KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
18th December 2015
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This is the last KBzine prior to our Christmas break as we’re about to enter our season of excess… I realise I sound jaded but I know I’m not the only one to be frustrated at how early what is supposed to be the season of goodwill is foisted upon us, with some stores playing Christmas music from late October, shelves stocked with festive goodies and advertising geared towards making us spend more than we can afford on things our loved ones don’t need and probably won’t appreciate!
Facebook is adorned with images of Christmas trees almost hidden by far too many presents for the recipients to get the most out of, posted in some cases by families that I know ought to be spending the money elsewhere (or working fewer hours so they can at least see their children grow up). The excess is becoming frightening and I’m glad I’m no longer involved, since for at least 20 years now our family has been exchanging token presents and home-made gifts in an attempt to get back to the real spirit of Christmas. Our bank accounts – and stress levels – are far better for it.
With so many UK families now having to use food banks and ever greater numbers of homeless people crammed into hostels and bed & breakfast accommodation – and of course the millions of homeless and displaced people worldwide, the idea of over indulgence at Christmas now feels obscene.
I do hope that if you’re involved in the supply of new kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and appliances, you make a point of encouraging customers to recycle their unwanted items either by arranging for charity shop collection or via a giveaway site such as Gumtree or Freecycle. And of course if you have your own scheme in place, I’d love to give it some publicity! For while some people are in a position to upgrade their household items on a whim, others are not so lucky and are grateful for cast-offs.
Our next issue will broadcast on 8th January. If you have news you’d like to share with KBzine’s readers, please do send it – when it comes to press releases I’m happy to be indulged!
And whether you’re taking a break over the next couple of weeks or are continuing to work, I hope you can stay safe, be happy and share peace and goodwill with all those around you.
This Week's News
TKC, one of the KBB industry's leading distributors of kitchen and bedroom doors, accessories and components, has announced that it has completed a management buyout of the company to NorthEdge Capital.
TKC, which was founded in 1989 when managing directorTom Kelly began selling edging tape and MDF profiles from his garage in Hyde, has witnessed continual growth over the last 26 years, with turnover reaching £19m in the year to September 2015.
The Kitchen, Bathroom and Bedroom Specialists Association has announced that Uwe Hanneck will be working with the organisation in a consultancy capacity to formulate a long term strategy which will ensure that the KBSA has all the necessary tools to grow as a trade association while continuing to strengthen the competitiveness of its members.
Avoiding the all too familiar problem of call-outs relating to leaking shower trays and wet rooms, the Elements Wetroom range from Abacus Manufacturing Group is an easy-to-install, tileable wet floor and wall board system for domestic and commercial applications. The components are developed and manufactured in the UK and include shower tray kits and seating.
Elements Wetroom comes complete with specialist adhesives and tapes to ensure waterproof joints and is based on a three-layer construction that includes a waterproof structural foam with excellent insulation properties and high compressive strength. This not only prevents water penetration but also minimises condensation so provides peace of mind and significant added value to bathroom and shower areas.
AHEC will be bringing together leaders from the US hardwood industry and major buyers from European markets to discuss and debate the challenges and opportunities both industries face, by addressing current issues and future developments.
The GMB union has met with Aga Rangemaster management following an announcement that up to 188 jobs will be cut across three of the company's Midlands sites. The union is discussing the reasons for the cuts and says that the priority will be to limit the number of job losses and to avoid compulsory redundancies.
GMB is engaged in consultations on up to 60 redundancies with AGA Rangemaster at its Leamington Spa site in the West Midlands. This is one of the sites covered by the announcement by the company. There will be 109 redundancies at Long Eaton and 19 at Telford. AGA Rangemaster has told the union that the intention is to make the first redundancies by 5th February 2016.
Due to increasing demands from both retailers and consumers alike, Abode has launched two new 3-exit thermostatic shower valves. These new shower valves team up with two of Abode's existing bathroom brassware ranges - Zeal and Harmonie. All Abode concealed thermostatic shower valves are hand polished brass as standard, which provides that all-important finishing touch to a bathroom, en-suite or shower-room.
These low pressure, chrome finish, 3-exit thermostatic shower valves have the functionality to allow for one independent exit and two diverting exits which can either be used simultaneously or separately. Perfect for use with the Abode 2 exit Storm waterfall showerhead, a hand shower or body jets or a bath spout, they offer endless possible combinations.
A new consumer protection service to help homeowners and tradespeople enter into an agreed contractual arrangement when paying for home improvement, repair or maintenance work has been announced this week by TrustMark, the only Government-endorsed scheme for all trades in and around the home.
The Escrow service is a low cost, quick and effective way of helping TrustMark-registered firms and their customers protect each other through a financial contract, with the payment for the works, being placed into an independent, secure account, which protected by a Financial Conduct Authority authorised firm.
Grohe is celebrating the success of its 2015 Work Smarter Tour for installers, which took place in May and July. Over the two months, the company welcomed 800 industry visitors to its mobile showroom - the Cube - in over 21 locations around the UK, including two major trade shows, Installer 2015 and PHEX.
The tour encouraged installers to get hands on with Grohe's products, allowing them to participate in installation and product training under real life conditions, led by qualified trainers.
The £20,000 Stoves Community campaign aims to place the kitchen at the heart of local communities by helping projects to transform their kitchen facilities. The first wave of applications saw 230 nominations flood in from across the country and almost 12,000 votes were cast in a public Facebook vote.
At the recent Doncaster Business Awards 2015 ceremony, sanitary specialist Wirquin came first in the category for 'Excellence in Corporate, Social and Environmental Responsibility' and runner-up for 'Excellence in Customer Service'.
Wirquin, known for its Celmac and Macdee sanitary brands, won the award as a result of the way the company's working practices benefit its customers, the community and the environment, as well as the ongoing sustainability of its efforts.
Wetroom specialist Impey has introduced an innovative suite of new products to add to its portfolio of UK designed and produced wetroom solutions - many of which come with a 'Lifetime Watertight Guarantee' and which are packed with impressive technology and installation benefits making them the ideal choice for installers and specifiers.
Pegler Yorkshire has reinforced its internal marketing and product development team with the appointment of a new market manager to drive forward growth and innovation in the plumbing and heating sector.
Mike Johnson, 30, from Castleford, will manage, market and develop the company's washroom division which encompasses commercial and domestic taps and appliances including the iconic Francis Pegler brand.
Instead of spending money on designing, printing and posting hundreds of Christmas cards, this year Abode is donating £500 to the British Red Cross 'Europe Refugee Crisis Appeal'.
Kaldewei has been honoured once more for its new washbasin segment, winning the German Design Award 2016. An impressive three Kaldewei washbasin series were awarded a 'Special Mention' by the German Design Council.
The Puro, Cono and Centro washbasins made of superior Kaldewei steel enamel impressed the international expert jury with exquisite quality in design and material.
It also saw Swan making a landmark move by realigning its electricals and housewares output for the first time in 30 years, creating a stronger brand proposition by offering consumers a fully colour co-ordinated Retro range of complementary cookware and kitchen accessories, as well as the already established kitchen-top appliances and white goods.
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