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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
13th January 2017


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

International News

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

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Performance 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.

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. 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

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The 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.

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

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Renowned 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.

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.

Welcome to the





Waterwise and Ideal Standard commissioned a water usage report at the end of last year, the results of which, reveal that more of us are actively using less water - up to 88% of respondents in 2016 compared to 70% in 2015. Some of this was down to a major increase in the use of water-efficient appliances, such as taps, showers and washing machines, as we either try to keep a lid on our bills or simply don't like wasting water - or a mixture of both.

The news that 37% of those surveyed don't know how much water they use each day, suggests that those with a water meter, who can see how much water they are using and how, are more likely to be water savvy than those paying a fixed tariff. An encouraging 82% of those with a meter take steps to reduce water usage and thus save money, compared to just 30% of those with a set bill.

You can read the full report below, but in the meantime, here are some water-saving facts, of which we should all be aware and which we should share with customers who are buying anything that requires water...

* A running tap wastes over 6 litres/min * A dual flush toilet can save 7-9 litres each short flush * Don't try and flush cotton balls, wipes or make up tissues. As well as wasting water, you're likely to block your drains * Be aware that although a bath typically uses 80 litres, a power-shower may actually use more, so a shower is not always the better option. An inch less depth can save five litres while a shower timer can save loads more * Low flow aerated showerheads reduce water usage but not the shower's power (or a tap's) * If a dishwasher isn't going to be fully loaded every time, then it's probably too big for the household's needs * Experiment with different settings on the dishwasher and washing machine, for perfect results using minimal water and energy * Soak vegetables in a bowl and use a lid while cooking - and remember not to overfill that kettle! * Save around 10 litres a day by refrigerating drinking water rather than running the tap until it runs cold

The survey shows we're making headway, but there's still a lot more we can do and I can't help but think that a water meter clearly focuses the mind!  



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Soapbox: "Support the local independent retail specialist - without them the future's bleak" argues Bill Miller, managing director of the Kitchen & Bathroom Buying Group...

* Soapbox.jpg"The recent and sad demise of Betta Living got me thinking about the future of the independent kitchen and bathroom specialists in the UK. Betta Living was a national retail chain, and with its closure, there is an argument that this could lead to an increase in business for independent retailers, but I am not so sure this will actually happen. Why? Some independent retailers are just not good enough.

Consumer expectations have significantly risen over recent years, and many independent retailers have been left behind. So much so that in some quarters of the national media there is a debate about whether the independent retailer is still relevant.

KBSA reveals new website and brand refresh

* KBSA-2016.jpgThe Kitchen, Bathroom, Bedroom Specialists Association has appointed Optima Graphic Design Consultants to design, host and develop the KBSA website - and Optima has wasted no time in refreshing the site, refocusing its priorities and delivering phase one quickly and efficiently - including a minor brand refresh.

"It is key to us that we deliver increased leads for its members, more consumer awareness of the KBSA and a bigger KBSA family that can pick up the leads in areas where there are few or no members," explains Optima managing director Simon Shaw. "We need to make everything work as hard as possible, everything needs to be right so the brand refresh was really important."

Celebrate the trend for the 'fifth wall' with the Feature Floors collection from the House of British Ceramic Tile

* BCT-5th-wall-tiles.jpgThere's a new design movement sweeping through homes. First it was the feature wall; then it was all about the ceiling. Now it's the 'fifth wall'; floors that demand serious attention. Gone are the days of plain surfaces without personality, today's floors are much more visually exciting with ceramic tiles now delivering the wow factor.

Tapping into the trend for the 'fifth wall', the House of British Ceramic Tile has introduced three new ranges to its Feature Floors collection - Henry, Alfred and Distinction. Launched to provide retailers and consumers with something different, these latest ceramic tiles offer an inspiring range of designs from opulent marble effects through to traditional geometric patterns.

Six-in-10 SME invoices unpaid within debtor period

According to a new report commissioned by Amicus Commercial Finance, well over half (61%) of invoices issued by UK small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) remain unpaid within the debtor day period. Of these, almost three-quarters (70%) of firms say they rely on getting paid during their debtor day period to avoid facing a shortage of working capital.

The research shows that one in six (16%) SME invoices remains unpaid after 90 days and of these, almost half (7%) have yet to be settled after six months.

Utopia flies the flag for UK distribution

* Utopia.jpgUtopia Bathrooms has announced a new partnership with Davroc, specialist distributor to the bathroom retailer. For almost 30 years Davroc has selected and provided well-known quality brands for many of the UK's leading bathroom retailers.

Number of UK consumers reducing water usage to save money rises by almost a fifth in one year

* saving-water.jpgLast year saw a major increase in consumer use of water efficient appliances, including taps, showers and washing machines, as Britain's savvy shoppers look to safeguard their spending against rising household bills - that's according to a report commissioned by Ideal Standard and Waterwise*.

The survey undertaken at the end of the year found that there has been an 18% increase in the number of British adults actively taking action when it comes to addressing water saving, up to 88% of respondents in 2016 compared to 70% in 2015.

Blomberg slimline dishwasher awarded Which? Best Buy

* Blomberg-slimline.jpgThe Euronics exclusive Blomberg built-in slimline dishwasher, the LDVS2284, has been awarded a sought after 'Best Buy' rating from Which?, as well as being given an 'Energy Saver' label. The appliance impressed the testing team for its cleaning and drying standards, and for being 'very energy efficient'.

Creative and considered storage with PWS's YouBoXx

* YouBoXx.jpgPWS, exclusive UK distributor of Kesseböhmer, has enhanced its comprehensive portfolio of clever storage solutions with YouBoXx.

Considered and creative, YouBoXx is incredibly versatile enabling consumers to customise their storage to ensure maximum usable space and effortless ease of access. The system is available to suit both base units and larders, so brings benefits across multiple configurations of cabinets.

Raise the Bar with new Cluster and Bohemia Contemporary towel warmers by Aestus

* Aestus.jpgWhy not persuade your customers that to go 'off the rails' could be as clever as observing Dry January, if they upgrade their next towel warmer to a stylish heating solution that makes the best use of space and heat in the bathroom?

Offering a desirable double-dose of contemporary heating design, Aestus introduces the Cluster and Bohemia towel warmers, both featured as part of its highly versatile Contemporary Collection of towel warmers.

Geberit teams with the Sleep Geek in campaign to uncover secrets to a good night's rest

* Geberit-Sleep-Geek.jpgGeberit has teamsed up with The Sleep Geek as part of a national campaign to uncover the (elusive for many of us) secrets to a good night's rest.

Central to the campaign was a radio broadcast with independent sleep practitioner, educator and environment analyst James Wilson, aka the Sleep Geek. During the radio interviews, which aired on 33 stations around the country to more than four million listeners, the Sleep Geek used results of a Geberit survey into people's sleeping habits to offer tips on reducing night time disturbance.

Wilsonart UK celebrate 60 years with a terrific £6,592 raised for Macmillan Cancer Support

* Wilsonart-UK-60yrs-6k.jpgStaff and management at Wilsonart UK have beaten an impressive target of £6,000, to raise £6,592 for Macmillan Cancer Support during 2016 - its 60th year. To commemorate the company's 60th anniversary, Wilsonart UK aimed to raise £1,000 for every 10 years in business.

Activities throughout the year included a 170-mile bike ride undertaken by Wilsonart UK employees and customers from IDS and Benchmarx. Cake sales and bake days throughout the year also helped smash the amazing total.

Amica moves sales, marketing and service to Nottinghamshire

* Amica.jpgFollowing Amica's acquisition of CDA in December 2015, the Amica UK business has been successfully transferred to CDA's impressive facility in Langar, Nottinghamshire. Amica sales, marketing and customer service operations, along with the UK's comprehensive stockholding, have been relocated.

David Vincent remains as national account manager and is joined by Steve Stroud, formerly of Samsung and then Viking Appliances, as the national account manager for distribution. Amica and CDA marketing will be headed by Steve Corbett.

The KBzine Archive Search

We keep an extensive archive of news stories and product information that have featured in past issues of The KBzine. If you would like to run a search of the The KBzine web site using the search tool below please just go ahead by entering in the name of the person, product or company or any other key words that you are looking for.

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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.


Croydex continues drive for growth with two new commercial appointments

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


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

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Baumatic 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.

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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