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TV IN 2017 The trends to watch

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SPOTLIGHT ON Amazon Go: “All apps and no checkout”

GEORGE COLE GETS CONNECTED Digital Radio Switchover: Who knows when?

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he world picture has too much material, so we’ll start closer to home. The future of retail in the UK is a current question, and a new report from the Fabian Society’s retail taskforce, “The future of British retail,” caught our eye. Norman Pickavance, chair of the retail taskforce, predicts a loss of a million jobs or a “race to the bottom in working conditions” if action is not taken to help what is still Britain’s biggest industry. He also says “the golden age of British retail is over. The industry now stands at the crossroads with competing models battling to define its next age.” A few issues here. Firstly, “the golden age of British retail” is not over. Consumers are still buying and retailers are still selling (give or take the usual fluctuations of economic cycles). What has finished is the golden age of traditional, bricks-and-mortar high street retailers. For the electrical industry it lasted from the sixties, when electricals were the new desirable luxury goods, through their explosive transition in the seventies and eighties into mass-market “necessities”, and into the late 20th century when new technology meant more exciting products and “shopping” still meant going to the shops. The products are still as exciting and innovative. But consumer shopping habits have changed. For many, the ideal “retail experience” is sitting at home, on the train, on the beach… browsing an infinite choice of products, checking what others think of them, buying with a single click and having them delivered same day - all without any human contact. A disaster for retail, or just for retailers who have been successful in the past doing things in a certain way, and don’t want anything to change? What’s also worrying is the report’s tenpoint plan for supporting retail. Four of them begin with: “The Government should…”; three with “The Secretary of State should….”; and one with “The Chancellor should…” Let’s get this straight. The Government – short of passing a law that the public has to stop buying online and get down to the shops – can’t help. The Government is not an expert in retailing, and when it gets involved it’s never a success. It’s also useless at choosing experts. For “Save the High Street” we got Mary (“I’ll definitely get another Channel 4 series out of this”) Portas. And we all know how that turned out.



What the Government can – and should – do is stick to its job of passing and enforcing equitable taxation laws, and stop its senior civil servants taking long lunches with captains of commerce in expensive restaurants and clubs, and agreeing comfortable compromises over the port and petits-fours. It would also be helpful to prevent asset-strippers who know little and care less about retail from plundering our great retail names and abandoning their corpses on the high street. Finally, if we’re still standing at the crossroads – or any other road-based metaphor for having to decide on a route – then the retail juggernaut has already thundered through the intersection and is away up the road, with consumer choice in the driving seat. It’s very clear which way it’s gone, and who’s driving. So the issue for retailers now is not “which way do I turn?” but “what do I need to do to get on board?” Consumers are choosing their “retail experience” with different priorities now. If the majority really wanted to walk down the High Street, calling at the friendly independent grocer for their fresh fruit and veg, dropping in at the family butcher for a boned and jointed prime cut, and queuing at the artisan baker for a regionalrecipe loaf fresh from the oven, they wouldn’t want a supermarket, and these individual outlets would be thriving on every high street, instead of being virtually extinct except in those distinct pockets where “urban villages” still hold a strong niche appeal for a certain type of consumer. The future of electrical retail is still about delivering a “retail experience” to your chosen customer base. It’s just that the choice of experiences has expanded. It may be online, where the mass market is moving; it may be niche, quirky, expert, specialist, locationbased, distinctive, face-to-face… something that constitutes a “destination” for customers seeking distinctive products and reassurance that they’re “special”; it may be the resurgent rental and rent-to-buy niches addressing the widening wealth gap and acknowledging consumer desire still needs to be met. The legend is that Robert Johnson went down to the crossroads and sold his soul to the devil. The more prosaic and helpful truth may be that he practised a lot until he became really good at delivering an experience to his chosen audience.

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hop price deflation accelerated in January as discounting in the non-food sector followed what the British Retail Consortium said was “a

tepid sales performance over the festive period.” Deflation of 1.7% was recorded for the month, an acceleration from the 1.4% fall in December.

Non-food deflation increased to 2.3% from 1.9% in the previous month, while food deflation accelerated to 0.8% from a 0.7% decline in December.



ccountancy firm Mitchell Charlesworth is urging retailers to “avoid sleepwalking” into the largest change to business rates in a generation as the Government prepares its first rates review in seven years. The review will see a new rating list for England and Wales take effect from April 2017 following a revaluation of 1.96 million nondomestic properties in England and Wales. Mitchell Charlesworth corporate recovery and insolvency partner Jeremy Oddie said the rates will reflect the rental values of properties, with prime city centre sites expected to be hit worst by the revaluations. Across England, rateable values are set to rise by 9.1%, ranging from a 22.8% increase in London to a 1.1% fall in the North East. Figures for Wales show a 2.9% cut in rateable values, with shops falling by 8.8% and offices by 7%. Oddie is urging companies to review their draft rateable value (see link below) to estimate if they are likely to see a rise or cut in their rates bill. “This move represents the largest change to business rates in a generation,” he said. “There will be winners and losers. However, from our perspective we are not seeing enough evidence of businesses seeking clarity on their new position post-April 2017. 6


“Our fear is that many firms are unaware of how badly they could be hit by the new measures and risk sleepwalking into the reforms. Due to the fact that the revised rateable value will be pegged to properties’ rental value we expect to see a significant rate increase for sectors including prime offices, data centres and trade counter retail.” Oddie said the review is significant because, by 2020, councils will be able to keep 100% of all locally-raised taxes to help fund local services. “For businesses who face an increase in rates, this rise will be capped at 5% in the first year for small properties,” he said. “There is also transitional relief worth £3.4bn to help business owners adjust to the new bills. “However, many businesses which have been expecting an


immediate benefit are likely to be disappointed. Some northern retailers have projected a 60% fall in business rates but could see as little as 2% in the first year. “The ‘transitional’ relief will also proceed at too slow a pace for many retailers. This comes on top of a two-year delay in the rates review, which has left struggling firms having to cope with higher than expected bills. “We urge firms unsure of their position to seek professional support immediately so they have a strong footing when the new rates come to pass.” Firms looking to review the draft rateable value can do so via this link: https://tinyurl.com/h6oaudj (www.gov.uk/government/news/ business-ratepayers-click-find-andreview-your-draft-rateable-value)

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 BRC announces new film project on the future of shopping  Tannoy owner challenged over future of Scottish workers  Online campaign delivers substandard cable message  Support the local independent retail specialist – without them the future is bleak, says KBBG’s Bill Miller




onsumer confidence in the UK recorded an uplift in January as the public appeared more assured about their personal finances. GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index rose for the second consecutive month, up two points to -5, but remained well below the positive numbers posted in the early months of 2016. Despite growing confidence in consumers’ personal financial situations, the deep malaise that has lingered over the nation’s general economic situation persists and enthusiasm for major purchases is dwindling. Expectations for the General Economic Situation over the next 12 months were 18 points lower than in January 2016, while the Major Purchase Index was six points lower.

“Rising inflation and weak income growth are forecast to squeeze households’ disposable income”

Joe Staton, Head of Market Dynamics at GfK, suggested that the combination of Brexit jitters, Blue Monday and a “wobbly pound” contributed to keeping confidence in negative territory. He said: “Although consumers report that they are feeling upbeat about their personal financial situation for the coming year, stubborn concerns about the wider economy, looking back 12 months and ahead 12 months, are ensuring the overall Index Score remains stuck in gloomy territory. “Rising inflation and weak income growth are forecast to squeeze households’ disposable income, and these two factors could conspire to depress confidence for the year ahead. “It’s certainly difficult to see where the oomph will come from over the short term.”





ccording to a report by e-commerce delivery specialist ParcelHero, half of today’s town centre stores will disappear over the next 13 years as online shopping, now at £1 billion a week in the UK and growing more than 25% year on year, strangles the life out of bricks-andmortar shopping. The report, 2030: The Death of the High Street, charts the decline in high street retail premises: 600,000 in 1950; 290,000 in 2012, and just 220,000 projected to survive to 2020. If the exponential growth in home deliveries continues, claims the report, another 100,000 stores will be lost in the decade between 2020 and 2030, leaving only 120,000 high street shops in the UK by 2030. Online shopping, assuming exponential growth, will account for about 40% of all UK retail sales. The study notes that supermarket physical store sales will have dropped

from 42% to 24%, a point at which volume is not enough to sustain their tight margins. As estate agents, banks, department stores, fashion outlets on high streets are squeezed out by online solutions, the high street will become less and less attractive as a shopping destination, footfall will dwindle and all physical stores will suffer. It’s a bleak outlook (assuming the e-commerce growth projections are correct and no new steps are taken by bricks-and-mortar outlets to make themselves more attractive to shoppers). The report suggests that, to protect themselves, “high streets must return to a Victorian model. Shopping should become a more social experience again with local food deliveries increasing, based on Uberstyle crowd source apps. Homes must also return to UK high streets to prevent no-go areas after 6pm.”

Image by World Economic Forum




ixons Carphone has announced the appointment of Lord Livingston to the role of Chairman, with effect from 30 April 2017. He will succeed Sir Charles Dunstone, who will step down to take the role of Executive Chairman at TalkTalk plc but will remain as a senior advisor to the Group. Livingston (pictured) has been Deputy Chairman of Dixons Carphone since joining the Board in 2015. Previously, he served as Minister of State for Trade and Investment and was CEO of BT Group plc from 2008 to 2013. Earlier in his career he spent more than a decade at Dixons Group, including six years as CFO. Tony DeNunzio CBE, in addition to his current role as Senior Independent Director of Dixons Carphone, will become Deputy Chairman and Chairman of the Remuneration Committee, also with effect from 30 April 2017.

mica UK’s business – sales, marketing, customer service operations and stock holding – has been transferred to CDA’s facility in Langar, Nottinghamshire. The move follows the Polish manufacturer’s acquisition of CDA in December 2015 in order to strengthen its position in Western Europe.



The company said that David Vincent will remain as National Account Manager. He is joined by National Account Manager for Distribution Steve Stroud, who previously worked for Viking Appliances and Samsung. Amica and CDA marketing will be headed by Steve Corbett. Ian Kershaw (pictured right) became Chairman of the Board on 1st January 2017, after 25 years as Managing Director, and was succeeded in his MD role by Sales Director Simon Emmons (left). Commenting on the move, Emmons said: “Amica customers have been reassured by the speedy unification and are very excited about the new opportunities in this next evolutionary stage for the brand. In the next few months we will be announcing new products, compelling promotions, launching a brand new brochure and opening the brand new Amica head office showroom.”


hirlpool has begun consultations with works councils and other regulatory agencies in connection with a proposal to restructure its EMEA dryer manufacturing operations. The move was outlined in a filing dated 24th January and is expected to result in changing the operations at the company’s facility in Yate, Bristol to focus on manufacturing for UK consumers only. Whirlpool said it also aims to end production of dryers at its Amiens plant in France in 2018, and it will concentrate the production of dryers for non-UK consumers in Lodz, Poland. The company said it anticipates that approximately 500 positions will be impacted by the decisions, and it expects the moves to be substantially complete in 2018.

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BRIDGING THE “IMAGINATION GAP” COULD ADD £1BN TO UK RETAIL The UK’s retail market could be boosted by as much as £1bn a year if consumers were given access to technology that allowed them to virtually place products in their own homes before committing to purchase, particularly in the case of big-ticket items.


esearch has found that more than a third of consumers have “walked away” from making purchases in the last 12 months, simply because they couldn’t imagine what products would look like in their homes. According to technology company DigitalBridge, which commissioned the report,

this “imagination gap” has become a serious concern for UK retailers, particularly those selling home interior products, as 56% of homeowners are planning to make some kind of home upgrade in 2017 with budgets ranging from £500 to more than £3,000 per project. While the report – The imagination gap: Retail’s £1bn problem – focuses mainly on home décor, the technology has the potential to boost revenues in a wide range of retail sectors and industries. Those specifying a new kitchen already have the benefit of seeing the finished space on the kitchen designer’s screen before purchase, but visualising how a replacement cooker – contemporary or retro – will look within an existing kitchen, or how dominant a 65” TV will appear in the living area, makes the purchase decision more difficult. The report states that

Moves Distributor Alltrade has appointed Leevan Smith to cover its Brighton & Hove, Cardiff and Bournemouth Branch areas. Leevan Smith

James Attfield, MD of Turnstone AV, the UK distributor for Vogel’s brackets, has been appointed to the board of nationwide sales agency Big Red Sales Ltd with immediate effect. He has been connected with Big Red for the past 7 years and is a shareholder in the business. Big Red Sales Ltd has recruited two new faces to its expanding sales team. Preston-based Michael Kinsella takes over the North Wales and North West territory. Steve Hunter joins the team with responsibility for accounts in Berks, Surrey, Kent and East Sussex. James Attfield

Michael Kinsella

Steve Hunter

Darren Sherriff is to take on the role of UK Sales Director for AV at Yamaha, effective 1st April 2017. He succeeds Ian Galloway, who will retire at the end of March. Roberts Radio Chairman Leslie Burrage is to retire 31st March 2016 after 23 years with the Glen Dimplex-owned business. He will take on the role of advisor to the CEO to facilitate a smooth handover.

“DigitalBridge cites high street giant John Lewis as one of the most recent companies looking to bring augmented reality technology on board as a business tool.”

items not fitting into spaces was flagged as a problem, and more than a third of consumers had returned an item that they hadn’t measured properly for before purchasing. Some major retailers have already grasped the potential of visualisation technology, investing in smaller start-ups that can help them bring augmented reality platforms to market. DigitalBridge cites high street giant John Lewis as one of the most recent companies looking to bring augmented reality technology on board as a business tool. Commenting on the report findings, Christine Kasoulis, buying director for home at John Lewis, said: “Customers want to see how a product will look in their own home, both for style and to understand scale. There is a gap at this point in the customer journey at the moment and it is one that visualisation tools will fill in the near future, helping a considered purchase to feel less complex.” David Levine, CEO of DigitalBridge, said businesses need every advantage they can get to remain competitive, especially those competing for attention online. “With as much as £1bn of revenue up for grabs in the home décor market alone, retailers can no longer overlook the value of virtual and augmented reality as a commercial tool. More than half of the consumers who took part in this survey said they would be more likely to make a purchase after using this technology. “Just imagine the benefits a customer would get from a retailer that allowed them to preview any product they wanted using nothing more than a picture taken on a smartphone.” Levine added that the technology is not limited to the home interior market: “It has potential to completely revolutionise all kinds of sectors.” http://digitalbridge.eu/downloadreport-2/

Leslie Burrage







amily firm Dacombes of Wimborne officially opened a new 4,500 sq. ft. destination store on Leigh Road at the end of January. The outlet is on two levels, with parking at the rear, and the ground floor showcases TV and AV, white goods and “everything else electrical” displayed in dedicated areas representing key zones of the home. Matt Renaut, Managing Director of the business, said: “Retail is changing, and with this in mind we have created our brand new destination shop and showroom with fully trained staff

and advisors on hand to help each and every customer. The new showroom is spacious and offers several different areas which showcase our range of products and offer an improved customer experience and service.” A ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the occasion was performed by the Mayor of Wimborne and attended by officials from the Wimborne Minster Chamber of Trade, the Wimborne BID and VIP guests including the Town Crier and members of the Wimborne Militia.



ughes Trade has invested over half a million in a new operation based on Lockwood Way in Leeds. The unit will initially employ three staff and will allow the company to operate throughout Yorkshire, Teesside and Humberside. It is sited close to the M621 and offers ample free parking to trade customers. “This is great news for Hughes Trade in our 10th anniversary year,” said general manager Paul Chisnall. “We have been looking to expand our operation further north for some time and are delighted to have bought a building in such a great location. It will complement our operation in Preston and give us a great presence across the north of the country.”

BELLING ENTERS NEW MARKET WITH SENSICARE COLLECTION Leading appliance manufacturer Belling has announced its entrance into the freestanding home laundry market with the launch of a suite of new products – the Sensicare Collection.


he new collection, which includes four washing machines, a washerdryer, two tumble dryers, and a 15-place setting dishwasher, means Belling now provides a complete range of home appliances. The 60cm A+++ rated Sensicare washing machines – which range in capacity from 7kg to a huge 10kg – have a host of innovative features which underline Belling’s family-friendly reputation. These include:

 Pluswash – allows users to pause the wash mid-cycle to add extra items.

 Sensiwash – an integrated sensor that weighs the load to adjust water and energy requirements to save time and money.

 Timesaver – completes a standard wash cycle 33% faster.  Stain+ – allows users to change the intensity of the wash depending

All the models feature Safetouch heat-resistant doors, a bigger than average Easyload porthole door, and the 9kg and 10kg models use a Silentdrive Inverter Motor – a high-performance motor with a marketleading 12 year parts warranty, which reduces noise and increases energy eff iciency, making these products 30% more eff icient than even the top A+++ rating.

on how dirty the clothes are.

 Sensitouch – a multi-function ergonomic touch-control display which allows users to customise each wash.

 My Wash – a feature which allows users to save their favourite wash cycle, settings and functions.


0844 248 4149








DHA brand New World is aiming to “shake up the appliance market” with the launch of its highest specification collection of built-in appliances to date, at what it considers will be the lowest price point in the market. The brand believes its New World Design Suites will disrupt the market as products are fully co-ordinated, of high specification and include a “first to market” innovation at an affordable price. That “first to market” is the NW Suite 45 CS, a four-in-one combination steam oven offering a choice of steam, microwave, microwave/

steam and convection/steam. The 34-litre appliance has eight preset steam functions, six temperature settings and full touch-control operation. The new collection also incorporates a 60cm multifunction single oven with 70 litres of usable capacity; a 45cm 900W compact combination microwave; a 14cm warming drawer, and a 60cm four-zone induction hob with bridgeable Link+ technology. Alex Hinton, Category Manager for Built-in Appliances at GDHA, said: “For retailers, we think this new collection represents a great

opportunity. It provides them with a compelling offer to encourage consumers to trade up to a suite of appliances, resulting in a higher value shopping basket and an improved profit margin.” The New World Suites are available in a choice of black or stainless steel. www.newworld.co.uk

COMPAN¥ £INAN€IAL$ AO World said it performed well over the peak

Electrolux posted an income of SEK 1,272m for Q4

period, as it presented its Q3 trading update. ao.com revenue

2016, compared to a loss of SEK 393m in the same period last

increased by 10.3% and overall UK revenue by 8.9%, against

year. Net sales increased 1% to SEK 32,144m, but the company

tough comparators from the same period last year. In Europe,

said that currency translation had a positive impact of 4% on

revenue for the period was up 28.4% year on year on a

sales. Organic sales declined by 3%. Operating income for the

constant currency basis. Total Group revenue rose 12.3%.

quarter improved to SEK 1.6 billion.

Argos announced total sales up 4.1% and like-for-

John Lewis said it outperformed the market again

likes up 4.0% for the 15 weeks to 7 January 2017. The retailer

as it reported its 6-week trading figures to 31st December,

delivered strong sales growth in technology (wearable tech,

but warned that staff bonuses could be “significantly lower”

mobile phones, computers, TV and audio), toys, sports and

due to external pressures on trading. Gross sales rose 4.9% to

gifts. Online sales grew by 13% and accounted for 57% of sales.

£998.1m, with like-for-like sales up 2.7%. Electricals & Home

Online retail group

Buy It Direct reported a 44%

increase in pre-tax profit for 2016, up to £2.6 million from

£1.8 million in the prior year. Revenue rose to £120.7 million from £104.1 million in 2015.

Dixons Carphone reported like-for-like

Group sales up 4% for the 10 weeks ended 7 January 2017, following the fifth consecutive year of Christmas growth. Sales in the UK

Electronics increased by 4.8%. In its outlook for the year, the retailer said it expected full-year profit before partnership bonus, tax and exceptionals to be ahead of last year.

LG announced an operating profit of KRW 1.34 trillion (1.16 billion US$) for 2016, a 12.2% increase over 2015, due in large

part to strong performances by home appliances, air solutions and home entertainment. The Korean manufacturer reported full-year revenues of KRW 55.37 trillion and net income of KRW 126.3 billion.

& Ireland increased 6%, while in Southern Europe like for likes rose by 5%. The Nordic market was quieter than normal with sales down 1%. The retailer confirmed its outlook in line with market consensus at £475m-£495m headline profit before tax for the year ending 29 April 2017.



“Sales in the UK & Ireland increased 6%, while in Southern Europe like for likes rose by 5%.”

Whirlpool reported Q4 net sales of $5.7

billion, up from $5.6 billion in the same prior-year period. Operating profit fell from $380 million to $335 million for the quarter. Full-year net sales fell slightly,

from $20.9 billion to $20.7 billion, but increased by 2% excluding the impact of currency. Full-year operating profit totalled $1.4 billion, up from $1.3 billion.



 SHORTCUTS Hotpoint has entered into a multi-year European partnership with the Jamie Oliver Group which will support the brand’s new built-in range of cooking appliances and its aim to become the “number one” in the sector.

GDHA has released a video to mark a £1.5m investment in its 26-acre manufacturing site which brought about the introduction of a number of new added-value features to the company’s range cookers. The film follows the building of the Belling Farmhouse 90G model and can be seen at https://youtu.be/jmLy1QbkNLE

LG SIGNATURE has partnered with renowned fashion photographer Rankin to highlight the distinctive features of the product collection as it makes its debut in the UK market. Hoover has donated two appliances, a DXP410AIW washing machine and DYC710AVBX tumble dryer, to the Larks Breast Cancer Centre, the Liverpool branch of the Marina Dalglish Appeal, a charity aimed at improving the lives of cancer sufferers. Whirlpool’s Supreme Care FSCR 12441 washing machine and matching HSCX 10441 tumble dryer won the ‘Appliance Innovation of the Year Award’ at the inaugural Essential Kitchen & Bathroom Business Awards.


asingstoke-based AB Distributors, exclusive distributor of De Dietrich appliances in the UK, has teamed up with specialist kitchen designer Stephen Graver to fit out the Lucknam Park Cookery School – part of the Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa complex in Wiltshire. The school is equipped with De Dietrich DOP1180BU ovens and DTI1053X hobs.

Tefal proudly announces an exciting new product category through EPE, the UK’s leading premium SDA & floor care distributor. Tefal is known for constantly launching new solutions, products and services to make everyday life easier. And now the innovative leader in home appliances has turned its technological mind to another domestic appliance. Tefal has appointed EPE to handle exclusive distribution within the independent channel. ‘The UK’s first and only choice in branded SDA’, EPE has almost 40 years’ experience within the SDA & floor care market, representing nationals, multiples, department stores and independents. Join us on Monday 6 February 2017, 4pm- 6pm at the EPE stand for the Tefal launch presentation, where EPE’s sales team will be on hand to discuss this brand-new release. We will then be running product demos throughout the duration of Spring Fair. JAN/FEB 2017 GET CONNECTED






hard to fault Amazon, given the way the online giant has leapt from internet book store to become the world’s second biggest retailer. Yet having devoured so much of the high street, is Amazon’s new checkout-free model of store about to transform bricks & mortar retail? It is understood that the new store being trialled in Seattle will bill shoppers using a combination of technologies that includes sensors, smartphone apps and cameras. It has a barrier, which is not there to stop people running off with cabbages and kumquats but to allow them to activate their accounts by tapping it with their phones as they enter. Payment will be automatic once customers have downloaded the app, which will total their purchases and charge their Amazon account. Sounds terrifically easy and I’m sure it will be, but to make it all work will require a huge amount of technological knowhow. As a concept, it is very exciting, but one suspects that for



any retailer without Amazon’s research and development budget, there will be too many barriers to entry. Where this is most likely to work is, as Amazon clearly believes, in the convenience store market. It is possible to see that if the trial works, Amazon will open more of these stores in major cities where there is a big market of young, tech-savvy people who prize speed and convenience above all else and are completely at ease with using their phones as payment devices. For any other operator, though, particularly in the UK where payment technology is more advanced, the cost of implementing Amazon’s model or something like it will be prohibitive. The average basket size in convenience retail makes contactless payments an everyday reality, so why would anyone switch to an expensive Amazon model? There may be savings in card transaction costs for Amazon if consumers pay through their apps, but setting up technology to track consumers around the store and integrate their location with stock-sensor information, the payment technology will not be cheap. Apart from cost, the total reliance on cloud services will mean the store has to close completely if there is any downtime. And what will happen when customers walk in and find their phones have run out of battery life? True, the absence of tills provides more space for stock and does away with queuing, but will the payoff be worth it? Apart from cost of implementation, it looks as if the opportunities for shoplifting will

“ Already so well established as a brand, its entry into shopkeeping may actually have a great deal to do with capturing new accounts and wedding more customers to the overall Amazon experience.”

rocket, with the result that any saving on checkout staff will be offset by the need for security personnel. The new store is also likely to be highly impersonal, denying retailers opportunities to enhance engagement with customers and build a sense of distinctiveness. Of course, the technology will allow Amazon to push out plenty of offers and recommendations to their new customers using location-based services similar to those in use among coffee shops. But for a retailer trying to establish a more involving relationship with customers, this store-asa-device does not really work. Amazon, however, may have different priorities. Already so well established as a brand, its entry into shopkeeping may actually have a great deal to do with capturing new accounts and wedding more customers to the overall Amazon experience. This is probably just one part of a much bigger picture. While other retailers will certainly be watching very eagerly to see how it works out, it is doubtful whether this model can be replicated. It is also unlikely that Amazon can start offering their new integrated system as a service to other operators. Who is likely to want all their data going through Amazon’s big data machine? Still, it is an experiment that anyone with an interest in the high street should observe very closely. Amazon Dash (allowing consumers the chance to reorder products by pushing a low-cost button device) may not have been a runaway success, but the Amazon supermarket may have a basketful of lessons for us.





hat is the trigger for the government to consider starting the process of switching UK radio from analogue to digital. However, my bet is that the government will kick this can even further down the road, and announce yet another review, which will report either just before or “Ofcom just after the next reports that when election.

it comes to coverage on major roads, BBC national DAB service coverage is 87.3%.”


Why am I so pessimistic? Well, despite the great progress made by digital radio regarding content, coverage and cost, many hurdles remain in terms of politics, economics and technology. I also think the government will want to see what happens in Norway, which last January began the process of switching off analogue services. Norway has gone for the “big bang” approach, with the switch to digital set to be completed by the end of the year (save some local FM stations, which will continue until 2022). There has been great opposition to the plan (a survey carried out in December 2016 found that 66% of those polled opposed the switchover), and one media commentator noted that “politicians have decided to make 15 million FM radios...completely useless.” Time will tell whether the decision was bold or bonkers.


On the face of it, the UK digital radio landscape looks good. Figures for Q3 2016 showed that 45.5% of total radio listening hours were on digital platforms (DAB, online, digital TV), and in at least half a dozen areas (including, Sussex, Berkshire and north Hampshire) the 50% mark has been passed. Coverage looks impressive, with BBC national DAB services reaching

97.3% households. But dig a little deeper, and gaps emerge. Ofcom reports that when it comes to coverage on major roads, BBC national DAB service coverage is 87.3%. The Digital One commercial DAB national services cover 91.5% of the population, while the new commercial service, Sound Digital, has 76.5% coverage.


Then there is the issue of legacy FM radios – millions of them in homes, cars and on devices, from smartphones to clock-radios. Ofcom noted that sales of DAB radios in Q3 2016 were similar to the previous year, and that roughly one third of new radios (35% – 1.6 million digital, 3.1 million analogue) were capable of receiving DAB. DAB radios are standard in around 85% of new cars, but millions of vehicles still have analogue radios. There is also the legacy of older DAB radios which use MP2 technology. Although most new DAB radios now also offer DAB+ (and a couple of stations broadcast exclusively in DAB+), the market is stuck with old, inefficient radio technology.


But perhaps the biggest barrier is consumer attitude. Many people do not see any need to switch to digital, despite the benefits it can bring. Ofcom found when it came to consumer resistance to acquiring a DAB radio, the biggest reason was that people felt there was no need to switch (57%), followed by those who were happy with their existing radio service (40%). Cost is not a barrier to digital radio – only 5% felt it was too expensive and just 4% said they couldn’t afford it. With attitudes like this, it is going to take a brave government to decide to make millions of radios obsolete. And with the country already split over Brexit, I suspect the last thing any government will want to do is antagonise large swathes of the electorate with a switch to digital radio. JAN/FEB 2017 GET CONNECTED





“2017 is going to be a good time to be in TV retail”

LG OLED Signature TV


onsumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to TV features and technologies, from ultra-thin flat screens to screens offering pin-sharp images, and from smart TV services to stunning surroundsound. So, which of these are likely to make a significant impact on this year’s TV market?


For Carolyn Anderson, head of marketing LGE UK, the answer is: HDR (High Dynamic Range) and OLED. “Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of picture quality and want to experience the best possible imagery they can,” she says. “Initially, 4K resolution packed in more pixels to give a more detailed picture. The natural follow-on from this is HDR, developed to deliver the next level in picture quality through greater



ratios of contrast between light and dark in each pixel.” For Matt Laird, TV marketing manager, Sony UK & Ireland, it’s Sony’s Bravia OLED A1 Series, announced at this year’s CES, which “offers superior picture quality and a unique sound system. The 4K Bravia OLED A1 Series is available in 55-, 65- and 77-inch screen sizes. Technologies such as 4K, Android and HDR have helped add value in this sector, by offering consumers exciting new AV experiences. We expect the demand for 4K to grow in 2017.” Stephen Mitchell, general manager TV and AV at Samsung UK and Ireland states: “At CES 2017, Samsung announced its new QLED TV series – Q9, Q8 and Q7. This new range of QLED TVs offers dramatically improved colour performance, capable of reproducing 100% colour

volume, meaning they can show all colours at any level of brightness.” Glenn Zanoni, TV product manager, Panasonic UK, says: “The 4K TV market has seen significant market growth – more than double year on year. In line with this trend, Panasonic’s 4K TV market has also seen strong growth, with increasing demand for larger screens over 50” and above. Well over half of Panasonic’s 2016 range of TVs were 4K - testament to the growing popularity of 4K TVs.”


Samsung is focused on the continued evolution of its Smart TV offering, adds Samsung’s Mitchell, with the launch of its new Smart TV services at CES 2017, including a music service that allow viewers to search and identify songs broadcast on their TV. Samsung’s

TV Plus will offer IP-based (internet) channels, focused on premium content services through a new Smart EPG solution.


Launching new and exciting products is one thing, but what will be the big consumer trends for TV in 2017? Samsung’s Mitchell says “picture quality remains a top priority for consumers around the world, and TV continues to increase in size.” Convenience is another, he adds: “Our QLED TV series includes a single, ‘Invisible Connection’ cable, through which all of the peripheral devices can be gathered and connected to the TV. We also anticipate that audio is going to play a heightened role in the overall consumer entertainment experience. Samsung has just announced its new standalone sound technology, the H7 wireless speaker, and the new MS750 Soundbar, which is Samsung’s first soundbar to embed a subwoofer directly within the primary unit.” Panasonic’s Zanoni says: “We expect to see the demand for larger screen sizes continue to increase. Picture quality will also continue to be a big focus as consumers are more educated and demanding about superior picture quality. Design will also continue to be a consideration – particularly to accommodate the growing trend for open-plan living spaces. Products such as Panasonic’s DX802 incorporate various artistic touches to complement the interiors of any home.”


More and more content is being made available in UHD, notes LG’s Anderson. “LG’s UHD TVs support HDMI 2.0a, which means that they are compatible with services


such as Sky Q and BT Sport that offer UHD content. Other entertainment providers - such as Amazon and Netflix - will continue to create more UHD content as the technology becomes more popular. Combining resolution and detail with colour and brightness is the next natural step for next generation picture quality and HDR. Sound is consistently ranked by consumers as one top criterion when looking at new TVs. LG recently announced that its 2017 line-up of OLED TVs will have Dolby Atmos integrated, to give viewers a home-cinema like experience, straight out of the box.”

Panasonic: Picture quality will continue to be a big focus


A challenge for retailers will be ensuring that they are wellequipped to demonstrate the various TV technologies to consumers. TV manufacturers say they are doing what they can to help retailers achieve that objective. “It is really important that retailers demonstrate the key benefits of 4K to consumers, especially as 4K offers four times the resolution of HD,” says Sony’s Laird. “We continue to provide retailers with the tools to demonstrate effectively in store, by incorporating eye-catching video content and explaining the product features and benefits thoroughly.” LG’s Anderson agrees. “In order for retailers to highlight the various features, it is important that in-store demonstrations and displays are provided. With this, retailers are able to provide a visual demonstration of what the



“We expect the demand for 4K to grow in 2017”

technologies are able to produce and explain to consumers how this is done.” The LG Lounge provides a training app that is accessed via a smartphone or tablet. Users can access a library of training modules and product information. LG’s training team visit all independent retailers to offer face-to-face training for new products, as well as update displays, deliver POS material and literature, and ensure retailers are up to date with all product information. “It is important for retailers to educate consumers that not all 4K TVs are the same,” says Panasonic’s Zanoni. “Retailers need to ensure that content is presented on the TV displays in the best way possible so consumers can clearly see the 4K image quality at its best. The most effective way for retailers to demonstrate superior picture quality is to compare TVs in store. Colour accuracy will be clear to see at broadcast HD quality.” Samsung’s Mitchell asserts: “It’s vital that practical demonstrations of the devices are given to customers, so they can see how the technology would work in their own home. At Samsung, we are committed to working closely with our retail partners to ensure that they have the necessary skills to accurately inform customers and aptly demonstrate the various features of our whole range of TVs. In-store retailers should be both educating customers and bringing to life the visual and aural benefits of the products available. Using content as part of the sell is hugely beneficial, and it’s important that retailers work with manufacturers to select video content which works best to show these benefits.”

Access to content is important

which also supports professional grade image processing. LG’s Anderson says: “UHD content is key to helping deliver the full value proposition within the UHD TV market. LG continues to work closely with its content partners to develop more 4K content, as well as 4K HDR content, to provide a wider choice of UHD programming to its customers. Additionally, LG UHD TVs are Netflix recommended.” LG has formed partnerships with HDR content providers to ensure that consumers can enjoy 4K HDR content on LG TVs. LG’s 4K OLED televisions are also HDR-ready. LG has also launched its new range of Super UHD TVs, which include new Nano cell technology. The nanometre-wide particles are uniformly sized to help deliver more accurate colours and better viewing angles, says Anderson. Sony says sets in its Bravia OLED A1 series use 8 million self-illuminating pixels to offer unprecedented black, authentic colour, blur-less image and a wide viewing angle.

Samsung’s Mitchell adds: “At the end of 2016, Samsung announced that it will support YouTube’s global High Dynamic Range (HDR) playback on television, through an expanded version of the YouTube application, in order to bring to life an immersive HDR viewing experience – all from the comfort of our users’ homes.” To coincide with the launch, the YouTube application will feature new HDR videos from popular YouTube content creators. “With a growing number of HDR content providers, as well as the numerous creators already producing HDR video content, YouTube’s HDR support is expected to introduce more genre offerings in the coming year and satisfy user demand for a true-to-life viewing experience on the content they enjoy the most,” concludes Mitchell. There will certainly be no shortage of head-turning, eye-popping TV products in-store this year, bringing lots of added value to the market. It looks like 2017 is going to be a good time to be in TV retail.


There are plenty of new, eyecatching products and services on offer. Panasonic recently announced the TX-65EZ1002 - the world’s first HDR-capable, Ultra HD OLED TV -

Samsung: The Art of television



any case of difficulty the setmaker can help. At the end of downloading there’s generally a ‘success’ message and the set will reboot and restore (improved!) operation.


Various things can go wrong with the software updating operation, culminating at best with an aborted transfer and at UPDATING IS INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT. ALAN BENNETT worst an inoperative or damaged TV, DISCUSSES THE PROS, CONS AND PITFALLS not covered by its guarantee. See that the power is not interrupted during the ll but the simplest electronic devices operation, and that the remote and local receiver reboots. If the update is missed are now software-driven: TVs; audio buttons are not touched. Be sure that the it’s necessary to download it by another gear; smartphones and the rest. In many update is for the specific model involved, means (see below.) cases they need updating from time to and comes from the manufacturer’s UK Sky+ boxes can be updated simply at time. It may or may not be easy... website, not from other world regions, home by manipulation of their operating Software and firmware (the terms are even for the same model number, or keys: instructions for this are available both used in this application) are held in from a third party. Any intermediate from Sky. Their current Q boxes memory at the receiver. They instruct the device (e.g. memory stick) automatically update in the central processing unit and other sections should be empty of all data background, requiring manual “Various on how to conduct themselves, and are except that relating to the attention only if they are things can go wrong used to purge bugs, add new features specific model undergoing long disconnected from the and benefits and to confer compatibility upgrading. Disconnect mains or the dish. with the software with new devices, services and broadcast all peripheral devices updating operation, PC/WEB TRANSFER parameters. For any system it’s good to connected to its HDMI culminating at best with check and update the software to the latest The internet provides a and USB ports while the an aborted transfer and at comprehensive software version where the facility is available. The operation is carried out. transfer generally takes five to ten minutes, transfer medium, directly It’s not usually possible to worst an inoperative or accessible via the service sometimes longer. revert to an earlier software damaged TV...“ menu on a hooked-up version once the update OTA UPDATING smart TV. With a PC, go to the has taken place because Over-the-air software updates are equipment maker’s website, select it will have been irrevocably broadcast from satellites and terrestrial ‘support’ and find the updates section. overwritten. I have found that some transmitters, and in recent equipment Enter the model number of the TV or USB drives are not compatible with some are automatically carried out, or the whatever to see if the currently-available TV models for this operation; if so another viewer is prompted to do it with simple software has a higher number than that type will usually work. For customers instructions. The setmaker pays for this, already in the equipment, available via without PCs and not able to use or access and all major UK-trading manufacturers its service menu. Download and save the OTA updates, technicians can call at home have agreements with the DTG for access update to the PC’s hard drive, carefully and carry out the update with a portable to its Engineering Channel (not visible following instructions, then transfer it to device of one sort or another. This can be a or accessible to the viewer, it’s just a a USB flash drive or an empty memory good money-spinner, but we try to exhaust datastream on Multiplex PXB1, MUX1) to stick formatted to FAT 32 (Windows) or all the other options before booking a call. stream their updates there. Each update, MS-DOS for Mac. It may be possible to go Some manufacturers – for example, in specific to one or more models, is broadcast direct from the PC to the TV or whatever. the audio sphere, Bose and Cyrus - refer in a time window, typically of a few days, In either case, plug into its ‘service’ USB end-users to their dealers for software and posted on the DTG website in advance. port and enter its service menu. The action updates, while Roberts internet radios can An update should be followed up with a then required depends on TV design and do it themselves, and the same things are full band scan by automatic or manual age, too diverse to describe here, leading to true of other makes and types of AV gear. means; sometimes a full factory reset is ‘software upgrade’ mode, after which the BUGS required. After the update and/or reset the on-screen instructions can be followed; in Quite apart from the bugs that new software can purge, sometimes it can have issues of its own! Occasionally setmakers and broadcasters release really bad updates which can cause more problems than they solve in terms of user satisfaction, giving rise to many complaints on the internet forums, to dealers and to the manufacturers. These are usually (hopefully!) ironed out with a revised version, issued with some urgency. Some setmakers have the frustrating habit of withdrawing support for various services and features when or before the equipment drops out of the support frame, sometimes when it’s still relatively new, to the dismay and hostility of their customers.


Proceed with caution? JAN/FEB 2017 GET CONNECTED




LIQUID GOLD…. InSinkErator® has embraced the trend for metallic finishes with the launch of the L Shape 3N1 steaming hot water tap, finished in Brushed Gold. The unit dispenses filtered hot, cold and steaming hot water safely up to 98°C and features a self-closing easy-grip hot water handle with push-lever safety locking mechanism. j


BELLING FREESTANDING MICROWAVE RANGE Belling has introduced a collection of freestanding microwaves – five models, two new looks (contemporary and retro) – to complement its existing cooking ranges. The 20-litre 800W retro model (pictured) features five power levels and a defrost by weight & time function, and is available in red, black or cream with contrasting silver accents and chunky controls. j


HISENSE 535-LITRE AMERICAN-STYLE FRIDGE-FREEZER Hisense UK’s RX696 American-style fridge freezer with plumbed water & ice dispenser and a 535-litre capacity incorporates a Multi Airflow System to provide steady and uniform cold air distribution, and NANO Fresh technology which guarantees fresher food for longer. Inverter technology measures the conditions inside the fridge and manages the output accordingly, ensuring a more stable temperature is maintained and extending the life of the appliance. j


VISICOOK BEEHIVE KETTLE This distinctive Beehive Kettle with ribbed glass body joins the VisiCook line-up for 2017. The appliance features blue illumination when in use, and at boiling point provides a refracted light & bubbles show. It is intended to retail at up to £49.99 and is said to provide competitive margins for distributors and retailers.




0121 693 1959





KITCHENAID INTRODUCES NEW INDUCTION COOKING CONCEPT KitchenAid is aiming to “revolutionise” home cooking with an appliance comprising two deep-set induction trays and high-grade stainless steel containers that combine the performance of an oven with that of an induction hob. The Chef Sign features 2 x 1.4kW induction zones which can function simultaneously or separately; five cooking modes – boil/ simmer, fry, roast, steam, low temperature cooking; nine power levels and an electronic timer. j


Pete Sherry, Kitchen Category Manager for Faith Furniture Company, gives his view on the kitchen design trends we can expect to see in 2017 DESIGN AND TEXTURES

The overall linear look is proving very popular in today’s modern kitchen and we will continue to see more plain and handle-less doors, for a simple yet modern style, predominantly in gloss finishes and in grey or neutral earthy hues. The traditional grained timber and timber effects in natural tones will also become more popular, thanks to the increase in painted colour options, and this will continue to grow as homeowners’ desire a look that is both chic and flexible.


The main trend in colour right now is towards grey and earthy tones with homeowners opting for simple, neutral coloured kitchen designs that will stand the test of time. In 2017, shades of grey in cabinets and doors will continue to be in demand and we will also start to see more copper coloured handles, accessories and appliances coming through as people try to find alternatives to stainless steel and black to complement their cabinets.


NEW COOKER HOODS FROM CAPLE Caple has added three new extractor hoods to its collection, all of which are finished in stainless steel and operated via touch control. The 900mm-wide BXC911 wall chimney hood (pictured) has three speeds, two 1.5W high intensity LED lights and aluminium grease filters for easy cleaning. It has a maximum extraction rate of 571 cu.m/h and a sound level of 76dB. j

0117 938 1900 | www.caple.co.uk

The use of bold colours in the kitchen will phase out as European kitchen design will continue to soften these prominent colours and instead use more earth tones and wood grains. Designers still currently prefer to hide small kitchen appliances; therefore, food processors and kettles will find homes in tall larders. There will be a preference towards deep drawers and intelligent high-quality storage solutions. Both style and practicality will be increasingly prevalent as kitchen designers look to create the ‘wow’ factor.


Technology is rapidly developing in the contemporary home and the kitchen is no exception. In 2017 there will be more of a focus on products such as integrated speakers with Bluetooth functionality, colour-changing lights and even pop-up sockets for phone charging, giving traditional kitchens a subtle, modern twist.






uzzy logic had been used for some time in Japan and other countries, in a wide range of applications, so it was not by any means new when it became a ‘talked-about’ feature in the UK domestic appliance market in the late ‘90s/early noughties. The technology is used in various types of appliances. In washing machines, for example, it helps to achieve best all-round performance by sensing the amount of soiling on garments; the type of soiling; fabric sensitivity; the size of the load, and adjusting the output parameters – wash time, wash pace/movement, detergent quantity, water quantity and temperature – accordingly. Et voila! Items come out of the wash cleaner and the process is more economical due to the reduction in the use of water, detergent, electricity and time. The above is a rather crude representation of the theory of fuzzy logic, but this new reality was a world away from what consumers expected of a washing machine, or of any other domestic appliance. It would, however, become a key element in appliances outgrowing the EU Energy Label of the time in terms of its ratings. 20


To this day, many households have yet to fully experience the benefits of a domestic ‘helper’ that will automatically adapt to changing conditions.


It would be misleading to generalise that consumers are not cognisant, to some degree, of resource savings in relation to domestic appliances, but understanding of the type of products perceived as contributing to such savings, both in environmental and personal terms, and

“An eco-friendly Whirlpool dishwasher will, when compared to handwashing, save 183 hours per year, save 410 kWh per year and save 27,300 litres of water” Jennifer Taylor

Senior Brand Manager

how these savings are delivered, is in itself rather fuzzy, as LG discovered when it conducted research into the nation’s laundry habits. The results led UK Head of Marketing Carolyn Anderson to believe that consumers are not fully aware of the range of energy-efficient products available on the market, partly because they indicated confusion as to how resource savings come about. The study showed consumer interest in sustainability to be a growing trend, but it revealed some rather erratic and unreliable means of contributing to environmental savings: a large proportion of those surveyed said they do an average of eleven washes a month, but only if they have a full load of washing (73%), while 26% of respondents admitted to putting off washing clothes in order to “save the environment.” Anderson’s reaction is understandable: “While this is one way consumers consider to save energy and resources, it is perhaps not the most beneficial way,” she comments. “By careful selection of the product and the technology, savings can be greater whilst still making full use of the wash programmes.” The suggestion is that consumers – even those who do their homework before purchasing – may not be aware that, for example, if a smaller load is washed, the machine adjusts the wash parameters accordingly in order to achieve the best and most economical results.


Washing machines, a category seen as the barometer of the white goods industry, is a relatively complex sector in terms of features and benefits. And the fact that the majority of sales are distress purchases provides a challenge to retailers when it comes to getting the advantages of modern-day appliances across to consumers. Faced with a defunct machine and an increasing

V-ZUG’s Plus X Award-winning Andora dishwasher


appliances, or how much energy they use. Ergo, providing consumers with a greater understanding of their energy consumption was one of the factors Hoover took into account when designing its Wizard family of connected appliances. Owain Harrison, UK head of sales and marketing Hoover Candy Baumatic (Built-in), maintains that the additional information provided by connected appliances will make consumers increasingly aware of how much energy products consume. This, he says, “will allow them to modify their everyday chores, programme choices or temperature settings to reduce energy or water consumption, which could in turn have positive effects on reducing energy bills.”


pile of dirty laundry, customers will more often than not consider price and delivery time before the multitude of performance options and programmes available. Time and experience have assisted in educating consumers about the personal savings that can be made by choosing the right appliances, but there is still work to be done. Steve Macdonald, Marketing Director of Freestanding Division Hoover Candy UK, believes that on-product POS energy labels have played their part in raising awareness – offering grading classifications that include information on water usage, spin efficiency, energy consumption and wash performance – but, “as an industry,” he says, “we need

to make the energy and money savings more understandable at a glance. If we could make it easier to understand how an appliance’s energy rating will affect energy bills, it would help to make this clearer for the consumer. However, because people use appliances in different ways, and because there are so many variables in terms of the types of electric tariffs, it is difficult to provide an absolute energy savings cost.”


Macdonald cites content from the Hoover Household Report 2015, which revealed that 59% of consumers have no idea how much it costs to run their household

LG’s Anderson believes the appliances that stand out most on the eco-scale are those boasting features that consumers are able to understand and can clearly see the benefits of. “Appliances such as washing machines are deemed less eco-friendly than refrigerators because consumers can physically see the water loss and therefore are more aware of wastage. In contrast, refrigerators are appliances which consume large amounts of energy, yet individuals do not always consider this because they can’t physically see electricity.” Caple product manager Luke Shipway concurs: “For some consumers, certain appliance categories stand out more than others because their eco credentials are more tangible. For example, with dishwashers and washing machines consumers can easily understand how using less water per wash can benefit the environment and how quicker and lower temperature cycles are more energy efficient. How a consumer uses their appliance may also impact on how conscious they are of its eco credentials. For example, for some, the energy efficiency of an appliance that is switched on 24/7 and used very frequently, such as a fridge freezer, will be important.”


“One of the key causes of electricity waste in refrigerators is leaving the door open for prolonged periods of time and causing the loss of chilled air,” says LG’s Anderson, referring to LG’s Door-in-Door refrigerator as an example of design that minimises this loss. The appliance incorporates a small door within the main fridge door where frequently used foods such as milk and butter can be stored, so the main door is opened less often, reducing the amount of cold air loss by up to 47%. As an appliance that runs 24/7 every day of the year, “it is best to invest in the best and most efficient model affordable,” JAN/FEB 2017 GET CONNECTED


THE GREEN ROOM: GO GREEN IN 2017 “Home automation utilises the best of modern technology to make everyday items smart, which I can see being a product area strongly increasing in 2017” Tim Hutchinson Divisional Manager UK, Liebherr Gorenje’s W9665K washing machine with SensoCare technology



e’re under time pressures, so 9 of the 13 programmes on the new FabricSmart™ WM1490F1 washing machine from Fisher&Paykel will take less than an hour (at 30°C) but still produce an amazing clean due to the special Vortex Wash that speeds up the cleaning process. It has a special drum clean, gasket flush and anti-bacterial material that removes 99.8% of bacteria, so we don’t need to worry about black mould. The best button on the machine is the “Add a Garment”, which means users can stop the machine on any programme, except Delicates, and open the door immediately.

0800 886 601 | sales@fisherpaykel.co.uk www.fisherpaykel.com/uk

maintains Whirlpool Senior Brand Manager Jennifer Taylor. Good advice, but for most consumers a little help in identifying “the best” may go a long way towards finalising the purchase decision. As Taylor notes: “Many consumers are unaware of the great advances in cooling appliance technology that deliver superior performance, ensuring that food stays fresher for longer, reducing food wastage and saving money.” Such technology offers a compelling story for retailers. How many customers know that the temperature and humidity inside cooling appliances can be constantly monitored and kept at optimum levels to keep foodstuffs in tiptop condition for longer, retaining their original taste, colour and appearance while reducing food waste and energy consumption? How many know that food waste from freezer burn could be a thing of the past; that technology can continue the process of photosynthesis to keep fruit and vegetables fresher for longer; that multi-zone compartments can be set to either chill or freeze, according to household needs; that an A+++ refrigerator will consume up to 60% less energy than the same A-rated model? And the list continues… Retailers are fully familiar with these substantial benefits; consumers, on the whole, are not.


Whirlpool’s Taylor says that many appliance categories have hung on to their age-old reputation of “sponging 22


on resources” simply through a lack of consumer knowledge. The dishwasher is the best example of this, she believes: “Dishwasher penetration in the UK still lags behind the rest of Western Europe and analysts report that dishwasher sales still remain much lower compared to other major domestic appliance categories.” However, Kelly Penn, marketing manager for Hoover Candy Baumatic, notes a positive for the category: “The message that a dishwasher is a ‘necessity’ in the kitchen has been reinforced by the fact that volume sales of integrated dishwashers overtook those of freestanding for the first time in 2016.” She quotes figures from industry association AMDEA which show that integrated models have now achieved a 53% share of the dishwasher market. Sharp Home Appliances’ Rita Balestrazzi asserts that dishwashers with 14 place settings can cost as little as £2.93 per month to run. The new generation of models, she says, not only optimise efficiency, but also performance, “offering washes that can reach their optimum temperature for more of the cycle and providing programmes that can support multi-tasking.” Importantly, she adds that concentrated and more targeted washes no longer rely on greater energy or water use. “Dishwashers are being designed with adjustable funnels that can direct water upwards into the interior of mugs, glasses and baby bottles, or downwards into the bottom basket for a more powerful and thorough clean.” It is estimated that by 2020 most UK homes will pay only for the household water they use and Balestrazzi believes that the growth in water metering is bringing the money-saving potential of the more water-efficient appliance models to the fore.


There is plenty of media attention surrounding resource-saving appliances but more specific knowledge needs to be communicated and more enthusiasm generated. The point of sale is where the two can best be projected. V-ZUG UK &





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At Belling, we’ve exciting news. The launch of our new Sensicare Collection means we now provide a complete range of home appliances, from cooking to home laundry. Sensicare includes our freestanding Washing Machines, Tumble Dryers, Dishwashers and Washer Dryers, all with innovative features. Plus, with 100 years of experience behind us, Belling is a name you’re sure to feel right at home with. To find out how to include the complete Belling range in your store, and benefit from our exclusive extended warranty, please contact your GDHA Area Sales Manager.

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quality products are made to last and perform at their best, but this is not typical at the lower end of the market,” he asserts. “The lifetime of the appliance itself should be considered as much as the ratings it offers.” Alex Hinton, Head of Category for built-in at Glen Dimplex Home Appliances, suggests that green appliances appeal to two very different audiences. “Firstly, there are dedicated green consumers – environmentally conscious shoppers who have proven that they will remain green during hard times. For them, reducing their impact on the environment is a lifestyle choice and they are willing to pay more for green products and will do their research to find the one with the least impact on the environment. Then there is the average cash-strapped consumer for whom saving cash is king. For these individuals, going green is a bonus, but saving money and lowering their household running costs will always be the deal breaker. If retailers can demonstrate long-term savings, they will happily switch to an eco-friendly product.” Ireland Sales Director Rhys Evans believes retailers should start by explaining the basic energy ratings and water usage, “but it’s also important for customers to understand that there is a breadth of factors that can make a product ecofriendly,” he adds. “Although the energy rating is a big indicator, there are other aspects to consider, such as if it [the appliance] lowers water usage, does it have clever sensors to alter which programme is used, or does it have a greater capacity which will consequently make it possible to reduce the total number of washes?” Any discussion of eco-friendly features and ratings should also include a wider explanation that highlights the differences between brands, Evans maintains. “High

Liebherr’s KBes4350 SmartSteel fridge with BluPerformance technology



omes can be kept clean and tidy with the new Beldray Quick Vac Lite Blue. Simple and straightforward to use, the Quick Vac Lite is designed to the highest standard, specifically to ease the pressures of modern-day life. Complete with a 22.2V rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a 500ml dust container, users can get 20-25 minutes’ operating time so they can enjoy fast, cordless cleaning. The Quick Vac Lite has an ergonomic design and dual cyclone technology. It includes a flexible extendable hose, crevice and brush tools, and converts into a handheld unit for floor to ceiling cleaning. Lightweight and compact, it can be tucked away for convenient storage.

www.beldray.com | sales@upgs.com | 0161 934 2283




William Penn, the Englishman best known for founding the British colony of Pennsylvania, once said: “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” Never a truer word was spoken. In a world in which the smartphone keeps us constantly ‘on duty’ and the incessant noise of social media invades every area of our lives, time has become one of our most precious resources. Freeing ourselves from everyday household tasks is an obvious way to recoup some of our hard-earned time, so it’s a given that a domestic appliance which doesn’t even require a ‘prep’ stage – such as the stacking of plates in the dishwasher or the

Tech Talk “LG’s Eco-Hybrid dryer features an Eco Mode and a Speed Mode, letting the owner choose between optimal energy and time savings. Using sophisticated heat pump technology, Eco Mode achieves up to A+++ -10% energy efficiency, while Speed mode provides up to A++ energy efficiency and takes 30% less time to complete a cycle.” “The most advanced and smart technology, as available on the new Whirlpool 6TH SENSE Live® app, allows consumers to learn about and manage their resource usage and control consumption to the nearest penny.” “Offering up to 150 auto cooking recipes, intelligent ovens are leaving no margin for any energyconsuming errors. They not only allow recipes to be followed via an app, but also automatically set the ideal temperature, function and programme duration for each dish.”




“Cooker hoods are also able to reduce energy usage. Thanks to their sensor controlled operation, they automatically extract steam as soon as it’s detected, preventing the build-up of hard-to-remove vapour and odours. Sensor controlled LED lighting is similarly enhancing efficiency, limiting illumination to when it’s actually required.” “The Bosch i-DOS intelligent dosing system will automatically calculate just how much detergent and water is required for each wash, which will result in the optimum usage of water, energy and detergent. Consumers can save up to 11 litres of detergent and 7,000 litres of water each year using i-DOS.” “A steaming hot water tap from InSinkErator® completely eliminates the time lost waiting for the kettle to boil, while the perfect amount of steaming hot water readily available contributes to countless other tasks, from cooking to cleaning.” “All Liebherr BluPerformance models are incredibly eco-friendly and efficient, with ratings of A++++ or A+++ -20%. These models are designed to be really efficient whilst also offering a greater internal capacity.”







Tech Talk “At Gorenje we partnered with the EST to receive certification from a reputable and diligent organisation. When they evaluated the Gorenje D98F65EUK tumble dryer they discovered that, over the course of a year, the A+++ energy-rated model could save 98kg of carbon emissions – equivalent to the amount of carbon emitted when driving 324 miles.” “Consumers want the reassurance that they will be able to cook as many dishes as they need to without the limitations of space or wasting energy. This is why AEG’s MaxiSense Combi induction hob has been created with a versatile design that will fit itself to the shape and number of pans being used, rather than the other way around.”

AEG’s MaxiSense combi induction hob with energyefficient OptiHeat Control

“Often missed in

loading of the washing saves the time and kitchen design, the effort involved in one machine – should appeal food waste disposer and of the most regularly to consumers: an steaming hot water tap performed and appliance that has been physically demanding described as “a cleaner make a huge difference to household chores? who works every day but consumer lifestyle.” “Vacuuming is one of doesn’t need paying.” Denise Iordache the hardest household Enter the robotic vacuum tasks: pushing, lifting and cleaner – a tap of the app Marketing Manager, Europe and manoeuvring a device that and it gets on with the job…. Russia, InSinkErator® “Everyone has the need to may weigh 6 or 7 kilos. An keep their house clean, and there iRobot is like employing a cleaner are three choices,” says Bo Simonsen, who works every day but doesn’t UK market manager of Witt UK & Ireland, need paying. It will also do its job any time of the day or night that you choose.” which distributes the iRobot Roomba The savings in time and effort offered vacuum cleaner. “You vacuum it yourself by the iRobot Roomba may be impressive, (with the time and effort that involves); but how does the appliance measure up you hire a cleaner (at some cost); or you in the energy usage stakes? “This is the get a robot. With a robot vacuum cleaner most energy-efficient vacuum cleaner,” the job is never postponed, and the asserts Simonsen. “It uses 33 watts when everyday build-up of dust and debris that cleaning, [as compared to something gets stirred up by people moving around between 500 and 1400 watts for an is kept to a minimum. There’s always average-sized conventional cleaner] and less dust in the atmosphere to settle on you have a clean home every day for no furniture, picture frames, the TV…. so less time or effort spent.” time spent dusting. It’s also good if you It’s also a strong proposition for have pets, and for people with certain retailers, he maintains. “Every customer allergy and respiratory conditions.” needs a vacuum cleaner. Show them this Simonsen contends that, since people new category. The time and energy saving choose a washing machine because it is a very powerful 21st century message, does the job efficiently and saves them and the iRobot can be a memorable and a lot of time and effort, why would they compelling piece of in-store theatre.” not choose a robot vacuum cleaner that 26


“The Hoover HLSI 762GT WIFI Wizard dishwasher features a SuperEco option that can reduce the length of the wash and the energy used by 25%, depending on the cycle. In addition, the temperature of the water and drying time is lowered so energy can be saved and water bills reduced.” “Baumatic BDIF616: An outstanding wash performance is provided by a specially configured Triple Wash Zone consisting of a main spray arm and two additional spray arms that deliver up to 60% more effective wash power when using the rapid, adaptive and intensive wash programmes.” “The V-ZUG Adora SLQ WP, the most efficient washing machine, reduces energy usage by 55% compared to conventional washing machines. It has an energy efficiency rating which beats A+++ and spinning efficiency A. The Sprint programme allows laundry to be cleaned at 40⁰C in just 35 minutes. This consumes very little water and energy, so it can be used guilt free.” “Uniqiue Zeolith® technology brings perfect drying with A+++ energy efficiency. Naturally occurring Zeolith® drying minerals in Bosch Serie 8 models and Siemens iQ700 dishwashers help save energy by converting moisture to heat so that less electricity is required.”

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Get Connected Magazine - Jan/Feb 2017  

INSIDE: 04 Editorial Comment 06 The Word In and around the industry 12 Spotlight on Amazon Go No checkout, no queues, no human contact...

Get Connected Magazine - Jan/Feb 2017  

INSIDE: 04 Editorial Comment 06 The Word In and around the industry 12 Spotlight on Amazon Go No checkout, no queues, no human contact...