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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
21st April 2011


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

International News

Irish SFA tells Minister for Jobs how to boost employment

An Irish Small Firms Association delegation met Minister Richard Bruton, TD, yesterday, to discuss its jobs and small business proposals. It was an important meeting as the small business sector currently employs half the private sector workforce, some 700,000 people.

Whirlpool's Max microwaves come in new colours!

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Whirlpool's Max 35 microwave oven is available in a choice of black, white or silver and has now been joined by two new recruits in fashionable red and cream.

AEG's MaxiKlasse free standing cookers offer great flexibility

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AEG has launched the MaxiKlasse 493321-MN with MaxiSense induction hob, which has flexible zones that allow maximum space and choice of position for any size or shape of pans... even a fish kettle can comfortably be placed across two zones for perfect heat distribution.

Inspired by experience, Franke celebrates its centenary in style

Franke, said to be the world's largest manufacturer of kitchen sinks, is 100 years old - and, with a reputation for being at the forefront of research and development in the kitchen industry, the company is celebrating with the new state-of-the art Centinox sink, along with two stunning taps and innovative accessories.

Pan European talks on sustainable use of forests about to start

The EU-27 and 19 other European countries are preparing to launch intergovernmental talks that are expected to result in a legally-binding agreement on sustainable use of forests in 2013. In parallel, the European Commission is kicking off talks to revamp its forest policy. An agreement to open negotiations is expected to be reached by the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, which will take place in Oslo, Norway, from 14th - 16th June.

Welcome to the

Why is it that so many people are winding down for their Easter break this weekend, the Royal Wedding next Friday and all the other lovely public holidays that are coming up, while John and I are having to cram our full week's work into a much shorter space of time, over and over again?

Not wishing to sound too Scrooge-like, if you're managing to have a break, do enjoy it. And if, like us, you're going hell for leather in an attempt to make sure you actually get some time off... Best of luck!

Of course Spring  - and Easter in particular - is a time for new beginnings. Let's hope we all come back to our desks next week feeling revitalised and more able to deal with the difficult economic climate in which we find ourselves.

And those of you who've lost jobs in the downturn and have struggled to find something new, I hope that something comes up soon.

Our first story today has nothing whatsoever to do with the KBB industry but it made me laugh out loud part way through a particularly stressful couple of days in which I flooded my office, set fire to my computer and lost all the files on my spare one, so I'm going to use it.

If the pernickety need a hook from which to hang the story, bear in mind that many of us travel overseas for business. Indeed, John and I are producing a 'Daily' from an exhibition towards the end next month and are both excited because we get to spend the week in Verona. I'm delighted that I had not thrown my passport out with the paper recycling after all and that I'll be able to join John as he goes through passport control.

Confused? Read on...




Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Identity and Passport Service warns: Don't rubbish your passport!

More than 10,000 people a year accidentally throw their passports out with the rubbish, according to new figures released today by the UK's Identity and Passport Service.

The research also shows a 60:40 split between genders when it comes to replacing lost and stolen passports, with more than 162,500 passports replaced each year by men compared to around 112,000 by women.

Super sleek kitchen offers functional, sociable space

* Barnes-Of-Ashburton.jpgThis super sleek contemporary kitchen is a shining example of how a highly functional and sociable modern space can work.

The owners of this large bungalow wanted the kitchen to be as clean and uncluttered as possible. With this in mind, kitchen designer Debbie Bowden created a kitchen with minimum distractions on the eye.

Plumber survives fall through roof in second similar accident at site

A Warrington plumber has been able to return to work despite landing on his neck when he fell through a fragile ceiling tile, close to where a colleague had fallen previously but had managed to excape injury.

Runcorn Magistrates' Court was told the 64-year-old, who asked not to be named, could have been paralysed or even killed when he fell three metres through a suspended ceiling at a workshop on Rivington Court in Woolston.

Carron Phoenix supports Everything But The Kitchen Sink's fundraiser

* Christian-Britten_Vincent-Bailey.jpgCarron Phoenix has agreed to be the official sponsor partner of the intriguingly named fundraiser, 'Everything But the Kitchen Sink' on its cycling mission in August to raise money for the Welsh charity MS Society Cymru.

As well as a corporate donation, Carron has given two of its Contessa stainless sinks which the fundraisers will strap to two of their bikes for the 500 mile trip from Cardiff to Amsterdam. The six fundraisers will divide into two teams and race against each other, drumming up money along the way to complement their online and offline campaigns to reach their target of £10,000.

KitchenAid appoints sole UK distributor

* Andy-Burns.jpgKitchenAid, the luxury cooking brand, has appointed a sole national distributor, DR Kitchen Appliances, effective from 1st May 2011.

KitchenAid has been evaluating its distribution strategy in recent months in an effort to provide the very best service for the company's retail partners and elevate the brand to the status it deserves.

Small firms' recruitment plans in jeopardy, finds new research

The likelihood of small businesses creating jobs to drive economic growth is in jeopardy because fewer believe they will be able to employ new staff in the year ahead, a new survey suggests.

According to the latest quarterly Referendum research from the Forum of Private Business over a fifth of small business owners (22%) expect to recruit in 2011 - but confidence that they will be able to do so is dwindling compared to December 2010, when almost 30% of respondents said they planned to take on new staff.

Energy label: few manufacturers keep their promises

Consumers use the information on appliance energy labels when deciding which appliance to purchase, but that information is only useful if it's accurate.

Unfortunately tests carried out recently under ATLETE (Appliance Testing for Energy Label Evaluation) - the project funded by the European Commission to test the compliance of 80 different models of refrigerators and freezers with EU energy labelling standards - showed that few manufacturers are complying with the regulations.

FIRA Service Technicians expand across Ireland

* FIRA-presenting-certificate.jpgThe Furniture Industry Research Association has announced that it is now able to offer even greater service coverage in Ireland to assist clients in resolving furniture complaints.

Three new technicians from Ireland have now joined FIRA Service Technicians and have been formally trained at FIRA's Stevenage training centre. This means that the service can provide an even better response in both the North and South of Ireland, for retailers and manufacturers alike.

Retailers should advise browsers it 'mite' be time to change mattress!

* Ella-Silk-Buttoned-Bed.jpgAn alarming statistic is that the average bed plays host to around 10,000 dust mites which feed on dead skin... Not a pleasant thought! Research also shows dust mites are often responsible for causing respiratory problems in asthma sufferers. Cleaning bed sheets, duvets and pillows regularly will help but it is advised that you change your mattress every 8 to 10 years.

Specialist bedroom furniture company, Raines & Willow, has a range of luxury divans and mattresses with sizes up to Super King to achieve a quality night's sleep.

Hanex solid surfacing targets kitchen sector with impressive 100+ choice of designs

* Hanex-solid-surface.jpgHaving earned its stripes in the specification market with designers and architects in the last three years, IDS is now widening the availability of its Hanex solid surfacing brand to the kitchen sector with its extensive choice of one hundred decors.

Says Andy Sutton, Commercial Director at IDS:

2 in 5 Administrations in construction or services leads to South East decline

Businesses in the South East of England are under increasing pressure with the region suffering from an acceleration of administrations over the past year. The South East (excluding London) and East Anglia have seen an increase in administrations of 32% and 41% respectively, year on year (Q1 2010 to Q1 2011).

Sectors particularly hard hit are service sectors at 30% and construction at 22% increases. The last year has seen a specific squeeze on these sectors as contracts decline or cease altogether and more services are taken in house. Combine this with the harsh weather conditions of the winter of Q4 and tightening of consumer spend post Christmas it has been a tough market in which to operate.

The KBzine Archive Search

We keep an extensive archive of news stories and product information that have featured in past issues of The KBzine. If you would like to run a search of the The KBzine web site using the search tool below please just go ahead by entering in the name of the person, product or company or any other key words that you are looking for.

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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

AKW takes home 'Best in Show' Award at Naidex

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AKW topped off a very successful show at Naidex 2011, the UK's largest disability, rehabilitation and healthcare exhibition, by taking home the Best in Show award with a five star rating by Able Magazine.

New FIRA online forum for members

to FIRA members on www.fira.co.uk

Low Pay Commission's 2011 report

The Low Pay Commission has welcomed the Government's confirmation yesterday that from October 2011 the National Minimum Wage will increase in line with its recommendations.

Homebuilding & Renovating Show 2011 "most successful yet" for KBSA

The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association was inundated with enquiries at the Homebuilding & Renovating Show 2011, making it the busiest ever for its resident expert Alan Stanford.

Bathroom Conference date and venue change

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"I know it will be a hassle and something of a disappointment to some, but we've changed the date of the 2011 Bathroom Conference. And we have done it to secure a fabulous new venue," says Bathroom Manufacturers Association's boss Yvonne Orgill.

Kbb London reveals innovation leaders

20 pioneering kitchen, bathroom and bedroom product concepts have been shortlisted for the kbb London Innovation Awards. The Awards recognise kbb design excellence and original thought and shortlisted products range from technologically advanced appliances and interactive storage solutions to space-saving concepts and architectural spaces, representing the whole scope of the industry's recent developments.

The companies shortlisted for the awards and whose products will be showcased in the Innovations Centre at the kbb London exhibition are:

TMVA success with latest Department of Health Guidance

The Thermostatic Mixing Valve Manufacturers' Association has successfully secured the inclusion of 'Severe Scalding of Patients' in the expanded list of 'Never Events' (increasing from 8 to 25) recently published by the Department of Health. The list is prefaced by: "The expanded never events list is, in the view of the Department of Health, a reasonable list of events that are unacceptable and eminently preventable in the National Health Service. It is the list that all organisations providing NHS care should work from."


Circle Living wins top award

Circle Living, part of Circle, one of the UK's largest providers of affordable housing, has won a First Time Buyer Award


New Cucina Colore brochure has arrived

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Popular UK kitchen furniture manufacturer Mereway Kitchens, has launched new products for its Italian inspired Cucina Colore collection. This Spring brings a brand new brochure hosting a wealth of stunning, inspirational photography that's guaranteed to impress.

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