KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
21st September 2018
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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.
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!
This Week's News
According 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.
This 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.
Hoover 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.
The 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.
Amica 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.
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.
The 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.
To 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.
As 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.
The 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.
With 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.
To 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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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.
The choice of door colours, styles, sizes and configurations have been expanded, backed by an updated literature suite.