Built-in appliance manufacturer Neff has announced the winners of its third Master Partner Awards, this year held at The Natural History Museum in London. The event, which was hosted by TV celebrity Vernon Kay, saw nine awards presented to Neff dealers, including new categories for the Best Window Display and MasterPartner with the most creative and innovative Marketing Plan, which was awarded a £10,000 bursary.
The winner of the Supreme MasterPartner Award was presented to Kitchen Design Centre of Blackburn, Colne and Manchester, while winner of the Showroom Award was Denmore Kitchen and Bedroom Studio in Aberdeen. The winner of the inaugural Advertising & Marketing Grant Award was Two Guys Kitchens of Basingstoke in Hampshire and the winner of the Best Advertising and Marketing Award is The Kitchen Showroom of Sudbury in Suffolk.
Winners ofthe best kitchen design using Neff for up to £20,000 and over £20,000 were Ebstone Kitchens of Ealing in London and Colliers of Worthing in West Sussex, respectively. The Best Window Display was presented to Kitchen & Bathroom Technique of Wolverhampton, while the winner of Best Newcomer Award was Kitchen Matters of Milton Keynes.
Completing the award-winning line-up was The Kitchen Company of Uxbridge, who scooped the Anniversary Award. In addition, Neff dealers across the UK recently took part in the ‘World’s biggest coffee morning, to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. In total, 68 events were organised, raising £14,000.
Ideal Standard conclude sale of Middlewich site:
Ideal Standard International has concluded the sale of its Middlewich production site. The site has been acquired by Ours Sanitary Ware (Imperial Bathrooms) and as part ofthe deal, they will take over the land, building and equipment at the site.
It is not yet known whether the 249 jobs lost, will be restored by Imperial Bathrooms. A spokesperson for Ideal Standard commented: “We didn’t sell the site with employees to guarantee their jobs because at the time conversations were opened with Imperial Bathrooms, it was not clear that this was a credible or feasible option.”
Managing director of Imperial Bathrooms, H.J. Klomp commented: “With the acquisition of manufacturing facility in Middlewich, the Imperial Bathrooms Group have launched their presence in the UK market. Through its subsidiary Ours Sanitary Ware, it will re-start the facility over the next few months, leading to a total of about 150 jobs by May 2012. This deal will restore a manufacturing facility and many employment opportunities in a community that has served this business site for many geneiations.”
Ideal Standard has blamed worsening market conditions and a parallel trend of the demand for fewer ceramic pieces in bathrooms. Since 2008, ldeal Standard has implemented a series of measures including reduced working hours, but it forecasts that ceramic sales in 2012 will not show a return to ‘pre- crisis levels’ in 2012.
Between 2007 and 2010, the construction and renovation market in Europe is said to have dropped by 19% in value and by 16.8% in the UK. The market for sanitary ware in Europe is thought to have decreased by 23% in terms of volume and by 30.7% in the UK between 2007 and 2010. The Development lndustrialisation centre located in Middlewich has relocated to Rugeley, with a small number ofjobs created.