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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
18th March 2016


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

International News

Ideal Standard unveils two new bathroom collections

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You know when the presenter's really, really passionate about their subject matter, don't you? Renowned designer Robin Levien (pictured below right) is just one of those people. John and I agree that we could listen to him talk about the whys and wherefores of the design concept all day, so who better to present Ideal Standard's new collections than Robin himself?

Cosentino launches Dekton XGloss

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The Cosentino Group launched its exciting new Dekton XGloss line of surfaces, whilst also previewing its new Silestone and Dekton colours, alongside the recently launched Sensa Exotic range, from a stand that seemed to be continually busy.

Natural beauty set in stone with Raw Concrete

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Tapping into the trend for apartment living and industrial-style finishes in the contemporary kitchen, Caesarstone used KBB to showcase Raw Concrete, a new colour in its best-selling Classico worktop collection, as well as other new ranges and colours.

Latest kitchen lighting and power solutions

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Sensio launched a number of new lighting and power solution innovations at the show. These included the Midway V1 hanging rail system, new wireless charging pads, new SensioPod R and the new Multi-Light App. John particularly liked the bed, which appeared to be floating, as our picture shows...

British Ceramic Tile sponsors the UK's first National Tile Week

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British Ceramic Tile will be sponsoring the UK's first National Tile Week which will run 11th - 18th April. Just in time for the double May bank holiday where consumers do their most DIY of the year, National Tile Week aims to equip retailers with all the information their customers need to feel confident when choosing and laying tiles.

More than one in three of us prefer neutrals when it comes to decorating our bathrooms

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New research conducted by bathroom furniture supplier, Virtual Bathrooms, has revealed that people are wary of using bright and vibrant shades when decorating their bathroom.

Slide into style with a new feature from in-toto

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One of the UK's biggest kitchen specialists has announced a versatile new look with innovative sliding doors.

The kitchen is often the heart of the home... a busy hub of people gathering to eat, drink and socialise.

Welcome to the


Today’s the day that the National Living Wage is introduced, increasing the pay of millions of the UK’s lowest paid workers (reportedly one in three people will benefit) in by far the biggest compulsory rise that’s been seen since the National Minimum Wage was brought in, back in April 1999.

While it has long been felt by many that taxes collected from better-off workers should not have been used to subsidise the wages of the low paid through tax credits, enabling some of the more successful companies to increase profits through not paying their workforces a living wage, there are other companies that would have struggled – and still will – to pay what’s being demanded of them.

So what’s the answer?

Many have said that they will have to lay people off or reduce the opportunities for overtime work that may be paid at a higher than normal rate, to balance out the wage bill to manageable levels. Others are saying that they will have to reduce benefits in some way, perhaps by cutting the length of breaks or even holidays, or by reducing bonuses or altering commission structures to make it harder for staff to reach targets.

Many recent studies have shown that company perks do more to promote loyalty and improve employee satisfaction than pay rises, so cutting perks is unlikely to be beneficial. It may encourage the most valuable members of the workforce to seek employment elsewhere and thus increase costs through the need for recruitment and the subsequent training of new members of the team. Staff turnover can also damage the business more subtly, with the lack of continuity and valued business relationships that are broken as a result, perhaps making clients consider switching to a different supplier.

We, in the UK, are often slated for our lack of productivity and it is through addressing this issue that many see as being the best way of coping with higher wage bills and improving the company in other ways as a result.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development has, I believe, a good take on the best way forward. You can read its statements below – and if you have any comments on the suggestions made, or ideas that you’d like to share with KBzine’s readers, we’d love to learn about them



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

KBBG enjoys immense success on much larger stand than that used in 2014

* KBBG-stand-kbb-2016.jpgWhen we finally managed to get onto the stand on the final day, we met with Marcel Crezee, CEO of Der Kreis, of which the Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group is a part.

Winners of kbbreview awards 2016 announced at glamorous gala

* Dara-O-Briain.jpgThe kbbreview Awards 2016 were announced at the much anticipated ceremony, held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on the Monday of the show, which meant that there were some bleary eyes to be seen around the halls on the Tuesday morning.

We heard that a number of those who'd been out celebrating - whether as winners or not - hadn't actually made it to bed and had simply returned to their rooms for breakfast, a shower and a change of clothes!

Blanco - German perfection at impressive KBB

* BLANCO-stand.jpgBlanco UK's passion for perfection was reflected in a comprehensive portfolio of hobs, sinks, taps and extractor hoods - focusing on 'perfection above the countertop'.

TKC showcases new Lucente Cashmere kitchen range, premium wirework and revamped lighting collection

* tkc.jpgTKC used its third appearance at KBB to showcase a new kitchen range, premium wirework and a revamped lighting collection.

Sanipex Group UK showcased new ranges

* sanipex.jpgSanipex Group UK, distributor of quality bathroom brands including Bagnodesign, Galassia and Bossini, showcased the latest designs was home to new ranges in Bagnodesign's sanitaryware and brassware collections.

Among the highlights was the expanded range of M Line brassware (pictured), now available in a choice of finishes including chrome, brushed nickel, matt black, matt white and polished copper.

Kitchen design that is as smooth as silk: that's Masterclass

* Sutton-Graphite-CoastalMist.jpgWe made Masterclass our first visit of the day on Tuesday and the stand was already packed by just gone 10:00. We soon understood why. What a collection - and made in Wales too!

Smooth to the touch and just as easy on the eye, the newly introduced silk finish was attracting lots of attention, as were the four new kitchen collections that wear it well.

Trend Interiors: creating a stir

* Trend-Bardolino-pumice.jpgTrend Interiors created a stir with its largest stand ever, as it launched three major collections of worktops, media furniture and sliding wardrobes as well as additions to the kitchens, bathrooms and fitted bedroom ranges.

Indeed the stand featured four kitchen, four bedroom, five full bathroom, five basin units and one media display. All the kitchen displays included the new European styled square edged worktop, UrbanTop, which creates a fully coordinated designer look by matching with doors, cabinets and panelling across a wide range of finishes.

More celebrations: this time a 21st birthday!

* showerwall.jpgShowerwall celebrated its 21st birthday at KBB with a distinctive new range update, demonstrating the design strides made for this practical surfacing material with the launch of the premium Showerwall Infinity range with 14 distinctively edgy decors, together with seven new designs in the standard range.

"We feel the market is ready for a fresh injection of ideas that will appeal to a broader demographic of customers from young to old," explained Claire Lambert, product director for Showerwall. "Between our standard Showerwall range and the bolder Infinity range, we are offering up a wealth of choice that can cater for a wide range of tastes and projects."

Back with a bang - Burbidge makes welcome return to show after a 16-year hiatus

* Burbidge.jpgBurbidge most certainly made an impression at this year's KBB Birmingham, having returned to the exhibition for the first time in 16 years to showcase its sophisticated new brand - The Bathroom Furniture Co.

Burbidge boasted a stunning stand adorned with its beautiful new bathroom collection, supported with a full team on hand throughout to meet and greet guests, give advice and answer questions.

Smart surfaces and clever ideas from Bushboard

* Bushboard.jpgShowcasing its commitment to 'smart surfaces and clever ideas' Bushboard's stand had four dedicated kitchen zones showing the depth and breadth of its portfolio of premium Prima and Omega laminate and pioneering installer-ready Encore solid surface and M-Stone quartz worksurfaces, offering retailers a choice of products to meet all design needs and price points.

Adding to that, Bushboard is majoring on its strong support for independent showroom retailers with free installer training, comprehensive POS showroom display support for all brands and 360 degree customer service offering technical and product advice and free sampling.

Carron Phoenix underscores popular brand values with new products and a new drive behind Carron Centres

* CARRON-PHOENIX.jpgIn a strategic move to strengthen it base in the mid-to-value end of the market and expand its retail following, Carron Phoenix used the show to launch a reinvigorated offer for its Carron Centre partnerships as well as display some new ranges.

Fiona Bowyer, marketing director at Franke, explained that retail partners are invited to display Carron Phoenix as the dominant sink and tap brand in their showroom and commit to achieving a set turnover target and in return enjoy an attractive rebate scheme, receive free display products, have a priority web listing and receive dedicated branding promoting their exclusive partnership with Carron Phoenix.

Pronorm on-point with new products to create luxury kitchens

* pronorm.jpgLuxury kitchens demand luxury touches and Pronorm demonstrated its ability to offer just that with the launch of its impeccable new Pro-Tech drawer box system available in a choice of titan aluminium and oak finishes.

Pro-Tech is the top of the range spec in the company's drawer box offering and is precision manufactured from high quality aluminium to give exceptional visual sleekness and functionality.

Hafele brings more life per sq.m

* Hafele.jpgHafele UK showcased the latest in stylish kitchen design and modern functionality, via its interactive stand, themed 'More Life per sq.m, which presented some innovative design solutions developed to meet the growing demand for space, comfort, convenience and function - all of which are required for modern day living.

In a world where work and living spaces are continuously shrinking, Hafele demonstrated the stylish solutions that are actively making household spaces work harder. Helping deliver these solutions are the many market leading brands the company brings together under one roof. Two key partners, Grass and Vauth-Sagel, exhibited alongside Hafele, showcasing their latest innovations too. Visitors were also able to learn more about the most recent brand partnerships with Smeg and Vi

When opportunity presents, with Pelipal

* pelipal-solitaire.jpgWith Pelipal, retailers can offer cutting edge design, innovative and precision German engineering for every budget. "When you exceed expectations, you create a winning business strategy," says the company. The roomsets on the stand were certainly stunning...

With its clean lines and simple, elegant design, the Solitaire 6010 has joined Pelipal's premiere collections. Numerous widths in the vanity units and LED lit mirrors plus a host of wall-hung cabinets are just the start of a stylish and flexible range that enables every bathroom to be tailored to individual customer needs.

Caple: showcasing more than 85 products on two stands

* Caple-Infusion-Cafe.jpgCaple pulled out all the stops with two stands totalling 200sq.m at this year's KBB event, showcasing more than 85 products. Four dynamic kitchen ranges featured new, high-performance appliances joining Caple's signature Classic, Sense and Sense Premium collections.

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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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Utopia appoints creative brand co-ordinator

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Utopia Furniture Group has confirmed Richard Kozakiewicz's appointment to the newly created position of creative brand co-ordinator.

Whirlpool UK appliances appoints new digital marketing manager

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Whirlpool UK Appliances has appointed Hanifa Dungarwalla as digital marketing manager, UK & Eire. Hanifa will be responsible for the online presence of the Whirlpool, Hotpoint and Indesit brands, ensuring a strong user experience and maximising the brands' overall key messages.

Hoover appoints Glyn Martin as account director

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Hoover has added to its freestanding division for the second time in six months, with the appointment of Glyn Martin as account director - major domestic appliances. Glyn's appointment swiftly follows the addition of Garry Smith as laundry product manager, which was announced earlier this year.

Smeg UK welcomes Matt Balm as southern sales manager

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In his new role as Southern sales manager with Smeg UK, Matt Balm will use his vast experience to develop both new and existing business, whilst overseeing the Southern regional sales operation within the retail channel of the business. He will also be responsible for Smeg UK's ongoing relationship with the CIH/Euronics buying group.

Urban Interior (London) expands its design team

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Nestled in the trendy E1 district of London, kitchen design specialist Urban Interior has added to its expert design team, with the employment of Luisa Agliatta, as senior designer.


British Ceramic Tile launches an exclusive Retailer Club at kbb Birmingham

Leading UK tile manufacturer, British Ceramic Tile, is set to launch its new reward and loyalty scheme to selected premium retailers as a thank you for their continued business support over the last few years.


LDL introduces new consumer guide to kitchen storage

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Leading distributor LDL Components has compiled a brand new consumer brochure entitled 'Workflow, Space & Motion' to bring together the very latest kitchen storage systems and accessories. The attractively presented lifestyle brochure includes key products from Swiss partner Peka, renowned component manufacturer Blum and other innovative manufacturers.

Caple's updated appliance brochure is available now

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Caple's new 300-page colour catalogue is the biggest ever and features the brand's three comprehensive collections, the high-performance Classic, Sense and high-end Sense Premium, with colour-coded, easy-to-find sections - cooking, cooling and washing - all enhanced by beautiful lifestyle photography.

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