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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
12th February 2010


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

International News

Zero from MHS Radiators - a high output alternative to steel panels

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MHS Radiators has launched the Zero range of low cost, lightweight aluminium radiators with contemporary styling and excellent heat outputs from 423W to 3,068W.

There's nothing like a good bubbly!

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Taking a bath has just become cause for celebration! Renowned UK bathroom specialist Frontline, has three new fabulous free-standing baths to entice you to luxuriate in the tub...

Nearly 40% of CEOs worldwide plan to increase workforce in 2010

With their worst fears of prolonged recession behind them, CEOs' confidence for future growth has bounced back from the gloomy prospects of a year ago, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers 13th Annual Global CEO Survey, released on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos.

Indesit wins Good Design award 2009 with the Quadrio

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For the third year running Indesit Company has received a Good Design Award for industrial design. After Scholtés's Multiplo cooking vessel in 2009 and the Indesit Moon washing machine (in the 'Bathroom' category) in 2008, the 2009 award went to Hotpoint-Ariston's Quadrio fridge in the domestic appliances section.

Granted by the Chicago Athenaeum - Museum of Architecture and Design together with the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies, the award was in recognition of the excellence of the design produced by the famous Japanese designer Makio Hasuike for a revolutionary fridge that carries forward food preservation technology whilst showing an intelligent attitude to energy saving.

The revolutionary Quadrio concept guarantees energy savings of over 50% with respect to a normal fridge: both the fridge and freezer compartments have independently opening doors so that the internal temperature is re-established more quickly. An intelligent technology that's useful for the consumer and friendly to the environment because it's geared to economic efficiency, wellbeing and reduction of waste.

iF Product Design Award 2010

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For over 50 years the iF design award has served as a recogniSed trademark for outstanding design all over the world. This year the jury gave its professional opinion on the design quality of entries in 16 product categories and noted that - especially in economically uncertain times - design is a decisive factor in terms of market success and value creation, with many of the submitted products setting new benchmarks in their respective fields.

According to the jury chairman Fritz Frenkler (of f/p design in Germany): "Good design isn't born of good marketing, it's created by designers."

A total of 2,486 products from 1,016 entrants in 38 countries were judged and 778 designs were awarded as the best designs.

The iF product design award are marked on design quality, workmanship, choice of materials, degree of innovation, environmental friendliness, functionality, ergonomics, visualization of use, safety, brand value, branding and universal design.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances is pleased to announce that in the category Kitchen/Household the Product Design Award 2010 has been awarded to CoolDrawer, said to be the world's first multi-temperature cooling drawer.

Lawmakers join forces to 'waterproof' EU policies

A newly-established Water Intergroup in the European Parliament has started to help MEPs consider EU water policies more horizontally, as the European Commission prepares to put its water strategies in line with climate and resource-efficiency policies.

"Adaptation to climate change, risks of flooding and water scarcity will be on the agenda, as well as the influence of product design and different production processes," said the new group's chairman, MEP Richard Seeber opening its first meeting yesterday on Wednesday.

The group's monthly meetings are also expected to address "the security of infrastructures, the necessity of ensuring technological leadership by the European water industry and the relationship between water, health and biodiversity," he continued.

The informal MEP and stakeholder group was set up with the support of Eureau, the European federation of national drinking and waste water operators, which will also manage the intergroup's secretariat.

Return to Zehnder!

Zehnder Retail Division tells us it is strengthening its operation in the UK merchant and showroom market with the introduction of the Zehnder brand to the retail market. This will incorporate the current Acova product portfolio from 1st February 2010.

RETRA shows there is strength in numbers

Retra, the electrical retailers association, welcomed a record number of associate members last year, underlining the importance of the need for businesses to stick together in difficult times.

Proof that there is strength in numbers, retra has been joined by an increasing range of associates from an array of sectors, including distribution and digital services. Retra is especially proud of the additions because they bring extensive benefits to members.

The new associate members that have joined retra in the last 12 months include: Big Red Sales, D.A.D, Digital Radio Development Bureau, Digitaltvinfo.com, Kodak - Tetenal, Midwich, Euro Digital Services, Humax Electronics Co., LG Electronics UK, Philex Electronic, The Sirius Buying Group and Technisat Digital UK.

Training for the KBB industry: first 12 delegates of 2010 put through their paces

This year's first one day KBB sales and customer care course was held at the Whirlpool training centre in Croydon on Wednesday. Twelve delegates took part in the course, which is designed to give people the skills required to increase conversion rates and improve profitability on installations.

To date 380 delegates have attended the course which is run by Graham Hayden, and this January course included delegates from The Myers Touch, Dobsons Home improvements, Tradex and KCA. This course is approved by the KBB NTG - as well as by CITB Construction Skills who sent delegate Gerald Kelly on the course.
He commented: "I enjoyed the course which was very well presented and very interesting."

Full details of training courses from Graham Hayden can be found on his website:


Siamp rises to the challenge to raise money for African charities


Siamp UK joined forces with industry colleagues and people from across the world to tackle a tough fundraising challenge in South Africa.

Welcome to the

I was delighted to learn earlier this week that The Bathroom Manufacturers Association, which represents 75 well-known bathroom brands in the UK, has been shortlisted for a major eco-award.

The BMA has made it to the finals of the ‘Sustain Magazine Awards 2010’ for its work in designing and developing the UK standard for Water Efficient Product Labelling. The scheme is shortlisted in the WATER category of the awards.

Beckie Humphreys, from 'head office' up at Stoke-on-Trent, says everyone is "delighted". Let's hope the BMA continues to do the industry proud and walks away with the gong.

Elsewhere in the industry there will be further frenzied excitement as those who are exhibiting at the forthcoming UK shows (KBB Birmingham, Ecobuild - and of course the one that has 'run and run' - the Ideal Home exhibition) are putting the finishing touches to their exhibits and working all the hours under to sun to get prototypes ready in time.

I know these shows are jolly hard work for everyone that works them, but for those manning (am I still allowed to say that?) the stands it can almost - bar the aching feet - seem like a bit of a holiday after the manic period that precedes it.

I'm really looking forward to covering these shows in KBZine and getting to meet as many of the manufacturers as I can, with a view to finding out what we can expect to see in the kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms of the future.

If you are exhibiting and haven't yet let us know why we and thousands of others should make a detour to find your stand, please do so quickly, before we all run out of time.



Jan Hobbs

This Week's News

Nationally important Tap into Savings project launched in Surrey

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Earlier today, what is thought to be the UK's biggest water and energy saving project - Tap into Savings - was launched in Redhill, Surrey.

The Tap into Savings community initiative will help people in nearly 1,000 homes in Redhill and Merstham save water and energy, as well as money on their household bills.

'Don't take risks with jobs recovery', CIPD and British Chambers of Commerce tell Mandelson

The Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has called on the government to avoid any further statutory increases in the cost of employing staff during what looks like being a 'jobs-light' economic recovery.

In a joint letter to Peter Mandelson, the Secretary of State for Business, the CIPD and BCC warned of the consequences of the 1% increase in employers' National Insurance Contributions scheduled for April 2011, and recommended a freeze in the youth and development rates of the National Minimum Wage to avoid counteracting the impact of the government's own welcome measures to combat rising youth unemployment.

The letter was written in the context of recent research from the CIPD which shows that more than one in 10 employers (12%) intend to recruit fewer staff as a result of the planned hike in employers' NICs, while 8% would make job cuts.

US NKBA President Mark Karas announces goals for 2010

* mark_karas.jpgThe newly-elected president of the US National Kitchen & Bath Association, Mark L. Karas, CMKBD, has stated four areas for the NKBA to focus its efforts in 2010 to empower the association's members to make the most of a recovering kitchen and bath market.

1. Education and Certification - Mark's first goal for the association is to expand the NKBA's renowned educational offerings to provide opportunities for professionals involved in all aspects of the kitchen and bath industry, such as design, sales, installation, and remodeling, among many others. The NKBA will also work toward adding certifications and/or certificate programmes, which currently include design and installation, to reach the entire industry. "I'm so proud to be an NKBA-certified designer, and I'd like for professionals

Kitchen Furniture Market to grow with style in 2010

The kitchen furniture market lost £250 million worth of sales during the recession, according to a new report from MTW Research, though the kitchen industry is optimistic for 2010 as growth in demand starts to return.

With the cost of the recession running to around £10 million per month in the kitchen furniture market, the recent trading environment for kitchen manufacturers and retailers has clearly been difficult. Based on industry sales figures, MTW's report points to the market having declined by 18% in 'real terms' since the start of the economic downturn.

The report identifies changes in product share in the last year and how these sectors are likely to perform in the future, with prospects reasonably positive for a return to growth for freestanding kitchen units in 2010, whilst the sinks market is diverging into 3 relatively distinct sectors.

New complete shower cubicle installs in just three hours

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Media is a brand new range of 'plug and play' complete cubicles that, provided water is in place, can be fully installed and ready for use in just three hours.

Novellini UK, said to be Europe's largest producer of walk-in showers, cubicles, wet rooms and shower cabin products, has developed a stylish, high quality and, competitively priced (starting from just £400 trade) range of shower cubicles that provides builders and specifiers with a product that can be fitted quickly saving time and money.

Easyquote announces re-brand

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As a precursor to the upcoming major UK KBB industry show at the NEC in Birmingham from 21st - 24th March 2010, popular business management software provider EasyQuote announces it is re-branding to EQ Software. The re-brand will be showcased at KBB2010.

Since its inception in 2000, the EasyQuote brand name has served the business well but it was generally felt by both customers and the management team alike that it no longer reflected the strength and depth that the product and the company offered.

Fisher & Paykel announces Managing Director and CEO appointment

* Stuart_Broadhurst.jpgThe Directors of Fisher & Paykel Appliances Holdings have announced the appointment of Stuart Broadhurst as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.

Stuart was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Fisher & Paykel Appliances earlier this year and, in late September when former CEO John Bongard announced his retirement, Stuart was appointed Acting CEO to facilitate a smooth transition while a search was undertaken for the successor.

2010 Window Blinds Trends: Apollo's guide to what's set to be hot in 2010

As one of the UK's largest retailers of blinds, shutters and awnings, Apollo Blinds is at the forefront of consumer trends in the home.

Apollo's head of NPD Helen Kilvington shares her forecast for window fashions for 2010 and hints at some of the exciting new products that homeowners might expect to see in the coming year.

In summary Helen said: "Overall, sunshine is a major theme for windows in 2010. Be it sunshine yellow as a colour trend, sheers that let in more natural light or high-shine fabrics that shimmer in the sunshine.

"There's also a major new development around the corner in terms of wallpaper fabrics for windows, plus black is back in the bathroom."

Mark Two leads fundraising at Lads Club boxing night

* Hoppy.jpgMark Two joint managing director Nick 'Hoppy' Hopkinson MBE helped raise nearly £225,000 for young people in one night.

Bolton Lads and Girls Club's annual Boxing Extravaganza was organised and hosted by Hoppy, with help from the team at Bolton Lads and Girls Club.

UK's No.1 contemporary interiors exhibition announces Good Design Manifesto

100% Design London is setting a new benchmark for admissions to the show this year with the announcement of The Good Design Manifesto. Developed by the show's illustrious design panel, the Manifesto sets out the clear aims and objectives from exhibitor selection and visitor inspiration to curation of the event.

The 12-strong panel includes Tomoko Azumi; Jason Bruges; Max Fraser (London Design Guide); Matthew Hilton; Benjamin Hubert; Nina Tolstrup (StudioMama); Meriel Scott (Precious
McBane); Ruth Silver (Project Orange); Kara O'Reilly (Sunday Times Style Magazine); Gareth Williams (RCA); Theo Williams (Habitat) and Astrid Zala (JAM).

The Good Design Manifesto is as follows:

Utopia expands product portfolio

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Utopia is reporting an enthusiastic response to its new range of marble and granite worksurfaces. Introduced last Autumn specifically to complement the new Timber Collection, these luxurious stone worktops are the perfect accompaniment to natural timber.

There are three granite and three marble options, carefully chosen to co-ordinate with the Golden Oak and Walnut furniture in the range. So far, Imperial Marrone, a dramatically patterned marble worksurface, is proving the best-seller with Star Galaxy, a sparkling black granite, coming second.

BOGOF in ceramic, porcelain and stone from Tile Depot

The Buy One Get One Free phenomenon spills out of our supermarkets and into home improvements on Monday 22nd February, as Tile Depot launches its first BOGOF promotion.

The UK's independent tile and stone retailer giant will be offering a selection of tiles in popular ceramic, gorgeous porcelain and elegant natural stone in the promotion, which is likely to run throughout March and April.

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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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