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The Magazine of The Electrical Goods Industry


CE ACCESSORIES Margins on many primary Consumer Electronics items are wafer-thin, and retailers are finding that, with a bit of encouragement, the supporting cast of accessories can step up and become stars. George Cole investigates

THE GREEN ROOM Garment care technology has transformed the prosaic home laundry processes into an exciting prospect for both consumers and retailers. Convenience, energy saving and the release of leisure time are the 21st. century aspirations, and modern appliances are delivering

FROM THE BENCH Electrical product safety is a huge current issue in the UK, and it’s in everyone’s interests to minimise the risk of fires associated with domestic appliances. In the first of a two-part series, Alan Bennett looks at some of the potential hazards – and how to minimise them

GEORGE COLE GETS CONNECTED Security in the brave new world of IoT. How good is it, how can consumer confidence be improved, and what’s the case for industrywide security standards? George Cole examines the prospects

OLED T V Like No O t he r The World’s Number One OLED TV Brand Billion Rich Colours

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PRODUCT GALLERY What’s new, what’s fresh and what’s out there in electrical and electronic appliances






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INSIDE... 04 Editorial Comment 06 The Word

In and around the industry



George Cole Gets Connected


Product Gallery


The Green Room

Sony’s SRS XB10 delivers rugged big-sound capability on the go

Editor in Chief: Marlinda Conway Telephone: 01420 886 33

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IoT is “the next big thing,” but security is a worry. Can the industry come up with some credible common standards and give consumers more confidence? PLUS: Goodbye, iPod - and hello digital radio switchover in the UK?

Home Laundry has long ceased to be a tedious and time-consuming chore, with today’s appliances created to take responsibility for garment care, release valuable time and reduce water and energy consumption. GC investigates what’s new, and what’s likely to be next

22 CE Accessories

The humble supporting cast of CE accessories have become stars as retailers help consumers to love the addons and go where the best margins are. George Cole looks at the new stars of CE and finds out how retailers can make the best of the margins they offer in a harsh retail environment

26 From the Bench

Electrical appliance fires are more than ever in the news, causing both human tragedies and long-term damage to our industry’s reputation. Alan Bennett looks at some ways in which fire risks can be minimised





Apparently, the future of retail is, in some circles, being talked about in terms of a transition from “creepy” to “cool.”

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about how quickly shoppers are accepting retail technology – such as face recognition, now adopted in-store by many retailers to track how individual customers shop, to design better store layouts, to trigger personalised offers in certain areas of the store and to deliver a “tailored retail experience.” What they used to think was creepy, they are now seeing as cool. A survey this year by RichRelevance, a company specialising in “omnichannel personalisation for retailers,” has found that 80% of UK consumers now feel it’s OK to share more data about themselves if it “improves customer experiences”; some 50% no longer find personalised data gathering technology “creepy”; and the proportion who see it as “cool” has trebled to around 30% since 2015. Among the “coolest” retail technologies, as ranked by consumers in the UK, France, Germany and the US, are: fingerprint scanning allowing shoppers to pay for their purchases; interactive changing room mirrors that can suggest appropriate additions to the “look”; robots that guide shoppers to products in-store; contactless shopping, where customers are charged just by leaving the store. In fact, Amazon is trialling a store where face recognition cameras register what customers pick up, and charge them electronically via an app. No checkouts. No human interaction. You pay by just walking out. It may be a generation thing, but some of that does feel as if it’s bordering on the creepy. Where, as a retailer, is your frontier between creepy and cool? And, more to the point, where, using your professional experience, is the frontier for your customer base? It’s foolish to take the Luddite view and refuse to invest in the clear benefits technology can deliver. But replacing the entire human-to-human interaction with an algorithm based on electronic surveillance and behavioural data analysis may still be a negation of what shops are all about. “Contactless” seems to be the defining word. It’s making shopping in stores more like shopping on the Internet. And while it makes a lot of sense to




co-ordinate and “brand” the online and in-store experiences you offer your customers, when “omnichannel personalisation” starts to mean the opposite of personal, it’s a worry. It is certainly a very long way from the “dust the shelves, wear a tie, know your products, comb your hair, eat a mint, use a deodorant” advice that used to be the staple of sales training in our industry (nostalgic for those retra Conferences back in the day?) The ideal of the helpful retailer who’s formed a relationship with the customer saying: “I recognise you; I’ve learned what you like; let me show you the things I believe you might want to buy” is still attractive to some, but perhaps we’re moving into a society designed to minimise human contact, and shopping on the Internet is the ideal way to get what you want without having to talk to anybody. Perhaps people are coming to prefer an algorithm that knows them to a human. It works for AO. It works for Amazon. Finding how much data about you is held in the electronic databanks of the world can be an interesting exercise. Try what I call “winding up Amazon.” I looked at a Marshall amplifier on Amazon a few weeks ago. Amazon started sending me email recommendations of Marshall – and other – amplifiers. I made a point of clicking on the Marshall amp I wanted, and looking at all the specs in detail, every time I got that “recommendation.” The more I did that, the more Amazon was desperate not to miss out on the buying decision I was clearly on the brink of making. The Marshall started turning up in ads on blogs I follow, and on other internet sites I regularly use. I will eventually buy that amp, but I’ll enjoy winding up the Amazon algorithm in the meantime. The only downside is that I suspect it hasn’t got a sense of humour. Retailers really must look very closely at the technology that’s there to help them, and make decisions about what’s creepy and what’s cool for them and their customers. It makes sense, and it’s the future. But do be discriminating in your choices. And, above all, remember that the creepiest thing of all is trying to be cool.

Marlinda Conway Editor in Chief

Terry Heath Editorial & Publishing Director

Will Dobson Creative Director

James McIntosh Consumer Consultant

George Cole Consumer Electronics Consultant

Database independently audited by Firgrove Consultancy. Average net 10 issues: 5,927 Mar 2012 – Feb 2013










The British Retail Consortium has warned that retailers are facing a £280 million rise in rates from next April as Retail Price Inflation has shot upwards due to rising food prices.


he run up to autumn and the prospect of a new school term provided a welcome pickup in retail sales during August. Like-for-like sales increased by 1.3% year on year, while total sales grew 2.4% against a decline of 0.3% in August 2016, iven that the rate of inflation accelerated to 3.9% in which translated into the poorest performance of the year. August, September’s RPI is likely to be at least “Despite the ongoing challenges for the industry, 4% the BRC believes. The increase will push up retailers achieved reasonable growth in August, which business rates for retailers across the nation. “Nearly one is positive news for the industry. Even non-food Tom Ironside, Director of Business Regulation categories experienced an uptick – a welcome at the BRC, said: “It is highly questionable in every 10 shops relief given the poor performance recently,” said whether communities across the UK can currently lies vacant, afford a spike in business rates of this Don Williams, Retail Partner at KPMG. and those in economically Over the three months to August, like-for-like scale, and any resulting loss of commercial vulnerable communities sales of non-food products increased 0.6% and investment will contribute to fewer shops total sales rose 0.9%, above the 12-month total and fewer jobs. in particular remain average growth of 0.6%. “Nearly one in every 10 shops currently persistently empty, Chief Executive of the British Retail lies vacant, and those in economically limiting the chances Consortium Helen Dickinson noted however that vulnerable communities in particular remain non-food sales have only just recovered to the levels persistently empty, limiting the chances for for these places seen two years ago, after a dismal August in 2016. these places to thrive. to thrive.” Online sales of non-food products grew 11.0%, above “With the economy slowing, consumer spending both the 3-month and 12-month averages of 9.8% and facing headwinds, and retailers responding to 8.8% respectively, while the penetration rate increased from profound changes in shopping habits, the prospect of a 21.0% in August 2016 to 21.6%. further investment-sapping tax rise of this magnitude is deeply In the 3-month timeframe, in-store sales declined 1.4% on a worrying and will only serve to make life tougher for high streets.” total basis and 1.9% like-for-like. Ironside added that the Government should “knock on the head any notion of a bumper rise in rates next spring” and work with the retail industry and business to put the rates system on a more affordable and sustainable footing.



ricks & mortar retail received another blow in August as footfall dropped 1.2% against the previous year. High street footfall fell 2.6% following a 2.1% decline in July, while visitors to shopping centres fell by 0.8%. Retail parks again recorded a year-on-year increase, with a rise of 1.6%. According to Diane Wehrle, Springboard Marketing and Insights Director, at least part of the reason for the more subdued footfall was a rise in online activity, in terms of both value and volume. Online sales rose by 11% – the biggest rise this year and significantly up on the 6.2% last August




and the 8.3% increase in July 2017. The uplift in online sales volumes, at 8.7%, was a third higher than the 5.5% recorded in July. “In part, the rise in online activity will have been a result of much cooler rainy weather this August than in 2016, which undoubtedly discouraged some shopping trips,” said Wehrle. “However, it is also a function of increasing inflationary pressures driving consumers online in a search for lower prices, which is likely to only become more significant as inflation continues to increase its bite on household budgets.”



onsumer confidence rallied in August following a downturn in July that matched 2016’s post-Brexit low. GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index increased two points to -10, with all five measures used to gauge public sentiment increasing. Joe Staton, Head of Market Dynamics at GfK, said: “We’re seeing an uptick in August among consumers when reviewing their personal financial situation for both the past and next 12 months, as well as a slight improvement in views about the general economic situation of the country as a whole.” Staton added that the figures must be seen against the backdrop of better news on inflation, public finances, jobs and growth prospects as the UK economy displays some signs of stability after a volatile start to the year. He acknowledged, however, that the Index has a lot of ground to regain to get back into the black. The major stumbling block for the UK is the measure for the general economic situation of the country. Although the index showed a rise of one point in consumer sentiment, both looking back over the last 12 months and forward over the coming 12 months, the measures stand at -30 and -27 respectively.





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he number of Britons changing their spending habits to cut down on household expenses has hit its highest level for two years, according to survey by research company Nielsen. More than half (53%) admitted to taking cost-cutting measures in the second quarter of this year – the highest level since Q2 2015. This latest figure is in stark contrast to last year, when cost-cutting hit the

lowest level on record (40%) two months after the Brexit vote. Immediately before the Brexit vote, the UK was the second most confident country in Europe (behind Denmark) – now it’s the ninth, according to Nielsen. The report also reveals that 45% of people think the country is in recession, and 55% of these consumers think this will last for at least another year.

Steve Smith, managing director, Nielsen UK and Ireland, said shopping behaviours are changing in a way that is reminiscent of the aftermath of the financial crisis. “A variety of factors has contributed to people tightening their purse strings,” he commented. “The pound’s weakness against both the dollar and the euro is finally feeding through to shop prices, which means real inflation

is running at over 2.5%. In turn, this remains ahead of general wage growth and, consequently, real household disposable income is being squeezed.” Switching to cheaper grocery brands, saving on gas and electricity, delaying upgrading technology products and replacing major household items were amongst the measures included in Nielsen’s list of cost-cutting activities.



hares in Dixons Carphone fell by a third after the retailer said that its profits for 2017/18 would be in the region of £360m to £440m, down from £501m last year. While the company reported a good performance in electricals in the UK & Ireland, Nordics and Greece, it said it was facing challenging conditions in the UK mobile phone market. “Currency fluctuations have meant that handsets have become more expensive whilst technical innovation has been more incremental. As a consequence, we have seen an increased number of people hold on to their phones for longer, and while it is too early to say whether important upcoming handset launches or the natural lifecycle of phones will reverse this trend, we now believe it is prudent to plan on the basis that the overall market demand will not correct

itself this year,” said Group Chief Executive Seb James. The company also expects to be hit by the scrapping of EU roaming charges for those using their phones abroad, estimating the net negative effect will be in the range of £10m to £40m. In a trading statement for the 13 weeks ended 29th July, the retailer said it continues to trade well in all geographic markets, with like-forlike sales up 6% across the Group. “It is good to see this performance from our UK electrical business, particularly against the Euros football championship last year, as well as strong sales from our Nordic and Greek businesses,” said James. “In all of these markets we have seen growth in revenues, market share and profitability, with overall product margins remaining flat in electricals.”



lovenian appliance manufacturer Gorenje reported a 7.3% rise in revenues for the first half of 2017 and more than doubled its net profit against the same period last year. The €623.9m revenue generated represented 47.4% of the company’s annual plan. Revenue achieved by Domestic Appliances amounted to €508.2m, 3.1% more than in the first half of 2016. EBITDA, at €40.6m, showed a

comparable improvement of 12.1%. The Group generated a profit of €4.4m – 111.8% more than in the same period last year. The largest sales growth in domestic appliances was recorded in the markets outside Europe (29.1% growth). In Europe, the greatest growth was in the Western markets of Benelux (2.7%), and those in Eastern Europe (4.9%), where a higher contribution to margin was achieved.



iss-based distributor Midwich has taken a majority stake in Gebroeders van Domburg B.V., a specialist distributor of audio visual and lighting solutions in the Netherlands whose particular

strength is in the large format display market. The Company distributes key AV brands such as Samsung, NEC and AMX, and its transport division has in-house warehousing and

transportation capabilities based in Rotterdam. Midwich will acquire a majority stake from the two joint Managing Directors, with the option to acquire the remaining shares

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over the next three years. The company’s Managing Directors will continue to be responsible for the management of the business, and will remain in their current positions.



















BHS stores in Great Britain remain unoccupied a year after the retailer’s scandalous collapse. The firm’s demise, described as a tale of “leadership failure and personal greed”, cost 11,000 jobs and left 20,000 members of its pension scheme fearing for their future. BHS had 160 stores. According to research carried out by the Local Data Company, four of those stores have been demolished, 35 have deals or planning permission pending, leaving 96 with no plans for future occupancy. LDC Director Matthew Hopkinson said: “With large stores over multiple floors come large rents and rates bills, along with a format that is not conducive to modern retailing without considerable cost to reconfigure the space. “The best of the old BHS stores have been taken by the value retailers who can operate profitably out of large stores in high footfall towns. Many of the others are unlikely to be reoccupied as shops, and therefore alternative uses must be sought. Some currently are in the form of cinemas, gyms, hotels, offices – anything but a traditional shop.”



ughes Electrical has officially opened a 7,500sq ft store in Stadium Way on the outskirts of Rayleigh Weir. The retailer took over the premises from Tower Radio on 1st June and since then has invested over £250,000 to turn it into a state-of-the-art store with areas dedicated to brands such as Samsung, LG, Bosch and Miele. The outlet was officially opened by the Mayor of Castle Point, Cllr Brian Wood.



estel has revealed plans to increase production capacity at its manufacturing complex in Manisa, Turkey. The company said it will invest an additional $150 million in dishwashing and laundry production to support the development and growth of its European brand Sharp Home Appliances, in a bid to double its market share. Vestel commenced a brand licensing partnership with Sharp in 2015. European Sales and Marketing Director Alberico Lissoni said “we have already seen incredible growth.”



istributor PJH has relocated its Scottish operation to a new depot near Glasgow Airport. The new site, known as The Hub, offers customers a number of logistical advantages including a more convenient location – just 9 miles outside of Glasgow City centre and off junction 28 of the M8 – as well as improved parking facilities and a new Customer Collections area.

SHORTCUTS EISA has named Philips’ 55POS9002 television Best Buy OLED TV 2017 – 2018. Whirlpool has revived a consumer cashback promotion offering up to £150 cash back on selected cooking, cooling, laundry and dishwashing appliances until 14th November 2017. Stoves has launched a national cash-back scheme offering up to £150 cash back on the brand’s range cookers until November 30th 2017. Connect Distribution has launched a new 416-page colour catalogue for 2018. Connect customers will receive a copy with orders placed from early September onwards. Extra copies are available on request via Beko has launched an initiative supported by FC Barcelona to raise awareness of childhood obesity. The full campaign will be rolled out globally from January 2018 and will engage with communities to encourage them to rethink their food choices and ‘Eat Like A Pro’. Belling has published the results of a survey carried out with laundry appliance users and made available to retailers to help them understand customers’ needs and to support sales. A copy can be downloaded at






raining company T21 has created a group structure of four new companies and will now be known as T21 Group. The company said the move will allow it to further develop its expertise in training, film media, field marketing and IT for the benefit of the CE Industry. The Group comprises T21 Training & Business Development, T21 Media, T21 Digital and T21 Plus.



istributor PJH has launched a comprehensive brand support package for its independent Prima appliance stockists. The package includes a new consumer website, a range of showroom POS, a Prima appliance showroom video demonstrating product features and benefits, and a catalogue of photography, available on a USB stick. PJH is offering a range of competitive display deals for Prima stockists who feature the latest appliance collection in showroom displays. Regular promotions on selected ranges can be found in the quarterly PJH Appliance Saver brochure. The Prima brand is protected online to safeguard stockists’ margin.



THE NEXT GENERATION OF LG’S DOOR-IN-DOOR™ REFRIGERATION HAS ARRIVED LG’s InstaView™ Door-in-Door™ is part of the brand’s 2017 range of side-by-side cooling appliances. This desirable product’s innovative design lets users see inside, without opening the door. Simply knocking twice on the mirroredglass panel illuminates the contents stored within the easyaccess compartment, so the loss of cold air is reduced and food stays fresher for longer. High product specification, innovation, connectivity and quality design are the four pillars upon which LG’s fridge freezers are engineered, and the InstaView™ Doorin-Door™ offers some of the most energy-efficient and advanced features on the market. The appliance has a capacity of 601 litres and is A++ rated for energy.

SpacePlus™ Ice System Door-mounted slim ice maker provides more storage space in the freezer section

Utility Box The perfect space to store small items such as deli and cheese in the correct temperature

FRESHBalancer™ With a simple switch, FRESHBalancer™ keeps fruit and vegetables in tiptop condition by adjusting the level of humidity according to the type of produce

Moist Balance Crisper™ The Moist Balance Crisper™ incorporates an innovative lattice-

type box cover which maintains moisture at an optimum level. Excess moisture from food evaporates and condenses on the lattice, maintaining the correct balance of moisture in the box

Pure N Fresh Fresh Air Filter with forced air circulation and dedicated fan helps to deodorise the air in the refrigerator

InstaView Door-in-Door™ InstaView Door-in-Door™ has a sleek mirrored glass panel that illuminates with two quick knocks, allowing you to see inside the easy access compartment without ever opening the door, reducing cold air loss to help keep food fresher for longer.

Energy-saving Inverter Linear Compressor LG's Inverter Linear Compressor has revolutionised the core of the refrigerator. It is quiet and efficient, providing impressive energy savings and offering topnotch durability and optimum temperature control to keep foods fresher for longer







SAMSUNG VICE CHAIRMAN SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS Mr Lee Jae-yong (also known as Jay Y Lee), vice chairman and “heir apparent” to the leadership of South Korean giant Samsung, has been sentenced in a South Korea court to five years’ imprisonment after being convicted of bribery.


Lee, who has been standing in as chairman since his father, Lee Kun-hee, suffered a heart attack in 2014, has been detained since February facing a number of corruption charges including embezzlement, concealment of assets overseas and bribery in a case that has implications at high level in the South Korean government and has led to former President Park Geun-hye being impeached and facing charges of corruption. The case has caused rising public anger in South Korea against the close political associations and perceived economic power which give the country’s leading family-run conglomerates immense influence. These companies, known as chaebol, include Samsung, LG and Hyundai, and are seen by many politicians as essential to the health of South Korea’s economy, but there is a growing public disquiet at the perceived “special privileges” which chaebol receive from government. Mr Lee’s legal team has said he will appeal against the court decision. It has in the past been not unusual for senior chaebol figures to avoid serving jail sentences by having them suspended or being pardoned. When President Lee

“It has in the past been not unusual for senior chaebol figures to avoid serving jail sentences by having them suspended or being pardoned.”

Myung-bak took office, he pardoned Lee Jae-yong’s father Lee Kun-Hee, Samsung Group Chairman, who had been convicted of tax evasion. However, new South Korea President Moon Jae-in has already said there will be no more presidential pardons, in an attempt to reassure the public that the government is telling chaebols they must now conduct their business activities with greater integrity. Mr Lee’s involvement in these proceedings does not appear to have affected Samsung’s performance over the past six months. Samsung achieved record profits in the last quarter.

The Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group (KBBG) has appointed Matt Turton as Northern Regional Manager.

Matt Turton

Whirlpool UK Appliances has appointed Adam Cooper to the role of Business Development Manager for the Kitchen Channel, where he will focus on the contract market.

Adam Cooper

Slovenian brand Gorenje has appointed Gregory Paul as sales manager for the East Midlands, East Anglia and the South East.

Gregory Paul

Toshiba TVs has appointed Bart Kuijten to the role of European Sales and Marketing Director, responsible for the brand’s TV business in 38 countries.

Bart Kuijten




ALL TALK, NO ACTION – GOVERNMENT URGED TO ACT ON WHITE GOODS RECALLS AND SAFETY The London Fire Brigade and other concerned parties have written to PM Theresa May urging decisive action on the improvement of the product recall system and manufacturing standards for white goods.


he move marked a year since a fire started by a tumble dryer in a tower block in Shepherd’s Bush destroyed the homes and possessions of a number of families living in the building. The appliance was subject to a safety notice issued by the manufacturer as part of a corrective action programme. The LFB pointed out that people across the UK are still using white goods that pose a serious fire risk and are subject to recall or corrective action a year after the Shepherd’s Bush fire. There are three fires a day involving tumble dryers in the UK, and the Grenfell Tower fire, which killed at least 80 people, started in a fridge freezer. The letter also stated that some fridges and freezers are still being produced with a flammable plastic backing which offers very little protection against the insulation foam inside catching alight if a fire starts. The LFB urged the government to act now as the process of review to improve the product recall system has been ongoing for almost three years and, “What is so far, no substantial changes have needed now been made to improve it. “What is needed now is action,” is action,” the the letter stated. letter stated. The review of the UK product recall system was first announced in November 2014. It was launched in March 2015, led by consumer champion Lynn Faulds Wood, who reported in February 2016 with a series of recommendations. A steering group was then set up to take the recommendations forward. Following the Shepherd’s Bush fire, a new working group to replace the steering group was established in the autumn of 2016 and published its recommendations in July 2017. The Government response to the report is understood to be due this autumn. The LFB concluded the letter with this statement: “We are writing to you now to call for the recommendations of the working group report to be acted upon swiftly and in full, to include a single register for UK product recalls. “We also call upon the Government to put its full weight behind bringing about changes in the international standards for how white goods are manufactured and to look at what can be done to bring about these changes more quickly in the UK.” Commenting on the letter, Phil Buckle, Chief Executive of Electrical Safety First, said: “As members of the government’s Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety, we have offered our recommendations on an improved product safety system, including the introduction of a centralised recall database. Now we, along with the London Fire Brigade, the Mayor of London and other safety campaigners would like to see these recommendations put into action. Otherwise, every day white goods fires put more lives at risk.”




know that many people are put off online or mobile banking because of fears over hackers, scammers or simply accidentally transferring money to the wrong account. I wonder how many people are making the same decision when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT)? There are now numerous devices that connect to the internet and to each other, from fridges to televisions, and thermostats to security cameras. They can do some clever things: a CCTV camera that streams images from your home to your phone when you’re half way around the world; or a fridge that can tell you when you’re running low on milk (although some would argue how useful the latter feature is). But all this connectivity comes at a price. Other people can connect to these devices or extract data from them unless they are secure. Consumers have two big issues when it comes to IoT: security and data protection. It would be good to see the consumer electronics industry come together to develop standards that would reassure the public. Energy ratings are now standard on many products and these help

consumers choose the most energy efficient devices. So why not a security rating for IoT products? I appreciate that developing such a standard will not be easy, but it could be done if the will were there. Likewise, clear, transparent policies on what data is used, who uses it and how it will be used (with users opting in rather than out when it came to data sharing) would reassure many people. IoT could transform our industry and our homes, but it will be consumer confidence in the products rather than technology that determines whether it becomes a mass market or a niche sector.


GOODBYE IPOD Let’s get one thing straight – Apple did not invent the digital music player. But you have to admit that the company’s iPod range did much to drive sales of the portable digital music player. Now, the company has called time on the iPod, arguing that most of us prefer listening to music on our tablets and smartphones. But is the era of the standalone product such as the digital camera and digital music player coming to an end? I think not. Judging by the reaction of many online forums, there are still plenty of consumers who like having single-use products. With Apple now out of the market, there’s plenty of opportunity for manufacturers of other digital music players.

the face of it, the latest radio listening figures from Rajar look promising for digital radio, with 48.7% of radio listening now on digital platforms. The 50% target “The 50% (which, we are told, might trigger the start of a digital target (which, we are told, might radio switchover) looks like being reached when the trigger the start of a next quarter’s figures are released. It wasn’t surprising digital radio switchover) that Digital Radio UK should trumpet this figure and looks like being reached proclaim that “digital radio surges towards 50%.” when the next There’s no doubt that more people are switching to quarter’s figures are digital (interesting to note that the fastest growth in released.” digital listening is online/apps), but most people still listen to radio on… (cue drum roll)… a radio. When we look at the figures for radio listening, we find that, while there has been a 6.1% growth in digital radio listening hours, digital radios only have a 34.5% share of all radio listening. In other words, almost two thirds of radio listening is still analogue. Digital radio in cars is growing, but is still less than a third of radio listening in cars (it accounts for 29.7%). Last time I discussed this, we thought the election was a couple of years away. Now, with a minority government trying to steer Brexit through Parliament, I imagine there’s even less appetite to upset millions of radio owners by telling them that they need to replace all their analogue radios. And the current state of the economy suggests that a radio scrappage scheme is out of the question. So, when we finally hit the 50% mark for digital radio listening, I would suggest keeping the champagne on ice if you are expecting the starting gun to be fired for a digital radio switchover.





Sharp enters SDA market Sharp Home Appliances is moving into the small domestic appliances sector with a range of kitchen appliances and a cordless vacuum cleaner. The 25.2V cleaner, said to sit at a mid-range price point, has a Lithium Ion battery that charges in 3.5 hours and offers a runtime of up to 60 minutes.

Tap to talk to Alexa with Tibo Choros Tap speaker

Durable mirroredglass hobs from V-ZUG

Buckinghamshire-based audio brand Tibo used IFA 2017 to launch the Choros Tap, which the company describes as “the UK’s first third-party, multi-play, multiconnect active speaker supported by Amazon Alexa.” The unit is controllable via the Tibo app and will also operate home automation systems and control smart devices in the home.

V-ZUG’s collection of OptiGlass induction hobs have a SCHOTT CERAN® Miradur™ coating which is virtually impossible to scratch. It has a rating of 9.5 on the Mohs scale and is claimed to be the first and only glass ceramic that is almost as hard as a diamond, offering one of the most durable surfaces on which to prepare food and cook.

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Sonoro enters streaming market




Indesit launches dishwasher with BabyCare programme

Sonoro, the German CD/DAB radio manufacturer that re-launched in the UK in April this year, highlighted its entry into the streaming market with three new high-end products on show at IFA. The Meisterstuck twoway stereo music system (pictured), flagship of Sonoro’s streaming range, incorporates 2.1 speakers, a powerful integrated subwoofer, five independent power amplifiers, internet radio, multiroom, WIFI, CD players, DAB and Bluetooth.

Indesit has added a new model with BabyCare programme to its eXtra range of dishwashers. The appliance comes with a BPA-free BabyZoo set of accessories, designed specifically to stack and secure baby items such as teats and dummies during the wash. The BabyCare cycle eliminates 99.9999% of bacteria.


LG and Bang & Olufsen unveil BeoVision Eclipse TV LG Electronics (LG) and Bang & Olufsen unveiled the result of their first collaborative effort in home entertainment with the introduction of the BeoVision Eclipse TV at IFA in Berlin in September. The unit is said to function as a flexible A/V centre and is billed as a “TV with unsurpassed picture quality, audio, design and craftsmanship.�

Ruark refines the radiogram with R7 Mk3 launch Ruark has introduced an all-new version of its R7 radiogram, which first launched in 2013. The R7 Mk3 offers a refined aesthetic with slimmer cabinet in Rich Walnut or Soft Grey lacquer, improved analogue circuitry and the latest digital technologies for streaming and multi-room.

Candy launches Simply-Fi app for UK market MDA brand Candy has launched an app platform in the UK for its forthcoming range of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connected appliances. The first product to launch in the new range is the Candy Bianca freestanding laundry collection, which includes a top-of-the-range model with 10kg capacity and a ZOOM function that washes all types of fabric in all programmes in under an hour.

New extractors from CDA CDA is to launch a new 60cm angled extractor, available in black or silver from October 2017. The appliance is A-rated for energy efficiency and offers ducted or recirculated installation and an intensive extraction rate of 750m3/h.





With bigger load capacities being one of the dominant stories of home laundry development over a number of years, it is tempting to assume that consumer demand is for bigger, less frequent washes, and that manufacturers have responded simply by focusing on making the big-wash possible. But this is far from the whole story. GC reports

At your service T

he ability to wash, and dry, a lot of clothes in one go is important, but it is one of a number of varied requirements of 21st century life, and manufacturers, while offering greater capacity, are also delivering the convenience of quicker, smaller, more energy efficient and eco-friendly washes so that consumers can wash a single item or a couple of special-programme delicates as the need dictates, without feeling wasteful of resources. Most manufacturers agree that 21st century home laundry appliances are about both capacity – the ability to handle bigger loads efficiently, and versatility – the ability to handle frequent, small, sometimes specialist, on-demand washing needs quickly and economically. As Laura Davies, Product Manager for Laundry at Belling notes: “While the 7kg and 8kg models are still the biggest sellers in terms of capacity, many consumers are looking for and buying the larger 9kg and 10kg models with bigger drums as they offer much more flexibility to families. But the real trends come in the shape of features and programmes, especially those that use less energy, offer good stain removal or dedicated cleaning cycles for things like delicates or jeans.” Juan Pillay, marketing director for built-in appliances at Hoover Candy Group, remarks that consumers are coming to expect, as standard, certain features that a few years ago would have been considered added extras. “This includes large capacity drums, all-in-one programmes that allow colours and whites to be washed together and energy-efficient appliances, rated A and above.” “The top three features that consumers look for when purchasing a new laundry appliance are stain removal, capacity and energy rating,” adds Hotpoint’s Lorenzo Fagioli, Category Marketing Manager for Laundry. “Specialist wash programmes are also in demand, with consumers looking to provide the best care




possible for their clothes, both protecting and prolonging the life of their garments.”

MARKET TRENDS According to research analyst GfK, washing machines were instrumental in driving total MDA value (+6%) and volume (+7%) growth in 2016. The shift towards built-in over the past few years was reversed last year, with built-in value declining by 2% as freestanding climbed by 7%. GfK suggested this was due to the bulk of promotional activity and new product launches focusing on freestanding washers. Both washers (+5%) and washer dryers (+11%) increased value sales across the year, with consumers enticed by declining prices (£11 cheaper on average) at the lower end of the market and cutting-edge innovation in the premium segment. But Ros Collins, BSH Category Manager for Freestanding Laundry, observes a slowdown in 2017, commenting that “the market at best is flat, and very price promotion driven.” The tumble dryer market, particularly vented models, is down, she says, and “although the category is impacted by seasonality, the drop is disproportionate to the normal seasonality. Washer dryers are doing the best of all Laundry categories.” “It goes without saying that appliances such as washing machines are considered as essential in every home, therefore we expect

“Smart technology, sustainable laundry practices and contemporary design are among key priorities for consumers when making considered purchases within the home laundry and garment care sector” Carolyn Anderson, UK Marketing Manager, LG Electronics

these appliances will always be the best performing category when it comes to laundry products,” asserts Hoover Candy UK’s Steve Macdonald, marketing director, Freestanding Division. “That’s not to say that tumble dryers and combined washer dryers aren’t performing well, as advancements in the market, especially when it comes to technology, are making these appliances easier to use and more useful for consumers. Here at Hoover, laundry appliances are performing well, echoing the category’s performance across the UK. According to Mintel research, laundry appliances are the largest market sector by sales, making up a huge 38% of major domestic appliance sales.”

FABRIC CARE It’s clear that 21st century lifestyles have transformed how consumers regard the central domestic chore of home laundry. And it is equally clear that manufacturers have risen to the challenge by transforming their product offerings to suit a fresh set of consumer requirements. Lisa Keogh, Head of Product Line Laundry and Home Comfort at Electrolux, says a clear trend that laundry retailers can expect to see over


AEG 9000 series washing machine with SoftWater technology and 8000 series AbsoluteCare tumble dryer

“Using too much detergent, even by a little, causes significantly higher water and energy consumption when washing” Ros Collins, BSH Category Manager for Freestanding Laundry the course of 2017 is the movement towards washing machines that offer gentle fabric care solutions pre- and post-wash. “With sustainability remaining a clear selling point for consumers, it is important that retailers understand the various features available to the market that not only offer a more environmentally friendly approach to keeping garments clean, but also help to extend the lifetime of our favourite garments.” Keogh asserts that AEG’s 9000 series is “the first washing machine in the world” with specific built-in technology to actively remove damaging minerals from the water in the drum. “The ionexchange filtering system optimises the water, so that detergents and softeners can work at their maximum efficiency, even at the lowest temperatures. As a result, fabrics will continue to feel soft and colours look vibrant, even after repeated washes.”

V-ZUG UK’s Rhys Evans, Sales Director UK & Ireland, believes there is room for growth for manufacturers who design and market products more relevant to “garment care” and he remarks that this is “a relatively untapped, new market and one that is in demand by consumers.”

and grass, at 20˚C, “providing outstanding results whilst keeping colours and fabrics safe.” These models also add an extra period of steam at the end of every full wash cycle to deliver an extra boost in reducing allergens and also kill 99.9% of bacteria.



Hotpoint’s Fagioli maintains that educating consumers about reducing their wash temperature to 30˚C has been a big story for a number of years, “and more and more consumers are aware now that washing at lower temperatures is more eco-friendly.” However, she adds that some consumers are disappointed with the wash results when using lower temperatures, finding their machine unable to effectively remove stubborn stains. It is an issue that Hotpoint identified and responded to by developing Direct Injection technology which pre-mixes the detergent and water before it enters the drum to create a cleaning foam which is then injected direct into the wash, activating the detergent’s enzymes faster. Fagioli says Hotpoint’s Ultima S-Line washing machines remove more than 100 stains, including coffee

“Smart and connected laundry appliances are arguably one of the biggest stories in the MDA market this year,” says Hoover Candy UK’s Macdonald. In Q1 this year, a third of our washing machines sold were connected, which reflects the smart MDA market nationally. Not only are laundry appliances the largest sales in the MDA market; according to GfK, the UK is one of the markets showing the greatest growth when it comes to smart appliances, with a 139% rise in sales in the year to March, equating to a market value of €151m. “Here at Hoover, we have a drive to develop products that utilise technology to make user-friendly features. We’re creating smart appliances that offer real, tangible benefits and this is what’s driving consumer interest in the smart appliance market.





Amica freestanding laundry range The all-inclusive range of freestanding laundry products from Amica achieves A++ ratings for wash performance, energy efficiency, and style. Large 9kg wash loads and variable 1400rpm spin are offered on top washing machines, available in either black or white.

Across the range, washing features include a Pause option, LCD displays, Easy Iron, Extra Rinse, Anti-Allergic Function, Stain Level Selection, a Quick Wash and Start Delay. Washer dryers include a fast 30-Minute Dry, Cupboard Dry and Iron Dry.

Vented and condenser tumble dryers are complemented by three new washer dryers offering a choice of wash/dry sizes from 9kg/6kg.

Amica products are supported with a 2-year parts and labour guarantee.

“For laundry appliances, this means models that recommend the best setting for each wash, use an app to check energy consumption or resolve any problems with machine diagnostics. Features like this offer great benefits with minimal user effort.” “The smart home is on everyone’s agenda this year, and more manufacturers are bringing connected products to the market which enable consumers to invest in technology that will both make their lives easier in and around the home and take resource savings to the next level,” comments Whirlpool Brand Manager Catherine Balderson. But she draws our attention to “another big story” in the home laundry market, which is the requirement for appliances that operate at lower noise levels. In a survey conducted in partnership with Whirlpool for National Quiet Day, 47% of consumers named the washing machine as the nosiest, and therefore most annoying, kitchen appliance. Whirlpool’s solution to reducing noise levels in washing machines is ZENTechnology™, which is available on its Supreme Care model – “the quietest on the market,” the brand claims. Balderson says the technology combines a “revolutionary” new induction motor with improved appliance design to minimise vibration.

THE LAST LEG Ironing is still one of the UK’s most disliked chores, but steam irons and steam generators, a key part of the whole laundry and garment care spectrum, are constantly developing to make ironing quicker, easier and more efficient. “Research tells us that there are three types of linen care consumer: essential ironers looking for a simple solution; those looking

to tackle large loads on a regular basis who want a solution to make the task fast and easy, and those seeking perfect results, fast,” says Caroline Ross, Marketing Manager Linen Care, Groupe SEB UK. “Ultimately, the shopper is always at our heart, so we’ve listened to this insight and developed our comprehensive new linen care range to provide a solution to meet every consumer’s need. Not only that, but we are the first brand to make maintenance easy, with a removable Scale Collector on steam irons and high-pressure steam generators. No other manufacturer does this.” Tefal is launching two new irons into its range, the Turbo Pro Anti-Scale models FV5640 and FV5648. Ross describes these as “visibly more powerful steam irons with Turbo Boost and Scale Collector, for outstanding ironing results and durable steam performance.” She adds: “These high-efficiency steam irons propel a high-speed 210g/min steam shot deep into fabrics to blast through even the most stubborn creases. Tefal’s exclusive removable Scale Collector maintains long-lasting steam performance for effortless crease removal. It’s easy to clean too – simply pull out the collector to discard the scale.” The two models also have an Eco Mode which cuts energy use by up to 20%.

LONG-TERM TRENDS Contemplating the future of the laundry market, Sara Bazeley, Brand Manager at Indesit, says: “Connectivity will continue to develop in the next couple of years, more so in premium appliances however, filtering through to more affordable areas of the market in the years to come.” “It’s difficult to predict what lies ahead in the future,” says V-ZUG’s Evans. “I have heard that designing a washing machine that is much lighter

Whirlpool’s Supreme Care premium washing machine (FSCR 12441) and tumble dryer (HSCX 10441) can communicate with each other and are controllable via the brand’s 6th SENSE Live® app


“The most important aspect for any manufacturer is to make a product that has something exciting and different about it, so that staff on the shop floor will enjoy selling it” Heather England, marketing manager, Hoover Candy

in transit has been looked into, but this is not an easy one to resolve as the weight is in the concrete that’s strategically placed within the machine’s carcass, and this is what gives the appliance its stability and prevents it from wandering around the kitchen when on a fast spin.” “Connectivity is naturally the next evolution in home laundry appliances to take energy efficiency to the next level,” comments Hotpoint’s Fagioli. “Despite reports that connected appliances are currently experiencing limited demand, experts anticipate swift growth in the coming years, as more and more manufacturers incorporate the technology into their appliances.” Belling’s Davies sees the market continuing to prioritise features that provide tangible benefits to the consumer while also making washing quicker and easier. “Features that are already on the marketplace, such as time saver and ‘plus wash’ facilities, will continue to grow in importance, but equally, advancement in energy- and watersaving technology and programmes using less water as well.” For tumble dryers, she says, “use of energy and time for clothes to dry are the key motivators for consumers.”


One setting for all fabrics. iCare technology sets THE perfect temperature for faster, easier ironing. Also featuring the worlds no 1 scratch resistant and backwards glide soleplate which makes ironing over buttons, zips and pockets seem effortless. Find out more at

SPIN SALES THIS AUTUMN WITH BEKO Independent retailers are a very important part of our business at Beko, and we’re committed to bringing them the very best innovations. Our new laundry range, consisting of both freestanding and built-in models, is stylish, packed with new technology and set to boost sales this Autumn.


ccording to GfK data for January to June 2017, we’re the number one brand in washers. Guaranteed to impress your customers, Beko appliances come recommended by 95% of customers (Reevoo). There’s never been a better time to revamp your laundry offering.

Wash a full load in 28 minutes One of the main things shoppers will come in looking for when buying a new washing machine is a quick wash. Every single model in our new washing machine range comes with a 28-minute wash cycle for a full load of laundry (up to 12kg). It’s a fantastic selling point and we’ll be pushing this key USP ourselves to drive customers in-store. From September, we’re investing in a media campaign, a targeted PR campaign and bespoke POS for retailers.

Slick and stylish We know that the first thing people notice is the look and feel of a washing machine. With open-plan kitchens more popular than ever, it’s key that appliances look the part. We’ve given our new range a fresh and sleek new look guaranteed to impress. Here are some of the new design features we’ve added:




∠ A large transparent door with a decorative cover and chrome trim ∠ A bigger, easier to use dial with an improved look and feel ∠ Metal insert on the drawer for a premium finish ∠ Stunning metal skin display available on some products ∠ Large LCD displays with touch buttons Due to popular demand, we’re also introducing a number of new graphite coloured washing machines (and dishwashers), offering a selection of colours to suit every style.

The best of the tech It’s not enough to look good. We’ve ensured models across our range feature a selection of the most innovative tech on the market. Spend time getting to know your customers’ needs and habits, so you’re in a strong position to make a recommendation.

ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE The best of the tech AirTherapy


AirTherapy is a premium function available on our newest model and is made up of four key technologies:

An ideal feature for any busy (or forgetful!) customers, AntiCrease+ ensures that clothes come out crease-free and fresh, even if they’ve been left in the machine for a few extra hours. This clever technology continues tumbling the clothes every hour for up to eight hours, periodically blowing warm air into the drum, reducing the humidity and preventing bad odours.

DrumClean+ A good way to draw customers’ attention to this programme is to ask them if they wash their clothes on low temperatures or keep their washing machine doors constantly shut when not in use. Whilst the majority of our models already have a standard drum cleaning programme to eliminate bacteria and odours caused by a build-up of humidity, our DrumClean+ takes this a step further. After the drum cleaning stage, the AirTherapy technology circulates warm air inside the drum to reduce the humidity. This really helps to get rid of any odours, and also prevents mould from forming.

Refresh When clothes only need a light refresh, rather than a wash, this 30-minute cycle pumps warm air into the drum, eliminating odours and leaving clothes ready to wear again.

Clean&Wear Wash and dry 1kg of clothes in 2 hours – perfect for last-minute emergencies.

CLEAN UP WITH BEKO’S NEW RANGE OF DISHWASHERS Dishwashers is another area of growth for Beko this year. We are the number two brand in volume and are continuing to grow our market share. We’re committed to offering retailers the best solutions in this category and our new functions and features are set to drive sales this Autumn.

More capacity

Our Hero Model: WY104PB44TW 10kg 1400rpm washing machine with AirTherapy (coming soon)

Cleaning up with Finish From 21st September until 25th October we will be offering all retailers an exclusive dishwasher promotion. With the purchase of any Beko dishwasher, customers can claim three months’ worth of free Finish dishwasher tablets. POS packs have been sent to all retailers activating this promotion.

Bespoke Training

Customers complaining that they’re running their dishwasher every night? Our new models have up to 15 place settings and are ideal for families or those who love to entertain at home.

Training will be available on all our new models from our award-winning training team. Please contact your Area Sales Manager for more information.


Award-winning design

We’ve added a new, stronger spraying arm to ensure dishes get a perfect clean and food and stains are removed easily. In addition, there is a new sliding detergent dispenser. Offering a smoother experience, the dispenser is easier to open too.


Our Hero Model:

Retailers can highlight just how adaptable these new models are, as they feature a brand new full-size cutlery tray and improved basket flexibility. Whether your customer wants to wash oven trays or long-stemmed glasses, it’s all possible.

∠ ∠ ∠

Beko DFN29420G

∠ ∠

14 place settings EverClean filter AquaIntense and flexible 3rd basket A++ LCD Display

In addition to our new range of dishwashers, our Beko freestanding fullsize dishwasher DFN28320 has just won a Get Connected Product Design Award. With an enviable 6-litre water consumption rate and a whisper quiet 43dB rating it’s a must-stock item.

Contact your Account Manager to find out more, or call us on 01923 818 121





Vogel’s motorised mount with soundbar adds value and margin


...why the humble CE accessory has earned a massive fanbase In home entertainment, the charisma has always belonged to the crowd-pleasing stars such as big screen TVs, sound systems, smartphones, gaming monitors…. But in a brutally price-competitive market, retailers looking for decent margins are finding that the great performers are actually the supporting cast – the accessories. George Cole investigates


he accessories market is a win-win sector for consumer and retailer. A useful accessory can greatly enhance the consumer’s experience of a product or technology, while retailers add value to the sale and boost margins – an essential requirement in today’s harsh retail environment. But few accessories sell themselves and so retailers need to be proactive, imaginative and innovative when it comes to selecting accessories to stock and selling them to consumers. The challenge to retailers is also their great opportunity: the accessories market, as an ever-changing sector with new products coming on stream to complement the latest products, technologies and trends, needs close watching but rewards those who stay on the ball.




REMOTE POSSIBILITIES Proliferation creates opportunity. For example, if you simply consider the number of devices that use remote controls – amplifiers, home cinema systems, DVD players, Blu-ray players, iPod/ MP3 base stations, satellite boxes, cable boxes, Freeview boxes and VCRs (yes, some homes still use them!), the scope for removing a lot of clutter with a universal remote is very appealing. Homes with older equipment, like VCRs, might also want to purchase a universal remote as a means of ensuring that they can continue to operate the device, should the original remote get lost or damaged. It’s a persuasive story, but to secure those add-on sales, it’s a story that has to be told at every opportunity. Retailers should ensure that staff are trained on selling both the main products and

accessories to a high standard, says Carolyn Anderson, UK sales manager for LG. “Putting the solutions into a story-telling scenario allows the customer to build an emotional attachment to the product or accessory. This provokes consideration that the product will improve their life, pushing a positive purchase decision.” LG offers a number of accessories to accompany its Smart TVs, such as the Magic Remote Control. The universal control allows consumers to access the set-top box, Blu-ray player, home cinema system and sound bar all with the one smart remote. With features including voice recognition and a wheel (which allows users to zoom in and out) the product offers great convenience – and a great opportunity to boost the total sale and, crucially, the margin.


QUALITY TELLS Whilst price competition in major CE products has tended to whittle margins away, or force retailers to resort to less well known brands, the relatively lower cost of accessory products gives retailers the scope to go for premium accessories without pricing themselves out of the market. James Attfield, managing director of Turnstone AV, UK distributor of Vogel’s mounts, says: “There is a clear distinction between the cheap end of the market and the premium end of the market. We take the view that Vogel’s commitment to drive premium prices and strong commercial strategies is the right way forward for retailers.” In this market, many experienced retailers may question whether they need to consider new, imaginative, and innovative methods, or are their tried and traditional ways still the best when it comes to selling accessories? James Attfield says: “It’s simple. Support the manufacturers who are not selling in the mass market retailers - that is a race to the bottom on price that you don’t want to get mixed up in. Use your points of difference - your expertise and personal service - and always display the product. Work with somebody investing in resources to visit your store and train your staff. Don’t be apologetic about selling the best brands. And get into installations: consumers generally don’t like DIY, they need help to set up their new TVs and this provides great opportunity for more margin through installations.”

LG’s SJ9 soundbar with Dolby Atmos & Chromecast offers affordable quality sound

TYING IN THE CABLES More and more devices may be using wireless technology, but many products still require cables for connectivity. A lot of products used to be sold with a cable in the box, but the trend over the years has been to dispense with cables or provide shorter versions. This gives plenty of scope for selling cable accessories. Scart cables have been replaced by HDMI as the cable of choice for televisions, although some customers may still be using older products with analogue connections. With many people connecting their smartphone, MP3 player or iPod to their home stereo, there is a demand for specialised cables, such as a 3.5mm mini jack to phono stereo cable. Other useful accessories are adapters, such as a mini HDMI to a full-size HDMI. Many televisions only have two HDMI ports, but living rooms may now have three or more products with HDMI ports, such as a Blu-ray player, DVD player (for up-scaling), digital set-top box and games console. A multi-port HDMI hub means there’s no need to plug and unplug devices, and the convenience it offers is easy to demonstrate to a customer.


Sony’s wireless speaker range includes the waterproof XB30 Bluetooth portable

“Retailers need to be proactive, imaginative and innovative”

in one place will allow for a more positive allround shopping experience. “Accessories offer retailers an exciting challenge to sell to consumers outside of the traditional purchase - in turn affording them the opportunity to upsell and enhance the relationship between the customer and the brand.” She believes retailers can take advantage of this potential in a number of ways. “Demonstrations and displaying accessories within clear view and in close proximity to the main sale are methods of key importance –

“Stocking accessories that relate to the main purchase makes for a more convenient shopping environment,” says LG’s Carolyn Anderson. “Whether it’s a customer purchasing a TV and looking for a wall bracket to mount the TV, or a universal remote, having these add-ons

AKAI DYNMX Bluetooth Headphones Boasting a sleek design and superior sound, AKAI’s DYNMX Bluetooth Headphones not only provide a detailed, intricate audio experience, but also enable a wireless connection, for ultimate convenience. Innovative on-ear music and volume controls let you simply adjust your music to suit your preference, whilst a USB rechargeable lithium battery allows for easy use, and the included AUX cable offers further connectivity. What’s more, you will never need to miss a call again, as these headphones feature a built-in microphone to enable hands-free calling. All in all, AKAI’s DYNMX Bluetooth Headphones offer everything you need for the ultimate listening experience! Tel: 0333 220 6070





Next Series ranges of motorised brackets. “And,” he says, “the introduction of sound bars built into the brackets means that TV’s price points can be achieved, but with wall mount margins!”

POWER AND PROTECTION Batteries are best-selling accessories, and wireless devices can consume a fair amount of battery power, so it’s always worth recommending high energy batteries that will last much longer than the standard versions. As with all accessories, stocking a wide choice of battery sizes, prices and types will pay dividends.

Sony’s SRS XB10 delivers rugged big-sound capability on the go

bringing products to life by allowing customers to try before they buy and discover how the accessories can offer genuine solutions and directly enhance their day-to-day life. “Some prospective buyers do not take well to moving across a showroom only to have to return shortly after, and providing a solution should be an easy step, not an arduous one. Accessories at point of sale are also effective if they’re low-cost items, where customers are likely to make impulse decisions.”

“Stocking, promoting and selling CE accessories is now a necessity in the post-recession new world of brutally tight margins” Sony1000X headphone with “quick attention” feature means access to ambient sound without removing the phones

MOUNTING THE OPERATION It’s clear that accessories can help retailers add value and improve margin, and the market is moving in advantageous ways. As Turnstone AV’s Attfield says, “the growth of higher priced TVs has helped inject cash margin into the category; retailers that are building their presence and skills in this area are prospering. This leads to larger TV screens being placed on better quality wall mounts.” The explosion of flat screen TV sales means television wall mounts and stands for the CE retail market is a vibrant sector. Wall mount design has greatly improved over the years and these products are easier to install. That said, many consumers still prefer their

dealer to mount their television on the wall for them, and this could provide a useful additional revenue stream. So, instead of simply selling a consumer a flat display set, the retailer can add value with a wall mount and even further value with an installation service. This can also help cement the relationship between retailer and customer. Attfield adds that Vogel has focused on developing a range of mounts for this market, and good margins can be achieved with Vogel’s new

GP Batteries: the power solution GP Batteries is one of the largest manufacturers of batteries in the world, making over 4 billion batteries each year. GP is also the world leader in rechargeable batteries, offering batteries that can last up to 25 years, be recharged up to 1500 times and last 7 times longer than single-use alkaline batteries from other leading brands. Rechargeable batteries are not only more environmentally friendly than disposable batteries, but also save consumers money and eliminate the dreaded box of dead batteries that are in everyone’s home. GP is giving away a million free chargers with special packs of its ReCyko+ and ReCyko+ Pro batteries.




Special offer multipacks (such as free extra batteries) and useful features like power check can help shift units. Duracell reports that consumers can throw away batteries with up to 67% of their power intact. This is because many portable devices often shut down when the battery power reaches a certain threshold, even though there is still considerable power remaining. By using a power check facility, consumers can recycle the batteries in low drain devices like alarm clocks and remote control handsets. With many of us carrying portable products around in our pockets or bags, there is scope for selling covers and cases designed to help protect them from bumps, knocks and scratches. These products not only look great (and come in a wide range of colours, sizes and designs) but they do help to keep devices in optimum condition. Selling the add-ons has always been recommended in all the sales training, especially for independents who have a special relationship with their customers. But stocking, promoting and selling CE accessories is now a necessity in the post-recession new world of brutally tight margins.








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APPLIANCE FIRES: THE CAUSES The drawn-out business of faulty white goods product recalls and the recent Grenfell Tower disaster have brought electrical safety into sharp focus. Why do kitchen appliances catch alight? Alan Bennett reveals the root causes of fire in home appliances FLUFF AND LINT


common cause of fires, especially in tumble dryers, is a build-up of fluff, lint, dust and other pollutants on internal filters and grilles; cooling fans can get thick with dust likewise. As it gathers and thickens it makes the extraction motor work harder due to obstructed airflow; this can cause it, or the heating element, to overheat and ignite the highly-inflammable dry fluff, then the linen in the drum and finally the whole machine and its surroundings. Regular cleaning, as specified in the manufacturer’s instructions, including the vent pipe (corrugated ones are prone to blockage) can prevent this; good design makes it less likely in the first place. In a fridge or freezer heavy dust build-up, ‘muffling’ or poor ventilation of the rear-side condenser coils in a tight space can lead to severe overheating and consequent trouble.

WATER INGRESS Water and electricity don’t mix! If water comes into contact with electrical or electronic components it causes immediate arcing or gradual corrosion and subsequent electrical short circuits. The water may come from outside or, more commonly, inside the machine – leaking joints, punctured drum, cracked valve or hose – and pollute printed-circuit boards, motors and other wound components, connectors and switches. In water-bearing machines good design, with as much of the electrics as possible mounted at the top and well shrouded, can mitigate this risk. Even without the presence of water some components are vulnerable to arcing and ignition by their nature: electrical contacts, e.g. internal plugs and sockets and soldered joints which carry a heavy current can become ‘dry’ and develop electrical resistance of their own. Heating is the result, and thermal runaway may then set in, to the point of burning the circuit board, wiring harness or adjacent material and




rattling or screeching. If a drive belt is involved the motor pulley may then slip on it and generate tremendous frictional heat, enough perhaps to ignite it and cause a fire. We once had a belt break and go thrashing and writhing through the back of the machine, breaking some of the leads in the wiring harness. This could have led to arcing and fire, though in that case the consequences were no more than a traumatised householder and a “...Then the scrapped machine. controlled device,

setting the whole machine alight. Into a similar category come internal switches, for instance those associated with water valves, thermostats and relays, whose contacts can stick in the on be it a motor, CAPACITORS AND position due to poor heating element FUSES design, arcing, ageing or or whatever, stays Home appliances mechanical factors like on, perhaps to use capacitors in a distortion and warping. overheat and variety of roles. Those in Then the controlled secondary (e.g. control, device, be it a motor, ignite.” indication, display and heating element or whatever, ‘smart’) applications are not stays on, perhaps to overheat generally stressed and any failure and ignite. Some designs seek to is unlikely to cause mischief because of prevent this by incorporating thermal cutthe overload protection built into the switchouts, typically in the form of small bullet-shaped mode power convertor. Capacitors in the mains/ capsules, but they may not be immune from primary circuit, such as motor start/run and failure themselves; this was a factor in the spate interference suppressor types can potentially of Vauxhall Zafira car fires recently... cause trouble, however. If they develop internal MOTORS AND WOUND COMPONENTS shorts or electrical leakage they or an associated Electric motors provide the mechanical power device such as a motor can rapidly overheat and in home-laundry machines, distribute the heat perhaps ignite. What happens then depends on in ovens and pump the coolant in fridges and their construction and their proximity to other freezers. So long as they are well designed, don’t flammable parts. In most cases the main fuse get wet and are not mechanically overloaded would blow, but in any lesser case than a nearthey are generally reliable. Sometimes they or dead-short in a suppressor/filter capacitor a can spontaneously develop short-circuit turns lot of heat can be quickly developed in a small in their internal coils and quickly burn out, with place, shortly followed by flare-up. an unmistakable characteristic acrid smell and Fuses are very imprecise devices, able to pass the risk of self-ignition or severe overheating their full rated current continuously and to hold of an associated component, for instance an out for a long time with a much heavier current oven heating element. Their bearings may – of flowing, maybe two or three times their rating; their own volition or because of water ingress only with a very high fault current, resulting from or mechanical stress – become tight or even a dead-short or near-dead-short can they be disintegrate, possibly leading to overheating by relied upon to blow almost instantaneously and excess friction. limit damage. Thermal cut-outs generally work Other causes of friction can be a jammed more quickly, while electronic ones are almost drum or similar, usually but not necessarily instant in their response. Fires can begin with prefaced by a mechanical noise – roaring, little or no excessive current being drawn.



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Get Connected Magazine - September 2017  

Get Connected: The Magazine of the Electrical Goods Industry. The sharpest, freshest, most relevant and commercially aware electrical trade...

Get Connected Magazine - September 2017  

Get Connected: The Magazine of the Electrical Goods Industry. The sharpest, freshest, most relevant and commercially aware electrical trade...