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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
18th March 2011


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

International News

Mereway Kitchens inspirational new spring 2011 Launch - an introduction

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Mereway Kitchens has done it again! Soft shapes and textural finishes are what it's all about this year, and this Spring sees the introduction of some irresistibly stylish products into its Italian inspired Cucina Colore collection.

KitchenAid adds revolutionary finish to gas hob range

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KitchenAid has built on a legacy of legendary icons from the launch of its stand mixer in 1919 and its first dishwasher in 1949 to create a range of iconic household appliances today.

Whirlpool's new tumble dryers take drying to a new level

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Whirlpool has taken the trusty and time-honoured tumble dryer to new levels of performance with its new and spacious tumble dryers.


by Chervana Hobbs

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'Ecobuild is the world's biggest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment and the UK's largest construction event of any kind', says the blurb, but I really had no idea how big it would be, how many people would attend and how many products were going to be on show. I didn't quite know where to start.

'From megawatts to negawatts: taking the energy out of buildings'

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'The focus in recent years on energy efficient new build is increasingly understood and accepted: the path to zero carbon is drawn.  But the carbon impact of the built environment is made by the existing stock, and it is here that the challenge to reduce energy consumption lies. How can homes and non domestic buildings use less energy? What are the technical, financial, regulatory and social issues? And, how can a more energy efficient building stock be brought about?'

Welcome to the

Figures released yesterday underline the fact that the UK clearly has a serious youth unemployment problem, but severe difficulty is being felt by only a relative minority of young people and the current situation is not worse than ever before, as many in the press would have us believe. The widespread perception that one in five, 16 - 24 year olds are unemployed is based on a narrow and somewhat misleading interpretation of official statistics while talk of a 'lost generation' of young jobless people is simplistic.

This is the key conclusion from the latest Work Audit report on official labour market statistics - Getting the measure of youth unemployment - published earlier  this week by the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development. 

The report finds that the current scale of youth unemployment is only properly understood in the context of greatly increased participation in post-16 education in recent decades. This, plus the fact that almost 30% of young people classified as unemployed by the Office for National Statistics are in full-time education, distorts public perception of both the level and rate of youth unemployment.

According to the CIPD it is at present more accurate to say that one in eight rather than one in five 16 - 24 year olds are unemployed. And the Institute is calling on the ONS and the Department for Work & Pensions to issue a joint statement on the measurement of youth unemployment to help establish a better informed policy narrative on causes of and solutions to the problem.

"Aside from ensuring that fiscal and monetary policy are conducive to growth and job generation," says Dr John Philpott, Chief Economic Adviser, CIPD, "the principle policy focus should be on how best to reduce underlying structural youth unemployment which is probably close to the 9% - 10% rate observed prior to the recession and likely to persist even when the demand for labour eventually picks up.

"Especially worrying in this respect is the observation that core youth unemployment is not only far worse than desirable but itself appears to have had been getting worse for a few years prior to the recession, suggesting that either the employability of the core youth jobless is deficient and/or that the cost of employing them is too high relative to their labour market value.

"This implies the need for faster progress on vocational skills and welfare policy, a thorough review of the effect of the national minimum wage on youth employment and an assessment of the case for reducing national insurance contributions for employers hiring young people with limited skills."

Well that wouldn't hurt this industry, would it?






Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

kbb London inspires with educational seminar programme

kbb London's seminar programme is set to attract plenty of show visitors, with topical discussions and debates on the hot issues at the heart of the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom design industry. The free seminar sessions will run alongside the exhibition, which launches this year from 15th - 17th May 2011 at the ExCeL, London.

AEG Neue Kollektion product ranges win iF Design Awards

* AEG-Neue-Collection.jpgSix different product ranges in AEG's Neue Kollektion, launched earlier this month, have won iF Design Awards in 2011's 'Household/Living' appliance category. They are among the 2,756 entries from 43 countries in this year's competition, which is organised by International Forum Design in Hannover, Germany.

The awards were for the following product ranges:

New Polypipe Ventilation catalogue makes specifcation easy

Polypipe Ventilation's new catalogue details its full range of energy-saving domestic and light commercial ventilation systems. This is the first catalogue from the company to incorporate not only Polypipe and Domus product offerings but also the Silavent range of fans acquired by the group last year.

Showerwall and Showerlux join forces for a complete solution

* Glide-Maxi-enclosure-Showerlux.jpgShowerwall, the waterproof wallpanelling brand, has been exclusively selected by Showerlux, the expert in luxury shower design, to be part of company's new all-in-one concept for bathroom retailers.

Bushboard invests almost £2m in the future of worktops

* worktop-line-Bushboard.jpgProgressive UK worktop manufacturer Bushboard has invested £1.8m on a brand new worktop line at its Wellingborough-based head office and manufacturing plant in Northamptonshire.

Overloading only increases costs further, warns Swinton Commercial

More van and light goods vehicle operators may be unwittingly increasing their fuel and running costs and reducing their safety by overloading their vehicles, according to Swinton Commercial Insurance.

The warning comes as a survey of 1200 customers online, conducted by Swinton Van Insurance, discovered that 67% of van drivers are overloading their vehicles, with only 13% of van drivers regularly cleaning out their vans to help maximise fuel efficiency.

Methven launches Maia Skincare Shower

* Methven-Maia-Skincare-Shower.jpgThis month at Ecobuild and ISH, Methven - the New Zealand designer and manufacturer of premium showers and tapware - unveiled the Maia Skincare Shower, which features an integral vitamin C cartridge to reduce the chlorine in water and the award-winning Satinjet technology, which saves water and energy without compromising performance.

New from Chamber Furniture: a bespoke black American walnut lined wine cellar

* Chamber Furniture - walnut wine cellar 1.jpgChamber Furniture is delighted to showcase its latest piece of superb design and joinery - a stunning walnut lined wine cellar.

The company's versatility as a highly acclaimed bespoke kitchen and furniture maker is illustrated perfectly here with the clients' brief being for their extensive collection of vintage wine to be stored somewhere that they could also have wine and cheese tastings with their friends. The cellar had to be beautiful as well as practical!

EU ministers back moderate ambitions on electronic waste

After the European Parliament last month called for an ambitious 85% e-waste collection target as from 2016, EU environment ministers this week backed European Commission proposals for a 65% quota and postponed its implementation by four years.

SuperWhite WR Flex available now from Ultra Tile

* SuperWhite_Bucket_15kg.jpgA brilliant white, highly flexible wall tile adhesive that is suitable for most common substrates, SuperWhite WR Flex is the latest edition to the Ultra Tile range of ready mixed wall tile adhesives. It is perfect for tiling applications where white grout is the chosen finish.

Cleaning and maintenance of wall and floor tiles impact on costs

In determining the total cost of any type of wall or floor finish, it is necessary to take into account the expense of cleaning maintenance and renewal. This is more important in commercial specifications but design life costs are a powerful argument for selling ceramic and natural stone tiles in domestic situations.

A Technical Working Group of The Tile Association has prepared a new technical document ,'The Cleaning and Maintenance of Wall and Floor Tiles'.

Government rolls out red carpet for entrepreneurs and investors

Foreign entrepreneurs and investors are being given extra incentive to come to the UK after the Home Office announced new visa rules this week that will reward those who will contribute to economic growth.

Shower Doctor sees surge in en suites

Staying in is the new going out; particularly in the bathroom. With the economic crisis meaning we're all tightening our belts, it seems we are turning to enhancing the most relaxing part of our home to create our own personal retreats and spas; with the most popular idea at the top of the redesign list being the en suite bathroom.

An encouraging 57% of people who were interviewed as part of a Shower Doctor survey stated that although they do not yet have an en suite; compared with 43% who do, this is something they hope to have at some point in the future - hopefully in 2011.

The KBzine Archive Search

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News in Brief

K Kitchens' new 60,000sq ft warehouse in Manchester boasts a £3 million stock holding. T: 0800 8 77 88 99

Neff has opened a new Learning Centre at its Head Offices in Milton Keynes to give dealers first-hand experience of the Neff appliance collection - cookery school included! T: 0844 892 8989

Gorenje has published its 2011 kitchen appliances brochure. T: 0208 247 3980

Bauhaus has launched a space-maximising, fashionable Elite Walnut bathroom furniture range, which frees up valuable room inches even in a smallest bathroom. Tel:  0845 873 8840

Today's the final day 'trade-only' at ISH, which features the best in bathrooms, air-conditioning technology and renewable energies. If you can't make it to the 2,400-plus exhibitors today, you can of course join the general public tomorrow! T: +49 69 75 75 - 0


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

Polypipe fined after worker injured by fork lift truck

Polypipe has been fined after a fork lift truck that had been lowering a cage containing two workers to the ground, hit one of the men.

OHSAS 18001 certification for British Tile Manufacturer

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Abode wins JPD Innovation Award

ever in-sync website www.abode.eu

Environmental support for food waste disposers

The Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management (CIWEM) has issued a Policy Position Statement supporting the use of food waste disposers in the management of food waste from kitchens.

Vac from the Sea competition winner joins expedition

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Electrolux Vac from the Sea project: blogger Brit Liggett wins the 5 Gyres competition

Brit Liggett, a 26 year old blogger from Brooklyn, New York, wins the Electrolux and 5 Gyres competition, where first prize is becoming a crew member on the forthcoming 5 Gyres research expedition through the Beagle Channel in March.

Get your business on track with help from new tools

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Ellis Furniture welcomes new marketing manager

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Ellis Furniture has welcomed Richard Fitzmaurice to the team as marketing manager. Taking responsibility for the marketing of the brand across domestic and commercial markets, Richard started his new position January 2011.


Methven launches Vision and Values

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Methven UK ended 2010 on a high with a special event on 10th December for more than 100 members of staff to celebrate the launch of the company's Vision and Values and the transfer of the Deva business to Methven UK.

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