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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
29th September 2017


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

International News

The complete bathroom solution from Crosswater

Transform bathrooms into a luxurious retreat with the complete collection of brassware, furniture units and accessories from British bathroom specialist, Crosswater. Combining modern functionality with on-trend aesthetics, each product from the brand's extensive offering is manufactured to the highest specifications, offering customers assured quality and superior performance.

Easy use for everyone - a new classic from VitrA

Offering a compelling design solution for every bathroom, new Z-Line from VitrA is a sleek, modern range of bathroom brassware featuring a smoothly contoured body with an easy-to-use flat lever control conveniently mounted on the side.

Bertazzoni goes to new lengths with 110cm range

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Due to demand, Bertazzoni has chosen to develop 110cm models of its Professional and Master Series range cookers, complementing its existing product portfolio of 60cm, 90cm, 100cm and 120cm lines.

VitrA stars at Designjunction

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Designjunction (21st - 24th September) is London's most prestigious design trade show presenting over 200 brands and attracting over 27,000 visitors over the four days of the London Design Festival - and VitrA will be making a real impact.

Porcel-Thin wins Business Innovator Award

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The Porcel-Thin team is proud to announce that the brand has been named 'Best Porcelain Tile Manufacturer - UK' by Corporate Vision in their esteemed Business Innovator Awards 2017.

Abode's collection of Dune sinks shortlisted in House Beautiful 2017 Award

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The Dune family of reversible granite sinks, which boasts two in an eye-catching, striking Black Granite and two in a contemporary Frost White Granite, has been shortlisted in this year's House Beautiful Awards.

The four sinks have a strong organic design style to them... rounded corners, sumptuous bowls and a stunning ripple-effect practical drainer pattern. These creative features are the backbone to the design which is right 'on trend' with current kitchen design fashion.

Designed to Suit

New Suit U and Suit L bathroom brassware from VitrA brings a distinctive finishing touch to any contemporary bathroom. Versatility is the key with both ranges which include a wide choice of basin mixers, bidet mixers, bath and shower fittings and chrome, copper and gold finish options.

British Ceramic Tile introduces a contemporary Laura Ashley splashback collection

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British Ceramic Tile and Laura Ashley have once again collaborated, combining their finely-honed design skills to launch a new collection of glass splashbacks.

The new Space Tower from LDL - too good to hide

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In yet another exclusive, leading components distributor LDL is launching a greatly enhanced version of the popular Blum Space Tower with an extended range of exciting new design elements and finishes.

Available now, the new Space Tower offers virtually unlimited co-ordination opportunities with the external kitchen design.

Major update project transforms Marpatt graphics catalogue in ArtiCAD-Pro

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KBB CAD software specialist and technology innovator, ArtiCAD, has announced that a major project to update the entire graphics catalogue for Marpatt has been completed.

Amica launches new cooling that will help to tackle food waste.

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UK consumers throw away an astonishing £17 billion worth of food every year. A high percentage of this food is fresh fruit and vegetables that look tired in fresh produce drawers or has gone past its best because the food was not eaten while it was in perfect, unblemished condition.

Neolith celebrates the workshop professional with 'Top Fabricator' competition

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Spanish company, TheSize, is calling on workshop professionals and marble workers globally to share their very best work, using Neolith, for the second annual 'Neolith Top Fabricators' competition, which highlights the difficulty and immense technical complexity that fabricators face when working on highly-specific projects and celebrates their consistency and attention to detail.

Bushboard to exhibit Nuance at Sleep 2017 (Stand DG6, London Design Centre)

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Bushboard, the renowned producer of laminate worksurfaces which is now part of the Wilsonart Group, will be using this year's hotel design event - Sleep - to showcase its outstanding Nuance bathroom wall panelling.

Hotpoint launches new range of dishwashers

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Hotpoint has launched a new range of 600mm dishwashers, comprising both built-in and freestanding models and offering excellent cleaning results, flexibility and striking performance - thanks to sustainable innovations and technologies.

Welcome to the


I've had an interesting response to last week's leader from my good friend Stephen Munton of the Domestic Cleaners Alliance (you can read it below). It has taken me back through a history of the electrical appliance industry that I hadn't known existed, because of the long break between the end of my freelance writing for the then-IPC/Reed trade publications ERT & lesser known sister publication Electrical &Electronic Trader, and taking the helm of KBzine.

Stephen, who once worked in electrical retailing, talks about changes to the industry, to products and the way electrical retailers worked when in 1998 the Government brought in laws against price fixing, before moving on to the impact made by the Internet and the growth in online shopping.

His words reminded me of a conversation I had with a group of toilet tissue sales managers, who'd faced similar issues in terms of prices being driven down until they were selling at a loss, in the hope that they could make profit on other items that would become part of the order. Quality dropped and some manufacturers found ways to make it look as if there was a great deal more tissue on their rolls than there actually was, such as bigger cores and/or fluffing up with talcum powder. Customers complained and companies went out of business - and not just the companies that were selling sub-standard products but also those that couldn't sustain the practice of selling product in bulk, at a loss.

Eventually though, it dawned on facilities providing a washroom service (stores, motorway service stations, hotels, shopping centres, bars, restaurants, etc) - and also we as consumers, that although we might be getting a cheap deal, we were also getting a product that didn't last long and which certainly didn't do its job properly. We realised that far from saving money by buying cheap, we were actually squandering it.

Stephen makes the point that much of the white goods production that had been based in the UK, now takes place in other countries where costs are lower, to enable manufacturers to supply quality goods at lower prices - something that once again took me back to my days at IPC when I asked a colleague why our magazines were now being printed in Singapore. I had no idea back then, that we'd be reading news online and following computerised recipes displayed on our oven doors...



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

New Zion Furniture from Crosswater: stunning yet functional

* Zion-Driftwood.jpgNew from Crosswater, the Zion floor-standing basin unit looks to redefine the concept of bathroom furniture for modern family living. Combining simple yet stunning style with everyday functionality, each aspect of the design has been carefully considered using the latest materials and resilient surface technology to ensure a high-quality furniture collection that will cater to every member of the family.

An optimal choice for bathrooms of most sizes, Zion's slim cabinetry projects into the room by a minimal 37 cm, saving on precious floor space and helping to create a streamlined look. Customers can also choose from three widths, ranging from a compact 60 cm, perfect for downstairs WCs, up to an impressive 120cm unit that is suitable for family bathrooms and larger wash spaces.

Hansgrohe bolsters growth

* Hansgrohe-bolsters.jpgHansgrohe Group is strengthening its management team and increasing its focus on key areas that will fortify sales and sales-related functions - the cornerstones of the company's growth strategy. As of 1st January 2018, the Hansgrohe SE Executive Board will include two members responsible for sales as well as a chief financial officer as of 1 October 2017.

All European sales, including Germany, will now be bundled into one area of management headed by Christophe Gourlan (pictured), who up until now has been vice president sales Europe. Born in France and a graduate in international commerce, he has already spent some 20 years working successfully for the Hansgrohe Group.

Step into the future with Hoover's touch-screen oven

* Step-into-the-future.jpgHoover has launched its most innovative, high-end appliance to-date, with a new oven, boasting a 19-inch, fully interactive touch screen with just one single on/off button.

Available now, the Vision brings to life the brand's 'born innovative' strapline, with a design that combines a clean, sleek style with powerful technology.

Small bathrooms have huge design potential with the Geberit Bathroom Collection

* Geberit-bathroom-collection.jpgThe smallest room in the home can be big on style, with clever solutions and products that are designed with compact spaces in mind. Every bathroom needs good storage, but the smaller the bathroom the more important it becomes. Whether it is a cloakroom, en suite or small bathroom, The Geberit Bathroom Collection offers the perfect solution to maximise on space.

From compact and short-projection ceramics to cleverly designed storage units with intergrated lighting and technology, creating a luxurious and functional space without compromising on style is made easier.

We have mail: Stephen Munton of the Domestic Cleaning Alliance UK Trade Association writes in response to last week's leader...

* Steven-Munton.jpgJan - brilliant article as always. Between March 1997 and February 2002 I was working in a Co-Op electrical showroom and up until that point manufacturers of white goods had always set the lowest possible retail prices - God help any retailer who went below it! In the Autumn of 1998 the government of the time made this practice of "price fixing" (as they called it) unlawful as they felt it went against the basic principles of competition - which of course it did. But what it also did was make sure there was at least some profit in an industry sector where very little profit was being made.

'Transitional Living' with open-plan kitchens by Rotpunkt

* Transitional.jpgRotpunkt is answering the demand for transitional living: where traditional and contemporary design coalesce to become one unified interior solution.

Bringing a well-balanced fusion of 'classic meets modern', the traditional features of this kitchen are defined by Rotpunkt's Pastel Smoke Oak shaker-style cabinetry with one-panel design door and drawer fronts.

New magic box: innovative first-fix solution for thermostatic shower solutions from VitrA

* VITRA1.jpgDesigned to make the installation of built-in bath and shower mixers fast and simple, V-Box from VitrA is the new generation of standard and thermostatic shower solutions. The box can be used with X-Line, Pure, Nest and Suit brassware from VitrA and is the ideal money and time saving choice for both installers and consumers.

The box is just 146mm wide and contains a concealed universal valve that can be used for up to three-way outlets - making the combination of a bath filler, overhead shower and hand shower possible and simple.

Labour must work with business on its plan for post-Brexit economy, says FMB

Labour will need to work with businesses large and small to deliver its vision of a strong economy, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) says in response to Jeremy Corbyn's speech at the Labour Party Conference.

"Jeremy Corbyn's focus on the importance of investing in training and upskilling is welcome," says Brian Berry, FMB Chief Executive. "Our industry desperately needs more of the construction apprentices Mr Corbyn mentioned in his speech to be the skilled workers of tomorrow. Our members, thousands of small businesses across the UK, are united in wanting to see many more young people being trained to higher skill levels.

Bushboard Nuance at Kitchens & Bathrooms Live (Stand M635)

* Bushboard-main.jpgBushboard, now part of the Wilsonart Group, and the UK's leading producer of laminate worksurfaces, is exhibiting at the Kitchens & Bathrooms Live event at the NEC, Birmingham, 10th - 12th October 2017.

Jo Gilhooly, marketing director for Bushboard explains: "Kitchens & Bathrooms Live is running during Grand Design, BUiLD Show and the Surface Materials Show as part of UK Contruction Week. The combination of consumers, specifiers and designers in the arena at the same time offers us a unqiue platform to showcase Nuance as the alternative to bathroom tiling. Nuance is a product that offers stunning design advantages and real savings on installation time, money, and ongoing maintenance."

Scottish construction bodies reject CITB levy proposals

Members of the Scottish Building Federation (SBF) and the Scottish Decorators' Federation (SDF) have both voted overwhelmingly to reject the Construction Industry Training Board's (CITB) proposals to continue to raise the construction industry training levy.

Since its establishment in 1964, CITB has consulted industry every three years on future arrangements for the Construction Levy. Across the UK, a total of 14 organisations are prescribed to respond to this consultation process based on a consensus of their members' views. SBF and SDF are two of only three wholly Scottish membership bodies to feature on this list of prescribed organisations.

Hotpoint launches dishwasher promotion

* Hotpoint-promo.jpgHotpoint has partnered with Procter & Gamble to offer consumers a free supply of Fairy dishwasher tablets. The promotion is available on the purchase of a selected model from the range of Hotpoint dishwashers and applies to purchases made until 31st December 2017. Consumers will receive a three months' supply of Fairy Platinum dishwasher tablets.

Retailers have access to a raft of point of sale material to support and alert consumers in-store to the promotion, which is available via their Hotpoint account manager.

Say 'Hello', wave goodbye...

* Hello.jpgHamberger Sanitary congratulates Peter Taylor on his retirement, and welcomes Julian McGarvey as new UK & Eire market manager.

After 20 years of working with Hamberger Sanitary, Peter Taylor, from Product Management, has retired. Thanks to this collaboration, Hamberger Sanitary, with its brands Haro and Cedo, is now a major player in the UK and Eire markets for quality toilet seats, as well as being known for its reliable service.

Smeg UK competes in Dragon Boat festival for their charity of the year

* Smeg-UK-competes.jpgEarlier this month Smeg took part in the Dragon Boat Festival as part of its fundraising efforts for its charity of the year - SeeSaw.

A team of 17 based at the brand's HQ in Abingdon took to the waters of the Thames in a grueling race to the finish line, a 250 metre sprint away. A drummer at the front of the boat kept all of the paddle strokes in time to ensure that the team flew through the water!

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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

KBBG welcomes JTP as a new supplier to members

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Announced at the Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group (KBBG) Annual Members' Meeting 2017, JTP has joined the growing list of suppliers available to KBBG members.

How changing UK bathing habits can boost business for KBB retailers

The age-old ritual of relaxing in a long and luxurious bath is dying out, a recent survey revealed. Just 4% of people are now choosing to take a soak compared with over three quarters (79%) who prefer to take a quick and efficient shower.

GM Distribution joins the expanding BMA

GM Distribution of Milton Keynes has joined the Bathroom Manufacturers Association as a new affiliate member. This takes the number of brands which the trade association supports to well over 100 and GMGB's additional wealth of understanding and knowledge of the industry will be much appreciated throughout the BMA.

Successful thought leadership summit focuses on food and design trends, expert voices and experiences

The first edition of Franke's new flagship thought leadership event 'Think Next by Franke' brought almost 500 guests to the company's headquarters in Aarburg, Switzerland.

Mayor's focus on small sites can help solve London's housing crisis, says FMB

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The London Housing Strategy's strong focus on bringing forward more small sites will help solve the housing crisis by opening up the market to SME house builders, according to the Federation of Master Builders London.

Over 5% of UK homes now have a wetroom installation

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The value of the wetroom market has increased by 10% between 2014-2016, according to a report by AMA Research. The sector offers significant growth potential within the UK bathroom market, with demand for wetrooms having increased significantly in recent years.

BMA finalises industry conference line up

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The Bathroom Manufacturers Association, organiser of the annual Bathroom & Kitchen Industry Business Conference, has announced its final line-up of speakers.

KBSA announces another speaker for National Conference

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The Kitchen, Bathroom & Bedroom Specialists Association has announced another accomplished business speaker for the 2017 National Conference which is being held on 3rd October 2017.

Abode products appear on ITV's 'Love your home & garden'

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Two Abode kitchen products were featured on ITV'S Alan Titchmarsh's Love Your Home & Garden television programme, which aired on Wednesday, (Ed: still time to see it on 'catch-up').


Ideal Standard appoints Stephen Ewer as managing director UK & Ireland

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Ideal Standard has appointed Stephen Ewer as managing director UK Cluster, which includes the UK, Ireland and operations in Australia.


The price is right with Blanco's new online dealer portal

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Allowing quick and easy access to pricing, a new dealer portal has been launched by Blanco on its website.

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