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INDUSTRY MOVERS There’s a lot to be done in 2013. GC talks to some of the electrical industry movers who, with their industry partners, intend to do it.

WARRANTIES Is the promise of a more competitive, more lively electrical warranties market becoming a reality?

LG ON SMART TV LG invites the industry to take control of the smart TV revolution

SIEMENS ON COOKING 21st Century appliances at the heart of the home

CAI ON CONTENT DELIVERY The UK’s trade association for content delivery explains how it can work with your business

THE BRITISH EMRA AWARDS There’s still time to be a part of this new and inclusive industry awards initiative

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Smart Digital TV Recorder available with 320GB or 500GB Hard Drive Models VW11FVRHD32 and VW11FVRHD50. An HD Ready TV is required to be able to watch HD programmes. The Freeview service is subject to coverage. An aerial upgrade might be required. Internet Services require a minimum actual broadband speed of 2Mbps via an ethernet cable. *View21

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Editorial Comment

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The Word

In and around the industry


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George Cole Gets Connected

Digital radio switchover is happening when?


Simply Magic: LG on the new wave of Smart TV

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Taking control of home entertainment

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The Product Gallery

The British EMRA Awards

Still time to enter The Electrical Manufacturing and Retailing Awards


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“The Future is in Your Hands”

The Electrical Industry’s “movers” reflect on the progress made during 2012 and outline their plans for 2013


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Siemens on cooking

“Hot” design and technology


Vax Air Mini cylinder vacuum cleaners


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Retail Warranties

GC gives an update on the current state of an increasingly competitive electrical warranties market


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From the Bench

Alan Bennett on the pros and cons of UHD TV

29 Copyright © 2012 Mud Hut Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the publisher. Get Connected is published by Mud Hut Publishing Ltd., Alresford House, 60 West Street, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7EH.

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

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CAI update

The Trade Association for Content Delivery – keeping members up to speed


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A 2-minute interview with a festive fellow

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

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

Production and Print: Blackmore Press, Shaftesbury, Dorset

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Creative Director: Will Dobson 

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REGISTER ONLINE @ for your FREE COPY of Get Connected Magazine

And so this is Christmas. Get Connected would like to thank all its readers and industry partners for their continued interest and support – not just over the past year, but during the whole of what has been a longer period of economic difficulty than any of us could have predicted. Judging by the figures, the analysis, the prevailing trading conditions and the noises emanating from our Government, we are not out of it yet. But, as a business that is intimately involved with the electrical industry – subject to the same economic pressures and sharing its highs and lows – it is encouraging to know that Get Connected is acknowledged as an integral part of the business in the UK. It’s also encouraging – though of small comfort to those retailers who have already succumbed to this savage downturn – that we have seen significant signs of improvement over the second half of 2012. The improvement is not so much in the financial markets or global economics, but in the attitude of businesses, large and small, who are no longer prepared just to batten down the hatches and ride out the storm, but are looking at ways to increase their activity, take entrepreneurial initiatives and get on with doing what they do best – creating and building profitable opportunities. Banks, financial markets and governments don’t

create wealth. Businesses do. And the feeling is that business in the UK is impatient to get on with it. 2013 is not going to raise us up to where we were in 2008. But we’re moving in the right direction, and the Christmas message has to be one of hope and energy. On a lighter note, we were disappointed that our script for a new pantomime wasn’t taken up by any West End theatres for this season. The idea is that a gang of robberbarons hatch a get-even-richer-even-quicker con trick by selling the world, which they don’t even own, pocketing the cash, then crying so much that they convince the peasants to give them the money to buy it back again. The opportunities for “Oh yes it is”…. “Oh no it isn’t” comedy are endless. But the idea has been rejected on the grounds that it’s too far-fetched even for a pantomime. Who would think up such a blatant trick and think it could possibly work? Who would be so stupid as to be conned into putting up the money for the robber barons? I guess it is rather implausible. A merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year to you all.

Marlinda Conway Editor in Chief

Terry Heath Editorial & Publishing Director

Will Dobson Creative Director

James McIntosh Consumer Consultant

George Cole Consumer Electronics Consultant

Average net circulation for the 12 issues distributed between Jan-Dec 2008 is 6,228



Leisure Range Cookers now in Colour.

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Deloitte forecasts 17% rise in online Christmas sales

CBI offers reason to be cheerful as retailers report rise in volume sales


he CBI reported positive news from the high street as retailers responding to its latest quarterly Distributive Trades Survey recorded improved year-on-year sales for the third consecutive month and an increase in staff on the shop floor. The survey covering the first two weeks in November revealed that 49% of retailers saw an increase in sales volumes compared to a year ago whereas 16% said volumes fell. The resulting balance of +33% is the highest since June this year and slightly ahead of expectations.

Christmas spending predicted to rise just 1% on last year UK consumers are predicted to spend just 1% more this Christmas than last, but the increase will be driven by a 2.9% rise in food sales and inflation, a new study reveals. According to retail analysts Verdict and SAS UK, while shoppers will spend £86 billion this Christmas, overall volume will decline by 0.2%. Food volumes are predicted to fall by 0.5% and the slight growth in non-food will come from discounting. Cindy Etsell, head of retail at SAS UK & Ireland, said: “While spend is up, volume is down, and so discounting is expected to be a big part

of retailers’ strategies. The combination of multichannel shopping and heavy discounting will increase competitive pressure.” The study also revealed that online sales are expected to represent 10.6% of the total retail spend for 2012. So, at 89.4% of spend, the high street remains the favoured shopping channel. Verdict and SAS, however, suggest that retailers who connect their online presence to their stores with options such as click & collect, as well as those offering m-commerce options with websites optimised for smartphones and tablets, are set to benefit.

Dixons Retail reports “encouraging” start to financial year Currys and PC World parent Dixons Retail reported an encouraging start to its fiscal year with Group like-for-like sales up 3% in the first half and the UK & Ireland returning to first-half profit for the first time in five years. Sales in the UK & Ireland for the 24 weeks ended 13 October rose 3% to £1,592.6 million, with a pre-tax profit of £5.6 million, up from a loss of £6 million in the first half last year. Dixons’ total Group sales rose to £3,285.5 million with underlying net profit losses of £22.2 million attributable to property losses and finance costs. Net non-underlying charges of £57.3 million, mainly comprising



a write-down of the goodwill value of the Group’s PIXmania business, upped the total loss before tax to £79.5 million. Sebastian James, Group Chief Executive, said he was “particularly encouraged” by the performance in the UK & Ireland, and in Northern Europe, where sales increased 11% and net profit before tax rose to £40.4 million. “It is increasingly clear in each of our markets that our service-based, multi-channel business model is what customers want. We are outpacing our competitors, and have seen Comet enter administration in the UK and Expert exiting the market in Sweden.”

Deloitte is predicting another strong Christmas for online retail with sales increasing by 17% during the shopping period. £3.5 billion of Christmas retail sales will be purchased or influenced by smartphones, according to the business advisory firm.

Consumer confidence reaches new high Consumer confidence took a significant upward turn in November, rising to its highest level in 18 months, according to a poll by GfK Research. The headline figure rose from -30 in October to -22 in November as consumers reported feeling more confident about their personal finances and the general economic situation. Nick Moon, Managing Director of Social Research at GfK, said: “The improvement is especially dramatic following such a stagnant summer and represents the seventh highest increase since the Index began in 1974.” Moon added that the news will be especially welcomed by retailers as the figures show that people are increasingly optimistic about how the economy will perform over the next twelve months. “This could be because consumers now think things can’t get any worse or it may be for more positive reasons, but either way it is good news as we look ahead to 2013,” he said. "The direction things head in the New Year will be crucial in determining whether this is a short-term spike or the start of a long-term improvement in people’s spending habits. When we saw a significant improvement like this in May 2011 the surge ebbed away over the following few months as the country returned to recession. Hopefully this spike is built on firmer foundations.”

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Shop vacancy rates rise while footfall declines The national town centre vacancy rate in the UK rose to 11.3% in October, while footfall in the three months to October declined 0.4%. The BRC/Springboard Footfall & Vacancies Monitor showed that Northern Ireland (20.0%), Wales (15.1%) and the North & Yorkshire (14.6%) recorded the highest vacancy rates. Stephen Robertson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said: “This new high in empty shop numbers really sets alarm bells ringing. It’s the worst vacancy rate since the survey began in July 2011 and confirms that financial challenges both for customers and retailers are far from over. “Many retailers are battling stagnating sales and rising costs, and next year’s threatened business rates increase can only make matters worse. If the Government wants to breathe life back into our town centres and ensure the retail industry can play its full role in job creation it needs to freeze rates in 2013.” Footfall in the three months to October followed a similar trend to the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, at 0.4% lower than a year ago. High street footfall was the worst hit, declining by 0.9%.

Beko UK issues safety notice on condenser dryers Beko UK has issued a safety notice and taken prompt action after being made aware of a small number of incidents involving 6kg & 7kg condenser tumble dryers and identifying a potential batch issue with a third-party supplied capacitor, which it said can fail and overheat, leading to a potential risk of fire. The dryers were manufactured in the period from May 2012 to October 2012. Marketing Director for the UK & Ireland Teresa Arbuckle said: “Although the risk of failure is low, the safety of all our products is Beko’s highest priority and,

as a responsible manufacturer, we have decided to initiate a voluntary corrective action programme as a precautionary measure. “Our retail partners have been extremely supportive of our efforts and are providing us with contact details of affected owners in order for us to arrange an in-home product modification as soon as possible.” Retailers requiring further information should visit or call Beko customer care on free phone 0800 917 2018

Indesit Company UK appoints new MD Indesit Company UK has appointed Maurizio Pettorino (pictured) to the role of Managing Director for the UK and Irish markets, replacing current MD John Morrissey who retires at the end of this year. Pettorino joins Indesit from Coca Cola, where he has worked since 2007, most recently in the position of Commercial Director, Italy. Commenting on his new appointment, Pettorino said: “I’m very excited by the opportunity to manage a great team and to continue to deliver top-range business results, quality products and first-class



service for Indesit Company’s customers. As market leaders, we have the responsibility and the challenge to keep driving important markets such as the UK and Ireland by delivering innovative solutions, developing common efficiencies with our customers and by continuously generating strong and sustainable market demand.” Outgoing MD John Morrissey joined Indesit Company in 2005 as Commercial Director and was appointed UK MD in 2010. He is also Chairman of AMDEA (the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances), and will continue to hold this role.

Sharp early retirement programme cut short as applications pile in Sharp Corporation has had to cut the timeframe given for its Voluntary Retirement Programme after the scheme became oversubscribed. The programme was announced on 28th August this year, with an application period running from 1st to 14th November, but the company said it had cut short the application deadline as nearly 3,000 employees accepted the proposition – almost a thousand more than it had expected. Sharp, which recently issued warnings on its survival after nearly doubling its full-year loss projections, has been looking for potential investors to help resuscitate the business. In March this year, the Hon Hai Group, China-based owner of Foxconn, agreed an investment of ¥133 billion (£1 billion) in a composite deal, but reports say the deal has not yet been completed. In November, the Japanese manufacturer was said to be in talks with Intel regarding a ¥40 billion investment and also in discussions with Qualcomm and Dell. The Retirement Programme is expected to cost Sharp in the region of ¥25.3 billion, which will be recorded as an extraordinary loss for the 3rd quarter of its fiscal year ending 31st March 2013. The company posted a net loss of ¥249.1 billion in the three months from July to September this year and raised its previously forecasted ¥250 billion loss to ¥450 billion for the full year.

Co-op launches free 60-minute time slot delivery on electricals The Co-op says it is leading the way by introducing a “groundbreaking”, free 60-minute time slot delivery service for electricals. The offer has been unveiled in the run up to the crucial Christmas trading period and is available on all items, from iPods to 50” TVs to toasters and American Fridge Freezers. The business maintains the service is unmatched across the electricals industry.


Free 10 year guarantee on our brushless professional motor Available now on the W5872 and W5877. Includes parts and labour.


LG 84” Ultra High Definition TV arrives in the UK LG Electronics launched its 84-inch Ultra High Definition TV at The Gadget Show Live at London Excel on 30 November, making the 84LM960V the first of its kind in the UK. The product will be available in over ten stores across the UK and Ireland by Christmas, including John Lewis Sloane Square, Bentalls Kingston and Richer Sounds Southampton,

with further retail rollout in the New Year. Consumers will also be able to see the 84LM960V at LG’s product road show as it tours the UK until 24th December. Stephen Gater, CE Consumer Marketing Director at LG, said: “It wowed the audiences at IFA, and representing every advanced technology that we are proud to offer as a TV

manufacturer, we are confident that it will capture the imagination of the UK public as they get to see it up close for the first time.” The unit has a recommended retail price of £22,499.99 including delivery, survey and standard installation.

CDA receives multi-million Euro research grant Nottingham-based appliance manufacturer CDA has been chosen by the Seventh Framework Programme, a European initiative supporting knowledge, research and economic growth, to develop an energy-efficient washer dryer that will wash and dry a full load in one cycle and deliver energy savings of up to 50%. CDA Managing Director Ian Kershaw said his company will create technology it has already patented and bring this to market over the next two years, with all of the work, including manufacturing, being carried out in Europe. He added that the machine will be “revolutionary and the first of its kind.”

Brilliance is emerging

Onkyo collaborates with Imagination and Pure Audio company Onkyo, Imagination Technologies and its consumer product division Pure have announced a collaboration in connected audio technologies, which will draw upon Imagination’s processor, connectivity, cloud and audio technologies to complement Onkyo’s audio expertise, premium brand and geographic reach. The agreement is said to enable Onkyo to deliver industry-leading connected audio capabilities across its product range, strengthening its leadership in the highquality audio market. The company will also work with Pure to develop new products and will distribute and market Pure’s consumer audio goods and cloud-based music in selected markets, commencing with Japan.

Brilliance comes with a 5 year warranty Sharing the same ethos as its retail partners, customer service is key to the Linsar product range. We listen, adapt and produce TVs that consumers love. From a compact and stylish 16” to a stunning top of the range 55”, Linsar TVs are technologically advanced in every way. NEW...Linsar’s new 19” and 22”combi TVs have the most advanced ultra thin DVD players built in, enabling a slimmer more stylish profile.

...and just brillant for the independant retailer

Available in Brushed Titanium, Carbon Black & Polar White For more information please call us on 0845 555 1101


Leisure launches in John Lewis Range cooker brand Leisure has launched into John Lewis stores with four models available in selected stores across the UK and an extended range available at Products will be supported in store throughout December with branded displays and brochures and a call to action for shoppers to purchase and to explore the range online.

BSH recognised for logistics excellence BSH Home Appliances and logistics partner Yusen Logistics have received the award for Logistics Best Practice, sponsored by Unipart Logistics and presented at the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (CILT) awards. The CILT said the BSH and Yusen entry represented “an excellent example of sustained improvement in a customerfacing supply chain over several years, to achieve a truly world class service level and cost performance.”

BMW UK supports digital radio Car manufacturer BMW has announced that all of its new models launched in the UK will have DAB digital radios fitted as standard across the entire range from January 2013. The move comes shortly after the company offered owners of older BMWs the opportunity to upgrade their vehicles with a retrofit solution. Ford, Vauxhall and VW have already announced plans to accelerate their transition to providing digital radio as standard in new models. Volkswagen Group UK has also approved the Pure Highway 300Di in-car digital radio adapter for installation into vehicles sold through Volkswagen, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, ŠKODA and SEAT franchised dealerships in the UK.

GDHA receives Currys top supplier award GDHA has been named ‘Best Major Domestic Appliance Supplier’ at the Currys Suppliers’ Excellence Awards. The award was presented by Sebastian James, Group CEO at Dixons Plc, at the annual awards. GDHA was recognised for proactively supporting Currys with exclusive offers and promotions, in-store merchandising initiatives and for assisting in growing range cooker sales. The award was accepted by GDHA chief executive Denver Hewlett, who said: “We are delighted to have been named Major Domestic Appliance Supplier of the Year by Currys. We have worked hard to put in place a support network for our customers that allows us to assist retail partners in growing sales. This win also reflects our ongoing commitment to providing both quality product and a quality service.”

Beko launches FA Cup competition for schools Beko plc, Official Supporter of The FA Cup, has partnered with leading children’s newspaper First News to launch a competition offering thousands of UK schools the chance to win a visit from The FA Cup as part of the Beko FA Cup Schools Tour. The competition will reach almost 45% of UK school children aged 7-14 years.

Paralympic gold medallist opens new Panasonic store Welsh Paralympic gold medallist Mark Colbourne opened a new Panasonic Store operated by Alun Vaughan of Vaughan’s Radio in Cardiff on Saturday 3rd November. Vaughan already had two Panasonic outlets based in Haverfordwest and Llanelli. At 2,500 sq ft, the new store will be the biggest of the three and the second largest Panasonic store in the UK.

Xmas Advert 102mm x 145mm_Layout 1 23/11/2012 11:09 Page 1

Season’s Greetings Thank you to everybody who has supported JR Associates and Big Red Sales over the past year.

Bring a different flavour to your business If you want to achieve success in today’s difficult economic environment then know-how, planning and experience are key ingredients and so are the team you have around you. If you are missing any of these ingredients then we can help. A Simple Approach to Business JR Associates can bring a different flavour to your business, with a refreshingly simple approach. Working with energy and enthusiasm to ensure every aspect of your operation performs to the maximum. Build a Successful & Profitable Business We can assist you in: Recruitment • Business Plans • Sales and Marketing Strategies Pricing Policies • Training The Experience to Bring Success JR Associates is headed up by John Reddington, one of the CE markets most experienced professionals, with over 35 years experience. Call John today and let him help you to bring a different flavour to your business.

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BSH has restructured its Key Accounts sales team, with Tessa Quinton and Shaun English both taking on the role of Key Accounts Sales Directors to manage national accounts, Tessa covering Retail and Shaun National Kitchen & Online. The John Lewis Partnership has appointed Paul de Laat to the newly created role of Partnership Customer Insight Director, effective from 2 January 2013. Business Network, the organisation that promotes economic and social development between the UK and Turkey, has named Beko ‘Best Turkish Investor to the UK’ at the annual ‘The Most Successful Turk Awards’. Caple received a Gold award for Innovation in Design for its C500 Lift oven at the recent Designer Kitchen & Bathroom magazine awards.

Four swims down, three to go…

Haier UK marks official partnership with London Science Museum Celebrities, ‘mummy bloggers’ and their children joined Haier’s mascot ‘E-Zy the robot’ at an exclusive party held at the London Science Museum’s Launchpad gallery to mark the official launch of Haier’s sponsorship of the children’s ‘Create It’ drawing wall at the Museum. Haier’s partnership with the Museum commenced in July 2012 and runs for two years.

Dimplex joins famous football names for charity fundraiser The Cube by Electrolux has won the Gold Award for Innovation in Marketing at the Designer Kitchen & Bathroom Awards. Haier has been awarded the Designer Kitchen & Bathroom Gold Award for Innovation in Functionality for its MyZone fridge. Oreck’s XL Graphite upright vacuum cleaner received Gold at the 2012 House Beautiful awards. The Maytag tumble dryer (MTD09HPWH) with heat pump technology received the Silver Award for Best White Goods product of 2012 at the House Beautiful Awards. The YouView Humax DTR-T1000 has been awarded ‘Video Gadget of the Year’ at the Stuff Awards. InSinkErator has established a new, easy-to-navigate website providing comprehensive product and installation details, service and support information, the very latest product news and a handy ‘Where to buy’ search engine.



Dimplex has helped raise thousands of pounds for charity through the sponsorship of the Legends Charity Golf Day, which supports local charities Naomi House in Hampshire, Julia’s House in Dorset and national charity Round Table Children’s Wish. The event, hosted by football personality and patron of the Round Table Children’s Wish Harry Redknapp (pictured right), involved amateur players and famous football names coming together for a competitive day’s golf. An auction hosted by Willie Thorne after the tournament boosted the funds raised to £30,000.

Indesit National Account Manager Adam Walker, who is attempting to become the first British swimmer to complete the Ocean 7 Challenge, finished the 21-mile Catalina Channel swim in an impressive 12 hours and 15 minutes and has now passed the halfway point in his bid to raise monies for SportsAid. Indesit again sponsored Adam, who raised £1,000 swimming the Molokai Straits in June and hopes to match this total with the Catalina swim.

Electrolux Design Lab winners Design students of 2012 predicted the future of kitchen appliances at the annual Electrolux Design Lab competition finals in Milan. The first prize went to Jan Ankiersztajn from Poland for his Aeroball concept – a collection of luminescent, hovering balls that filter and fragrance the air in a room, floating via the use of helium and drifting to the ground when they are ready to be changed. Jan won a six-month paid internship at an Electrolux global design centre. In second place, Ben de la Roche from New Zealand created ‘Impress’ (pictured) – a refrigerated wall that allows the user to press storage containers and bottles directly into it. And in third place, ‘Tastee’ by Christopher Holm-Hansen from Denmark. Tastee is a taste indicator in the form of a spoon that utilises receptors based on human taste buds to determine the ingredients needed to improve cooking flavours.

Samsung partners with The Prince’s Trust Samsung UK has become a Gold Patron of youth charity The Prince’s Trust, supporting it in its mission to change the lives of disadvantaged young people throughout the UK. Samsung has committed to sponsoring the Trust’s flagship Recognition Awards and providing Samsung equipment for the youngsters the charity helps. The new partnership is part of Samsung’s ‘Hope for Youth’ campaign.


CI(H) rewards top suppliers The CI(H) Christmas Lunch, held 4 December at London’s Dorchester hotel, was an upbeat affair, despite a difficult year for the electrical industry. Chairman Robin Millwood (pictured), addressing suppliers and dealers present, acknowledged the positive effect of the tailend of the digital switchover, the Queen’s Jubilee and the summer of sport, particularly in the south east, but commented that the market “fell off a cliff in September and has remained there since.” Nonetheless, he was able to report that had gone from strength to strength and the buying group’s agency ranges were expanding. Millwood also spoke of the sales opportunity arising from the collapse of Comet, stating that there “could and should


be a large share coming our way.” He added that CI(H) will be calling a meeting with suppliers in the New Year to discuss, and cautioned them to handle the situation “carefully”, warning that “you will have two large dogs (Dixons and DRL) wagging their tails, and you, the suppliers, will not be able to control them or what will happen to what already is a troubled market place.”

Double D. Distributors Double D. Porter & Harris Ltd Distributors Electrical & Electronic Wholesale Distributors of Consumer Products & Accessories

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Electrical & Electronic Wholesale Distributors Consumer Products & Accessories TheofDiamond Of Distributors

The Diamond Of Distributors


A feature of the CI(H) Christmas Lunch is that it recognises suppliers who have best supported members throughout the year. And this year the Supplier of the Year Award was presented to Bosch for providing a profitable range of exclusive agency products alongside a standard range at good profit margins. The Supporter of the Independents Award was presented to Blomberg, which Millwood said had grown 30% from April this year and had just achieved a record month. A further occasion for celebration was also announced at this year’s Lunch, CE Stuart Cook revealed that 2013 would mark 50 years of CI(H). An event is to be held in July next year to commemorate the achievement.


Good enough to tweet? GDHA brand Belling rounded off its 100th birthday celebrations with the unveiling of an 8-foot cake showing historic British events from the last 100 years. The birthday cake was created by cake artist Connie Viney and unveiled at the BBC Good Food Show at Birmingham’s NEC in November. It was decorated with ‘edible’ birthday messages tweeted to Belling during the course of the 5-day event.

Sales: 01202 675999 Fax: 01202 667721 Sales: 01202 675999 Admin: 01202 661911 Fax: 01202 667721 Admin: 01202 661911



Important information for our customers Important information for our customers

Double D. Distributors Returns Policy. Double D. Distributors Returns Policy. There have been changes in the practice and procedures by our suppliers to their Returns Policy which has a reflection on our working practice. In order There have been in the and procedures by our suppliers to to continue with changes our quality of practice service to you and to enhance our overall their Returns Policywe which hastoaincorporate reflection on workingand practice. In order working standards, intend theour measures therefore wish to continue with of service to you will and in to no enhance our overall to advise you of our our quality new procedures. These way affect your working standards, intend to up incorporate the measures and therefore statutory rights butwe will speed our methods and ultimately improvewish our to advise you The of our procedures. These will in no way affect your service to you. newnew procedure is as follows:statutory rights but will speed up our methods and ultimately improve our service to receipt you. Theor new procedureof is a asreturned follows:- item, you should phone our ƒ On notification

Established in 1976, we have been servicing the independents for over 30 years. We distribute LED / LCD / PLASMA Administration whoservicing willreceivers, facsimile copy of our Returnsfor televisions, audio equipment, satellite media players andover a great manyWe accessories to Established in 1976, weDepartment have been thea independents 30 years. distributefrom LED HDMI / LCD /cables PLASMA ƒ Proforma. On receipt or notification of a returned item, you should phone our wall mountable brackets. We are aourgreat asset retailers whoand cannot trade directly with the bigHDMI manufacturers Administration Department who will facsimile a to copy of our Returns televisions, equipment, satellite receivers, media players a great many accessories from cables to ƒaudio On receipt of your notification staff will forward a returns number Proforma. and the buying detail required to deliver the goods to us. and have the power to keep our prices competitive, to give you (the retailer) the best deals possible. wall we mountable brackets. We are a great asset to retailers who cannot trade directly with the big manufacturers ƒ All On receipt of your our staff a returns number ƒ goods that arenotification returned must havewill theforward number of the original and the detail required to deliver the goods to us. We work closely with big names such as Samsung, Toshiba, Sharp, LG, Humax and many more. To see our new invoice. This invoice shall include the serial number of the returned and we have the buying power to keep our prices competitive, to give you (the retailer) the best deals possible. ƒ item. All goods that are returned must have the number of the original catalogue or to open an account with us, please phone our Sales line. We will be only too happy to help. We work closely with big names such the as by Samsung, Toshiba, Sharp, LG, Humax and many more. To see our new invoice. This item invoice shall include serial number of the returned ƒ The returned will be accompanied a proof of purchase that will item. that the fault has occurred within 28 days from purchase by the catalogue ƒ orshow to open an account with us, please phone our Sales line. We will be only too happy to help. The returned item will be accompanied by a proof of purchase that will

Happy Christmas and DOUBLE a prosperous new year to all our customers! D DISTRIBUTORS customer from you. show the fault has occurred within 28 purchase by the the ƒ If thethat item has shown faulty outside thedays 28 from day period then customer from warranty you. manufacturers comes into operation. ƒ the item has shown faultyhave outside the 28their dayreturns period policy then and the ƒ If Manufactures, such as Finlux, maintained manufacturers warranty comes into therefore we will continue to act as operation. their agent for the stated period for ƒ Manufactures, such as have maintained their returns policy and returns until service setFinlux, up is provided. willshould continue act aspossible their agent the stated period for ƒ therefore Returned we items andtowhere be for returned in the original returns until all service set up isWe provided. boxes, with accessories. appreciate this may prove difficult but ƒ Returned items should where possible be returned in the every effort should be and made to encourage this practice. If itoriginal is not boxes, with all accessories. this may difficult and but possible, every effort should We be appreciate made to ensure the prove safe carriage every effort should be made to encourage this practice. If it is not return of the item to us. possible, every effort should be made to ensure the safe carriage and returnyou of the item co-operation to us. Thank for your in this matter.

Porter & Harris Ltd 10 DidcotDOUBLE Road, Nuffield Industrial Estate, Poole, Dorset, BH17 0GD D DISTRIBUTORS DOUBLE D DISTRIBUTORS Sales: 01202 675999 Fax:Nuffield 01202 Industrial 667721 Lo-Call: 0845 2302500 Porter &Porter Harris Ltd 10 Road, Industrial Estate, Poole, Dorset, BH17 0GD & Harris LtdDidcot 10 Didcot Road, Nuffield Estate, Poole, Dorset, BH17 0GD Email: Web: 01202 675999 Fax: 01202 667721 Lo-Call: 0845 2302500 Sales: 01202 675999 Fax: 01202 667721 Lo-Call: 0845 2302500 Web: Email:Email:


George Cole pinpoints hotspots in the world of consumer electronics.



his time of the year is getting to be like Groundhog Day. The latest figures for radio listening have been released and, once again, the target date for the announcement of a digital radio switchover looks like being delayed. The hope was that by 2013, at least 50% of radio listening would be digital (DAB, internet, digital TV), which would trigger a digital radio switchover announcement in 2015. But digital still only accounts for a third of all radio listening, so this is clearly a hard call unless something spectacular happens in the radio market over the next 18 months. The government now says it will make an announcement regarding a possible 2015 announcement in 2013 (if you get my drift...). Meanwhile, Digital Radio UK has launched a new campaign featuring an animated character ‘D Love’, who is like a cross between 70s soul singers Barry White and Teddy Pendergrass. Will it do the trick? Time will tell, but it’s certainly a new direction in the push for digital radio. It seems to me that govern-

ment and industry have three choices when it comes to DAB: 1) Announce a switchover date. 2) Abandon DAB and opt for another technology. 3) Accept that they are in for the long haul and focus on selling the DAB story, launching new DAB services and making DAB products even more attractive and affordable. The idea of setting a switchover target date was to focus minds on digital radio, but all that has happened is that each year the date looks likely to be missed and so people begin to think that DAB is a failed format. The digital TV switchover showed that you can push consumers into new formats, but radio is a different ball game. DAB coverage and reception needs further improvement, digital radios need to become even more energy efficient and the industry has to find a compelling case for consumers to throw away their existing radios. Meanwhile, the government should unambiguously confirm its commitment to digital radio and then let the market decide on the date when we turn off analogue radio.

PIRACY – THE CHALLENGE A recent Ofcom survey of UK consumers aged 12+ shows the challenge music and video industries face in stemming the tide of piracy. A third of films, a quarter of music and almost a fifth of TV programmes were illegally consumed online. The reasons given were that it’s free (54%); convenient (48%), and quick (44%), while 26% said they did it so they could try before they buy. Maybe I’m just cynical, but I reckon the 54% figure is on the low side...

E-mail: 14


The news that YouView has lost its high court battle with the telecoms company Total Ltd over its brand name shows how difficult it is for organisations to protect their brand name. Total claimed that YouView was too similar to its Your View trade mark, which is used for an online customer portal. YouView must have felt confident of winning, not least because similar names usually only fall foul of the law when they are used in the same product or service category (I once dealt with a company called Disney Software, but as Disney was the owner’s real name and she dealt in educational software rather than cartoon films, there was no issue). The ruling is a headache for YouView, not least because the name is crucial to the brand’s identity, which it is currently trying to build with consumers, and then there’s the cost of renaming all your products and documentation... YouView has adopted a bullish attitude and claims that it will continue to use its name. I fear lawyers are going to do very well out of this dispute. When Apple launched its iPhone it found that a subsidiary of Cisco had trademarked the name iPhone for a handset that could make phone calls over the internet. Apple settled by licensing the name, and industry rumours suggest that Cisco gets a $30 royalty fee on every iPhone sold. Apple recently paid the Chinese company Proview $60 million for the right to use the name iPad in China. My favourite tale about name disputes involves a Canadian school student called Mike Rowe, who decided to brand his home page as MikeRoweSoft (geddit?). Microsoft sent Rowe a legal letter ordering him to hand over the domain name to them, as it was a breach of their trademark. Rowe went public and garnered much publicity both for his site and his plight. The case was eventually settled out court.


JOIN THE NEW WAVE OF SMART TV LG provides simple control over entertainment with Magic Remote Control


aking control of LG’s Smart TV experience has never been easier than with its latest Magic Remote Control and popular catch-up TV and movie streaming apps. The TV’s built-in browser allows multiple windows and bookmarking of sites, but it is even easier to organise and control content and web surfing with LG’s vast array of useful apps. And there’s no better way of doing that than with the Magic Remote Control. Being wireless rather than infrared, it ensures smooth, seamless operation even when users don’t have line of sight with the TV. Selections are as easy as using a computer mouse – just point, click and control. And to help organise on-screen apps cards, it allows drag-and-drop operation, too, providing simple control over entertainment. To make finding all that content as easy as possible, the latest LG Smart TVs can organise apps into ‘cards’. The Premium Apps Card features premium Smart TV services such as BBC iPlayer, LoveFilm, Blinkbox, NetFlix, Acetrax Movies and social networking site Facebook. YouTube and Twitter are also included.

DEMONSTRATION TIPS Letting the customer just look at the TV is not always enough. We’ve listed below some helpful demo tips that you can use to showcase LG TVs and impress your customer

PREMIUM CONTENT First of all, please ensure the TV is connected to the internet. Then go the Smart TV homepage and the select the premium content card. From here select some content to play such as BBC iPlayer or YouTube. If you have an account, show them how LoveFilm or Netflix works.

HOME DASHBOARD Pass the Magic Remote to the customer and tell them to push the Home button to bring up the home dashboard. Show the customer how easy it is to navigate and how they can customise the screen for their favourite apps such as BBC iPlayer, Facebook, Lovefilm, Netflix and Twitter. When it comes to even more apps, users will find hundreds to choose from at the LG Apps Store. Whether they want to select from a wide variety of films and radio, search for their new dream home, browse the latest job opportunities, play a game of Downhill Bowling or Air Penguin, or find something educational for the children, it is all there in LG’s Apps Store. Everything that the user downloads from the LG Apps Store will appear in the My Apps bar the bottom of the screen and any app can be launched with a single click. Clicking the square icon on the left-hand side will display My Apps across the full screen. Users can purchase apps using their LG Smart TV or from the website at If the user wants all of their favourites in one place so they can find them at a glance, then a customisable My Card option is just the thing. Adding apps with a flick of the wrist using the Magic Remote is as easy as deleting those that are no longer needed. Surfing the web and streaming music or video content does not mean that the user need lose touch with what’s happening in EastEnders or Coronation Street, thanks to the Live TV screen. All in all, the latest generation of LG Smart TVs make interacting with a world of exciting content as easy as waving your hand. 

CINEMA 3D GLASSES (FLICKER-FREE) Hand the customer a pair of the LG CINEMA 3D glasses and let them feel how light they are when worn. If they are already wearing glasses, hand them a pair from the clip-on range to try on over their existing specs.

DUAL PLAY Connect up a games console to the TV or insert the gaming content provided and play a split-screen twoplayer game. Press the 3D button and select the correct option. Give the customer the dual play glasses and let them play.



Toshiba AT300SE Android™ powered tablet Toshiba UK’s new Android™ powered tablet (AT300SE) is equipped with the NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 processor and offers a generous 16:10 wide viewing angle display. The device is based on the build quality of the Toshiba AT300 premium tablet, but with cost-conscious consumers in mind. It measures 10.5mm in depth and weighs 625 grams, and is built for intensive use at home and on the go, delivering up to ten hours of battery life. ❯

25.7cm (10.1”) LCD capacitive touch display, 1280 x 800, 16:10, CSV, IPS

RAM: 1GB DDR3L-1333 (667 MHz) on board

eMMC: 16GB

Ports and slots: 1x micro-USB, microSDTM with SDHC/SDXC support to 64GB, headphone/mic combo port

Connectivity: combo WLAN/Bluetooth 3.0./GPS

Cameras: 3.0. MPixel (back), 1.2 MPixel (front)

0871 495 0730

Pioneer BDP-450 Blu-ray 3D player Pioneer’s Blu-ray 3D player BDP-450 has a range of features including dual HDMI outputs to simplify connections with an AV receiver or multiple displays. It also offers Qdeo video processing for exceptional visual performance, along with DLNA networking, wireless capability and the ability to play back Super Audio CDs and DVD-Audio discs. ❯

Quartz Lock System (PQLS) technology eliminates jitter during signal transfer

Stream Smoother for more detailed images from low bit-rate video sources

Built-in entertainment network features

Compatible video formats: smartphone specific 3gp file format, Flash video, DivX Plus HD and MKV from disc, USB and via a compatible network Mac, PC or media server

All key audio files supported

Pioneer ControlApp and latest generation iControlAV2012 App for smartphone control

Vax Air Mini cylinder vacuum cleaners Vax’s new Air Mini and Air Mini Pet bagless multi-cyclonic cylinder cleaners are compact and lightweight (5.5kg) and offer 280 Air Watts of suction. Both models are suitable for carpet and hard flooring and come with a 6-year guarantee. The Air Mini (model ref: C88-AM-B) features: ❯

2.0-litre capacity

6-metre cord / 2-metre hose

H12 HEPA Filter

Combination floor tool, crevice tool, dusting brush, upholstery tool

0844 412 8455

Gorenje downdraft extractor Gorenje has expanded its cooker hood range to include a variety of new styles and designs, including this 90cm x 88cm stainless steel and black downdraft model which can be hidden from view when not in use. The appliance comes with a 5-year parts and labour guarantee. ❯

Electronic touch control

Extraction or recirculation / 3 x venting speeds

Maximum extraction rate 755 m³/h / Noise level: 72 dB(A)

Aluminium filter / Odour filter

0208 247 3980



Amica introduces @micaSmart to Platinum oven collection Amica has introduced a new 7” fully interactive touch-control TFT programmer to the top models in its Platinum oven collection. The @micaSmart graphic interface provides fluid finger control, which mirrors that of smartphones/tablets, and speakers with a wave sound system.

Philips 6900 Series Smart TVs

Web connectivity and desktop application

Supplied with mini memory stick to upload personal recipes and pictures

Create and view photo albums as a digital picture show

Multimedia cookbook with over 50 recipes

Online portal with users’ forum and cooking competitions

Periodic software updates

01425 461600

Caple Sense WC6112 wine cabinet The Sense WC6112 wine cabinet from Caple fits neatly within a bank of units and, at only 455mm high, is also ideal if space is at a premium. The appliance has a no-frost cooling system and heater with fan-circulated air to maintain steady temperature and humidity levels. ❯

Electronic temperature control and LCD display

3 x sliding shelves and 1 x base shelf in beech

Black interior and exterior with curved stainless steel handle

Toughened UV-protected glass door

Vibration free

The new ‘bezel-free’ 6900 Smart TVs from Philips enable on-screen images to seamlessly merge with the brand’s Ambilight feature, which projects coloured light on to the wall to match the onscreen image. The panel is set in a 1.2mm rim of brushed anodized aluminium and rounded off at the bottom with a small black chamfer with brushed-look finish and matching stand. ❯

107cm (42’’) and 119cm (47’’) Full HD screens

Motion enhancement and advanced micro dimming

Access to online video stores, BBC iPlayer, EPG, apps etc.

Compatible with Philips’ MyRemote App for Android and iOS mobile devices

3D with depth adjustment and 2D to 3D conversion / ‘Two Player Full Screen Gaming’ mode

4 x HDMI and 3 x USB ports with WLAN on board

01483 29 3391

0117 938 1900

Aquavision frameless and waterproof in-wall TVs Aquavision has introduced two larger sizes to its frameless range of waterproof in-wall televisions, which can be installed directly over a bath or within a shower enclosure. Aquavision expects that these new 32” and 40” LED models will also be installed in other rooms such as bedrooms and living rooms, where a flush-to-the-wall, streamlined look is required.

Snug ‘I Love New York’ headphones British brand Snug has become the only headphone brand licensed to use the iconic ‘I Love New York’ logo owned by New York State. These new headphones from the brand boast a strong construction with ergonomic design, offering a comfortable fit for the wearer. ❯

All models available in S-type (standard) or A-type (audio visual high-end) with heated screens to prevent misting

Adjustable padded headband / Soft, supportive ear cushions

Maximum sound with minimum leakage

DVB-T, 2 x HDMI inputs, full Scart input, IR in/out connections

Premium-grade 40mm driver in each earpiece

A-type includes RS232 connection and audio output for home network integration

Waterproof remote control and speakers

Available in Midnight Black, Classic White, Concrete Grey and Candy Pink

Available in black, polar white or MirrorVision (pictured)

01442 872665

01656 790 030 DEC 2012 GET CONNECTED



The British Electrical Manufacturing & Retailing Awards

THE BRITISH EMRAs 2013 There is still time to enter your company and products for the 2013 Electrical Manufacturing & Retailing Awards, but you need to act now!


he British EMRAs bring a new dimension and fresh perspective to Electrical Industry Awards in the UK, recognising leading design, sustainability and contribution to the UK economy, with a focus on the manufacturers, brands, products and support services that deserve recognition as leaders in our own industry. Winning an EMRA not only acknowledges excellence among our peers, but emphasises that the winners are recognised as world


FOR 2013

The Categories for 2013 have been chosen to reflect what is most important to industry practitioners in the second decade of the 21st Century. Product categories are open to all products available on the UK retail market during 2012, regardless of their initial launch date.  Leading Design – Laundry Product Open to all built-in and freestanding home laundry products on the UK market  Leading Design – Cooking Product Open to all built-in and freestanding cooking products, including microwave & combi ovens, on the UK market  Leading Design – Dishwashing Product Open to all built-in and freestanding dishwashers on the UK market  Leading Design – Refrigeration/ Cooling Product Open to all built-in and freestanding refrigeration, freezer and wine storage products on the UK market

 Leading Design – Floorcare Product Open to all cylinder, upright, hand-held, stick and cordless vacuum cleaners, steam mops and deep cleaners on the UK market  Leading Design – MDA Collection or Range Open to any 3 or more MDA products presented as a range or collection on the UK market

class performers alongside the global icons of style, design, engineering, innovation and best business practice across all major industries. Nominations will comprise entries put forward by the EMRA panel and those selected from applications received. For details of how to enter the Awards, logon to and click on the EMRA Awards banner. Alternatively, e-mail

Products, “Smart” TV configurations, systems and technologies on the UK market  Leading Design – Consumer Electronics – Music & Imaging Products and Accessories Open to all Consumer Electronics Products not encompassed by the previous category, including Digital Imaging, Portable CE Products, Hi-Fi, Music Docks, Radio, Accessories..., on the UK market  Leading Retail Training/Support Open to all MDA, CE, and Small Appliances Manufacturers & Distributors selling product in the UK market via any retail channels, who support their retailers with training programmes, pre- and after-sales support

 Leading Design – Small Appliance Product or Range Open to all Small Domestic & Small Kitchen Appliances on the UK market

 The EMRA Award for Sustainability Open to all Manufacturers with product on the UK market who employ environmentally responsible practices from manufacture, through efficient working life performance, to provision for ecologically sound end-of-life recycling/disposal

 Leading Design – TV/Home Cinema/Sound Projection Products/ Combinations Open to all TVs, Set-top Boxes, Home Cinema Systems and Accessories, Sound Projection

 The EMRA Export Award Open to all manufacturers of MDA, CE or SDA products who manufacture, assemble or otherwise handle product in the UK which contributes to the UK export figures

For details of how to enter the Awards, logon to and click on the EMRA Awards banner. Alternatively, e-mail 18




he past year has not been an easy one for retailers, manufacturers and other trading partners in our industry. After a protracted period of deep economic uncertainty which unnerved and demoralised consumers and shook the very bones of retail, another tranche of well-known high street names collapsed. It was a year reminiscent of 2009, when the first wave of an unrestrained, full-blown recession brought its worst to bear on British retail.

The future is in your hands But those still standing in electrical retailing have had the chance to regroup, re-organise and adapt. And though, sadly, we’ve lost a significant number of businesses to this brutal depression, many industry partners have worked closely together to find new ways of supporting each other in

the common goal of financial success. 2013 does not offer any quick fixes for the troubled economy of the UK, but it does offer the opportunity for trading partners to continue to strengthen and build upon what has already been achieved. The future is in your hands.

On the threshold of another difficult but no doubt exciting year, some of the “movers” in our industry – those who are determined to make a difference – have teamed up with GC to review the achievements of 2012 and to outline their plans for 2013.

AMICA Carving out a niche in the independent retail sector Simon Freear country manager for Amica in the UK and Ireland anticipates another strong year for the Polish brand “2012 has had its ups and downs but overall our reach has strengthened with more and more resourceful independents trying the brand and finding it a profitable opportunity, especially when compared with brands that heavily rely on internet trade. “Amica, which supplies CIH and Sirius buying groups as well as other independent retailers through distributors Portway, Sparkworld, Pik-a-Pak, Swift and Stearn, has carved out an interesting niche with independent retailers by providing a complete freestanding and built-in product range that performs well, looks great and is also highly competitive. “Our ability to provide a decent margin with sheltered exposure, along with the added comfort for retailers to service-sell if they choose, has allowed us to create a retail base in a planned and considered way. Retailers value the opportunity

to ‘look after’ their own customers throughout the lifecycle of an Amica appliance and consumers are reassured that they will receive first class service through this method as well as with our 300-strong engineer network. “2013 sees new products in all product categories and these, along with innovative web-based promotions for displaying outlets, will see Amica’s retailer partners profit even further.”




BEKO Delivering on “style, functional features and technology” Les Wicks, Head of Product Management at Beko, looks at the brand’s progress in the built-in cooking sector

BSH “Being closer to our customers has brought us closer to the customer journey process...” Tiago Alves, Marketing Director, BSH Home Appliances, is looking forward to the challenges that 2013 presents “During the course of 2012, BSH has undergone a significant change in not only the structure of the marketing department but how we present our brands and deliver campaigns. Since joining BSH in September 2011, the pace has been relentless. We have completely overhauled the marketing team which has meant some additional roles and positions within the team. We now have in-house Trade Marketing, New Media, PR and a matrix structure which enables a closer working relationship across all marketing functions. This has resulted in BSH being able to deliver more brand campaigns, trade incentives, consumer competitions, promotions and training courses for our dealers than in previous years across the Bosch, Siemens and Neff brands.

NEFF_4c_ohneClaim_08.eps, 100m, 63y 29k



“While Beko ranks as the UK’s favourite freestanding cooking brand, Beko built-in cookers are gaining ground and now stand at 6% of the sector. Latest consumer insight demonstrates that consumers are looking to create stylish kitchens that can double up as living spaces and functional cooking areas. As a result, sleek, contemporary built-in appliances are growing in popularity due to their clean lines and uncluttered control panels. Features including push-in, pop-out knobs and flush electronic displays enable consumers to achieve a streamlined look, because they blend well with the smooth, handle-less finish without having to compromise on performance. “The latest addition to the Beko builtin range is the HII64400AT touch control induction hob – once again delivering on style, functional features and technology. With nine cooking levels per zone, it offers

“Both Bosch and Siemens have focused on engaging consumers through benefit-led campaigns and competitions. The Winning Line campaign from Bosch married a range of products and features to a complete throughthe-line campaign and established the brand on social media. With a number of in-store promotions and dealer incentives, consumer competitions and offers, Bosch delivered a great story at point of sale whilst offering consumers a compelling reason to invest in Bosch products. “Siemens appeals to the design-conscious customer and although very focused on energy efficiency and functionality, the revised look and feel of the brand has been a major investment, bringing us closer to the Siemens customer whilst maintaining our premium reputation. Life.Style is the Siemens customer aspiration – the look they want for their home combined with effortless design and functionality. “Neff is perhaps the shining star in this year’s brand campaigns. Bake It Yourself (BIY) celebrates 40 years of Neff in the UK and has exceeded all of our expectations. Complementing Neff ’s position as the Number 1 cooking brand, BIY is the most popular (most liked) campaign page on Facebook of

the consumer efficiency, ultimately saving time and energy by cooking 36% faster than a gas hob and using 56% less energy. Simple to use with touch controls, LED power level indicators and individual time controls with an end-time buzzer on each of the four zones, the HII64400AT is also easy to maintain, with its stylish, frameless black ceramic surface making cleaning effortless compared to a traditional gas or electric hob. “In addition to this, we have recently launched a super energy-efficient oven, the Beko OIM25503, a built-in premium multifunction oven which is one of the most energy efficient in its class, using 30% less energy than a standard ‘A’ class product.”

any white goods manufacturer. It’s fair to say that the investment that BSH has made in new media will continue into 2013 with an increased focus on Neff product targeted at our audience. “Being closer to our customers has brought us closer to the customer journey process and helped BSH to realign its efforts across all touch points, from in-store to online. Overall, the marketing team has met this year’s challenges with gusto and will continue to deliver comprehensive, market-leading initiatives building on what we have learned this year.”


ELECTROLUX “...we have already started to build on the opportunities that will transform Electrolux into a leading brand in its market segment” Graham Bremer, Head of Marketing, Electrolux Major Appliances UK & Ireland, is delighted with his brands’ successful product launches and looks forward to new developments in 2013 “The last couple of years have been a very busy and exciting time for Electrolux. We have re-launched three brands in just 18 months, starting with the AEG Neue Kollektion in 2011 followed by Zanussi and Electrolux this year. We are delighted to report that the re-launches have been a big success, showing strong growth. We will continue to invest heavily across all three brands in customer training, in-store displays and promotions and online and social media activities. Our mobile training academies have already proved to be a real hit with our retail customers, allowing us to take the training to them. “Electrolux: In June this year we launched the Electrolux Inspiration range, which was supported by some truly innovative and effective marketing activities including

The Cube by Electrolux. The Cube offers a unique dining experience in a dramatic location, with Michelin star chefs, who have Electrolux Professional equipment in their restaurant kitchens, cooking on Electrolux Inspiration appliances. The Cube was without doubt the biggest, most successful PR and trade campaign ever executed in the MDA Market. As well as this major initiative, Electrolux is also headline sponsor for the prestigious Taste Festivals and this will be a key activity throughout 2013. “AEG: AEG Neue Kollektion has been very well received by trade and consumers alike and we are building on this success with a variety of innovative Social Media campaigns including our AEG Grassroots Rugby and AEG Grassroots Cricket, which are centred on AEG laundry products. These have helped us to engage with thousands of potential customers. AEG has also partnered with several leading cookery schools, allowing us to offer superb hands-on experiences with our cooking products.

“Zanussi: Earlier this year Zanussi launched its brand new QUADRO® range of built-in appliances. This popular range has enjoyed support from ambassador Gino D’Acampo who has been active across the country, drawing crowds for his Zanussi cooking demos wherever he goes. There are more exciting new launches and promotional initiatives in the pipeline which will be announced early next year. “Looking ahead to 2013 and beyond, we have big plans for Electrolux and we have already started to build on the opportunities that will transform Electrolux into a leading brand in its market segment.”





GDHA Continuing to provide the innovative products and support that retailers need in difficult trading conditions

Denver Hewlett, Chief Executive of Glen Dimplex Home Appliances, reflects on a historic year for the company “2012 has been a momentous year for Glen Dimplex Home Appliances. “Belling, our much loved cooking brand, marked its Centenary with a year of celebrations that brought together staff, partners, retailers and their customers – as well as raising thousands of pounds for our charity Antony Nolan.

HAIER Building a strong independent base in the UK and aiming to become a major white goods player across Europe Haier Sales Director Jeff Moody thanks retailers for their excellent work and predicts a “big” year ahead for the brand “Haier’s focus on retailing through the independent sector saw the brand establish a great UK footing throughout 2012 and the year ahead looks even more promising. Our brand values of quality, innovation and design are a

“Belling has played a pivotal role in cooking history – from launching the first slot-in cooker to patenting glass oven doors, introducing fan ovens and bringing induction technology to the masses – and so the Centenary celebrations were not only fitting but also heralded the start of the next exciting chapter in the brand’s story. “In fact, 2012 was a year of multiple celebrations. Our refrigeration brand Lec marked its 70th anniversary; GDHA received the Queens Award for Enterprise for International Trade and we also won the Total Excellence & Quality Award for our customer service. In addition to this, we are very proud that Stoves has led the way in creating a recognisable Made in Britain marque to champion the UK’s manufacturing achievements. “All of these accomplishments were made with our customers in mind and, with trading conditions continuing to be difficult in 2013, we will continue to provide the support you need by updating and refreshing our brands, reinvigorating the market with fresh product innovation and leading the way in the creation of thoughtful retailer support initiatives.”

benefitting from the support package that comes with becoming a Haier Elite Store, we are looking for a number of other dealers to join the scheme in 2013. Unique finishes like Haier Glass and innovations such as MyZone variable cooling and Anti-Bacterial Treatment all demand a high-street shop front and the service of independent retailers to make customers aware of the benefits. Our goal is to ensure that 90% of the UK population is within 45 minutes’ travel of a Haier Elite Store, allowing more potential customers to appreciate the build-quality and design of products, first hand. “The year ahead is certainly going to be big for the Haier brand. We have an exciting line-up of new products targeted at the UK market, and a number of international announcements

Our goal is to ensure that 90% of the UK population is within 45 minutes’ travel of a Haier Elite Store” perfect fit with independent retailers as they are best placed to display and demonstrate Haier’s outstanding range of mid to premium price-point products. “Key to our 2013 strategy will be to further develop our ‘Elite’ concept stores in major towns and cities. With three UK retailers already



will establish Haier as a major white goods player across Europe. In the UK, our marketing teams will build on our existing high-profile social media campaigns, advertising and key sponsorships to raise awareness and drive customers into store. For example: our partnership with the Science Museum will get

the Haier brand values in front of over a million potential new customers throughout the year ahead. “Despite tough trading conditions, Haier is going from strength to strength on the UK High Street and I would like to thank the excellent work of our retailers in this success. By partnering with more of the UK’s best independents in 2013, Haier UK is looking forward to another successful year ahead.”


Hot cooking appliances from Siemens Siemens home appliances deliver beautifully crafted design with the latest technology perfectly integrated Fingertip control The very latest in cooking technology is brought to life with the Siemens flex induction hob. The Siemens iQ700 EH875MP11E features both traditional induction and the innovative flexInduction strip. With automatic pan recognition and touchSlider control, users can be confident that precision temperature control is at their fingertips.

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Siemens: This is the life... Visit to explore the full range of Siemens products.




Warranty evolution At the back end of last year, the signs were that the electrical warranties market in the UK was moving into a new era of competition and evolution, with OFT initiatives, the entry of new warranty players and continuing severe pressure on retail outlets all contributing to the winds of change. GC spoke to some of the UK’s established and newer warranty providers to gauge which way the wind may be blowing


n the threshold of 2013 it’s clear that a number of specific and general factors are influencing the development of the electrical warranties market: heavy pressure on margins in a difficult retail environment is leading retailers to look for additional sales and margin from attachment sales; hard economic times polarise the market, with some consumers looking for lowest prices, while others seek out longer-term value and reliability and want to protect their investment with a well constructed warranty; technology is evolving fast, and at the cutting-edge of brown and white goods technology consumers

keep up with consumer demands; the need for trust and transparency, coupled with uncomplicated, reliable purchase and servicing processes, has to be seamlessly channelled from warranty provider through retailer to the consumer.

Smart shopping Vince Tseng, managing director of SquareTrade, a relative newcomer to the UK electrical warranties market, has an upbeat message tempered by some expectation that standing still is not an option for retailers. “Extended warranties are a huge business - this year alone they make up a £1 billion market. Despite

increases (from initiatives like the OFT’s price comparison website) and as consumers move online, there will be more competition. Mobile technology is also driving changes in consumer habits that retailers need to keep pace with: “I also see retailers are increasingly

Retailers need online solutions for selling warranties. Online and click-andcollect models are an ever-increasingly important area of growth for retailers.” need reassurance that investment in new technologies is risk-free; consumers’ habits and demands are changing, as online access to instant information gives savvy buyers easier ways to compare, assess and buy from a position of comprehensive knowledge, and retailers and their suppliers have to



the down economy, he adds, “the long-term prospects are good, and the market is getting more competitive. There are two trends driving this. The first is that devices are moving towards mobile and as these devices are increasingly essential, there will be increasing demand for warranties. Secondly, as transparency

moving towards in-store access from mobile devices,” says Tseng. “QR codes have gone from bleeding-edge to mainstream. While adoption is still limited by QR codes’ lack of integration into most standard smart phone cameras without an extra app, this appears inevitable – and smart retailers are looking at ways to best enhance the customer experience with good mobile apps.” The future can be summed up, he concludes in “one word – online. It’s not a revolutionary trend that I’m predicting here, yet very few extended warranty providers have adapted their services to meet the needs of consumers and retailers in the 21st century. Consumers want online interactions… yet for most warranty customers, they can’t even view their warranty online, let alone file a claim. They are forced to dig into a filing cabinet or shoebox full of old bills to find out when their warranty expires and what it covers. “Retailers need online solutions for selling warranties. Online and click-and-collect models are an ever-increasingly important area of growth for retailers. Traditional warranties that are overpriced and lack transparency don’t sell well online. Retailers need technology from warranty providers that helps them merchandise appropriately.”

Flair for repair A great customer experience doesn’t just come down to fantastic products. At Domestic & General we understand how excellent after-sales care will improve customer loyalty to your brand. And with a 94% post-repair satisfaction rate, we’re expert at giving our customers and our partners something to smile about.


Transparency & support Assurant Solutions’ sales director UK & Ireland, Simon Harrison, also has an optimistic view of the future and a conviction that technology and service need to keep up with market demands. “This year has continued to be a difficult trading environment for retailers,” he says, “but despite this, consumers still have an appetite for buying extended warranties. Overall we have seen attachment rates continue to rise this year, as a result of our continuing support for our retail clients. “We have also seen a number of new entrants, increasing competition in the UK market, with more propositions being offered to the consumer from various providers, particularly from the likes of repair networks extending their product ranges to include extended warranties.” He welcomes attention from the OFT: “The guidance issued by the OFT will benefit consumers through increased transparency, not only during the sales process, but also in terms of the product information. It will also be easier for the consumer to shop around. This will mean a better informed consumer, which we believe will benefit the market.” Investment in relevant technology is also a priority for Assurant. “We will continue to provide innovative technological solutions for use in the market, such as the My Claim app, launched this year, which allows consumers to enter, view and manage their extended service contract information using an Android device, iPhone or iPad. Pioneering solutions such as this will help retailers to keep one step ahead of the competition. For the industry, we believe

Warranty is, of course, a key area for many retailers as it can be attached to almost any large ticket items.



transparency will be the buzz word of the year, and the customer journey from buying to claiming will remain paramount.”

Evolution of warranty products “My feedback from the market right now,” says John Neill, managing director of UK Warranty, “is that last year’s turbulence shook the market up. It had been dominated by a few big players. And there was a certain amount of complacency. The OFT investigation has been a good thing, and the market is clearly

evolving. People want more for their money, and retailers want better service from their warranty providers. We believe account management support is essential for our retail partners, as is sales training. In the past, warranties have not presented a fully-rounded proposition. What we want to do is give better service to the retailer and add coverage for the consumer. Retailers can then confidently incorporate warranties as part of their overall service offering and customer care approach. Warranties are not just a way of generating income, but of presenting a better, more complete service proposition. This means talking to individual retailers, understanding the way they do business and producing a warranties and support solution that each retailer can confidently present to its customers.”

Independent support Domestic & General, as one of the longer-term players in UK warranties, has evolved, and continues to evolve, its relationship with retailers, and Jeff Griffiths, national account director, puts D&G’s view of the relationship with the independent retailer. “In a market now under even

greater scrutiny by the regulatory authorities,” says Griffiths, “consumers are more aware than ever of their rights and the service levels they should expect from their warranty provider and electrical retailer. The good news is that as the consumer becomes savvier, so the opportunity for retailers to discuss their service level options in store increases. This in turn will generate higher sales opportunities for the retailer to deliver added value to the sale. Unfortunately, the retailer who does not adapt to the changing market being created by post-POS insurers, who unlike D&G do not work with independent retailers, will suffer as the after-sales customer care opportunity moves away from them. “The warranty market for independents, while static at point of sale in terms of number of plans sold, continues to evolve. We constantly review the level of service we provide consumers with a series of consumer questionnaires that provide us with statistics on retailer performance (the basis of the Retailer of the Year awards), our own customer service performance and the performance of our repair network (the basis of the Total Excellence and Quality awards). One of the outcomes of our reviews was improving the support for our retailers and throughout 2012 we have increased the support personnel within our training support teams by 50%. We have also brought in specialist training skills to launch new training initiatives to assist retailers increase their warranty attachment sales through our development programmes.” Griffiths sums up the market from D&G’s standpoint: “The ongoing decline in disposable income and low consumer confidence has affected product sales and retailer profitability which has led many proactive retailers to review their consumer offering. This has led to reduction in ‘free’ stuff such as delivery, installation, credit and warranty which all dip into any profits generated from ever tighter margins. Instead these businessmen are looking to improve their customer service offering and provide complete solutions through attachment sales. Not only are these sales good for building closer ties with the customer, they enhance the average sale value. Warranty is, of course, a key area for many retailers as it can be attached to almost any large ticket items. Not only do warranty products deliver a valuable aftersales service, they enhance profits which in turn allows retailers to better support the level of after sales customer service that consumers now expect from quality retailers.”

More than just warranty providers…

we are business partners

At UK Warranty we believe in offering our clients complete clarity when it comes to their warranty scheme with us. That’s why we develop open and transparent partnerships that help maximise our client’s growth potential. Our warranty solutions include:

Protect Working together to create market leading and competitively priced warranty products, including protecting Original Equipment Manufacturers associated risk.

Service First class customer service through our UK-wide repair network including 24 hours claims centre, flexible appointments, repair workshops and spares storage.

Fulfil Seamless integration into your current business model including a range of on and offline distribution channels.

Grow Sharing management information to continuously enhance business improvement, revenue and maximising your warranty growth potential.

Contact UK Warranty to discuss how we can work with you to develop new or enhance existing warranty solutions, call 0844 557 5611 or visit

UK Warranty is an appointed representative of UK General Insurance Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registered in England and Wales Company No. 07728040. Registered Office: Picktree Court, Picktree Lane, Chester-le-Street, Co. Durham DH3 3SY.




he current Full HD vision system came on stream on Blu-ray and from satellite and cable media in 2006. Its picture is made up of a matrix of pixels (picture elements) 1920 across × 1080 high, each consisting of three primary colour dots; hence, six million dots and two million (approx.) pixels in total. They provide a very good sharp picture on screens up to 55” or 60” diagonal. Now two new formats have been accepted as future world standards by the International Telecommunications Union. These are known as 4K and 8K and marketed as Ultra HD TV. 4K provides a 3480×2160-pixel image, roughly four times the detail presently available; 8K can resolve 7680×4320 pixels, a staggering 33 million in total. There will be other improvements in terms of colour gamut and field rate, the latter to reduce blurring in frozen images.

Screen sizes Ultra HD pictures will not appear any more detailed than the current ones unless the screen size and viewing distance are matched to them. This calls for a screen diagonal of 80” to 100” for 4K viewing and very much more for 8K presentation. In the first crop of 4K screens, 84” is a favourite amongst setmakers at present, though smaller sizes will be introduced in 2013. With those in the 55” to 60” bracket it will be necessary to sit quite close to see any real improvement over the pictures we have at present. For 8K viewing 84” may be regarded as the absolute minimum practical size, while the optimum will be around 240”, something like 20 feet diagonal! This is about the size of one whole wall of a typical living room – not very practical really...

On the market Put on sale earlier this year, the first 4K TV available here was Toshiba’s 55ZL2, a 55” model with no-glasses 3D and a £7000 price



Alan Bennett examines the pros and cons of the proposed new Ultra-High Definition TV systems

tag. Its 3D performance is, to be honest, not spectacular, and its 4K pictures are limited to those internally upscaled from lesser sources, and to somewhat esoteric material from the web, entering by a Toshiba-special port; thus this set cannot (unless some kind of software update is made available) use HDMI-borne UHD pictures. 84” screens have been produced by LG (model 84LM9600) and Sony (KD-84X9005) at £12,000 and £25,000 respectively, while Panasonic has shown a 145” monster with 8K capability. Toshiba will bring to market in the next six months a range of 4K screens ranging in size from 55” upwards – they will have 3D LCD screens with LED backlighting, which seems to be common to all first-generation 4K sets. No doubt there will be more models on display at CES next month. In projectors, 4K types available now are the Sony VPL-VW1000ES at £16,000 and the JVC DLA-X70R and -X90R at £7,000 and £10,000 respectively. 4K images do not come cheap!

UHD – the pros Ultra high definition TV is breathtaking in its sharpness and clarity, way beyond the standards of the full HD pictures we’ve become used to. The footage shot at the London 2012 Olympics was stunning, and admired by everybody who saw it. The BBC seems more interested in UHD TV than in 3D, while Japanese national broadcaster NHK is very keen, looking to bypass 4K altogether and establish 8K broadcasting in Japan by 2016. Astra has suggested that Sky could have a 4K service up and running in the UK by 2015, though both these projects will need development of an advanced bit-reduction system, probably HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Coding) to reduce the spectrum space required for the huge data rate involved in UHD TV. There have already been successful test transmissions.


...and the cons I hate to pour cold water on any technology, least of all one as brilliant as this. But from the point of view of dealers, UHD TV is not likely to loom large in the profits columns for the foreseeable future, especially in view of Joe public’s indifferent attitude to 3D TV and the fact that a good proportion of Smart TVs remain unconnected to the web. With prices ranging from £7000 upwards, UHD TV does not sit well with the current financial squeeze – you can buy a very nice new car for the price of a 4K 84” screen. My customers are very careful with their spending, and I cannot think of one who would fork out this kind of money for any TV. UHD screens are necessarily very large while living rooms are often small and cluttered: how many homes could accommodate an 84” screen, let alone a 100”-plus one, even if the money could be found? Lastly, we come to the almost complete lack at present of UHD programme material. Apart from upscaling (which can be very good but would not justify buying a UHD screen) there are only stills cameras and some websites to turn to, hardly a cause to rush out and buy. To watch a data-compressed 4K movie in real time a broadband speed in excess of 20Mbps would be needed. Maybe UHD TV will turn a profit for some eventually, but don’t hold your breath!


CAI: The Trade Association for Content Delivery, trading for more than 30 years The CAI is the UK’s trade body for content delivery, with a membership that can fulfil installations, from home cinema and home automation to multi-room systems. The organisation was established in 1978 and historically has been the representative trade body for the TV signal distribution industry. Membership ranges from the sole proprietor TV aerial installer right through to the UK’s largest manufacturers and distributors of signal reception/distribution equipment. We provide a comprehensive, self-regulatory framework and extensive education and skills programme. Always putting our members first

CAI Fibre Optic Technology Course

The CAI is proud to represent its industry at the very highest levels, including Westminster, Broadcasting and OFCOM, bringing first-hand information to members on legislation including planning regulations and health and safety. We have also been at the forefront of updating relevant British and European standards for the industry. The CAI also keeps members up to date on new developments and trains them to an extremely high, professional level. Therefore, our training portfolio continues to flourish and grow, allowing members to diversify and up-skill where necessary.

Exploring and investigating the techniques involved in Fibre Optic Communication installations with particular relevance to TV distribution in communal buildings. On completion of this one-day course candidates will be able to carry out basic design, assembly and the test of basic fibre to the home (FTTH) systems. This course should satisfy reasonable prerequisites for the City and Guilds 3667-02 Level 2.

New training courses for members CAI courses are written and re-evaluated as technologies change and demand increases. Recently, we have developed three brand new courses to add to the ever increasing portfolio to help those in the custom install field:

Making the Bond: Safety electrical connection requirements for aerial installations By the end of this one-day course delegates should have an understanding of the earthing requirements for aerial installations in single dwelling units, multiple dwelling units and commercial premises. This course is a mix of theory and practical installation techniques. Every delegate will test an electrical circuit for safety, make a safety bond and perform check tests.

Keeping members abreast of technological change LTE/4G and TV interference – A summary

Home Networking & Connectivity – An Introduction By the end of this one-day course delegates will have gained a basic understanding of the various methods of home networking distribution including an insight into the latest HDMI distribution techniques and systems which are an ideal solution for both the domestic and systems markets. Delegates will also be given practical demonstrations on various types of distribution networks and will learn basic practical skills including making RJ45 connectors.

The end of analogue TV and a completed switch to digital has freed frequency spectrum that can be used for other services now that TV services make more economical use of what was purely TV transmission bandwidth. More programmes can be fitted in less space which has made room for ‘Fourth Generation’ (4G) mobile services related to fast, mobile broadband. The base station signals required for these new services have the potential to interfere with some existing TV reception. Ofcom believes that fitting a filter will solve many of the problems and a company (MitCo) has been set up by government to deal with issues and will initially supply a simple in-line filter to consumers if they complain of interference. This will need to be fitted in front of any amplification and installed by a professional installer (the cost of doing this is likely met by a voucher redemption scheme). Where a filter does not solve the problem then

a fund will extend to paying for a change of platform. There is also a fund to assist the aged and vulnerable. The intention is to cover only the main TV in the property, with any further sets being the responsibility of the householder. Where a communal system is in place such as in blocks of flats or commercial buildings the problems could be more complex and require trained, competent engineers, and it is more than likely the owner of the system will have to cure the problem at their own expense. 4G auctions are planned for December 2012 with transmissions starting in May 2013. However, one company, Everything Everywhere (EE, which owns Orange and T – Mobile) has started advertising 4G services and this has caused public confusion. EE has been granted the use of old 2G frequencies around 1800 MHz for a version of 4G. This will not cause problems with terrestrial digital television but, due to the higher powers being used, may create issues with certain satellite programmes, especially if systems are not installed to standard. 

For further information on the CAI and member benefits: Tel: 01923 803030 Website: Email:




2-minute interview ·A

no-holds-barred seasonal interview with a well known gentleman who finds himself uncomfortably squeezed between the warm, generous spirit of Christmas and the cold, harsh realities of austerity Britain

Why did you choose to work in this industry? I didn’t really choose it, but with no jobs to suit my experience and salary requirements, I had to take this one

What do you daydream about? Once, just once, being able to say: ‘Dream on, you greedy, ill-mannered, spoilt, smug, selfcentred, materialistic little brat…..’

Is there anything about yourself that you would like to change? I think I’m sometimes a bit too kindly and goodnatured for my own good

What was the greatest turning point in your life? Answering that job ad: ‘Seasonal work in retail environment. Uniform provided.’

Any bad habits? I’ve been warned that my tendency to have stand-up rows with any elves who try to upstage me spoils the magic of the grotto. But they need to be reminded that I’M the star attraction here

Any hidden talents? I haven’t actually tried this, but apparently I can squeeze this 58-inch waist down any chimney in the world

What’s your greatest regret? Taking that job: ‘Seasonal work in retail…’ What’s the worst lie you’ve ever told? Sure, I get on really well with kids How would you describe yourself? Big-boned, ruddy complexion, jolly when I’ve had a few drinks but can be a bit tetchy How do you think others see you? Little kids think I’m Santa Claus; bigger kids see through the cotton wool but are too scared of me to say anything; parents think I’m a loser What makes you laugh? The look on parents’ faces when I tell their kids they’ve been so good they can have everything they want for Christmas What surprises you? The number of parents who, in this day and age, are still prepared to pay good money to bring their kids to a hardboard-and-glitter grotto to be scared by a fat man in a red coat What’s your greatest achievement? Scaring seventeen under-threes into hysterics in a single afternoon What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you? When three dads, five mums, all the elves and the shop manager ganged up on me. What did I do to deserve that?

Pet hate? Dads who deliver their hilarious ‘elf and safety’ jokes as if it must be the first time I’ve ever heard them You have been offered a leading role in a film of your choice. What character would you like to play? I don’t think any actor has achieved the depth of genuine feeling I could put into the line: ‘Bah, humbug!’ A crack at Scrooge in a definitive remake of A Christmas Carol would be perfect for me. I’ve even written an alternative, more realistic ending What historic figure do you identify with? Oliver Cromwell. He had the sense to ban Christmas

Any particular fetishes? Come on, have you seen this outfit? Whom would you put in room 101? The bright spark who thought a live reindeer in the grotto would add atmosphere. It certainly did that. Handling a broom and shovel is not part of my job description What sort of music do you like? Slade, Wizzard, Band Aid, Cliff Richard… NOT! Favourite quote? ‘Ho, ho, ho…’ Favourite cuisine? I’m partial to a bit of rare venison (no offence, Rudolph) Name your poison Navy rum or a good single malt for preference, but I’ll settle for cheap Sherry and a mince pie in an emergency Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? Here in the grotto What’s your greatest fear? Being here in the grotto in five years’ time What’s your favourite piece of kit? This large-capacity, slimline hip flask that can be discreetly concealed in this secret pocket What’s your New Year’s resolution? To really start looking for a full-time job in 2013 Life is… … a wondrous, magical journey




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Get Connected Magazine - December 2012  

Get Connected: The Magazine of the Electrical Industry

Get Connected Magazine - December 2012  

Get Connected: The Magazine of the Electrical Industry