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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
14th August 2015


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

International News

Joint venture for design experts

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The Society of British and International Design (SBID) will be teaming up with The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) in their first ever joint programme at Downtown Design, Dubai UAE.

Abode launches the very cool and contemporary Cyclo Collection

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Abode is constantly looking to innovate with exciting new designs and fresh ideas and as a result, is delighted to present Cyclo... A cool, contemporary range of bathroom brassware which is bursting with personality.

WC additions maximise on style, comfort and hygiene in the bathroom

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Responding to the changing demands of modern bathroom design head on, Roca has extended two of its best-selling sanitaryware ranges to include new WCs - the Nexo wall-hung rimless and The Gap comfort height WC.

Smeg reveals new Burghley range cooker specifically for independents

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Smeg has unveiled its most accessible range cooker yet, combining traditional design with modern convenience. Developed specially for independent retailers, the Burghley represents an attractive introduction to the Smeg brand for consumers.

Leisure Sinks spa filter tap keeps water crystal clear

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Proving popular with contractors and retailers alike, Leisure Sinks' Spa Filter tap (TSA1CM/BF) is a high quality, WRAS-approved dual lever tap. Boasting a smooth chrome finish, this stylish tap utilises a three-way dispenser system to provide crystal clear filtered water, as well as hot and mains cold water.

Turning bathroom design inside out

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The BetteLUXE Shape is the latest addition to the Ripples portfolio. "We are seeing a huge trend for 'urban styling' when it comes to the bathroom and this new range fits in perfectly," says the company's Grazziella Pinto.

"Contemporary and cool, we absolutely love it!"

Limited mobility graphics now available in ArtiCad

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CAD software specialist for the KBB sector, ArtiCAD, has announced the availability of a comprehensive catalogue of limited mobility graphics.

BAL Level Max - the new maximum performance, all-in-one leveller that's easy on the pocket!

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With innovative Fibre Strand Technology, bed depths up to 80mm in a single application and suitable for use over most bases including timber at 3mm, BAL Level Max levelling compound is the latest innovation from BAL.

Abacus Manufacturing Group provides durable and sleek solutions for department store washrooms

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Heavy use meant that both the male and female public toilets within York's Browns department store were in urgent need of refurbishment. Bathroom expert, Abacus Manufacturing Group, was asked to provide a durable and functional solution while creating modern facilities that would remain fresh and clean for years despite the high footfall.

Schmidt combines classic and contemporary style with its new handless Arcos collection

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In line with the ongoing trend for clean lines in the kitchen, Schmidt has introduced a handless range to the popular Arcos collection. Available in 16 matt colours, 12 wood effects and six high gloss finishes, this versatile range is the perfect choice for both traditional and modern schemes.

A pearl of an idea...

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Glass-inspiration Austria is now offering a lustrous Mother of Pearl finish, sandwiched between laminated safety glass, as an alternative to tiles and splashbacks.

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

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Presenting 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.

Effortless retro style with the new Forest

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Evocative 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...

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In 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.

Welcome to the



The latest Department for Transport figures reveal that traffic is on the increase, with light commercial vehicles showing the greatest rise over the past 12 months as a result of the growing economy and falling fuel prices. Heavier traffic makes life difficult for those amongst us who have to drive for a living and with all the extra vehicles on the road at this time of year thanks to holiday traffic, driving can become a real chore.

I often think of those whose job it is to transport goods across the Continent and really feel for those who are running the gauntlet at the ports via which potential illegal immigrants are doing all they can to gain access to the UK. It must be an absolute nightmare not only in terms of personal safety and stress for these drivers, but also the amount of time it now takes to make the journey and the potential of accusations of people trafficking if people do manage to get on board!

Although it’s hard to believe - thanks to the incessant rain, thunder and grey, wintery-looking skies, today’s the day John and I bid you a brief farewell so we can take our annual Summer breaks. As I have several festivals booked in over the coming few weeks, I’m hoping that the weather dries up, since camping in sodden fields doesn’t have the appeal that outdoor living in the sunshine has, since even my favoured compost loos can take on the appearance of the trashed public washrooms that are all too common in the UK, when they're used by people who are drenched through.

Whatever the weather, we’ll be back on 4th September with an issue that will partly be produced from the IFA exhibition in Berlin, so if you have news you’d like to share with our readers, do please send it to us for consideration well before then.



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

A heartfelt thank you to Graham Ball

* Tina.jpgTina Riley Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association national chair and managing director of Modern Homes writes...

"The recent retirement of Graham Ball has been well reported in the press and several leading industry figures and organisations have taken the time to comment on his commitment and contribution to the industry.

KBSA seeks new CEO

The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association is seeking a new, high profile chief executive to lead the organisation into the future.

The trade association currently represents over 200 loyal UK independent specialist retailers in the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom sector and is also supported by over 100 leading manufacturing brands within the industry.

AEG has shared with us a short summary of its findings regarding the latest trends in cooking and laundry with some figures, stats and facts on each.

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* Induction hobs have seen good growth in the last three years with a more than 61% increase
* The electric hob market increased by +18.4% year-on-year during the same period

BAL plays crucial role in plush new leisure centre development

* BAL1.jpgBAL, UK market leader in full tiling solutions, has played a crucial role in the development of a new 12,500sq.m, £36m leisure centre in the heart of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

Victoria + Albert Baths launches International Design Awards competition

* VA_Design.jpgVictoria + Albert Baths has announced its debut International Design Awards, in celebration of its upcoming 20th anniversary.

Microwave oven market expected to reach $25.4 Billion by 2020

* microwave-report.jpgAccording to a new report: 'World Microwave Oven-Market Opportunities and Forecasts, 2014 - 2020', the global microwave oven market is expected to generate revenue of $25.4 billion by 2020, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 6.07% during the forecast period, 2015 - 2020.

Increasing disposable income paired with rising number of working population has majorly contributed to the growth microwave oven market, worldwide.

PWS rolls out the red carpet to customer buying 100,000th bespoke worktop

* PWS-100k-worktop.jpgPWS' Worksurfaces factory has hit an incredible milestone, producing its 100,000th customer order since the state-of-the art £10m manufacturing facility signalled a new and successful business operation for PWS in 2007.

The 100,000th order was from Tracey Murphy, of Lewis & Hobbs of Harrogate, who has been a customer of PWS Worksurfaces since production started.

Amica appoints Origo as distributor for Ireland

* Amica.jpgAmica household appliances has announced that Dublin based Origo, a leading consumer appliance distributor for Ireland, is to distribute the Amica brand in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Simon Freear, country manager for the UK and Ireland explains: "Origo has a clear and undisputed strategy of working closely with its retail partners. This relationship gives Amica the opportunity to reach a wider range of customers with a complete range of products to cater for all consumer needs.

Into the fold - new showerwall from Merlyn

* Folding_Showerwall.jpgStepping into Merlyn's showerwall fold is the new 8 Series Folding Showerwall. The ingenious folding mechanism allows you to fold the shower wall back so that it's horizontally flush against the wall - perfect for smaller bathrooms.

Fewer than half of businesses believe they have a duty of care to employee health

Fewer than half of businesses believe they have a duty of care to employee health, according to a recently released report from a leading expert in leadership development, with only 46% of firms regarding staff health as an employer's responsibility. This is despite the fact that 82.8% of companies believe that business performance and staff wellbeing are connected.

The research, conducted by Morgan Redwood, is based on responses from the Heads of Human Resource departments or Board Director level from over 250 businesses. These have been drawn from across the UK and from a mix of sectors and a range of company sizes, with two thirds employing over 250 people, and none less than 50.

Stirling Moss makes speedy pit-stop cuppa with InSinkErator

* Sir-Stirling-Moss.jpgWhen Sir Stirling Moss was completing the renovation of his kitchen as part of his three-year project to modernise and upgrade his Mayfair home, the legendary British racing driver, unsurprisingly, chose to combine his love of gadgets with his love of speed.

A long-time fan of InSinkErator products, Stirling has just installed a new InSinkErator steaming hot water tap to ensure he can make a cup of tea as fast as a Formula 1 pit-stop.

First Abode Apprentice graduates

* Abode_Regan-Goddard.jpgAbode Home Products launched an apprenticeship scheme in 2013, helping young people learn about the design, manufacture and distribution of Kitchen & Bathroom products, whilst also helping to support the continuing growth of the Abode business.

Regan Goddard has become the first apprentice to complete his training, working as part of the Abode team in Barnsley. He was tutored by local training agency Brinsworth Academy - a member of the Federation for Industry Sector Skills & Standards.

Cutting out van servicing could be a false economy

New research from BCA, the UK and Europe's leading vehicle marketplace, underlines the importance of a service history when it comes to selling used vans, since its data shows a service history can add up to 10% on used light commercial vehicle values

BCA researched price performance for a 'basket' of 5,000 light commercial vehicles that went through its sales earlier this year, comparing the price achieved against industry guide values for vehicles sold with a full service history to those without. Up to 10% price improvements were recorded for vehicles with a full service history, with this factor increasing in importance on older vehicles.

New Combi-Steam oven combines microwave speed with conventional heat and steam

* V-ZUG_Combi-Steam-MSLQ.jpgThe engineers at V-Zug have launched an oven which combines the speed of a microwave with conventional heat and steam.

The new Combi-Steam MSLQ oven brings together all the best features of V-Zug’s combi-steam ovens, with the added quick convenience of a microwave. Simply pressing the oven’s PowerPlus function, boosts the oven into action and accelerates the cooking programmes.

Kitchens International appoints two new showroom managers

* KI2.jpgIndependent kitchen designer and retailer Kitchens International has appointed two new managers for its designer showrooms. Helen Taylor becomes showroom manager for the Glasgow showroom and Donna Smith is manager for Perth.

Helen joined KI in 2001 as a design technician, following her graduation from college with a degree in Spatial Interior Architecture & Design.

Phoenix Bathrooms added to EQ software package

* Pnoenix.jpgPhoenix Bathrooms' products are now available on the EQ Software system, thus providing all EQ users with the ability to access the full range of Phoenix bathroom and heating products in digital format via the software package.

"Having recognised the ever increasing popularity for the EQ Software platform we have decided that it is important for the Phoenix brand to be available for the high number of bathroom retailers that are now using the system to have access to the Phoenix ranges," says Adrian Thomas, Phoenix development director.

Gareth Atkin of Landau Parapan completes coastal charity ride

* gareth-second-left.jpgGareth Atkin has pedalled his way through punctures and chain problems to cross England by bike on a 170-mile coast-to-coast charity ride. The sales and marketing director of Hull-based manufacturer Landau Parapan took part in the Way of the Roses coast-to-coast cycle route this month, riding from Morecambe to Bridlington.

He has raised more than £800 for L6ve Life Foundation, the charity set up by his friend and Motor Neurone Disease sufferer Lee Newton. L6ve Life Foundation provides funds for those who fight to find a cure and help those already living with MND.

The KBzine Archive Search

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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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A new communications role at the iKBBI

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It's a warm welcome from us to the Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers' new communications manager, Denise Mayell.

PWS appoints new sales manager for East Anglia

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Jamie Abbott is the latest recruit to join PWS's national sales team. Jamie takes on the role of area sales manager for the East Anglia region, bringing with him over 15 years' experience in the kitchen industry.

National training manger focuses on Laufen brand

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The Roca Group has made a key appointment with Richard Court, previously an area sales manager, now taking on the role of national training manger looking after the Laufen brand.

Victoria + Albert Baths appoints general manager of MENAT, Caspian and India

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Victoria + Albert Baths, a British brand with a worldwide reputation for creating beautiful freestanding contemporary and traditional Quarrycast baths and basins, has announced the appointment of Ross Jackson as general manager of MENAT (Middle East, North Africa & Turkey), Caspian and India.

SieMatic appoints Kerry Furber as southern area sales manager

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German kitchen manufacturer, SieMatic, has appointed Kerry Furber to the position of southern area sales manager.


Showroom sales incentive offers chance to bag an all-expenses-paid trip to New York

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Ideal Standardhas introduced an online retailer sales incentive programme called IdealCLUB. Run from a dynamic online portal that rewards retailers in real time, the scheme has been designed to increase motivation and incentivise sales in showrooms through educating and engaging showroom staff, increasing product awareness and knowledge and encouraging brand loyalty.

Points mean prizes with Geberit Rewards scheme for Geberit displaying retailers

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As 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.

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