KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
10th October 2014
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Life’s getting interesting, isn’t it? The inflation rate in the UK and the Eurozone is at its lowest level for five years and in the UK, we’ve just recorded the largest annual fall in unemployment on record, since such records began in 1972. A survey just published by the British Retail Consortium reports that sales are at their weakest level in six years, yet a new study by the Federation of Master Builders claims that almost a third of UK homeowners are set to spend £6 billion between them on property upgrades over the next three years.
I wonder, perhaps, whether we’re staying away from the shops because we’re saving so hard to pay for these forthcoming upgrades?
With almost 40% of those planning to improve their homes, saying they will be major refurbishments such as new kitchens, bathrooms and extensions, this bodes very well for the KBB industry indeed, so I hope that everyone sticks to their plans.
The study, which you can learn more about below, also shows that when it comes to choosing a builder, one in four homeowners feel out of their depth. Don’t I just know about that! I now go through several websites making a shortlist - and whatever industry associations those on it are members of, if they’ve not got a good number of excellent reviews on CheckaTrade and the like, with a score of almost a perfect 10 and the price charged the same as the estimate given, I don’t bother to contact them. I’ve come unstuck too many times to be slaphappy in my choice.
Apparently, most people choose their builder on personal recommendations. I’ve come unstuck this way too, as of course a builder performing well on just one job, isn’t necessarily going to come up trumps every time, is he (or she)? And of course we all have different expectations (in my case, builders knowing what they’re doing is one of them!) ‘Safety in numbers’ has become my mantra and it’s paying off, although it does mean I have to wait longer to have the work done, as those I want to do it, seem to take more holidays than most! I suppose that figures though…
This Week's News
StreetwiseSubbie.com's latest survey of 216 specialist contractors reveals that the voluntary measures put forward by the Construction Leadership Council, and the promises of help from UK Government to 'help' specialist contractors in the construction industry are still suffering from payment abuse.
Here's a snapshot of the results:
One of the great strengths of the Arcade luxury Belle Epoque collection from Bathroom Brands is accurate detailing that raises this beautiful range above the rest. Arcade's Fire Hydrant is an ingenious combined waste and overflow system that allows waste pipes to be run out of sight - essential with a freestanding bath.
Based on a Victorian original, the Arcade Fire Hydrant can be positioned at the side or end of the bath and comes with extensions that allow it to be up to 950mm away from the centre of the bath waste. It is nickel finished in a coating process called PVD (physical vapour disposition). All Arcade brassware is nickel plated via PVD offering the unique finish that is as hard wearing as chrome.
The internationally recognised Spanish manufacturer and distributor of innovative surfaces in the world of design and architecture, the Cosentino Group, launched its 9th International Cosentino Design Challenge this week and interest has already come from as many as four continents, 13 schools and institutions from Europe, one from Oceania, one from Asia and one from America.
The competition comprises two categories - Architecture and Design - and is open to all students who registered between the years 2014 and 2015 from any school or centre of higher education for design, architecture or interior architecture anywhere in the world.
Over 120 UK retailers joined the InHouse team to see new ranges presented by Schueller and next125 plus a presentation by managing director Wayne Dance on Branding and Marketing, specifically aimed at the UK independent retailer.
The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced that Tina Riley will take on the position of KBSA National Chair Designate, ahead of confirmation of her appointment at the next Board meeting.
Tina is the owner of family business Modern Homes in Leamington Spa, which celebrated its 45th Anniversary recently.
The new Mobel range is built using top quality carcase materials with fittings from Blum and is very versatile.
Developed to bring insight to the flooring industry, the 'Live Design' project, which formed part of the trends hub, showcased the next generation of designers, who were tasked with producing inspirational flooring designs over the three-day period.
Milbourne, PWS' latest Shaker door range, is proving so successful that the company has introduced a stone finish ex-stock. The collection is currently stocked in chalk, alabaster and sage with a further palette of 21 colours available on a paint-to-order basis.
"Neutral tones, inspired by nature, are very much on trend, and the stone painted finish responds to the consumer demand for a timeless tone that can be dressed up or down, modern or country," comments Graeme Smith, senior designer at PWS.
The Peak District Mountain Bike Challenge took place late last month and provided riders with varying routes and distances to cater for a multitude of riding abilities.
Available exclusively to F & P Wholesale customers, the Capri range joins Halo, Elan, Georgia Plus and Lucy - providing independent merchants with even more choice of exclusive ranges to help achieve a competitive edge in the marketplace.
The J.K. Place, one of the most prestigious boutique hotels in the world, has opened a 5-star establishment in the heart of Rome. The rooms of the building, which dates back to the 17th century, are furnished with an exceptional sense of style.
Equally as much emphasis on exclusive design and 'made in Germany' quality was applied to the bathrooms, which feature baths and enamelled shower surfaces made by Kaldewei.
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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has said that this year's AGM, National Meeting and Networking Dinner were their most successful since the start of the recession. Attended by over 40 retailers and almost 30 corporates, the event attracted almost 120 delegates.
The now traditional Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association Supplier Awards were announced at the 2014 KBB Review Kitchen Conference this week, and again, KBSA members voted for those suppliers that they thought had excelled in their service to them in 2013/14.
New research conducted by an online bathroom retailer in the UK has revealed the top desirable wish list bathroom features which create the most luxurious bathroom environments.
Almost a quarter (24%) of UK based businesses believe that their marketing isn't performing as it should be, with a third of these (33%) complaining that the difficulty of making an impact with the advertising they do, is the biggest barrier to success.