KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
22nd July 2016
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Well over a third (38%) of UK small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) believe that if they don't adapt their business models they will go out of business in five years. However, only a mere 2% have done something about it. These are the findings of the 2016 'SME Barometer Research' commissioned by Exact - an annual survey looking at technology adoption among 2,500 SMEs across Europe and the USA - which reveals a number of differing outlooks, across the countries studied.
Established after a directive from the German Bundestag (House of Representatives) over 60 years ago, the 'German Design Council' acknowledges international design and brand activity in Germany with its esteemed 'German Brand Award'.
Were you around when the UK ‘decimalised’ in the 70s, or when the Euro was launched? Or do you live in a country that adopted the Euro in later years?
I understand that in every scenario, vendors used the changes as an excuse to increase prices – in some cases by quite a lot. I don’t know how it happened regarding the Euro (only that it did) but decimalisation encouraged vendors to ‘round everything up’ to the nearest penny, rather than reduce it. Yes – I know it was only a penny, but back then they were worth something and when everything was added up, the rounding up made a big difference to a household’s monthly spend.
Today we’re running a ‘Soapbox’ from a delivery company whose competitors are using ‘Brexit’ as an excuse to increase prices by 10%. This is not the first time this practice has been brought to my attention.
Let’s all jump on the bandwagon while we can, shall we?
Whether we use it for business or pleasure, the Internet has given us a Pandora’s Box of knowledge and the ability to communicate about anything we wish to discuss, with just about everyone – whether we know them or not.
As well as being able to find out what others think of a product or service before we buy into it (thanks to websites full of customer reviews), it has made us all into experts at shopping around and getting the best possible deals from companies that we know will look after us.
If you need to raise prices for a valid reason then go ahead, but raised prices thanks to what may be perceived as a flimsy excuse such as a break with the EU that many still believe will not be happening (and if it does, not until at least 2019) will result in customers buying elsewhere.
This Week's News
Screwfix was delighted to welcome local Member of Parliament Theresa May to its new Maidenhead store on Reform Road last Friday, just days before she became our new Prime Minister. Mrs May was given a tour of the new store where she met store staff.
John Mewett, marketing director at Screwfix, shared with her some of the feedback from the company's trade customers and some of the key issues, opportunities and challenges facing people in the trades in the local area.
Eisl UK has announced the launch of its new Eco range of home mixer taps. Available in the UK from the 3rd quarter of 2016, the new Eisl Eco range will offer a new level of functionality, with Water Saving, Energy Saving and Anti-Scald technology.
With water savings of up to 50%, low noise, 35mm ceramic disc cartridge, contemporary design, 5-year warranty and competitive market position, the portfolio offers a convincing package of features.
Broadening out to provide a more extensive offering for the independent kitchen and bathroom specialist, the ever-growing list of KBBG suppliers has now been extended to include the range of attractive and innovative award-winning showers and tapware from Methven.
City Distribution, based in Blackpool, has been servicing the North of England for 29 years. We take orders up to 4:45pm delivering the following day and even man our sales office on probably our customers' busiest day, Saturday, to deal with product enquiries and process orders for Monday delivery - arguably making a rod for our own back but today's retailer need every tool in the box to secure that all important sale.
HiB has recently signed a three-year agreement to feature on the popular Virtual Worlds professional CAD software. This means that all retailers signed up to the programme will now be able to generate interactive simulations of HiB products, to exacting proportions, to be included in their design consultations.
The new iMove lift shelf wall unit makes access to kitchen cabinets easier than ever before with its convenient descending shelves, allowing the contents of upper shelves to be effortlessly reached. The higher shelves move gracefully in and out of the iMove unit cabinet with a light, flowing movement aided by a robust yet discreet integrated pull handle.
The winning kitchen makeover was completed by Dream Doors Salisbury, transforming a kitchen from a tired wooden look, to a much more modern HG White, and Metallic Blue themed kitchen.
PWS is understandably proud to announce the opening of its new Southern Design Centre. Representing a £1.5m investment, the Centre showcases the complete PWS product offer, including their latest contemporary kitchen collection BioGraphy, alongside the company's established Second Nature and 1909 brands.
Strata features an attractive glass topped valve which doubles as a shelf; the perfect place to put all those essential showering toiletries. In addition, the elegant shower column features a round fixed Saturn shower head and a round, multi-function push-button handset with rain, drench and mist functions.
At its 10th anniversary reception, held at The Houses of Parliament last week and hosted by its Patron Stephen Metcalfe MP; The Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers announced an exciting new partnership with Care after Combat - a UK registered charity providing professional assistance for the wellbeing of military Veterans and their families.
At the milestone event, iKBBI CEO Damian Walters addressed the guests by saying: "The industry has a long-standing challenge on its hands, one that by far pre-dates the destabilising referendum result recently. Our challenge is in the form of addressing a widening skills gap that has manifested in a shortage of professional installers choosing to operate in the retail market.
Children all over the world dream of having a kick-about with their football heroes and Beko made this dream possible for one group of schoolchildren from an underprivileged neighbourhood as FC Barcelona stars gave them the surprise of their lives.
Lionel Messi, Gerard Piqué and Arda Turan surprised 10 children from a school in Barcelona and joined in with their training session as part of a special day out organised by Beko, Premium Partner of FC Barcelona.
Luxury bathroom retailer Ripples, joined forces this month with Hansgrohe for two training sessions at the company's new showroom - The Water Studio. The Water Studio is Hansgrohe's new hub of inspiration, excitement and resources in the heart of Clerkenwell.
Designed to offer the latest in functional bathroom technology, the new Allure mirrored cabinet is the ultimate bathroom storage solution boasting smart features throughout and up-to-the-minute visual styling.
Beautifully illuminated from all angles, the cabinets feature the next generation of LED lighting, offering superior performance at the lowest possible energy consumption.
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Following a meeting of the judges for the 2016 KBSA Designer Awards, whereby all entries are judged anonymously, the finalists have been named for all categories as follows:
Kitchen Designer of the Year under £30,000 - sponsored by Omega:
The Kitchen Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association reports that judging is now underway for the KBSA 2016 Designer Awards, and that the shortlisted applicants will soon hear whether they have been successful in making it through to the next stage.
The Judges, as always, will be judging each entry without knowing which entrant has submitted it, which is one of the unique features about this Awards programme. It is only when the winners and runners up are announced on the evening of the Awards dinner that judges are able to put designs to designers!
A new qualitative research project, conducted by Whirlpool, carried out to mark the launch of its new SmartCook induction hob, has learnt that cooking trends in the UK are evolving to accommodate new experiences, such as a wider range of gastronomic choices and healthier eating trends, but with convenience and ease of preparation considered increasingly important.