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MARCH 2017

THE MAGAZINE OF THE ELEC TRICAL GOODS INDUS TRY

gcmagazine.co.uk

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VIRTUAL TRADESHOW TRADESHOW HEALTHY COOKING

DOMESTIC DOMESTICAPPLIANCE APPLIANCE DISTRIBUTORS DISTRIBUTORS

GOING GOINGTHE THEDISTANCE DISTANCEDELIVERING DELIVERINGTHE THEGOODS GOODS

Capitalising on the health & fitness trend

GEORGE COLE Smart TV: a spy in the home?

GUEST COLUMN Brian Hume, CEO Martec International, and Robin Coles, Microsoft Technologies Enablement Lead, HSO

FROM THE BENCH

1ST 1ST -- 30TH 30TH APRIL APRIL 2017 2017 11 MONTH MONTH OF OF AMAZING AMAZING DEALS DEALS

Alan Bennett on Hybrid Log-Gamma

DESIGN AWARDS

PRODUCT DESIGN AWARDS

THE CATEGORIES The categories for the 2017 Awards are:

COOKING:

Individual major domestic cooking appliance products and specific cooking ranges

REFRIGERATION:

Individual domestic fridges, freezers, fridge/freezers and cooling appliances, and specific cooling ranges

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS:

Individual products and ranges across the CE category, including TV, audio, home cinema/home theatre, portable audio/visual/ communications devices, radio, digital imaging

SMALL DOMESTIC APPLIANCES:

OFFERS OFFERS ONLY ONLY AVAILABLE AVAILABLE ONLINE! ONLINE! DISHWASHING:

Individual dishwasher models and specific dishwasher ranges

CALL FOR ENTRIES GC PRODUCT DESIGN AWARDS 2017

Individual products and ranges across the SDA category, including kettles, toasters, juicers, blenders, food preparation products, small cooking appliances, beverage makers, personal care & grooming products

MAJOR DOMESTIC APPLIANCES RANGES:

FLOORCARE:

GARMENT CARE:

AV FURNITURE & ACCESSORIES:

WWW.DAD-ONLINE.CO.UK WWW.DAD-ONLINE.CO.UK Ranges of major domestic appliances marketed under a specific range name, and comprising products from two or more different categories in cooking, cooling, laundry, dishwashing

Individual home laundry (washers, dryers & washer/dryers), ironing, steam generation and other electrical garment care products

Individual products and ranges in floorcare, including vacuum cleaners, deep cleaners, carpet/hard floor cleaners and combination floorcare products

Individual products and ranges in TV & AV furniture, supports and brackets, and ancillary products such as leads & connectors

E GET CONNECTED PRODUCT OF THE YEAR AWARDS, LAUNCHED IN 2005 TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE

CELLENCE OF SPECIFIC ELECTRICAL PRODUCTS AND PRODUCT RANGES, HAVE ALWAYS ADAPTED

Call for entries

O KEEP PACE WITH CHANGES IN THE INDUSTRY AND IN CONSUMER DEMANDS, AND REFLECT THE IMPORTANCE THIS INDUSTRY PLACES ON THE WIDER MEANING OF GREAT DESIGN.

HOW TO ENTER

FOR THE 2017 PRODUCT DESIGN AWARDS Entries and supporting materials should be sent via e-mail to the editor: marlinda@gcmagazine.co.uk

A

esthetics and style are important, but design means more than appearance. It is acknowledged in this industry that engineering, fitness for purpose, reliability and market relevance all combine to create the bigger design picture that produces great products, great brands and great business. The Get Connected Product Design Awards recognise genuinely innovative products with outstanding USPs and advanced technology that is more than skin deep. Winners will have the right to display the striking 3D crystal GC Product Design of the Year Award logo on all publicity, promotion and PR relating to the winning product, on relevant POS material and on the products themselves.

Products eligible for nomination in the Get Connected Product Design Awards 2017 must have existed in the UK market during the calendar year 1 January - 31 December 2016.

Visit gcmagazine.co.uk for the latest

ELIGIBILITY

All domestic electrical products that are available in the UK market during the relevant calendar year are eligible for nomination. This includes mature products that may have been launched prior to the relevant year, as well as those that were new to the market.

APRIL 2017

THE PROCESS

The Get Connected Products of the Year Awards are conducted on a two-tier judging system: A panel of industry peers comprising the GC Editorial team and co-opted industry commentators make an initial selection from nominated products and ranges; these are then listed and presented in GC Magazine and www.gcmagazine.co.uk, along with a voting form for retailers to place their votes. Retailers, distributors and providers of services to the industry are eligible to vote. The Awards will be made based on the aggregate of points awarded by the panel, and the number of votes cast. The nominations for the 2017 Product Design Awards will be published in the June 2017 issue of Get Connected, along with the voting form. The winners – those who have received the highest aggregate of points and votes in each category – will be published in the August 2017 issue.

ALL PRODUCT AWARD ENTRIES: Please supply: 

Manufacturer/Supplier name

Contact name/Telephone/E-mail

Awards Product Category applied for

Product range/name/model number

UK launch date (Please note that products MUST have been available on the UK market during the calendar year of 2017)

Supporting material: •

Product images x 2 (max.)

Product spec sheet

Up to 500 words on all or any of the following design features in support of your entry: ■

Innovation

Technology

Aesthetics

Response to consumer needs

Outstanding USPs

DOMESTIC DOMESTICAPPLIANCE APPLIANCE DISTRIBUTORS DISTRIBUTORS

Entries and supporting materials should be sent via e-mail to: marlinda@gcmagazine.co.uk to arrive on or before the closing date of 30th April 2017. Please note that late or incomplete entries cannot be considered.

APRIL 2017 GET CONNECTED

DAD_ONLINEUK DAD_ONLINEUK

www.dad-online.co.uk www.dad-online.co.uk

TEXT TEXTDAD1 DAD1 TO TO88802 88802

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0844 0844854 8546715 6715

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CONTENTS

INSIDE...

16

04

Editorial Comment

06

The Word

13

Guest Column

14

GC Product Design Awards

16

Healthy Cooking

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George Cole Gets Connected

TEFAL’S “ACTIFRY” LOW-OIL FRYER

Editor in Chief: Marlinda Conway Telephone: 01420 886 33 marlinda@gcmagazine.co.uk Magazine Advertising Sales: Brian Shilling Telephone: 01892 677 741 brian@gcmagazine.co.uk

Retailers still need to bridge the gap between online and in-store say Brian Hume, CEO Martec International, and Robin Coles, Microsoft Technologies Enablement Lead, HSO

Subscriptions & Circulation: (GCCD) Telephone: 01420 886 33 circulation@gcmagazine.co.uk Creative Director: Will Dobson will@gcmagazine.co.uk

Sharon Maslen Telephone: 01892 677 742 sharon@gcmagazine.co.uk

Advertisement Production Administration: Will Dobson Telephone: 01342 850 456 artwork@gcmagazine.co.uk

Editorial & Publishing Director: Terry Heath Telephone: 01420 886 33 terry@gcmagazine.co.uk

Production and Print: Blackmore Press, Shaftesbury, Dorset www.blackmore.co.uk

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the publisher. Get Connected is published by Mud Hut Publishing Ltd, Greyfriar Cottage, Winchester Road, Chawton, Alton, Hampshire GU34 1SB.

Annual subscription rate (inc. postage): UK £88; Overseas £108.

© Copyright 2017 Mud Hut Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

Mud Hut Publishing Ltd. Greyfriar Cottage, Winchester Road, Chawton, Alton, Hampshire. GU34 1SB

www.gcmagazine.co.uk

In and around the industry

25 26

Call for entries for Get Connected’s 2017 Product Design Awards

GC looks at the opportunity for manufacturers and retailers to respond to the change in consumer cooking and eating habits

A spy in the room…

From the Bench Hybrid Log-Gamma is a relatively simple way of implementing HDR, writes Alan Bennett

The Product Gallery

MARCH 2017 GET CONNECTED

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EDITORIAL COMMENT

COMMENT SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL, AND THE GREAT BEAUTY OF THE SMALL BUSINESS COMMUNITY IN THE UK IS THAT IT IS – AS EVERYONE ACKNOWLEDGES – THE BACKBONE OF THE ECONOMY AND THE ENTREPRENEURIAL DRIVING FORCE BEHIND INNOVATION, GROWTH AND EMPLOYMENT. THE CHANCES ARE THIS MEANS YOU, BECAUSE IF YOU’RE READING GC MAGAZINE YOU’RE PROBABLY RUNNING A SMALL BUSINESS, EMPLOYED BY ONE OR HAVE STRONG BUSINESS LINKS WITH SMES.

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he facts confirm the vital role of SMEs: they are responsible for 47% of total private sector turnover; they employ 60% of the total private sector workforce. So why is a vibrant economic asset that should be encouraged, courted and consulted, so often treated with a disappointing lack of understanding and support? Is it because politicians, always looking for sources of revenue but frightened by the power of the big businesses and financial institutions who are best able to afford it, turn to the easy, reliable, industrious SME sector to squeeze out a little more cash for the exchequer? It’s as if Governments – and we make no Party distinctions – say: “We need more money, but the richest businesses have better tax lawyers than us, so we’ll have to hit the easy option again. Small businesses will moan, but they’ll shoulder the extra burden. They always do.”

“The selfemployed shoulder the risk of going it alone, without the employee benefits of paid holidays, sick pay or statutory redundancy pay, and they take on the daily pressure and hard work of being ultimately responsible for the running of a business. ”

The Spring Budget revealed the attitude yet again. A drop in the tax-free dividend allowance from £5,000 to £2,000 may be a drop in the ocean to directors of big companies whose dividend take is substantial, but to a director of a small company trying to eke out salary and dividends to get a liveable reward for the risk, work and worry of running a business, it’s a substantial extra burden. The manifesto4

GET CONNECTED MARCH 2017

breaking rise of 2% in National Insurance contributions for the self-employed, although quickly abandoned by the Chancellor – at least for this Parliament – after pressure from SMEs (the Federation of Small Businesses is to be commended for its part in this) and from within his own party, is also an example of where the exchequer thinks its revenue can most easily be gathered. Mr Hammond’s argument that he was just correcting an unfairness that gave the self-employed an advantage over employees is nonsense. The self-employed shoulder the risk of going it alone, without the employee benefits of paid holidays, sick pay or statutory redundancy pay, and they take on the daily pressure and hard work of being ultimately responsible for the running of a business. Doesn’t all this merit a bit more consideration, especially since SMEs are also largely responsible for the general health of the economy? We say this with a strong sense of fellow feeling with our readers, since GC, like many of you, is a truly independent business. Like others still standing in this industry after a decade of profound change and upheaval, we understand from experience what it’s like to have survived by recognising early enough the need to adapt to that change, to have taken hard decisions, and to have forged a sustainable business model. Like you, we know that change and adaptation in a dynamic marketplace will have to go on, and that it will have to be accomplished without the luxury of being part of a bigger business that can subsidise us from sources outside our industry. There’s not a universal answer to the electrical retail crisis. But it is certain that, whatever path each individual business chooses, support from our trading partners should be given to those who already have a track record of successful adaptation.

for your FREE COPY of Get Connected Magazine

www.gcmagazine.co.uk

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


trade ad EXPERT MILK 186x269mm-02.indd 1

22/02/2017 11:07


INDUSTRY NEWS

GCMAGAZINE.CO.UK >> UPDATED DAILY

THE VERY LATEST ELECTRICAL GOODS INDUSTRY NEWS

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE FALLS IN FEBRUARY AS INFLATIONARY PRESSURES BITE Consumer confidence fell again in February as Britons’ concern for their personal finances deepened.

G

fK’s Consumer Confidence Index fell by one point to -6, six points lower than at this time last year, against a backdrop of rising prices in the wake of Brexit. Pressures on disposable income have also started to bite, as evidenced by a further fall in the Major Purchase Index. The figure fell five points to +5 in February, seven points lower

than at this time last year. Joe Staton, Head of Market Dynamics at GfK, said: “Any momentum behind the postBrexit debt-fuelled consumer spending boom now appears to be softening.” Rising food and fuel prices, sterling depreciation, nominal earnings growth and a “burgeoning fear of rapid

inflation” have contributed to the fall in consumer confidence, he added. Despite signs that consumers are tightening their belts due to inflationary pressures, expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months increased three points to -20. But Staton cautioned: “Consumer spending continues to drive economic growth in the UK so any further fall in confidence could support forecasts for a slowdown of the overall economy this year.”

FIRST NON-FOOD QUARTERLY SALES DECLINE SINCE 2011 F

igures released by the BRC and KPMG show quarterly non-food retail sales in the UK declined 0.4% on a like-for-like basis to February 2017 and

“The impact of inflation on consumer spending will add further intensity to an already fiercely competitive environment in which the ability to adapt and innovate will be key to survival”

0.2% on a total basis, bringing about the first 3-month decline since November 2011 and taking the 12-month total average growth to 0.6%, the lowest since May 2012. In February, overall sales fell by 0.4% on a like-for-like basis on the same month last year. Growth was subdued by a continuation of the slowdown in non-food sales, which was marginally offset by slightly stronger growth in food sales. While there was a degree of negative distortion created by the later timing of Mother’s Day this year, the persistent weak sales performance of several

non-food categories points to an undeniable trend of cautious spending on non-essential items, according to the BRC. Chief Executive Helen Dickinson warned that tougher times are expected ahead. “The impact of inflation on consumer spending will add further intensity to an already fiercely competitive environment in which the ability to adapt and innovate will be key to survival,” she said. The 3-month trend to February showed online sales of non-food products again outpacing in-store sales. Online grew 7.7%, while in-store declined 2.4% on a total basis and 2.6% on a like-for-like basis.

 @GC_Team

NON-FOOD INFLATION EASES IN FEBRUARY Overall shop prices fell by 1.0% in February, a significant deceleration of deflation compared to 1.7% in January, but nonfood prices, although less deflationary (a 1.8% price decline compared to 2.3% in January), are still falling considerably faster than the overall shop price index. Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “For the time being, consumers continue to benefit from an annual fall in non-food prices, which were down 1.8% on the previous year. However, the rate of deflation has eased considerably from a monthly perspective, which can be explained in part by an end to the promotional activity in January after a weak festive sales performance in some non-food categories. “Looking further ahead, retailers, who operate in a highly competitive market with narrow margins, will be increasingly hard pushed to protect their customers from the inevitable impact of rising cost pressures. We can therefore expect this impact to start manifesting in shop prices over the course of the year.” Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight at Nielsen, said deflation in this sector of the market in part reflects the structural change underway in nonfood retailing.

For Formore moreinformation information visit visit www.responsible-recycling.co.uk www.responsible-recycling.co.uk

REPIC Responsible Recycling is is our new campaign GET CONNECTED MARCH 2017 Responsible Recycling our new campaigntotoencourage encouragegreater greaterconsumer consumer 6 REPIC participation in the world of of WEEE recycling... visit participation in the world WEEE recycling... visitour ournew newwebsite websitefor forfull fulldetails! details!


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INDUSTRY NEWS

JOHN LEWIS CUTS STAFF BONUSES TO 6% J

ohn Lewis Partnership has said it will cut staff bonuses to 6%, down from 10% last year, in order to retain more of the company’s annual profits to strengthen its balance sheet. Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the Partnership, said the move allows the business to maintain the level of investment in what it expects to be “an increasingly uncertain market.” The 6% bonus payout is the lowest since 1954. The Partnership Bonus was announced as the retailer released its results for the 52 weeks ended 28th January 2017. Profits before exceptionals rose 21.2% to £370.4 million on gross sales of £11.37 billion, up 3.2% on last year. Mayfield said John Lewis continued to outperform the market

against a backdrop of “a changing and competitive retail landscape.” Gross sales were up 4.0% to £4.74 billion, with strong like-for-like sales growth of 2.7%.

Operating profit before exceptional items was slightly down, at £243.2 million, 2.8% lower than last year. Electricals & Home Technology sales were up 6.8%. The retailer

opened Smart Home areas in three stores, leading to a 16.7% increase for Audio and Smart Home. New products such as the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer and an exclusive high street launch of the Oculus Rift helped to drive sales. In its outlook for 2017/18, Mayfield said that trading pressures will continue as a result of the wider changes taking place in retail. The two major influences being pricing, where the rate of change in selling prices is likely to be significantly slower than the rate of change in input costs as a result of weakness in the Sterling exchange rate, and the continued shift from shops to online. “These factors are significant for the outlook where we expect both inflationary cost pressures and competition to intensify in the market as a whole,” he added.

CIH HOSTS DIGITAL MARKETING WORKSHOP FOR EURONICS AGENTS

AMAZON TO ADD 5,000 TO UK FULL-TIME WORKFORCE IN 2017

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mazon has announced plans to open three new warehouse fulfilment centres – in Daventry, Doncaster and Tilbury – and to increase staff at its London head office and customer service centre in Edinburgh this year.

uying group CIH has held the first part of an Independent Digital Education Programme which has been established to support Euronics agents in developing their businesses. Part one of the initiative – an AdWords workshop exclusively for agents in Central London – was sponsored by Euronics supplier Electrolux and focused on topics including an introduction to search engine marketing, building an effective AdWords campaign and support for future AdWords marketing. Heidi Andrews, Digital Marketing Coordinator at CIH said:

“The marketing landscape is changing rapidly. We are all short of time to invest in our businesses and get our heads around the new tools available, so this is the first of many programmes from which we hope that all our agents will benefit. ”We received excellent and very positive feedback from all those who attended the workshop and really hope it makes a difference to their business in this fastchanging digital world.” CIH proposes to offer a number of independent education programmes throughout the year to support agents in developing their businesses.

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The 5,000 new full-time jobs cover a range of staff including warehouse operatives and software developers, and will bring Amazon’s total UK workforce to more than 24,000. The additional warehousing is, says the company, to keep pace

with existing growth, to help speed up deliveries and to handle the rapid growth in third-party retailers who sell via the Amazon website and use Amazon delivery services. The UK is Amazon’s secondbiggest market outside the US, after Germany. Head of Amazon’s UK business Doug Gurr said: “We are creating thousands of new UK jobs including hundreds of apprenticeship opportunities as we continue to innovate for our customers and provide them with even faster delivery, more selection and better value.”

PJH OPENS “PARTNERS PORTAL” TO MOBILE USERS

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JH, which lays claim to being the UK’s largest supplier of bathrooms, kitchens and appliances, with more than 3,000 customers including independent retailers, builders’ merchants, housebuilders, developers and specifiers, has updated its PJH Partners™

e-commerce site by optimising the online ordering platform for mobile use. Sally Hough, PJH’s Multi-Channel Marketing Manager, said: “With an increasing number of our customers accessing the PJH Partners Portal™ using smart phones and tablets,

we have responded by bringing this fresh and dynamic functionality. Mobile optimisation also brings a number of additional benefits such as allowing stock, price and product details to be checked whilst out on a job or when a retailer is out conducting a home design visit.” MARCH 2017 GET CONNECTED

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INDUSTRY NEWS

GCMAGAZINE.CO.UK >> UPDATED DAILY

 @GC_Team

BSH INITIATES REPAIR ACTION ON BUILT-IN GAS HOBS BSH has initiated a voluntary repair on two models of built-in gas hobs due to the risk of explosion. The products were manufactured between 2009 and 2011 and sold under the Bosch and Neff brands. The company has advised owners of the affected models (Bosch NGU4151DB / Neff T20S31N0) to turn off the gas supply to the appliance immediately and not to use it until the connection fitting has been replaced. BSH said in a statement that it is “convinced that a risk of explosion can arise only in extremely rare cases due

to a possibly damaged gas connector. However, a safety risk cannot be completely ruled out for these models.” The manufacturer said it is not aware of any incidences involving these appliances in the UK or Ireland – 3,898 were sold in the UK and two in the Republic of Ireland. It will, however, run a series of press advertisements to alert consumers.

For further information: www.gascookingsafety.com/en-gb Bosch: 0344 892 8979 | Neff: 0344 892 8989

WHIRLPOOL CHANGES SAFETY ADVICE ON FIRERISK TUMBLE DRYERS Whirlpool – owner of the Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda brands whose faulty tumble dryer models were identified as a potential fire risk back in November 2015 – has issued new advice to owners of the affected models.

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reviously, Whirlpool had been telling owners of the suspect machines that, while they were waiting for a safety modification, they could continue to use them provided they were not left unattended. The new advice to consumers is that they should unplug the appliances and should not use them until the modification has taken place. The action by Whirlpool is reportedly the result of an enforcement notice issued by Peterborough city council’s Trading Standards office. A spokesman for Peterborough trading standards confirmed it had issued an enforcement notice to Whirlpool, “instructing them to change current consumer advice in relation to faulty tumble dryers.” It is believed the notice was issued on February 16th, and was initially appealed against by Whirlpool. If the notice had not been complied with, court action would have followed.

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Peterborough trading standards had themselves been under pressure from Which?. The consumer group has been demanding a full recall of the faulty appliances and had threatened Peterborough trading standards with a judicial review of its handling of the situation. Which? Managing director of home and legal services Alex Neill commented: “Following our long-running campaign and recent application for judicial review, Peterborough trading standards has finally taken enforcement action against Whirlpool for the ongoing tumble dryer safety issue.” Whirlpool said in a statement: “Trading standards have now notified us that updated usage advice should be communicated to consumers and we are implementing this. Trading standards have confirmed that our actions to date in this campaign have been undertaken diligently and responsibly.”

GROUPE SEB INTRODUCES 10 YEAR REPAIR PROMISE TO UK MARKET

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roupe SEB is the first Small Domestic Appliance manufacturer to launch a 10 Year Repairability programme in the UK, promising easy repair for 95% of its product range for 10 years or more. As well as being cheaper for customers than buying a replacement product, the scheme also helps the “A recent environment by reducing WRAP survey demand on raw showed that 80% of materials and electrical consumers want a waste in landfills. WRAP, the Waste minimum two-year and Resources Action guarantee” Program, estimates that the UK throws away 1.4m tonnes of electrical waste per year, with around half recycled, a third landfilled and only 7% re-used. The programme, in which Groupe SEB has so far invested £2m, is supported by the ‘Repairable Product 10 Years’ logo, making it easy for consumers to identify the qualifying appliances, which include Blenders, ActiFry low oil fryers, Coffee makers, Steam Irons and Steam Generators. Alain Pautrot, Groupe SEB VP consumer satisfaction, said: “A recent WRAP survey showed that 80% of consumers want a minimum two-year guarantee, so I think 10 Year Repairability will give them a great deal of reassurance in the product and will improve the purchase decision. Our primary aim is to reduce the number of small domestic appliances going to landfill, which in turn allows our customers to fulfil their desire to be more environmentally friendly.” The repair process is simple for consumers: “Bring your broken product to your local repair shop or send by post.” Repairs take 3-5 days, depending on the parts required. Seven repair centres exist in the UK and two in Ireland. There are also 14 specialised drop-off points in the UK plus further drop-off points available in major retailers such as Currys, via its Knowhow desk. If within product guarantee, the repair is free of charge. Groupe SEB said the cost of replacement parts has been reduced by 30% since 2012 to guarantee that the price of a repair remains favourable compared to a replacement product.


THE LATEST ELECTRICAL GOODS INDUSTRY NEWS >> GCMAGAZINE.CO.UK

INDUSTRY NEWS

LG RELEASES 2017 HOME ENTERTAINMENT RANGES LG

Electronics (LG) unveiled its newest home entertainment line-up for the European market at its annual InnoFest Europe event. Highlights included the company’s multiHDR-enabled TVs such as the 77-inch LG SIGNATURE OLED TV W, winner of multiple accolades including the 2017 CES Best of Innovation Award. The new line-up of ten models features Dolby Vision™ and Dolby Atmos™ sound. LG said it demonstrates the company’s leadership in the premium TV industry, with the Picture-on-Wall design of its W series, the blade-slim design of the B7 and C7 series and the Pictureon-Glass design of the E7 and G7 series. LG’s new SUPER UHD TV line-up for Europe incorporates 14 models, all with Nano Cell technology to help to create “hyper-realistic” images, highly accurate colours and wider viewing angles. Like the 2017 OLED models, these

also benefit from technology resulting from the company’s partnership with Technicolor, which helps to deliver the most vivid colours. A new range of soundbars for 2017 incorporates the SJ7 (pictured), which can be used as an independent Bluetooth speaker. When configured in Sound Bar Mode, the two halves connect wirelessly together and can be placed vertically, allowing users to enjoy high-quality audio performance via a wireless stereo speaker system. For those who prefer a surround sound experience, the SJ7 can be configured in Rear Speaker Mode to tailor the audio experience to specific visual content. LG’s Levitating Portable Speaker (model PJ9) brings something different to the table. The unit hovers in place over its accompanying Levitation Station, delivering both high-quality audio and eye-catching design. At its core is a 360-degree omnidirectional speaker and deep bass emitted by

the subwoofer inside the Station. Dual Passive Radiator technology reproduces flush mid-range tones and crisp highs. When the PJ9’s 10-hour battery begins to run low, the speaker automatically descends to the Station for charging, with no intervention required from the listener and no interruption in music playback, rising again when fully charged…. Nifty!

AEG FOCUSES ON “TASTE” AND “CARE” WITH LAUNCH OF NEW PRODUCT RANGES

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lectrolux is poised to launch a new look for its AEG brand and new product ranges in cooking and laundry, both of which were revealed at IFA 2016 in Berlin. At a press event held at the company’s headquarters in Luton, Peter Spencer, General Manager UK & Ireland, told journalists that the new product ranges – the Mastery range and a laundry range promising “unprecedented” care – took three years to develop. The focus, he said, is on technology and build quality. Both ranges are broad in scale, as a brief overview of some of the highlights reveals: The Mastery range accommodates the practical elements of using appliances with responsive technology and design that makes life easier for consumers. It incorporates an oven with food sensor and Command Wheel, which work together to give users the

choice of having meat cooked rare, medium or well done, as they would in a restaurant; a fridge with flexible door storage that can be customised according to individual needs; a hands-free hood that automatically adjusts to cooking activity on the hob, and a dishwasher with a lower basket that can be raised for ergonomic loading and unloading. A feature of the Mastery cooking range which, according to Spencer, offers “the world’s most responsive cooking experience,” is the Black Line – a modern black glass design range offering “perfect horizontal alignment.” The collection incorporates a Sous Vide oven and compact Combination Microwave oven, both with ProSight touch controls, a compact Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine, a fully integrated SousVide Vacuum Sealer and a 14cm Warming Drawer.

The new AEG laundry range offers combinations of washing machines and dryers that work in tandem, promising to preserve the colours and textures of garments and protect the fibres. It offers clear trade-up opportunities for retailers, with SoftWater technology – a world first, according to Electrolux – incorporated in the top-end 9000 Series washing machines. The technology softens the water before washing for “unrivalled” cleaning results at 30⁰C. A major focus for AEG will be how it communicates the features of the new ranges to consumers.

Cooking will focus on “Taste” and Laundry on “Care”. Chris George, Head of Marketing, outlined a comprehensive plan of attack which included broadcast media – primetime viewing on Food Network from May to September and Sky Adsmart, commencing April, for laundry. Social media will also play a large part in the communications. The aim, according to George, is to “bring the brand to life for consumers.” AEG is now gearing up for the big launch: consumers will receive firsthand experience of the products at Grand Designs in May.

MARCH 2017 GET CONNECTED

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INDUSTRY NEWS

GCMAGAZINE.CO.UK >> UPDATED DAILY

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BEKO LAUNCHES FIRST SDA COLLECTION B

JOHN LEWIS ANNOUNCES £4M INVESTMENT IN DIGITAL CUSTOMER SERVICE INITIATIVE IN STORES

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ohn Lewis has announced plans to invest £4million in a new customer service initiative in 20 of its shops to strengthen its omnichannel customer experience. The investment will see 8,000 Partners who work on the shop floor, receive an iPhone loaded with a dedicated ‘Partner App’ designed to enable them to quickly help customers with information about products, check stock availability, and place orders. The retailer said the development will put an end to customers waiting for Partners to go to stock rooms to see whether a product is in stock, or to check information at tills. The app was designed and built by John Lewis’s in-house online team using feedback from Partners in its Cambridge store where the project was tested with customers for five months. Following a training programme this summer, the mobile phones will be rolled out to the 8,000 shop-floor Partners

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in 20 John Lewis shops across the UK. Partners will then have visibility of stock availability in all stores and at the retailer’s warehouse in Milton Keynes, where online orders are fulfilled, as well as product information, customer reviews, the ability to email product information to customers and to place orders. Announcing the new initiative, John Lewis Customer Director Craig Inglis said: “As online and physical worlds increasingly come together, this initiative, which forms the foundation of our digital strategy for shops, will support our Partners in offering great customer service in a digital world.” Inglis added that the trial in the retailer’s Cambridge store received “overwhelmingly positive” customer feedback. “This is just the beginning,” he said. “We will keep adding to the Partner app in the future with new, innovative ways to help our customers.”

eko has made the move into small domestic appliances in the UK market following the official unveiling of the collection at IFA in Berlin last September. The new range incorporates breakfast sets, a bean-to-cup coffee machine, filter coffee machines, hand blenders, microwaves and steam irons. Vacuum cleaners will be added to the collection late spring 2017. The products are available to UK retailers via SDA distributor EPE. Beko said the move into SDA will capitalise on the “incredible success” of its extensive range of MDA. “Our credentials and expertise in MDA ensure we’re in the perfect position to expand into a new category,” said Brand Manager Shalika Hooda. “We’re committed to bringing first-class technology to everyday families, and we’re now able to do that through even more channels.”

A full product launch campaign has been established to engage both retailers and consumers. Retailers will receive product training from the Beko team, and marketing materials & POS will be available for in-store use. Hooda said a consumer PR campaign “will drive customers in-store.” Hero appliances in the range include a compact bean-to-cup coffee machine with integrated milk frother, which can make up to 8 cups at a time; irons equipped with SteamXtra™ technology, incorporating slanted steam vents, a precision steam tip and a sole plate designed to inject steam at cross angles to protect fabrics and provide deeper penetration; kettles and toasters with temperature control. Beko said the entire collection has been created to make light work of chores for families, “saving them time and money.”

TOSHIBA WARNS OF 390 BILLION YEN (£4.25 BILLION) NET LOSS FOR YEAR TO MARCH 2017 Mr Shigenori Shiga, chairman of Toshiba, has resigned following the Japanese company’s forecast of a net £4.25 billion loss for the year to March 2017, citing an expected £5 billion writedown of assets in its US nuclear business as one of the principal factors. Toshiba US subsidiary Westinghouse Electric bought a nuclear construction and services business from Chicago Bridge & Iron in 2015, and the purchased assets are now likely to be worth less than the initial valuation. Toshiba, still suffering from revelations in 2015 that it had been overstating profits for seven years, is raising funds by selling part of its profitable memory chip business – the second largest in the world after Samsung. The company, once a powerful brand in consumer electronics, has already cut its interests in TV manufacturing and concluded a number of global brand licensing deals. Shares have fallen by some 50% in the past two months, and lost up to 9% in early trading after the announcement of the £4.25 billion net loss was made. Some commentators are now predicting that the future of the company may be “at risk.”


THE LATEST ELECTRICAL GOODS INDUSTRY NEWS >> GCMAGAZINE.CO.UK

TIM NOYES RETIRES AFTER 43 YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY

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im Noyes, one of the first sales people to join national sales agency Big Red Sales when it was founded in 2010, is retiring. Noyes’ 43-year career in the industry began in 1974 with Diamond Stylus, where he won the company’s

Salesman of the Year award in two consecutive years. Successful spells in senior sales with Bandridge, CD & AV Supplies (his own business) and Lawton Trade Supplies followed. He joined Big Red Sales in 2010, where he has spent the last seven years. Big Red Sales founder John Reddington said: “We are going to miss Tim, as are his many retailers with whom he has a fantastic rapport. He has done a wonderful job for Big Red Sales and we wish him many happy and healthy years of retirement with his wife Gillian.”

INDUSTRY NEWS

Moves Gabriella Fryer, former Marketing Manager for Domestic Appliance Distributors, has joined the marketing team at Montpellier Domestic Appliances. She succeeds Gary Millar, who joined the business as Head of Marketing in October 2015.

Gabriella Fryer

BSH has appointed Tristan Sherlock to the role of Sales Director, Kitchen Independents. Sherlock worked as an Area Business Manager for BSH between 2005 and 2010 before rejoining the company in 2012 as Regional Business Manager for London & South of England. Tristan Sherlock

AO World Chief Operating Officer Steve Caunce has succeeded John Roberts as Chief Executive Officer, accountable for strategy and performance delivery. Roberts transitions to a new role on the Board as Founder, Executive Director. The company said the change in management roles reflects its rapid growth and success and the Board’s succession-planning work since AO floated on the LSE in 2014. Beko has appointed former Electrolux Channel Manager Philip Fletcher as National Sales Manager for its new Small Appliances Division. He will work with distributor EPE to ensure independent retailers have access to the product range (See page 10). Philip Fletcher

SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHES FLOOR CARE RANGE AT SPRING FAIR. Innovative leader in home appliances Tefal launches its first-ever range of vacuums. RUNNING TIME

RUNNING TIME

RUNNING TIME

Air Force: The powerful cordless handstick vacuums that feature an illuminated triangular head for optimum visibility in dark corners. Clean & Steam: A 2-in-1 floor care solution that allows homeowners to vacuum and steam at the same time or separately, both forwards and backwards, promising to clean hard floors perfectly and hygienically in half the time. Tefal has appointed EPE to handle exclusive distribution of this new floor care range within Independent retail.

THE WINNERS FROM OUR SPRING FAIR COMPETITION ARE…

Air Force

Clean & Steam

• MR ANJUM MOBARIK, LTC DISTRIBUTORS • MRS JOYCE HALL HALL’S, MICA HARDWARE • MRS CLAIRE FOXALL, L.W.FOXALL • MR SHAUN COX, GEOFF HILL LTD

CONGRATULAWITILLONALLS! LUCKY WINNERS ACK RECEIVE A BL AIR FORCE 25V

For more information please contact EPE: 0844 800 8055 | sales@epeinternational.com | www.epeinternational.com


INDUSTRY NEWS

GCMAGAZINE.CO.UK >> UPDATED DAILY

 @GC_Team

BIG RED SALES REWARDS TOP SALES AGENT

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ig Red Sales agent Stuart Hoad has won the organisation’s Sales Agent of the Year Award for the second time, and is pictured (centre) receiving his prize – a brand new Volvo V40 – from Big Red Sales UK Sales Manager Robert McDougall (left). Big Red Sales Ltd currently runs an 11-strong independent sales force, and Hoad has been on the national sales team for nearly four years covering London and the Home Counties. Commenting on his success, he said: “Thanks are due to all the other Big Red Sales agents for making this so difficult and pushing me right to the wire.” Hoad also extended his thanks to Big Red and its manufacturing clients, and to his retail customers for their continued support. “It was a very closely fought competition and well done to all our agents,” added Big Red Sales founder John Reddington. Runner-up John O’Neill (pictured right), who covers Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man and won the top Award last year, received £500 cash. Second runner-up, Tracy West, whose patch is the Midlands and Wales, received £250 cash.

 SHORTCUTS Haier has been ranked world No.1 in the Major Household Appliances category for the eighth consecutive year by Euromonitor International, achieving a 10.3% retail volume market share in 2016, up from 9.8% in 2015.

BSH Home Appliances Ltd has been certified as a Top Employer for the second year running. The Top Employers Europe Certification 2017, conferred by the Top Employers Institute, coincides with the company’s 50th anniversary.

Baumatic has launched a consumer promotion offering an ovenware giftset comprising a large ceramic baking dish and a lidded casserole dish with purchases of single ovens, double ovens and selected range cookers from its collections. The offer runs until the end of April 2017.

Hotpoint has received iF Design Awards for four of its Class 9 built-in appliances. The Class 9 built-in induction hob, microwave oven, steam oven and coffee machine received Awards for their “winning combination of authentic design, innovative features and great performance.”

Connected Distribution has been appointed exclusive UK distributor for Krika, the connected device tracker that provides installers with the ability to monitor and troubleshoot without costly site visits. Krika products remotely monitor the equipment on customers’ networks and provide installers with real-time status updates on the connected devices that are part of the installation. Electrolux UK has received official Top Employer certification from the Top Employers Institute, a global organisation that has been recognising excellence for 25 years and applies a uniform standard of assessment criteria to companies across 116 countries worldwide.

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GET CONNECTED MARCH 2017

The German Design Council has presented Loewe with Awards for its bild 7 and bild 1 TVs, its klang 5 wireless floorstanding speakers and klang 1 and 5 subwoofers. The klang 5 subwoofer, bild 3 TV and the German manufacturer’s redesigned TV operating system, Loewe OS, also won 2017 iF Design Awards. Distributor of technology products Exertis has announced a distribution agreement with Yale which includes its Smart Living range of smart door locks, smart alarms, and smart CCTV systems. A distribution agreement has also been confirmed with Netatmo, which develops and produces a range of connected consumer electronics.

HUGHES’ SHOP WINDOW CELEBRATES LOCAL HISTORY Hughes Electrical in Spalding’s Sheep Market has turned its shop window into a storyboard depicting the historic importance of the site the building now occupies. The move was made following collaboration with the Spalding & District Civic Society, which had drawn attention to the fact that several town centre shops had unattractive windows, many using what was described as “garish” vinyl. The Sheep Market site originally housed a prison, built in 1826, which had also been used as a drill hall and garage. In 1927 it was occupied by the Regent Cinema, until the building became a bank in 1959. The premises later became a restaurant, and were taken over by Hughes Electrical in 2013. Civic Society projects and campaigns officer John Charlesworth praised Hughes’ proactive response and said he hoped other firms in Spalding would follow the retailer’s “great example.” “As a business we are guests in the town and it is only right that we work to be good neighbours in this vibrant local community,” said Hughes Electrical Managing director Robert Hughes.


GUEST COLUMN

DO RETAIL STORES STILL MATTER IN THE DIGITAL AGE? RETAILERS STILL NEED TO BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN ONLINE AND IN-STORE SAY BRIAN HUME, CEO MARTEC INTERNATIONAL, AND ROBIN COLES, MICROSOFT TECHNOLOGIES ENABLEMENT LEAD, HSO

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ast year The Guardian ran the headline: The future of e-commerce: bricks and mortar. The article was a wry look at Amazon’s decision to open a physical bookstore in Seattle, and its tone a reflection of the irony of the situation. While this one shop didn’t reverse the entire online retail revolution, it was an important acknowledgement that the traditional store still does have a key role to play in a retailer’s strategy. Since then other native online businesses have gone into bricks and mortar. There have been other changes too. For example, some Waitrose stores have sacrificed retail space for changing rooms for click and collect John Lewis customers. There is also evidence of a strong relationship between online and in-store sales. Once we thought physical stores would turn into showrooms only, but now customers are just as likely to do their browsing online and then make their purchases in store. Evidence shows that when a store closes in any given area, online sales decline too – and when a store opens, the reverse happens.

COMPLEX INTERACTIONS

Click and collect has also added to the complexity of the situation. One major women’s clothes retailer reports that 25% of click and collect customers make additional purchases once in the store. In-store customers, even those collecting goods ordered online, provide retailers who have good customer service skills with the opportunity to increase transaction value; something that is more difficult in pure online sales. So this relationship between channels suits both customer and retailer alike. It’s no longer just about maximising profitability per square foot in the store any more. It’s also about optimising the trust value

Brian Hume

in the brand. But it’s difficult to translate service into the digital world. It’s no longer a single channel journey. It’s whatever the customer wants a retailer to do to deliver its brand promise. However, if a retailer doesn’t take care of their back office operations, they risk not being able to deliver on their promise and misplacing the customer’s trust. And so this brings us round to technology – and the challenge here is that many are still using systems designed to address yesterday’s problems, not those of today or of the future.

UPGRADING SYSTEMS FOR NOW AND TOMORROW Robin Coles

Corporate systems such as ERP are often well over a decade old and only survive because of continual enhancements. This means that typically they represent a major investment – and because they have been customised over the years it might be difficult to make the case for replacement or upgrading. Yet in this 24/7, on-demand world, many of these systems may not be up to the job unless they are upgraded. This is why many retailers are taking the plunge and either replacing all of their legacy ERP systems or investing in improvements. Historically ERP systems looked after logistics, distribution, product management and finance; the customer module did not exist. But if you look at the

“It’s no longer a single channel journey. It’s whatever the customer wants a retailer to do to deliver its brand promise.”

main enterprise resources retailers actually own, it’s their stock and their customer information. ERP can no longer be hidden in the back office. The more that can be opened up to different business areas, such as sales and customer service, using straightforward user interfaces and new integration patterns through the cloud, the more retailers will be able to deliver on their promise.

EMPOWERING CREATIVE SOLUTIONS

So it’s down once again to a single view of stock and a single view of the customer – and both easily accessible to staff via a mobile or tablet, whether they are in the fitting rooms, the warehouse or on the shop floor. But it’s also going to take a change of mindset; a transformation of the traditional bricks and mortar store, replacing wrapping and sales points with kiosks for online browsing and beacons for checking a customer’s buying history and directing them to relevant areas accordingly. Although often quick to embrace creative trends, the retail industry has been slower than others in appointing chief information and technology officers (CIOs and CTOs) into the executive board. More technology experts in high places will allow for a mind shift, with someone at the top empowering the business and creative minds to think freely without worrying about the complexities of the technology that will be needed to facilitate their vision. The technology is available but many retailers are still wondering which way to turn and how to maximise new opportunities. Upgraded ERP systems can help future-proof the operation and provide a firm foundation to accommodate further twists and turns in the retail story. MARCH 2017 GET CONNECTED

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PRODUCT DESIGN AWARDS

CALL FOR ENTRIES THE GET CONNECTED PRODUCT OF THE YEAR AWARDS, LAUNCHED IN 2005 TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE EXCELLENCE OF SPECIFIC ELECTRICAL PRODUCTS AND PRODUCT RANGES, HAVE ALWAYS ADAPTED TO KEEP PACE WITH CHANGES IN THE INDUSTRY AND IN CONSUMER DEMANDS, AND REFLECT THE IMPORTANCE THIS INDUSTRY PLACES ON THE WIDER MEANING OF GREAT DESIGN.

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esthetics and style are important, but design means more than appearance. It is acknowledged in this industry that engineering, fitness for purpose, reliability and market relevance all combine to create the bigger design picture that produces great products, great brands and great business. The Get Connected Product Design Awards recognise genuinely innovative products with outstanding USPs and advanced technology that is more than skin deep. Winners will have the right to display the striking 3D crystal GC Product Design of the Year Award logo on all publicity, promotion and PR relating to the winning product, on relevant POS material and on the products themselves.

ELIGIBILITY

All domestic electrical products that are available in the UK market during the relevant calendar year are eligible for nomination. This includes mature products that may have been launched prior to the relevant year, as well as those that were new to the market. 14

GET CONNECTED MARCH 2017

Products eligible for nomination in the Get Connected Product Design Awards 2017 must have existed in the UK market during the calendar year 1 January - 31 December 2016.

THE PROCESS

The Get Connected Products of the Year Awards are conducted on a two-tier judging system: A panel of industry peers comprising the GC Editorial team and co-opted industry commentators make an initial selection from nominated products and ranges; these are then listed and presented in GC Magazine and www.gcmagazine.co.uk, along with a voting form for retailers to place their votes. Retailers, distributors and providers of services to the industry are eligible to vote. The Awards will be made based on the aggregate of points awarded by the panel, and the number of votes cast. The nominations for the 2017 Product Design Awards will be published in the June 2017 issue of Get Connected, along with the voting form. The winners – those who have received the highest aggregate of points and votes in each category – will be published in the August 2017 issue.


PRODUCT DESIGN AWARDS

THE CATEGORIES The categories for the 2017 Awards are:

COOKING:

Individual major domestic cooking appliance products and specific cooking ranges

REFRIGERATION:

Individual domestic fridges, freezers, fridge/freezers and cooling appliances, and specific cooling ranges

DISHWASHING:

Individual dishwasher models and specific dishwasher ranges

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS:

Individual products and ranges across the CE category, including TV, audio, home cinema/home theatre, portable audio/visual/ communications devices, radio, digital imaging

SMALL DOMESTIC APPLIANCES:

Individual products and ranges across the SDA category, including kettles, toasters, juicers, blenders, food preparation products, small cooking appliances, beverage makers, personal care & grooming products

MAJOR DOMESTIC APPLIANCES RANGES:

FLOORCARE:

GARMENT CARE:

AV FURNITURE & ACCESSORIES:

Ranges of major domestic appliances marketed under a specific range name, and comprising products from two or more different categories in cooking, cooling, laundry, dishwashing

Individual home laundry (washers, dryers & washer/dryers), ironing, steam generation and other electrical garment care products

Individual products and ranges in floorcare, including vacuum cleaners, deep cleaners, carpet/hard floor cleaners and combination floorcare products

Individual products and ranges in TV & AV furniture, supports and brackets, and ancillary products such as leads & connectors

HOW TO ENTER

FOR THE 2017 PRODUCT DESIGN AWARDS Entries and supporting materials should be sent via e-mail to the editor: marlinda@gcmagazine.co.uk

ALL PRODUCT AWARD ENTRIES: Please supply: 

Manufacturer/Supplier name



Contact name/Telephone/E-mail



Awards Product Category applied for



Product range/name/model number



UK launch date (Please note that products MUST have been available on the UK market during the calendar year of 2017)



Supporting material: •

Product images x 2 (max.)

Product spec sheet

Up to 500 words on all or any of the following design features in support of your entry: ■

Innovation

Technology

Aesthetics

Response to consumer needs

Outstanding USPs

Entries and supporting materials should be sent via e-mail to: marlinda@gcmagazine.co.uk to arrive on or before the closing date of 30th April 2017. Please note that late or incomplete entries cannot be considered.

MARCH 2017 GET CONNECTED

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GOOD HEALTH

Tefal’s ActiFry low-oil fryer range uses a unique and patented pulsating heat system and rotating paddle to cook a variety of nutritious meals with just a spoonful of oil

STARTS IN THE KITCHEN

THE BEST BODIES AREN’T CREATED ON THE RUNNING TRACK OR IN THE GYM. THEY’RE CREATED IN THE KITCHEN, WHERE THE PATH TO GOOD HEALTH BEGINS. GC REPORTS

is perceived by many to be a lot of work, which in itself is a detail that electrical retailers should be able to capitalise on.

IT’S

“There is no doubt there is a huge opportunity for manufacturers and retailers to respond to the change in consumer cooking and eating habits by recommending appliances that cater for individual needs,” asserts Jane Rylands, Head of Marketing Communications at Glen Dimplex Home Appliances. “Consumer research recently conducted by Belling revealed the growth of ‘multimeal households’ which include several different eating plans or diets at any one time. In fact, in an average household of four, the research showed that 50% of family members are following a specific diet – including vegetarian, paleo, vegan, coeliac, or just low fat, low calorie or low carb diets. This means that home cooks are creating multiple dishes at meal times and therefore need appliances with the capacity and flexibility to accommodate their family’s demands.”

that time of the year when, with the best will in the world, many commit to a new health regime in order to obtain a slimmer and fitter physique. Some will fall off the bandwagon in the early stages, but others will go on to join the growing band of health-oriented people for whom nutrition and fitness form an important part of their everyday lives. Evidence shows that more UK consumers are becoming health conscious, many realising the benefits of wholesome eating regimes or simply taking steps to control the quantity, quality and content of the food and drink they consume, recognising (albeit reluctantly in some instances) that Strawberry Pom Mojitos do not constitute part of their recommended ‘5-a-day’. 16

GET CONNECTED MARCH 2017

According to research by Nielsen, Britons’ desire to restrict the type of ingredients that are unhealthy – certainly if consumed in excess – is illustrated by volume sales of sugar declining 8.1% year on year, and processed soup, which is often high in sodium, declining by 10.7%. Among the 14 countries in which Nielsen measures sugar sales, Britain had the second biggest fall, and in the 16 countries in which it measures soup, our nation recorded the third largest fall. We all know the foodstuffs that contribute to our wellbeing, but what about the tools that make it easier to accomplish the well-balanced nutritional menu that will keep our bodies and minds in top form? The truth is that healthy cooking

COOKING CHAOS


HEALTHY COOKING

Ryland believes that these requirements can be met in a number of ways – the most obvious, she maintains, are range cookers, given their large capacity, multicavities and bigger hobs. However, she acknowledges that not every home can accommodate a range cooker, so flexibility is key. “Often a suite of built in appliances, which perhaps includes a combination microwave or an oven that offers steam, microwave and convection functions, can help to solve the problem.”

VARIED OPPORTUNITIES

Steve Corbett, Marketing Manager for Amica kitchen appliances, contends that consumer health is a factor that electrical retailers have been embracing for some time now, and it continues to be a tangible opportunity for the industry. “There are benefits offered by appliances in most categories,” he comments, “whether that be ultra-rinse science for allergy sufferers in laundry, super-fast burners for virtually fat-free wok cooking, steam ovens for the ultimate in healthy cuisine, to the safe and prolonged life of food thanks to zoned cooling.” Various agencies, and government too, encourage consumers to consider wholefoods; to eat more fruit and vegetables; to consume less sugar and alcohol in order to curb the physical effects of obesity, and Corbett believes appliances that contribute to aiding good health will continue to increase in popularity. “But it is perhaps the time- and labour-savings on offer that will have the most positive effect on consumer wellbeing in general,” he suggests. “A tangible example of this comes in ovens that offer self-cleaning [such as pyrolytic and aqualytic], without the need for toxic chemicals and hours of hard labour.”

INFLUENCERS

While the government’s 5-a-day message in the early noughties contributed to UK consumers’ changing perspective on health and wellbeing, the glut of foodinspired TV programmes and bloggers

NEW MATRIX RANGE LAUNCHES IN APRIL…

Introducing the new range of high quality, affordable home appliances from Matrix. The collection includes range cookers, single & double ovens, gas & electric hobs, extractors, dishwashers and fridge freezers. Matrix Appliances are part of the CDA group and offer the same unique customer support network, quality and testing assurance as well as a refreshing and innovative range of products. Specifically designed to meet the needs of the consumer looking at getting value for money, this range promises to deliver reliable performance at a surprisingly low cost. Visit the brand new website: www.matrixappliances.co.uk or follow @matrixappliances

such as ‘Deliciously’ Ella Woodward, and LOW-FAT COOKING the Hemsley sisters – the enviably slim Penn points out that appliance siblings, who, despite no formal training manufacturers continually monitor in food & nutrition, had early success lifestyle trends, which are then translated with their clean-eating regime – have into product design or technologies that played an enormous part in making help make life easier for the user. “One consumers aware of what they eat. But example of this is with gas hobs – both has this translated into growth in the standalone and as part of range domestic appliance categories cooktops – where many are that should, in theory, help keep increasingly designed to inspired health disciples on incorporate fashionable the right track? wok burners. Stir-frying “It could be argued that vegetable dishes in a there is a relationship wok is exceptionally between the messages quick and easy to do conveyed about healthy and uses very little oil, eating and the types so it is a very easy way of appliances that to get most of your more health-conscious five-a-day in a very individuals may be short amount of time. A TIM HUTCHINSON, DIVISIONAL seeking for their kitchens,” number of manufacturers MANAGER LIEBHERR UK says Kelly Penn, marketing also make induction manager for Hoover Candy versions. Baumatic. “There are a number of “Asian fusion cooking is a TV chefs, food bloggers and dedicated particularly healthy way to eat and recipe books that present recipes and there is also a trend toward incorporating ideas that are aimed at time-poor modular Teppan Yaki grills, either as part professionals, all of which suggest that of a domino hob layout or as a secondary healthy and tasty dishes can be made in option to a standard sized gas or induction the time it takes to heat up a ready meal.” hob. Heating up to 200°C, little or no oil

“Liebherr BioFresh cooling: “The extra days it can add are outstanding – cheese 100+ days, carrots 30+ days, lettuce 8+ days…”

DE DIETRICH FULL COMBI STEAM OVEN (DKR5480X) De Dietrich Ovens are a mixture of functional perfection and aesthetic harmony, naturally finding their place in modern interiors around the world. The newest launch, the Full Combi Steam Oven (DKR5480X), features 100% full steam cooking, including steam-assisted baking and grilling. Designed for greater usability, two automatic cooking settings for steam cooking and steamassisted cooking allows fuss-free day to day cooking as well as catering for the healthier lifestyle that everyone pursues today. Steam cooking comes with over twenty pre-sets, ideal for steaming vegetables, rice, meat, fish and eggs, and over 60 settings for conventional and steam-assisted cooking for meat, fish, pizzas, cakes, biscuits and bread. The DKR5480X features an easy-clean enamelled cavity to prevent staining and discoloration. It is also the only 100% steam oven to be combined with a pyrolytic cleaning mode. www.abdistributors.co.uk

MARCH 2017 GET CONNECTED

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HEALTHY COOKING

“With the choice of the Pappardelle Cutting cone to create thick ribbons, or the Spaghetti Cutting Cone to create thin vegetable noodles, the Kenwood Electric Spiralizer is perfect for the health-conscious consumer” ALEX PICKERING, MARKETING DIRECTOR UK & IRELAND, KENWOOD

Miele DG6010 freestanding steam oven: For those who want to experience the versatility and benefits of steam cooking but don’t have room for a built-in model

needs to be used to rapidly grill meat or prawns and this type of appliance is always a talking point in a showroom,” she adds. A clear contender in the range of appliances that help promote healthy eating is the steam oven, which provides the benefit of retaining the moisture, vitamins and minerals in foodstuffs, resulting in full and natural flavours. “These appliances also produce excellent cooking results for the user with relative ease, and another benefit of steam ovens is that they can be used to reheat previously cooked meals,” says Luke Shipway, product manager for appliance brand Caple, which has seen sales of steam ovens grow as consumers have become more aware of the health benefits products can offer. Steering customers towards a combination steam oven as opposed to a combi-microwave is a way of helping them consider a healthier alternative, “without being too prescriptive,” adds Hoover Candy Baumatic’s Penn. “These compact appliances often include programmes generally found on multifunction ovens yet have steam options as well, thus allowing the user to steam vegetables easily whilst also having functions to make meat more tender. For someone that is considering a diet low in carbohydrates, this type of appliance can be an ideal option.”

UNDER VACUUM

“Health and wellbeing is a key concern for many consumers and so steam technology has been deemed a worthy adversary to the more conventional cooking techniques like electric and 18

GET CONNECTED MARCH 2017

The Kenwood PureJuice uses slow-press technology to gently squeeze ingredients, retaining micro-nutrients and minimising oxidation for a nutrient-rich, tasty juice

gas,” asserts V-ZUG’s Rhys Evans, Sales Director UK & Ireland, which leads him onto another culinary option that he rightly points out has been popular in haute cuisine for many years: “The world of sous-vide cooking has now ventured from the professional kitchen and into our homes,” he affirms. “The new V-ZUG Vacuisine© Vacuum Drawer sous-vide technique involves sealing ingredients in special vacuum bags, then cooking them slowly at temperatures between 30 - 100°C. Thanks to the protective vacuum-sealed shell, the food’s natural flavour, attractive colour and texture are better preserved, along with valuable vitamins and nutrients.” An additional benefit, he adds, is that the appliance can be used to seal food for freezing, with no loss of freshness.

A HEALTHY REVOLUTION WITH THE TOWER VORTX Tower has expanded its best-selling Health range with the introduction of the Vortx air fryer. Featuring revolutionary Vortx air circulation technology, the Vortx offers healthier frying, roasting, grilling and baking with significantly less fat. Requiring 80% less oil, the fryer has the ability to cook homemade fries in as little as 15 minutes, for a faster, more energy-efficient alternative to conventional cooking methods, while its unique design guarantees uniform heat distribution and cooking as well as offering quieter operation. The Vortx is available to pre-order now. Contact sales@rkw.co or call 0333 220 6070 for further information.


DISCOVER THE NEW COLLECTION If you’re looking to make a statement in the kitchen, look no further than the brand new kMix range. This stylish and sleek collection of food preparation and breakfast products allows you to express yourself in the kitchen.

DISCOVER THE COORDINATING RANGE AT

WWW.KENWOODWORLD.COM/UK

The premium kMix range offers contemporary, cutting-edge design alongside superior performance, making it easier to impress your friends and family with your kitchen creativity.


HEALTHY COOKING TREND SETTERS

According to GfK, gym memberships were on an all-time high in 2016 with one in seven UK adults owning one, and this number has recorded an increase every year since 2008. Health & fitness trackers such as Fitbit and smart watches have seen impressive growth since launch – wearables recorded a year-on-year growth rate of 80% in 2016 – and major apps focusing on health and fitness saw an average increase of around 200% last year. It all paints a positive picture for retailers prepared to capitalise on these trends. Jessica Kelly, Category Consumer Manager for Worktop Cooking & Microwaves at Morphy Richards, points out the “lucrative opportunities” for retailers in the small kitchen appliance sector, particularly those who can explain the technologies that provide customers with quick and easy methods to maintain a healthier lifestyle. Health-conscious consumers have driven growth in the juicers and blenders sectors, and the trend for ‘clean living’ has brought about new categories such as Dehydrators for preparing dried snacks from fruit and vegetables, and Spiralizers for making vegetable spaghetti.

GROWTH AREAS

According to Kelly, Spiralizers achieved a 33% share of the chopper category in 2016, and this shows no sign of slowing down in the year ahead. “Increased popularity is predicted through the growing awareness of foods that can be used with the appliance and the development of more convenient and powerful versions of products. The appeal of non-carbohydrate foods that are tasty and varied will

VISICOOK HALOGEN OVEN VisiCook has refreshed its Halogen Oven model for 2017. The HaloChef complements the category leader, AirChef, with benefits continuing to include low energy use, faster cooking and better tasting meat joints. Accessories now include a Health Pan for fat-free cooking, and the packaging has been completely refreshed to give an eye-catching and informative retail encounter. Tony Goldenfeld from VisiCook comments: “Our halogen ovens have always been well received and recognised for the quality and backup we give. We’re proud of the packaging and retail POS refresh and are sure our partners will continue to benefit from the strong interest in this category.” RRP: £69.99. Contact VisiCook on 0121 693 1959 | mail@teamuki.com

“Our new range of Beko American-style fridge freezers is packed with impressive new technology that helps consumers keep food fresh for up to 30 days” SALAH SUN, BUILT-IN COOKING PRODUCT MANAGER AT BEKO PLC

continue to drive sales of spiralizers.” Kelly maintains that the growing number of nutritional cooking shows and vloggers providing healthy recipes that demonstrate the use of kitchen appliances is encouraging consumers to purchase a wider range of goods. “These media are raising awareness of what is available on the market, as well as inspiring consumers to vary their cooking and eating habits.” She highlights Soup Makers as an area of value growth, up 10.2%, and Slow Cookers, whose value has risen by 8.9%. “Soup makers are forecast to continue as an in-demand kitchen appliance, as they provide consumers with a simple way of creating home cooked, affordable meals from scratch whilst requiring little input from the user. Slow cooking is also incredibly popular with those looking for easy healthy cooking solutions.”

FOOD PRESERVATION

Preparing meals from scratch using fresh ingredients tends to be uppermost in the mind of those following healthy eating regimes, but keeping foodstuffs in tiptop condition prior to cooking is of equal importance – nutritional values deplete quickly if produce is not stored in the correct environment, so cooling is another domestic appliance category that retailers can use to tap into the growing army of health enthusiasts. Caple’s Shipway remarks that cooling appliances continue to improve in response to demand for attributes that will help preserve food for longer. “Features have evolved to include threedimensional air circulation which will cool everything evenly and move the cool air around the compartment to maintain a consistent temperature throughout, helping to preserve food. A full air-cooled double refrigeration cycle will keep food fresher for longer as this means that the fridge and freezer temperatures are independently controlled. Super-freeze and -cool functions enable food to reach optimum temperature fast, which helps it to last longer.”

SALTER NUTRIVORTEX 1200 The new Salter NutriVortex marks the arrival of the next generation in nutritional blenders. With 1200W ultra-charged power, the NutriVortex offers a faster and more effective way of extracting nutrients, meaning that delicious drinks can be made even smoother and quicker than ever. It features new and revolutionary vortex technology generated through the signature ‘Storm’ cups, further enhancing nutrient extraction, performance and taste. The unique multipurpose and professional blade ensures high quality performance and enables maximum vitamin and nutrient release. Designed for a large variety of functions including extraction, hybrid chopping, cutting, grinding and crushing. Versatile and compact, the NutriVortex is perfect for those on the go too. www.saltercookshop.com | sales@upgs.com | 0161 934 2283

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World’s 1st World’s 1st

Introducing the best Introducing the for best hand blender hand blenderjobs*. for the hardest the hardest jobs*.

The world’s No.1 hand blender brand** ** launches theNo.1 nexthand generation MultiQuick 9. The world’s blender brand launches the next generation MultiQuick 9.

• World’s 1st ACTIVEBlades move up and down requiring • World’s ACTIVEBlades move200% up andfiner downresults requiring 40% less1st effort and providing on hard foods.* 40% less effort and providing 200% finer results on hard foods.*

• New PowerBell PLUS with extra milling blade delivers faster, • Newefficient PowerBellblending. PLUS with extra milling blade delivers faster, more more efficient blending.

• Powerful motorcontrolled controlled one-button Smart Speed. • Powerful1000 1000 W W motor byby one-button Smart Speed. • Unique keepskitchens kitchens spotless. • UniqueSPLASHControl SPLASHControl keeps spotless. • Multipleattachments attachments offer versatility. • Multiple offerunbeatable unbeatable versatility.

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HEALTHY COOKING

The Spiralizer Express leads Morphy Richards’s range of SDA for healthy eating

SALTER ELECTRIC SPIRALIZER Preparing healthy and nutritious meals is simple with the new Salter Electric Spiralizer. Quick and easy to use with rotating food fork and one-touch operation, the Spiralizer is perfect for experimenting with salads and stir fries as well as providing a healthier alternative to pasta and noodle dishes. Recipes are included for your customers to get started right away. With three stainless steel blades to choose from, users can create spirals and noodles of different thicknesses and textures, and a unique spiral blade can be used to create beautiful ribbons. What’s more, shop-bought spiralized vegetables are four times the cost of fresh produce, so your customers can save 75% simply by using the Spiralizer at home.

“Tefal ActiFry offers a safer, cleaner and much healthier alternative to traditional frying methods for over 100 different meal ideas featured on the MyActiFry app” DOMINIK PYTEL, MARKETING DIRECTOR GROUPE SEB UK LTD

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

“At AEG, we help the consumer achieve fresher food for longer with our ProFresh technology, which ensures that the fridge temperature is cold, stable and has the correct level of humidity,” comments Michael Hockney, Electrolux brands UK & IE, Product Manager, Food Preservation. “Restaurants are able to replenish their fresh food regularly; however, consumers are shopping, on average, around once a week, making the importance of keeping food fresher for longer even greater. This means that technology that helps food preservation, such as ProFresh, will be a factor that will entice customers.”

GET CONNECTED

Kim Hepden, Category Manager for Cooling at Bosch, believes that keeping food fresher for longer is “currently high 22

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HEALTHY COOKING

POWERFUL, SMART AND CHIC – VITAMIX® ASCENT™ SERIES BLENDERS The Vitamix Ascent Series had its European preview at Ambiente 2017. This new blender line boasts reimagined design, premium engineering and multiple container sizes for the ultimate high-performance blending experience. It combines state-of-the-art design with power and precision, along with intuitive controls that elevate the blending experience. There is also a family of interchangeable self-detect containers, earning the Ascent a permanent place on the kitchen counter.

on the consumer’s agenda.” Therefore, she says, people are willing to trade up for this benefit. “Wi-Fi enabled appliances such as Home Connect [available on Bosch and Siemens fridge freezers] are becoming increasingly popular and are of particular interest to younger consumers, suggesting that technological developments are a part of the market that is poised for growth.” Steve Macdonald, Marketing Director of Hoover Candy UK’s Freestanding Division, is broadly in agreement. “As more people are cooking with fresh ingredients we have seen food preservation technology creep up the buying agenda. Therefore, appliances that control factors such as humidity and can avoid the historical pitfalls of coolers, such as frost building at the rear of refrigerators, will appeal to health-conscious customers.” Macdonald sees a “big opportunity” for connected appliances, and for retailers to demonstrate their worth. “Having the ability to control, manage and monitor your cooling appliance is pivotal in maintaining the nutritional density of food. This is where appliances like our Hoover Wizard Wi-Fi-enabled HF 18XK WIFI fridge freezer really come into their own. Controllable via an app downloaded to smartphone or tablet, the Wizard model notifies users if they’ve left the fridge door open and enables them to adjust the temperature should they need to.”

Vitamix Ascent Series blenders will come in a variety of high-end finishes – including metallic finish options on some models – and will be available from September 2017 at selected Vitamix retailers. For more information visit www.vitamix.co.uk

“The advanced technology in Gorenje IonAir circulates negatively charged ions throughout the refrigerator, destroying up to 95 per cent of all bacteria, mould and odours” STUART BENSON, SALES DIRECTOR, GORENJE UK

Liebherr’s BioFresh drawers provide the “perfect” conditions for maintaining the freshness, flavour, nutrients and texture of food

“Technology permeates through our everyday lives and this includes healthy eating. There are now apps that help people count calories or check the sugar content of foodstuffs. In the wider fitness sphere, we are seeing wearable technology gaining in popularity. Consumers have become accustomed to using technology to monitor and improve health and this familiarity creates demand in other areas of their life, none more so than in kitchen appliances.”

CONFIDENT COOKS

Owain Harrison, UK head of sales and marketing Hoover Candy Baumatic (Built-in), believes that smart appliances have the most potential for increasing consumer confidence in the kitchen and creating healthy master-chefs out of everyday household cooks. “Firstly,” he says, “because of the familiarity of the technology and convenience of remote operation, and secondly because the functionality of smart appliances can help educate consumers on how to cook certain dishes. MARCH 2017 GET CONNECTED

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GEORGE COLE

GEORGE COLE GEORGE COLE PINPOINTS HOTSPOTS IN THE WORLD OF CONSUMER ELECTRONICS

NOT SO SMART TV

OH DEAR – HERE WE GO AGAIN. THE ENTIRE CONSUMER ELECTRONICS INDUSTRY GETS DAMNED BY THE ACTIONS OF A SINGLE COMPANY.

T

hat’s what happened when it was revealed that the US TV manufacturer Vizio was secretly collecting customer data from their smart TVs and selling it on to third parties for marketing and targeting advertising. The process involved grabbing pixels from the screen and then matching them to programmes held in a database. Not only that, but Vizio provided the smart TV’s IP address (unique online address), and this was used to acquire more information about viewers, such as age, gender and income. Vizio got found out, fined the equivalent of £1.8 million and a ton of bad publicity, but it’s the fallout to the rest of the industry that should bother TV manufacturers and retailers. Now, the online world is awash with stories about “how your

smart TV spies on you,” and “how you can protect yourself from your smart TV.” One writer even recommended that smart TV owners should disconnect their sets from the internet, which rather negates the need for having a smart TV. What next, don’t drive your car because it’s tracked by CCTV cameras? The fact is that that every online action we take – whether it’s buying from an online store, checking a train timetable or watching a movie, involves some form of tracking, and some of this information is used for marketing. That’s not to excuse Vizio’s crass actions. But we do need a sense of proportion, and once again manufacturers and retailers need to be upfront about the type of data any connected device can collect - and tell customers how these data collecting systems can be switched off.

VOICE CONTROL: ITS TIME HAS ARRIVED S

ome ideas are ahead of their time. Take voice control. I remember back in the 1980s, when a prototype voiceactivated TV remote was being shown to the press. Alas, the technology was crude and if you asked the remote to change channels, it would take so long trying to process the information that it would have been faster to walk around the block, buy a cup of coffee, return home and then switch the channel yourself. But voice recognition technology has come on in leap and bounds, helped by the fact that computer processing power is much higher and cheaper than it was thirty or so years ago. Machine intelligence and speech recognition algorithms are smarter too. I recently went to a demonstration put on by Amazon, which markets the Echo wireless speaker. Echo includes a built-in virtual assistant called Alexa, which has voice recognition technology. The latest version of Echo costs around £50, so it’s almost

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an impulse buy for many people. Echo can be connected to various smart home connected devices, to allow owners to control them by voice. Amazon says more than five million Echo products have been sold in two years. The Amazon demonstration included videos of people using Echo devices around the home to control other devices. In one of them, a consumer simply said, “Switch on the kitchen TV,” and hey presto – the TV came to life. Lighting systems, thermostats, fans, coffee makers, robot vacuum cleaners and more can be controlled this way – the Amazon demonstrator said he had 250 voicecontrolled devices at home! What was also interesting was the reason Amazon gave for the Echo’s success. “We’ve focused on simple, delightful solutions.” It gave the example of someone sitting at home in a chair, reading a book. The light falls, so the reader has three choices: get up from the

chair, walk to the light switch and switch it on; take a smartphone out of their pocket, unlock it, find their smart home app, navigate to it, find the light they want to control, and click; or they can simply say “Alexa, turn on the light.” As the saying goes, no contest.

SIGN OF THE TIMES

Whenever I was in London’s West End, and had some time to kill, I would spend ages exploring HMV’s giant music store in Oxfo rd Street. Alas, the store closed in January and is now a Sports Direct shop...


FROM THE BENCH

HYBRID LOG-GAMMA AN ALTERNATIVE HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE (HDR) CONCEPT HAS JUST BEEN RATIFIED BY INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS BODY THE ITU AS PART OF STANDARD BT.2100. IT IS LIKELY TO BE ADOPTED FOR BROADCAST TV. ALAN BENNETT WALKS US THROUGH IT

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ybrid Log-Gamma is a relatively simple way of implementing HDR. Developed by the BBC and Japan’s state broadcaster NHK, it’s robust, royalty-free and even backwards-compatible for TVs without advanced HDR hardware built in. Software and firmware (the terms are both used in this application) are held in memory at the receiver. They instruct the central processing unit and other sections on how to conduct themselves, and are used to purge bugs, add new features and benefits and to confer compatibility with new devices, services and broadcast parameters. For any system it’s good to check and update the software to the latest version where the facility is available. The transfer generally takes five to ten minutes, sometimes longer.

GAMMA

A gamma feature has been part of TV broadcasts virtually from the start; it was provided to compensate for the non-linear characteristic of glass picture tubes, whose light output is not proportional to drive voltage. This pre-correction transfer curve restored optimum grey-scale reproduction. Flat-panel screens do not require such correction, but a gamma curve is still given to video signals to best adapt their bit-rate to the capabilities of the human eye. In an HLG system the brighter parts of the picture are given a different (logarithmic) curve shape to provide a much wider range of brightness levels and thus increase the dynamic range of the image (see graph). This concept and its implementation is easily handled by broadcasters, and is not vulnerable to the problems that can arise with the metadata involved with existing HDR systems such as HDR10 (the most established variant) and Dolby Vision, while making less bandwidth/bit-rate demand on the delivery system than the latter. Metadata is an instruction code, broadcast alongside the basic picture data, to ‘steer’ light intensity levels. It is fine for movies and similar content, but does not lend itself to live broadcasting, where conditions change too quickly for it to keep up in terms of light level and TV-internal display control. The use of metadata also involves complex system-specific hardware in the TV, while HLG calls for relatively

extremes of bright sunlight and nearblackout. It could also be applicable to 1080p (HD) broadcasts. HDR provides a great enhancement to image quality, especially on small screens, say below 46 inches, where the increased detail of UHD pictures is difficult to discern unless viewed close up. At present HDR is not available on mainstream TV broadcasts. It is confined to on-line viewing – mainly subscription platforms Amazon and Netflix – and the latest UHD Blu-ray players and discs.

SETMAKERS AND PLATFORMS

2HLG image transfer curves

simpler chips, adaptable with a firmware update to the new system. For more details on HDR, its effect and encoding see my column in the Jan/Feb 2016 issue of Get Connected, available on the website at gcmagazine.co.uk

ADVANTAGES

The beauty of the HLG system is its backward compatibility with standard TVs: they simply ignore the top half of the transfer curve, showing a picture as good as normal, while HLG-enabled models use it to map out and display a much wider range of light levels. Thus the one signal, needing no auxiliary data, can simultaneously convey standard and HDR pictures, obviating the need for simulcasting. The HLG standard also provides for high frame rate operation (up to 100-120 frames per second, good for fast motion reproduction), and picture brightness adaptation to the ambient light level in the viewing area, very different between the

Industry take-up of HDR is ramping up fast at present, and the Dolby system has been gaining acceptance amongst TV manufacturers other than LG, its main supporter up till now. In recent times setmakers and others have shown much interest in the HLG system. JVC’s 2017 range of UHD projectors will incorporate it; also those from Sony, all of whose UHD direct-view models this year will be HLG-enabled. Samsung’s 2016 UHD TVs are HLG-compliant after a firmware tweak; likewise LG’s 2016 OLED and SUHD models. The latest crop of OLED screens from LG, Panasonic and Sony also support HLG, in some cases requiring a software update. Regarding connections, the current HDM2.0b coupler is HLG-friendly, while versions 2.0 and 2.0a will probably work in most cases. Amongst broadcasters and platforms, the BBC, Digital UK, Eutelsat, Freeview Play and Sky intend to use HLG. Google’s Android TV v7.0 embraces HLG, also to be taken up by YouTube. Quite a list! The new TV models introduced at CES in January gave a boost to HDR and HLG. Notable amongst them is Sony’s new OLED product with Dolby Vision, and the newly launched Samsung QLED range; and particularly Panasonic’s 65-inch type EZ1002, with a new colour picture processor chip HCX2 having studio-derived 3D look-up tables for consummate image transfer and mapping. In terms of picture dynamic range this model has the virtue of a very bright LED display, ranging up to 800 nits, twice that of the company’s first such offering. For people like me who generally watch movies in subdued light - as they were intended to be seen - this peak brightness level, combined with a ‘total-black’ capability, seems to be the optimum display for HDR pictures, however they are conveyed.

FUTURES

HDR is advancing rapidly, and amongst the competing systems Hybrid Log-Gamma is gaining ground very quickly. While it may prove not to be able to provide better images than its rivals, its simplicity, ruggedness and compatibility may well win for it the race for acceptance, at least amongst broadcasters and setmakers. MARCH 2017 GET CONNECTED

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THE PRODUCT GALLERY

gcmagazine.co.uk

SMEG PORTOFINO RANGE COOKER INSPIRED BY THE AMALFI COAST The latest addition to Smeg’s range cooker collection is the 90cm wide Portofino model, which comes in eight colour choices said to represent the bright hues of towns and villages along the Italian Riviera. According to Smeg, Portofino is its most technically advanced range cooker, with 12 different functions including time defrost, rising and Sabbath, and 20 automatic programmes.

SONOS ADDS PLAYBASE TO WIRELESS HOME SOUND SYSTEM PLAYBASE, the latest addition to the Sonos wireless sound system, is designed to appear as if cut from a single piece of granite and sits discreetly under the TV. It is a 58mm high unit with 10 drivers and more than 43,000 holes that make up an acoustically transparent grill. PLAYBASE provides access to more than 80 music services and will be controllable using voice and any Amazon Alexa-enabled device later this year. j

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www.smeguk.com

www.sonos.com

HOOVER LAUNCHES LARGE CAPACITY DISHWASHER Hoover has introduced a 16 place-setting dishwasher with the space to hold up to 176 items. The A++ ‘DYNAMIC MEGA’ model is available in white or black, and features an adjustable upper basket, 12 programmes, six temperatures, a digital soft-touch display, 24-minute rapid wash and low noise output of just 43dB(A). Water consumption is 10 litres for a full load on the 45°C eco wash programme. j

www.hoover.co.uk

YAMAHA AUDIO ANNOUNCES ALEXA SKILL ON THE WAY... Amazon Alexa Voice Control will be available for Yamaha’s MusicCast multiroom system in Autumn 2017, when the company releases a firmware update for more than 40 products in the MusicCast lineup, from AV receivers to sound bars and streaming speakers. An Alexa skill that adds support for the MusicCast commands will simultaneously be made available. j

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https://uk.yamaha.com/index.html


THE PRODUCT GALLERY

VITAMIX® ASCENT™ SERIES BLENDERS TO LAUNCH IN UK MARKET Vitamix is to introduce a new blender range featuring a family of interchangeable containers with wireless connectivity, so programme settings and maximum blending times can be automatically adjusted. A clean interface with intuitive controls and pre-programmed settings provide ease of use. Each appliance comes with a book providing recipes and insight into a range of culinary techniques and tips. Ascent Series blenders are the first in the Vitamix portfolio to come with a 10-year full warranty. Available September 2017. j

HOTSPOT TITANIUM 3-IN-1 HOT WATER TAP The HotSpot Titanium 3-in-1 hot water tap incorporates a patented “Intelliprotect” safety system with electronic touch control, a choice of three safety levels, and the option to have a continuous flow of boiling water. The tank is made of bacteria-resistant titanium and comes in 4-litre or 8-litre sizes. The tap is available in Chrome and Stainless Steel effect, with either a swan or drop neck, and is offered as a 3-in-1 unit (hot, cold & boiling water) or a Solo option (boiling water only). j

www.hotspot-titanium.com/en

www.vitamix.co.uk

HOTPOINT INTRODUCES AAAA-RATED VACUUM CLEANERS Hotpoint’s new Ultimate Collection vacuum cleaners are available as compact cylinders and cordless uprights and incorporate MultiCyclonic technology for optimised airflow to effectively separate and filter dust particles and save up to 70% on energy consumption. The cordless model pictured has a powerful motorised brush that picks up the smallest particles of dust, dirt and pet dander on all floor surfaces and requires just 2 hours of charging for 60 minutes of use. j

PANASONIC EXTENDS 4K PRO HDR UHD OLED TV LINEUP Panasonic has announced the expansion of its 4K Pro HDR Ultra HD OLED TV range following the unveiling of the 65-inch EZ1002 at CES in January this year. The strengthened lineup includes a 77-inch EZ1002 and a second series of OLED TVs for 2017, the EZ952 (pictured), which will be available in 65-inch and 55-inch screen sizes. j

www.panasonic.com/uk

www.hotpoint.co.uk

MARCH 2017 GET CONNECTED

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Get Connected Magazine - March 2017  

04 Editorial Comment 06 The Word In and around the industry 13 Guest Column Retailers still need to bridge the gap between online and in-sto...