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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
8th July 2011


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

International News

KitchenAid launches new built-in coffee machine

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With around 730 Starbucks and 930 Costa coffee shops enticing us through their doors, Britain's cafe culture is growing all the time. So it is no great surprise that a new generation of coffee connoisseurs are now eager to transfer the magical atmosphere of their local coffee shops to their own homes.

Improve - don't move!

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With the UK set to spend £50 billion on home improvements over the next 12 months, MHS Radiators is helping homeowners improve and renew their bathrooms with its cost-effective and extensive range of towel rails and bathroom radiators.

EU closes in on contract law for consumers and SMEs

A common European contract law came one step closer to reality last week after MEPs backed proposals by the European Commission to establish an optional EU-wide system. But consumer groups warned that such a scheme would do little to boost cross-border trade and only add to the confusion faced by businesses and shoppers alike.

Atag's new gas hobs have digital timers

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Atag, the Dutch company famous for its technologically advanced built-in kitchen appliances exclusively available to the kitchen specialist, presents the latest additions to its superior product portfolio; two gas-on-glass hobs with digital timers...

Terence Ball kitchens launches six new ranges

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Building on the successful 2010 launch of TBK rigid built kitchens, six new ranges are now introduced.

FIRA-CMA expands testing capacity

Following unprecedented demand, FIRA's Hong Kong testing facility - FIRA-CMA Testing Services, has expanded its capacity for furniture testing.

Welcome to the

The industry has taken a bit of a knock over the past few weeks, hasn't it? While Sharps has achieved some continuity with its acquisition by a group with a previous interest in the company, the future is not looking so bright for Kitchens Direct, Moben and Dolphin and many customers have been told that they will lose the money they have already spent on goods purchased but not delivered.

Now consumers are concerned about their fridge freezers. When it's one brand that has been found to have produced some appliances that have a fault, we can cope, but when other brands exhibit a similar fault, consumers owning all the other manufacturers' products with the same 'benefit' - in this case a clever device that prevents the need for that laborious and hated manual defrost - are likely to be concerned too.

 I expect some probing questions to be asked by buyers and specifiers of appliances in the near future, as well as a good number of worried telephone calls from appliance owners to manufacturers whose products have not been at fault, but who will now become suspect anyway!

A safety warning issued by the London Fire Brigade on Tuesday, after it emerged that certain Beko fridge freezers had been linked to a number of fires in London since 2008, led to Beko receiving so many calls that its customer care line couldn't cope. As a result the company has thoughtfully increased its call centre capacity by 20 times and is keeping it open on Saturday and Sunday. 

The company points out that only a small number of fridge freezers have failed out of the thousands it has sold and stresses that all its products are independently tested before being placed on the market and that they meet all UK and European safety standards,. It has obtained a list of customers who have purchased appliances from the batches affected and is now contacting them to arrange a free modification. In the meantime, it is urging customers to check their model on-line to see if it is affected before calling the Customer Careline (0800 009 4837). 

Consumers have also been warned about the discontinued white Lec TF2304W, manufactured between January 2004 and October 2006, as it features the same faulty defrost timer as the affected Beko models. Lec's parent company GDHA is asking customers with this appliance to arrange for a repairer to carry out a free modification by ringing 0800 110 5728 between 08.00 and 18.00, Monday to Friday.

It's encouraging to see companies handle such problems in a responsible way and I hope that consumer confidence in the many great advances made by this industry over recent years, is quickly rebuilt.



Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

The drought is back - but no need to build canals

Yvonne Orgill, chief executive of the Keele University-based Bathroom Manufacturers Association says:

Here we go again. We are running out of water. Large areas of northern Europe are facing drought after one of the driest European springs on record, and DEFRA has said that areas of East Anglia are in drought, with parts of the Midlands, South West and South East in a 'near-drought' state.

AEG PowerMix makes guest appearance on James Martin's Saturday Kitchen

* James-Martin-SK-blender.jpgAlmost 3 million food lovers recently watched Saturday Kitchen's head chef and presenter, James Martin, use the AEG PowerMix Silent Blender to make delicious blueberry molasses to accompany Silvena Rowe's eastern-inspired pork belly dish. Series producer James Winter says the blender was "very quiet and perfect for blitzing the blueberries".

The new table top blender from AEG is so quiet; you can talk while using it and still be heard! Today's blenders produce an average of 85-95 dB. That's the same category as Lawn mowers, plate shops and motorcycles! The AEG PowerMix Silent Blender is just 77dB - claimed to be the quietest on the market.

SBID announces International Design Awards as Official British Partner of Maison & Objet

As the official British partner of Maison & Objet,The Society of British Interior Design is delighted to be launching the inaugural International Design Awards to both SBID and non-SBID interior design professionals from around the world. The competition will measure six categories of interior design excellence.

Robin Gibb CBE, singer & song writing legend of the Bee Gees a passionate champion of thecCreativeiIndustries, leads the judging panel.

Minister confirms furniture industry support for fire safety regulations

* BFC-FIRA.jpgThe British Furniture Confederation recently met with Ed Davey MP, Minister for Employment Relations, Consumer & Postal Affairs at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The meeting, organised by Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland, was held to discuss the UK's Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Regulations, which are currently under review in relation to the Government's red tape reduction initiative.

Whirlpool's ambient collection hits the sweet spot for retailers

* AMBIENT-Whirlpool.jpgWith great design, sleek styling and attractive price points, Whirlpool's Ambient Line of built-in appliances is proving to be a big hit with retailers.

The Ambient Line integrates advanced technology with supremely simple functionality to guarantee perfect results in the kitchen. The products in the range offer a comprehensive set of traditional and innovative functions and embrace the categories of ovens, microwaves, hoods, hobs, dishwashing, cooling and even a flexible and stylish warming drawer.

Sales training and new product demos at new KBSA regional meetings

* KBSA-regional-meeting.jpgMembers of The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association (KBSA) enjoyed a cookery demonstration, new product displays and training sessions as part of a series of new regional meetings.

The two regional meetings, which were held in response to retail members' requests for more networking opportunities, took place at Symphony headquarters in Barnsley during May and Whirlpool's visitor centre at Croydon in June.

New Timeless bathroom collection from Imperial

* imperial-bathrooms-basin.jpgThe pursuit of the timeless classic is the primary source of inspiration behind Imperial Bathrooms' new Carlyon collection. Combining gentle curved lines with defined period styling and classical elegance, this stunning collection is testimony to the British bathroom manufacturer's design prowess.

Painstakingly handcrafted by Imperial in the UK to the highest quality standards, Carlyon's tranquil styling is echoed throughout all pieces in the range. These include a wide scoop 710mm basin, complete with one or three tap holes, that boasts a generous and gentle curved platform and comes complete with a complementary pedestal. A close-coupled pan/cistern with chrome or antique gold push button flush, together with a bidet with one tap hole, along with a wall hung pan/cistern and wall hung bide

KitchenAid's new combi steamer offers real versatility

* CombiSteamer-KitchenAid.jpgPremium manufacturer KitchenAid's versatile new combi steamer oven, the KOCV 3610, is equally effective as a stand-alone cooking appliance or as a complementary cooking product.

The stylish compact 45cm model is one of three supreme products within KitchenAid's stunning new Sous Vide cooking system, the Chef Touch, along with the vacuum machine and shock freezer.

K Kitchens launches 'The Painted Collection'

K Kitchens, from the PJH Group, has launched 'The Painted Collection', an inspiring range of timber ash painted kitchens featuring 30 new doors comprising 15 colour options in two door styles.

The versatile collection aims to satisfy the growing trend for painted kitchen doors that offer maximum flexibility and personalisation to suit all tastes and lifestyles. Two fascia door styles, each available in a variety of colour options, combined with a smart choice of accessories and storage solutions present both the retailer and the consumer with all the ingredients to create individual kitchen schemes.

Mereway Bathrooms taste success at MSM Exhibition

* Mereway-bw.jpgMereway Bathrooms customer MSM Plumbing & Heating Supplies recently hosted a successful trade exhibition in Bournemouth where 300 visitors attended.

MSM outlets are spread across the south of the country with the head office based in Poole, Dorset and with subsequent branches in Bournemouth, Ferndown, Newport (Isle of Wight) and Eastbourne.

Innovative device adds value to bathroom accessories sales

* curtain-bouncer.jpgA new device is set to revolutionise the shower-time experience in around three million UK households while offering retailers a valuable low-cost bathroom accessory sales opportunity.

The Curtain Bouncer has been designed to solve one of life's irritating mysteries - why shower curtains always cling to your skin. It happens because water from the shower head creates a low pressure vortex that draws the curtain inwards. The Curtain Bouncer is an easy-to-fit, simple, cost-effective device that can be used with any shower curtain. The weighted device clips onto the curtain rail and simply 'bounces' the curtain back into place and holds it firmly in place.

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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

Property & Construction Sector to be hit with £50m increase in finance cost

The property and construction sector will be hit with an increase of £50m in finance costs, equivalent to 1.5% of total profits, due to the revised IAS19 which will take effect for accounting periods beginning on or after 1st January 2013, according to a survey of property and construction companies in the FTSE350, conducted by Barnett Waddingham, the independent firm of actuaries and consultants.

Ellis Furniture supports Cancer Research UK

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As part of its ongoing commitment to support the charity Cancer Research UK, British manufacturer Ellis Furniture is donating £30,000 during the next three years to continue its funding of work carried out by Cancer Research UK Leeds Centre, taking the total amount pledged over the years by generations of the Ellis family to more than £100,000.

Appliance recycling firm fined after worker injured

A worker was injured by a falling stack of cookers and washing machines at one of the UK's largest electrical equipment recycle firms, which has been fined as a result.

Appliance recycling firm fined after worker injured

A worker was injured by a falling stack of cookers and washing machines at one of the UK's largest electrical equipment recycle firms.


Methven gives Deva brand a makeover and launches 50 new products

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Methven UK has given the popular Deva brand a makeover to coincide with the launch of 50 new Deva products and the publication of a new trade catalogue and a new retail brochure. Featuring a modern, fluid logo and fresh, vibrant corporate colours, the new-look branding is already a hit with Deva customers.


Imperial unveils new design guide for the discerning

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British manufacturer, Imperial Bathrooms, has unveiled a new Design Guide that provides an inspirational insight into its comprehensive range of luxurious bathroom products for the discerning.

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