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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
4th November 2011


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

International News

US home remodelling activity to remain weak through first half of 2012

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A sluggish US economy and housing market will continue to hamper home improvement spending well into next year, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity released yesterday by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The remodelling market is expected to stay soft with the LIRA pointing to a modest decline in annual homeowner improvement spending over the next several quarters.

Abode Verso the rest!

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Yet another Gold Design Award win for Abode, the stylish Barnsley kitchen tap and sink manufacturing and design outfit...

CRL's new Serenity sliding frameless shower door appears to float into place

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C R Laurence continues to respond to requests for progressive sliding shower door systems with the brand new Serenity Series Frameless Shower Door System.

New technology cabinets from HiB

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Bathroom products specialist HiB has introduced two handsome new LED backlit cabinets with, for the first time, heated mirror pads to prevent condensation.

Hi-Macs is key to superb wetroom design

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Designed and made by Bespoke Surfaces, a specialist designer of bespoke kitchen and bathroom designs, this new wetroom display features the solid surface material Hi-Macs, which especially lends itself to this type of application.

Whirlpool wins International Design & Architecture Award

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Whirlpool has won an International Design & Architecture Award for its stunning Nova American-style, side-by-side fridge freezer.

KitchenAid's Vacuum Machine has the 'Chef Touch'

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Proper food preservation has not only become an increasingly important issue but also an essential science. With its built-in Vacuum Machine, premium manufacturer KitchenAid has produced a remarkably versatile product that preserves food up to three times longer than traditional methods to maintain organoleptic properties, nutrients, taste and colour.

Naked Collection

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At the recent Cersaie show, Glass Idromassaggio, the dynamic wellbeing producer from Italy, presented Naked, a highly original collection of baths designed by Giopato & Coombes.

50 grassroots rugby teams given new kits & chance to train with England

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A total of 50 schools and junior rugby clubs throughout the UK are being given the chance to win the prize of a lifetime - a training day with the England rugby team. The teams, which have already won themselves an Ultimate Kit & Laundry Package, which includes 22 bespoke Samurai kits and a top-of-the range AEG 9 series washing machine and tumble dryer, will compete against each other to gain the most votes for a chance to learn to kick like Wilkinson, lead a team like Moody or cross the try line like Ashton.

Welcome to the



The Confederation of British Industry's latest Monthly Distributive Trades Survey, reports that retail sales are down on year ago, falling at a similar pace to August and September's sales. The decline has stabilised, however, with retailers expecting there to be some very modest growth this month in the build-up to Christmas.

They'd better make their sales quickly! Only two weeks ago I was working from my laptop in my garden but now the sound of my keyboard contact is being drowned out by the tapping of rain that doesn't seem to have stopped for two days. The east coast of the US has seen severe early snowfall and all forecasts point to similar weather hitting us in the UK before the end of the month and keep plaguing us for much of the Winter.

The past two Winters have seen Arctic weather cause havoc for British businesses due to the disruption. Heavy snow means we're unable to get to the shops and staff can't get to work. It can trigger power and heating failures. Yes we can buy on-line but goods won't be delivered. That in itself is going to damage our industry but of course it may get far worse than that...

According to data from YouGov's Omnibus SME survey, 13% of small businesses said they were 'seriously' impacted by last winter's bad weather and 37% said they experienced weather-related problems of some sort.

The Forum of Private Business says SMEs can be particularly vulnerable to the impact of freak weather and should start planning ahead by checking their premises are winter-proof, insurance is up to date and contingency plans are well-thought-out in case staff can't get in to work. 




Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

UK construction: Activity growth at five-month high despite deteriorating housing sector

The seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers' Index registered a five-month high of 53.9 in October, up from 50.1 in September.

The study showed that despite business confidence being at its lowest for nearly three years, the growth of new business is supporting a faster rise in output . Input price inflation has also picked up sharply.

Smart storage ideas from Blum

* Blum-CornerDrawer.jpgA world leader in kitchen fittings and storage systems, Blum has conducted intensive research into the use of kitchens and best use of the volume of the kitchen cabinet.

Blum UK Marketing Director, David Sanders, says that "functional cabinets" are the way to go: "We buy a refrigerator or an oven for a specific purpose, so why shouldn't every kitchen cabinet have a specific storage purpose," he asks.

Livery Company launches new sustainability award for British furniture manufacturers

The efforts of British furniture manufacturers to become greener are to be recognised by a new annual award from the industry's Livery company, the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers.

Aquadi leading way with handleless bathroom doors

San-Marco-main.jpgAquadi by Symphony is bringing a touch of European sophistication to the UK market with the introduction of a handleless bathroom door.

A hero product within its brand new Lindo Collection range, the San Marco gloss white 22mm thick door is leading the way in contemporary styling, with its clean lines and sensational finish that is achieved with an integrated handle available in both fitted and modular furniture.

NHBC Foundation publication showcases international comparisons of CO2 emissions

As a measure of success, the UK is beyond its target to meet the carbon emissions set out in the Kyoto protocol, according to a new publication by the NHBC Foundation.

Comparing 20 countries around the world, the 2011 edition of the Zero Carbon Compendium aims to create a better understanding of the issues surrounding the delivery of low and zero carbon housing, which is set to play a crucial part in global emission reductions.

Methven Tahi twin-lever tapware wins Design Award Gold Certificate

* Methven-Tahi-Twin-Lever-Tapware.jpgMethven is celebrating another award win after receiving a Gold Certificate for Product Innovation, for the second year running, at the Design Awards ceremony held recently at Lord's Cricket Ground. The certificate, awarded to the Methven Tahi twin-lever tapware, follows hot on the heels of a coveted red dot design award earlier in 2011 and accompanies the Gold Certificate awarded to Methven Satinjet Tahi in 2010.

New design event to showcase cutting edge concepts and materials

The launch of the new design show 'W12 - Working with Design', will be an important national event for KBB designers , manufacturers and retailers alike.

W12 Working with Design is already a fast booking event scheduled for October 2012 at the NEC. It will run alongside the well established W12 Working with Wood technology exhibition for the furniture industry.

Kompact solution to single and double panel radiators from MHS

* MHS-rads-Kompact-Line.jpgThe Kompact range of single and double panel radiators, from MHS, delivers variety, quality and exceptional value. Comprising the Kompact Panel, Kompact Plan and Kompact Line, the range is among some of the highest output compact panel radiators available in the UK.

Backstage battle over energy efficiency directive

Targets proposed in the EU's draft energy efficiency directive are being contested by member states, with Britain and the Netherlands pushing for some provisions to be deleted entirely, reports EurActiv.

Amica's Platinum collection joins the set of Hollyoaks

Hollyoaks-Amica.jpgAmica's Platinum collection has been installed as part of a major refurbishment on the set of 1 Stockton Lane, better known as the accommodation above The Dog in the Pond, the public house in Channel 4's award-winning youth drama, Hollyoaks.

AMDEA celebrates the accomplishments of Uwe Hanneck

AMDEA.jpgAfter its Board meeting and AGM on 26th October, the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances held a lunch at the Riverside Room of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, for 50 members and industry colleagues to thank Uwe Hanneck of BSH, for his tireless efforts in serving the Association. Uwe was AMDEA Chairman for the past six years and has now retired, handing the baton to John Morrissey of Indesit.

Simon Bailey joins Lakes Bathrooms

* Simon-Bailey.jpgLakes Bathrooms has announced the appointment of Simon Bailey as area sales manager, taking responsibility for the South East region of the UK. Coming from Novellini and bringing over 20 years' experience in the bathroom industry, Simon is an asset to the company's growing sales team.

PJH pedal power helps 'Get Jed Mobile'

* pjh-ride.jpgEmployees of the Bolton-based, PJH Group, dug out their lycra and mountain bikes in September to pedal the streets of Greater Manchester as part of a fundraising cycle ride to raise vital money for local fund, "Get Jed Mobile."

Leisure Sinks reaches new heights in Dorset

Leisure-sinks-streetscene_142.jpgMore than 50 Euroline stainless steel one and a half bowl sinks and Aquaflow taps from Leisure Sinks, are being installed at Persimmon Homes' award-winning Badbury Heights development.

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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News in Brief

will launch its premium built-in Luce collection to consumers at Masterchef Live next weekend. www.mastercheflive.com

Bosch Small Appliances
brings its food mixers and kitchen machines to the BBC's Winter Good food Show (Nov 23rd - 27th) www.bbcgoodfoodshow.com

The latest addition to Caple's Classic tap range, Kontro's monobloc features two crosshead handles. T: 0117 938 1900
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

The Tile Association shows support for 'Cut The VAT' campaign

The Tile Association has announced its support for the 'Cut The VAT' campaign, adding its name to an ever growing list of organisations encouraging the UK Government to reduce VAT on all home repair, maintenance and improvement work from 20% to 5%.

Intervari signs exclusive UK distribution deal with Mobalco

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Luxury interiors specialist Intervari has been selected by exclusive kitchen furniture manufacturer Mobalco as the sole UK distributor of its award-winning designs and products.

TTA invites nominations for 2012 Awards

The Tile Association has announced that it is now inviting nominations for the 2012 TTA Awards. The event, which will be taking place on Saturday, 21st April 2012 at the Hilton Hotel in Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre complex, rewards the products, people, businesses and projects in the tile industry.

Energy Saving Week highlights new 'intelligent' heating control

This isn't KBB as such but is very topical right now and offers qualified tradespeople who fit kitchens and bathrooms the opportunity to provide an extra service and earn some extra money too. Plus we're all in the business of saving energy...

UK taxman urges employers to ditch 'A N Other'

UK Employers are being urged to get their PAYE paperwork in order, after more than 500 returns incorrectly claimed to employ 'A N Other' in 2009/10.

New format a success for KBSA AGM

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A new format for the The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association's AGM was warmly welcomed by members and judged a great success by those who attended the event on 4th October.

Suppliers receive their awards

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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association presented the KBSA supplier awards at the recent 2011 kbbr Kitchen Conference. The awards recognise excellence in those companies that supply products to KBSA retailers and are the only awards of their kind that represent the views of retailers and not a panel of judges.

New AMA report provides major review of the UK Shower Market

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The UK shower equipment market has an estimated value of around £438 million at Manufacturers Selling Prices in 2011. This represents a moderate increase of around 1% when compared to the market size in 2010 and reflects the continuing fragility of the UK economy.


LDL Launches Autumn Promotion

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LDL has launched the latest edition of In Focus, its seasonal selection of new products supported by special promotional offers.

The Baumatic Autumn collection of promotions is here

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Baumatic has launched the mother of all marketing campaigns, rolling out a series of four promotions in a nationwide push that will target more than 12 million end consumers. In this 'piece de resistance' of UK marketing, Baumatic will be promoting four different product categories, partnering with some big name brands such as Finish, Laithwaites, Lakeland and Prestige to offer added value to many Baumatic appliances.

Atag extends popular promotions

Atag, the Dutch company famous for its technologically advanced built-in kitchen appliances exclusively available to the kitchen specialist, has extended its excellent Summer offers until the end of the year.

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