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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
24th July 2015


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

International News

Aga Rangemaster sold to US kitchen products specialist Middleby for £129.2m

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Yet another iconic British brand is to come under to US ownership, with Aga Rangemaster being sold to US commercial foodservice, food processing and residential kitchen equipment giant the Middleby Corporation for £129.2m.

Blanco cooker hood makes a bold statement

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The inspiring Gutmann Arte hood from Blanco Germany makes a dramatic addition to contemporary kitchen design. This powerful extractor combines a futuristic design with advanced technology for unrivalled performance.

New products bring a design classic bang up to date

Ensuring it continues to cater for the demands of modern bathroom design while remaining true to its classical routes, the iconic IlBagnoAlessi One collection from Laufen has been expanded for 2014.

Introducing SensioSound: an LED Bluetooth speaker light

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Add this dual-purpose, under-cabinet light with Bluetooth speaker to your next kitchen refurbishment to add cool yet practical (and surprisingly inexpensive) technology and tidiness to your own or your client's sociable kitchen space.

Comprehensive and affordable shower floors: Kaldewei now offers solutions for every project

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With the expansion of Scona, Kaldewei has grown its shower programme to include almost any size requirement, installation type and the lowest price point than ever before for modern, low level showering. Scona and Superplan, especially, offer outstanding designs and are stars of affordability within the Kaldewei portfolio.

Designer radiator brand Bisque introduce the elegant and simple Trubi

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With a modern, minimalist design, the Trubi radiator is the perfect heating solution for contemporary kitchens and bathrooms this Summer. Its slender, vertical tubes give the Trubi a light and subtle appearance, while it can be positioned either vertically or horizontally to suit the space available; tall models provide a practical solution for narrow wall spaces, while the low version fits effortlessly under windows.

Amica forecasts seismic shift to induction

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Amica home appliances in the UK and Ireland is anticipating a shift to induction hob top cooking and to meet demand has announced a new generation of feature packed, great value induction hobs to complement a refreshed product line-up of built-in and freestanding products.

Simon Freear, Country Manager for Amica says: "Induction cooking will be the energy of choice for future generations of appliance buyers now that prices are within easy reach. The high speed, ultra-safe operation, super easy to clean and ultimate energy efficiency all contribute to what is likely to be a seismic shift away from ceramic and electric-plate hobs.

Take a walk on the wild side

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Add a touch of nature to a kitchen or bathroom with this raw, untamed Safari shade from Lustrolite... Let Safari's woody grey-green tones transport you, or your clients, to the broad plains of Africa and make your home an adventure...

Lustrolite's glass effect acrylic wall panels are the perfect way to breathe life back into a kitchen and bathroom and a great way to incorporate current trends into a home. Lustrolite is available in nine amazing colours - Arctic, Glacier, Blue Atoll, Rouge, Mocha, Safari, Forest, Titan and Carbon - all of which can be used for both kitchen splashbacks and shower and bathroom walls.

Methven launches three new tapware ranges with 20-year guarantee

Methven - the global designer and manufacturer of premium showers and tapware - has extended its tapware offering with three contemporary ranges; Breeze, Indra and Cari. The new ranges are characterised by elegant lines and add further depth to Methven's current suite of tapware, all guaranteed for 20 years.

The three ranges each feature a mono basin mixer, a bath filler and a bath shower mixer. All bath shower mixers include a Maku shower handset, which incorporates Methven's patented Satinjet twin jet technology with over 300,000 droplets per second providing an immersive full body showering experience.

Let kitchen creativity flourish with the new feature-packed Haier 70 Series fridge-freezers

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Made up of premium-design, multi-door models, Haier's new 70 Series range of combi fridge-freezers is characterised by best-in-class performance in energy efficiency (A++) and low noise level (38dB), as well as excellent access via both the refrigerator door and ergonomic pull-out drawers.

The 70 Series fridge-freezers all feature an XXL capacity to provide the maximum amount of storage space, while the flexible MyZone compartment and a host of easy-to-use features encourage the creativity of users in their kitchen.

Welcome to the



I was approached by a reader several weeks ago, worried that his business was being hit by the rise in numbers of auction houses selling off bankrupt stock and seized goods. He explained that the lots often comprise white goods and other household appliances as well as kitchens and bathrooms. He argued that if the public could buy at auction prices, they’d no longer shop with specialist retailers. I felt he had a point so promised I’d investigate and report back.

When people ask about KBzine’s readership I say it was the first e-zine for this industry and that everyone who was anyone in the trade, signed up to receive their weekly copy which was, back then, produced by Richard and Debbie Schwarz. I add that because we’re all consumers, the circulation could be double what’s quoted, because while we look at things from a professional point of view, our personal feelings also come into play. I get the ‘I wants’ when I receive press releases and am probably just as likely to be wooed by products featured in KBzine as a pukka member of the trade would be.

Now, as someone who was left to bring up our children alone (because of their father’s illness) I’ve always been one for a bargain. I’ve had to be! So I must confess that it was as much with my consumer’s head as it was my professional head when I signed up for the auction houses’ mailers.

Several weeks down the line and I’m still lacking the things I so covet for my home but can’t afford to buy through normal channels. As limited as my budget might be, I’m not going to buy white goods that are ‘soiled’ or ‘shop damaged’ without inspecting them and nor will I buy something with a European plug. I don’t need the hassle. And the ‘sold as seen’ flag is worrying when you consider I’d have to travel across London to view and that I may be up against buyers with bigger budgets for any goods worth having. So it’s a ‘no’ from me.

Of course businesses could buy up multiple lots and resell them, but with the costs of transporting and storing goods and getting them to saleable condition with boxes, instructions, British plugs and potential repairs needed, I’m not sure the margins would be worthwhile unless the goods were being auctioned off really cheap. My investigations continue…



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Manhattan Showers goes into voluntary liquidation

Lancashire-based shower enclosure and screen manufacturer Manhattan Showers, has announced that it went into voluntary liquidation on 14th July 2015.

Abode's new Cento bathroom taps have bold, sharp styling

* Abode-Cento-side-lever-mixer.jpgPresenting Cento, with its bold, sharp styling, designed to suit those design conscious consumers who desire a more geometric look... Cento is just one of the new ranges available from Abode and is a perfect match to Abode's geometric designs of showering options, allowing the design of a completely unified bathroom style.

This contemporary range includes four basin taps, a standard for everyday basins, an architecturally tall monobloc mixer and a wall mounted model, suitable for the modern day free-standing basins plus a stylish and unique side lever basin mixer.

Effortless retro style with the new Forest

* Bathroom-Forest.jpgEvocative of olive groves and the Tuscan landscape, Forest is the gorgeous new tone from Lustrolite which will have your kitchen or bathroom swinging in the '60s like Twiggy and Babycham.

New York Fashion Week 2015 was awash with this retro hue*, and it couldn't be easier to introduce the colour into your home.

Retailers and merchants: on your marks...

* On-your-marks.jpgIn 2013 it was announced by the European Commission that all bathroom products covered by Harmonised European Standards are to have the CE mark attached to the product or its packaging.

CE Marking illustrates a product's compliance with European legislation and facilitates its free movement within the European Market. It is not a quality mark but does indicate that the product is 'fit for purpose'.

New, large format gas-on-glass hob available from Amica

* Amica-PGZ9610-Gas-SS-Hob.jpgAmica home appliances in the UK and Ireland has launched a new collection of powerful, multifunction gas hobs that includes both 60cm and 90cm formats and includes a stunning 90cm gas-on-black-glass model that is also offered in the ever popular stainless steel.

Utopia's 'Business Development Managers of the Year' receive their awards

* Utopia1.jpgDarren Wilgar and James Edwards, Utopia's business development managers for the Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Isle of Man, and the South West region respectively, have been jointly awarded the title 'Utopia Business Development Manager of the Year 2014/15', an annual award based on all round sales performance.

National sales manager Steven Jaques comments: "Both Darren and James have had an exceptional year, hitting and exceeding all targets. We are delighted to recognise their important contribution to the business in this way."

'All aboard' for an extraordinary new freestanding & fitted bathroom furniture launch!

* New-Burlington-wall-hung-furniture.jpgBurlington Bathrooms has introduced a comprehensive, high quality range of bathroom furniture solutions designed to bring classical style and British sophistication together.

Taking to the road in this month, courtesy of a specifically fitted-out London Route Master bus, the new Burlington Bathrooms furniture range comprises; free-standing in either square or curved design, wall-hung or fully fitted options with choices of door/drawer options to make the most of British bathrooms both large and small.

New non-slip matting from LDL now available

* New-non-slip-matting.jpgA brand new range of non-slip matting designed specifically to fit Blum Intivo, Antaro and Tandem Plus drawer systems has been available from LDL Components since last week.

The fabulous forties - two employees celebrate 40 years' service at Burbidge

* Burbidge-people.jpgThis month sees not one but two Burbidge employees celebrate 40 years' service at the UK's equally celebrated kitchen manufacturer. Neil Clarke, factory manager and, Jill Harrison, a factory worker, both joined the burgeoning Burbidge business back in 1965 at the tender ages of 16 and 26 just ahead of the 70's retro boom.

Four decades later, and the two dedicated workers remain as passionate about the Burbidge brand as ever and show no signs of putting up the factory togs anytime soon.

SieMatic appoints Kerry Furber as southern area sales manager

* SieMatic_Kerry-Furber.jpgGerman kitchen manufacturer, SieMatic, has appointed Kerry Furber to the position of southern area sales manager.

Points mean prizes with Geberit Rewards scheme for Geberit displaying retailers

* geberit-hamper.jpgAs a thank you to its displaying retailers for their loyalty, Geberit has launched a new Rewards scheme, with the opportunity to earn points and turn them into prizes simply by selling Geberit products. More than 170 retailers have already signed up to the scheme, with the manufacturer urging more customers to get on board and start collecting points towards their pick of hundreds of top treats.

The KBzine Archive Search

We keep an extensive archive of news stories and product information that have featured in past issues of The KBzine. If you would like to run a search of the The KBzine web site using the search tool below please just go ahead by entering in the name of the person, product or company or any other key words that you are looking for.

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News in Brief

Congratulations to Glass 1989, whose new ‘Rug’ shower tray has won the European Consumers Choice for 2015 – E: [email protected] … Planning to enter the SBID International Design Awards? You have just one week to get your entry in – www.sbid.org … PWS now stocks its Milbourne kitchen in popular ‘charcoal’; less expensive than the old paint-to-order price – E: [email protected] … Merlyn’s new shower trays include low level 25mm models plus extra colours in the Truestone range  - T: 00353 56 779 1555

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

iKBBI unveils new major sponsor

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The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers has today unveiled Currys PC World as its latest sponsor, adding to an impressive portfolio of Great British and international brands supporting the aims and objectives of the government sanctioned organisation.

May Design Series cancelled

UBM has announced the closure of the May Design Series, saying it will instead concentrate its KBB and design sector efforts on the highly popular kbb Birmingham and kbb London, Sleep, Decorex and Ecobuild events.

The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association announces designer awards shortlists

Following a meeting of the judges for the 2015 KBSA Designer Awards, the finalists have been named for all categories as follows:

Has there ever been a better time to be an independent kitchen specialist?

asks Bill Miller, managing director of the Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group, the UK arm of Der Kreis buying group

ISO 9001 Quality Management System final draft standard published

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ISO 9001 has benefitted millions of organisations worldwide with users reporting increased growth and productivity and significantly higher customer satisfaction and retention.

KBSA announces further speaker for 2015 National Meeting

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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced another keynote speaker for its 2015 National Meeting and Networking Dinner being held this year at The Welcombe Hotel, Stratford on Avon, on 16th September.

It's 'Armitage Thanks' as brand launches new charity initiative to celebrate 200 year anniversary

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In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Armitage Shanks, parent company Ideal Standard has launched a campaign to raise £200,000 for charity by the end of its bicentenary year, 2017.

Hoover Candy UK announces kitchen channel restructure… Merger of UK Built-in divisions for Hoover, Candy and Baumatic

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Hoover Candy UK has confirmed a new commercial structure for its UK Built-in divisions. The commercial teams for the Hoover, Candy and Baumatic brands have merged to become a centralised Built-in division based at the Hoover Candy Baumatic office in Reading, Berkshire.


Smeg appoints new regional sales manager for the North West & West Midlands

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Smeg, the premium Italian domestic appliance manufacturer, has announced the appointment of Richie Bleasdale as its new regional sales manager across the North West & West Midlands.

Burbidge recruits experienced industry figure to head up the Bathroom Furniture Co.

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Burbidge has appointed Mark Bailey to head up its new bathroom division, The Bathroom Furniture Co. by Burbidge.


Introducing Utopia's all new website!

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Utopia Furniture Group says it is delighted to present its brand new website, which details the newly extended product portfolio in a bright, new, easy to navigate format at www.utopiagroup.com

Launched in early July and specifically designed to be user-friendly and very simple to follow, the website has an inviting home page introducing the extensive bathroom and bedroom collections, together with a host of other information, all presented in a logical and accessible format.

New website and brochure design for Tom Howley

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Tom Howley, designer of luxurious bespoke kitchens, has revealed its new look website - www.tomhowley.co.uk - and announced the launch of its new 100 page inspirational brochure. Both have been designed to inspire and excite, showcasing the company's stunning photography on a grand scale.

Distinctly promotional Abode kitchen taps for display

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Abode, one of the UK's largest kitchen sinks and taps plus bathroom brassware and shower manufacturers, is offering retailers a unique opportunity...


The MX Collection: catalogue now available! 'Shower Bible' for specifiers and installers...

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The MX Group's 'MX Collection' catalogue is hot off the press and creating a stir with specifiers and installers up and down the country.

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