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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
13th January 2012


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

International News

Designer predicts bathroom trends for 2012

As 2012 fast approaches, Ideal Standard International designer Robin Levien gives his bathroom predictions for next year:

Vintage 2012

We are living through uncertain times once again and this creates insecurity. This insecurity translates into nostalgia for a supposedly better time. This time is usually the 'vintage era' of the mid-20th century and will impact the bathroom through optimistic splashes of colour or fabrics and even bold geometric patterns to brighten up bathrooms.

Is this Britain's oldest working fridge?

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Made in England around the time of WWII, this remarkable fridge, owned by Jim Williamson of Hope Valley, Derbyshire, has been in constant use keeping food fresh ever since.

Bohle presents exciting new glass surface protection product

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There are many different surface protection products for glass and glazed ceramics available in the market, offering various degrees of protection. In reality, not all live up to the durable protective effect they promise. Moreover, application is often complicated and care problematical. With its new BriteGuard surface protection system, Manchester-based Bohle, is taking the first step in offering a new range of surface coating systems, setting what it says are completely new standards as far as application and durability are concerned.

Ellis Furniture celebrates new business gains

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Ellis Furniture is celebrating yet another round of successes after securing new kitchen furniture accounts including Napier Bathrooms and Interiors in Edinburgh, Marlin Interiors in Amesbury, Simply Bathrooms in Ripon and Basin Bath & Beyond of Chester, to name just four. The wins, which are a combination of new accounts and development of existing bathroom retailers into kitchens, come hot on the heels of a period of significant investment from the manufacturer.

IDS expands UK coverage with brand new showroom and warehouse at Norwich

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Surface materials distributor IDS has expanded its national network and opened the doors on its brand new Norwich showroom two weeks ago. With 224 sq m of floorspace, it is now one of the company's largest showrooms in the UK (it's located on Arms Park Road, Union Park, Norwich and the former site at Eversley Road has been closed).

IDS has had a showroom presence in the Norwich area for six years, servicing a varied customer base in the Norfolk area. Strong business growth, coupled with an expanding customer base and product portfolio, resulted in IDS looking for a larger site for the next stage in its development . The new site boasts a superb geographical location facilitating easy access for trade customers to visit, as well as fast road access for prompt deliveries in line with IDS's policy of 24-48 hours from stock.

Nolte joins EQ as supplier partner

World renowned kitchen manufacturer Nolte has joined EQ Software's ever growing list of major industry supplier partners. The German brand, established for over 50 years, is looking to appoint quality kitchen dealerships throughout the UK and has chosen EQ as one of the main marketing channels to get this message out.

Better information about lorry parking provision

It was good news this week for the many drivers from overseas, whose job it is to deliver KBB products and equipment into the UK, with a comprehensive report on the availability and use of lorry parking facilities in England published by Roads Minister Mike Penning.

Hansgrohe AG recognised as being amongst world's top in design

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Hansgrohe AG received its first prize for design in 1974. In the years that followed, several hundred awards have been added, so it's no surprise that since the introduction of the 'International Forum Design' (iF) corporate rankings in 2008, the German bathroom specialist has occupied a top position in this hit list of good design.

Apollo Blinds debuts its new made-to-measure Roman blind collection for Spring 2012.

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Apollo Blinds' latest made-to-measure Roman blind collection, which launches in Spring, includes some inspired designs.

Euroline becomes multi-award winning

Euroline Sales & Marketing, the sole UK specialist importer of the premium Italian kitchen appliance brands Barazza and Falmec, has celebrated much success at this year's Colchester Business Awards.

Franke shows off the marvellous Minerva 3-in-1 Kettle tap

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Following the huge success of the Minerva 3-in-1 Kettle tap, the Franke website now includes quick, clear videos showing exactly why this product has proved so popular in today's busy kitchen.

The five videos can be found by following a link directly from the company's home page.

Videos include making tea and coffee,and how the tap's safety handle works. The final video shows how easy it is to fit the tank behind a standard 150mm plinth; an attribute which has proved a real selling point.

T: 0161 436 6280
W: www.franke.co.uk

Welcome to the

Welcome to the first issue of KBzine for 2012 and a Happy New Year to all of you. We've had a slightly longer break than normal and a great deal has happened in the world in that time - much of it not good - so rather than reflect on it, let's get on with the news from the industry.

There are some bright spots amid the gloom, including the decision by Topps Tiles to continue with expansion plans despite tough trading conditions, and Mereway reaching the milestone 25 years. Our congratulations and best wishes for the future!



Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Trading tough at Topps but plans to expand continue

At Tuesday's Annual General Meeting of Topps Tiles, Michael Jack, Non-Executive Chairman announced that whilst trading conditions remain tough, the group is going ahead with its plans to open a further five stores this year.

"Trading conditions remained tough throughout our first quarter," he said. "Against this backdrop, like for like revenues across the first 13 weeks of the financial year decreased by 4.2%. In the context of the previously reported 6.9% like for like decline during the first seven weeks of this period we are assured by our performance over the quarter as a whole and encouraged by the progress made in the last six weeks' trading.

A slice of success for Mereway!

* Mereway-25b.jpgOne company celebrating despite the prevailing financial gloom is British kitchens and bathrooms manufacturer Mereway, proud still to be a family owned business after 25 years, and looking forward to a busy and successful 2012.

As part of the celebrations, the 220 strong workforce shared a specially baked kitchen-shaped cake to mark this special event in the company's history.

Leading organisations unite to demand Government tackles late payment

Several leading organisations have joined together to urge the Government to tackle the growing problem of late payment in order to help small firms survive, grow and drive economic recovery.

The industry bodies, including those representing UK-based suppliers, have written to the Business Minister, Mark Prisk, to call for a plan of action to address late payment, which decimates small firms' cash flow.

FilterFlow Taps from Franke come in five styles

* FilterFlow_Olympus_Handspray.jpgThe sophisticated range of FilterFlow taps from Franke has been designed to offer more choice to the consumer who wants a tap which dispenses hot, cold and filtered water. There are five options - Kubus, Olympus, Doric, Corinthian and Mini - and each is offered in a chrome or SilkSteel finish.

The Franke FilterFlow system separates water into different channels allowing the tap to dispense hot, cold, mixed or filtered variations via three levers. The system is protected by a robust stainless steel housing for reassuring durability.

Lakes Bathrooms moves to new premises

Continued growth for shower specialist Lakes Bathrooms has seen the company relocate to new, significantly larger premises. The move doubles the space to a total 60,000 square feet and consolidates its four existing Gloucestershire sites into one much larger head quarters.

Still based at Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, Lakes Bathrooms is now adjacent to the M5 motorway, in a modern, two storey building that combines mixed office and warehouse space. The new three acre site accommodates a showroom which displays a full range of the manufacturer's shower enclosures and associated products: the Coastline Collection, the Classic Collection, shower trays and the Safety and Comfort range.

Whirlpool's fridges add healthy trade-up opportunity for retailers

* Whirlpool-Nova-sbs-Refrigerator-Microban.jpgWhirlpool has partnered with Microban to develop an anti-bacterial refrigerator air filtration system to protect consumers' food from harmful bacteria.

All the air in a Whirlpool fridge passes through the high-tech Microban anti-bacterial filter. Microban is the world leader in anti-bacterial air filtration designed to reduce bacteria, odours and mould in the refrigerator. This ensures mould and odours cannot survive to cause a harmful build up of bacteria, which means Whirlpool's fridges stay hygienic for longer, offering the enterprising retailer a valuable sales tool.

BMA announces dates of 2012 conference

The Bathroom Manufacturers Association has announced that this year's Bathroom Conference will take place on 9th Otober at the Crowne Plaza, Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire.

"Don't miss this year's event which promises to be an early sell out," warns Yvonne Orgill, Chief Executive of the BMA. "Make a note in your diary!"

T: 01782 747123
E: [email protected]
W: www.bathroom-association.org

Hafele welcomes new product manager

* Hafele.jpgStrengthening its Product Management team, Hafele UK has appointed Tracy Bird-Hempstock as the new Product Manager, responsible for decorative handles, splashbacks, worktops, frontals and shelving.

Bringing with her 18 years of industry knowledge, Tracy will play a key role in the development and introduction of new products as well as support Area Sales Managers and Customers alike.

Hafele is an internationally established family business founded in 1923. As an innovator of functionality, Hafele is one of the leading international companies for the furniture industry, architects and planners, joinery and related trades supplying furniture fittings and architectural hardware as well as electronic locking systems in more than 150 countries worldwide.

W: www.hafele.co.uk

NKBA elects 2012 president & executive committee

The US National Kitchen & Bath Association has announced the election results for the 2012 NKBA Executive Committee, which will be led by 2012 President Alan W. Zielinski, CKD of Niles, IL.

John K. Morgan of Glyndon, MD will serve as President-Elect, while John A. Petrie, CMKBD of Mechanicsburg, PA becomes Vice President. Carolyn F. Cheetham, CMKBD of Red Deer, AB, Canada was elected Treasurer and Clay Lyon, CR has been elected to serve as the 2012 NKBA Secretary. David Alderman, CMKBD will serve as Immediate Past President.

Amica launches brand new built-in catalogue

* Amica.jpgAmica has launched a shiny new catalogue, which showcases its revitalised line-up of built-in ovens, hobs, hoods, microwaves, dishwashers and refrigeration appliances for the UK and Ireland in 2012.

Amica's brand new built-in catalogue bucks the A4 trend at a user-friendly 18 x 18cm and contains stand-out high-gloss product imagery as well as specifications, dimensions and feature explanations; all packed into an easy-to-read format on 46 neat little pages.

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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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

New project will give boost to manufacturing

A new Foresight project investigating the future of manufacturing out to 2050 was launched this week by Business Secretary Vince Cable.

Soapbox: The demand is there but the will to invest is not

Steve Macdonald, marketing director of Hoover Candy, shares his views on the pent-up consumer. He argues that the will and need for consumers to invest in new kitchens is there but unless the industry can make it comfortable to pay for their investment, they will remain 'pent -up'.

Mayor unveils strategy to deliver thousands of new homes and jobs for London

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There was great news for the KBB industry this week, when the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, unveiled ambitious plans to deliver 55,000 new affordable homes by 2015 with the potential to create over 100,000 jobs over the next four years.

UK mums dream of a white goods Christmas!

UK mums are dreaming of a white goods Christmas, according to money-saving site ILoveCashback.com

Top 10 Christmas searches at Britain's popular shopping site that combines price comparison, voucher codes and cashback, include the ever-helpful 'dishwasher', 'microwave' and even the good old 'refrigerator'!

Design takes centre stage in Government's drive for innovation and growth

Design is to play a central role in the Government's new Innovation & Research Strategy for Growth - unveiled recently by the Department of Business Innovation & Skills.

Hoover cooks up Britain's Best Dish

Hoover's ovens are proving to be a hit with a chef on Britain's Best Dish as he claimed the oven is as good as a professional oven when producing a winning meal on the programme.

Three new retailers join KBSA

The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has announced that three new quality retailers have joined as members. Bank Interiors with a showroom in Kenilworth, Osborne Interiors of Chiswick and S&T Kitchens in Berkshire.

Electrolux Design Lab announces 2012 theme: Design Experience

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Electrolux Design Lab's 10th Anniversary challenge to international design students is tied to Electrolux's professional heritage in a theme that stimulates all senses.


Symphony pledges support for retailers with New Year deal

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Furniture manufacturer Symphony is to launch a major price promotion in a bid to help retailers battle the recession.

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