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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
9th December 2016


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

International News

CRL launches new collection of porcelain surfaces

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CRL is proud to be launching a stunning new range of surfaces crafted from porcelain. The perfect complement to the company's existing quartz offering, the brand new collection - Ceralsio Porcelain Surfaces - is available in 26 colours and a choice of finishes, making it an ideal option for any space.

Drawing on its 20 years' expertise in the stone industry and responding head-on to current trends in worksurface design, Ceralsio surfaces from CRL tap into the huge move towards ceramic worktops coming out of Europe.

New compact oven and warming drawer for Amica Built-In

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Europe's fastest growing appliance manufacturer, Amica, has added two compact built-in ovens and a complementing warming drawer to its portfolio of built-in and freestanding kitchen appliances.

Amica's Platinum Design features a choice of two compact ovens. Both provide a 38-litre combination of oven with built-in microwave and grill and both offer touch control LED clock and time. Five power levels for the oven and three for the grill feature on the AMMB44E1GI which also features a 1000W power combi oven with a 1500W grill.

BETTE shower trays and baths chosen for luxury St James developments

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Member of the Berkeley Group, St James, has chosen Bette enamelled steel bathroom products for a number of its luxury London developments. St James has established a reputation as a design-conscious developer regenerating brownfield sites, with its designs, not only creating desirable places to live, but also having a positive impact on the environment. Sustainability is vital to the way the company operates.

The future is now

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It's an inalienable fact that just as the world keeps on turning so does our desire to continuously innovate. Staying ahead of the game is crucial if we are to succeed in helping our clients now and in the future, writes Darren Evans.

"Disney chairman Bob Iger once said: 'The riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo'. I was reminded of this when members of our team here at Darren Evans Assessments visited the National Self Build and Renovation Centre in Swindon.

Abode Zorb - a 'steel' of a stainless tap

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Over the past few years there has been a continued dominance of steel in kitchen appliances overall. This ongoing trend has lead the way for Abode to introduce a competitively priced range of stainless steel taps which are a perfect combination with the company's sinks. 

They are hygienic and practical, retaining a natural lustre for years and the resistance of stainless steel to corrosion and staining, together with its low maintenance and sheen, make it an ideal material for the kitchen.

Holloways of Ludlow launches three kitchen designs to celebrate move to Shropshire

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For the past 10 years, Holloways of Ludlow has been designing award-winning, beautiful, individual kitchens, hand-made from solid wood by skilled craftsmen at its workshop in West London. However, during 2016, the team has been preparing a return to its Shropshire roots, (where the business started life as a company trading in architectural salvage) and to celebrate the move, is launching three new designs.

Burgbad's Coco Collection wins German Design Award 2017

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The new collection from bathroom furniture specialist Burgbad wowed the expert jury of one of Germany's most prestigious design competitions - dressed not in a 'little black number' but a simple outfit in matt grey. The jurors declared Coco one of the German Design Award 2017's winners in the bath and wellness category.

Britannia Living unveils refreshed Fleet collection

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Britannia Living has updated its Fleet range cooker collection by revamping design elements and adding exciting new colours.

The models have been updated with the addition of a refined new oven door-handle and the introduction of a new fascia panel, which proved a huge hit on the Delphi platform.

The neat and multi-functional Blanco Delta II sink: perfect for smaller kitchens

Perfect for smaller kitchens, the Blanco Delta II sink is designed to fit perfectly in the corner of a workspace.

This 183 mm bowl is large and deep, and its uniquely slanted shape provides excellent space for washing up large saucepans and baking trays. Alongside the main bowl, there is an additional one with an integrated stainless steel colander and a large drainer area making this a truly multi-functional sink.

British Ceramic Tile relaunches its impactful splashback collection

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British Ceramic Tile has relaunched its Impact glass splashback collection, revealing a capsule new range that brings together a concise offering of best sellers and on trend new colours.

Indesit makes dinner time a breeze with innovative turn&cook function

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Indesit has developed a simple solution for creating perfectly cooked family meals in just one hour - bringing harmony to the kitchen. Its new built-in cooking collection, Aria, includes the KFW 3844 H IX electric oven, which boasts the innovative and time-saving Turn&Cook function.

Kaldewei showcases new product segment - washbasins - at this week's Sleep exhibition

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Kaldewei, showcased an exciting line-up of recently launched products at Sleep this week, including models from its new product segment - washbasins. With the introduction of this new segment, hotel bathrooms can now be styled using a single material, a harmonious design vocabulary and a matching colour scheme.

Created in collaboration with designer, Anke Salomon, the Silenio is distinguished by exceptionally soft interior lines - with the baths and washbasins harmoniously combined.

Welcome to the




I was lucky to have been able to attend the CIH suppliers lunch at the Dorchester this week - not only because it was a jolly event and a nice lunch at a great venue, but also because it's always good to be able to chat to folk 'at the sharp end' of the business, 'off the record' and in a social environment, when people say what they're really thinking, rather than worry about any comments being reported in the press.

One thing that struck me is that despite it having been quite a tumultuous year, there was a real air of positivity amongst those with whom I spoke. Yes, prices had risen a couple of times over the year but the consensus was that they had been suppressed for far too long anyway, and that everyone knew even before the Referendum took place, that it was only a matter of time before prices were increased, whatever the outcome of the vote might be.

In terms of Brexit, no one I spoke with seemed overly worried about Britain's ability to do well outside of the EU but what was worrying everyone was the ongoing scaremongering from 'the establishment' (and others) on both sides of the channel, which is causing not only uncertainty but which could also end up sending us into an unnecessary recession.

As some said (and we all agreed): the decision is made and now it's up to us all to be positive, pull together, see things through and ensure we come out the other side a lot better for it.

Indeed, CIH chairman Robin Millwood himself said: "We entered 2016 with probably more hope than usual - especially as it looked like we had seen the back of the recession, most suppliers were confident in their new ranges to be launched and with retailers praying that price stability would come to fruition... but nobody could have guessed that the world was about to change (and with this he was not only referring to the Referendum but also to the US elections).

"The sooner we get the stability back once Brexit is sorted, the better it will become... providing we all work together, we will come out of this stronger."



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Euronics postpones Showcase 2017 but will invest £multi-million to support growth

* EURONICS_Robin-Millwood.jpgThose gathered at this week's Combined Independents (Holdings) annual lunch in London, not only enjoyed a great day out but they were also party to some breaking news...

While the electrical buying group, which is part of Europe's largest electrical buying group - Euronics, is to postpone its Showcase 2017 exhibition for one year, it is making £multi-million investments in 2017 which will include expansion of the distribution network and the addition of a Northern distribution hub, to support future growth for members.

Cashflow problems undermine four in 10 small UK firms

Four-in-10 (38%) small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) have suffered cashflow problems over the past two years, according to new research by Amicus Commercial Finance, the specialist lender of flexible working capital to SMEs. The figure rises to two-thirds (65%) among medium-sized firms with between 50 and 250 staff.

According to the study conducted among 500 small businesses owners, over the past two years one-in-seven (15%) are still suffering liquidity problems and 12% either came close to or became insolvent. Small businesses recognise the threat cashflow problems can pose; nearly three-quarters (71%) say it is the biggest risk they face.

Kaldewei extends its Meisterstücke Collection

* Kaldewei_Meisterstueck.jpgFollowing the successful market launch of the Meisterstücke Collection - luxurious freestanding bathtubs with fully enamelled panelling, Kaldewei has extended the range with models for corner and wall installation, which are perfect for smaller bathrooms; offering a feeling of opulence while making the most of the space.

Whirlpool washing machine proclaimed a Which? Best Buy

* Whirlpool-FSCR-10432.jpgThe Whirlpool Supreme Care FSCR 10432 washing machine has impressed the testers at Which? landing the 'Best Buy' rating for its 'excellent' wash performance, ease of use and quiet operation.

Assessing the washing machine, Which? noted that it is 'dead easy' to use; the testers also loved the 'large and clear digital display' and the wide door opening, which enables easier loading and unloading of large items, such as a duvet, and particularly commended the way in which the FSCR 10432 'kept washing and spinning noises to a minimum'.

Utopia upgrades and expands Halo range

* UTOPIA-Halo.jpgUtopia Bathrooms has upgraded and expanded its popular Halo range of modular bathroom furniture.

With immediate effect all washbasin units and occasional units will have LED under unit mood lighting fitted as standard. This accent lighting offers subtle illumination below the unit, perfect for creating an atmosphere of subdued lighting or for use as low level lighting at night-time.

Tutti frutti! Everhot launches tangerine range cooker

* Tutti-frutti.jpgThe new tangerine range cooker from Everhot is set to add some serious zing to kitchens nationwide. The vibrant new electric range cooker makes the ultimate statement and coordinates beautifully with a range of other colours - from blues and greens to white, greys and other neutrals.

Karonia freezes Mistral prices

* KARONIA.jpgKaronia has announced that it will hold current pricing for the Mistral worktop range going into 2017.

While the year's unprecedented events and their effects have required special consideration, the company is confident in the potential of Mistral both through distribution and the reinvigorated contracts sector.

British Ceramic Tile takes the LEAD with its workforce

* BCT-Tony-plus.jpgThe UK's biggest ceramic and glass tile manufacturer, British Ceramic Tile, has taken the lead with its workforce, introducing a series of initiatives that offer development opportunities for all.

The company has joined forces with Lean Education & Development Limited (LEAD) to implement a new scheme that sees employees undertake live projects in return for accreditation. Following the 'Lean manufacturing principles', colleagues have been working to simplify and organise the working environment within the factory to drive down waste and improve efficiencies.

Abode expands sales force

* Abode-Sales-Managers.jpgAbode has appointed two new area sales managers, David Jackson and Graeme Blythe, to further expand and strengthen the sales and support team.

David joins the business as sales manager - Midlands, covering areas from Derbyshire down through to Oxfordshire and Essex. David isn't a stranger to the kitchens and bathrooms industry and has considerable experience of the industry's distribution markets across the central UK regions.

Andrew takes sales & marketing crown at AKW

* Andrew-Crown.jpgAKW, the UK's renowned manufacturer of accessible bathrooms, kitchens and mobility support solutions, has appointed Andrew Crown to the role of sales and marketing director.

Gorenje appoints new South West regional sales manager

* Gorenje_Matt-McLatchy.jpgGorenje has appointed Matt McLatchy as the regional sales manager for the South West. Matt brings with him seven years' experience in the appliance industry, including two years spent running his own retail appliance showroom.

He has been tasked with maintaining and increasing sales in the South West region, servicing existing customers and expanding the Gorenje customer base.

A Hero's Award for PWS & Blood Sweat & Gears' fundraisers

* A-hero-award.jpgBlood Sweat & Gears, the team of endurance cyclists spearheaded by Mark Stephenson, PWS's chief executive, has been recognised with a 'Hero Award', thanks to its record- breaking success.

Blood, Sweat and Gears successfully undertook a 500km cycling challenge across South Africa which it was hoped, through sponsorship, would raise £250,000 for Help for Heroes, of which Mark is a long-term supporter. However, thanks to donations, the tally grew to an incredible £314,000, making it the highest amount in 2016 of any singular, third-party fundraising challenge donated to Help For Heroes.

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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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Recent News

"Strong demand for residential projects" reports latest Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI

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The latest Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index, published today, reports improved order books, alongside resilient client confidence and strong demand for residential projects. Housebuilding activity remained the best performing category of construction output during November, despite the pace of expansion slipping to a three-month low.

Tiles market growth forecast for 2017

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A new report on the UK bathroom market from MTW Research indicates that sales have remained resilient for most bathroom products in 2016 with consumer spending set to remain strong in 2017, despite a recent 'Brexit Blip'.

Taking time out for training: the Counter Interiors experience

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York-based Counter Interiors is run by Luke Counter. A kitchen fitter by trade, he ran his business successfully from home using the ArtiCAD design software on a laptop - until he hurt his back. This demanded a change of lifestyle - and the opening of his first showroom in partnership with his wife just over two years ago.

A 'bluming' fantastic two-day event for Burbidge premium partners

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In a true meeting of minds, KBB industry giants Burbidge and Blum join forces to launch a very special two-day event recently, for a select group of Burbidge Premium Partners.

AMDEA wins BSI's first industry leader award

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The Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances has been recognised by the British Standards Institution for leading the way in establishing key production standards in the UK and wider world. AMDEA won the BSI Industry Leadership Award last Thursday November at a prestigious ceremony in London, becoming the very first recipient of this new honour.

Going green boosts contract kitchen firm's profits

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Lanzet, a national supplier of kitchens and fitted bedroom furniture to house builders, developers and social/commercial contractors, is enjoying record profits.

AKW promotes independent living on Care England and ITN's 'Caring Communities'

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AKW, manufacturer of accessible bathroom, kitchen and mobility support solutions, has been extensively featured on a programme titled 'Caring Communities', produced jointly by ITN Productions and Care England.


Becky joins Crosswater Contracts team

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As part of its continued expansion, Crosswater Contracts has appointed Becky Greenin to the UK contracts team. Becky is the first of a series of new appointments, and will hold the role of projects and key account manager for London and the Home Counties.


Saniflo roadshow boosts Kinedo sales

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Saniflo UK, a leading designer and manufacturer of pumps, macerators and shower cubicles, says its 2016 'Building better bathrooms' roadshow has been so successful that it will take to the road again in 2017 visiting new venues with new products.

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