KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
24th February 2017
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2017 saw the doors open on one of Ripples' largest showrooms in Birmingham, based within Cookes Furniture the new showroom is already proving to be a huge hit, with hundreds of visitors heading to the inspiring new showroom in its first month.
The new Regent furniture collection is the ideal solution for any bathroom, providing ample storage without compromising on style. Regent has a classic aesthetic with a modular design, playing on the key modular living trend and offering an elegant and flexible solution for all bathrooms.
Already available in Inox Look, Edge Straight is a stylish aluminium handle, 41mm wide, and is now available in four new finishes - Brushed Rose Gold, Brushed Anthracite, Antique Bronze and Brushed Brass. The perfect complement for the current trend for vintage or industrial looks, the new handles carry a lifetime guarantee along with all Furnipart handles.
The Elements brand, manufactured by Abacus in the UK, offers what is arguably the most comprehensive range of wetroom and waterproofing products currently available.
Last week's Office for National Statistics announcement that UK employment reached 74.6% in the last quarter of 2016 – the highest rate since such records began in 1971, while unemployment remained at its record low since 2005 on 4.8%, compared with 5.1% for the same period the previous year – has caused quite a stir.
Of particular interest to various players in the KBB industry was the announcement that the number of EU nationals employed in the UK had risen by 190,000 in the final quarter compared with the same period the previous year, but, comparing the final quarter of 2016 with the preceding quarter, there were 19,000 fewer EU nationals employed – the first three-month fall in since Q3 2014.
While David Freeman, ONS senior statistician, warns that the fall in the number of workers born in other EU countries should be treated with caution as the figures have not been seasonally adjusted, the latest Labour Market Outlook from the CIPD and Adecco says that labour and skills shortages are starting to bite in UK sectors that employ a high number of EU nationals – such as general building and the more specialised allied trades, as well as retail.
It suggests that, despite a near record number of vacancies (748,000 according to ONS data), UK employers are struggling to fill roles with the right candidates and that low-skilled sectors which typically employ a large number of non-UK nationals from the EU are facing particular recruitment challenges.
The CIPD says employers need to review their approach to workforce development and training and improve the attractiveness of their jobs through better line management and job design, developing closer links with local educational institutions and improving pay and employment conditions where possible.
Interestingly, the Outlook also asked employers that employ EU nationals how they would respond to potential migration restrictions. A quarter (26%) said they would ‘pay the difference’ and absorb the extra cost of recruiting EU nationals, whilst others said they would seek to retain older workers (19%), invest more in training and up-skilling (17%) and recruit more apprentices (17%).
Good news then for the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation, which has been working with the Government on the development of a new Trailblazer Apprenticeship for Fitted Interiors! Its success, about which you can read more below, means that in one part of our industry at least, it’s likely to be, ‘business as usual’.
This Week's News
A recent survey by the UK200Group, the membership association of independent chartered accountancy and law firms, showed that 65% of its members' SME business clients do not currently use software to manage their accounts.
They will be forced to adapt significantly in order to use software to comply with HMRC's 'Making Tax Digital' project, which aims to see businesses reporting tax digitally by 2018.
Featuring new easy to operate lever handles and ceramic disc valves, it is ideal to operate even for those with limited dexterity, whilst a 38°C default safety setting prevents scalding, making the new Kiri Lever Thermostatic Pillar Mounted Bath Shower Mixer safe for the whole family to use.
PWS Worksurfaces' Strata brand has been extended with a new range of marble-effect quartz finishes. Available in differing depths of veining, from subtle to very prominent, there are five options within the palette.
Anticipated to be a strong design favourite, the new Strata Statuario draws inspiration from Statuario marble, one of Italy's most desirable and iconic marbles. Its cool, light tone, coupled with the bold grey vein that runs throughout the entire material, is relevant to both contemporary and classic kitchen schemes.
Utopia Bathrooms has upgraded its online showroom locator to help drive more traffic into its network of retail showrooms. It now not only provides consumers with a list of local showrooms to visit, it also identifies the specific products they will be able to see, together with a list of services the showroom has to offer from interior design to fitting.
The A++ 'Dynamic Mega' model is claimed to be the largest on the market in standard dimensions and is available in either white or black and has an adjustable upper basket ideal for loading glasses, cups and utensils.
One of the latest big interiors trends in which Hygge and Lagom say we should all be indulging, to give our homes (and overselves) some extra love during these colder months, this charming Knit mural collection celebrates the comfort and sentimentality of knitted pieces by bringing them to the walls of our homes.
Paired with scandi furniture and a neutral palette, these murals make a super snug statement.
In the year of its 50th anniversary, BSH (BSH Home Appliances), manufacturer of premium brands Bosch, NEFF, Siemens and Gaggenau, has been officially certified by the Top Employers Institute 2017 for the second year running, retaining the exclusive Top Employers Europe 2017 Certification for its exceptional employee offerings in the UK and Ireland.
Award-winning UK distributor, Frontline Bathrooms, has announced two significant milestones: the anniversary of its CEO, Nick Hall, who has worked his way to the top during his 15 years with the company, while sales & marketing director Michael Sammon celebrates a decade with the leading bathroom distributor.
The ethos and attitude of the senior management and their longevity of tenure ensures that both suppliers and customers receive the very best attention. Nick Hall and Michael Sammon celebrate 25 collective years at Frontline Bathrooms
The Masterclass donation was made in support of the #StayStrongForOws fundraising and awareness campaign in support of the injured player. With funds being raised to aid the 24-year-old's rehabilitation, Masterclass Kitchens was keen to get involved.
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