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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
22nd April 2020


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

International News

Karonia introduces The Unique Collection

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Marking 10 years since the launch of the innovative Mistral range of 25mm solid surface worktops, solid surface specialist Karonia’s KBB2020 preview of The Unique Collection - a series of marble-inspired worksurfaces – has attracted a lot of interest and some excellent feedback.

Ripples teams up with Sam Lander to offer a collection like no other!

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Ripples has teamed up with Sam Lander on a collection of hand-crafted basins and each one is unique.

NEW Smart shower products catapault Aqualisa out to the front of the smart shower market

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The recent launch of the new Aqualisa Smart Quartz Collection of showers shows that Aqualisa is firmly in the driving seat for innovative shower technology in the UK.

BC Designs relaunches the Magnus bath

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The latest statement bath from BC Designs, the Magnus bath, embodies an original design based on timeless and traditional fireclay models.

A S Helsingö launches Bagel Mini and Novel Mini handles

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A S Helsingö has launched two new handle models - the Bagel Mini and Novel Mini. These knobs are new members of the existing Bagel and Novel handle series but are more petite in size and pair perfectly with both smaller furniture and kitchens.

VitrA launches the Voyage collection by award-winning designer Arik Levy

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Leading bathroom brand VitrA introduces the Voyage collection, a collaboration with the award-winning multi-disciplinary artist and designer Arik Levy.

Inspired by his time living and working in Japan, Arik Levy worked closely with VitrA's in-house design team to create a bathroom collection that allows both mind and body to relax.

Match made in heaven with Caple's new WMI4000 washing machine

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Caple's new WMI4000 washing machine has been designed to complement Caple's new TDI4000 tumble dryer for a match made in heaven in laundry.

This appliance is incredibly energy efficient with an A+++ energy rating with an A for wash class and spin efficiency, too.

PJH signs distribution deal with Elica Appliances

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PJH has agreed a distribution deal with Italian appliance brand, Elica. The new partnership, commencing 1st March, will see a comprehensive range of premium Elica cooker hoods, including downdraft, island, integrated and wall mounted, being added to PJH's branded appliance offering.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?

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Two leading lights of British business - both well-known specialists in their field - have formed their own eye-catching partnership.

Welcome to the


With so much bad news around at the moment it's easy to forget that the Coronavirus is forcing us to make many positive changes in our lives, isn't it? I write this from my garden, directly under the area that Gatwick and Heathrow aircraft circle high above whilst queuing to land and am happy to say that a plane overhead is now as likely to make us stop and stare as the newly arrived Spotted Woodpecker and - incredibly - Red Kites which by rights shouldn't be anywhere nearby.

I'm sharing my home with a daughter and her friend - both of whom work in highly sensitive fields that require privacy and which normally take them around the country. They're managing well and the group meetings and even group training sessions my daughter leads are running perfectly. I wonder how many others who are normally on road or rail daily (or flying too often for business) are happily home-based in a less polluted environment with more leisure hours in the day and are a lot less stressed to boot?

I hope lessons have been learnt about our need to travel less and that both Heathrow's planned extra runway and the high-speed rail link that's decimating so much of our countryside and forcing people from their homes, will be abandoned. Yes we badly need to connect some places to the network but let's be sensible!

Sadly, there's little positivity for the KBB industry, which relies on our visits to retailers to learn about ways we can enhance our homes. Easter is always busy in the home improvement sector, yet the opportunities this presents have passed us by. The housing market has stagnated - and with kitchens and bathrooms being the rooms most property viewers say they'd change upon taking residence, this stagnation, too, has hit our industry hard. What the answer is I'm not sure, but I sincerely hope we can find quickly find our way out of this mess.

We've bought four wonderful mattresses from independent retailer Hamseys (www.hamseys.co.uk) in recent years. The service, product quality and price is always bang on. I received a mailshot today, saying that this is Hamseys' 50th year selling beds and mattresses to 200,000-plus customers, and that its planned celebratory 'big sale' is being replaced by a survival 'fire sale', since with a 95% drop in sales this year it will soon struggle to pay salaries and pensions. If you're in a similar position, my heart is with you...


Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

Cameron Design House seeks volunteers to make face shields for the NHS

* CAMERON-HOUSE.jpgIn response to the Coronavirus crisis, London-based bespoke lighting brand Cameron Design House has turned over production in its workshop to manufacture free protective face fields for the NHS and care workers.

Since launching production one week ago, the team at Cameron Design House has distributed over 2000 face shields to more than 30 hospitals across London and has purchased a new laser cutter to increase production.

Coronavirus... global pandemic: national challenge

* Coronavirus-sit.jpgThe national survey conducted by the National Home Improvement Council in the first week of the lockdown (26th March 2020 to 3rd April 2020) shows a significant risk to consumers alongside a need for clearer guidance on the stay at home restrictions.

Consumers (home owners and tenants), it says, are clearly vulnerable as a result of Covid-19 and at risk of falling foul of:

HiB wins prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2020

* Globe-Plus-80-roomset.jpgLeading bathroom supplier HiB has been honoured with a Queen's Award for Enterprise in the innovation category.

With a Head Office in New Southgate, North London and its National Distribution Centre, based near Tamworth, Staffs, HiB is one of only 220 organisations to be recognised nationally with this ‘Award of Awards’, which highlights businesses that have outstanding industry achievements.

Bathroom furniture manufacturer Vanity Hall helps NHS Nightingale hospitals

* Nightingale-Hospital-Basins.jpgMidlands-based specialist in Corian fabrication, Vanity Hall tells us it was honoured to help CDUK manufacture basins for the Nightingale hospitals.

Working with five key partners, CDUK was requested to design and supply 450 basin tops which were to be fitted onto mobile hand washing stations, specifically created for the London, Birmingham and Manchester hospitals.

Family's lockdown kitchen emergency resolved by The Used Kitchen Company

* Family-kitchen.jpgThe Used Kitchen Company often has to wait quite a while to see the end result of its efforts to marry up a used or ex-showroom display kitchen with a new owner.

Having worked hard to get a Nottinghamshire family out of a fix, that has not been the case this week.

Shower-room pods account for 50% of the prefabricated pod market

* products-grp.jpgThe bathroom and kitchen pods market experienced an 8% increase in value through 2019 and continues to offer significant growth potential as an offsite building solution, reports AMA Research.

Its Bathroom and Kitchen Pods Market Report - UK 2020-2024, says we have seen much of this growth since around 2015 due to increased requirements for fast build and quick turnaround times in key construction sectors from hotels, student accommodation to high-rise apartment buildings.

VitrA identifies seven bathroom trends for 2020

* Domesticity-Ambient.jpgNow entering our second month of lockdown, we're having plenty of time to mull over ourhome improvements ideas, ready for when we can finally put our plans into action. With the bathroom being on the hit list for many, VitrA has identified seven emerging trends.

Bette bath stars in radical BBC makeover

* Bette-bath-BBC.jpgIt's not often that a white built-in bath takes centre stage in a home design TV programme. But when the interior designer is Robert Jamison and the bath is under bench seating in the living area, everything changes.

Your Home Made Perfect aired the first of its new series on Tuesday April 7th and featured couple, Silvia and Julian, who wanted to update their Brighton home.

Whirlpool appoints new brand manager

* Charmaine-Warner.jpgWhirlpool UK Appliances has announced the appointment of Charmaine Warner to brand manager for Whirlpool.

Charmaine joined Indesit Company in 2014 as national account manager, managing the relationship with major retailer, Tesco and the white goods range on its non-food ecommerce platform. She maintained this role after the acquisition of Indesit by Whirlpool and introduced the Whirlpool brand to Tesco. In 2018, she joined the marketing department in her role as refrigeration trade marketing manager. This role included being responsible for Hotpoint, Indesit and Whirlpool refrigeration, introducing new products and ranges, in addition to liaising with the brand teams to meet the company objectives.

A splash of colour in the bathroom from Not Only White and Hi-Macs

* A-splash-of-colour.jpgDesigned with hotel bathrooms in mind, the new bathroom accessory collection, Stages, which can be made in a wide range of Hi-Macs colours, is the ideal display for small soap and shampoo bottles and other accoutrements provided by hotel chains.

The minimalistic organic shapes and pastel tones add an aesthetic and warm touch to a decor which is often considered rather ubiquitous.

Trio of top design awards puts new Bora X Pure on a winning streak

* Trio.jpgIntuitive operating panel, extremely easy filter change, elegant design and simple cleaning: with these and its other product highlights, Bora X Pure has scooped three top design awards before it has even officially been placed on the market.

Emphasising the fact that Bora places its focus on its customers and their needs, the new cooktop has received the Plus X Award, the biggest innovation award worldwide for technology, sport and lifestyle.

Bayswater London W2 supports retailers with updated brochure and PR & marketing support

* 1st-Pic.jpgNow in its third successful year, Bayswater London W2 bathroom brand continues to support its growing retailer base with a new brochure, point of sale and showroom displays.

Prima+ Taps into new kitchen style

* Prima.jpgPrima, the exclusive own-brand appliance label from distributor PJH, has introduced a new collection of kitchen taps under its premium, Prima+ range. Included is a design-led coloured range of single lever swan neck pull-out mixer spray taps - available in white, grey, gun metal and black.

Hotpoint integrated fridge recommended by Trusted Reviews

* Hotpoint-HS-1801.jpgThe Hotpoint Day 1 integrated fridge (HS1801AA.1) has scored four stars by Trusted Reviews and has been awarded the highly sought-after 'Recommended' accolade.

The Trusted Reviews team were impressed with the fridge's 'huge' capacity with 'flexible storage space'.

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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

BMA CEO's expresses anger at faux outrage directed at industry

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Bathroom Manufacturers Association CEO Tom Reynolds has spoken out against faux criticism towards manufacturers and tradespeople.

Exclusive: Verona offers advice to help companies adapt during the current crisis

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It has been a turbulent few weeks, as the kitchen and bathroom industry and the whole of the UK goes through an unprecedented time. Businesses are switching strategies, and adapting to the new climate as seamlessly as they can.

FTA asks businesses to cease commercial driver toilet ban

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In response to reports from Freight Transport Association’s members that commercial drivers are being refused entry to businesses toilet facilities due to COVID-19 concerns, Sally Gilson, head of skills policy at FTA, comments:

BMA cautiously optimistic for Boris Bounce

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Bathroom Manufacturers Association CEO Tom Reynolds has welcomed the 11 months of certainty on trading terms and regulation that began on 1st February, as the UK finally left Europe, but is cautiously optimistic about the longterm outlook.

And they keep on coming!

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Two more companies have just joined The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation as Corporate Sponsors: Showerwall and French company, Dassault Systèmes.

Pland debuts on Radio 4'S Today Programme

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UK manufacturer, Pland Stainless, made its debut on the Radio 4 Today programme this week, when Nick Robinson visited Pland’s Leeds manufacturing site with the producer of the Today Programme.

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