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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th November 2014


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

International News

Max-Top masters monochrome

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Kitchen worktop specialist Max-Top has seen sales of its monochrome Max-Top Quartz surfaces soar, revealing that they now account for over 70% of sales.

MX unveils new thermostatic mixer shower ranges

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Following hard on the heels of the recent launch of its new QI electric shower range and its new Expressions shower tray range with the hidden wastes, renowned bathroom and shower manufacturer MX Group has unveiled its latest offering to the bathroom sector - an impressive new range of thermostatic mixer shower valves offering its usual combination of incredible quality, great looking product, excellent warranties and keen pricing.

Re-thinking sanitation in support of World Toilet Day

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To mark World Toilet Day 2014 on Wednesday 19th November, Roca and We Are Water Foundation are hosting a special event at Roca London Gallery.

New Blum lift system available as a complete pack from LDL

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LDL is extending its popular range of Blum Aventos lift systems with the introduction of the new Aventos HK-XS entry model. To simplify ordering, all the components of the new system are offered as a complete pack and can be ordered using a single code, a unique feature of the LDL offer.

Vanities fair

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Timeless, grand luxury belle epoque styling, subtle colours and elegant soft curves make the new vanity units from the fabulous Arcade bathrooms the perfect choice for a new bathroom - or for providing an instant facelift by replacing an old basin and pedestal.

Manhattan makes heads turn, not just movies!

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Maintaining its modern mark with its all new Manhattan range and using a revolutionary new manufacturing process, Uform has introduced a new 22mm, integrated membrane-pressed door with a high gloss finish available in both white and alabaster.

Finished in a premium quality gloss foil that produces a mirror-like finish (minimising any orange peel effect); Manhattan offers exceptionally high quality and affordability for the handless look that seems like it's here to stay on the market.

Crosswater adds 'Glitz' and 'Sparkle' to bathrooms this Christmas

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Bathroom specialist Crosswater is launching two new basin mixers from its Gallery collection, bringing a touch of hotel glamour to its offer. The chrome plated brass basin mixers are sleek and slender in shape, and are elegantly encrusted with stunning crystals to add a stylish and unique finish.

Lixil Water Technology Group: A new global market leader to be born

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Tokyo-based Lixil Corporation has this week announced a new global operating model with four core technology business units to further globalise its business. The most notable change from this new model will be the creation of Lixil Water Technology Group, which integrates the Lixil Group's worldwide sanitaryware business including the Grohe Group and the American Standard Brands, effective 1st April 2015, pending relevant regulatory approvals and internal corporate procedures.

Whirlpool launches new dishwashers with PowerDry option

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Whirlpool has launched some impressive new top of the range dishwashers for 2014 for both its built-in and freestanding collections. The new 6th Sense PowerClean dishwashers have a clever PowerDry option, which makes them the No.1 in cleaning and drying in just one hour.

Welcome to the


I’m so relieved I’ve not been drawn into what has now firmly established itself as the Black Friday fracas – either by taking part in shopping scrums or experiencing the frustration of website crashes!

I can understand those trying to bag a bargain online, but what is it with people in the stores? Have they no dignity? I chuckled at an image of a woman spreadeagled over a flatscreen TV, desperately trying to keep hold of it as a rival shopper did her best to drag it away, but on reading that shop staff have been attacked and several are sporting black eyes and other injuries, and that another shopper has been hurt by a falling TV, I felt sad. What have we become?

Some customs we import from the US are worth taking on board, but others, such as over-the-top high school proms, supersized fast foods and of course Black Friday – well – I wish we’d never heard of them.

And I have to ask: if someone’s buying a kitchen appliance or the like at a fraction of its normal price today, how likely are they to be spending out again on similar items at a more reasonable price in the run up to Christmas? Isn’t this just a case of bringing the Christmas shopping period forward and cramming it into one 24hr period, during which websites crash, staff are overwhelmed and injured and many unlucky shoppers will be left with – at the very least – a bad taste in their mouths, but perhaps relieved that they haven’t lost teeth?

I believe shops are doing themselves a disservice by becoming involved, as the usual loss leaders to lure customers in, aren’t going to work in this kind of scenario, are they – well, not unless it’s an online shop? But of course, how can one store not become involved when its competitors are?

I can envisage the headlines… “Stores say final shopping days before Christmas are ‘unusually quiet’,” or “January sales brought forward due to lack of sales”.

I think we should ban Black Friday and I daresay all the delivery drivers will be feeling the same by this time next week.





Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

KBSA calls for SME support in Autumn Statement

The Kitchen, Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association has called for more support for SME’s ahead of The Chancellor’s Autumn statement next Wednesday.

Graham Ball, Chief Executive Officer, said: “It really is time now for The Coalition to deliver on promises made in the past and get the banks lending more easily to SME’s. Whilst it has improved, there are still cases where the obduracy of the past has returned. Decision-making must be returned to a local level. Business Rates, of course, need modernising quickly as they cannot be sustained at the levels created when property prices were at their highest – that situation is just plainly daft!

UK retail property industry makes last ditch attempt at reform for ‘archaic’ business rates system

* Edward-Cooke.jpgThe UK retail and property sectors are poised to hear whether the Chancellor will use his final chance to make meaningful reforms to the business rates burden in his Autumn Statement, according to the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC).

 The retail property trade body, which counts a wide range of FTSE listed property companies and town centre investors in its membership, is asking the Chancellor one last time to “press ‘go’ on reform of this archaic system.” 

World-class base for a business with world-class ambitions...

* Bathroom-Brands.jpgA £19 million investment in a stunning new UK headquarters, incorporating one of Europe's largest bathroom showrooms, has been designed with flair, imagination and the capability to accommodate future growth. This marks yet another stage in the success story of Bathroom Brands and Crosswater Holdings.

Lake View House was formally opened on Wednesday by Lord St John of Bletso, the Hereditary British Peer. The opening marked the start of a day of celebration for employees and their families, suppliers, customers and the press.

Mereway win Business Innovation category at The Midlands Family Business Awards 2014

* Mereway_business-award.jpgMereway Kitchens has won the Business Innovation category at The Midlands Family Business Awards 2014, as well as being shortlisted for the Employer of the Year award.

Utopia on tour!

* My-Utopia-van-display.jpgNow completely refitted following the recent major product launch, Utopia's show van is about to embark on a nationwide tour.

VitrA unveils Memoria in the UK at Sleep

* Vitra-sleep-launch.jpgWhen VitrA unveiled its Memoria range at this week's Sleep exhibition in London, the understated, sophisticated aesthetic, with its defining sleek, clean lines proved a winner for style conscious hotels wishing to wow discerning guests and bridge the gap between the bathroom and living spaces, to create a sophisticated setting for bathing and relaxing.

Grohe launches five new products at Sleep 2014

* Grohe-sleep-colour-taps.jpgGrohe, headline sponsor of Sleep. 2014, The Hotel Design Event, showcased five new innovative products at the event:

* The Grohe Powerbox - This infrared tap uses water pressure to power itself. Grohe's innovative technology uses the tap's own water flow to drive a turbine, concealed in a small box installed below the basin. This converts the energy from the flowing water into storable electrical energy which then powers the tap's infrared function.

British Ceramic Tile launches new retail brand

* BCT-devonstone-brown.jpgBritish Ceramic Tile has launched a new retail brand in a move to drive increased sales through independent retailers.

The House of British Ceramic Tile brand has been rolled out to the company's community of independent retailers, marking the start of a sustained communications strategy designed to engage directly with consumers and drive them in store.

Abode launches new three and four part heritage mixer tap collection

* Abode-new.jpgAbode designers are continually seeking to create new designs for both modern and traditional homes and their latest two additions are the Astbury and Brompton three and four part mixers which will look equally at home in a modern house, country home or a refurbished older property.

The new mixers were previewed at KBB in March this year and now available nationwide through Abode's distribution partners.

Propelair wins Green Apple Environmental Award for its UK-manufactured 1.5-litre flush toilet

* Propellair-cut-out.jpgPropelair, the UK designer and manufacturer of the revolutionary 1.5-litre flush toilet, is celebrating after being named the Engineering & Manufacturing Gold Winner in the national Green Apple Awards 2014 from The Green Organisation.

The Green Organisation recognises, rewards and promotes environmental best practice around the world and the Green Apple Environmental Awards are presented annually to UK companies, councils and communities.

A new way to light and heat a bathroom from Auratherm

Ecolec-Auratherm-LED-mirror.jpgA new combination of features in bathroom and bedroom heating is shaking up the KBB sector.

The new product, from Auratherm - part of established electric heating company, Ecolec, offers heat and light with remote controls, incorporating a four hour timer and an LED dimmer switch. The Auratherm vision of controlled heat and light in one electric product with a mirror is an intelligent way to save effort and energy.

Teka goes a 'Touch' digital with Gas-on-Glass

* Teka.jpgTeka UK has added a luxurious Touch Control, Gas-on-Glass digital hob to its gas hobs collection, combining the latest in innovative technology with discerning good looks.

Available as a five burner, 90cm model or four burner, 60cm model, the hob presents the perfect cooking solution to those who prefer the controllability of gas married with the sleek aesthetics of crystal tempered glass - and of course a hi-tech touch control panel with digital settings.

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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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Lakes Bathrooms launches new site for mobile web

Shower specialist Lakes Bathrooms has launched a new website with a fully responsive design to adapt to mobile and small screen formats.

Utopia proudly presents the 12 dogs of Christmas!

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Utopia is reprising its popular Facebook Christmas promotion with this year's festive competition focusing on The 12 Dogs of Christmas. Last year's promotion celebrated the fascinating fact that Utopia employed 12 Daves but for 2014 it is employees' dogs that will take centre stage.


Saniflo unveils new Kinedo brochure

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In response to a growing demand for shower cubicles, Saniflo has launched a new Kinedo brochure, which showcases the stunning new cubicle models with striking photography and also demonstrates the benefits of shower cubicles.

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