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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
24th January 2014


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Please note that you are viewing an archived issue of The KBzine.

International News

Global economy growing - but 'wellbeing' may be left behind

As the world marks the 80th birthday of Gross Domestic Product, a new Worldwatch Institute report examines its inadequacy as the sole metric for prosperity.

In 2012, Gross World Product increased to just over $83 trillion, a 4.85% increase over 2011. On the surface, this metric supports the argument that the worst of the global recession is in the past; however, the economy continues a pattern of slowing growth rates since 2010 and 2011, when GWP grew 6.35% and 5.67%, respectively. Moreover, closer inspection shows that growth is taking place mostly in emerging economies: the GDP of emerging economies is now roughly equal to that of all the advanced economies, write Worldwatch researchers in the Institute's latest Vital Signs Online trend.

British Ceramic Tile makes a statement with its new ceramic tile collection

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Feature walls have been a real favourite with consumers over the past few years with wallpapers and tiles being used creatively in the home to give real impact to walls. British Ceramic Tile's new Statement collection taps into this trend offering a new range of ceramic tiles that will instantly create a striking feature wall.

Available in black, white, cream and grey, the range features plain field tiles as well as a coordinating decor tile with classic damask pattern finished with a metallic lustre for added wow factor.

Iconic SMEG500 in red arrives in the UK

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Following the infamous collaboration between award-winning appliance manufacturer Smeg, Italian car manufacturer Fiat and prestigious designers Italia Independent, the SMEG500 refrigerator is now available to the UK market in a vibrant red shade in addition to green and white.

Personalise your storage

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Clever and well designed interior storage solutions are now getting the attention they deserve. Whether it's down to the rise of concealed kitchens and integrated living spaces, or a desire for a sense of control over the clutter and busyness of everyday life, storage solutions have never been so popular.

WaterAid steps up advocacy on behalf of 2.5 billion people without a toilet

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WaterAid has this week announced a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that puts the global sanitation crisis at the forefront of advocacy efforts aimed at improving the lives of millions of people living without toilets or sanitation in Ghana, India and Senegal.

KBB Preview: Carron Phoenix shows off new and flagship products at KBB 2014

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Stand H80a

Exhibiting alongside sister company Franke UK for the first time at KBB, Carron Phoenix will be demonstrating its credentials as a brand synonymous with exceptional quality and value for its target mid to lower end of the market.

Croydex and European Water Label commit to Marathon WaterAid Charity fundraising campaign

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Croydex has teamed up with the industry's Water Label to raise money for the global WaterAid charity.

Zanussi tumble dryer awarded Which? Best Buy

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Consumer champion Which? has featured AEG and Zanussi in its recently tested tumble dryers line up.

The Zanussi ZTH485 tumble dryer has been awarded the prestigious Which? Best Buy status after extensive testing with an overall test score of 66%.

Bathroom Sale Award Winners: doing the industry proud!

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The Award winning Bathroom Sale that was run by Bathroom Brands during October, saw over 700 retailers taking part in one of the most successful marketing initiatives the industry has ever seen.

Production resumes as FagorBrandt reopens all French factories

FagorBrandt (France) has announced that all French production sites have reopened. This follows the announcement on November 8th that FagorBrandt (France) had legally separated its activities from Fagor Electrodomesticos (Spain).

New Year, New Kitchen?

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Electrolux, AEG and Zanussi have a range of appliances to help bring every kitchen into the New Year.

Vibrant Vessini - for the perfect bathroom

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The popular Vessini range by Abacus Direct, from which the designer, retailer or installer, can create the ultimate bathing solution, has been enhanced to answer the demand from today's designers, installers and housebuilders.

Industry experts to brief on impact of new EU Regulations on common refrigerants

Refrigerants used in millions of air conditioning and refrigeration systems across the UK and Europe are to be subject to strict new EU regulations. Those that are not up to date with the changes, might well benefit from a visit to the ACR Show 2014, which takes place at the NEC, from 11 to 13 February, 2014. At the show, industry experts will brief visitors on the changes and their practical consequences in a series of free seminars.

KBB Preview: Bushboard showcases its progressive approach to worksurfaces at KBB 2014

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Hall 18 Stand M90

Bushboard's approach to KBB will be to showcase brand new and existing products across its Encore solid surface, Omega and Prima laminate, and M-Stone quartz worksurface brands, as well as its strong commitment to retailers with installer training, POS and 360 customer service.

Renolit new solid colours: modern colours in trend setting textured surfaces

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The Renolit 3D stock range new introductions in 2013 included a number of stunning new solid colours and such has been the success of the range that further colours have now been introduced.

British Ceramic Tile extends its HD collection

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Leading tile manufacturer and distributor, British Ceramic Tile, has expanded its high definition (HD) collection with even more colours, styles and finishes to keep up with demand from retailers.

Galaxy Showers refreshes its product range to meet customer demand

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Galaxy Showers has announced plans to refresh its brand image and streamline its product portfolio to better suit the needs of its customers. The decision for this change came about following extensive consumer research into the showering market and will open new opportunities for Galaxy in a range of sectors.

Welcome to the


Although my suitcase isn’t packed yet, the travel arrangements have been made, the hotel’s booked and I’m getting excited! Yes – the kbb Birmingham fever has well and truly kicked in and with every press release I receive, I’m wishing the days away even harder. As I said to one PR I was chatting with yesterday, John and I get to some lovely locations while visiting shows for another industry in which we work (Verona’s a real favourite!) but nothing quite compares to being able to drool over the very latest offerings in kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms – even if they are in what has sometimes been referred to as “as big shed on the outskirts of Birmingham”.

Talking of foreign climes… Andrew Vaughan, Event Director at kbb Birmingham, told us that this year’s show (which takes place from 2nd – 5th March) is set to host the biggest contingent of European brands in its 29 year history. He said: “I think it is clear to see the economy in the UK is picking up and it has become relevant, now more than ever, for our European counterpart to ride upon this success too.”

Registration is open now at the exhibition’s brand new website and to encourage prospective visitors not to do what I tend to do and leave registration so late that I have to queue to collect a badge, the organisers have arranged that every 1000th registration will be rewarded with a bottle of champagne. Dean Stokes at Methven UK was the first winner.

“It’s exciting to be able to hand out our first bottle of champagne to the 1000th visitor already,” said Andrew. “We’ve had a tremendous response since registration was opened, and we know there’ll be plenty more bottles to be handed out in the coming weeks!”

Wonder if I’ll be one of the lucky ones…

To register, visit: www.kbb.co.uk

Don't forget to 'like' our Facebook Page, or comment any of our Story Pages.





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Kitchen & Bathroom Worktops Market Report - UK 2014-2018 Analysis, now available

The value of the total kitchen worktop market is estimated to have declined from a high of £200m in 2007 to £170m in 2011, increasing modestly to £173m in 2012 and again to £177m in 2013.

Key issues that have influenced the UK domestic kitchen furniture and worktop market in recent years include:-

* The blurring of distinction between the kitchen and dining room, with less formality in the home and a move towards open plan living.
* An emphasis on aesthetics and stylish designs, with contemporary styling, clean lines, sleek, minimalist looks and solid flooring becoming a major theme in the home.

Signs of recovery for UK furniture industry

Information from a publication released at the end of 2013 hints at a small recovery for furniture manufacturing in the UK, but this improvement is overshadowed by poor export performance and China gaining a massive foothold of our import market.

A statistics digest which contains key information about current furniture industry market trends, essential for strategic business planning, is now available.

KBB PREVIEW: Schüller and next 125 promise to be a main attraction at kbb 2014

* KojeC6_Glasline-matt-Fino.jpgStand number: M105

As one of Germany's leading kitchen manufacturers, Schüller will be a main attraction at kbb 2014. With its two brands - schüller.C collection and next125 - Schüller will be demonstrating its commitment and investment in the UK market by exhibiting exciting new 2014 additions for the first time. kbb 2014 is the perfect opportunity for Schüller to showcase why it has 'Probably the best kitchens in the world' and for next125 to demonstrate its ethos of 'Design in harmony with nature and price'.

The schüller.C collection will have three displays of its mid-market collection to demonstrate the high quality, enormous choice of planning options and the impressive functional elements. The Schüller and InHouse team will be speaking to retailers about the dedicated point of sale and marketing support provided to the UK market.

Utopia announces 2014 training programme

Utopia Bathroom Group has announced that it will be running monthly training days throughout 2014. Previous sessions have been very well received with retailers finding the days extremely helpful, both for briefing new staff members and also for updating existing personnel.

Held at Utopia's purpose-built headquarters in Bilston, the training days cover every aspect of company operation from manufacturing to customer services. They will usually be held on the final Wednesday of each month with the day's programme starting at 10.00 and finishing at around 15.30. The agenda for the day is as follows:

KBB Preview: Salice set to stand out from the crowd

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Salice will be exhibiting its range of furniture fittings for kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms at the KBB show. Visitors will be able to view a selection of the product range, including the Slider S20 two-door coplanar sliding system which is a popular choice with today's designers due to its combined features of reliability, aesthetic design and ergonomic advantages. Slider S20 is suitable for kitchen cabinets, sideboards and small wall cabinets, up to a weight of 20kg and offers versatile and easy installation.

Also on display will be Eclipse, which is a pocket door system that features an assisted soft-close door return mechanism and a door opening safety device. Eclipse incorporates the exclusive Bortoluzzi synchronised cam movement and is easy to install, adjust and inspect in situ, as all three movements are adjusted from the front of the cabinet.

KBB Preview: Pelipal to showcase 17 collections of stunning bathroom furniture

Pelipal1.jpgStand number: D60

Following the unveiling of Pelipal to UK retailers at kbb 2012, Pelipal is reinforcing the brand, showcasing 17 collections of its stunning bathroom furniture at this year's show.

As Germany's leading manufacturer of bathroom furniture, Pelipal is exhibiting the Solitaire 6005 (pictured) and Solitaire 7005, both new collections for 2014. Pelipal will also be premiering Vialo, Nelo and Evo ranges to the UK market. Alongside these will be Leonardo 112, Loa, Tiva and Primadonna - market-leading ranges which have contributed to Pelipal's retail success.

KBB Preview: Sensio Lighting back for a fourth time

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Sensio will be exhibiting at kbb Birmingham for the fourth time this year. As a market leader of kitchen and bedroom lighting solutions and a company that has established a reputation for developing award-winning, innovative LED lighting solutions of the highest quality, it's only appropriate that the company has a strong presence at the event - one of the most prominent trade shows in the industry.

KBB Preview: Blanco's passion for perfection will be showcased at KBB 2014

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Blanco's passion for perfection is reflected in one of the UK's most comprehensive portfolios of high quality sinks, taps and extractor hoods.
With a German pedigree, Blanco is well known for design flair and high quality products which cover all market requirements from the builders' merchant to the prestigious kitchen boutique.

As one of the largest manufacturers of stainless steel, Silgranit and ceramic sinks, Blanco will be showcasing a wide variety of sink products. Also on display will be a comprehensive selection of taps, extractor hoods and lighting.

Garry Naughton joins Stelrad

* Garry-Naughton_Stelrad.jpgUK radiator manufacturer - Stelrad Radiators - has welcomed Garry Naughton to the business in his new role as Business Director.

Garry has a wealth of experience in the radiator sector and joins from Zehnder Group where he was responsible for the UK commercial business - and as a result has had a longstanding relationship with Stelrad as a supplier to the company.

Put a spring in your step with free training from Geberit!

There is no better way to kick-start the New Year than by brushing up on your knowledge of the latest sanitary and piping systems, argues Geberit, which has just announced new dates for its free training modules which will take place over the coming months.

The next round of training modules will take place on the following dates:

Gorenje scores sponsorship for netball youngsters

* Gorenje-sponsors-Warrington-juniors.jpgGorenje UK, one of Europe's leading kitchen appliance manufacturers, has showed its support for Warrington Town Junior Netball Club by providing tracksuits for members of the club's 11 teams.

The generous £2,500 sponsorship deal was agreed upon when Stuart Benson, national sales manager for Gorenje UK who lives locally to the club, heard that the youngsters were in need of some support.

Seven ways to improve your business telephone skills

* Nseventeen.jpgIn this article - the second in a series produced especially for KBzine readers, Catherine Emerson of Nseventeen, discusses six ways you can ensure you get the best from your business phone calls. Nseventeen is a consultancy that specialises in qualified and researched business appointment setting.

Despite the rise of email, the telephone is still one of the most important business communication tools and many of us use it throughout our working day. But just because we use it every day, it doesn't mean we're making the most of the conversations we're having. Here are seven tips to help you get the best results from your phone calls.

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How to contact us at The KBzine:
Jan Hobbs
Publishing Editor
Email:[email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)1372 811 307 
Mobile: 07980 288 373





John Austen
Publishing Director
Email:[email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)1580 755 863
Mobile: 07766 707 888
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Recent News

Bathroom company launches apprenticeship scheme to help young people build their careers

As David Cameron puts emphasis on the value of apprenticeships in bridging the skills gap to get young people into their first jobs, Better Bathrooms is launching an apprenticeship scheme aimed at local young people. The scheme will run across the business with opportunities in Accounts, IT, Design and Administration.

Time to down tools?

Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is continuing to plague employees across a wide range of industries, who regularly use vibrating equipment for long periods, despite there being plenty of precautions to reduce the risks according to workplace equipment supplier Slingsby.

British Ceramic Tile teams up with Empty Homes to bring properties back to life

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Renowned tile manufacturer and distributor, British Ceramic Tile, has teamed up with independent charity Empty Homes, to breathe new life into uninhabitable houses throughout the UK.

£8 million technology boost for UK high streets

A brand new, £8m initiative, designed to re-invigorate UK high streets, has been announced by Science & Universities Minister, David Willetts, today.

Last chance to apply for £150,000 high street challenge prize

Towns and city centres have until Friday 31st January to apply for the Revive & Thrive Challenge which aims to bring people and businesses together to breathe new life into their high street.

The countdown to kbb Birmingham 2014 begins…

More than 200 premier brands will be setting up home at the NEC Birmingham, from 2nd – 5th March, to show off their wares at the industry’s eagerly-anticipated event - kbb Birmingham 2014.

The show’s organiser, UBM Live Built Environment, promises that a multitude of key brands from the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom arena will be joining a whole host of well-established international, component and appliance companies such as Laufen, Blum, Sensio and British Ceramic Tiles – and that the line up will include many familiar favourites, plus new brands to the show, such as Samat, Terrence Ball Kitchens and RotPunkt Kitchens. There will also be a packed seminar programme, which is being sponsored by Formica.

KBB Preview: Franke puts retailers centre stage at KBB 2014 with its More in Store campaign

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Hall 19, Stand H80

More in Store is the big business message on the Franke stand at KBB, where the company is re-affirming its support for its specialist showroom retailers with a major campaign initiative, together with a strong new product line-up.

KBSA: New Year resolutions!

The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association tells us that, having analysed the results of its recent research project, it is going to work towards repositioning itself in order to develop consumer interest and awareness. This will include new messaging and a new value proposition for both consumers and current / potential members.

Pivotal role for Laufen's customisable solid surface material in futuristic bathroom design

As a manufacturer of innovative solutions that shape the future of bathroom design, Laufen was chosen by Purpose Design for inclusion in the Sleep Concept Hotel at the recent Sleep London event.


Work experience that led to a Roman career

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UK shower designer and manufacturer, Roman, has welcomed a new addition to its Marketing team. Laura Knox joins Roman's Marketing team as Marketing Executive.

Julia Bunney promoted to UK Sales Director at Poggenpohl UK

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Poggenpohl UK has announced the promotion of the incumbent UK Dealer Manager, Julia Bunney, to the role of UK Sales Director.

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