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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
18th November 2011


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

International News

NKBA Market Report : "Although optimism is faded, revenues continue to rise"

The National Kitchen & Bath Association released the results of the US Kitchen & Bath Market Report for the third quarter, reflecting a rise in showroom traffic and an increase in kitchen remodels from one year ago. Although the number of bathroom remodels declined from the second quarter, results show a significant increase over the bathroom sales of a year ago.

FIRA - CMA achieves renowned testing accreditation

The Furniture Industry Research Association's Hong Kong furniture testing facility, FIRA-CMA Testing Services, is celebrating after achieving accreditation to the International Standard ISO 17025 from the Hong Kong Laboratory Accreditation Scheme for Physical and Mechanical Testing.

AEG Neue Kollektion picks up nine iF Design Awards

The iF Product Design Awards are amongst the most prestigious design awards in the world. This year, Electrolux has won a total of nine of the iF awards for its AEG Neue Kollektion products. The winning appliances were selected by an international jury who sifted through 2,923 entries from 48 countries. The winning appliances were assessed on the level of innovation, functionality, quality and ecological compatibility.

New basins from VitrA's T4

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As part of the fabulous new T4 collection launched at ISH 2011, VitrA is offering a stunning array of new basins that cover a wide scale of size and format options.

Carron Phoenix broadens appeal of Sapphira sink range with classic white

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Carron Phoenix has broadened the appeal of its popular Sapphira ceramic sink range by adding a white single bowl option offering classic modern styling. The Sapphira range was launched on July 1st along with a host of new sink and tap styles as part of the company's product update programme for 2011 and the new Sapphira in white augments Carron's choice of modern and traditional sink designs which includes the Bali, Shonelle and Solaris insets, Carlow undermounts and Belfast styles.

Kenmore introduces hybrid water softener and whole-home water filter

With recent conversations and news highlighting water conditions, it's natural that Americans seek the highest in water quality in their homes. Today, the Kenmore brand is offering a comprehensive, household approach to water solutions that together, make water at home cleaner and better tasting while extending the life of the home's appliances.

Leisure Sinks' new Spa Filter tap offers ultimate convenience

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Leisure Sinks has launched a new Spa Filter tap which offers homeowners ultimate convenience for food and drink preparation. The stylish dual lever tap has a three-way dispenser system to provide crystal clear filtered water, mains cold water and hot water - all in a competitively priced and high quality design.

Smart storage ideas from Blum

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A 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

Aquadi by Symphony is bringing a touch of European sophistication to the UK market with the introduction of a handleless bathroom door.

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.

Methven Tahi twin-lever tapware wins Design Award Gold Certificate

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Methven 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.

Kompact solution to single and double panel radiators from MHS

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The 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.

Welcome to the

Figures released yesterday show that UK unemployment has reached 2.62 million and the Governor of the Bank of England has again cut the UK growth forecast. The UK is not alone though as many countries - and particularly those in mainland Europe - are in a similar (and in some cases far worse) situation.

Those of us who have jobs or run businesses should be doing all we can to ensure that our competition doesn't steal a march on us.

Reputation - always important - becomes even more valuable. This is something that takes a long time to build up, yet it can be destroyed incredibly quickly - and even more so in these days of social media.

In this week's news, under the heading: 'Customers are shouting, but is anybody listening?' we report on the results of a survey into customer complaints, what companies do about them and the damage social media can do to an organisation's reputation. The survey reveals that while the majority of British consumers will complain about poor service, almost half believe that their complaints fall on deaf ears.

Whereas poor service used to be discussed at dinner parties or the local pub and tended not to go much further than that, those with a grievance who feel they are being ignored can these days, easily air their complaint on Facebook or one of the other social media sites and the resulting damage can be enormous.

Almost half of consumers surveyed said that social media can hold brands and organisations to account like never before and I witnessed this only today. Often asked to 'like' people's businesses on Facebook, I visited one, only to see a discussion that had started up, about how bad some of the manufacturer's kitchen appliances were! Of course they may not be bad at all, but the seeds of doubt have been sown and the company's reputation has become tarnished.

My advice would be that if you can't ensure that all your customers feel well looked after and valued, you should at least keep an eye on your Facebook page! Or perhaps you should leave Facebook for the purpose it was set up - fun and not a work-related thing. At least with your own company's site, disgruntled customers can't make their feelings public. You don't have any control over what people write on your Facebook page and there is simply too much at stake to take any chances - particularly these days!



Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

TTA rescues industry standards

The Tile Association has come to the rescue of standards within the tiling industry by hosting the plenary meeting of the International Standards Organisation (ISO). In the world of Ceramic Tiles and Adhesives, it is this governing body that creates the standards to protect consumers and trade users.

Aquadi launch to retail customers hailed 'huge success'

* Symphony-Aquadi-Launch-main.jpgFitted furniture manufacturer Symphony, has formally launched its biggest ever investment in bathroom products to KBB retailers, with a series of customer events held at its 18,000 sq ft state-of-the-art marketing suite in Barnsley last month.

The new bathroom collection won much praise from the 180 customers that attended the launch events in October, generating immediate orders and confirming the company's place as a leading player in the bathroom market.

Apprenticeships: Vince Cable guarantees quality, slashes red tape and delivers cash boost for firms

Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced new measures to ensure more young people benefit from an apprenticeship, and to help employers gain the skilled workers they need to grow.

KitchenAid's new built-in Lab oven is packed with technology

* KitchenAid-KOLS-7010.jpgIt becomes quickly apparent why KitchenAid's premium KOLS 7010 built-in multifunction oven is called the Lab oven. With 28 cooking modes and superb technology packed into its robust but stylish frame, this incredibly versatile model is a must-have for both professional chefs and keen cooks who love to experiment with food.

KitchenAid's reputation as a premium manufacturer is clearly evident in the styling and the many features available. With a generous, 73-litre capacity, the Lab oven offers 16 professional cooking functions, six special and six traditional functions.

Customers are shouting, but is anybody listening?

Most British consumers (89%) are likely to tell the organisations they do business with if they receive poor service, yet almost half (44%) do not believe they take notice of, or really care about, the feedback shared, according to a study published this week by the Customer Contact Association and sponsored by Verint Systems.

Karonia specified for sustainable development

* Green-Street-Arctic-Frost-MISTRAL2.jpgMistral solid surface worktops by Karonia have been specified throughout the innovative new 'Green Street in The Meadows' development in Nottingham. The inspiring 38 home development has been designed to an unprecedented standard of quality and sustainability, making the houses significantly cheaper to run than comparable homes.

LDL joins KBSA as corporate member

The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced that one of the UK's leading distributors of high quality furniture fittings has become a corporate member.

Now in its eighth year, LDL Components is one of the UK's leading nationwide distributors of quality fittings and accessories for the fitted furniture industry. In addition to the Head Office and the Sales Office based in Bath, LDL Components also has a Distribution and Logistics Centre in Glossop and a new Scottish office and showroom in Cumbernauld. Future plans include a brand new showroom at the Bath headquarters and a new interactive website, now nearing completion.

Atag's 17-place setting dishwasher a perfect choice for festive season

* ATAG-VA9611TT.jpgAtag, the Dutch company famous for its technologically advanced built-in kitchen appliances, exclusively available to the kitchen specialist, has a 17-place setting dishwasher which is perfect for the season of festivities and entertaining.

The VA9611TT fully integrated XXL dishwasher is capable of washing up to 17-place settings in its four spacious baskets, and is an excellent choice for those who love to entertain at home. This deluxe model uses a very economical 9.9 litres of water per cycle, therefore saving money and energy during this expensive time of year.

CME launches new sanitaryware catalogue

An new product catalogue is now available from CME, A Wirquin Group company, in an easy-reference format that will help customers to quickly and easily select products to meet their specific project requirements.

The 120 page catalogue is divided into six sections to reflect CME's comprehensive product range including toilet seats, flushing, in wall frames, wastes & connectors, wetrooms and greywater systems.

GDHA supports retailers' open evening

Customers at award-winning electrical retailer Barretts Digital World were treated to a mouthwatering cookery masterclass by celebrity chef Brian Turner during a recent open evening.

More than 200 customers attended the event at Barretts in Canterbury, and helped to raise £350 for the local branch of the NSPCC.

Building Adhesives appoints new managing director

* Peter-Bell.jpgBuilding Adhesive, the parent company of BAL and Dunlop Adhesives, has announced the appointment of Peter Bell as its new managing director. Peter's appointment will take place with immediate effect following the departure of David O'Neill, who leaves the post as managing director to pursue his career elsewhere.

HGTVRemodels.com features planning guides as US consumers resume spending

With the US National Kitchen & Bath Association reporting a 42% increase in showroom visits and double-digit increases in remodel sales volume for kitchens (36%) and baths (85%) over one year ago, more homeowners will need the Kitchens and Baths planning guides on HGTVRemodels.com. In its quarterly Market Index Report released last week, the NKBA also found a 69% increase in revenue among kitchen and bath dealers since the third quarter 2010.

"The numbers from a year ago are encouragingly higher, ranging in increase from 4% to 85% higher on various points," stated Bill Darcy, executive vice president of the NKBA when the report was released. "We've seen an overall increase in sales volume and consumer traffic to showrooms in the past year."

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

There are some great introductions to the Schuller.C collection 2012 ranges. T: 01661 842304

Hansgrohe AG is now ranked Number 11 out of almost 2000 companies listed in the International Forum Design corporate rankings of good design. www.hansgrohe.com

Here in rainy Britain, we know a thing or two about showers, so where could be better to manufacture industry-leading shower systems? asks British manufacturer Hudson Reed. T: 01282 418000

Ripples New Spring Collection 2012 bathroom brochure is now available. T: 01225 335111


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

Latest ONS construction industry output figures released today

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The Office for National Statistics has this morning issued its latest Statistical Bulletin on 'Output in the Construction Industry' in Great Britain.

The bulletin reveals that:

Birmingham tradesman fined over asbestos release

A Birmingham handyman has been prosecuted after releasing asbestos fibres while refurbishing a kitchen at a flat in Solihull.

Women cook better living with a partner

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A woman's cooking ability improves dramatically after she moves in with her partner as she happily takes on the traditional female household role, a new study has shown. Research shows that three quarters of women not only cook more but are better at it than when they are single.

FIRA leads the way on cutting carbon footprint of furniture industry

The Furniture Industry Research Association will be sharing the findings of a key furniture industry research project that has assessed the feasibility of providing the UK furniture industry with product carbon footprint benchmarks. The event, which is open to those within the furniture industry, will be held on Tuesday 6th December, at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, between 10.00 and 16.00.

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.

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.

Amica's Platinum collection joins the set of Hollyoaks

Amica'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.

Leisure Sinks reaches new heights in Dorset

More 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 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.


AMDEA celebrates the accomplishments of Uwe Hanneck

After 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.


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.


New brochure and new collection from Lakes Bathrooms

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Shower specialist Lakes Bathrooms has launched a new brochure with a free DVD, to showcase its full range and introduce the new Coastline Collection. The 100-page book now details a wide selection of frameless, semi-frameless and fully framed enclosures built with a choice of 8mm or 6mm safety glass.

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