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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
1st April 2016


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

International News

Blanco - German perfection at impressive KBB

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Blanco 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

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TKC 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

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Sanipex 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.

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

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We 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!

Trend Interiors: creating a stir

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Trend 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.

Smart surfaces and clever ideas from Bushboard

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Showcasing 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.

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

In 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.

Pronorm on-point with new products to create luxury kitchens

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Luxury 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.

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



ABODE ACQUIRED BY NORCROS PLC Today, 1st April 2016 Norcros plc, the market leading supplier of innovative branded showers, taps, bathroom accessories, tiles and adhesives, announces its acquisition of 100% of the share capital of Abode Home Products Ltd.

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

SOAPBOX: The same old problem

* Bill-Miller.jpgBy Bill Miller, managing director, Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group (KBBG)

"Some years ago, when independent kitchen retailers sold a kitchen, it was a reasonably straightforward affair.

For the beauty of ice in the home; go for Glacier from Lustrolite

Glacier-kitchen-new.jpgIf your clients say they're tired of looking at the same old tiles in their kitchen, or are perhaps bored with their plain white bathroom, why not suggest that they revamp their home and inject a subtle hint of colour with Glacier from Lustrolite?

Minimalistic decor and clean lines are always on-trend for kitchens and this cool-toned, minty blue high-gloss panel is the ideal way to keep your kitchen in style while adding texture and colour at the same time.

Success of National Living Wage depends on businesses raising their game on productivity

* charles_cotton.jpgAhead of the introduction of the new National Living Wage today, Charles Cotton, Performance & Reward Adviser at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, comments:

"The introduction of the National Living Wage will increase the pay of millions of the UK's low-paid workers. Ultimately, though, it will only be judged a success if employers can sustain higher wages for the low-paid without the need for job losses and cuts to other pay and benefits. The NLW will increase costs for many businesses, particularly in the retail and hospitality sectors, which are set to be the hardest hit. But overall, more than half of employers in the UK said the changes will have an effect on their wage bill, according to CIPD research.

British Ceramic Tile expands popular Ted Baker ArTile range

* BCT-FLIGHT-OF-ORIENT.jpgBritish Ceramic Tile's latest addition to the ArTile collection showcases one of Ted's signature prints - Flight of the Orient. Transporting homeowners into a far-flung paradise, the newest splashbacks are heavily influenced by the Orient, with exotic birds and blossom trees being married with a soft palette of blues and pinks.

Part of the Ted Baker Residence collection, the ArTile family is a range of glass splashbacks that bring some of Ted's most iconic prints into the home, with the latest addition celebrating the trend for Orient-inspired patterns and colours.

Promising start to 2016 for UK tradesmen

2016 has got off to an encouraging start for UK tradespeople as they declare revenues are up, according to new research.

IronmongeryDirect's Annual Industry Review, which was compiled to gain a snapshot of the construction industry, found that 61% of trade professionals expect their business's revenue to increase in 2016.

iKBBI commits to The Furniture Makers Company

* ikbbi-arms.jpgThe Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers has confirmed this week that it is supporting The Furniture Makers Company as a Corporate Member, joining brands including iKBBI Installation Partners B&Q and John Lewis, as well as sponsor Blum.

Formed as a guild in 1952, established as a livery company of the City of London in 1963, and granted a Royal Charter in 2013, the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers has a strategy to support three key areas within the furniture industry: Education, Excellence and Assistance.

All hail the Harrow - Burbidge launches new bathroom beauty

* BURBIDGE-HARROW.jpgBurbidge is continuing to hone in on the bathroom realm with the introduction of the stunning new Harrow bathroom furniture range.

An amalgamation of contemporary and classic, Harrow has all the ingredients of a new modern classic. Constructed from premium timber to the classical proportions of the iconic shaker style, Harrow exudes traditional luxury, which is further enhanced when shown in its Natural Oak form allowing the beauty of real wood to shine through. For an injection of modernity, the range is available in Burbidge's extensive colour palette, with the new neutral tones of delicate Putty and Mink adding contemporary overtones.

System Six Kitchens partners with Compusoft's Winner Design

* system-six-kitchen.jpgOne of Devon's largest bespoke kitchen designer and manufacturers has joined forces with European CAD provider Compusoft to incorporate its product portfolio and the release of the Quantum catalogue into Compusoft's Winner Design, kitchen CAD software.

In 40 years System Six Kitchens has gained the reputation of being one of the best high quality bespoke kitchen designers, planners and manufacturers in the South West.

Insinkerator introduces new product brochure

* ISE-Brochure.jpgInSinkErator has released a new, full colour glossy brochure, outlining its complete product range.

Titled 'Enhance your Life, Enhance your kitchen', the brochure highlights the manufacturer's ongoing commitment to providing products that are sustainable, while adding style and convenience to the kitchen.

Tilemaster launches new neutral-cure Silicone 3000+

* Tilemaster.jpgTilemaster Adhesives has developed a new neutral-cure formulation for its popular range of silicones. New Silicone 3000+ now provides a premium anti-mould solution that can be used with acid-sensitive stone, as well as porcelain and ceramics. Other improved features include enhanced adhesion properties and increased flexibility. The new formulation is now also available in 14 shades, to colour-match Tilemaster's extended Grout 3000 range.

Abode apprentices gain their NVQ's

* AbodeGraduates.jpgAbode, the renowned manufacturer in the kitchen and bathroom sector, is a proud employer of local people, in and around the Barnsley area.

A double whammy - HIB presents cheques to chosen charities

* HiB-Charity.jpgIt was certainly a time for spreading the goodwill at HiB HQ this month as the leading bathroom brand presented not one but two cheques to the value of £4,759.90 to nominated charities Starlight and Mind.

As part of its 25th anniversary celebrations, an impressive £9,519.80 was raised in an epic fundraising challenge held last September which saw a total of 12 employees embark on the UK's infamous Three Peaks Challenge.

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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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.


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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