Neff has announced a promotion for its range of appliances, allowing consumers to purchase a dishwasher for half price. Consumers need to buy four Neff appliances from a MasterPartner or Accredited Appliance Retailer and it will entitle them to a half price dishwasher. The promotion runs until June 30,2013.
Trade organisation the KBSA (Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association) has welcomed back three previous members. Sink and tap manufacturer Franke, alongside design software supplier ArtiCAD have rejoined the association as corporate members. In addition, award-winning showroom JS Geddes has returned as a retail member.
BSH Customer Service now offers a 24-hour a day, 7-days a week telephone service for its Bosch, Neff and Siemens appliance customers. It already offers a 24-hour online booking service for engineer visits and provides round the clock online retailing for accessories and replacement parts. Now BSH customers can call an advisor to report a fault 24/7 which the company says recognises the importance of home appliances in family life and to get them back in use, as soon as possible.
German bathroom manufacturer Roman Dietsche has become the latest recruit to join the BMA (Bathroom Manufacturers Association). The company manufactures ceramics, baths, brassware, accessories and showers for the domestic and commercial markets. lts UK offices in Tipton, West Midlands, provides technical, sales and after-sales resources for its customer base.
KA Distribution has established a partnership with Kohler to stock its entire range of stainless steel, ceramic and cast iron sinks, as well as its premium tap collection. Held at its warehouse in Preston, Lancashire KA Distribution will support Kohler’s UK kitchen business particularly across the Northern regions. lt joins the existing distribution network which includes The Kitchen Sink Company, Sterling Distribution and Showtime Essential Kitchen Products.
STOP PRESS… Pura Bathrooms has been named Cemco Bathroom Supplier of the Year. It is the second year that the company has been awarded the honour.
With the continuing move towards open plan kitchens, hoods have moved further up the design agenda. The need for the kitchen to also act as a living space, sees the environment needing to be steam free, grease free and preferably odourless, to prevent aromas seeping into other areas of the home. Although it’s unlikely extraction will top the wish list of oven and hob appliances, particularly those concealed behind a doom designer styles are beginning to feature quite highly on it.
Geoffrey Baken chairman of Air Uno, which supplies Faber hoods, comments: “The cookerhood used to be an afterthought, but now it is an essential appliance.” And Bill Miller: sales and marketing director of ATAG, agrees: “When planning a kitchen, the hood will be considered as an individual item alongside the oven and hob.”
Now consumers are paying more consideration to product selection, does this necessarily mean they are becoming more knowledgeable about the appliances? Certainly sales and marketing director of De Dietrich Kitchen Appliances, Richard Walker believes they have a greater understanding of design: “Judging by what many of our retail customers tell us, many potential kitchen purchasers have a very clear idea of what they are looking for before they enter a showroom. They undertake advance research using magazines and the web and therefore tend to be aware of the different types of hood available on the market.”
And Bill Millen of ATAG, backs up his view: “GeneraIIy, consumers know what look they want for their kitchen, and they know which appliance will help them to achieve this. They research more, and will have something in mind when they come to the showroom…Also they will be well aware if they require a hood to stylishly blend into their kitchen design or whether it’s a big design statement.”
Divided design choice
And that seems to be how the market is divided, between those who want extraction on show or those who want concealed extraction. Geoffrey Baker of Air Uno comments: “People tend to fall into two camps…they either like seeing their gadgets and even want to show them off or they think that technology should be discreet and concealed.”
And brand manager of Falmec, at UK importer Euroline Sales & Marketing, Fiona Scott agrees, adding: “The proportion of focal to discreet cooker hoods that we sell is almost 50:50, so the ‘see it’ or ‘lose it’ mentality has not disappeared; the consumer either wants to make a focal point ofthe hood or for it to integrate seamlessly with the overall design ofthe kitchen. Anything inbetween these two mentalities, like the standard ‘t shape’ extractor for example, loses the interest of consumers.”
Lost in technology
But while consumers are clued up on styling, most industry experts agree that design is where consumers’ knowledge ends. |t’s likely that they don’t understand the technologies behind the looks, or the extraction requirements of their kitchen. Kerry Ferguson of LuxAir says: “The majority of consumers know very little about extraction and rely heavily on the kitchen designers to find the product that best fits their needs.” And Simona Bara, product marketing manager of built-in at Whirlpool, agrees: “lx/lost consumers have no idea of what is happening in the cooker hood market place, or the new technology and functionality that a modern cooker hood has until the time comes round to buy! Then the consumer researches avidly, deciding on their design, the aesthetics, material and colour they require. But that is about as far as they can go.” And Mike larrett, sales director for Neff, adds: “| don’t think that consumers actively consider the extractor’s features and benefits when buying, as opposed to the aesthetics of the appliance. If they did, they would hopefully be looking at why they need a hood in the first place i.e. to remove grease and odours and refresh the environment- and then buy a model that best fulfils these aims, rather than choosing on looks alone”.
Ducted is desirable
Savvy kitchen designers and retailers will use their product knowledge of cooker hood technology to find the most appropriate model and encourage clients to trade up. Although the market is tough, if the hood can be shown to be value for money, consumers will spend more. In fact, Fiona Scott of Euroline Sales & Marketing says she has found this in her sales figures: “ln the past year; we have seen a good demand for higher specification products with the average order spend up.”
As a starting point, marketing director of Hoover Candy Steve Macdonald suggests retailers and designers ask how consumers tend to cook. He says: “Start talking to consumers about how much cooking and what kind of cooking they do.” lt should help enable a designer or retailer to gauge how much ventilation is required and whether an extraction or recirculation hood is needed.
Fiona Scott takes it one step further; when she says: “PeopIe must be encouraged to duct, where possible, to get the most from their extractor; and the enthusiastic cook who utilises a number of pans at once, creating a lot of steam, is likely to find a recirculating model ineffective. So designers should always upsell to a model that can be ducted. Also it’s essential they don’t compromise on a powerful motor for looks, where motor size can be upgraded, it should be.”
But Mike Jarrett of Neff issues a word of warning: “Consumers may understand the concept of extraction rates, but have no means to compare or understand what the measurement actually means. So they are left to assume ‘the more the better’ which is not necessarily true. As a result, many hoods are incorrectly specified and customers wonder why they end up with models with high noise levels when the appliance is in use.”
Noise can annoy
Kitchen retailers and designers are key to helping consumers with all the elements required for correct specification of a hood. Since cooking now takes place in a more social area, it is preferable for the hood to operate at low noise levels. Mike Jarrett of Neff says: “RetaiIers are key to getting extraction right. They should explain to consumers what the critical issues are for hoods and what the ‘pay off’ between extraction rate and noise can be.”
And Steve Macdonald of Hoover Candy says talk about noise levels in ways the consumer can understand: “RetaiIers (and designers) can help by providing consumers with the decibel rating of models and how they equate to everyday sounds, so customers can get a real sense ofjust how quiet the new generation of hoods are.” Perimeter aspiration of a cooker hood combines performance with low noise levels. But also ease of use, such as automatic sensors and remote operation can make sales more attractive.
Filtering the facts
But Steve Macdonald points out that before final selection, retailers and designers should make consumers aware of the after-sales care to keep them happy with their purchase. He points out: “Most consumers do not even realise that hoods need cleaning, notjust a wipe down of the surface, but removal and washing of the filters. Most extractor models now feature aluminium filters that can be removed and put into the dishwasher, this needs to be done every 3-4 months. For recirculating models, the charcoal filters cannot be washed, only replaced, and need changing every 3-6 months.”
It’s important to get up to speed with the latest in cooker hood design and technologies, not only to help guide the consumer but to encourage them to spend on higher ticket items. With no sign of the trend for open plan kitchens abating, cooker hood sales will continue to grow in importance. So make sure you suck them up!
Croydex has introduced Flexi Fix, a range of accessories that can be screwed or glued to the wall. The designs all feature an X plate, which allows the accessories to be fitted using existing drill holes or wall-mounted with adhesive. Flexi Fix is available across eight designs, all spanning a toilet roll holder, towel ring, soap dish and holder, tumbler and holder, towel rail. shelfand robe hook.
Neff Series 5 gas-on-glass hob (T69F76) measures 900mm and has five burners, including a dual control 6kw burner. lt features flame safety automatic re-ignition and residual heat indicators. ln addition, the T69F76 has a QuickStop function, child safety lock and electronic ignition.
Expanding its TV Box offering, S-Box has added an integrated DVD player to its existing 19″ HD LED flat screen with Freeview. The TV Box pops up when firmly touched and can be pushed back down and out of sight when not in use. The top of the TV Box is finished in stainless steel, however it can be ordered as an under-surface mounted option, to allow the top to match a granite or worksurface material.
Chartley has strengthened its sales team with the appointment of John Timson as business development manager. He joins the company from the Masco Group, having previously held sales positions at both Bristan and Moores Furniture Group. Timson’s remit at Chartley is to create further awareness of the range of showers, taps and accessories with retailers, interior designers and architects.
Neff has promoted Richard Gilbert to regional manager of its newly-created Central and West of England sales region. Gilbert has worked as an area business manager for the company for over 10 years and successfully achieved 120% of his target in 2010. Prior to joining Neff he worked for another major group as part of its training and sales teams, as well as in the major electrical retailer sector in his early career.
Re-inforcing its leadership team, Ideal Standard International has appointed Alex de Courcy as its sales director for the UK. He joins the company from 3M Consumer & Retail Markets, where he held the position of sales and marketing director for the UK and Ireland. De Courcy brings with him a wealth of experience within the FMCG industry, previously heading the UK grocery business unit at Twinings, as well as roles at Mars.
SieMatic agent, Sable Interiors has announced the appointment of Martin Brown as senior kitchen designer within its kitchen department. His role at Sable will cover the co- ordination and management of its prestigious kitchen projects. Brown will be responsible for ensuring the highest quality of design, product and customer service is achieved for each and every client. Sable believes the arrival of Rrnum will contribute to its on-going success.
Jason Granville has been appointed as regional sales manager for the South at Reginox UK. In his new role, Granville will be responsible for building on the company’s retail customer base, as well as increasing brand awareness in the South East and Home Counties. He will also be maintaining and developing relationships with existing customers across the region. Granville brings with him extensive industry experience, having previously worked for William Ball and RIBA.
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.
Neff has introduced an entry-level induction hob, the T43E20, with four power zones. lt shares power across the zones and has a maximum outputof 4600W, compared to Neff’s usual 7200W. It measures 600mm and features electronic touch control operation, with a child safety lock and safety cut out feature.
Stoves has extended its mini range collection with the Sterling aesthetic. The 600mm. Sterling is available in all fuel options, including gas, electric, dual fuel and with an induction hob. It offers 59 litres of cooking capacity in its main oven, plus boasts a top oven with grill.
Built-in appliance manufacturer Neff will be holding its MasterPartner Excellence Awards at the Natural History Museum in London, on October 8, hosted by TV and radio star Vernon Kay. He will be presenting awards for best MasterPartner showroom; best window display; best use of advertising and marketing; best kitchen design using Neff (up to £20,000 and over £20,000) and a long service anniversary award.
In addition, an award for the best MasterPartner area business manager from the 14 strong Neff sales team will also be given out on the night. This year; there is a monetary Award for a £l0,000 Bursary Grant for the MasterPartner entering the most innovative marketing plan for 2011/2012. The three finalists for this award are Anglia Factors of Ipswich, lD Kitchens of Warrington and Two Guys Kitchens of Basingstoke.
The Supreme MasterPartner will also be announced on the night, and the three contenders are James James Kitchens of West Kirby on the Wirral, Kitchen Design Centre of Blackburn, Colne and Manchester and Two Guys Kitchens of Basingstoke. Neff sales director Mike Jarrett commented on the entrants: “The calibre of entrants for the 2011 awards were exceptional, confirming the exceptionally high quality and professionalism of our valued MasterPartners. The judging panel has had a very difficult but rewarding task, this year; so we are all looking forward to announcing the worthy winners.”
Many kitchen companies entered the 20l0 Neff Master Partner Excellence Awards. All of Neff’s kitchen specialist MasterPartners were invited to submit entries for the awards. The Awards span the categories of Supreme Master Partner, Best Showroom, Best Newcomer, Best use of Advertising and Marketing and Best Kitchen Design using Neff, which is split into two categories of under £15,000 and over £15,000.
The awards are designed to give Neff the opportunity to recognise the high standards of design, customer service and product knowledge of their MasterPartners and consequently give consumers even more confidence when choosing a Neffdealer. Dealers will be invited to submit entries for the 2011 Neff MasterPartner Excellence Awards between May and july, this yean At the 2011 Awards, Neff is introducing a brand new Award – the MasterPartner Annual Advertising Grant. To win this Award, Neff MasterPartners will have to explain how they would plan to spend £10,000, over a year, on advertising and marketing Neff business via their company. The most comprehensive and forward-thinking plan to drive Neff business in their locality will be awarded a grant of £l0,000, for the year, towards their own advertising and marketing.
Hannah Groves, Neff brand manager, said: “We hope that this new Award will encourage even more Neff MasterPartner dealers to enter the Neff Excellence Awards this year. All the Awards bring their own kudos, as previous winners like Ramsbottom Kitchens have found – so it is definitely well worth the preparation involved in entering.”
Built – in appliance manufacturer Neff has named its top retailers at its recent Excellence Awards for Master Partners. The Awards were presented in six categories at Claridges in London, with BBC News journalist Kate Silvertone hosting the event. Ramsbottom Kitchen Company of Ramsbottom in Lancashire was presented the prestigious title of Supreme Master Partner.
IKSA Kitchen Design Centre carried away the trophy for best Master Partner Showroom, while Dobsons in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, won the Best Use of Advertising & Marketing Award. The winners of the Best Kitchen Design using Neff appliances for up to £15K and over £15K were Development Director of Edinburgh and James James Kitchens of West Kirby in Cheshire, respectively. The winner of the Best Newcomer Award was presented to In-toto Kitchens Teddington in Middlesex. Sales director of Neff Mike jarrett commented: “These Awards are all about recognising those who excel at being first class in every aspect of their business with Neff. We have looked at all areas of trading – including customer service, showroom quality, enthusiasm of staff and kitchen displays – to identify these six worthy winners whom we are proud to call our partners” Parent Company of Neff BSH Home Appliances has also supported the industry at grassroots level having employed three interns following the introduction of an apprenticeship scheme.