phoenix is once again supporting MacMillan Cancer Support by helping their independent retailers to take part in the charity's World's Biggest Coffee Morning in September.

InSinkErator supports PhD food waste research project

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InSinkErator is supporting a PhD research project, 'The role of food waste disposers in the Circular Economy', being undertaken by The University of Sheffield, on the potential to recover biogas from ground food waste, transported to treatment via the sewer system.

Norbord answers the call of the Royal Marines

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Royal Marines are enjoying new kitchens at their barracks in North Devon after Norbord, a leading wood panel manufacturer, answered an appeal for help on social media. Norbord and selected partners provided a makeover for three kitchens by donating new units produced at the company's South Molton plant.

Masterclass takes to the high roads (and the low roads) by expanding into Scotland

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As its partner network continues to grow, Masterclass Kitchens is entering new territory, with retailers in Scotland able to take its products on board for the first time. In what is a big step forward for the company and with a strong network of retail partners now established in the UK and Wales, Scotland is the natural next step for the business.

Samsung creates new technical expert roles to enhance kitchen trade support

Samsung has created new roles in its customer engagement team for the kitchen trade to better serve the needs of the premium market and provide enhanced customer service for retail partners.


British Ceramic Tile expands its internal design with creative new talent

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British Ceramic Tile has expanded its internal design team with creative new talent, recruiting Becca Keenan and Gemma Lofthouse. These new appointments see British Ceramic Tile add further strength and depth to its passionate, well-established design team, developing the next generation of young surface pattern designers.


Smeg's new digital brochure features entire built-in and integrated appliance range

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Smeg has produced a new digital version of its built-in brochure. This new digital format means customers, dealers and retailers have quick and easy access to Smeg's entire range of built-in and integrated appliances.

TKC expands its dedicated Jigsaw brand following its successful launch

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Following its successful initial launch, TKC has significantly enhanced the product offer for its Jigsaw brand to offer even greater sales opportunities for its complete kitchen customers.

The choice of door colours, styles, sizes and configurations have been expanded, backed by an updated literature suite.

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