* KBZ-Logo-7.png


KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
15th July 2011


We strongly recommend viewing KBzine full size in your web browser. Click our masthead above to visit our website version.


English French Spanish Italian German Dutch Russian Mandarin

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

International News

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.

KitchenAid launches new built-in coffee machine

* KSCX3610-KitchenAid-coffee-machine.jpg
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!

* Towel-Rail-MHS-Radiators.jpg
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.

Welcome to the


I don't know what overseas drivers think of British roads and speed limits but I do know that those of us who've lived and driven in the UK for many years despair at how much more difficult it is to get from A to B than it used to be, what with heavy traffic throughout much of the day and extensive roadworks leading to the inevitable, soul destroying traffic jams.

But what's the answer?

I try and drive when no-one else is on the roads but am frustrated that I have to sit at traffic lights when there isn't another car in sight, or creep along at 20 or 30 mph in a road with a school, when it could easily take a car travelling at 40 mph as the school isn't going to be open for another 12 hours, so I believe it would be a good idea for traffic signals and some speed limits to be suspended between certain times. That would allow many of us to be off the road network before others with more fixed journeys set off. Less traffic on the road would mean fewer traffic jams.

Another help would be an increase in motorway speed limits and fleet managers polled by vehicle tracking specialist Navman Wireless, (www.navmanwireless.co.uk/blog) on the Government's suggested 80mph limit increase, generally agree, saying it would benefit business.

The apparent simplicity of the change belies a number of complex factors it opens for consideration. The potential for increased productivity must be balanced against fuel costs, safety and environmental impact - or whether it will have any real impact on fleets at all, as recognising that many drivers ignore the current limit, some respondents consider that a rise to 80mph will make little difference, or will encourage driving at speeds closer to 90mph.

Challenges are also being made as to whether a change in speed limit is the best way to improve motorway driving - with calls for more investment in infrastructure, such as additional lanes and 'no overtaking' sections for HGVs on busy stretches of road. Poor driver behaviour, such as incorrect use of the middle lane, is highlighted as another significant barrier to productivity.

I'd be really interested in learning your views on these arguments and would love to hear from those of you who regularly drive in different countries as well as the UK

I can't help wondering whether there isn't actually a solution to our traffic problems because the UK - and particularly England, is simply too crowded these days...




Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Bathroom Retailers Market Report now available

The new report on the UK Bathroom Retailers Market has now been published.

Written specifically for bathroom product manufacturers, distributors and retailers and based on actual sales returns, this comprehensive 180+ page report reviews the UK Bathroom Retailers market size from 2005 to 2011, with forecasts to 2015 alongside analysis of product mix & trends for Sanitaryware/Baths; Bathroom Furniture; Brassware; Showers/Enclosures/Trays; Bathroom Heating; Bathroom Lighting and Bathroom Accessories.

This detailed report also provides sales estimates, profiles & mailing leads for 100 of the leading retailers/installers, enabling bathroom product suppliers to grow sales through this channel and retailers to develop an in-depth understanding of their competitive environment. The report also includes four years of financial history for more than 100 retailers, enabling companies to develop effective marketing strategies based on sound market intelligence.

Amazing grates!

UniSlope-BrochureFC.jpgUnislope, the new all-in-one-pack solution for installing a wet room floor and linear drain, now offers a comprehensive range of superior grade solid stainless steel grates and custom panels that complement both the function and the form of a designer wet room.

"Wet room retailers seeking a product range with both kerb appeal and worthwhile returns might consider the Unislope range of 1k and 4k wet floor solutions alongside their existing ranges of glass panels and wet room enclosure,." suggests Jane Sharp, sales & marketing manager for UniSlope.

Annual Bathroom Conference - an update

Stunningly beautiful, packed with style and ultra-modern. That's how the BMA has described the venue for this year's Annual Bathroom Conference.
All the arrangements are now in place for what is set to be the top bathroom business event of the year on 9th November 2011. The stunning all-new conference centre at Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire is secured and eight world-class speakers have been booked.

"The high street is still in the doldrums so this year's conference is more relevant than ever," comments Yvonne Orgill, CEO of the BMA. "We shall be discussing, in depth, how the bathroom industry can embrace the increasingly important green agenda and profit from the opportunities it creates."

New classically elegant basin stands from Imperial Bathrooms

* Nevis-Basin-Stand.jpgImperial Bathrooms - the leading British manufacturer of bathroom products for the discerning client - continues to distinguish itself in the bathroom market with the launch of a new and extensive basin stand collection that recreates the classical elegance of the British bathroom.

Designed to provide a classical and timeless alternative to the traditional pedestal, these latest basin stands will appeal to connoisseurs of excellence and to all who appreciate exceptional quality.

Wolseley announces disposal of Electric Center

Wolseley has announced this week that it has signed an agreement to sell its Electric Center business to Edmundson Electrical, a leading distributor of electrical equipment to trade and industry in the UK. Completion will follow a period of employee consultation and is expected to occur in the next few weeks.

In the year ended 31st July 2010, the business generated revenue of £130 million and trading profit of £1.5 million. In the 10 months ended 31st May 2011, revenue was £115 million and trading profit was £2.2 million. Net assets at completion are expected to be around £29 million and the transaction is expected to generate a small gain on disposal. The cash consideration will be used to pay down debt.

Summer Style from British Ceramic Tile

* BCT1.jpgWhether you're looking for something soothing & restful or something with a bit more pizzazz, the Summer product launch from British Ceramic Tile will have a range to suit many of your needs.

The latest launch showcases new products designed to enhance and complement two of the existing ranges.

AEG's new oven puts expertise of 100s of professional chefs at your disposal!

* aeg-culisense-oven.jpgThe new Culisense oven from AEG offers the future right now in cooking with an abundance of expert functions, including the innovative AutoCook. The Culisense oven is equipped with a rich database of expert recipes and advanced sensors which can detect the weight and volume of the food to be cooked - calculating the right cooking temperature and time. The Culisense oven does the work for you; so you don't have to.

With the new, intelligent function of AutoCook, cooking has never been easier. While keeping the sleek design, the Culisense oven remains stunningly simple to use with the help of NaviSight navigational controls. This now means there are only three cooking steps needed for culinary perfection.

British manufacturing at its best!

* Utopia-Henley.jpg
KBZine's editor Jan Hobbs tours Utopia's fantastic new showrooms in Wolverhampton

"British manufacturing at its best!"

That was the enthusiastic reaction from one retailer in response to Utopia's recent groundbreaking product launch and I have to say I was just as impressed - not only with the products themselves but also with the clever and useful way they were presented.

Magnet Trade adds new dimension to its Strata kitchen range

Kitchen and joinery specialist Magnet Trade has added a new dimension to its Strata range of kitchens.  Strata Walnut, the fifth in the Strata collection, features a truly distinctive walnut effect grain with rich contrast between its lighter cream hues and deep, dark browns.

Strata is Magnet Trade's popular collection of simple, functional, affordable kitchens.  The stylish yet practical designs and exceptional value means the Strata kitchens are perfect for landlords, developers and contract work.  The range's functional slab design means it is perfect for converting and refurbishing rental properties and the modern finishes of Walnut, Maple, Gloss White, Oak and Cream mean that the Strata range can be mixed and matched so customers can add another dimension to the look of the kitchen. 

Uform crowned 'Best supplier to independent kitchen & retail manufacturing sector'

Uform-KRI-Awards.jpgWith tough competition from suppliers throughout Ireland, Uform is delighted to have just been crowned 'Best supplier to the independent kitchen and retail manufacturing sector' at the annual 'Kitchen Retailer Ireland Awards', held at the Four Seasons hotel in Dublin.

Established in 1993 by the Donnelly family, Uform has grown to become one of the UK's largest manufacturers and distributors of kitchen doors and components and sells direct to kitchen retailers and manufacturers throughout Ireland and the UK. The company has a 75,000 sq. ft. factory in Stonebridge, Country Antrim with over 70 employees.

Make a difference with your next tap sale!

Oxfam-Safe-water-Carron-Phoenix.jpgIn a major new initiative through its dealers which starts on August 1st, Carron Phoenix is supporting Oxfam's gifting initiative Oxfam Unwrapped, with a commitment to purchase the charity's 'Safe Water for 10 People' gifts, with donations generated from every tap sold.

The gifts enable Oxfam to set up or maintain a safe water supply, whatever the circumstances and in whatever form it is needed for washing, drinking or cooking. Equipment can be in the form of water pumps, water tanks, purification systems or pipes set up in a village for the first time or restoring supply after an emergency.

New promotion at Apex Interior Systems

* Darren-Vickers_Apex.jpgDarren Vickers who joined Apex Interior Systems as Operations Manager in 2010 has been promoted to the position of General Manager. Darren initially working primarily in making changes operationally and improving processes; his success has improved productivity immensely. In his new position, he takes on the responsibility of continuing to make operational and engineering changes but also adds the telesales department and salesforce to his remit.

Bohle presents KBB London Prize Draw

* Darren-Hales_Paul-Miller_Bohle.jpgFollowing a successful three days at the KBB London exhibition, Bohle, the UK's major glass processing consumables specialist, presented its iPad prize draw from all the visitors to its stand, to Darren Hales, General Manager of Showerpower.

Bohle offered all visitors to the stand the opportunity to be entered into the prize draw to win an iPad and Darren Hales was just one of almost 200 people who entered the draw.

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.

Search The KBzine:

News in Brief

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
* John Austen-cutout-kbz.jpg


www.facebook.com/KBzine FB2.jpg

* Zenius_Media.jpg


The KBzine is broadcast every Friday. You may receive it FREE each week by clicking the link above.
To prevent this newsletter from getting swept up by overzealous email filters, we suggest that you add [email protected] to your address book.

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

* Ellis-Furniture_Richard-Ellis_Tom-Ellis.jpg
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.


Methven gives Deva brand a makeover and launches 50 new products

* Deva-2011-brochures.jpg
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

* Design-Guide-Imperial.jpg
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.

© The KBzine 2022.
Subscribe | Unsubscribe | Hall of Fame | Cookies | Sitemap