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NOV/DEC 2017

The Magazine of The Electrical Goods Industry www.gcmagazine.co.uk

INSIDE:

THE KITCHEN STUDIO High-end design for everyday living

MULTI-ROOM AUDIO & HOME CINEMA The choice is huge… the retail opportunities outstanding

INDUSTRY MOVERS What happened in 2017, and what’s coming in 2018? GC gets the views of some of the ‘movers’ in our industry

GEORGE COLE GETS CONNECTED Piracy in cyberspace; and getting on speaking terms with your home

FROM THE BENCH Bringing colour into our lives

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CONTENTS

INSIDE... 04 Editorial Comment 06 The Word

In and around the industry

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Clint Digital’s Freya 2 Bluetooth speaker www.clintdigital.com

Editor in Chief: Marlinda Conway Telephone: 01420 886 33 marlinda@gcmagazine.co.uk

Subscriptions & Circulation: (GCCD) Telephone: 01420 886 33 circulation@gcmagazine.co.uk

Magazine Advertising Sales: Brian Shilling Telephone: 01892 677 741 brian@gcmagazine.co.uk

Creative Director: Will Dobson will@gcmagazine.co.uk

Sharon Maslen Telephone: 01892 677 742 sharon@gcmagazine.co.uk Editorial & Publishing Director: Terry Heath Telephone: 01420 886 33 terry@gcmagazine.co.uk

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

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George Cole Gets Connected

12

The Product Gallery

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Multi-Room Audio & Home Cinema

The changing face of piracy… and the generation that will grow up talking to their houses

As multi-room entertainment and the Connected Home merge into a cohesive entity, George Cole looks at the immense – and sometimes confusing – possibilities

20 The Kitchen Studio

How UK householders can achieve their own concept of function, convenience and style in the kitchen

25 From the Bench

Alan Bennett charts the half-century that brought colour into our lives

26 Industry Movers

The Future is in Your Hands… We are all having to make big decisions about our future in the electrical industry. Some of its “movers” reflect on a year of change and their view of 2018

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

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NOV/DEC 2017

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EDITORIAL COMMENT

2017 has been – to reuse an over-used phrase – a continuation of the “learning curve” our industry has been climbing for nearly a decade. Learning curves don’t come easy to people who may have built successful businesses over many

years, but are learning the hard way that the principles and experience they’ve always relied on don’t quite fit the circumstances any more

REGISTER ONLINE for your FREE COPY of Get Connected Magazine www.gcmagazine.co.uk

Marlinda Conway Editor in Chief

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hat’s not to say that accused the Government of using successful retailers her campaign “as a PR exercise,” haven’t always had to (maybe just a hint of pot/kettle be resourceful, adaptable “We all need to there, we thought?) But we and aware of change. all knew, really, that getting look at our own Nobody, especially some decent parking, businesses over not in retail, can be smartening the place up this festive period successful for long by a bit, throwing some local and make decisions doing the same things events and doing a bit based on our own in the same way and of promotion was never circumstances.” expecting them to go on going to produce a blueprint delivering results. But these solution to the biggest social are exceptional times, and and technological upheaval have produced so many layers of since the Industrial Revolution. To challenging change – inside and outside give the “Queen” her due, she also said the the industry – in such a short time, and so far Government failed to follow up intent with policy, beyond the ability of retailers to anticipate and pointing out that, having tried to appear to get control, that even some of the best have been behind businesses, “they can’t say that and then overtaken by events. treble rates.” You got that right, Your Majesty. If we have learned anything in 2017, it is Some High Streets are thriving. Others are that bricks-and-mortar retail dynamics are declining towards extinction. The differences complicated, and any nationwide movement between them are complex, and can’t be to “Save the High Street” can’t be effective on explained just in terms of how good the retailers those terms, because there is no such thing are. Plenty of advice is available from successful as “The High Street.” There are thousands of retailers: “We did this and it worked.” But the High Streets across the country, each with its key questions to ask them are: Where’s your own, individual combination of problems and shop? What’s your catchment area? What’s your advantages, history and geography, catchment customer demographic? How has the community area and worth to the community. As we’ve changed since the High Street first developed to argued so often in these pages, it’s not a meet its original needs? standard term, and standard solutions won’t We all need to look at our own businesses work everywhere. over this festive period and make decisions So it is no real surprise that Mary Portas, selfbased on our own circumstances. By all means styled “Queen of Shops”, has officially admitted take advice, but take care with it. For instance, that the “Save the High Street” campaign begun we read recently that to achieve “retail theatre” in 2012 with fanfares and a £1.2 million grant from in-store you should entrust your most outgoing the Government, has failed. The twelve towns and demonstrative staff member with the that received remedial attention from Ms Portas mistletoe over the Christmas trading period. Do and a share of the £1.2 million have, according consider that in the current climate it might be to Local Data Company research, lost nearly wiser to do away with it altogether. Just saying… 20% of their High Street shops, in line with the We’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas general decline across the country. Ms Portas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

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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


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IN-STORE “EXPERIENCES” ENCOURAGE MORE CUSTOMER SPENDING THE LATEST ELECTRICAL GOODS INDUSTRY NEWS

HISENSE FORMALLY PURCHASES TOSHIBA TV BUSINESS

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isense Electric Co. Ltd, a publicly listed subsidiary of Chinese electronics manufacturer Hisense Group, has struck an agreement with Toshiba Corporation to buy 95% of the Japanese company’s wholly-owned TV subsidiary, Toshiba Visual Solutions Corporation (“TVS”). Both companies announced the deal on November 14th, confirming its value at ¥12.9 billion (£85.9 million), and saying it is expected to be completed, subject to regulatory approval and other steps, “by or after February 2018.” Toshiba Corp will retain 5% of TVS. The purchase means Hisense will obtain the TV businesses including production,

R&D and sales functions. TVS will acquire a worldwide license to use the Toshiba brand in connection with its visual solutions products and services for a period of 40 years, including in connection with TVS’s existing business partners in Europe, SE Asia and elsewhere. For Toshiba, a brand with some 140 years of history that was a leader in the display technology market and ranked highly on the Global Technology Brand List, the sale marks a further step in its attempts to regroup following its recent financial difficulties. For Hisense, it appears to be a further move to develop its brand presence in consumer electronics.

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ew research claims that “shop and stay” consumers want new and engaging high street experiences, and will spend more when retailers offer in-store events. The research from Barclaycard says UK retailers who are tapping into shopper demand for in-store experiences by hosting events and providing entertainment in their physical stores have seen annual turnover increase by an average of 14%. 36% of retailers now host events in-store, such as classes, courses, demonstrations and exclusive sales previews, and a further 19% are planning to start doing so in the next three years. These retailers now view in-store events as “key to driving footfall and boosting sales,” and to accommodate increased investment in this area, they’re prepared to “significantly reduce the amount they are investing in other business priorities, such as revamping their store layout (which they plan to decrease by 51%), increasing the variety and amount of stock (41%), or improving their website layout (33%).” George Allardice, Head of Strategy, Barclaycard Payment Solutions, said: “Retailers who take advantage of the opportunities in the experience economy can really reap the rewards. “With consumer spending on entertainment and experiences increasing by 10.5% this year, there are opportunities across the board for shops of all shapes and sizes to capitalise on this and draw shoppers in with engaging experiences.”

PERSONAL SECURITY CONCERNS LEAD TO STOCKPILING OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES

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new study has revealed that personal data security fears are preventing UK households from disposing of old, broken and unused electricals correctly. 69% of people questioned in the study, which was conducted on behalf of WEEE producer compliance scheme REPIC, admitted to having concerns about their personal data being breached, and a third of these admitted they were more likely to keep hold of old electricals as a consequence. The findings are understandable and come as no surprise – security breaches are becoming more prolific as the use of devices and connectivity grows. Yet, in spite of most consumers having a good grasp on technology when it comes to using devices, 26% of those questioned in the REPIC survey didn’t know how to delete their personal data and, naively, a third didn’t think they needed to. The research also exposed a generation gap in attitudes towards data security. 76% of 16-29 year-olds were most worried about the security of their private information, while only 59% of people aged 60 and over voiced it as a concern. Across the age groups, 30-44 year-olds were most likely to ‘never or not always’ delete their personal data from electronic devices before disposal. “Data can be deleted, devices cannot,” said REPIC CEO Mark Burrows-Smith. “These results are really telling in what drives people’s recycling behaviours and the need for increased education around how householders remove personal data before disposal. “The Internet of Things means that connectivity is the norm, and with more and more people syncing their personal data to electronic devices it is clear that there is a real risk that old or unused electricals are being stockpiled due to fear and miseducation.”

EURONICS RANGES FEARNE BY SWAN COLLECTION

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uying Group CIH has made the Fearne By Swan range of small kitchen appliances available to Euronics members. The product range is the result of collaboration with presenter, DJ, cook book author and designer Fearne Cotton, and comprises a stand mixer, food processor, 3 in 1 stick blender, hand mixer, kettle and 2-slice toaster. James Aldridge, small domestic appliance buyer at Euronics, said: “Our agents have been very keen to get their hands on these new products for their stores, but we also see a key online customer demographic due to Fearne’s appeal to a typically younger and socially active audience.”

REPIC Retail Drop Off Centres offer a convenient compliant solution for your collected WEEE, giving you the option to drop off locally with minimum hassle. Request more info from info@repic.co.uk GET CONNECTED NOV/DEC 2017 6


THE LATEST ELECTRICAL GOODS INDUSTRY NEWS

LG RECORDS STRONG Q3 RESULTS

LG

Electronics announced consolidated third-quarter 2017 revenues of KRW 15.22 trillion (USD 13.44 billion), an increase of more than 15% compared with the third quarter last year. All of the company’s four major business units reported higher year-on-year revenues. Quarterly operating income of KRW 516.1 billion was almost double that of Q3 2016, reflecting strong profitability in home entertainment and appliances, despite a gloomy business environment resulting from increasing international trade concerns. Consolidated net profit rose to KRW 336.1 billion, compared to a loss of KRW 81.5 billion in the same quarter last year.

ELECTROLUX REPORTS Q3 EARNINGS IMPROVEMENT

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lectrolux has reported net sales of SEK 29,309m (£2,668.5m) for the third quarter of 2017, down from SEK 30,852m in the same period last year. Operating income increased to SEK 1,960m, up from SEK 1,826m, corresponding to a margin of 6.7%, against 5.9% in Q3 2016. Income for the period also increased, rising from SEK 1,267m to SEK 1,424m. Electrolux President and CEO Jonas Samuelson said the favourable earnings trend was supported by product mix improvements and accelerated cost efficiency despite organic sales decline, mainly related to North America. Organic sales fell 3.2%. Profitability increased across the company’s business areas, with four of these reaching an operating margin above 7%.

THE WORD

SAMSUNG FORECASTS RECORD PROFITS AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE RESIGNS S

amsung Electronics has forecast operating profits for the quarter to September 2017 of 14.5 trillion won (£9.65billion), some three times more than the same quarter of 2016. Memory chips were the main driver of profits, with the new Note 8 smartphone providing an additional boost. However, with smartphones growth expected to slow, the earnings potential from this source is forecast to diminish. In a second big announcement from the world’s biggest producer of smartphones, co-CEO Kwon Ohhyun resigned, saying that the company was suffering an “unprecedented crisis,” and that he believed “the time has now come for the company start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising from the rapidly changing IT industry.” Mr Kwon was one of three co-chief executives of

Samsung Electronics, which has suffered a series of corruption scandals culminating in the imprisonment of the group’s accepted heir apparent Lee Jae-yong, convicted of bribery and corruption and sentenced to five years in jail. Mr Lee is currently appealing against his sentence. Despite its record quarter, the group is seen as facing a number of commercial challenges. Mr Kwon’s resignation is seen as an attempted break with the corruption charges of the past, and a move to give fresh, younger leadership the opportunity to face future challenges.

GORENJE INCREASES PROFITS BUT WARNS ON 2017 TARGETS

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orenje Group reported an increase in revenue and profits for the first nine months of the year, despite a worsening performance in the third quarter. The company warned that negative factors are also expected in the last quarter of the year and said that key objectives laid down for 2017 are not attainable. The Group generated c.€944 million of sales revenue in the nine-month period, up 4.8% on the same period last year. Comparable EBITDA was around 5% higher, at c.€59 million. Net profit, at €4.6 million, was up by 12.1%. Sales of major domestic appliances, including premium brands, and small domestic appliances increased. “We also improved our geographical structure of sales and increased our revenue from other businesses,” the company said. Performance in the third quarter was negatively affected by slower sales that fell short of budget, especially in Germany and Great Britain, rising prices of materials and components, labour cost pressures,

and a decrease in productivity resulting from a mass production launch for new generations of products. In the nine-month period, an operating profit of €18 million was generated – €2.5 million less than in the equivalent period the year before, due in particular to higher depreciation and amortization resulting from high investments into the update and development of product platforms for all product categories in recent periods. “Considering the typical dynamics within the year, we expect to see the largest share of revenue in the last quarter, which in turn will also affect the overall performance. In view of the said negative circumstances, we find that all key objectives laid down for 2017 are not attainable, despite the many measures introduced to mitigate them,” the company said.

WHIRLPOOL “NOT SATISFIED” WITH OPERATING MARGINS

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hirlpool Corporation has reported third-quarter net sales up more than 3% to $5.4 billion compared to the same period last year, but GAAP operating profit declined from $374 million to $331 million. Whirlpool said the business experienced significantly elevated raw material prices in 2017, which are now expected to further increase through 2018. Earlier this month the company announced global cost-based price increases, expected to cover a majority of its business, to be implemented during the fourth quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018. It also announced an initiative to reduce fixed overhead costs by $150 million, which will be

implemented in early 2018. This in addition to ongoing cost productivity efforts. Announcing the Q3 results, CEO Marc Bitzer said: “We are pleased with our revenue growth and free cash flow improvement but are not satisfied with our operating margins, which were impacted by raw material inflation, unfavourable price/mix and slow progress on our European integration. Thus, we are implementing strong actions to deliver our long-term goals, including recently announced global cost-based price increases and a fixed cost reduction initiative.” Margins in the EMEA region suffered under slow progress in the integration of Indesit Company, acquired by Whirlpool in 2014, margin compression in the UK due to Sterling devaluation against the Euro, and raw material inflation of around $20M.

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HUMAX’S GRAHAM NORTH LEAVES COMPANY

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UMAX vice president sales Graham North has stepped down from his position following a period of ill health. North joined HUMAX UK in August 2005 and has been instrumental in numerous business successes in the region, including steering HUMAX as a launch partner of Freesat in 2008, YouView in 2012 and Freeview Play recorders in 2014. On the business-tobusiness side, he played a major role in developing the company’s partnership with various leading operators across Europe.

Hoover Candy Group has appointed Antony Peart as director of brand and communications, a new position within the business. His role is to support growth within the Group and covers marketing for the Hoover, Candy and Baumatic brands in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Hotpoint is offering consumers a 30-day Antony Peart

Buying group CIH has announced the appointment of Paul Holt as Buyer. He joins the team at the Andover-based business with extensive knowledge and experience in the white and brown goods industry. Keith Hunter has joined Montpellier as Regional Sales Manager for the north. Hunter has broad knowledge and experience of the industry, having previously been UK National Sales Manager with Ebac Group Ltd. Prior to that he spent 11 years with Indesit UK Company and seven years with Sharp.

Paul Holt

Ross Willington

Stephen McGhee

Keith Hunter

Nationwide sales company Big Red Sales has recruited two new members to its team. Ross Willington has joined as Field Sales Manager and will also head up the company’s entry into social media. The second addition to the team is Stephen McGhee, a former Roberts Radio Northern Area Sales Manager. McGhee will look after Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Leeds-based Hisense UK has appointed Alistair Orr as marketing manager, with an immediate focus on delivering the brand’s key performance indicators for its sponsorship of the 2018 World Cup in Russia and partnership with Aston Villa Football Club. West Yorkshire-based JP Distribution Ltd has announced that Managing Director Tony Oates will retire from the business in Spring 2018. He has led the firm for the last 12 years. Tony Oates

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President of HUMAX Europe Jeff Kim commented: “We would like to thank Graham for his dedication to HUMAX over the last 12 years, which has resulted in significant growth in the business, and we will greatly miss his leadership and knowledge of the market. I’m sure the entire HUMAX team, and the consumer electronics industry, will join me in wishing Graham our sincere best wishes for the future.” Rob Peacock has taken on the position of sales director for the HUMAX UK. He has been with the business since 2007.

money-back guarantee on selected built-in and freestanding dishwashers. The offer runs until 31st December 2017.

Hoover

has made a multi-million investment in a national consumer campaign promoting its connected appliances. “Hoover, that’s who” is the first major advertising campaign from the brand since the launch of its Wizard family of connected appliances in 2015. It aims to endorse Hoover’s position as an innovative manufacturer and to demonstrate how the brand understands customer needs.

Meaco

has committed Air treatment brand to a £100K nationwide TV advertising campaign to support sales of its dehumidifiers through in-store and online retailers. The drive is aimed at an ABC1 audience and targeted towards females over 35. The channel list will include ITV channels, Comedy Central, Discovery and Food Network. Amongst others are Boomerang, Cartoon Network, Cartoonito and More4.

LG Electronics has agreed a three-year partnership with The FA, spanning the Emirates FA Cup, Wembley Stadium connected by EE, England men’s teams and St George’s Park. LG will benefit from premium brand exposure across all rounds of the Emirates FA Cup, which is distributed in over 150 countries and had a domestic audience of in excess of 27 million last season.

Beko

Alistair Orr

, Premium Partner of FC Barcelona, is working with sports radio station talkSPORT to sponsor coverage of the El Clasico games between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, which take place on Wednesday 20th December 2017 and Sunday 6th May 2018. Beko has a full calendar of activity surrounding both events.


ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

THE WORLD’S NUMBER ONE OLED TV BRAND In 2017, LG expanded its range of OLED TVs and has continued to be the most awarded television brand. The company manufactures most of the best televisions available today, and is proud to have the awards to back this up. In May this year, the OLED65E7 and OLED55B7 received RECOMMENDED and BEST BUY awards from AVForums; in May/June the OLED55B7/C7 received a Which? Best Buy; the OLED65E7/55B7 was awarded 5 stars by What Hi-Fi? and the OLED65E7/55C7 gained a 5-star accolade from Stuff magazine. Now LG aims to cement its place as the number one manufacturer of £1,500+ TVs. In Nov/Dec, LG is running a television ad campaign to support retailers and to secure a strong end to the year in overall TV market share.

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commitment to redefining panel technology has resulted in the most innovative television for the home: The World’s First Wallpaper TV. Organic self-emitting pixels not only deliver picture reproduction of unprecedented contrast, colour and clarity, but due to their unique nature, the design of LG OLED TV is revolutionary, elegant and incredibly thin. The flagship OLED W7V adds less than 4mm to your wallpaper, providing a television experience that is more immersive than ever before. With incredible design elements throughout the range, LG OLED TV adds class to any room. Stunning picture quality and jaw-dropping design are further enhanced with a unique and revolutionary Dolby Atmos implementation – the first of its kind – bringing to your home the very best cinematic technologies from Dolby – Vision and Atmos. See and hear the spectacular – immersing you in entertainment, movies and sports like never before in the home. An audio-visual experience that will redefine the way you think about TV for ever. OLED TV Like No Other.

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PERFECT COLOUR Perfect Black creates Perfect Colour Colour and contrast perfection. OLED pixels create an astonishingly accurate and wide colour range which is presented on the perfect black background only available from self-emitting pixels. This combination provides the most incredible true to life colour reproduction.

SOUND QUALITY LG OLED HUB The next step in audio immersion A World First implementation specifically designed for LG Wallpaper TV, Dolby Atmos moves in threedimensional space, allowing a more realistic recreation of audio entertainment. This incredible audio is driven from a unique LG OLED Hub, with upward firing speakers for the genuine Dolby Atmos experience.

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RETAILERS FEAR BREXIT-INDUCED LABOUR SHORTAGE T he findings of a new study have revealed that 58% of British retailers believe Brexit will negatively impact their access to labour, and the overall majority of these retailers believe the knock-on effect of this will put extra pressure on their workforces. The survey, carried out by data-driven scheduling company Rotageek, suggests that a staffing crisis caused by a decrease in labour from the EU could

further complicate matters for retailers as the industry continues to undergo rapid change. Retailers are said to be having difficulty matching scheduling to their business needs, with 41% wrongly predicting staffing requirements and 65% stating that having the right staff in the right place at the right time is a struggle. Chris McCullough, CEO and co-founder at Rotageek, said: “This data exposes how

SHORTCUTS Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group (KBBG) has added Belgian brand Novy to its membership. Novy, which entered the UK market this year, is known for its hoods, combination hobs and extractors. The company has also joined the KBSA as a corporate supplier member.

vulnerable British retailers are feeling – the government must look at how damaging limiting EU labour could be. High streets are already home to empty shops and relics of once great retailers. Managing the effects of Brexit effectively and utilising the right technology will ensure retailers can continue to flourish.”

PRIZE SEASON

@registermyappliance.org.uk Many of the UK’s leading domestic appliance manufacturers driving industry body AMDEA’s Register My Appliance safety campaign will again be rewarding customers who make the smart choice of registering their appliances, by entering them into free prize draws for a range of luxury prizes. The incentives, promoted by manufacturers and publicised by a broad range of supporters, have helped to significantly increase registrations. Government departments, the fire and rescue services, RoSPA, Citizens Advice, local councils, private landlords and housing associations, among many others, all promote public awareness that registration of both new and older appliances is critical to enabling manufacturers to act quickly in the case of a recall. Douglas Herbison, Chief Executive of AMDEA, said Register My Appliance has been successful in encouraging purchasers to register their new appliances. “Our challenge,” he added, “is to persuade people to register the forgotten 93 million large white goods they already have in use in their homes.” The Prize Season will run up to the end of January 2018, a month that will also include Register My Appliance Day on the 16th.

V-ZUG UK has established a new freephone Technical Advice & Service line linked direct to the company’s head office in Switzerland. The new freephone number is 0800 731 0032. Email: service.uk@vzug.com The iRobot Roomba 875 vacuum cleaner, which is exclusive to Euronics, has been awarded a 4.5/5-star rating by TrustedReviews. Manufacturer of the Bosch, NEFF, Siemens and Gaggenau brands BSH Home Appliances Ltd has received accreditation as a Living Wage employer by The Living Wage Foundation. Beko and Grundig parent Arçelik A.Ş. has been recognised as a global leader in corporate sustainability and awarded a position on the A List for climate and water by CDP, the non-profit global environmental disclosure platform, for the third consecutive year. The business also received ‘Best Contribution to Corporate Responsibility’ in the 2017 European Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply Management Awards. The Consumer Technology Association (CTA™) has recognised LG Electronics for “groundbreaking innovations” in technology and design with CES® 2018 Innovation Awards, led by multiple honours for LG OLED TVs and refrigerators to be unveiled in January at CES in Las Vegas. LG will also receive its 12th CES Best of Innovations Award for a unique new product that will be introduced at the 2018 show.

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NOV/DEC 2017

Distributor of technology products Exertis has raised £21,000 for the Naomi House and Jacksplace charity via its annual charity cycle ride. The initiative was supported by the company’s employees, directors and vendors. Sirius Buying Group has donated £11K to charitable causes after raising the sum from members and approved suppliers at its Annual Awards Gala. The money was equally shared between Crohns & Colitis UK and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Beko has marked the launch of its new laundry range with a fresh campaign to support Barnardo’s, its longstanding charity partner. The company is donating £28,000 to the charity as part of its ‘Beko Goes Green for Barnardo’s’ activity.


GEORGE COLE

 georgecole@gcmagazine.co.uk

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

THE CHANGING FACE OF PIRACY 1

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emember the time when most pirated tapes and discs were flogged in car boot sales or by a dodgy-looking chap in a pub? Well, some pirated DVDs and Blu-rays are still sold this way, but most pirated content these days is digital - that is, streamed or downloaded. The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) recently launched a report, “Cracking down on digital piracy,” which provides a fascinating snapshot of the situation. The good news is that the vast majority of Britons are law-abiding citizens; 75% of us don’t illegally download or stream content. But that still means that a quarter of us do. The most commonly pirated online content is films, TV shows and live sporting events. Some of this content is obtained by ripping DVDs and Blu-ray discs and uploading the content onto illegal streaming sites, cyberlockers or torrent sites, where consumers pay to access the content. Needless to say, the licence holders don’t see a penny of these funds.

Other content is ripped from cinemas or online services such as iTunes. It’s quite common for pirates to steal credit cards and use them to pay for premium TV and video services, which are then ripped and distributed. A lot of pirated content is accessed from illicit streaming devices (ISDs). The most common way is by using an open source media player such as the Kodi box. It must be stressed that Kodi boxes are legal to purchase, but some third parties have created apps which enable Kodi boxes to access pirated content. Kodi has condemned these illegal apps. It used to be that only those producing or distributing pirated content were breaking the law. It was not illegal to purchase or watch them. But last March, a High Court judge said that in his view, anyone viewing streaming content was breaking the law. It’s all a grey area, but we could see consumers who watch illegally-streamed content being chased by the authorities.

THE CHANGING FACE OF PIRACY 2

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once had a conversation with someone who developed anti-piracy technology. “Our aim isn’t to stop someone from pirating content,” he said, “but to make it so difficult and expensive that it isn’t worth it. Would you forge a five-pound note if it cost you seven pounds to make each fake?” His words came back to me when I heard that a Russian company claims to have developed software that makes it possible to rip Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. The software cracks Blu-ray’s anti-copy technology known as AACS 2.0 (Advanced Access Content System). But read the small print and the achievement is not so impressive. The software costs £180, only works with around 30 UHD Blu-ray titles and eight Blu-ray players. It doesn’t work on standard Blu-ray discs and it takes up to six hours to decrypt a disc. Yes, the technology will get better and cheaper, but with Ultra HD Blu-ray discs now selling from £20 each, why bother?

“Would you forge a fivepound note if it cost you seven pounds to make each fake?”

VOICES IN THE HOME T

he voice technology market continues to grow, with more voice controlled devices entering our homes. Amazon leads the way with its Alexa personal assistant technology, which is the power behind the company’s range of Echo speakers. The latest products will not only tell you what the weather is like or the latest news, but can be used to control streaming services such as Netflix, and smart home devices. According to David Limp, an Amazon executive, “Kids today will grow up never knowing a day they couldn’t talk to their houses.” It sounds like hyperbole,

but an AV consultant who has an Echo speaker in his home told me: “I used to use an app on my smartphone to check the weather. Now, I ask my Echo speaker.” My youngest son has invested in an Echo speaker, so I got the chance to play around with it. By and large, it’s pretty impressive, although a number of times I was told “Sorry, I don’t understand the question.” That said, the technology does have a dry sense of humour. When I asked, “Alexa – why did the chicken cross the road?” The reply was, “That’s the chicken’s business.”

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PRODUCT GALLERY

45cm built-in combination steam oven from Caple Caple’s SO110 built-in combination steam oven is the latest addition to the brand’s contemporary Sense range. The 45cm appliance has a 36-litre capacity and heats from 40°C to 100°C on the steam setting with an A-rating for energy efficiency. Ten functions include defrost, fan heat, grill, turbo grill, steam and boost.

www.caple.co.uk

iFi nano iDSD Black Label The iFi nano iDSD Black Label is a small, portable hi-res DAC with integrated headphone amp for portable use with headphones, home-based audio, computer, TV and gaming systems. It is compatible with hi-res PCM/DXD audio files (up to 32-bit/384kHz) and DSD (up to DSD256) and supports MQA hi-res streaming technology.

www.ifi-audio.com | 01704 227204

Lec launches 55cm and 60cm combi collections Refrigeration specialist Lec has added to its A+ cooling range with six new combi fridge freezer models. TNF55187W (pictured), is a 50cm total no-frost 60/40 split with 278 litres gross capacity. The fridge has four shelves and a salad crisper. The freezer has three compartments.

www.lec.co.uk

Clint Digital’s Freya 2 Bluetooth speaker Danish brand Clint Digital’s Freya 2 Bluetooth speaker is now available in the UK market. The unit offers easy Bluetooth pairing and intuitive operation, with top-mounted buttons providing simple control. TrueWireless compatibility allows two units to be paired together to for a more room-filling sonic performance. RRP £149.00.

www.clintdigital.com

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PRODUCT GALLERY

Ferguson returns to UK TV market TV brand Ferguson is back in the UK market with a range of models in seven screen sizes, from 24” to 75”, priced between £199.99 and £1499.99. Features include 4K UHD on all sets from 50” upwards; Android Smart; a curved screen option and the option of a built-in DVD player with the 32” model. The units are manufactured in the UK by British TV brand Cello.

www.celloelectronics.com

KitSound Voice One speaker with Amazon Alexa KitSound’s Voice One speaker with Alexa integration, launched at IFA 2017 in Berlin, is now available on the UK market at an RRP of £129.99. The unit has built-in multiroom technology, so users can connect up to eight speakers together wirelessly.

www.kitsound.co.uk

Candy launches NFC dishwashers Candy’s first freestanding dishwasher with NFC technology, the 60cm 16 place-setting Smart Touch CDP1LS67W, available in black or white, is A+AA rated and offers a range of programme options, temperatures and functions. It features a Smart Touch logo which, when tapped by an Android device, will connect to an app that delivers voice-assisted recommendations for additional downloadable cycles, programme information, energy usage reports and Smart Care health check diagnostics.

0151 334 2781 | www.candy-domestic.co.uk

Gorenje launches next phase of Ora-Ïto lines Slovenian brand Gorenje, known for varied design lines and collaborations with leading designers, has launched its second range with French designer Ïto Morabito. Ora-Ïto 2 offers both large and compact ovens, hobs, microwaves, a warming drawer and extractor hood in monochrome finishes with bold structures and a clean finish. Features include touch-control interfaces, MultiSteam 360˚ steam technology and hobs with the brand’s BridgeZone.

www.gorenje.co.uk

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ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

2017

has been an exceptionally busy year so far for Hampshirebased white goods distributor Portway Domestic Appliances.

Jack White and Emma Jamieson

T

he second and third quarters of the year have seen us announce and launch three new trading partners, the first of which was Bexel in May. The Bexel range allows us to offer our customers a value-formoney alternative to the many own-label cooking brands currently available. The range covers 50cm entry-level Cooking and gives us entry into the 90cm Range Cooker market for the first time. We are also delighted to have been chosen as distributors for the German premium refrigeration brand Liebherr. The range includes under-counter

SCO60CEW 60cm electric ceramic & SCO60GW all-gas single cavity cookers

55cm and 60cm Fridges, Freezers and Larders, along with an extensive range of high-quality freestanding Fridge Freezers. Turkish cooking and refrigeration brand Simfer is the latest exciting addition to our ever-growing product portfolio. Neil Bradford, Managing Director of Portway, says: “Simfer is a major product launch for Portway and we are very pleased this up-and-coming brand has chosen to launch its product range in the UK exclusively with us.” Portway debuted the new and exclusive Simfer range at the annual Sirius Buying Group Tradeshow, and we are delighted with the positive response from our customers. Portway continues to work very hard with our existing trade partners Amica, Hisense, Whirlpool, Hoover Candy and Glen Dimplex to bring customers what we believe to be the most complete value-for-money range currently available in distribution. On the sales front, due to our continued growth and expansion, Emma Jamieson has joined the Portway team to head up our Sales office. Emma’s appointment sees the start of a substantial investment in our internal sales team, with the aim of supporting our customer base with regular telesales contact. Emma was also joined in June by Telesales assistant Kaitlyn Lewis. The Portway Field Sales team is headed up by Sales Director Jack White and is supported closely by National Accounts Manager Denis Price and Carole Johnson, who covers London and the home counties. Distribution has also been improved upon with the successful rollout of Saturday trade deliveries to many of our customers. This runs alongside our Home delivery service, which allows us to deliver 3 times a week to customers in the south of the UK.

Portway Domestic Appliances supplies top-quality domestic appliances throughout the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. We offer our customers elevated levels of Sales and Service support from our friendly, knowledgeable staff, alongside a wide range of domestic and commercial appliances, reinforced by deliveries 2-3 times a week, our Home Delivery Service and 24-hour online ordering.

For more information on the services and solutions Portway Domestic Appliances can offer your business please contact us at sales@portwayonline.co.uk or by phone on 01264 334596.

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ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

Combined experience for the UK consumer‌ S

imfer is celebrating its 40th birthday this year, and Portway has spent almost 30 years supplying the domestic appliance industry. With that kind of combined experience, they know what ticks the boxes for UK retailers and consumers when it comes to kitchen appliances. Simfer has almost every configuration of slot-in cooker you can imagine, and Portway has started with a line-up of 12 different variants which may double or even treble as selected models are rolled out in other colours. Slot-in cookers may be the first category to be launched, but built-in, range cookers and highcapacity freezers are all planned for early 2018. Simfer has designed frost-free freezers that deliver some of the highest capacities for their dimensions. Its range cookers come in one, two, three and four-door models and its flagship builtin ovens can boast a staggering 80-litre capacity.

Our oven capacity improved to 87 lt

During 2018, Simfer and Portway will be supporting their retailers with various promotions. With a 2-year guarantee as standard and 5-year guarantees as one of the promotional offers, they intend to make selling Simfer as easy as possible. For more information about this new and exciting brand to the UK market please contact the Portway Sales team today on 01264 334596 or visit our Simfer brand page online at: www.portwayonline.co.uk/exclusivebrands Simfer 4-door range cookers

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MULTI-ROOM AUDIO & HOME CINEMA

You can take it with you…

Yamaha WXAD – 10 Smartens up the entire sound system

“Multi-room Getting your entertainment to follow you to play music. This is perfect for garden parties when you can’t audio has been from room to room throughout the home guarantee the weather.” transformed by is now an achievable aspiration for most TAKING CONTROL the arrival of consumers. Sony’s latest multi-room audio wireless speaker Multi-room audio and home cinema products include the LF-S50G, technology” has never offered so much choice – a smart speaker with Google Assistant built in and 360-degree and so much potential confusion. With sound. The voice-controlled speaker so many products, technologies, systems offers access to information such as and formats on offer, consumers and retailers travel and weather. The speaker can serve as a digital hub for the home, controlling can often feel overwhelmed by what is available. different smart devices from compatible But the technologies behind these sectors are getting easier to platforms including Chromecast, Nest, Phillips deploy, and many manufacturers are keen to help retailers guide Hue and IFTT. Gesture control technology enables customers to the right buying decision. George Cole investigates

M

ulti-room audio has been transformed by the arrival of wireless speaker technology. Sonos has been a dominant player in this market, but there are plenty of alternatives out there. What’s more, many wireless speakers are now smart speakers that can not only deliver sound around the home but, coupled with voice control technology, can offer information too. It’s getting harder to define where multi-room audio ends and the smart, connected home begins, especially as both use a raft of wireless technologies such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, AirPlay, NFC and DNLA, as well as various apps.

ISLANDS IN THE STREAM Most multi-room audio systems are compatible with streaming services such as Spotify, Deezer and Tidal, and can distribute sound from a variety of sources such as PC, NAS (networked attached server), television, tablet, smartphone and CD player. A multi-room audio customer could be someone who simply wants to add

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a single wireless speaker to their kitchen, or an enthusiast looking to stream multi-channel sound around the home. Streaming is a major trend says Neil King, marketing director, Sony UK. “As the market for streaming content continues to grow, more and more consumers will be looking to incorporate connected audio products into their home. We recognise the demand for a connected home, and therefore many of our products – from speakers to our BRAVIA Android TVs – are compatible with Google Cast.” Adam Marshall, head of audio marketing, Panasonic UK, agrees: “Streaming different music formats seems to be a big trend at the moment,” he says, “and this will only continue as the market inflates, especially with the huge increase in popularity of vinyl. Waterproofing has also been a big trend as consumers see their outside space as equally important as the rest of their property. The ALL05 from Panasonic, for example, is IPX7 waterproof – meaning it can be fully submerged to one metre and will continue

consumers to control the volume, change tracks and pause the music by simply moving their hands over the device. Yamaha’s NPS303 music streamer can stream music from a PC, NAS, USB stick or smartphone. It’s also compatible with popular streaming services and includes MusicCast, Yamaha’s multi-room audio technology. Yamaha’s WXAD-10 music streamer offers MusicCast, Bluetooth and AirPlay, and can connect to audio devices via 3.5mm jack or two phono connectors. Panasonic’s ALL7CD sound system allows consumers to stream from both CDs and digital services simultaneously.

SOUND AND PICTURES A number of technologies are making a lot of noise in the home cinema market, including 3D surround sound formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Ultra HD Blu-ray. LG says HDR is a key technological development in home cinema: “It’s a real step in changing how we deliver and display a stunning image, combining wider colour gamut with enhanced peak brightness, so pictures appear more vivid and lifelike.


Wireless Streaming Adapter WXAD-10

Add sound anywhere Simple connection Connect to any audio device

Wide selection of streaming services Spotify, Tidal, Deezer and more

Equipped with RCA and stereo mini output terminals, the WXAD-10 can be connected to a wide range of audio products — whatever components you currently have. Use it with a shelf stereo system, Hi-Fi audio equipment, home theatre system, or even a soundbar. The possibilities are endless.

You can enjoy everything. The WXAD-10 is compatible with a large variety of popular streaming services, including the widespread Spotify, the up-and-coming Tidal and Deezer services, as well as Napster, Qobuz, Juke and others – letting you enjoy all your favourite artists, and music content from all over the world.

uk.yamaha.com

email jake.stevenson@music.yamaha.com for details


MULTI-ROOM AUDIO & HOME CINEMA

is a way of future-proofing your home and your technology. “Staff training is crucial to ensure that consumers feel comfortable with this technology and how it will enhance their home. Staff need to be able to satisfy doubts that this type of technology is difficult to set up and/or complicated to run, which good training can prepare them for.” LG says: “For televisions, demonstrations will always be the first hook that catches a customer’s attention. But we shouldn’t forget the other role that retailers have: educating the customer in the range of options available and the capabilities of new technologies.” Gaining an understanding of the areas where the customer wants to listen is vital, adds LG, as well as ensuring they offer a suitable portfolio of suggested products for them to invest in accordingly. For example, a connected soundbar for the living room, a pair of speakers for the study, and a portable unit for the kitchen are tailored options which suit the varying needs and uses of each room.

SETTING THE SCENE

Panasonic UB900 Ultra HD Blu-ray player

Another key development is 4K, which gives televisions four times the resolution found in full HD televisions. Dolby Atmos is delivering ‘moving’ audio that can be precisely placed anywhere in three-dimensional space - including overhead - to create realistic and breathtaking sound for an immersive experience.” LG’s home cinema portfolio includes the SJ9 and SJ8 soundbars, which have builtin Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for easy smartphone connectivity, whilst built-in Google Cast means that all major streaming services are supported. The SJ9 also includes Dolby Atmos. LG’s range of OLED televisions includes Dolby Atmos. LG’s W7 OLED TV includes HDR. Sony’s HTST5000 soundbar offers Dolby Atmos and Chromecast to connect to over one hundred music streaming services. Yamaha’s YAS-207 is a DTS:X soundbar with an external wireless subwoofer. At just 60mm high, the centre unit can sit in front of the TV, and Bluetooth can be used to stream music from a smartphone. An HDMI connection can be used to connect to a TV and Blu-ray player, and the soundbar can be controlled with the existing TV remote. Yamaha’s RX-A3070 is a high-end 9.2-channel AV receiver with Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, MusicCast and 4K HD support. Ultra HD Blu-ray players are now very affordable. Some premium branded players sell for around £250 and the number of Ultra HD titles is growing, with prices starting at around £20. Anyone in the market for a home cinema system should be informed that Ultra HD is not just for those with deep pockets. Sony’s King says: “The market is strong, with consumers wanting the best possible home entertainment experience.” Sony’s UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD player includes HDR and support for the BT.2020 standard, which offers a wider colour

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gamut, and future-proofs the player. Panasonic’s DMPUB900 Ultra HD Blu-ray player also supports the BT.2020 standard.

SELLING THE DREAM

LG urges retailers to feature Wi-Fi within stores so that products can easily be connected and customers can experience firsthand how simple and effortless the process of connecting products to each other is. LG’s training team visits all independent retailers to offer face-toface training for any newly launched products. Such visits also provide an opportunity to update displays, deliver POS material and literature and ensure retailers are up to date with all product information, as display compliance is integral to allow product interaction. Sony’s King says: “Consumers want all-in-one products that incorporate a great experience, design, and quality but they are often limited on space. Retailers should therefore demonstrate products in-store, so consumers can see and hear key features that will enhance their experience. Demonstration is key because it gives consumers a chance to see how products sound and feel.” Good choice and a wide range of products in active displays are ideal, as consumers like to test before they buy, adds King. “We ensure retailers are equipped with eye-catching instore POS displays to demonstrate product benefits and how the product enhances their experience. Promotional activity is also important, as it brings consumers into our stores to try our products, driving sales. Interactive product demos run by the retailer will highlight how the consumer can best use the product in their home and integrate it into their smart home.”

“It’s getting harder to define where multi-room audio ends and the smart, connected home begins”

Having great products is one thing, but how can manufacturers help retailers sell multi-room audio and home cinema products? “Having well trained staff on the shop floor who can communicate the technology messages effectively is important, for instance, explaining the full benefits of high-resolution audio to consumers who want high-quality sound,” says Sony’s King. “Dolby Atmos is a feature that needs to be demonstrated so consumers can hear the three-dimensional surround sound for themselves. Bluetooth and NFC are also important features as they give users the freedom to listen to music instantly with the touch of a button.” Sony offers retailers various support, adds King. “We run comprehensive training programmes to ensure we train as many retailers as possible on new ranges and technologies across our home AV and sound products. Having demo-ready TVs displaying 4K HDR content helps with sales, by creating an exciting experience to inspire consumers by demonstrating the key benefits of 4K – seeing really is believing.”

TRAINING AND DEMONSTRATION When it comes to retailers selling multi-room audio and home cinema, Panasonic’s Marshall says “it’s all about ensuring consumers understand that buying into multi-room audio


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THE KITCHEN STUDIO

“Subtle finishes are ideal for timeless appeal in a luxury, classic or contemporary scheme”

In the

Doug Haswell, furniture manager, Caple

Symphony by Caesarstone

From open to broken – this is tomorrow’s kitchen

T

he kitchen is a product of constant evolution, as progressive-thinking manufacturers look beyond the ordinary for the next on-trend development, and consumers, now seen as holding a protagonist role in this evolving story, avariciously devour the desirable images of open and airy, style-led environments in generous servings offered by home & lifestyle publications, social media and TV programmes such as Grand Designs. Open-plan living has for several years rewarded all areas of the kitchen industry and the concept is now maturing, bringing a new wave of opportunity for retailers and designers. Open Plan 2.0 – or ‘broken-plan living’ – an evolved version of open-plan, is the new kid on the lifestyle-block. It is a concept in which distinct areas can be created by the use of different floor finishes and/or floor levels, freestanding and/or floating partitions such as bookcases or screens, or other suitable means of distinguishing one living space from another while keeping the open-plan feel. “This,” according to Neil McDonald, Design Manager at K&B manufacturer Moores, “means that it is still possible to achieve the spacious feel that openplan living provides, but creates a separation so that people can have their own space away from each other.”

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Caesarstone UK has also recognised the shift towards broken-plan living. Jonathan Stanley, VP of Marketing, says “the open-plan layout is

starting to close in again and is evolving towards more zonal spaces.” This inevitably brings a change in the type of kitchen furniture and colour palettes used and Caesarstone is seeing the use of colour repetition becoming more popular. “These colours are similar in tone and material palettes seen throughout the kitchen, from doors to worktops and splashbacks, creating a harmonious and integrated look.”

Fisher & Paykel DD60DCHB9 DishDrawer™ Designed to fit into the same space as a traditional dishwasher, the Double DishDrawer™ dishwasher has two independent drawers that can operate on different cycles simultaneously, ensuring pots, pans, cutlery and crockery are cleaned in the optimum way. • Worried about the plumbing? There’s no need to be – the Double DishDrawer™ requires the same plumbing facilities as any single dishwasher • Make full use of the sanitise function – designed for sterilising babies’ bottles, jam jars or equipment for home brewery projects • Run a quick wash or make sure tableware is extra dry using the special functions of the DishDrawer™ The Double DishDrawer™ Dishwasher is available in black, stainless steel and gloss white.

www.fisherpaykel.com/uk

• The individual compartments for detergent, rinse aid and salt are ergonomically positioned towards the top of the inside of each drawer so they are easy to replenish without bending down to the ground or leaning into the dishwasher


THE KITCHEN STUDIO

Lec Launches 55cm and 60cm Combi Collections Refrigeration specialist Lec has added to its A+ cooling range with six new combi fridge freezer models, including four Total No Frost appliances. The 60cm collection includes the 188cm tall TNF60186 and TNF60187 which feature Total No Frost technology, meaning the fans distribute cooler air evenly to prevent the accumulation of ice or frost on walls or food. The 55cm collection includes three 188cm tall appliances. The Total No Frost 60:40 split TNF55187W has 278 litres of gross capacity; the TF55207W is a 50:50 split appliance and boasts five freezer drawer compartments, and the TS55187W is a static 50:50 split model with 5kg/24-hour freezing capacity.

0344 2484149 | www.lec.co.uk

SIMPLICITY

IT’S FASHION

As homeowners buy into the idea of creating zones, island units are becoming larger in order to distinguish specific areas. Stanley maintains that quartz is ideal for these large surface spaces, whether used as a setting for dining, entertaining or food preparation. “The premium look of a quartz surface immediately creates a huge, visual impact and design statement in the kitchen.” “There is now more thought as to how the overall aesthetics of the kitchen integrate with the home in general,” comments Moores’ McDonald. “Kitchen design has somewhat simplified – with a real emphasis on functionality to ensure it stays in keeping with other areas of the home – and makes the most of the available space. Neutral colour palettes have grown in prominence to allow homeowners the flexibility to stamp their own personality on the room while creating a bright and airy design, helping to make the room feel bigger and more spacious.”

Maurizio Severgnini, managing director for Bertazzoni UK & Eire, raises the point that most kitchens in the UK are among some of the smallest in Europe, ranging from only 8m2 to 24m2, and consumers therefore try to achieve the look and feel of kitchen environments portrayed on TV on a much smaller scale. “Programmes like those identified, coupled with the rise of social media, especially platforms like Instagram and Pintrest, all contribute to people wanting to create an aspirational feel within their homes. freezer, they can invest in one of these to create Most consumers won’t have the budget to that same aspirational feel and complement it completely achieve the aesthetics of kitchens with other, more suitable elements. Just as an like those on Grand Designs. However, a solution expensive watch or handbag can bring an air or compromise would be to select of sophistication to an outfit, a large one aspect of a kitchen and try or coloured product can do the to recreate this. For example, same in the kitchen. Investing in key, eye-catching if a home they admire has “Stainless steel products can not only a statement cooker or create an impact, but a French-door fridge appliances are make the kitchen truly coming out on top aspirational, no matter with 47% of consumers the style.” opting for the robust Sharp Home finish…” Appliances’ Rita Balestrazzi is on the Sara Bazeley, Brand same page as Severgnini: Manager, Indesit “As with fashion in the clothing sector, home design now hinges on the purchase of two or three enduring pieces that can be complemented by other more-easily updated accessories. Taking inspiration from shows such as Grand Designs, consumers are open to more possibilities, collecting and sharing ideas and looking for new ways to fulfil their own design aspirations.” Balestrazzi believes that TV programmes on home interiors have a similar impact as catwalk fashion shows, in that they drive demand for more creative and affordable high street alternatives to bespoke furniture and ultra-premium appliances.

BACK TO BLACK

Roux kitchen in Nouvel White by Moores

22

Commenting on preferences in kitchen style, Balestrazzi says: “As design becomes increasingly personalised, we’re seeing a shift away from the more uniform and neutral kitchen looks. Instead, style is now defined by more striking combinations of appliances, furniture and wall finishes. For example, light-reflecting black glass fridge freezers are being used to


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THE KITCHEN STUDIO

“While there is always a demand for classic, traditional kitchens, the dominant trend in kitchen cabinetry continues to be for contemporary minimalist styles…” Owain Harrison, country manager, Novy

complement black gloss tiling, helping to create dramatic overall kitchen designs. Dark inox products are also gaining popularity, not only complementing marble worktop finishes but also working well when set against on-trend white gloss cabinetry.” Jennifer Taylor, Head of Brand at Hotpoint, maintains that the contemporary look has been a top kitchen style desired by consumers during 2017. She refers to a Houzz Kitchen Trends study which revealed that 56% of new kitchens were updated “to fit with a modern flair” and showed a dramatic increase in monochrome tones, with grey cabinetry appearing in 27% of new kitchens, and black also a popular choice – 22% of consumers chose to upgrade to black appliances.

IT’S COMPLEMENTARY… “There’s such a huge range of kitchen trends around,” opines Juan Pillay, marketing director of built-in appliances at Hoover Candy UK. “When it comes to cabinetry and overall style, they range from traditional oak finishes to sleek

metallic looks. Providing appliances to match this is all about offering variety and adaptability and creating products that complement different kitchen styles. For example, stainless steel appliances fit in with so many different interiors. A stainless steel oven or cooker doesn’t look out of place in an otherwise traditional kitchen; in fact, it can provide a bolder or sleeker addition to the overall aesthetic. The trend for industrial interior styles has also come a long way over the last year or so – which stainless steel finishes also work in favour of.”

IT’S A STATEMENT Steve Dickson, Head of Category for Range Cookers at GDHA, asserts that high gloss kitchens have “reigned supreme” for a number of years and high gloss black or stainless steel range cookers suit this look perfectly. “However,” he adds, “lately there’s been a decided shift towards matte-painted finishes, a style which lends itself perfectly to shaker-style kitchens and period homes. In these kitchens, traditionally styled coloured country ranges are a fantastic fit.” But Dickson acknowledges that, while brightly coloured or patterned range cookers can help create theatre in the retail environment, “the reality is that most consumers prefer to play it safe when investing in a range cooker that they hope to keep for many years to come.” The range cooker may be an aspirational, statement appliance and a firm favourite with keen cooks and bakers, but Whirlpool Brand Manager Catherine Balderson points out that products in the freestanding cooking sector are becoming less popular, down 6% in value, while built-in ovens, which now make up 48% of total cooking sales, have grown by 8% (Source GfK). “The trend for the integrated kitchen is continuing, and will do so for the long term, as the footprint of the ground-floor space of our homes morphs into the living area. This means there will be ongoing and continued demand for cleanlined, seamless built-in appliances that are often featured on TV shows such as Grand Designs, which inspire consumers to seek out a similar aesthetic for their own homes. This ultimately translates into a rise in built-in sales for retailers.”

MAKING MOVES Iain Starkey, Senior Marketing Manager at Beko plc, rightly points out that the rise in popularity of open-plan living has helped fuel demand for built-in appliances, and the propensity to ‘share’ our lives with others is another contributor to the sector’s success. “With homeowners increasingly sharing images of their houses on social media, people want their homes and kitchens to look the part, and built-in appliances help to create a sleek, modern look. The recent surge of newbuild homes, which often come with built-in appliances as standard, has also contributed to built-in becoming the optimum choice in kitchen styles. “We’ve seen seven years of consecutive growth for built-in appliances. The sector is now worth £1,036 million, with the value share at 29%. In 2016, every single category except laundry saw positive growth in the built-in sector. Cooling and dishwashers saw a big uplift (+23% value growth). 30% of products on offer are now built-in to meet this demand.”

TOMORROW’S KITCHEN Looking at future trends in kitchen design, and acknowledging that connectivity is now an accepted and developing part of the white goods world, Sinead Trainor, Kitchen Category Manager at Faith Furniture Company points to other aspects bringing added value, convenience and style to this area of the home: “….we are starting to see products such as integrated speakers with Bluetooth functionality, colour-changing lights, motorised drawers and even pop-up sockets.” Caesarstone’s Stanley elaborates: “So far in 2017 we have seen, more than ever before, a wider conversation around connectivity and its place in our lives, our homes and our kitchens. Over the past few years we have seen an increase in the amount of AV technology used in the kitchen space, including TVs, speakers and music streaming devices. We expect that these technology trends will continue to grow, as 60% of consumers feel that there is a strong place for AI as an essential part of our future.” Opportunity knocks.

Belling offers retailers access to exclusive laundry research Following its entrance to the freestanding home laundry market with its Sensicare Collection, Belling has created an exclusive retailer insight report which canvassed the opinions of 2,000 consumers across the UK to discover more about their laundry habits, the way they shop for appliances and the features and functions they value. The research confirmed that there’s plenty of scope for growth within the market. 50% of respondents own only a washing machine, 15% own a washer dryer, and 35% own a washing machine and a separate tumble dryer. The research also looked at users’ laundry habits, highlighting the importance of capacity and examining the most popular features, functions and cycles. Crucially, the report examined how people shop for their laundry appliances and the factors that influence their purchasing decisions. A full copy of the Belling Laundry report can be downloaded at www.belling.co.uk/laundryreport2017

www.belling.co.uk | Tel: 0844 248 4149

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FROM THE BENCH

FROM THE BENCH

50 YEARS OF CTV SERVICING

Colour TV first came to the UK in 1967. Alan Bennett reviews the ensuing fifty years, which have seen many ups and downs in the retail and service trade EARLY DAYS

AT

the start of colour TV there were two screen sizes available: 19-inch at about £300, and 25-inch for around £350, equating respectively to over £5000 and £5600 today. A 25-inch console model in a walnut or mahogany cabinet carried a price tag of almost £600. Colour TV licences cost £10. The analogue PAL system (a good choice) was used with 625-transmissions in the UHF band which the BBC2 service had adopted from its start in 1964. This meant that until BBC1 and ITV went over to colour in 1969 the sets had to be dualstandard (405/625 lines), increasing complexity and cost and impinging on reliability. In those days many people could not afford a colour set, and renting (at about £8 per month) was popular, also insulating customers from repair costs. There was plenty of money to be made from sales and rental in those days! But a good service organisation was essential, with some models failing two or three times a year. By the mid-70s reliability had improved and colour TVs started to outnumber black and white ones. The aerial trade did well at the time installing UHF arrays.

TECHNICIANS Repair technicians of the day had to come up a steep learning curve: colour sets were much more complex than monochrome ones, and involved more power and heat in their timebase, picture-tube and power supply sections. Special test equipment was needed for diagnosis in the colour decoder section, and for setting up the convergence (RGB registration), purity (screen colour uniformity) and grey-scale of the picture tube and its image geometry: there were scores of preset controls in a colour TV. When regular test-card transmissions ceased we imported an optical monochrome test card generator from America, but found it so poor that we made our own slide scanner incorporating a flying-spot scanner, photomultiplier and a very expensive 35mm slide of test card F. It used a sync train borrowed from the off-air BBC transmission until we could get a full spec (to broadcast standard) timebase generator chip. So fussy were we about

setting up that we acquired and used a fluorescent light source (6500° K, Illuminant D) and used it to calibrate grey-scale on all the sets in the showroom every week. We were only released from having to make all these adjustments by the advent of PIL (precision-in-line) picture tubes and one-chip decoders several years later. Most service was carried out in customer’s homes in the early days by swapping valves and sometimes ‘modules’, cleaning contacts, and by replacing individual components such as transistors, capacitors etc. A good diagnostician was greatly valued, and enjoyed benefits such as take-home family-use estate cars, along with a good wage by contemporary standards.

“Most service was carried out in customer’s homes in the early days by swapping valves and sometimes ‘modules’, cleaning contacts, and by replacing individual components such as transistors, capacitors etc.”

VCRS Most technicians were starting to get into their stride with colour TV when another challenge came along: video cassette recorders, also largely rented. The first was the Philips model N1500, introduced in 1972 at about £600. Now we had to cope with complex mechanics, servomechanisms and precision physical alignment as well as new and involved colour-under circuits. Sometimes VCR repairs were delegated to audio technicians with their greater mechanical experience. The N1500 and later LP-capable N1700 models used chunky and expensive co-axial cassettes. They

Early colour TV set

were challenged in 1975 and 1976 respectively by the Betamax (Sony) and VHS (JVC) types, longer playing, easier to service – and quite incompatible with each other. VHS won the battle between these two, largely because of the stocking policy of the cassette rental outlets, very popular at the time. I’ve still got a VHS recorder and a huge stack of tapes! Their pictures, judged by today’s standards, look very coarse and crude with their 240-line resolution and blurry colour.

EVOLUTION In 1997 the first thinscreen TV came on to the British market. This 42-in model, much bigger than direct-view tubes could manage, cost about £13000 and had a plasma screen, a type no longer in production. Back to school for the technicians! The advent of these sets marked the beginning of a decline for the service industry because fault diagnosis and repair started to become too expensive and complex for the average retailer to tackle, and it gradually became the province of specialist service contractors. The increasing reliability of equipment and the paucity of replacement components and assemblies accelerated this trend, and even manufacturers began to swapout equipment during the guarantee period; once that had expired good repair service was very hard to find because the skills and equipment required for fault-finding and component replacement became rare. Several other factors were present: reliability increased by leaps and bounds (currently over 80% of TVs run troublefree for at least five years) while the cost of new gear came steadily down, and that of skilled labour went up. In 2008 digital TV started, and TVs became specialised large-screen computers. Their faults were very often down to software issues, and such dealers’ technicians as remained armed themselves with portable PCs and became experts at updating and restoring software with support from setmakers, while TVs with hardware faults very often went to landfill…

NOV/DEC 2017

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INDUSTRY MOVERS

THE FUTURE IS IN YOUR HANDS IN

2017, the continued shift into online shopping, onerous business rates and fresh uncertainty about the effect of an upward trend in interest rates, have all taken their toll on bigger-ticket brown and white goods purchases, and on the bricks-and-mortar core of electrical retail. But the pressures of the past year have highlighted retailers’ resilience as they focus on their strengths, adapt their business models, create new niches for themselves and engage with their customers in fresh, more creative ways. Get Connected asked some of our retailers’ trade partners – the manufacturers, distributors and service providers who are working with them to forge mutually beneficial relationships – to give their views on current and future prospects.

John Reddington, founder of Big Red Sales, believes consumer shows need manufacturer support “Manufacturers,” says John Reddington, “please support these shows.” It’s a powerful appeal from someone who has been a prominent figure in this industry for some four decades. “2017,” he says, “has seen the resurgence of several consumer shows staged by some very entrepreneurial retailers in our Industry. And all praise to them. However, it would be even better if they had received more support from manufacturers and consumers. They certainly deserve it. “The first show in the calendar each year is the popular Sound and Vision Show in Bristol - the UK’s largest and longest running Hi-Fi Show now celebrating its 31st year. “Long-established Hifi and AV retailer Superfi sponsored the newly named Audio & AV Show, which took place at the ICC & Hyatt Regency Hotel in Birmingham in October.

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“The Indulgence Show at the Novotel in Hammersmith came next. And what a treat that was. The capital hasn’t had a proper audio show for several years so the Show’s launch last year was a very welcome addition. “Add to the above this year’s retra Conference which was a huge step forward both in content and quality. “Our Industry boasts some extremely leading-edge and exciting products. And yes, there were many high-end brands exhibiting. But there could have been many more… “Manufacturers, please support these fantastic events. And also let’s try and attract more consumers. You know it makes sense both commercially and strategically! And let’s look forward to even bigger and better shows in 2018.”

Martin Depper of Connect Distribution looks to 2018 with confidence

Jack Strowman, Sales Director at remarketing company WAM Europe, sees a growing need for their services in 2018

“Connect Distribution has seen a record business year. Over the previous 12 months we have successfully grown our account base, continued to enhance our service offering to independent trade businesses and widened our extensive product range to over 2.5 million spare parts, accessories and consumables for household appliances, all contained with our industry leading software facility: CONNECTions. “In addition to the hundreds of leading appliance manufacturers we already work with closely, such as Dyson , Miele and the Whirlpool Corporation, we have developed relationships with new brands. In August, we were delighted to announce that we have been exclusively appointed as the official wholesale parts distributor for vacuum cleaner manufacturer, Kirby. We have also added the Hoover Care+Protect range into our offering. “The achievements of our business have not gone unnoticed. We were named Small Domestic Appliance Supplier of the Year by the Sirius Buying Group for leading the way in SDA distribution. We were also very proud to receive the Judges’ Award at the prestigious Birmingham Awards, in recognition of our contribution to the city. “Looking forward, we’re not standing still. We will continue to enhance our already market leading aftersales and service provisions for all of the suppliers, manufacturers and retailers we work with. We’re very focussed on supporting independent traders and our clients can look forward to some exciting changes to our service delivery in the months to come.”

“Although our industry is often focussed on ‘the next big thing’, we at WAM spend much of our time focussed on ‘last year’s thing’, and we have achieved many years of strong growth doing just that. 2017 has been a year where connected-home products have dominated commentary about where growth is coming from, now and in the immediate future, for our industry. However, for WAM we operate in markets that still remain highly significant for our customers such as wearables, accessories and audio products. “The outlook for 2018 is likely to remain highly uncertain as we head towards a Brexit outcome that few of us can accurately predict. What remains a perennial constant is that the consumer will always seek out value, and this is likely to be even more evident next year as we navigate further uncertainty. “What is certain is that WAM is uniquely positioned to offer manufacturers, distributors and retailers a platform to cleanse their stocks in a controlled manner, and for retailers both large and small WAM can be a reliable source of high volume sales on branded technology in established markets.

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INDUSTRY MOVERS

Chris George, Head of Marketing at Electrolux, looks to three brands’ continuing focus on innovation into 2018 “As a business, we pride ourselves in creating ultraresponsive technology that is designed to meet consumer needs. This year we’ve launched an exceptional range of pioneering kitchen appliances that are designed to help consumers take taste further, and a laundry range developed to protect even their most prized garments. We have received several prestigious accolades in 2017 for innovation, sustainability and employment. In 2018, we will continue to invest heavily across all three brands in customer training, in-store displays and promotion and online and social media activities.

become masters of their own kitchens and allow them to take taste further. Part of the range was our groundbreaking ComfortLift® dishwasher which features world-first technology that led to a prestigious Which? Best Buy accolade, Red Dot Award, iF Design Award and T3 Award. “We also launched a new Laundry Series to help consumers preserve their clothes for longer, with innovation features including SoftWater Technology. Towards the end of 2017, we also launched a new washer dryer series, providing consumers with optimum convenience, garment care and efficiency.

“Electrolux: 2017 was a very successful year. We were named Top Employer 2017 in four of our largest markets by the Top Employers Institute. Our dedication to sustainability was recognised with a Gold Class award in RobecoSAM’s Sustainability Yearbook, and an Ökovision Sustainability Leadership Award – marking us as a role model in the field.

“Zanussi: We developed a new line of Zanussi dishwashers, including our innovative AirDry technology. The AirDry technology offers an automatic door opening during the last section of the dish cycle, allowing moisture release and natural airflow into the machine, speeding up its drying process and providing ultimate convenience.

“AEG: This year, we launched the innovative AEG Mastery Range, which has been incredibly well received in the market. This range has been designed to help people

“It has been a fantastic year and we’re excited to continue to build on our successes in 2018 and reinforce our position as a world leader in household appliances.”

Duncan Singleton, Trading Director at Ultimate Products, anticipates keeping ahead of lifestyle trends in 2018

REPIC CEO Mark Burrows-Smith reflects on the challenges and opportunities of a year in the WEEE industry

“Always aiming to be one step ahead, not only do we have to keep up with current trends, we have to beat them. Whilst we’ve known that healthy eating is popular for a while, we realised that cooking healthy meals is often associated with hours of laborious food prep; a luxury that few have time for. Rather than holding healthy eating up as a goal, we’ve focussed on making it a reality, with a range of time-saving, versatile and easy-to-use products. One of our best sellers for 2017 was the Salter AeroCook Pro, an air fryer with the ability to bake, roast and stew foods, all using little or no oil. This kind of versatility resonates with families, providing them with a whole new way of cooking. “Solidifying our focus on nutrition, and making healthy lifestyles a viable option for everyone, our Weight Watchers range of kitchen electricals breaks down the stigma of dieting. By complementing the Weight Watchers plans, our products make healthy eating a lifestyle choice rather than a fad. “Looking towards 2018, we’re still concentrating on making consumers’ lives easier, with products that provide versatility and choice. “Beyond the kitchen, we’re looking for convenience around the home, with new developments in cordless vacuuming. Powerful, high-tech and cord-free, the Beldray AirGo lets you go from room to room with ease.”

After 12 months at the helm of the UK’s largest WEEE producer compliance scheme, Mark Burrows-Smith reviews a year of change. “As with many other industries,” he says, “2017 was always going to be a telling year. Higher WEEE collection targets, the second year of the successful producer compliance scheme balancing system, changing consumer consumption habits and the forthcoming review of the WEEE and Batteries Directives, characterised a period of readjustment and change. “Yet this drives new opportunities for innovation, and this is what continues to excite and push REPIC forward into 2018. “In 2017 we saw a clear lending institutions, is “Europe is in needed. Improving the need to look beyond the buy the advanced infrastructure is not only and dispose model for WEEE stages of adopting a commercial necessity, collection target setting. concrete measures but the driver a positive Changing socio-economic around the circular message to members circumstances, including economy.” of the public about the the after effects of the EU referendum, have left this importance and cost of year’s collection targets (up over recycling. 10% on 2016) looking challenging. “The WEEE industry has been “Suggesting additions to the target evolving since its conception, and setting methodology is a key focus for us the past 12 months have brought about and we are working on a project with a leading UK many key milestones. As we move into next year, we at REPIC continue to embrace change.” university to establish a proposal which reflects both current and forward looking trends. We aim to finalise this project and share our thoughts with the WEEE sector early in 2018. “More broadly, Europe is in the advanced stages of adopting concrete measures around the circular economy. This will mean that more investment in recycling infrastructure is required – especially since the global commodity markets are turning to high quality recycled materials, and the difficulties with recycling fire retardant plastics. This is becoming urgent, and securing investment, allied to or independent of traditional

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Get Connected Magazine - Nov/Dec 2017  

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