KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
13th January 2017
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Assessing the washing machine, Which? noted that it is 'dead easy' to use; the testers also loved the 'large and clear digital display' and the wide door opening, which enables easier loading and unloading of large items, such as a duvet, and particularly commended the way in which the FSCR 10432 'kept washing and spinning noises to a minimum'.
With immediate effect all washbasin units and occasional units will have LED under unit mood lighting fitted as standard. This accent lighting offers subtle illumination below the unit, perfect for creating an atmosphere of subdued lighting or for use as low level lighting at night-time.
Waterwise and Ideal Standard commissioned a water usage report at the end of last year, the results of which, reveal that more of us are actively using less water - up to 88% of respondents in 2016 compared to 70% in 2015. Some of this was down to a major increase in the use of water-efficient appliances, such as taps, showers and washing machines, as we either try to keep a lid on our bills or simply don't like wasting water - or a mixture of both.
The news that 37% of those surveyed don't know how much water they use each day, suggests that those with a water meter, who can see how much water they are using and how, are more likely to be water savvy than those paying a fixed tariff. An encouraging 82% of those with a meter take steps to reduce water usage and thus save money, compared to just 30% of those with a set bill.
You can read the full report below, but in the meantime, here are some water-saving facts, of which we should all be aware and which we should share with customers who are buying anything that requires water...
* A running tap wastes over 6 litres/min * A dual flush toilet can save 7-9 litres each short flush * Don't try and flush cotton balls, wipes or make up tissues. As well as wasting water, you're likely to block your drains * Be aware that although a bath typically uses 80 litres, a power-shower may actually use more, so a shower is not always the better option. An inch less depth can save five litres while a shower timer can save loads more * Low flow aerated showerheads reduce water usage but not the shower's power (or a tap's) * If a dishwasher isn't going to be fully loaded every time, then it's probably too big for the household's needs * Experiment with different settings on the dishwasher and washing machine, for perfect results using minimal water and energy * Soak vegetables in a bowl and use a lid while cooking - and remember not to overfill that kettle! * Save around 10 litres a day by refrigerating drinking water rather than running the tap until it runs cold
The survey shows we're making headway, but there's still a lot more we can do and I can't help but think that a water meter clearly focuses the mind!
This Week's News
"The recent and sad demise of Betta Living got me thinking about the future of the independent kitchen and bathroom specialists in the UK. Betta Living was a national retail chain, and with its closure, there is an argument that this could lead to an increase in business for independent retailers, but I am not so sure this will actually happen. Why? Some independent retailers are just not good enough.
Consumer expectations have significantly risen over recent years, and many independent retailers have been left behind. So much so that in some quarters of the national media there is a debate about whether the independent retailer is still relevant.
The Kitchen, Bathroom, Bedroom Specialists Association has appointed Optima Graphic Design Consultants to design, host and develop the KBSA website - and Optima has wasted no time in refreshing the site, refocusing its priorities and delivering phase one quickly and efficiently - including a minor brand refresh.
"It is key to us that we deliver increased leads for its members, more consumer awareness of the KBSA and a bigger KBSA family that can pick up the leads in areas where there are few or no members," explains Optima managing director Simon Shaw. "We need to make everything work as hard as possible, everything needs to be right so the brand refresh was really important."
There's a new design movement sweeping through homes. First it was the feature wall; then it was all about the ceiling. Now it's the 'fifth wall'; floors that demand serious attention. Gone are the days of plain surfaces without personality, today's floors are much more visually exciting with ceramic tiles now delivering the wow factor.
Tapping into the trend for the 'fifth wall', the House of British Ceramic Tile has introduced three new ranges to its Feature Floors collection - Henry, Alfred and Distinction. Launched to provide retailers and consumers with something different, these latest ceramic tiles offer an inspiring range of designs from opulent marble effects through to traditional geometric patterns.
According to a new report commissioned by Amicus Commercial Finance, well over half (61%) of invoices issued by UK small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) remain unpaid within the debtor day period. Of these, almost three-quarters (70%) of firms say they rely on getting paid during their debtor day period to avoid facing a shortage of working capital.
The research shows that one in six (16%) SME invoices remains unpaid after 90 days and of these, almost half (7%) have yet to be settled after six months.
Utopia Bathrooms has announced a new partnership with Davroc, specialist distributor to the bathroom retailer. For almost 30 years Davroc has selected and provided well-known quality brands for many of the UK's leading bathroom retailers.
The new partnership will mean Utopia's Origins range can be offered to Davroc's network of over 1500 customers. This fills a gap in Davroc's portfolio enabling the company to offer a bigger choice of furniture at faster lead times to a wider group of customers.
Last year saw a major increase in consumer use of water efficient appliances, including taps, showers and washing machines, as Britain's savvy shoppers look to safeguard their spending against rising household bills - that's according to a report commissioned by Ideal Standard and Waterwise*.
The survey undertaken at the end of the year found that there has been an 18% increase in the number of British adults actively taking action when it comes to addressing water saving, up to 88% of respondents in 2016 compared to 70% in 2015.
The Euronics exclusive Blomberg built-in slimline dishwasher, the LDVS2284, has been awarded a sought after 'Best Buy' rating from Which?, as well as being given an 'Energy Saver' label. The appliance impressed the testing team for its cleaning and drying standards, and for being 'very energy efficient'.
Considered and creative, YouBoXx is incredibly versatile enabling consumers to customise their storage to ensure maximum usable space and effortless ease of access. The system is available to suit both base units and larders, so brings benefits across multiple configurations of cabinets.
Why not persuade your customers that to go 'off the rails' could be as clever as observing Dry January, if they upgrade their next towel warmer to a stylish heating solution that makes the best use of space and heat in the bathroom?
Offering a desirable double-dose of contemporary heating design, Aestus introduces the Cluster and Bohemia towel warmers, both featured as part of its highly versatile Contemporary Collection of towel warmers.
Central to the campaign was a radio broadcast with independent sleep practitioner, educator and environment analyst James Wilson, aka the Sleep Geek. During the radio interviews, which aired on 33 stations around the country to more than four million listeners, the Sleep Geek used results of a Geberit survey into people's sleeping habits to offer tips on reducing night time disturbance.
Staff and management at Wilsonart UK have beaten an impressive target of £6,000, to raise £6,592 for Macmillan Cancer Support during 2016 - its 60th year. To commemorate the company's 60th anniversary, Wilsonart UK aimed to raise £1,000 for every 10 years in business.
Activities throughout the year included a 170-mile bike ride undertaken by Wilsonart UK employees and customers from IDS and Benchmarx. Cake sales and bake days throughout the year also helped smash the amazing total.
Following Amica's acquisition of CDA in December 2015, the Amica UK business has been successfully transferred to CDA's impressive facility in Langar, Nottinghamshire. Amica sales, marketing and customer service operations, along with the UK's comprehensive stockholding, have been relocated.
David Vincent remains as national account manager and is joined by Steve Stroud, formerly of Samsung and then Viking Appliances, as the national account manager for distribution. Amica and CDA marketing will be headed by Steve Corbett.
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As part of the ongoing commitment to support its dealer network, Duravit announced that new training dates are now available to book for 2017.
The company supplies well-known brands such as Blum, Mistral, Finsa, Egger, Reginox and Vetreo, so has a broad appreciation of how the market is performing and an accurate insight into retailer sentiment.
With new design trends and concepts from Europe hitting the UK high street, Daval has seen the British furniture market open up to a new set of interior furniture solutions for the modern homeowner.
Four-in-10 (38%) small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) have suffered cashflow problems over the past two years, according to new research by Amicus Commercial Finance, the specialist lender of flexible working capital to SMEs. The figure rises to two-thirds (65%) among medium-sized firms with between 50 and 250 staff.