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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
19th February 2010


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

International News

'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

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The 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.

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.

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.

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.

Welcome to the

There was good news for the KBB industry yesterday with the announcement by Housing Minister John Healey that is hailed as the start of a new deal in housebuilding... the first Government-owned land is being made available under the Public Land Initiative for much-needed new homes.

The Initiative could create up to 1,700 jobs and apprenticeships – with workers expected on the first of these sites within the next few months.

Mr Healey described this scheme as a drive to make better use of Government-owned land to build more homes, to lower costs and to increase competition in housebuilding, before naming the first three sites which, subject to planning permission, will deliver nearly 500 new homes – many of which will be made available for affordable rent or sale. The Initiative is expected to deliver up to 1,250 homes overall.

Under the new deal, Government provides the public land but takes out the upfront costs and risks involved in site purchase and preparation as contractors pay for the land only once the completed homes are sold. A panel of approved partners have been selected, reducing the contract bidding and procurement costs for public agencies that want to build homes this way. But in exchange for this reduced risk, developers take a smaller profit.

Some of the biggest names in the construction industry have not been house-builders before – but Mr Healey sees this new initiative as a way to inject more innovation and competition into housebuilding by encouraging them to enter the industry.

Two of the first three sites are owned by the Homes and Communities Agency – with more sites being considered. The third is owned jointly by the Regional Development Agency One North East, Newcastle City Council and with the delivery being led by City Development Company 1NG.

The Minister made clear he expects other public bodies to follow suit, and identify land they have available for housebuilding. Latest estimates suggest there is enough public sector land in England to build nearly 300,000 much-needed homes, including 100,000 on council land and others on old NHS, transport, military and school sites.

The first three sites to be made available under the Public Land Initiative will be:

  • Bentley, Doncaster – 178 homes are planned for this site, of which 47 will be affordable. Subject to planning permission, work is expected to start this Summer
  • Kingsmead South, Milton Keynes – this site will deliver 200 homes, of which 60 will be affordable. Work is expected to start this Autumn.
  • East Bank, Ouseburn, Newcastle – a joint venture between ONE North East, Newcastle City Council and 1NG, this will deliver between 90 and 100 town houses and larger apartments, 22 of which will be affordable. Work is due to begin in May.

The Initiative forms part of the Prime Minister’s June £1.5billion Housing Pledge, which saw Government funds switched into the building of new homes. Since then, John Healey has released over £2.8billion for more than 51,000 new homes across the country.

The Minister has also put in place special contractual conditions so developers, councils and housing associations benefiting from this multi-billion pound investment in housing must provide apprenticeship and local job opportunities – including those contractors working on Public Land Initiative sites.

The week started pretty badly for the industry with the latest Glenigan Index reporting that the value of construction projects starting on site in January was 8% lower than in January 2009 - something that was probably to have been expected, with the arctic conditions we've been experiencing! So it's good to end the week on a high note, isn't it?

Have a good weekend!



Jan Hobbs

This Week's News

Polypipe acquires ventilation business rival Silavent

It was announced on Wednesday that Polypipe has acquired the goodwill and assets of the Silavent group. This move will strengthen Polypipe's position in the UK ventilation systems market in which it already has a significant presence in the form of Polypipe Ventilation and its leading Domus product range.

The Silavent brand is a good match for Polypipe's portfolio as it has a well- deserved reputation for providing excellent quality products and high levels of technical support in the developing UK ventilation market.

"This acquisition significantly widens Polypipe's offering in the ventilation market alongside our Domus brand and develops new business channels," ," commented David Hall, CEO of Polypipe. "Silavent is a well established and well regarded brand and we feel that under Polypipe's ownership we can grow the business over the coming years.

"This acquisition provides us with an opportunity to build upon the brand and ensures that the well established customer base will continue to have access to Silavent products and expertise.

New season, new year, new look Four Seasons

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While 2009 will long be remembered for the economic downturn and the now infamous credit crunch, manufacturers such as Four Seasons, which explored new avenues and continued to invest in new products and its brand despite the tough times, are looking forward to what is hoped will be a much healthier year ahead in 2010.

"The Four Seasons brand has been going from strength to strength since it was acquired by Moores Furniture Group last year," says said Four Seasons (Product Manager) Andrea Denison. "With sales figures up and our number of retailers on the increase Four Seasons certainly bucked the trend in 2009. Despite tough market conditions the Moores Group recognised the Four Seasons brand as a valuable asset to add to its portfolio, enabling it to enter the independent kitchen retail market with a great deal of success from the outset.

Belling Built-in has the White Stuff

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Popular kitchen appliance brand, Belling, has unveiled a fresh new twist on white appliances across a number of its built-in products.
Belling has given the traditional white finish a modern designer makeover, combining pure white with black glass and contrasting white handles.
"White appliances often get a bad press because it can be difficult to achieve a uniform pure white finish due to the need to use different substrates on different areas of the oven," admits Steve Dickson, Commercial Manager for Belling. "This can mean that the end result looks off-white and can date quickly.

"By contrasting pure white with black, we've created a product that looks stylish and modern but it still appeals to consumers looking for a classic white appliance."

Raukantex Magic 3D offers depth-effect patterns


Rehau's Raukantex Magic 3D edgeband uses a new design process which gives the impression of three dimensions by combining a transparent surface with a depth-effect pattern.

It is ideal for worktops, carcasses, book cases, side panels, shelves and tables and opens up a host of possibilities for designers and manufacturers looking to maximise the contrasting design features of edgeband.

Manufactured using a PMMA polymer, it is available in a series of Raukantex coloured and metallic patterns with a gloss, embossed or solid colour effects surface finish.

It is available in edgeband thicknesses from 1.3mm to 2mm and in a range of widths to suit most applications. The PMMA material can be applied around tight radii and does not require reworking.

A 23mm x 2mm version of Raukantex Magic 3D in wide range of attractive decors has been added to Rehau's Express Collection which is available direct from stock.

A sample can also be obtained on request from Roshni Patel via:

Frontline's Dare Devil Diver!

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Paul Sculthorpe & the Red Devils launched Saints 2010 home jersey recently with sponsor Frontline Bathrooms.

The former St Helens and Great Britain captain took part in a charity sky dive with the Red Devils to launch the new Saints 2010 home jersey whilst raising another impressive four-figure donation to the Steve Prescott Foundation, which supports the Rugby League Benevolent Fund's Try Assist Fund and Christie Cancer Hospital. The event was funded by new club sponsor, Frontline, which was also collar sponsor of Saints' home and away jerseys in 2009; appointed main club sponsor for 2010.

Paul Sculthorpe, coached by the Red Devils Parachute Display Team, proudly displayed the new Rugby shirt as he fearlessly exited plane at 13,000ft, reaching a speed up to 158mph before landing back at Langar Airfield near Nottingham. Paul, currently employed by Saints as a commercial executive, volunteered to take part in this extreme sport to raise money for the Steve Prescott Foundation.

Burbidge oozes natural sophistication with a splash of hessian

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Constantly striving to create popular and timeless tones, Burbidge has introduced a splash of classic colour to its growing painted timber palette, with the neutral shade of Hessian.

Chic, versatile and sophisticated, the strong organic and woody tones of Hessian will sit perfectly in any country kitchen. By combining this subtle tone, or those of popular heritage colours including Sage and Ivory, with the more dramatic shades of Chilli Red and Aubergine, it's easy for consumers to create a striking statement in their kitchen.

The delicate, hand-sprayed paint effect subtly reveals the natural grain patterning of the timber frontals, giving each kitchen a unique and stylish look. Inspiring even more creativity for the most discerning consumer, kitchen retailers and manufacturers can also take advantage of Burbidge's ability to manufacture special size door and drawer fronts on request.

Rosemary Conley sees fit to use Amica hob in new show

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Rosemary Conley is using Amica's 77cm gas hob with wok burner as the focus of her kitchen set on her brand new specialist health & fitness web TV channel, launching this month.

The broad appeal health & fitness channel includes exercise, celebrity interviews, an online shop and food features with recipe demonstrations from her studio kitchen, fitted with the Amica hob.

Filming for the high quality production has been taking place since January 2009, and Rosemary has used the hob to cook a variety of favourite dishes from all over the world.

And in flows another award for Deva's Satinjet...

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Deva's Satinjet Awatea Hi-Rise Adjustable Arm by Methven has scooped another award after achieving 'Highly Commended' in the bathrooms category of the Self Build Awards 2010.

Judged by leading industry professionals from the Federation of Master Builders and the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Satinjet Awatea Hi-Rise Adjustable Arm was chosen for its impressive water and energy saving capabilities and innovative design.

"We are delighted that such a highly regarded judging panel has bestowed this accolade on the Satinjet Awatea Hi-Rise Adjustable Arm," comments Deva Sales & Marketing manager Claire Stokes. "The achievement is testament to the Satinjet promise of quality design and performance coupled with long-term savings on energy and water."
The Satinjet range holds various prestigious awards including the Waterwise Marque for the Awatea and Kiri models, the Chicago Athenaeum 2005 shared with Apple iPod and Audi A6 for the Awatea Hi-Rise Adjustable Arm and the new Self Build Award 2010, again for the Awatea Hi-Rise Adjustable Arm.

Designed and engineered in New Zealand, the Satinjet range saves up to 40% on water and energy with each shower taken, subject to individual water and heating systems and without compromising on performance or design.

East Coast makes three new appointments to sales team

* Norman_Brymer2.jpgComponent manufacturer and distributor East Coast Fittings is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members of staff to its external sales team.

Norman Brymer, who brings with him over 10 years' experience in the industry, joins as Territory Sales Manager covering Scotland, Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne & Wear & Cleveland.

* Dean_Maynard2.jpgDean Maynard joins as Territory Sales Manager with responsibility for South Wales, Bristol and Avon, Gloucestershire and Somerset. Dean's background includes 10 years in kitchen retail and planning.

Also joining East Coast as Sales Support Representative is David Jackson. David's role will be to cover the central belt of the country working with the Territory Sales Managers and assisting them in maintaining and developing the company's core business.

* David_Jackson2.jpg"Over the past 25 years, our reputation and success has been built on the establishment of first class relationships between both customers and suppliers alike," says the company's Marketing Manager Dave Burley. "This factor, coupled with our commitment to service and product quality, has created what we believe to be an unparalleled offer in the market place.

"Increasing acceptance of this offer has resulted in East Coast Fittings becoming one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of quality components & accessories to the UK furniture industry.

As a Trade-only supplier, the company is able to service its market from a centrally located 80,000 sq ft headquarters in Rearsby Leicestershire.

"With an ever increasing and diverse product portfolio, our comprehensive stock range provides a wide selection of doors, handles, storage solutions, lighting, fittings, carcasses and accessories, all supported by our experienced sales and distribution teams.

Over 1,000 exhibitors at biggest ever Ecobuild

What is thought to be the world's biggest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment is bigger than ever this year, bringing together more than 1,000 suppliers of sustainable construction products at London's Earls Court on Tuesday 2nd - Thursday 4th March 2010.

From big names such as Rockwool, Sika, Dimplex, Finnforest, Schueco, Interface, Rehau, ACO Technologies, Kohler Mira and CEMEX, to the smallest new business exhibiting in Ecobuild's Green Shoots entrepreneurs' zone, every conceivable product and service for low and zero carbon construction will be represented.

Many exhibitors choose Ecobuild as the launch platform for new products and initiatives including, amongst many, many more:

"Have a ball with our prices!" says fitted furniture manufacturer

William Ball is holding what it says is its "biggest ever promotion" on new orders made from now until 13.00 hours on Tuesday 4th May, with delivery by Friday 28th May.

The promotion, which is fully funded so that anyone in the trade retains the full trade margin, applies to door/drawer fronts and integrated appliance facias and in some cases is worth 60% off.

The promotional colde WBPL10 must be quoted at point of order.

T: 01942-270000
F: 01942-270225
E: [email protected]

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Jan Hobbs
Publishing Editor
Email:[email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)1372 811 307 
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