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APRIL 2013

www.gcmagazine.co.uk

THE MAGAZINE OF THE ELECTRICAL INDUSTRY

TV & SOUND PROJECTION Consumers in the market for home cinema want big, bold pictures and a big, bold sound, and with exciting new technologies and stunning fresh designs on offer there’s no shortage of “wow factor” kit

GEORGE COLE GETS CONNECTED Digital could be the saviour of the music industry

A professional performance Give your customers the red carpet treatment! SEBO professional uprights have been world leaders for many years due to their outstanding German build quality, design excellence and superb performance. SEBO domestic vacuum cleaners are built to the same high standards: That is why they routinely come top in reliability and customer satisfaction surveys and that is why, when you sell a SEBO, you can sell with confidence

BACKCHAT A 2-minute interview with Big Red Sales’ Nick Alsbury

PLUS

INTEGRAL

COOKING SUPPLEMENT

 Freestanding Appliances:

Big appliances and convenience technologies drive growth

 Built-in Appliances:

Positive outlook for 2013

 The Gourmet Quarter:

Manufacturers promote some of their innovative new products

 Food Preparation:

Riding high on premium-end sales

 Coffee Machines:

UK consumers buy into the “coffee experience”

SEBO – the vacuum cleaner professionals

www.sebo.co.uk 01494 465533


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Contents

Contents 04 06 12 14

Editorial Comment The Word

In and around the industry

The Product Gallery TV & Sound Projection

Seeing (and hearing!) is believing. It is vital that retailers are equipped to demonstrate new TV/AV technologies

16

George Cole Gets Connected

17

From the Bench

18

Backchat

19

Integral Cooking Supplement Featuring:

Music industry revenues grow for the first time since 1999

Alan Bennett on the development of OLED technology

The “commanding presence” of Big Red Sales director Nick Alsbury

20 Freestanding Appliances 23 Built-in Appliances De’Longhi air purifier range j

26 The Gourmet Quarter 28 Food Preparation Appliances

www.delonghi.com

30 Coffee Machines

Get Connected Greyfriar Cottage Winchester Road Chawton Alton Hampshire GU34 1SB

Editor in Chief: Marlinda Conway Telephone: 01420 886 33 j

marlinda@gcmagazine.co.uk

Magazine Advertising Sales: Brian Shilling Telephone: 01892 677 741 j

brian@gcmagazine.co.uk

Sharon Maslen Telephone: 01892 677 742

www.gcmagazine.co.uk

j

sharon@gcmagazine.co.uk

Editorial & Publishing Director: Terry Heath Telephone: 01420 886 33 j

terry@gcmagazine.co.uk

Creative Director: Will Dobson j

design@willdobson.co.uk

Advertisement Production Administration: Will Dobson Telephone: 01342 850 456 j

gcads@willdobson.co.uk

Production and Print: Blackmore Press, Shaftesbury, Dorset www.blackmore.co.uk Subscriptions & Circulation: GCCD Telephone: 01420 886 33 j

circulation@gcmagazine.co.uk

Annual subscription rate (inc. postage): UK £88; Overseas £108. APRIL 2013 GET CONNECTED

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Editorial Comment

Comment There’s not much good news coming from our High Streets, the broader British SME community, the UK’s economic statisticians, or indeed the Eurozone and the rest of the developed world. Even nature’s own “green shoots” have been knocked back by Springtime blizzards. But it’s good to see that our retailers are not taking it with passive acceptance.

It

would be understandable if bricksand-mortar retailers were so inured to outrageous fortune that they were inclined to shrug, grimace and call it “snafu”.* Not so. The entrepreneurial spirit, energy and adaptability that built their businesses in the first place are all alive and kicking. As well as adapting their specific retail models to respond to changing local consumer demands, retailers are demanding a fairer, more equitable deal from suppliers, and from the Institutions and Organisations that regulate the UK’s retail landscape. It’s right that these demands should be made, but we have to be careful on a couple of important counts. Firstly, the competitive retail environment is a complex, many-faceted place. The demands have to be realistically chosen, and presented with detailed,

them now) don’t have a great track-record of helping SMEs. Politicians think shortterm (as far as the next election), and while they make all the right noises, they can’t afford to be seen as making consumers pay more at retail. They also have a very poor record of representing the interests of major Banks’ shareholders – that is us, the taxpaying public – in promoting lending or controlling obscene bonuses. The people who control our Institutions have convinced us that they’re vital. It’s the way things are done here, and to challenge the status quo would risk the collapse of the entire “system.” The bottom line is that the “system” has already crashed, but the architects of the crash are still in charge. This is not a revolutionary call for the Institutional pillars of our society and commerce to be destroyed. But a little

The people who control our Institutions have convinced us that they’re vital. It’s the way things are done here, and to challenge the status quo would risk the collapse of the entire “system.” case-specific articulacy. Otherwise, retailers’ legitimate grievances might be easily lumped together and dismissed as the blanket cry of “it’s not fair” from a group that is simply being overtaken by “progress.” We know retailers are not, for the most part, like that. But the line between legitimate complaint and perceived Luddism is a fine one, and retailers do not want to be seen – to use a historical parallel – as the people who demanded a punitive tax on Henry Ford’s business so as to create a level playingfield for horses. Don’t try to obstruct the motor car. Drive it. Secondly, calling on Institutions – such as the Government or the Banks – has to be done with pragmatism. Institutions (or rather the people who have charge of 4

GET CONNECTED APRIL 2013

institutional adjustment is necessary, and we do need to impose some “customer power” on those who are meant to serve us. Your customers have a choice. You, as a customer, also have a choice. Dr Johnson, in 1755, described a patron as “one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and, when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help.” It’s a description that could equally apply in 2013 to our Politicians, Banks and other Institutions. Johnson had the balls to tell his wouldbe patron Lord Chesterfield – who had ignored his appeals for help for years but got in touch when Johnson’s Dictionary was successfully published – to get lost.

*if you’re not sure, Google it

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

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


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seit 1883


The Word : Industry News

Industry News Official figures confirm increase in February retail sales Figures issued by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) during March showed that UK retail recovered from a weatherhit January to register a 2.1% increase in volume and 1.8% increase in value in February. “These increases were broad based with all the main retail sectors rising between January and February although by far the largest upward contribution came from the non-food sector,” said the ONS. Sales of tablets, technology and telecommunications devices were particularly buoyant.

Online sales continued to be strong, with the overall proportion of non-seasonally adjusted sales remaining high, at 9.7%. The weekly spend across all retailing was £6.3 billion in February 2013 compared with £6.1 billion in January 2013 and £6.1 billion in February 2012. These ONS figures confirmed the earlier British Retail Consortium release, which showed year-on-year sales up 2.7%, but commentators remain cautious about the prospect of the UK avoiding a triple-dip recession, pointing out that increased sales were largely due to low retail prices.

Rescue deal for Blockbuster TS 1973 Investment Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of global private equity and investment company Gordon Brothers Europe, has acquired the business and assets of Blockbuster Entertainment Ltd and Blockbuster GB Ltd. The 264 stores across the UK and Channel Islands will continue to operate on a ‘business as usual’ basis, saving over 2,000 jobs. The deal involves substantial investment from Gordon Brothers Europe, which said that it intends to fully utilise the existing trading platform, Blockbuster brand and extensive customer

database, focusing on enhancing the customer experience through the use of new product offerings, new technologies and better basic retailing to help the business become viable again. Blockbuster went into administration on 16 January this year. The chain, which then had 528 stores in the UK, failed under increased competition from internet-based providers along with the shift to digital streaming of movies and games. Gordon Brothers has appointed former HMV UK and Ireland Commercial Director Gary Warren as Managing Director of the chain.

Argos 8-week sales up 5.2% Sales at Argos rose 5.2% to £501 million on a like-for-like basis in the final 8-week period of the financial year ended 2 March. Total sales increased 4.3% as the retailer reduced its store portfolio by 11 outlets over the year to 737, a reduction that was in line with plans. Consumer electronics continued to deliver an improved sales performance, driven by strong growth in tablets, which together with further growth in white goods and core electricals, more than offset weaker trading in homewares. Total internet sales grew in the period, resulting in internet penetration increasing to 43% of total sales, up from 40% a year ago. This growth was supported by the mobile commerce channel in which sales grew by 117% compared to last year. Sales for the full year rose 2.1% on a like-for-like basis and 1.5% in total. Gross margin declined by 50 basis points. 6

GET CONNECTED APRIL 2013

Volume sales growth grinds to a halt in March Retailers expect volume sales growth to pick up in April after flat sales were recorded for March. According to the CBI’s latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey, 26% of firms reported sales volumes up on the year earlier and 26% said they were down, giving a balance of 0%. This was the lowest balance since August 2012 (-3%), ending six consecutive months of growth and disappointing expectations of a positive 9% rise. Sales volumes were also well below average for the time of year and weaker than expected. But the outlook is brighter for next month, as retailers expect volumes and orders both to increase. Barry Williams, Asda Chief Merchandising Officer for Food and Chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Survey Panel, said: “This month we’ve seen a glimmer of hope for retailers fade away, with the news that six months of sales growth has come to an end. All eyes are now on April when retailers expect sales to return to form. “However, pay freezes and the rising cost of living are hitting households hard and, added to a challenging economic picture, there may well be more tough trading conditions ahead.” The survey was conducted between 26th February and 13th March.

Dixons sells B2B IT operations Dixons Retail has disposed of its B2B IT business Equanet to London-based IT solutions and service provider Kelway. The disposal comprises the IT reseller activities based in Bury and the Equanet brand name. Dixons said that it will continue to operate its PCWorld Business B2B offering online and in stores.


The Word : Industry News

Hotpoint announces ‘Landmark offer’ competition winners Two high street electrical retailers have won a window display competition run by Hotpoint, which challenged retailers to come up with imaginative

displays to support its Stonehenge-themed ‘Landmark offer’ cash-back promotion. The winning companies are Harris Electrical in Clapton Road,

London (pictured) and Adams, Cook & Pearce in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. Each store received a prize of £500 worth of Thomas Cook holiday vouchers.

Hughes unveils major investment in Lowestoft town

LG UK President visits Gillman’s in Gloucester LG Electronics UK President Mr. Brian Na has visited the company’s first ‘Shopin-Shop’ concept, which has traded successfully for three months at Gillman’s in Gloucester. Mr. Na met with Robert Gillman, store owner and Managing Director. The installation showcases LG’s laundry, dishwashing and refrigeration appliances in a branded space with the customer experience enhanced by a ‘hotspot’ area where the brand’s Inverter Direct Drive technology is displayed using a cutaway appliance. This is supported by an LG screen showing a range of video footage, CGI and imagery to communicate the benefits of LG’s core technologies. Commenting on the installation, Mr. Na said: “As one of the original stockists of LG within the UK, Gillman’s was the ideal choice for us to invest in an LG ‘Shopin-Shop’. I am delighted that we can showcase our latest innovations in home appliances within one of the UK’s leading independent dealers and am pleased with the positive results since.”

equipment, while the first floor houses a specialist audio visual department showcasing the latest home cinema experience technology. Chairman Jim Hughes said: “The high street in Lowestoft has suffered recently with store closures so we are pleased to be bucking the trend and putting something back into the town.”

John Lewis staff share £210.8 million bonus pot as profits rise John Lewis Partnership (John Lewis & Waitrose) announced a 17% bonus for staff – the equivalent of nearly 9 weeks’ pay – after gross profit rose 15.8% to £409.6 million. The John Lewis department store business posted gross sales for the year to 26 January up 13.5% to £3.78 billion, despite a market which continued to be “challenging”. Total like-for-like sales rose 10.5% in the 12-month period

technology

innovative

Pictured (right to left): Robert Hughes, Jim Hughes and his sister Phyllis Spratt, Lowestoft branch manager Kevin Booth.

while operating profit increased 37.2% to £216.7 million. “Exciting products, knowledgeable customer service and effective marketing, together with our commitment to be Never Knowingly Undersold, all contributed to this success,” the retailer said. Market share gains were achieved in all three of the chain’s main categories, with Electricals & Home Technology putting in the strongest performance, up 28.9%.

“ D.A.D Are LG’s

leading UK distributor with many exclusive laundry products ....FACT!

Pictured (Left to Right): Mr. Brian Na (LG UK President), Robert Gillman (Store owner), Andy Mackay (LG UK Commercial Director), Richard Pyo (LG UK Product Director).

The Hughes Electrical Group has invested over £600,000 to create a flagship store in Lowestoft. The adjoining building to the Hughes store located in London Road North was recently purchased and integrated into the original shop, doubling the retail space. The ground floor now has an expanded range of kitchen appliances and computer

www.dad-online.co.uk Tel: 0844 854 6715 Fax: 0844 854 6716


The Word : Industry News

The ultimate, luxury retail experience.... Appliances from the De Dietrich Premium Collection have been chosen to feature exclusively in an Edwin Loxley custom-designed kitchen in the new Bang & Olufsen of Bristol Intelligent House, sited on Cribbs Causeway.

The Intelligent House, a residential home that has been remodeled into a state-of-the-art retail space, is the only B&O showroom of its kind and aims to provide customers with a luxury retail experience displaying how Bang & Olufsen TVs and connected audio systems work in the home environment.

Richard Walker, sales and marketing director, De Dietrich Kitchen Appliances, commented: “There is a distinct synergy between the De Dietrich Premium and the Bang & Olufsen brands, as both offer technologically advanced products that are beautiful and designed to make life easier, whether you are cooking, watching TV or listening to music. This very forward-thinking home-fromhome platform is representative of the future for luxury retail as it provides the customer a very different experience from just walking into a store.” A large area of the open-plan ground floor is dedicated to the kitchen, which features a 40” B&O Beovision II TV wall-mounted on a remote controlled motorised wall bracket. Audio and visual solutions are displayed in a capacious upstairs living area, while the open-plan ground floor space is dedicated to lifestyle products. A garage space houses a brand new Aston Martin, for which Bang & Olufsen supplies bespoke in-car audio.

Miele sets up Britain’s first calorie-neutral restaurant Miele has come up with a novel idea to promote its appliances, in Britain’s first calorie-neutral restaurant. Open for one day only, ‘Steam’, a pop-up eatery in Covent Garden, captured the imagination of the public and press, with over 1,000 people applying for tickets and masses of online coverage achieved. Customers participated in a number of activities while dining, from taking part in stretching classes to aid digestion to completing dining workouts while sitting on vibrating seat pads, to ensure they offset their calorie footprint. Dominic Worsley, Marketing Director at Miele, said: “Our calorie-neutral restaurant was a brilliant way to showcase and celebrate the dishes that can be created in our steam ovens.” 8

GET CONNECTED APRIL 2013

A bagless cleaner that offers clean and easy dust disposal AEG has launched a bagless cylinder cleaner with a system that compresses the contents of the dust container into a compact ’cake’ which can be disposed of without dustclouds or mess. Launching the Ultracaptic™ cleaner at a press event in London, AEG presented consumer insight which showed that the one clear downside of bagless cleaners was emptying the dust container. The company revealed that in Preference Tests carried out after demonstration of the appliance, 90% opted for the Ultracaptic™ against the leading market competitor. Senior Product Manager Richard Vallis said: “It’s the best bagless cleaner we’ve ever made.” The appliance has 10 multicyclonic chambers and an aerodynamically designed nozzle to ensure continuous, powerful suction for the best cleaning performance at a lower noise level than most other multicyclonic cleaners. All models in the range come with a 10-metre operating reach and 300 airwatts of suction power for better cleaning with less effort. An added benefit of the ‘Compact and Go’ dust-management system is that compacting the dust means capacity is gained and so users can vacuum efficiently for longer. The Ultracaptic™ comes in two versions: a Steel Blue Metallic model retailing at a recommended £269.99 and a Sunflower Yellow Metallic ’Animal’ model at £299.99. Both carry a five-year guarantee.

Euronics extends website access Buying and marketing group Euronics has launched Euronics Mobile, which enables users of smartphones and tablets to browse and purchase products from www.euronics.co.uk. The investment means the site now caters for users of desktop machines, 10.1” tablets, 7.9” tablets and sub-7” tablets and smartphones. Stuart Cook, chief executive of Euronics, said: “The High Street is under pressure and retailers cannot afford to invest, but Euronics has invested in this technology so that our members across the UK benefit. The launch of Euronics Mobile is on trend and coincides with the rising popularity of www.euronics. co.uk, which continues to go from strength to strength.”

Cross-border online sales to reach £10bn for UK retailers in 2013 UK online retailers are proving to be the most successful in trading across borders, according to the industry association for online retail IMRG, which reported that in 2012, international consumers spent £7.4bn on UK-based sites, with the total set to exceed £10bn this year. The UK online retail market has recorded strong growth year-on-year over the past decade and is second only to the US market in terms of overall value.


The Word : Industry News

LG 55-inch OLED TV available for pre-order in the UK LG Electronics has announced the arrival of its 55-inch OLED TV onto the UK market. The unit is being showcased exclusively at Harrods Technology and is available to customers on pre-order for delivery in July, priced at an estimated £9,999.99.

Freeview now viewed on 11 million main TVs Beko paid a visit to Hanham Abbots Junior School in Bristol, which was the ultimate winning school in the brand’s competition with schools’ paper First News to win a visit from The FA Cup. The school also welcomed surprise guest, Beko FA Cup ambassador Jamie Redknapp, who joined their assembly and hosted a training session with the school football team.

The UK’s biggest digital television service Freeview has announced that the number of households using the service on main TVs has risen to over 11 million, with almost 20 million (76% of UK television homes) enjoying it on a main or second TV set. The news came on the day that BBC2 HD launched on Freeview channel 102, replacing the existing BBC HD channel. Subject to regulatory approval, a further ten HD channels could launch on the Freeview platform by the end of next year.

Ilse Howling, Managing Director of Freeview, said: “The last 12 months have been a landmark year for Freeview. For the first time, the whole of the UK was able to receive Freeview and Freeview HD following the completion of digital switchover.

“We’re delighted that people continue to choose Freeview as the main source of television and we believe our offer, giving people access to over 95% of the most watched TV programmes in the UK, is a strong alternative to pay TV.”

Samsung takes 3% stake in Sharp Samsung has secured a 3% stake in Sharp Corporation for ¥10.4 billion in an alliance that will enable Sharp to secure the source of revenue from its LCD business, which is at the core of the company. Sharp is predicting a net loss of ¥450 billion for the full year ending 31 March 2013.

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The Word : Industry News

Zanussi launches new cooling range and the search for ‘Easy Team’ ambassadors Zanussi has introduced a new cooling range that combines the brand’s Italian design with easy-to-use product functions. The comprehensive collection comprises tall cabinet fridge and freezer models (pictured); combi bottom fridge/ freezers; a combi top fridge/freezer and an under-counter fridge and freezer pair, all offering innovative cooling technologies. Highlights within the range include Space+ models which have greater capacity compared to similar sized models, Easy Store boxes, wine racks and TwinTech™ Frost Free cooling technology that maintains separate humidity levels. At the launch of the new collection in early March, Zanussi ‘Easy Team’ captain, the naughty but nice Italian chef Gino D’Acampo, appealed for UK & Ireland

consumers to join him as Easy Team ambassadors in a mission to make everyday jobs around the home more fun and a whole lot easier. “The UK is full of experts,” he said. “People are always stopping me in the street and telling me about their clever cooking hints and tips. Now I want them to live up to their great advice and help me by joining the Easy Team. If you have some advice on how to cook, clean or do other jobs around the home, I want you to tell me.” Glenn Roberts, Trade Marketing Manager for Zanussi, said: “The Easy Team and Gino represent the very core of what Zanussi stands for. Zanussi approaches life in a fun way, with our products designed to be easy to use having innovative, clever functions.

This is exactly what the Easy Team represents – finding ways of doing things in a smart, easy way.” Gino’s newly recruited Easy Team ambassadors will be rewarded with topof-the-range Zanussi products, an iPad to help them capture and share their ‘Easy Tips’ and will also have a chance to win a Zanussi appliance kitchen makeover.

Moves Whirlpool Corporation has announced the appointment of Esther Berrozpe as president of its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region and to the company’s Executive Committee, effective 1 May 2013.

Beko has expanded its marketing department with the appointment of former LG head of consumer marketing George Mead. He joins Beko as Marketing Manager to help develop and implement annual marketing plans, driving growth in line with Beko’s 5-year business plan in the UK and Ireland.

Beko also announced the appointment of Steve Naylor to the role of Channel Manager as it bade farewell to Channel Director of the independent sector John Hawley, who retired at the end of March. Naylor (pictured) brings over 17 years’ experience of the independent sector to his new role.

Smeg has appointed Karen Parker to the role of Regional Sales Manager. She replaces Paul Barker, who was promoted to National Sales Manager Retail following the recent restructuring of the Smeg UK retail sales team.

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The Word : Industry News

LG introduces Spotify to Smart media devices

GDHA has become the new appliance supplier and sponsor to Sunnyfields, a national demonstration cookery theatre provider. Belling and Stoves cooking appliances and Lec refrigeration products will be used exclusively in Sunnyfields’ cookery theatre events. Buying group Euronics has won the contract to supply kitchen appliances to low income families raising disabled and seriously ill children, through UK charity Family Fund. Freeview has announced a partnership with the Confederation of Aerial Industries, which will give CAI Plus members access to Freeview’s trademark in a bid to improve consumer confidence. Freeview announced a similar partnership with the Registered Digital Institute last month. Neff is to celebrate the first anniversary of its ‘Bake It Yourself’ (BIY) initiative with the launch of a ‘National Bake It Yourself Day’, due

Indesit, sponsor of Arsenal, A.C. Milan and Paris Saint-Germain, has launched a ‘Support Your Hero’ competition to reward couples for their dedication to football. The brand is offering football fans the opportunity to play with their heroes at the San Siro stadium while enjoying a luxury weekend for two in Milan. www.football.indesit.com for further information. Baumatic is offering a gift of 6 complimentary bottles of wine, worth £50, to consumers purchasing a 94-bottle, 46-bottle, 41-bottle or 24-bottle appliance from the Baumatic BWC Cellar Series wine coolers. Gorenje has reported success for its Retro cooling range with sales up by 26% in the last year. The company said growth had been driven by the rise in popularity of more traditional kitchen furniture styles and growing consumer interest in 1950s style and design. Whirlpool Corporation has been recognised as one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies in ‘Home Equipment, Furnishings’, finishing first in the sector for the third year in a row.

White goods distributor Portway Domestic Appliances is now offering customers twice weekly deliveries, nationwide.

Audi is to fit digital radios as standard into new models released in the UK from April 2013, giving a major boost to digital radio as the manufacturer sells in excess of 120,000 cars per year and has a 6% share of the UK market.

matters

what’s

inside

Spotify will be available on LG Electronics’ 2013 range of Smart media products from April, providing users with access to over 20 million songs via LG’s user-friendly Smart platform. New customers to the service can enjoy the benefits of a one-month free trial before signing up to the £9.99 monthly subscription. LG’s Smart platform offers a one-stop shop for premium content, social media and gaming, bringing together the best of catch-up TV such as BBC iplayer, instant access to movies on demand via Netflix, LOVEFiLM and Blinkbox along with social media platforms YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Craig West, Head of Marketing for LG Consumer Electronics UK, commented: “LG’s Smart platform provides unparalleled choice for consumers and the addition of Spotify demonstrates LG’s continued commitment to growing the brand’s Smart offering for consumers. We are confident that LG Smart media owners will enjoy these latest services, as well as the fantastic updates we have planned for the rest of the year.”

“THE COMPLETE

MAYTAG RANGE OF PRODUCTS ARE EXCLUSIVELY Distributed through D.A.D . ...FACT!

to take place on the 26th August 2013. The company will be inviting MasterPartners and Accredited Appliance Retailers to support the campaign by getting involved on the day.

www.dad-online.co.uk Tel: 0844 854 6715 Fax: 0844 854 6716


The Product Gallery

The

Gallery AE Reference 3 speaker Acoustic Energy has expanded its Reference Series with a new flagship floor-standing model, the Reference 3. The design draws upon the original AE5 speaker, with innovative engineering and tuning producing a natural sound with exceptional clarity. j

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32mm Ring-radiator tweeter with DXT™ Waveguide / Mid Driver: 110mm under-hung magnet aluminium cone Bass Drivers: Twin 130mm ‘pure piston’ aluminium cones with twin-wound aluminium voice coils Frequency response 33Hz – 40kHz @ +/-3dB Power handling: Amplifiers rated up to 300Watts into 8 Ohms Maximum SPL 116dB / Sensitivity 90db for 2.83V at 1m

01285 654 432 www.acoustic-energy.co.uk

Freesat HDR-1010S/1TB <free time> set-top box Freesat’s new ‘free time’ set-top box, manufactured by Humax and finished in brilliant white, is the latest product with the broadcaster’s <free time> catch-up TV service built in. The unit is also Wi-fi enabled and has 1 Terrabyte of storage.

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Pause, record and rewind live TV EPG 15 days forward / 7 days backwards 600 hours SD recording / 250 hours HD

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0208 326 6000 www.humaxdigital.com/uk

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Amica 9kg washing machines Amica has announced the addition of 9kg washing machines to its existing 5, 6, 7 and 8kg ranges. The new AWN912DJ (pictured) is rated A+++ for energy efficiency and features a large 33cm porthole which opens 150-degrees for easy manoeuvring of large family loads. Available in black or white finishes. j j

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Otone Audio Sonora AV-Lance soundbar The Sonora AV-Lance is the first full size soundbar to come from Otone Audio. The multi-functional HD unit is equipped with a wireless subwoofer and delivers distortion-free sound for movies, gaming and music.

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4 x 3” midrange drivers / Twin ¾” tweeters Dynamic low-end bass Panoramic simulated surround sound Dual rotating stands transform into wall brackets for flexible AV set up RSP £249.99

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0161 924 2267 www.otoneaudio.co.uk

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GET CONNECTED APRIL 2013

Blue LCD display shows wash progress and cycle selection 15 programmes include anti-allergy, quick wash, duvet, sport, hand wash, intensive, everyday 60°C, 12 minute quick wash Spin speeds variable to a maximum 1200rpm Pause with door opening facility during wash cycles Pre-programmed options: no spin, prewash, easy iron and start delay 2 years parts and labour guarantee

01425 461600 www.amica-international.co.uk


The Product Gallery

De’Longhi PrimaDonna S Colour Collection De’Longhi has extended its bean-to-cup PrimaDonna S DeLuxe coffee machine collection with eight new trendinspired colours and finishes: Mint Green, Vanilla Yellow and Coconut White in gloss finish, Cinnamon Brown, Pepper Grey and Red Fruits in metal matt finish and Black Liquorice and Blueberry in metal gloss finish. j j j j j

0845 600 6845 www.delonghi.com/uk

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Compact machine with small footprint Slanted display with metallic touch-screen buttons ‘My Coffee’ function tailors drink to the ideal temperature, strength and size Auto-rinse and de-scale feature / Auto-clean button for milk carafe RRP £1,195

Whirlpool fully integrated 7kg Green Generation washing machine

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18 wash programmes with special options including easy ironing, cold 30°C wash and pause Colours 15°C guarantees the cleaning performance of a 40°C programme 30-minute low temperature (30°C) Quick Wash Eco-monitor provides feedback on energy consumption during programme selection Delay timer Noise level 52dB(A) wash, 74 dB(A) spin

Pure has extended its Evoke Mio by Orla Kiely collection with a custom-designed digital and FM portable radio featuring the designer’s Striped Petal print in buttercup. It is the third Pure radio in Orla Kiely print and it joins those featuring the Abacus Flower in slate grey and the designer’s popular signature stem print.

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Walnut veneered cabinet and cream fascia Mirror chromed handle Input for iPod/MP3 player 30 presets, alarm and kitchen timer Optional rechargeable battery pack SRP £149.99

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Whirlpool’s fully integrated 7kg, 1400rpm Green Generation washing machine, AWO/C 7714, is A+++ABrated and incorporates Whirlpool’s 6th Sense® technology, which saves up to 40% energy, water and time. The appliance also features 6th Sense® Colours, a range of programmes dedicated to different colour choices, each using 6th Sense® technology to optimise performance for a specific colour set, regardless of the fabric type. j

Pure Evoke Mio by Orla Kiely – Striped Petal Edition

De’Longhi air purifier range

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0208 649 5000 www.whirlpool.co.uk

Kenwood Chef Classic KM350 range Kenwood adds to its portfolio of kitchen machines with the launch of the Chef Classic KM350 range, which combines the technology of the modern Kenwood Chef with a chic, retro look. The brand is targeting style-conscious consumers as well as experienced chefs with its new offering, which retails at an SRP of £284.99. j

j j j j

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Available in Astro Blue (KM353), Pinto Green (KM355) and Calypso Orange (KM357) 1.5L classic blender attachment / 4.6L white plastic bowl 800W motor complete with two power outlets Attachments include non-stick K beater, Whisk and Dough Hook Option to purchase over twenty additional attachments

De’Longhi has introduced a range of air purifiers into its product portfolio, each carrying the British Allergy Foundation Seal of Approval for reducing exposure to house dust mites, cat & dog allergens, pollen, fungi and cigarette smoke. The top of the range AC 230 (pictured) incorporates technology that analyses the air quality by detecting various gases and organic compounds and uses coloured lights to show when the air quality is poor (red), satisfactory (green) and good (blue). j j j j

j j j

3 fan speeds plus AUTO fan operation Automatic switch off timer Sensor touch control panel with filter status indicator Quiet operation (33dB(A)) and low energy consumption (55W) at minimum fan setting Advanced filtration system / Neutralising Ioniser 2 Year warranty

0845 600 6845 www.delonghi.com

02392 392 333 www.kenwoodworld.com/uk

APRIL 2013 GET CONNECTED

13


TV & Sound Projection

If you’ve got it…

…flaunt it

TV and its supporting sound systems are still the backbone of the consumer electronics market, and with exciting new technologies and stunning fresh designs on offer there’s no shortage of “wow factor” kit. George Cole looks at what’s available, and how manufacturers are helping retailers to gear up to let it strut its stuff on the showroom stage

S

eeing is believing. A picture is worth a thousand words. They may be clichés, but it doesn’t hide the fact that demonstration is often the key to making a sale, especially when it comes to home cinema. The ability to demonstrate, explain features and answer questions face-to-face is something no online retailer can offer, and is one of the strongest cards in the high street retailer’s pack. Consumers in the market for home cinema want big, bold pictures and a big, bold sound, so retailers need to provide an experience that makes customers reach for their cash or credit card.

DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY

The arrival of large, flat display televisions transformed the TV market and encouraged many consumers to replace their bulky CRT set with a sleek, slim set.

size can now be squeezed into the same space taken by a set launched just five or so years ago.

3D, HDTV & UHDTV

Home cinema fans will be interested in various technologies including 3D, HDTV and UHDTV (Ultra High Definition TV). If retailers are going to demonstrate these features and technologies at their best, then some investment in resources is essential, says Craig West, head of marketing at LG. He adds that 2013 is an important year for LG, with the introduction of major products such as the company’s OLED TV (the 55-inch EM960V) and Ultra HDTV (the 84-inch LM960V), which also feature Smart TV and Cinema 3D. “It is vital that retailers are set up to demonstrate these advances in picture quality, such as having Full HD video feeds and content; high speed

Also, bear in mind that many consumers may not be aware that 3DTV sets are also compatible with standard 2D broadcasts, so it is worth demonstrating this too. There have been great leaps in 3D glasses technology over the past couple of years, with bulky, battery-hungry models replaced by slimmer, lighter and less power-hungry products, so retailers should highlight these features, as well as the 3D pictures on-screen.

CHOOSING DEMO CONTENT

For HDTV, Panasonic’s Billing thinks that “the most successful way of demonstrating HD in-store, is to have two TVs side by side with one on HD and the other on SD. Sport is the preferable choice, as this is the best way of highlighting all the immediate/subtle benefits HD has to offer.” That said, it’s worth offering a selection of material, as not all customers will be sports fans! The biggest challenge for demonstrating UHDTV is the lack of content in this resolution, which far outstrips Blu-ray. It is likely that some manufacturers will provide UHDTV demonstration content on a large hard disk for retailers, but the ability of UHDTV sets to upscale HDTV images will play a big role in the early stages of demonstrating these sets. A step-up demonstration, with the same

High style accompanied by high quality sound projection

Most 3DTV demonstrations are done by way of a 2D-to-3D conversion of normal TV, so that the customer can immediately relate to the benefits of 3D.” Flat display TV has not stood still when it comes to design or technology. The development of thin bezel sets means that even more of the set is given over to the screen and the edge-to-edge picture effect is even more pronounced. “Thin Bezel TVs demonstrate themselves with their very attractive looks and ultra modern appearance. Combined, they really give a TV the wow factor. That said, there is no real demonstration, as such,” says Matthew Billing, Panasonic Retail Support Co-ordinator. Few would argue about the impact thin bezel sets have on the eye, and in many ways they are an easy sell, but it’s still worth pointing out to customers how a bigger screen 14

GET CONNECTED APRIL 2013

internet connectivity for Smart TV; and space and glasses for easy 3D viewing. It is also important that retailers understand the technology in the latest products so that they are comfortable explaining clearly to consumers the improved viewing and user experience that LG’s TVs can offer,” he says. Panasonic’s Billing says that “most 3DTV demonstrations are done by way of a 2D-to-3D conversion of normal TV, so that the customer can immediately relate to the benefits of 3D.” If a film is available in both 2D and 3D versions, it’s a good idea to let the customer view both formats and see the depth and realism that 3D adds to the viewing experience.

pictures shown in SD, HD and then UHD, will also help to highlight the massive leap in picture quality that UHDTV provides. A dedicated demonstration room, furnished with a sofa and a few other items to give a living room-like experience, is an ideal environment for demonstrating home theatre. Taking the customer away from the bustle of the shop floor puts them in a more relaxed frame of mind and helps them focus on the sound and pictures. “The very best way to demonstrate audio is in a dedicated environment,” says Panasonic’s Billing, “A demo room is the closest representation of the living room at home and, as such, provides the most realistic representation to the customer.”


TV & Sound Projection

MAKING THE MOST OF WHAT YOU’VE GOT

But not every store has the space or resources for a dedicated demo room, and Billing adds that most stores will have home theatre kits set up on the shop floor for a quick demonstration, to highlight the difference between speaker systems built into the TV, and a dedicated surround system. “Store staff will often use a music channel on the TV or a specific part of a movie that they know highlights the benefits of surround sound and the way in which it can enhance viewing pleasure,” he notes. Two-channel surround is normally provided by a Soundbar, and regular television programmes are often used for demonstrating and comparing regular TV audio to that produced by a Soundbar. Most manufacturers offer retailers resources for demonstrating home cinema products. “LG is committed to continuing to support its retailers, who offer a great way for consumers to experience exciting new technologies,” says LG’s West, “We believe that the in-store environment is a powerful medium to showcase our products and to help consumers make the right choices.” Investment in store displays is critical to helping consumers interact with new technology, he adds, and proved a successful tool for LG throughout last year, and into 2013. “Smart TV, Dual

Play and Cinema 3D demonstration is becoming more commonplace in retail environments and we look to enhance the in-store experience,” adds West.

TRAINING AND ONLINE RESOURCES

“Before our new TV and AV product lines launch into retail this summer, we’re encouraging all our partners to attend our training workshops,” says Samsung’s Smith. ”The workshops run throughout April and May in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Belfast and Dublin, and the sessions provide an opportunity for retailers to preview the new TV and AV product lines and gain hands-on training. Retailers are well aware of the need to have knowledgeable staff in place for consumers looking to make TV and AV purchases.” Samsung also opened an audio training facility at Brentford last year. So far, more than one thousand retail staff have been trained at the facility. More information can be found at: www.discoversamsungsmarttv.co.uk. “We provide learning materials, dedicated demonstration material such as Blu-ray discs, and have a team of dedicated Retail Support Staff to help with promotional activity and in-store training for the staff, says Panasonic’s Billing, “we also have a dedicated website that shop staff can log into and retrieve the latest product information, so that they are

always up to date with the latest news and specifications.” Sony’s Online Training Academy was launched in April 2011. The Academy is an online portal where retailers can learn about Sony products 24 hours a day, seven days a week, says the company, and is designed to help shop floor staff learn more about the Sony range at a time that is convenient for them. The portal features training videos, interactive modules and product knowledge quizzes, and can be adapted to suit individual retailers’ needs, and customised by category as required. Sony says retailers wanting more information about the training on offer or for a password for accessing the Online Training Academy should contact Stacey. pattemore@eu.sony.com. “We recognise the importance of high quality, knowledgeable store staff. and LG continues its commitment to its retail partners in this area,” notes LG’s West, “In 2013, we will see an expansion of LG’s Consumer Electronics training initiatives, with our training and in-store teams offering a suite of tailored face-to-face and online training activities, such as the LG Academy (www.lg-academy.co.uk), as well as specialist workshops and hands-on training for LG’s unique product benefits in store.” The message is simple: there are lots of great TV and sound features for retailers to demonstrate – and manufacturers are keen to help them do this. APRIL 2013 GET CONNECTED

15


George Cole

George Cole Gets Connected George Cole pinpoints hotspots in the world of consumer electronics

georgecole@gcmagazine.co.uk

Digital – saving the music industry A

funny thing happened to the music industry last year – its revenues grew for the first time in 14 years, and it was all down to the rise of digital music. The international music industry trade body, IFPI, reported that global revenues were up by 0.3%, to $16.5 billion, the first increase since 1999. What’s more, IFPI says, digital is driving the recorded music industry towards recovery. Not so long ago, the industry claimed that digital was killing music, with illegal downloading and unlicensed online music services and sites offering millions of music tracks for free. Now, digital is seen as the saviour of the music industry, accounting for a third of all music revenues, and this figure expected to rise significantly over the coming years. So, why the turnaround? The answer is: the music industry has responded to changing technology and changing consumer habits. It’s hard to take in just how much the music industry has changed since 1999. Back then, you could walk along Oxford Street in London’s West End and shop at three music megastores (HMV had two; Virgin one). You could then stroll down nearby Berwick Street and spend hours in numerous independent music stores, before going on to Piccadilly Circus to check out Tower Records, HMV and Virgin music stores. Today, almost all of these stores have gone or are under threat of closure.

Of course, 1999 marks the time when the internet started to become a mass medium for those in developed countries, as well as the rise of the MP3 music file and file sharing sites such as Napster. It’s fair to say that the music industry was slow to see the opportunity of digital and spent too much time considering it a threat, and in the process alienating its consumers with lawsuits and systems that made it hard for people to purchase digital music legally or use it flexibly. But it’s unfair to label the music industry as a dinosaur that resisted change. Sometimes, it pays to look before you leap. The newspaper industry was one of the first sectors to embrace the internet wholeheartedly, putting all its content online for free and expecting online advertising to bring rich dividends. It didn’t happen and it’s now acknowledged that giving away all your content for free was not a great move. Today. it’s easy to buy or listen to music online legitimately. There are more than 500 licensed music services online offering more than 30 million tracks, and this has encouraged more and more consumers to do the right thing – an Ipsos survey found that more than two thirds of internet users had used licensed digital music services in the past six months. The figure for the 16-24 age group was 81%. Much of the music is free of digital

Finger in the dyke? I

t’s good news that music industry revenues are growing again for the first time since 1999, but it doesn’t hide the fact that the music market has been shrinking for more than a decade. The music trade paper Billboard reckons that 16

GET CONNECTED APRIL 2013

in 1999 the global music market was worth around $27.8 billion in today’s prices, compared with the latest figure of $16.5 billion. Illegal download sites are still a problem and the music industry is using both the law and technology to

rights management (DRM) technology, which made it a pain to transfer tracks to other devices, and sound quality is much improved. No wonder consumers are flocking to digital.

fight back. In February, ten music companies won a high court battle to force the six largest UK internet service providers (ISPs) - including BT, Sky and Virgin Media - to block several file sharing sites. Meanwhile, the US music body RIAA is putting the pressure on Google to change its search results, so that illegal file sharing sites that are complained about are pushed lower down the page rankings.

Last year, Google agreed to alter its search algorithms to achieve this. But RIAA says that a recent test showed that more work needs to be done – legitimate sites are still often ranked lower than the illegal ones. Google says it will do more, but I do wonder whether all this action is little better than putting a finger in the dyke; because as soon as one rogue website is removed, another one pops up.


From The Bench

Progress with OLED screens Research and development of OLED displays is going on apace – Alan Bennett reports

T

he manufacturer who can bring to market, at an affordable price, a large-screen OLED (Organic LightEmitting Diode) picture panel stands to reap rich rewards. At present there are four companies in the van: Panasonic and Sony in Japan; and North Korean giants LG and Samsung. For some time the two Japanese participants have been liaising in terms of design and sharing prototype components. Recently has come the news that LG and Samsung, deadly rivals hitherto, have agreed to resolve their OLED patent disputes out of court, and perhaps to collaborate on OLED technology, maybe even to cross-licence patents in this sphere.

BEAUTIFUL OLED

Plasma screens, excellent though they are, present problems in terms of power consumption, fragility, image burn-in, panel thickness, weight, cost etc., and

at £1500. Neither sold in large numbers, but OLED displays appeared in miniature form on top-line Smartphones such as Samsung’s Galaxy 53.

CURRENT PRODUCTS

The last International CES exhibition provided a showcase for OLED screens, with all four manufacturers demonstrating hardware. Both Panasonic and Sony showed prototype 56” 4K panels, quite similar, and the result of joint research between them. As yet there is no indication of when regular production might begin, or of prices, a crucial factor. The Koreans have actually gone into production. LG’s offering is the model 55EM960, a 4mm-deep HD 55-incher with passive 3D priced about €9000. It features a fourth sub-pixel – there are white dots in addition to the usual RGB ones. Other features are Wi-Fi enabled Smart functions with many apps, Full HD

Peak white can be very bright indeed, and the colour is very sharp, smooth and clear, making for a stunning picture which – especially in Ultra HD form – has to be seen to be believed. their market share has now dropped below 10%. For the time being, then, LCD dominates, and the latest LED-backlit designs produce excellent pictures. Even so, OLED is better. Because it uses no backlight blacks can be truly black, with a virtually infinite contrast ratio. Peak white can be very bright indeed, and the colour is very sharp, smooth and clear, making for a stunning picture which – especially in Ultra HD form – has to be seen to be believed. Other advantages of OLED are lower power consumption and a very fast light-decay time, 100 times faster than LED, virtually eliminating motion blur, streak and judder. The panels are very thin at less than 5 mm. An impressive list of virtues indeed. On the debit side OLED screens are very difficult and expensive to manufacture, and there may be an issue with longevity. The first OLED TV product on the UK market was Sony’s 11” job, sold at £2000 in 2008. In 2010 LG marketed a 15” model

resolution and Freeview HD tuner. There is a Magic Remote control, also gesture and voice activation. Samsung’s contender takes the form of HD model 55ES9500, whose 3D effect is provided by an active viewing system using spectacles. This model is the first to offer MultiView, whereby two viewers can simultaneously watch separate programmes on the same screen, facilitated by OLED’s very fast refresh rates. It uses the active spectacles with built-in earphones; they incorporate a slide switch to select the programme required. In other respects the Samsung, in this current ‘me-too’ scenario, reflects the LG’s features of dual-core microprocessor control, Smart TV apps and control by voice and gesture. Even the styling of these two competitors is similar, and both offer stunning images. The MultiView feature of the Samsung, along with its superior active-shutter 3D rendition, give it the edge, but all depends,

Four dots per pixel with LG

of course, on the pricing – we have seen that 3D has not been a big selling feature, and has added little in the way of perceived market value to TV products... A further development of OLED technology is a curved (concave, only in the horizontal plane) screen. Truly I cannot see the point of this unless it is big enough to embrace the whole of the viewer’s field of vision, Cinema180 style. Curvature introduces geometrical distortion and is bad for off-axis viewing. Do you remember the trumpeting when we finally got rid of all curvature in CRT screens? FST was a good selling point for us many years ago! Since then the only curved screens were the concave ones used in front-projection TV systems to achieve light gain at the expense of directivity.

OLED FUTURE

There is no doubt that OLED is the best possible, really the ultimate electronic display system for living-room and home cinema use on all counts except cost. One of the reasons why the price is currently so high is the low yield in production, something which should be improved by the RGB screen-printing technology now being used by Panasonic for OLED manufacture. Of course higher yields in the factory, and mass-production and consumption will bring down the price of OLED just as every other consumer electronic device has fallen in price from the time of its introduction. For those who think that TV screen technology is as good as it can get – and the now-defunct Pioneer Kuro and current Panasonic top plasma screens provide, perhaps, the best examples – wait until you see an OLED display in action to have your mind changed! APRIL 2013 GET CONNECTED

17


Backchat

2-minute Interview He’s

a commanding presence (some say he is the “Big” in Big Red Sales Ltd., of which he is a director), but he sometimes wishes the svelte inner man would emerge to take on the role of 007. Yet behind the larger-than-life, full volume character one glimpses a good deal of sensitivity and compassion. Meet Nick Alsbury…

Why did you choose to work in the electrical industry? I have always been interested in gadgets… so where else would I work? Who in the industry would you like to spend time with? Any press editor… for all the gossip What makes you laugh? Watching people…they do such funny things without knowing What was the greatest turning point in your life? Marrying my wife Sue Hobbies? I love anything to do with cars What’s the worst lie you’ve ever told? I’m losing weight! What’s your greatest regret? Not getting used to taking regular exercise from an early age What historic figure do you identify with most? Not so much a historic figure (yet!), but probably Jeremy Clarkson… I am supposed to be just like him according to my wife How would you describe yourself? Larger than Life

You have been offered a leading role in a film of your choice. What character would you like to play? Probably every man’s dream: James Bond. But I might be more suited to being the Incredible Bulk! You have been offered the opportunity to rule the world for a day, what would be the first change you would make? I would make sure every child is safe from harm and is fed

Is there anything about yourself that you would like to change? I would like to be slim…. just once Any hidden talents? I have been known to sing

How do you think others see you? Loud ! Pet hate? People that whistle

What would you put into Room 101? All types of Cancer

Any bad habits? I have been known to interrupt people when they talk!

Greatest achievement? Not for me to comment on What sort of music do you like? Everything, Opera to Snoop Dogg

Favourite TV programme? Top Gear

Who has been the greatest influence in your life? The man I have worked alongside for most of the last 28 years, John Reddington

What surprises you? Very little

Name your poison A nice glass of chilled champagne

GET CONNECTED APRIL 2013

What do you daydream about? Who has the time to daydream? Favourite holiday destination? Wherever I am with my wife and son What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you? Getting “that” phone call in the middle of the night that my son had been attacked What’s the best kind of punishment…. Public humiliation …and who deserves it? People that offend against children

I don’t like the volume on the TV or the temperature on the aircon in the car to be set to an odd number

Any particular fetishes? I don’t like the volume on the TV or the temperature on the aircon in the car to be set to an odd number

If you weren’t in your present position, what job would you choose to do? Entertainer

18

Favourite cuisine? Have you seen me…? All food is my favourite

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? Doing what I am doing now, but more of it What’s your greatest fear? Failure Whom do you most admire? Anyone who puts others before themselves. They are usually the ones who can least afford to do so What’s your favourite piece of kit? My car What motto do you live by? Don’t ask anyone to do something you are not prepared to do yourself Life is…… …not a rehearsal for the next life, this is it!


APRIL 2013

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Freestanding cooking

Leisure’s 100 range cooker in Sky Blue complements this ‘shabby chic’ interior

on a number of freestanding cookers, an ideal example being the AEG MaxiKlasse™ 493321-MN, which incorporates the MaxiSense™ induction hob, with flexible zones accommodating varying sizes and shapes of pans.

HAUTE CUISINE

Rise in size

Hotpoint Brand Director Piero Pracchi says consumers are demanding products that give them restaurant-quality results at home through increasingly intelligent programmes. “One-touch intelligent programmes like Hotpoint’s ‘Intelligent Cooking System’ are sophisticated but easy to use, so consumers can create perfect meals, time after time.” This feature, which recommends the optimum shelf position, temperature and cooking time, exists on Hotpoint’s 60cm electric cooker HUE62, a model that also incorporates one-touch automatic programmes and a ‘Smart Chef’ function that automatically controls the oven for perfectly cooked roasts and fish.

THE MOTHER OF ALL…

While the freestanding sector is holding its own, it owes much to the ‘great mama’ of appliances, the range cooker, which has passed through time from

The French think we can’t cook; the Americans say our food is bland; Asians (quite rightly) believe we can’t cook their dishes like they do; and, despite our eclectic tastes in food, ‘poisson-frites’ is still the nation’s favourite takeaway. Yet, according to general consensus, the British love to cook, and GC can report that the freestanding cooking market is being driven by bigger appliances and by technologies that offer time-savings and convenience

G

fK’s Richard Allen, Account Executive, Major Domestic Appliances, says the total cooking category has enjoyed a successful 12-month period as value rose 4% to just over £630 million (February 2012 – January 2013). Volume sales are also positive, up 5% on the year, with a slight decline in average price. Freestanding cooking sales comprised the bulk of this figure, now worth £413.1 million and up from £389.3 million in the prior 12-month period. Allen reports that freestanding cookers now account for 65% of the total market value, as the greater demand for larger products helped to boost the category. 50cm cookers have traditionally been the largest market segment, accounting for almost a third of all value sales last year; however, sales have fallen by 10% over the past twelve months whilst the 60cm sector recorded a significant uplift, with value increasing 25% on last year and market share rising from 31% to 37%.

20

KITCHEN CHIC

Consumers in the market for a freestanding cooker will no doubt be pleasantly surprised by the sophistication of appliances, both in terms of style and technology. The EKC607601 from Electrolux’s Inspiration range (pictured on page 22) for example, is finished in anti-fingerprint stainless steel with large viewing windows and a black ceramic glass hob providing a streamlined look reminiscent of that found in the built-in category. It offers touch-control operation of the hob and ovens with UltraFan cooking for even heat distribution. Built-in has always been considered the powerhouse of style and cooking technology, but freestanding’s emulation of the qualities so favoured in this sector has, so far, kept it ahead of its adversary in terms of market share. Induction, once the preserve of built-in only, can now be found

GET CONNECTED COOKING SUPPLEMENT APRIL 2013

workhorse to icon status, and seems to be more in demand today than ever as models provide both a focal point for the kitchen and the capacity required by enthusiastic cooks. GfK’s Allen points out that sales of range cookers (appliances over 60cm wide) grew 3% on last year. “These imposing appliances are seen by many

...sales of range cookers (appliances over 60cm wide) grew 3% on last year.“ as a centrepiece product capable of transforming the kitchen. Consumers are willing to trade up to these aspirational appliances, despite an average selling price of over £1,000.”

LUXURY MARKET?

Rita Balestrazzi, Marketing Manager for Baumatic, states that range cookers have had to be enhanced to cater for


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Sertac Sertler, freestanding cooking product manager for Leisure parent Beko Plc, agrees: “Market research demonstrates that while people often think that range cookers are just for big country homes, many are beginning to realise that no matter the size of their home or type of kitchen, there is a range cooker to suit their needs. Leisure cookers are available in 60cm, 90cm and 100cm, meaning there is a suitable size product available for all.”

SIZE DOESN’T MATTER…

The Electrolux EKC607601 freestanding cooker offers a streamlined look reminiscent of built-in

a more affluent demographic and are now regarded as a “luxury market”. She substantiates this with the observation that “a greater number of manufacturers are producing extra-large 120cm stainless steel dual fuel models, with 5 gas rings including a triple-crown wok burner and Teppanyaki induction zone for flash frying or cooking Japanese style.” But Hoover Candy’s Maurizio Severgnini, Managing Director, Built-in Division, believes that, in spite of products becoming better specified, the consumer demographic has become more diverse. “Traditionally, because of their size, they [range cookers] have only been available to people with large kitchens and budgets to match. Fortunately, all this is changing as manufacturers adapt their designs to suit smaller models. Increased sales of 900mm wide models are testimony to this. It’s all about giving the consumer more choice, whether that’s size, colour, finish or price point.”

Rangemaster Marketing Manager Holly Johnson adds that 90cm models have proven particularly popular, as consumers with smaller kitchen spaces have come to recognise that investment in a quality range cooker means losing a mere 30cm of cupboard space, when compared to fitting a 60cm oven. “The range cooker is now not only seen as a family sized cooker, but a centrepiece within the most used room in the house,” she comments. Johnson also notes the range of options available on appliances: “Induction is continuing to grow, which provides a wealth of benefits to the consumer. Pyrolytic cleaning functions can now be found on freestanding range cookers such as the Professional+ FXP from Rangemaster. And, depending on preferred cooking methods, freestanding cookers also come with a wealth of features and furniture.”

RETAIL OPPORTUNITY

Rangemaster highlights the fact that, despite continued tough trading conditions, the range cooking market was up approximately 11% in the last three months of 2012. The largest sales channel was the independent retailer, followed closely by the multiple electrical retail sector. Beko’s Sertler adds that range cookers offer “a pertinent sales opportunity” for retailers as they provide good profit margins. “Consumers like the flexibility offered by the multiple ovens

love love

food

and multipurpose functions of range cookers. As retailers learn more about them, they are becoming more efficient at selling these appliances to shoppers and educating the public on their benefits.”

PRODUCT TRENDS

Looking at the product trends and prospects for 2013, Rangemaster’s Johnson says the aesthetic appeal of products will continue to broaden, with further trend-led colours being introduced for consumers keen to add personality to their cooking space. We should also expect some experimentation with more contemporary designs to complement modern kitchen trends. Beko’s Sertler agrees that coloured collections have proved particularly popular and anticipates growth in the variety of colours available as well as a wider variety of handle styles. He adds: “…we expect the market to continue its upward growth trend in 2013. With the various features and benefits available, as well as greater accessibility in both distribution and pricing, range cooking is a very real alternative to built-in.”

2013 “PROMISING”

Commenting on the wider cooking market, Baumatic’s Balestrazzi says it looks “promising”, with many opportunities for growth, particularly in terms of value sales. “The current backlash against stark, minimalist fashion can and is being used as a new sales opportunity, with big-name appliance brands launching cooking appliances in every colour, shape and size and with every type of finish and trim, taking their influence from rural, rustic, period and contemporary design. “The range of style and functionality is such that retailers can suggest a model for every budget, offering a vast selection of trade-up options. The number of sales opportunities are endless, but retailers may now have to fish for them, taking additional time to identify exactly what each customer requires.”

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Freestanding cooking

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Built-in appliances

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Positive outlook A relatively flat year for the built-in sector, but a promising start to 2013

“…the latest ovens are full of clever innovations and exciting new technology that makes consumers’ lives easier”

W

hile the market for freestanding cooking has shown respectable growth, given the economic climate, the built-in sector has struggled, not least because of the sluggish housing market and new-build sector. But, as Gorenje Marketing Manager Lauren Abbott points out: “After a difficult start to 2012, the market did well and sales improved, particularly for large capacity ovens and induction hobs.” That improvement, however, was not enough to lift builtin off its horizontal trajectory. As GfK’s Richard Allen reports, sales remained relatively flat, rising from £218 million to £218.7 million in the 12-month period from February 2012 to January 2013.

DRIVING GROWTH

But there has been some positive news from the sector. According to Allen, one of the key features responsible for helping built-in value growth is the high-end market for ovens with self-cleaning capabilities. “Pyrolytic ovens have enjoyed sustained growth over recent years and recorded an 8% uplift over the past twelve months. Sales for these appliances are now worth £24 million and account for 11% of the built-in market.”

Hotpoint Brand Director Piero Pracchi says pyrolytic cleaning is a “no brainer”, as systems such as Hotpoint’s ‘Fast Clean’ cost around £0.50 per cycle to run, taking around just 40 minutes to complete and saving approximately £3.00 on chemicals, while also being kinder to the environment. Smeg Product Development and Training Manager Joan Fraser states that Smeg’s pyrolytic ovens are a “must” if consumers want an oven that cleans itself, as they simply plug into a 13Amp socket, which avoids the need to wire the oven directly into the mains circuit. “They are incredibly economical to run, thanks to their efficient cooling system, and the energy saved over two years means that the additional premium asked for a pyrolytic oven above that of a nonpyrolytic model is paid back.”

GOOD START TO 2013

Further good news comes from GfK as Allen reports that January has traditionally been a key month for the built-in sector and the promotional period has helped “kick-start 2013 on the front foot.” He notes that sales were 14% higher than in January 2012 as consumers were enticed by the price reductions offered by many retailers.

Gorenje’s Abbott maintains that, while price has been “really slashed” in some sectors, cooking in general has not suffered as badly and there are still good margins to be had. Whirlpool Product Marketing Manager for Built-in Simona Bara suggests that price has held up in built-in because, in an effort to reduce

January has traditionally been a key month for the builtin sector and the promotional period has helped “kick-start 2013 on the front foot.” monthly outgoings, homeowners are much more willing to invest in appliances that offer excellent energy efficiency and good value for money. She adds: “The recession has also made it difficult for consumers to move house, which is why the mantra ‘improve, don’t move’ has become so popular as consumers refresh and revive their current living areas.”

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Built-in appliances

De Dietrich Platinum Collection finished in Black Pearl

DRIVING TECHNOLOGY

Despite the built-in oven market struggling over the past few years, Bara notes that “manufacturers have not held back, and the latest ovens are full of clever innovations and exciting new technology that makes consumers’ lives easier.” Samsung’s Nick Bevan, Product Manager for Cooking, agrees, but he believes that consumer demand is the driver of development in innovative new features that deliver multi-functionality, better value for money, and energy efficiency as well. “Today, built-in ovens drive product innovation with the additional benefit of their streamlined, design-led looks and the added flexibility of mixing and matching products.” John McLauchlan, Senior Product Manager for Cooking at BSH, is of the opinion that it is public awareness that encourages the industry to keep pushing technical boundaries. “Customers today are more technology focused, especially when it comes to communication methods, and this is now transferring through to home appliances.” He also notes that, although the younger generation have grown up within a technology-friendly environment, the older demographic is equally interested in the latest products. “They are coming up to speed extremely quickly,” he remarks.

their designs with the introduction of interactive displays. “Thin-film transistor LCD screens, commonly seen on mobile phones and computer monitors, are now being used on ovens as a stylish medium to display recipe instructions, photos and even videos. Consumer insight suggests that this functionality will become even more popular in the future.” This is a feature that can be seen in De Dietrich’s Premium Collection, for example. The DOP1190B oven with ICS Pyroclean and Interactive Display has a colour TFT touchscreen which can be navigated in a similar way to a tablet or smartphone. It also has a useful recipe search function, which will find all available preset options and recipes for specific food types.

DESIRABILITY

Speaking about the main products and technologies that will inspire and win over consumers in the market for cooking appliances, Beko Head of Product Management Sertac Sertler observes movement towards brands differentiating 24

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Co-ordinated kitchen style from Neff

Smeg’s Joan Fraser says consumers are becoming increasingly aware that the choice of cooking appliances now on offer is a lot more comprehensive than simply a built-in oven or freestanding cooker. “I find that more and more consumers are receptive to considering compact appliances, such as combination ovens, coffee machines and steam ovens to complement a traditional single or double oven or range cooker. Some of the main advantages of compact ovens over full sized models are the choice and flexibility of cooking systems to suit individual lifestyles and cooking preferences. They also contribute to achieving creative build-in options for in-column, in-row or under-counter installation.” For Baumatic Marketing Manager Rita Balestrazzi, notable features in the sector include the introduction of heat-free Defrost functions on mid-range ovens, which help to enhance the cooking process by ensuring that food does not become overly dry during defrosting; Baking and Pizza functions that recreate the cooking effects of wood-fired clay ovens; Auto-cook Recipe programmes and Memory functions which enable users to save their own favourite recipes; and the introduction of steam, which accelerates the cooking process by providing a higher heat content and heat transfer rate than hot air. “As well as offering a healthier alternative to other methods of cooking, steam has helped to extend the range of functionality and innovation available, simplifying the baking process and enhancing its results so that dough can be raised more effectively,” Balestrazzi explains. “Other new functions are allowing the user to inject steam into any cooking process so that food doesn’t overcook or become dry. And Steam Clean cycles offer an energy efficient and quick self-cleaning option, usually completing in just under 15 minutes.”


Balestrazzi also touches on the hob market, which she says has experienced a “real revival”, thanks to induction: “It has changed the face of this sector, forcing the redesign and modernisation of an appliance type that was becoming dated. Although the advent of induction has undoubtedly devalued gas models, demoting many of them to the budget end of the market, this new fuel source has inspired manufacturers to upgrade and diversify the look and functionality of gas models, helping to modernise them and close the seemingly unbridgeable gap between these two hob types.” She also notes how induction has “liberated” consumers from the usual cooking

that show the total market for electric hobs increased by 11.5% (Jan 2012 to Jan 2013), “and we can confidently surmise that induction hobs comprised the bulk of this increase,” he adds. “By comparison, the total market for gas hobs increased by just 0.8% in volume terms.”

“DIFFICULT” SECTOR

Turning his attention to cooker hoods, Walker notes that total volumes were down by -1.4% in the same period, but chimney and island hoods increased by 12.4%. It is a market that Baumatic’s Balestrazzi describes as “difficult”, but she says that appliance brands are now finding ways in which to make money out of the sector by developing the style of Siemens flexInduction hob with touchSlider control

Thin-film transistor LCD screens, commonly seen on mobile phones and computer monitors, are now being used on ovens as a stylish medium to display recipe instructions, photos and even videos. Consumer insight suggests that this functionality will become even more popular in the future.” constraints, giving them the freedom to cook on a zone-free hob on which they can use larger and different shaped pans. Dmitry Letsman, Category Marketing Manager for Indesit Built-in says that consumers are now becoming more aware of induction technology and sales are steadily rising. “Indesit is bringing this technology within everyone’s reach by developing affordable, value-for-money products that have terrific features. Take our Which? recommended Prime 60cm frameless induction hob. It’s a speedy, clean, cooking machine that gives consumers touch-control induction technology at a fraction of the price of our competitors.” De Dietrich Sales & Marketing Director Richard Walker quotes AMDEA figures

mid-range models to enhance their appeal. “Cooker hoods are helping to add interest and individuality to the home – their value no longer seen exclusively in terms of their extraction functionality. Unique shapes as well as eye-catching colours have been introduced to diversify product design, enabling the user to make the appliance itself the focal point of the kitchen.” In recent years, brands have also recognised the appeal of the more discreet styles of cooker hood, investing in the development of unobtrusive, recessed ceiling hoods and downdraft models which are hidden away within the worktop when not in use. Such appliances are generally a costly alternative, but do help to raise consumer aspirations and keep value in the market.

2013 TRENDS

Concluding with the product trends for 2013, Whirlpool’s Bara says we will see growth in sales of appliances such as induction hobs and microwave ovens, which contribute to long-term energy and resource savings in the home. She adds: “We are living in a fast-changing world where people are increasingly dependent on technology to make life more convenient and everyday tasks easier. Induction hobs are perfect to do just that. Speed has been king for a long time in many different aspects of everyday life, and now there’s an improved method to allow for quicker cooking, saving more time and energy and contributing to the reduction of household energy bills.” Hoover Candy’s Severgnini broadly agrees: “In terms of hobs, whilst direct flame technology has been an emerging trend in 2012, for 2013 we expect flexible induction hobs to be an area of significant innovation and growth. When it comes to built-in ovens, the movement towards larger capacity has been key throughout 2012 and we expect this to continue during 2013. However, flexibility of use and greater energy efficiency will also be crucial.”

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REVITALISATION

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Built-in appliances

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The Gourmet Quarter

The Gourmet Quarter

Simply striking

Fisher & Paykel Built-in Compact Collection Fisher & Paykelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s built-in compact range offers a stylish glass finish with contrasting trim, complemented by unobtrusive electronic capacitive touch controls which maintain the clean lines and sophistication required for todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contemporary kitchen designs. The collection comprises a steam oven (model ref: OSNDTX1), which features an intuitive information display, electronic programmer and offers 8 steam functions; an 8-function compact oven (model ref: OB60N8DTX1) with recipe function and removable inner door glass for ease of cleaning; a combination microwave oven (model ref: OM36NDXB1) with 19 power levels, ranging from 100W to 1000W, and Turbo Plus fan controlled cooking; a Coffee Maker with self clean function and 15bar pump pressure (model ref: EB60DSXB1). All products carry a 2-year parts and labour guarantee. For further information, please contact Fisher & Paykel Appliances on 0845 0662200 www.fisherpaykel.co.uk

Stoves Professional revolutionises gas cooking British kitchen appliance manufacturer Stoves is leading the way in cooking technology innovation with its Professional collection of double ovens. Featuring touch-sensitive electronic controls, the Professional offers accurate, repeatable and consistent temperatures which can be set in either gas mark or centigrade. An illuminated, touch function control knob enables precise temperature setting, clearly displaying both temperature and function to eliminate the inconvenience of lining up an arrow with a marking. The gas version has a grill and oven in both cavities, with the main oven being fully programmable and benefitting from fully automatic controls as well as automatic re-ignition. 0844 248 4149 www.stoves.co.uk

Belling launches new range of 50cm ceramic hotplate cookers British cooking brand Belling has extended its freestanding collection, applying its popular aesthetic to three new AA-rated 50cm ceramic cookers. The FSEC50DO, a conventional electric double oven, and the FSEC50FDO, an electric fanned double oven, both feature an electric grill and are available in black, white and silver. Also included in the new range is an electric fanned double oven with six-button LED programmable timer: the FSEC50DOPSS is available in stainless steel. The new offering of double ovens all feature an energy efficient four-zone ceramic glass hob, as well as a drop-down glass door with an easy to clean enamel interior finish. For further information on the FSEC50DO, FSEC50FDO, FSEC50DOPSS and other Belling products please call 0844 248 4149 or visit www.Belling.co.uk

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The Gourmet Quarter

Kenwood Multipro Sense Food Processor Kenwood has introduced a new addition to its food processor range for 2013 in the form of the Kenwood Multipro Sense. The appliance has a powerful 1000W motor, a Tritan 3.5 litre bowl and a ThermoResist TM Glass Blender, and is available in two models: the FPM800 (RRP £249.99) and the FPM810 (RRP £299.99), which has the added benefit of built-in weighing scales. The Multipro Sense models also include an automatic ‘eco mode’ – an energy-saving function that saves 50% energy when the machine has been left on and unused for thirty minutes. This function appeals to the green product market as well as moneyconscious consumers. For further information, visit www.kenwoodworld.com/uk or call 02392 392 333

Philips HomeCooker The Philips HomeCooker is a ‘first of its kind’, multifunctional appliance that does the food preparation as well as the cooking, enabling users to prepare homemade meals even on the busiest of days. The HomeCooker with Cutting Tower accessory, co-designed with Chef Jamie Oliver, has been specially designed to achieve authentic home cooking with ease. The appliance can stir, steam, sauté, melt, simmer, stew, boil and even fry whilst cooking unattended – giving users some quality time back – while the Cutting Tower’s 5-in-1 DirectCut feature means that vegetables, cheese and meat can be sliced, shredded or cut Julienne without users having to pick up a knife. For further information on the Philips HomeCooker, visit www.philips.co.uk

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Food preparation

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Premium prep products propel growth

A splash of colour from Kenwood in the new Chef Classic KM350 range

The food preparation sector is cruising on value with renewed focus on colour trends and premium appliances

T

he trend for healthy eating, home entertaining and cooking with fresh ingredients rather than shop-bought preparations is reflected in the growth of food prep appliances and the amount of money consumers are prepared to invest in such products. Entertaining at home has become an alternative for many who in prior years would have thought little of splashing out on pricey restaurant meals, but this monetary concession does not mean that households are

competition and create a compelling reason for consumers to shop with them.” He adds: “The food preparation category is clearly benefitting from the current lifestyle trends of cooking healthy meals and dining at home, with innovative products that provide smart ways for people to save time and money proving to be attractive investments. Slow cookers in particular have been a massive growth driver for Morphy Richards with sales value up 54% compared to 2011.”

Food Prep is a category that will be key to driving value for retailers throughout 2013 and beyond...” compromising on the food preparation appliances they purchase; in fact, quite the reverse. According to GfK’s Richard Allen, while volume sales in the period from February 2012 to January 2013 grew by just 1%, value increased by 8% year on year. Allen says this growth was driven by the more premium products such as kitchen machines “with 39% coming from online transactions with a price premium of £47.”

LIFESTYLE TRENDS DRIVE SALES

“Against the backdrop of a static SKA market, food preparation products including kitchen machines, hand mixers and hand blenders proved to be the real success story of 2012,” advises Mike Shaw, Category Consumer Manager for Worktop Cooking at Morphy Richards. These areas enjoyed growth of 35%, 15% and 6% respectively with a total market of £141 million. Shaw states that “by offering choice across these high growth areas, independent retailers can differentiate themselves from the 28

GET CONNECTED COOKING SUPPLEMENT APRIL 2013

Morphy Richards has focused on new product developments that make the cooking process easier and more efficient for end users, such as the Sear and Stew slow cooker launched last year, which provides the option to seal meat in the pot before adding other ingredients. Shaw says the brand’s Soup Maker has also been popular as it offers a simple way to cook healthy, cost-effective meals with little fuss or time investment.

BOLD AND COLOURFUL

Penny Jones, Brand Manager for Kenwood, the UK market leader in food preparation with 41.7% value market share, touches on the contribution that TV cooking shows have made in encouraging more people to cook at home and says that consumers are now looking for quality, reliable brands and investing in quality products that will look good and last longer. “Consumers rely on a brand’s reputation when making purchasing decisions, but they are also

looking for appliances which deliver value for money, especially during a recession.” Commenting on design trends in the market, she highlights the development in coloured finishes, which comes as a result of consumers investing in extending or refurbishing their existing homes rather than moving house. “Small kitchen appliances add an element of colour and style to the kitchen,” she asserts. Addressing this demand, Kenwood introduced an additional five vibrant shades to its KMix collection – magenta, blue, orange, green, yellow – which comprises stand mixers, blenders, hand blenders and hand mixers, as well as kettles, toasters and coffee makers. Jones also observes the movement towards environmentally friendly appliances, stating that such products are becoming “increasingly important to consumers so brands are using this as a key product innovation.” Providing an example of this development in SKA ranges, she draws our attention to the new Kenwood Multipro Sense food processor (FPM800/FPM810), which includes an automatic ‘eco mode’ that saves 50% energy when the machine has been left on but unused for thirty minutes.

KEY CATEGORY FOR 2013

Groupe SEB brand Tefal sees healthy eating as a key driver in the SKA market and intends to capitalise on this major trend with the launch of a number of innovative healthy food prep products in 2013. The company maintains it has had “incredible success” with the Tefal Fresh Express, launched in January last year, and has followed this with an “all-new” next generation model, the Fresh Express Max. Senior Product Manager Maria Montero says the appliance is designed to deliver maximum performance with increased output (up to +50%), and with a new dicing function the model is a “significant upgrade” on the earlier one. Bowing to the trend in bright colours, and like the first Fresh Express, the Max is finished in metallic red. Morphy Richards’ Shaw concludes that Food Prep is a category that will be key to driving value for retailers throughout 2013 and beyond, and he offers this advice: “By working closely with their wholesalers and directly with brands, I’d urge independents to ride on the success of matching colour sets and growth in food prep by stocking up on successful premium lines, adding real value through customer service and intelligently merchandising to cross promote products.”


Stylish, powerful and efficient with Kenwood’s excellent quality

FPM800 FOOD PROCESSOR AND BLENDER The Multipro Sense offers a powerful 1000W motor with variable speed, pulse and auto functions for optimum user control. It also comes with a generous 3.5L shatter resistant Tritan™ bowl, mini bowl and ThermoResist™ 1.6L glass blender, to cater for all your food preparation needs. Also included: • Serrated stainless steel knife blade • Dough tool • New folding tool • Dual whisk • Decorative disc • Integrated weighing scale (FPM810 only) • Extra fine grater

• Stainless steel slicing and grating discs • Julienne disc • Storage box Available Now Free Kenwood Kitchen recipes app also available to download

Contact your local Sales Manager for more information

App is now available on AndroidTM devices

Tel: +44 239 239 2392 kenwoodworld.com/uk Kenwood Ltd, New Lane, Havant, Hampshire PO9 2NH

CREATE

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Coffee machines

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The coffee experience

Gorenje’s built-in coffee machine model CFA9100E

Coffee machines continue to produce good growth for the SKA sector and the good news for retailers is that market penetration still has some way to go

T

The EA9000 automatic bean-to-cup machine from Krups

he UK market for coffee machines has consistently performed well throughout the recessionary years and recent figures show continuing growth. The sector, which GfK classes as ‘hot beverage makers’, grew by 8.5% in value in the 12-month period from February 2012 to January 2013 and, according to Account Executive Richard Allen, “closed portion machines have seen strong growth of 24% in value over the past year, particularly over the Christmas period when driven by price promotions.” Most commentators agree that it is still the influence of high street coffee chains that is driving market demand, although some maintain that the rise in home entertaining over recent years and ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ have their part to play too. Caroline Ross, Product

Manager for Coffee at Groupe SEB, cites Mintel figures that show the ‘in-home’ market increased by 17% in value over the past 5 years, and the consumption of coffee in the UK continues to experience considerable growth.

IN-CUP RESULTS

Ross points out that the category is now made up of fully automatic bean-to-cup machines, pod/capsule machines, manual espresso machines and traditional filter coffee models, ensuring that all consumer demands are met. Within each segment she says that design, ergonomics, ease of use, exceptional flavour and ‘in cup’ results are the key market drivers. “All of these features combined are imperative when attempting to replicate the professional coffee shop experience, which coffee lovers strive to achieve in their own homes with the minimum of fuss and limited cleaning.” She adds that, for coffee connoisseurs, preparing the perfect cup every time is an “art form” that requires precision and passion, and highlights the convenience of the Krups EA9000 machine, which automatically sets the exact grind and has an automated tamping system too. “But don’t be fooled by its simplicity,” she says. “In-cup results and precision are what Krups is truly passionate about.”

STYLE & DESIGN

De’Longhi Product Manager Max Smith, commenting on how the coffee machine market is trending in terms of design and functionality, states that consumers are looking for time-saving features, compactness, efficiency and stylish design. “Bolder styles have called for more colour variety as customers are becoming more daring with their appliance choices. 30

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A perfect example of this is De’Longhi’s PrimaDonna S bean-to-cup machine which now comes in eight new colourways.” Those finishes include Vanilla Yellow gloss, Cinnamon Brown and Red Fruit metal and Black Liquorice metal gloss. “Colour is key when it comes to these appliances, particularly as machines are on the countertop and essentially act as a reflection of individuals’ style, personality and taste,” adds Morphy Richards’ Mike Shaw, Category Consumer Manager for Worktop Cooking. The good news for retailers selling coffee machines is that the market is not particularly price sensitive. According to De’Longhi’s Smith, buying decisions are based on more than price alone. “Consumers look for expert brands that not only deliver good-quality products but also offer an all-round package, including customer-facing service and support,” he asserts.

BUILT-IN APPLIANCES

Whirlpool’s Simona Bara observes the trend towards built-in coffee machines, which she says can be measured by the number of brands in the marketplace. “This is a sector which will continue to grow, as consumers want to impress their friends while entertaining and the luxury of a ‘proper’ coffee is the ultimate lifestyle treat. “Entertaining at home has meant having the right appliances in focus so they add a ‘wow’ factor to the kitchen. And with the kitchen and living area merging into one, built-in coffee machines de-clutter the worktop and make a real style statement.” Bara adds that coffee consumption in the UK is much lower than in some other countries, which indicates there is still some way to go before the coffee machine achieves the penetration it has elsewhere.

KITCHEN CHIC

De Dietrich’s Richard Walker says: “These days, we not only have a café culture on our doorsteps, but many high-end consumers want this little bit of sophistication in their own homes. Consequently, built-in appliance manufacturers such as De Dietrich have answered this demand and have developed integrated coffee machines that perfectly complement the ovens and compacts in their ranges. “For those retailers selling the dream of a luxury built-in kitchen, the integrated coffee machine is an ideal niche appliance that will set the kitchen apart from the rest. Incorporating an integrated Coffee Machine within a retail display also creates an immediate talking point, and any product that opens up lines of communication between the retailer and customer can only ever be an advantage. “The aroma of a lovely cup of coffee in the showroom is another way to sway the customer towards a sale.”


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Get Connected Magazine - April 2013  

Get Connected: The Magazine of the Electrical Industry

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