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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
6th January 2017


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

International News

British Ceramic Tile's 2017 design trend predictions...

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Key colours Greige: Grey has been softened with a mixing of palettes for 2017. Organic, natural and incredibly versatile, greige combines the cool base tones of grey with the earthy qualities of beige. A subtle neutral, greige is the perfect backdrop for accent shades of paprika and rust, as well as vibrant blues and green.

Outstanding reaction to Utopia's Roseberry Collection

Just four months since the launch, Utopia's Roseberry Collection of luxury painted bathroom furniture is poised to become a best-selling range for the company as demand from showrooms for displays continues to increasealong with consumer interest in the range.

Gorenje reveals six new stylish extraction hoods

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Gorenje has unveiled six new additions to its cooker hoods portfolio including curved glass hoods, chimney hoods, an island hood and a telescopic hood, all of which are available now and come in either 60cm or 90cm configurations.

Built-in innovation from New World: Design Suites Collection to shake up market

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Kitchen appliance brand New World has launched its highest specification collection of built-in appliances to date, at what it believes will be the lowest price point in the market.

The New Range Generation: GDHA releases report on Range sector

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Glen Dimplex Home Appliances has conducted one of the largest surveys of range cookers users in recent times to discover more about them, their cooking habits and how they choose and buy their appliance. GDHA surveyed 2,000 consumers across the UK who had recently bought a Range cooker to help it identify changing customer demographics for the Range cooking sector.

Kaldewei extends its Meisterstücke Collection

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Following 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

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The 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

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Utopia 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

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The 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.

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.

Welcome to the





Welcome to the first 2017 issue of KBzine. I hope you had a good break and that you are one of the few people who managed to avoid that dreadful virus that's had the majority of us laid low with raging sore throats and hacking coughs over the past month. My daughter has a theory that we tend to get sick around holiday times, because we can. That may sound odd but I feel she could have a point since her argument is that we're all so busy throughout the year, we don't have time to be unwell so we psychologically send the virus away until we have time to succumb to it. We relax and - poof - suddenly the virus takes hold! As I say, it sounds odd but I see it happen so often, perhaps it's true...

Another way of looking at it is that in the lead up to the holidays, we're so busy rushing around to meet deadlines, fulfil orders and tie-up loose ends before we finally leave the workplace, that we don't look after ourselves enough by eating well, resting or exercising enough and getting plenty of fresh air and a good night's sleep, thus leaving ourselves run down and vulnerable to attack.

Then there's the argument that we're physically closer to others around holiday times too, and thus more likely to pick up a virus when shoehorned into an aeroplane, for example, or squeezed into a tightly packed club or pub...

John and I, who were both unwell when we put our last issue together, reckon we're lucky to work from our respective home offices, since at least we can work as and when we're up to it (and can dress accordingly) and don't have to go out at some unearthly hour and de-ice our cars or pack into ridiculously crowded trains with the heating on full blast while we're sweating in our outdoor coats and hats! This year has been particularly bad for illness, which leads me to wonder how you cope.

Everyone seems to be running a pretty tight ship these days, so if even a quarter of your workforce are struck down, it leaves a gaping hole. And what about delivery drivers and fitters, who can't just suddenly double the workload to cover others' absences, or pull extra hours out of the hat to make up for time lost through being ill?



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

ArtiCAD acquires majority stake in Smart Systems (Generalsoft)

* Articad.jpgKBB software innovator, ArtiCAD, has announced that it has purchased a majority stake in Smart Systems, a leading pricing and business management system producer.

ArtiCAD has enjoyed a strategic partnership with Smart Systems for several years, providing mutual customers with fully integrated, comprehensive design, pricing and management tools. The acquisition, announced at the end of 2016, will foster even more technology integration between the two companies with the aim of delivering an ever-improving customer experience together with access to hundreds of manufacturers' product catalogues.

New research shines a light on what really works in performance management

* CIPD.jpgPerformance appraisals won't automatically lead to improvements, but it's equally misguided to say that they'll never work and should simply be abolished, says the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development in a new report which refutes others' claims that appraisals are a relic of the past.

There have been plenty of leading stories in the press about corporate household names who're getting rid of their annual appraisals in favour of more informal processes. And with hard-hitting language such as 'axe', 'abolish' and 'kill' being used to describe this shift, these headlines are bolstering the widespread assumption that traditional methods don't work.

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

* Filming-at-AKW.jpgAKW, 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. Now in its third year running, the programme features key industry interviews and news-style reports along with sponsored editorial profiles, exploring the complex role of care and the remarkable initiatives happening in the sector as demand grows exponentially.

Bespoke Laufen for prefabricated construction

* Bespoke-Laufen.jpgThe 42-acre masterplan for Battersea Power Station has generated investment totaling around £8 billion, making it one of the most significant urban developments in the world. As part of phase 1, the first 866 homes out of a total of 3900 are being built and German firm Deba has delivered 1,241 bespoke Laufen bathroom pods on time for integration into these residences.

Especially for this project, Laufen produced 1241 Kartell by Laufen wall-hung WCs, 1,241 bespoke Sentec washbasins and 750 Marbond shower trays in a total of 200 different bespoke variations.

Mark Taylor Design champions future of kitchen design with scholarship on degree course

* Mark-Taylor-Design.jpgBritish furniture manufacturer and interiors design business Mark Taylor Design is helping raise standards in the kitchen industry while supporting budding designers with the provision of a scholarship in conjunction with TKET for a student on the Foundation Degree Course in Kitchen Design at Buckinghamshire New University.

Kitchen retailers jet off to Tenerife as part of Faith Furniture Co's Winter Sun incentive!

* Kitchen-retailers-jetoff.jpgWith the days getting shorter and the hectic build-up to Christmas getting longer, it was time for a well-deserved break for a group of hardworking retailers! Last year, Faith Furniture Company invited all retail partners of its LochAnna kitchen brand to take part in a fantastic incentive to win some Winter sun on an end-of-year excursion to Tenerife - and they rose to the challenge.

Belling enters new market with Sensicare Collection: family favourite launches into laundry market

* Belling-Sensicare1.jpgRenowned appliance manufacturer Belling has announced its entrance into the freestanding home laundry market with the launch of a suite of new products - the Sensicare Collection.

The new collection - which includes four washing machines, a washer-dryer, two tumble dryers and a 15-place setting dishwasher - means Belling now provides a complete range of home appliances.

Abode supports Mission Christmas

* Abode-mission-xmas.jpgOver the past two years, instead of spending money on hundreds of Christmas cards for its customers and distributor partners, Abode has helped many people by donating money and gifts to different charities. This Christmas, Abode donated to the largest annual 'Christmas Toy Appeal' in the UK - Mission Christmas.

Alno Contracts donates some festive cheer!

* Alno-xmas-jumper-day.jpgThe Alno Contracts Sevenoaks office spread some Christmas joy before the break with a number of festive-themed charity events.

Nationwide supplier of high-quality kitchens and service to the project market, Alno Contracts (a division of Alno UK), donned Christmas jumpers at its office in Sevenoaks for Christmas Jumper Day in aid of the Save the Children charity.

Croydex continues drive for growth with two new commercial appointments

* CROYDEX_Dan-Peek.jpgBathroom accessories specialist, Croydex has appointed two commercial experts to its sales team as part of its continued growth and expansion into new markets.

Daniel Peek (pictured left) and Tim Barrett (below right) both join the award-winning Andover-based company as commercial managers and will be responsible for business development as well as strengthening relationships with existing customers.

Top 10!

* Top-10_Merlyn.jpgMerlyn's southern area sales manager, Gary Hildrow, has just celebrated 10 years' service with the company.

Gary joined Merlyn, from Novellini, back in 2006, after resolving that Merlyn was an organisation of which he wanted to be part.

Baumatic launches new 2017 matte ovens brochure: Matte Perfection for the Kitchen

* Baumatic-brochure.jpgBaumatic has launched a stylish standalone brochure to promote The Matte Collection - its range of 60cm single multifunction ovens that are available in a subtle matte finish.

Caple publishes latest sink and tap brochure

* Caple-sink-and-tap-brochure.jpgPacked with new and bestselling products, Caple's latest full-colour sink and tap brochure provides the perfect sales tool for retailers and an inspirational guide for consumers, offering all the information required to help them choose the perfect sink and tap.

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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

Not so grim up North as growth continues at NESP

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North East Sheets and Panels (NESP), manufacturer and supplier of doors, panels, worktops and components, is ending this unpredictable year with excellent news as the company has seen sales of Mistral worktops double in the last two years, selling more than £1m in 2016 alone.

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

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Those 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...

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.

Karonia freezes Mistral prices

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

"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.


IDS launches new 72-page Solutions Guide for decorative surfaces

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Specialist surface materials distributor IDS has updated its Solutions Guide. The 72-page, full-colour directory, showcases the depth and breadth of IDS's portfolio in flooring, worktops, sinks and taps, wall panelling, solid surface, laminate, compact and decorative panel products.

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