THE MAGAZINE OF THE ELECTRICAL INDUSTRY
MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE The refrigeration market in the UK holds rich opportunities for retailers who are prepared to help their customers understand the benefits inside. GC looks at the food storage technologies that are worth a little bit extra
HOME NETWORKING The “Connected Home” is the aspiration of 21st Century consumers. George Cole looks at how retailers can capitalise on the trend
CIH 2013 Some highlights from this year’s CIH show at the NEC in Birmingham
EMRA 2013 This year’s winners of the freshly formulated Electrical Manufacturing and Retailing Awards
BACKCHAT A 2-minute interview from Samsung’s Lana Sanleandro
Still Britain’s Best Selling Radio Brand
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BY APPOINTMENT TO H.R.H. THE PRINCE OF WALES MANUFACTURERS & SUPPLIERS OF RADIO RECEIVERS ROBERTS RADIO LIMITED
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Contents 04 06 15 16 18
Haier Intelius 500 washing machine (p17) j
Get Connected Greyfriar Cottage Winchester Road Chawton Alton Hampshire GU34 1SB
Editor in Chief: Marlinda Conway Telephone: 01420 886 33 j
Magazine Advertising Sales: Brian Shilling Telephone: 01892 677 741 j
Sharon Maslen Telephone: 01892 677 742
Editorial Comment The Word
In and around the industry
Some big questions get frank answers from John Reddington, Director of Big Red Sales
The Product Gallery The EMRA Awards 2013
Winners of the British Electrical Manufacturing & Retailing Awards 2013
Growth from Knowledge
Home Networking Feature
George Cole Gets Connected
From the Bench
The strong story for retailers is about energy efficiency and better food storage technology GfK gives the facts on the UK cooling market George Cole reports on the retail opportunities created by the networked home Some highlights from this year’s CIH Show at the NEC in Birmingham The CD refuses to bow out; and are your digital photographs yours for ever? Alan Bennett on digital upscaling
Lana Sanleandro, Head of Marketing, Home Appliances at Samsung UK
Editorial & Publishing Director: Terry Heath Telephone: 01420 886 33 j
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Comment The Euronics Showcase in Birmingham (14th-15th April) was one of the principal events in the UK electrical industry last month, and in its own way expressed aspects of the profound changes under way not only in consumers’ buying habits, but also in the relationship between the major partners – the manufacturers and the retailers – in the electrical industry.
he Euronics Show, taking place in the 50th anniversary year of CI(H), was the biggest since the launch of the buying group’s new “under one roof” format, and, said chief executive Stuart Cook, was attended by 95% of CI(H) members. The severe economic pressures affecting the entire industry could not be denied by exhibitors or visitors, nor did any attempt to do so. Stuart Cook acknowledged that margins are under pressure (see report, pages 30, 31 of this issue), and there was certainly no air of euphoria around Hall 12 of the NEC. However, there was a certain buoyancy in evidence, and a general (perhaps wishful) feeling that, after years of hard trading conditions, we are due at least
delivered to some manufacturers at the last CI(H) Christmas lunch testify. But the buying group is essentially there to provide a practical, mutually beneficial interface between suppliers and retailers. As such, we can only applaud its continuing efforts to present and explore the common ground between all parties in this industry. Common ground, mutual benefit and finding ways to co-operate profitably in a very rapidly shifting retail landscape are also the concerns of Get Connected Magazine. Part of its mission as a Trade journal is to help retailers and manufacturers achieve that increasingly rare aspiration – a realistic profit. It’s clear that neither the Government nor
Common ground, mutual benefit and finding ways to co-operate profitably in a very rapidly shifting retail landscape are also the concerns of Get Connected Magazine.” a modest upturn. Perhaps the briskly businesslike – not to say optimistic – atmosphere was in part generated by the fact that this event is very much about bringing manufacturers and retailers together for hands-on, face-to-face practical discussion and negotiation, the striking of deals and doing the business on the day. Mr Cook also said that some 30 prospective new members were in attendance, leading to “promising” discussions and an expectation that “the majority” could be signed up as members. There is even talk of opening up next year’s Showcase to the public, though this idea is still in embryonic form and no firm plans have been formulated. CI(H) is certainly not backward in speaking its mind on behalf of its retailer members, as the stinging rebukes 4
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the major institutions are willing or able to help carve out a new retail path for the electrical industry. Governments are no good at business, and anyway have other priorities that don’t include “alienating” consumers by taking steps to make them pay realistic prices for their electrical goods. More red tape won’t work, so this is something we, as an industry, have to work out for ourselves. If we can’t, or won’t take on the challenge of change, the decline in numbers of electrical retailers – both multiples and independents – will go on. That will hurt manufacturers who really do need good retailers to sell their products effectively. And, ultimately, it will hurt consumers who, seduced by crazy prices for outstanding technology, will one day wake up to find they no longer have a choice about where to buy it.
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Marlinda Conway Editor in Chief
Terry Heath Editorial & Publishing Director
Will Dobson Creative Director
James McIntosh Consumer Consultant
George Cole Consumer Electronics Consultant
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Industry News ONS confirms decline in March retail sales O
fficial figures have confirmed that retail sales fell during March, mainly due to the prolonged winter weather. The Office for National Statistics reported that volumes declined by 0.5%, following strong year-on-year growth of 2.5% in February 2013 and a yearon-year decrease in January of 0.6%. Quarter 1 2013, however, showed an increase of 0.4% compared with Q4 2012. The largest contribution to the year-on-year decrease came from the non-food sector where, compared with March 2012, the quantity of goods bought fell by 2.6%. The overall proportion of non-seasonally adjusted online sales remained high, at 10.4%, reflecting feedback from large retailers that suggested consumers purchased from their online sites rather than in stores during the continued winter spell.
High street sales volumes continue to stall High street sales volumes remained flat in April, defying expectations of growth and recording the lowest balance since August 2012, according to the CBI’s latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey. 36% of firms reported that sales volumes were up on a year earlier and 37% said they were down, giving a balance of -1% against expectations of +15% growth. The CBI said the retail sector saw little support during the Easter trading
period: volumes were broadly unchanged in the year to April, continuing a steadily weakening trend since November last year. The volume of orders placed with suppliers also fell on a year ago while stock levels remained above their long-run average relative to expected demand. The organisation reported that expectations for May have dampened, with retailers predicting both sales volumes and orders will fall.
UK avoids triple-dip recession as Q1 GDP rises 0.3% The Office for National Statistics has said that its preliminary estimates for GDP in the first quarter of 2013 show that the UK economy grew by 0.3%. The figure is better than expected and alleviates fears of a
triple-dip recession, which some analysts had predicted. The lift was due mainly to growth in the services sector and a boost in North Sea oil and gas output.
Hughes steps in to help Taylor Electrical customers Hughes Electrical has taken on the underguarantee work, general service work and the rental accounts of Suffolk-based Taylor Electrical, which announced in January this year that it would be closing. The retailer was based in Beccles, with additional branches in Halesworth, Diss and Mildenhall. Hughes managing director Robert Hughes said the loss of Taylor Electrical was a further blow to independent retailers, but he added that: “Despite reports about 6
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the challenges facing the electrical retail industry we are convinced those companies that continually invest to provide top quality customer service combined with an excellent product range will succeed.” Customers of Taylor Electrical, he said, can now look forward to receiving the same high level of service as they previously enjoyed. The Hughes store in Beccles has recruited former Taylor employee Albert Earthy, who first entered electrical retailing in 1972 in Lowestoft.
March freeze costs UK small businesses £174 million A survey released by the Federation of Small Businesses shows that more than half of small firms in the UK have been impacted financially by the recent prolonged cold weather, costing them £174 million in total with the average loss of £1,580 for each business. The research showed that around six in ten small businesses were impacted by the cold snap, with 30% reporting a loss of demand and 26% suffering closures. Mike Cherry, National Policy Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “We may finally have turned a corner into spring but it’s been a long haul, following the coldest March in 100 years. While a few businesses have managed to take advantage of the weather, many have found it difficult to manage. “Our fear is that this prolonged cold spell will mean people are travelling by car to supermarkets or out-of-town shopping centres rather than utilising local shops. We need people to keep trade local and support local businesses that may be struggling as a result of the weather.”
Squeeze on household finances intensifies The headline Markit Household Finance Index (HFI) posted 37.7 in April, down from 39.3 in March and well below the neutral 50.0 threshold. This was the first month-onmonth fall in the index since December 2012, signalling that the pressure on household finances increased for the first time in 2013. Four times as many households (32%) reported deterioration in their finances during April than those that recorded an improvement (8%). Worsening finances largely reflected an ongoing squeeze on cash availability from lower incomes and higher living costs.
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First phase of new ‘business bank’ launches
usiness Secretary Vince Cable launched the first phase of the new business bank with the announcement that £300 million will be invested alongside private investors to address gaps in the SME finance market. The money is the first deployment from the £1 billion of capital allocated to the business bank in the 2012 Autumn Statement. The Forum of Private Business, although welcoming the news, warned that the Government needs to get funding out fast to businesses. Head of Policy at the FPB Alex Jackman said: “Potentially some of this money can go out the door very quickly if proper proposals are submitted.
There’s no doubt the money is desperately needed in the economy right now, so we urge the Government to get the cash out to where it’s needed most by working with organisations to ensure bids are successful. We certainly don’t want to be seeing any of this money sitting untouched come February next year.” He added: “We must also remember that the new business bank won’t be entirely new lending. It will consolidate existing schemes, but we welcome this early new investment nonetheless. There’s a pressing need to target those businesses that have viable propositions but to which the banks won’t lend for oblique credit-scoring reasons.”
Sharp to sell 9.2% stake in Pioneer Japanese sources say that Sharp Corporation is planning to sell its 9.2% stake in Pioneer to finance restructuring measures and is looking for a buyer. Sharp, which is said to be Pioneer’s top shareholder, is expected to use proceeds from the sale of the 30 million shares, estimated to be worth around ¥6 billion, to pay down debts. The two companies formed a capital and business alliance in 2007 and intend to continue collaborating. Pioneer will retain its 0.8% stake in Sharp, according to reports.
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Gibson Guitar acquires stake in TEAC G
uitar manufacturer Gibson has acquired a stake in AV company TEAC as part of its continued diversification into the music and audio lifestyle arena. The deal will see TEAC become a member of the Gibson group of companies, helping to expand the size and reach of Gibson’s Pro Audio business. Gibson entered into an agreement with TEAC investor Phoenix Capital to purchase the 157,447,000 shares it held in the Japanese company, resulting in Gibson acquiring over a third of the business. This is yet another step in Gibson’s plan to become the largest music and sound business in the world. It is the second transaction the guitar maker has made in Japan. In January 2012 it announced a strategic alliance with Onkyo, in which both companies made investments in each other.
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Sennheiser welcomes 2.5 year sentence for one of UK’s most prolific counterfeit goods’ traders A Portsmouth Trading Standards for some time on this case because we knew just how significant a counterfeit trader Mr Reeder was – at one point we estimated that almost 80% of all the complaints we received were due to the fake products he was selling illegally under our brand name.” Sennheiser recently introduced an authorised dealer network to combat counterfeiting. The network is being rolled out in Europe and ensures only authorised partners and distributors can purchase products. The company has also introduced a series of identification technologies on its packaging and products to protect customers against fakes.
EIT RF TE UN CO
udio specialist Sennheiser witnessed, and welcomed, the sentence handed down at Portsmouth Crown Court to Michael Reeder, who is believed to be one of the most prolific sellers of counterfeit consumer electronics merchandise in UK history. He was found guilty of all 13 charges that were brought against him, including selling counterfeit goods to a school in Bristol. Reeder had been dealing in counterfeit products including imitation items of Sennheiser and several other consumer electronics brands through a series of websites since 2010. Over 4,000 counterfeit items, worth a total of £250,000 and believed to be just 1% of the total items in his possession at that time, were seized at his property by Portsmouth Trading Standards. Mr Reeder’s sentence of two-and-a-half years in prison is amongst the heaviest ever given for the conviction of selling counterfeit products in the UK. His case is also one of the largest of its type undertaken by Trading Standards services anywhere in the UK. Peter Emmett, Trading Standards Manager at Portsmouth City Council, said the investigation had been the most complex and difficult ever undertaken by the team and it will now be asking the court to order refunds for customers who gave statements about the fakes they purchased and who were not given their money back. Peter May, Sales and Marketing Director at Sennheiser UK, said: “Counterfeiting is something we take extremely seriously because it hurts unwitting and innocent consumers. We’ve worked closely with
German court clamps down on Gtech Dyson says it has won a court case in Germany against British firm Gtech on claims relating to the cleaning performance, battery performance and cost savings gained from energy savings on the Gtech AirRAM floorcare appliance. Three judges at the Dusseldorf Court, Ms von Gregory, Mr Sackermann and Dr. Morsdorf-Schulte, ruled that Gtech was overstating the performance of its AirRAM and misleading consumers as a result, and that it must cease making such claims in Germany or face a €250,000 fine or imprisonment. 8
GET CONNECTED MAY 2013
Dyson filed a complaint in the UK a year ago relating to similar claims by Gtech and is still awaiting an ASA adjudication. James Dyson commented: “It is quite extraordinary that Gtech feels it can mislead the public by overstating the performance of its carpet sweeper. Genuine improvements in technology come through investment in expensive research and development, not marketing claims. The German courts have recognised this and now we await a ruling in the UK”.
Victory for Dualit in Nestlé legal case Independent British company Dualit has gained a victory over global food giant Nestlé after a Court ruled that Dualit coffee pods do not infringe patents on Nespresso coffee machines. Following a 10 month legal battle between Nestec, owner of the Nespresso brand, and West Sussex-based Dualit, the High Court of Justice handed down a judgment allowing Dualit to continue selling its premium coffee NX capsules, which are compatible with Nestlé’s Nespresso machines and the Dualit 3 in 1 coffee machine. Commentators have said that the ruling will come as a blow to Nestlé as the Nespresso division is reported to have annual sales of SFr4.5 billion (£3.07 billion) and produces some of the firm’s biggest margins. “The judgment is ultimately good news for the consumer,” said Dualit Managing Director Leslie Gort-Barten. “Until this ruling, consumers were essentially subject to a monopoly on how they purchased additional replacement capsules. Now, with our own range of NX coffee capsules, we can offer consumers a greater degree of choice, driven by flavour, convenience and cost. Nespressocompatible capsules can be purchased online from our website and, more significantly, can continue to be sold on the high street. We have plans to expand our offer in the coming months.” Gort-Barten added that the ruling is also a landmark development for retailers. “The premium coffee single-cup segment is the fastest growing sector of the global coffee industry. It was estimated that in 2012 worldwide capsule sales reached £2.4bn. So for the high street it’s a win-win situation. Not only will it grow retailers’ profits since they have greater access to the lucrative replacement capsule sector but we see it will boost the overall popularity and sales of coffee machines – the UK coffee culture is currently worth £4bn annually.” Daniel Weston, general counsel of Nestlé Nespresso, said: “We are currently reviewing the judgment and will make a decision on next steps in due course.”
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LG aims for No.1 position in global appliances LG Electronics is to strengthen its lineup of premium and mid-end appliances, tailoring products to meet the requirements of individual markets in a bid to become the number one home appliance brand in the world by 2015. The announcement was made at the 2013 LG InnoFest held in Berlin during April, where the brand showcased a broad range of its energy efficient, technology-rich appliances. The event was attended by around 300 of LG’s business partners and other stakeholders from across Europe, with notable faces including Robert Gillman
a washing machine research lab in Germany and a design lab in London, while production sites such as its factory in Poland produce appliances which are specifically designed and built to meet the needs of the different consumer markets. Products on display at the LG InnoFest included the company’s new Eco-Hybrid washer dryers – 12kg washing and 8kg drying – and 9kg freestanding dryers; the industry’s first A+++ energy rated bottom-freezer refrigerator and double layered Door-in-Door system; the Hom-Bot Square robotic vacuum cleaner, which will arrive in the UK later this year.
of Gillman’s in Gloucester, which houses LG’s first UK shop-in-shop, and UK independent retail partners Vaughans and Stellisons. Speaking at the European event, Seong-jin Jo, president and CEO of LG Home Appliance Company, said: “LG is simultaneously strengthening its premium brand image while reinforcing its mid-range home appliances for the European market. This two-track strategy is aimed at further strengthening our position in the European market.” In its mission to differentiate itself from the competition, LG operates refrigerator consumer lifestyle labs in Germany and Spain,
Moves Former Carphone Warehouse Director and Geek Squad Europe CEO Kevin Gillan has joined warranty provider SquareTrade as Managing Director of Europe.
Neil Martin, MD of New Ventures at UK General (pictured), is to become Managing Director for UK General’s joint venture with Pacifica Group, UK Warranty, following the departure of current MD John Neill.
AGA Rangemaster has appointed Mark Davison (pictured right) as Sales Director following the retirement of Robin Hird.
Jonathan Hartley has moved from the role of National Sales Manager UK (Retail Distribution) at PJH Group to National Account Manager – UK Merchants, heading up a new PJH division.
Premium blender manufacturer Vitamix® is setting its sights on the UK and Ireland and has appointed Martin Devaney to spearhead its sales operation in the region.
Robert Gillman (left) with Mr Seongjin Jo, president and CEO of LG Home Appliance Company, and Mr Stanley Cho, EU CEO of LG Electronics
LG is to introduce its appliances and unique technologies through a Smart Campaign in Europe and is also expanding partnerships with local distributors to help strengthen its position in the region.
Glen Dimplex Home Appliances named Exporter of the Year Glen Dimplex Home Appliances won the title of North West Exporter at the Business Masters Awards in Manchester. The award comes as GDHA continues to expand its export markets, having recorded an 800% increase in overseas sales in the last three years and received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2012 in the International Trade category. The company also gained the award for Export in the British Electrical Manufacturing & Retailing Awards, conducted by GC Magazine (See pages 18 & 19 of this issue).
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Welcome return of a familiar industry face R ay Isted, a former electrical industry veteran of 47 years, is returning to the industry as a Training & Marketing Consultant, after retiring during the latter part of 2012. A familiar figure, well known both to retailers and suppliers, Isted has founded Creative Solutions, a company offering services ranging from marketing ideas through to presentation & communication skills and interactive training support, with the all-important aim of improving bottomline results. Isted joined the industry in 1965 as the youngest ever service engineer focusing on vacuum cleaners at Electrolux. He later moved to Ariston/Merloni and then on to Philips MDA in 1989, shortly before the business was acquired by Whirlpool. It is his time at Whirlpool that many may best know him for, firstly as Group Brand Marketing Manager before taking up the role of Head of Training.
Isted also chaired the AMDEA Commercial Committee for four years and was said to be an “inspirational chairman” with knowledge and enthusiasm. That knowledge and enthusiasm is now again being put to good use, as Isted comments: “Following my short retirement break and recovering from the daily M25 commute, I feel I have much experience to share and give back to the industry. I have established Creative Solutions with the aim of providing marketing and training services for the industry, such as improving retailers’ relationships with staff and helping to engage them in training. “In the current climate, where people in store are perceived to be ‘just browsing’, they need to engage with customers and retain them. Staff need to be fully trained in all areas of the sales process, not just on product features and benefits. They need to understand how to involve the customer, every step of the way, ensuring that they
have a good experience and that they will want to return when considering buying a product in the future.” In his own words, Isted has had “a great career.” He has been fortunate to have amassed a rich portfolio of experience and it is now his desire to offer expertise, help and support in the areas of marketing and training to retailers, distributors and manufacturers, whatever their size.
Ray can be contacted on 07831 584898 or by email at email@example.com
Giving your customers Haier expectations If your customers feel that our products don’t live up to their expectations in the first 90 days after purchase, we’ll give them a full refund*
We are so confident in our new range of products, we are also offering up to 5 year parts and labour warranty** *UK. 18+. Normal exclusions apply. Must register for Haier Warranty within 28 days to apply. Keep receipt to claim. Closes on 30th April 2014. Available for qualifying products through participating retailers only. One claim per qualifying product. See www.haierexpectations.com for full details. **Terms and conditions apply.
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His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, opens new Belling Hospitality Training Centre
is Royal Highness Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, has officially opened the Belling Hospitality Training Centre at Dumfries House Estate in Scotland. The bespoke training facility, sponsored by Belling parent Glen Dimplex, has a state-of-theart training kitchen and restaurant featuring the very latest Belling products and is designed to give students practical hospitality training experience,
£42 million spent on keeping us warm, says GfK Latest research from GfK shows that a combined total of over a million electric heaters and electric blankets were sold in the UK in the first quarter of 2013 as the extended winter brought about the second coldest March on record. Volumes rose 15% and value 13% to £42 million compared to the same time period last year, in which March was one of the hottest of recent years. March alone accounted for 24% of all units sold in Q1 2013 – the largest volume sales since the same month in 2004. Price points have also increased: electric heating has risen 8% and electric blankets 5% since Q1 2010. Tracy Goodfellow, GfK Senior Account Manager, said: “With weather patterns unpredictable in the UK, sales of seasonal products are becoming more and more sporadic during off-peak months. With sales being weather dependent, there is a real challenge for retailers to source and stock the right products, at the right time.”
Online sales at John Lewis have passed the £1bn mark on a rolling 52-week basis, an achievement that comes a year ahead of forecast as the retailer had estimated reaching the £1bn milestone in 2014. Maytag is supporting its brand credentials with a ten-year warranty on all parts throughout its appliance ranges. Samsung is offering up to £150 cash back on a range of home appliances including selected ecobubble™ washing machines, refrigerators, built-in appliances and robotic vacuum cleaners. The offer is available on purchases made until 30th June 2013. 12
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allowing them to learn new skills andT progress within the industry. The centre will cater for the training needs of restaurants and hoteliers as well as offering one-day experiences for visitors. During his visit The Duke of Rothesay met with young people completing The Prince’s Trust Get into Hospitality programme, which has been delivered in partnership with Dumfries House for the last 18 months.
In-car digital radio reaches new high Digital Radio UK has announced that 35.4% of new cars now come with digital radio fitted as standard, an increase from 22.5% in Q1 2012, according to Q1 2013 CAP/SMMT data. The growth reflects a major shift in the policy of leading vehicle manufacturers. During the quarter, 100% of new BMW registrations had digital radio, 81% of new VW models and 73% of new Ford models. Audi announced that from all of its new cars will have digital radio as standard from April this year.
retra conference an “outstanding success” The radio, electrical and television retailer’s association (retra) has declared its 53rd annual conference, held at London’s Lancaster hotel in April, an “outstanding success”. This year’s theme, ‘The Opportunity Within’, attracted speakers on a variety of topics ranging from custom
installation to developing an internet marketing strategy. retra President Andrew O’Gorman explained that the theme was about “finding that niche or edge that gives members the upper hand, thinking outside the box so you can inspire customers to spend their hard-earned cash with you.”
O’Gorman added: “I am delighted that this year’s conference was such a success and I hope that the 330 delegates found the speakers as informative and interesting as I did.” retra announced that an auction for the President’s nominated charity, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, raised £3,650.
Haier’s new 3D fridge freezer has received the ‘red dot award: product design’, winning over the judging panel with its “minimalist and harmonious” design.
Inspiration Range, Zanussi Quadro® and AEG Neue Kollektion were represented amongst the winning submissions, as was the new Electrolux UltraOne Mini vacuum cleaner.
A new Neff promotion offers consumers the opportunity to purchase a Neff dishwasher at half price when they buy four of the brand’s other appliances from their nearest Neff MasterPartner® or Accredited Appliance Retailer. The offer runs until 30 June 2013.
Electrolux has again been included in the FTSE4Good Index Series, where the company was also ranked among the sector leaders in the rating of its ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) factors.
Electrolux has secured a total of 22 awards for high-quality design for its Electrolux, AEG and Zanussi products in the 2013 red dot awards. New products recently launched under the Electrolux
LG Electronics is to roll out its TV-centric Cloud service in more than 40 countries including those in Europe, Asia, Central Asia and Latin America regions by the end of next month. The service launched in the US, South Korea and Russia last year.
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EE doubles 4G network speeds EE,
the owner of Orange and T-Mobile, is doubling the speed and capacity of its 4G network, which should see average speeds for customers rise to more than 20Mbps. The turbocharged 4G capability will rollout to ten existing 4G cities by summer – Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield – but experts have warned that bills for data could soar with faster browsing, putting off many potential customers. EE launched the UK’s first 4G network in October 2012 and says it will have 80 towns and cities and approximately 55% of the UK population covered by June. It is targeting more than a million 4G users by Christmas.
Belling unveils first designer collaboration British cooking appliance brand Belling has unveiled a new collection of built-in ovens, hobs and hoods designed by Sebastian Conran, in the first designer collaboration for the 100-year old brand. It is branded ‘Belling Design • Sebastian Conran’ and comprises two oven sizes, a choice of induction or gas hobs and cooker hoods, all of which, bar the induction hob, come in five colours: Duck Egg Blue, Pastel Green, Icy Brook White, Anthracite and Aluminum. Design features incorporated in the new collection include built-in utensil rails in the cooker hoods and solid metal knobs inspired by the switches on 1940s fighter planes on the ovens. The ovens also have analogue clocks with fully programmable timers. Denver Hewlett, Chief Executive of Belling, said the company was delighted with the results of the design. “It has been a real honour to work with such an iconic British designer as Sebastian,” he commented. “This is our first designer-led collaboration and we feel we have created a striking and stylish collection for consumers who are looking for the functionality and reliability of a Belling oven with the modern sophistication of a Conran design.”
Supermarkets take bigger share of entertainment market The supermarkets have increased their share of the entertainment market with strong performances in the first quarter of this year, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel. The data shows that Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda all upped their share of the video, music and games sectors and the grocery market accounted for 32.2% of all entertainment sales. Kantar also reported that HMV performed relatively well over the past 12 weeks, which will be good news for its new owners, and now accounts for 17.6% of the market.
Witt UK & Ireland in retailer recruitment drive Witt, a manufacturer of appliances which also distributes a number of brands throughout Europe, has launched a drive to sign up UK independent electrical retailers and kitchen specialists as part of its business growth strategy. The Danish company is best known in the UK for its distribution of the iRobot range of products, but is also entering the MDA market here with a collection of premium appliances. Bo Simonsen, Witt UK & Ireland market manager (pictured), said: “I would encourage independent electrical retailers and kitchen specialists to look at their product mix – the premium major domestic appliance market is a good market to be in. Witt UK & Ireland is looking to grow and we are looking to recruit retailers across the country.”
The EMRA Award-winning AEG Ergorapido 2 in 1 with BRUSHROLLCLEAN technology solves a problem no other vacuum manufacturer has been able to. With a hair and fibre removing function, entwined fibres and hairs are easily removed from the brush by a separation bar and then sucked into the dust cap, preventing clogging. By simply pressing the pedal on the cleaning head, all hairs and fibres are removed instantly. Alongside this, the Ergorapido is cordless, which makes it quick and easy to clean up everyday dirt. Lightweight and slim with designer looks, the AEG Ergorapido features a powerful motor, excellent air flow and a cyclonic system for optimum cleaning performance.
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The Word : Industry News
COMPANY FINANCIALS Indesit Company SpA
successfully launched a ﬁxed rate bond issue with a tenor of 5 years for the total amount of €300 million. The proceeds of the issue will support the ordinary activities of the company as well as reﬁnancing debt which expires in the coming years.
delivered 52-week like-for-like sales growth for the ﬁrst time in ﬁve years as revenues grew 2.1% to £3.93 billion. Multi-channel sales penetration increased to 51% of total sales, with internet sales growing 10% to reach 42% of total sales and mobile shopping now representing 10% of total sales. Website and app visits increased by 24%.
announced that Q1 net income fell to SEK361 million, against SEK499 million in the same quarter last year. Net sales for the period amounted to SEK25,328 million, down slightly from SEK25,875 million last year. Market demand for core appliances in North America increased by 6%, while demand in Western Europe declined by 3%. Eastern Europe rose 2%.
Sony has doubled its earnings forecast for the full
year to March 2013 and now expects to report net income of ¥40 billion (£261m) compared with its previous forecast of ¥20 billion.
Apple posted its ﬁrst fall in proﬁts for a decade, but
saw Q1 net proﬁts fall 91% on the same period last year as lower average selling prices and stiff competition hit its TV business. The company reported net proﬁt of KRW22 billion, down from KRW247.5 billion a year earlier. Operating proﬁt fell 13% to KRW349 billion, while revenue rose 6.8% to KRW14.1 trillion. In the Home Appliance Division, sales increased 11% year-on-year to KRW 2.8 trillion, but proﬁtability declined due to higher marketing expenses and an increased number of R&D employees. Operating proﬁt fell from KRW143 billion to KRW102 billion.
Samsung Electronics reported Q1
announced an increase in annual turnover for 2012, with consolidated net sales of US$25.8 billion, compared to US$23.3 billion in the prior year. Net earnings amounted to US$1.42 billion.
revenues remained strong due to rising sales of iPhones and iPads. The Company recorded quarterly revenues of $43.6 billion and net proﬁt of $9.5 billion for the second quarter ended 30 March, against revenues of $39.2 billion and net proﬁt of $11.6 billion in the same period last year. Gross margin was 37.5% compared to 47.4% in the 2012 quarter. The company also announced that it planned to buy back $60bn in shares and raise its dividend to shareholders by 15%. It later proceeded to raise $17bn (£10.9bn) via a bond sale to help fund its plan for extra payouts to shareholders.
net income up by 42% compared to the same quarter last year and also managed a 2% increase over the ﬁnal quarter of 2012. The record net proﬁt of 7.15 trillion won (£4.2billion) is largely attributed to smartphone sales. Overall sales for the quarter were up 17% to 52.9 trillion won and operating proﬁt rose 54% to 8.8 trillion won. Sales of smartphones contributed to a 56% rise to achieve a quarterly record of 6.51 trillion won. Samsung’s mobile division was responsible for more than 30% of the company’s overall proﬁt.
Online retailer recorded a net income of $82m (£53m) for the quarter ended 31 March, down 37% on last year. Net sales rose 22% to $16.07 billion, compared with $13.18 billion in ﬁrst quarter 2012. Operating income decreased 6% to $181 million, against $192 million a year ago.
Over fifty years heritage and experience
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Personally Speaking: John Reddington
JR on the record John Reddington, an experienced and successful presence in our industry for many years, runs JR Associates, the management and recruitment consultancy he founded in 1993, and is a director of Big Red Sales, set up in 2009 to provide an independent field sales force for key brands in the Consumer Electronics and accessories industries. In this quickfire face-to-face interview he had no prior notice of any of the questions, and was asked to keep his answers short and spontaneous. It was clear, however, that he could easily have done an hour on each one, given the chance!
Is the High Street, as we know it, doomed?
JR: “No. I know there are problems and challenges, but it’s down to certain retailers and certain manufacturers to face the challenges, look at the opportunities and become more niche.”
Should there be legislative intervention, or should “market forces” be allowed to determine the future of retail?
JR: “In my opinion Government is part of the problem, whether it’s retail or manufacturing or distribution, with the amount of red tape we’re already burdened with. I don’t think intervention will work, because I just don’t think Governments understand business at the coal face. It has to be down to market forces.”
Do you favour any kind of tax on Internet trading?
JR: “This links back to the previous question. Would it work? It’s a bit like the current situation on Corporation Tax. No matter what the Government introduces, there are cleverer people out there who can find legal ways of avoiding tax. Google and Amazon are examples. We’ve got to learn to work with the devil. We know what the Internet is. We know what it’s about. The responsibility is more with manufacturers to be less promiscuous.”
Can the Government have any role in helping bricks-and-mortar retailers?
JR: “Of course. They have to manage and control, and they’ve got to be responsible and accountable, but there is a major problem with landlords. Retailers tell me that landlords are greedy and are pricing them out of business.
Who would you like to see as Prime Minister, and why?
JR: “I have two candidates. Jeremy Clarkson, or James Whale from LBC. Outspoken, straight talkers, loads of common sense.”
What’s gone wrong with the Consumer Electronics business?
JR: “I don’t think it’s gone wrong. It’s been very good to me. I’ve had 40 happy years in it. It’s again this question of adapting to change, which some do more easily than others. When I first came into the business it was all vinyl, and now it’s all streaming and downloading. As you get older you don’t adjust to change as well as when you’re younger, but I think those retailers who have adjusted to change will survive. As far as CE manufacturers are concerned, let me give you an example from my own experience. In1979 when I was sales director of Harman I was asked to secure some new brands for
No matter what the Government introduces, there are cleverer people out there who can find legal ways of avoiding tax. Google and Amazon are examples.
distribution because we knew Teac, Kenwood and Autofon were going to split out and do their own thing. Walter Goodman, then VP at Armour, told me he’d found a great company called Lucky…. and Lucky Goldstar became Goldstar…. became LG. These companies became contractor factories and the likes of Sony and Panasonic contracted out certain aspects of their manufacturing. And before you know where you are, the company they’ve contracted out to is as clever as, if not cleverer than, those who gave them the contract. And because they’re in a different country where labour rates are lower they become more powerful and they want their own identity, they want their own brand, and a lot of these companies now in manufacturing, be it mobile phones or CE, are good companies who used to be good sub-contractors. When competition multiplies like this, pricing can become a major issue and lead to a general reduction in profitability that affects the entire sector.”
TO BE CONTINUED Next month, John Reddington tackles the thorny issues of banks, short-termism and the plight of SMES, and tells us what he would do with £20 billion to invest in the UK’s economic recovery. MAY 2013 GET CONNECTED
The Product Gallery
Gallery Monster ® NCredible N-Pulse™ headphones The showpiece of Monster’s new NCredible line of headphones is the new on-ear N-Pulse, which delivers DJ-style sound quality. The entire series is the result of a joint undertaking with NCredible Entertainment, a company owned by US TV star and entrepreneur Nick Cannon. Available in Midnight Black and Frost White – SRP £179.95.
Designed with DJs and semi-professional musicians in mind Full-bodied sound, comfort and on-point design Hinge joints specially developed for use at decks Super-tough brushed metal earcups Detachable Control-Talk™ universal cable
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Smeg FAB10 Homebar refrigerator
Ruark Audio R1 MkII portable radio
Recently launched at this year’s Ideal Home Show, the FAB10 Homebar is equipped with a well thought out interior of bespoke fitments for the safe storage of drinks and snacks. The A+ rated appliance joins Smeg’s 50s style retro range and comes in Black, Red or traditional Cream finishes with left- or right-hand door hinges.
Ruark Audio has unveiled its R1 MkII portable radio in a fresh new limited edition finish for spring and summer 2013, adding Pastel Blue to the original collection finished in Rich Walnut veneer, Dream White and Midnight Black high gloss lacquers. The DAB, DAB+ and FM Tuner with RDS unit has 10 station presets, switchable auxiliary input for MP3 and other audio devices, a high-contrast display that automatically adjusts to suit ambient light levels and large format clock. j j j j j j
9 watts nominal power output 3.5” custom high-fidelity drive unit RotoDial control with soft illumination Adjustable tone settings Stereo headphone output Clock and dual alarm functions with once, weekly, weekday and weekend settings / Adjustable alarm volume
Adjustable thermostat Automatic defrost Net capacity 130 litres 2 x chrome wine racks / 2 x height adjustable glass shelves Bottle and can separators
0844 557 0070 www.smeguk.com
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01702 601410 www.ruarkaudio.com
Hotpoint Active Oxygen fridge freezer Hotpoint is stepping up the war on food wastage with the new freestanding Active Oxygen fridge freezer. The A+ rated combi FFFL1810PO3 features Hotpoint’s Active Oxygen technology, which reduces harmful bacteria and odours and naturally preserves ‘first day’ food freshness for up to 9 days.
Fridge gross capacity 184 litres / Freezer gross capacity 113 litres Antibacterial protection 3 safety glass shelves / Wine rack 4 program LED display Super Cool / Super Freeze / Holiday setting Freezing capacity 6kg/24 hours
08000 921 922 www.hotpoint.co.uk
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GET CONNECTED MAY 2013
The Product Gallery
Rosières Bocuse range cookers Hoover Candy has announced that its Rosières Bocuse range cooker is now available both in traditional and contemporary designs, differing only in their look, as both offer multifunction ovens, a full size rotisserie and five gas burners. The traditional Rosières Bocuse is ideal for farmhouse kitchens or rustic settings, while the contemporary model (pictured) with chunky controls and handles and a new fashionable finish fits with modern-styled homes.
Cast iron pan supports Mijorose simmer-safe burner delivers constant, gentle heat Super gas burner with cast iron pan and wok support Cast iron hotplate with griddle option 2 x storage drawers Pyrolytic and Catalytic cleaning
0151 334 2781
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Parasound Halo Series CD1 Parasound has launched the new Halo Series CD1 – a unique CD player that “raises the bar” for audio performance from a 16 bit CD format. The unit uses high-speed disc reading with bit-matching error elimination, up-samples the signal from 44.1 kHz to 352.8 kHz to smooth the waveform and then plays directly from a buffer memory to nearly eliminate jitter in the audio chain. Key features include :
User choice of an op-amp or discrete analogue output stage Three separate power supplies for analogue and digital circuits Six layer DAC board for lower noise and point-of-use power delivery Proprietary software enables quieter running of the ROM drive Choice of silent or audible fast forward or fast back Full function remote control
0843 289 7195 www.sav-distribution.co.uk
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Whirlpool ADG 8410 FD built-in dishwasher Whirlpool’s A++ rated ADG 8410 FD builtin dishwasher offers 13 place settings, 10 programmes and a water consumption of 10 litres. The appliance incorporates the brand’s intelligent 6th Sense® technology, which senses the amount of soiling in the load before adapting the wash to optimise energy, water and time, with savings of up to 50%.
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0208 649 5000 www.whirlpool.co.uk
Haier Intelius 500 washing machine Haier’s A+++ (-40%) Intelius 500 washing machine has an energy consumption of 118kWH/year and is the brand’s most eco-friendly in terms of water consumption. It uses Haier’s automatic dosage system for detergent and softener and its automatic calculation of water hardness (Smart Detecting®) means the machine will dose according to the weight and type of load. Haier is backing the high spec Intelius 500 with a 10-year parts and labour warranty for the SD Motor® and a 5-year warranty on the machine itself. j j j
1600rpm appliance with 8kg Wave Drum 1.3L detergent capacity / 0.5L softener capacity Smart Drive Motor reduces noise levels (54 dB(A) laundry cycle / 70 dB(A) spin cycle) Smart Antibacterial Treatment (ABT®) eliminates more than 99.8% of bacteria Programmes include Hand Wash, Woolmark®, Baby Care, Express 15, Delicates, Jeans and Hygienic 95°C... Stain removals available for coffee, grass, wine and fruit
0845 025 3025 www.haier.com/uk
Programmes include dual wash, quick wash at 40°C and Overnight PowerClean™ technology eliminates the need for prewashing Dual wash programme combines intensive wash in the lower rack and a gentle wash in the upper rack Anti-bacterial rinse sanitises the load and removes 99.9% of bacteria Noise level 44 dB(A) / Overnight programme 39 dB(A)
AEG UltraMix Pro stick mixer The AEG UltraMix Pro stick mixer comes with three professional velouté blades that produce the right velvety texture in soups, sauces, smoothies and purées by creating a vortex that sucks food into the blades for a smooth result. It also features a 25cm mixing bar and an open bell that prevents food from sticking under the blades. The UltraMix Pro comes in two versions: STM6201-U, finished in Gloss Red and supplied with 1000ml beaker; STM6600-U finished in Gloss Black with chopper, food processor, mixing beaker and whisk attachment. Availability: June 2013.
Stepless speed setting 700W motor LED speed indicator
08445 614614 www.aeg.co.uk
Turbo button Anti-splash design
MAY 2013 GET CONNECTED
The EMRAs 2013
he votes have been cast and counted, and the winners of the inaugural EMRA (Electrical Manufacturing and Retailing Awards) can now be announced. Get Connected Magazine would like to thank those within the industry who were generous with their support and advice during the development of the EMRA concept; those who gave their time and expertise as members of the selection panel with the difficult job of drawing up the short list; and, of course, the Get Connected readers who cast the thousands of votes which decided the ultimate winners.
THE BRITISH EMRA AWARDS 2013 THE EMRA ETHOS
This fresh Awards scheme grew initially out of discussions with supporters within the industry on how the successful and highly respected Get Connected Products of the Year Awards could be developed to reflect the current and future focus and aspiration of this industry. It was decided that a new dimension and fresh perspective should be brought 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 from their peers as leaders in our own industry. But at the same time, it was seen as vitally important to expand the vision beyond the confines of this industry in isolation; to be more outwardlooking, to put the industry in a broader context, and to work with organisations within and outside it. Winning an EMRA not only acknowledges excellence among our peers, but emphasises 18
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that the winners are world class performers alongside other global icons of style, design, engineering, innovation and best practice across all major industries.
The EMRA winners are chosen in a two-stage process. The initial shortlist is selected by a panel drawn from industry experts and commentators. This short list is then presented to the industry – via Get Connected Magazine and the EMRA website – for voting. The panel’s scores and the votes cast are then aggregated. It is important that the EMRAs are not awarded on a first-past-the-post basis, but on the achievement of a standard. This means that there may be more than one winner in each category, or, in the event that none reaches the required standard, no winner at all. This means that no deserving candidate is denied acknowledgement; and equally that all winners are truly deserving.
THE FUTURE OF THE EMRAS
It is clear from the thousands of votes cast that there is a genuine interest in and support for the EMRA concept, and there are now plans to expand the 2014 EMRAs to include more categories, and to invite entries in innovative formats that are in keeping with current social and business networking. It is also planned that, in 2014, there will be a gala event at which the EMRA winners will be announced and presented with their trophies. Do watch for information in Get Connected, and on the website at www.emra-online.co.uk on how and when to put in your entries for the 2014 EMRAs.
In the meantime, thanks once again to Get Connected readers for taking the time to vote. And congratulations to the 2013 EMRA winners listed opposite.
The EMRAs 2013
THE WINNERS OF THE EMRA AWARDS 2013 ARE: FOR LEADING DESIGN IN THE CATEGORY OF LAUNDRY:
FOR LEADING DESIGN IN THE CATEGORY OF SMALL APPLIANCE PRODUCTS/RANGES:
CBeko with the WMB81445L 8kg Freestanding Washing Machine
CDe’Longhi with the ESAM 6700 PrimaDonna Avant Coffee Machine
CHotpoint with the Aqualtis Freestanding Washing Machine Range CLG Electronics with the TrueSteam™ Freestanding Washing Machine Range
FOR LEADING DESIGN IN THE CATEGORY OF COOKING: CDe Dietrich with the DTiM1000C Piano Induction Hob CLeisure with the Colour Range Cooker Collection CNeff with the Slide&Hide® Oven CSmeg with the Victoria Range Cooker
FOR LEADING DESIGN IN THE CATEGORY OF DISHWASHING: CBosch with the Exxcel Aquastar Dishwasher Range CHoover with the 3D Dishwasher CSiemens with the Zeolith® Dishwasher Range
FOR LEADING DESIGN IN THE CATEGORY OF COOLING: CBeko with the 4-door Multi-zone Fridge Freezer CHotpoint with the Quadrio Fridge Freezer CLG Electronics with the Linear Compressor Cooling Range
FOR LEADING DESIGN IN THE CATEGORY OF FLOORCARE: CAEG with the Ergorapido® 2 in 1 with BRUSHROLLCLEAN™ CMiele with the S8 HEPA Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner
FOR LEADING DESIGN IN THE CATEGORY OF MDA COLLECTIONS: CBlomberg with the Built-in Domestic Appliance Range CElectrolux with the Inspiration Range
CKenwood with the Titanium Chef Kitchen Machine CGroupe SEB with the Tefal ActiFry Range
FOR LEADING DESIGN IN THE CATEGORY OF TV/HOME CINEMA/SOUND PROJECTION PRODUCTS/COMBINATIONS: CHumax with the DTR-T1000 YouView PVR CLG Electronics with the LM960V Smart TV CLoewe with the Connect ID 46 TV with DR+ CSamsung with the ES8000 Smart TV
FOR LEADING DESIGN IN THE CATEGORY OF MUSIC & IMAGING PRODUCTS & ACCESSORIES: CKEF with the LS50 Hi-Fi Speakers CPure with the Evoke 1S/2S DAB Radio CRoberts Radio with the Revival RD60 DAB Radio CSony with the a57 Digital SLR Camera
FOR LEADERSHIP IN THE CATEGORY OF RETAIL TRAINING/SUPPORT: CBosch CBBG Distribution CSony
THE SUSTAINABILITY AWARD: CBSH CElectrolux
THE EMRA EXPORT AWARD: CGlen Dimplex Home Appliances
Congratulations to all the great brands and products that were selected for the EMRA 2013 shortlist, and to those who ultimately won the most votes from GC readers to become holders of an EMRA 2013 Award. MAY 2013 GET CONNECTED
More than meets the eye Itâ€™s not the outer skin, but the technology within... Purchasers of refrigeration products may have different needs, different perceptions, different ideas (and ideals) and different budgets, but whether buying at the value end of the market or the premium end, the astute consumer will now have in mind the high price of energy and increasing costs of foodstuffs. And there arenâ€™t many households nowadays that can afford to waste either. LGâ€™s energy efficient Smart Eco Door
here is a strong sales story in this for retailers: while purchasers want products that look good, the benefits that will bring about a calculable difference in energy and food wastage will need to be told to be sold. It is more than likely that the consumer replacing a cooling product after a long period of time will find that their lifestyle has changed, and with that their cooling requirements will be different too. We live in a world where bottles and jars of foodstuffs need to be refrigerated once opened; greater varieties of vacuumpacked and chilled foods exist; the health-conscious, and those who enjoy experimenting with food and foreign dishes, are turning more to fresh meats and vegetables. Yet with the majority of people leading busier lifestyles, the number of shopping trips has declined and more food needs to be stored for longer.
It is perplexing that many consumers still do not appreciate the correlation between good refrigeration appliances and reducing food waste. But understandable that, for some, the concept of placing items such as 20
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fruit in a refrigerator would be an alien one as this is not what the fridge of yesteryear was designed to store. Consumers need to be well informed if they are to make such practical associations, as can be evidenced in a study released in March 2013 by WRAP, which established that people do not realise the important role that packaging plays in helping to reduce food waste. Whilst there is recognition that packaging is important to protect food in transit and when inside the store, only 13% of consumers realised that it can play the same role in the home. Despite continued developments in packaging to extend the in-home life of perishables through the use of special materials, vacuum packing and re-sealable packs, most still believe that keeping food in its packaging means it will spoil more quickly. According to WRAP, approximately 60% of household food waste, with a value of around £6.7 billion, arises from products not used in time. The majority of this is made up of perishable/short shelf-life items and includes 17 billion ‘5-a-day’ portions of fresh produce bought but not eaten each year. Why such wastage? Because food items are left to “deteriorate and rot” in food cupboards and countertop bowls, says Baumatic Marketing Manager Rita Balestrazzi. “Fresh fruit and vegetables have become a staple part of our diets in the UK, but our food shopping habits often make their storage and preservation difficult. Time-deprived UK consumers now bulk buy food items in a weekly or fortnightly grocery shopping spree, a purchasing trend that is leading to enormous food waste. “As well as increasing freezer storage space for their leftover foods, consumers can help to save money by investing in specialist refrigeration for their increasing supply of fresh foods. Most models now offer salad crispers as standard storage compartments, but now a growing number of larger capacity fridge freezers are also coming with humidity-controlled drawers that can set the ideal storage conditions for fresh produce.” In the UK, households throw away enough food to fill Wembley Stadium to the brim nine times over, every year, and
“Miele will be introducing a new generation of built-in refrigerators and freezers, the K30.000 range, which will include A++ energy efficiency ratings across the whole range, with many models offering a ‘PerfectFresh’ system that keeps fruit and vegetables crisp, fresh and vitamin rich for up to four months longer.” Richard Treffler, refrigeration category manager at Miele
wasting food costs the average family £480 per annum, a figure that can rise to £690 for those with more children.
THE TECHNOLOGY WITHIN
Few consumers are aware of the powerful refrigeration technologies incorporated in many of today’s appliances, being faced in-store on occasions with, in the words of Smeg Product Development & Training Manager Joan Fraser, “a wall of white fridges and freezers, and not being aware of the varying degrees of functionality.” James Osborne, White Goods Product Manager for Haier UK & Ireland, adds that customers looking for a new fridge freezer are making a purchasing decision that they haven’t made in perhaps ten years, so education is fundamental. “Retailers must be able to talk with authority on the developing market in terms of design, useable capacity, ergonomics, energy efficiency and features….” It is perfectly reasonable that consumers opening the door of a cooling appliance in-store may think that the drawers inside are simply for storing bulk produce or keeping one type of foodstuff away from another. And it’s true that at the bottom end of the market this may the case. But the majority of mid to higher-end products will have functions such as temperature and humidity controls which many people will never have come across and which create ideal environments for storing fruits and vegetables. And such features will need to be explained by retailers if the purchaser is not to see these special preservation compartments as ‘just another drawer’. LG believes that bringing to life the user benefits of new technologies is central to the successful retail of appliances, as the rapid development of new and innovative
“Highlights of the new Zanussi range include Space+ drawers that can hold a whole week’s fresh fruit and veg shop, and the Super Fresh compartment is perfect for the storage of meat and fish.”
technologies has left many consumers confused or lacking understanding of what’s on offer. “In-store demonstrations are fundamental to this education process and LG encourages retailers to provide the opportunity for consumers to get hands on with products wherever possible,” says Marketing Communications Manager Dawn Stockell. “Refrigeration appliances on the shop-floor are not always powered, so we support retailers with intuitive and often interactive POS to highlight the benefits.
AMICA’S NEW 55CM FREESTANDING COOLING Amica is launching a new collection of 55cm-wide under counter and upright cooling in a range of formats and heights: 143cm, 125cm and 85cm. The collection includes A+ and A++ models, Amica’s antibacterial system, reversible doors, feature handles and fullframe spill-stop safety glass shelves. The Amica FZ2O6.3 (pictured) is an A+ 125cm-high upright freezer with reversible door and removable door gasket. The appliance matches the new FC206.3 upright larder. As with all Amica products, a 2 year parts and labour guarantee is supplied free of charge.
Andrew Wasdell, Product Manager, Food Preservation, Electrolux Major Appliances
MAY 2013 GET CONNECTED
These also act as a ‘silent salesman’ in busy periods when sales people may not be immediately available.” Stockell also comments on the rise of online shopping, stating that a welldeveloped and detailed website can help inform consumers of what they can expect from technologies that they might not have experienced before. “LG’s refrigeration range includes products with leading technologies that prolong food freshness and minimise wastage,” she explains. “Features like the Moist Balance Crisper maintain the water balance in one section of the fridge to ensure that fruit and vegetables don’t go soggy but stay fresh and crisp, and LG refrigerators also have Fresh O Zone areas which maintain an area of the fridge at zero degrees, meaning meat and fish will always be kept at a prime temperature for cooking.” Haier’s Osborne maintains it is important that retailers explain that accuracy and speed equals good cooling. “Accuracy is the ability of the appliance to maintain a set temperature across the fridge and freezer with little variation between top and bottom. However, this needs to be combined with speed of cooling, so after opening and closing the door of the appliance it will quickly return to the set temperature. If a cooling device is both accurate and quick then food will stay fresher for longer. This is especially true of the fridge compartment. Haier cooling products have ‘no frost’ multiair flow technology and are both highly accurate and quick to cool.”
ELECTROLUX INSPIRATION FRIDGE FREEZERS KEEP FRUIT AND VEGETABLES FRESH FOR UP TO A WEEK LONGER Electrolux, which has equipped the kitchens of about half of Europe’s Michelin chefs, has based the Inspiration range’s design on the needs that professional chefs have for the freshest possible ingredients. Inspiration fridge freezers use separate cooling systems to maintain the right humidity to keep foods fresh. These appliances have dual cooling circuits called TwinTech™. With TwinTech™, humidity can be kept at 65-90% compared to 25-40% for single-circuit frost-free fridge freezers. Salad stays fresh for a week with almost no loss of moisture. Vitamin levels in fresh fruits and vegetables show no drop after 10 days. Available in a range of colours including glossy red, chocolate brown, lime green and ebony black stainless steel.
The Electrolux Trade Desk number is 08445 610610 www.electrolux.co.uk
Osborne also touches on consumers’ need for flexibility in food storage and highlights Haier’s MyZone fridge freezer which has a middle compartment that can be used either as a fridge or freezer, taking just 42 minutes to convert from one mode to the other. Beko’s GNE114610 fridge freezer also has a Multi Zone compartment that can be used either as a fridge, chiller, wine cooler or freezer, and the appliance incorporates Beko’s Blue Light technology, too. This functions in the salad crisper drawers to keep items fresher for longer by continuing
photosynthesis in fruit and vegetables, even when stored in the main area of the fridge compartment.
Les Wicks, Product Manager for Cooling at Beko, highlights recent consumer insight that suggests today’s households want as much cooling and freezing space as possible, which in turn is driving an increase in the popularity of Americanstyle models. He comments: “In February last year, cooling bounced back with sideby-side models up 14.2% against the same period the previous year. This performance is in line with the Beko Consumer Insight Programme, which suggests this was due to an increase in people cooking ahead and storing meals or taking advantage of multi-buy offers at supermarkets to keep food shopping costs down.” American side-by-side cooling has historically been viewed as underperforming somewhat on the energy efficiency front, but Baumatic’s
“There has been a growing interest in coloured models, as evidenced by the huge success of our Retro refrigeration range – sales grew by over a quarter last year and the collection looks set to continue its success during 2013.” Lauren Abbott, Marketing Manager, Gorenje Baumatic’s TRIO.BL fridge freezer incorporates Baumi-Regener-Lite photosynthesis technology which preserves fresh fruits and vegetables 22
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energy products keep the lettuce chilled, cheese cold and bills frozen.
CF100LW 100 Litre Chest Freezer
When it comes to our appliances, we concentrate on the things that really matter. Like developing A+ energy rated products so, whether youâ€™re chilling butter or joints of beef, you can be sure that your Lec is doing its job in the most efficient way possible. It might not mean a lot to some but, to us, keeping your costs down is huge. And now, our entire range is A+ energy rated, a feat so impressive that the Energy Saving Trust is actively recommending all of our products. Itâ€™s something weâ€™re incredibly proud of.
“The Air Tech Evolution frost free system in Hotpoint’s Ultima and Experience fridge freezers offers High Definition cooling by circulating air consistently to produce a dry and cold environment which, when combined with the Hygiene+ anti-bacterial protection built into the fridge liners, keeps food fresher for longer while saving on energy.” Giovanni Demuru, Category Manager, Hotpoint freestanding cooling and cooking
The Electrolux built-in food centre combined with the brand’s full height built-in wine cooler creates a ‘food and wine preservation wall’
Balestrazzi is keen to point out that such products have become much more affordable to run, with super-size 550-litre models at the premium end of the market offering customisable user options to help reduce any unnecessary energy consumption. “As well as adjustable thermostats, such models can come with Holiday and Energy-saving buttons, functions that can help to reduce electricity bills without restricting fridge/ freezer usage. Such features are designed to limit fridge/freezer operation, but only in the absence of the user or when there are fewer delicate food items to be refrigerated and frozen. And whilst Holiday functions automatically switch off the fridge and increase the freezer temperature, Energy-saving modes automatically ensure a controlled fridge and freezer temperature rise.”
While every consumer will have different requirements in cooling products, large capacity has become a common trend due
“Iconic products have broad public appeal and consumers are willing to spend money on products that make them smile. There are strong, emotive reasons to buy bold, stylish appliances and any anxiety in making a large purchase is offset when style is balanced perfectly with functionality.” Joan Fraser, Product Development & Training Manager, Smeg 24
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to changes in shopping habits and lifestyle routines. And, as Gorenje Marketing Manager Lauren Abbott points out, the flexibility to customise that capacity has also become essential. “The consumer wants to be able to fit as much as possible into the fridge in order to cut down on the number of shopping trips they have to do. Why not fill up a few models with food and bottles to give some idea of how much they can hold,” are her words for retailers. Dalia Haddad, Product Marketing Manager for Maytag, also notes the shift towards larger capacity and its tailoring to household needs, but she asserts that extra interior space must not be to the detriment of kitchen space: “Whether a consumer wants to store fresh fruit, pre-packed chilled meals or even beers or wines, being able to customise the internal layout is essential. The important aspect to remember about Maytag’s range is the width – less than 1000mm. These appliances boast the huge additional benefits of customisable interiors with the cutting-edge functionality that is highly prized by the modern family.” Steve Macdonald, Trade Marketing Director of Hoover Candy UK Freestanding Division, remarks that the layout of fridges is constantly changing to accommodate the needs of the modern consumer and to maximise interior space, particularly in-door storage, which he says is at a premium. The way in which compartments are broken down is also changing, he adds. “Our Dynamic 2.0 fridge freezer is available in either a 50/50 split or a 70/30 split. The 50/50 is ideal for those who store plenty of fresh food and also do a full weekly shop, therefore requiring a large freezer capacity, while for those who shop more frequently or perhaps purchase more fresh food, the 70/30 split may be preferable.” “Ideally, what people need is a refrigerator that can store more food without taking up any more space in the kitchen,” comments Lana Sanleandro, Head of Marketing, Digital Appliances, Samsung, who notes a “huge focus” by manufacturers on altering the design of appliances to make storage compartments larger without increasing
external dimensions. She points out that Samsung’s new 4-door addition to its G-Series range features a newly designed ice maker with slim profile, which creates more interior space yet increases ice production, and a 2-step foldable shelf that creates extra space for taller items such as drinks’ bottles. Indesit’s Total No Frost BIAA13FWD water dispenser fridge freezer with Dynamic Air Control technology, which improves airflow around the cavity for consistent temperatures on all shelf levels, has a thinner back liner that boosts storage space by 20 litres to give a 212-litre fridge combined with an 88-litre freezer. Thin wall technology enhances interior space considerably and can now be seen throughout a number of brands’ ranges: LG and Hotpoint, to name just two, but a development that also increases space, while keeping noise levels to a minimum
“When the door of a refrigerator is opened, the compressor has to fight hard to get the cavity back to its cool temperature. Introducing compartments into refrigerators has helped, as less of the cooler air escapes when the main door is open, therefore reducing wasted energy and making these models [Falcon SxS fridge freezers] more cost effective.” Rebecca Lewis, Product Manager for Rangemaster, Falcon and Mercury
THE NEW ZANUSSI COOLING RANGE Great cooking starts with great cooling! And that’s what our new generation of Zanussi cooling appliances is all about.
“Whirlpool’s Absolute WBA 33992 NFC IX combi fridge freezer boasts the company’s renowned 6th Sense® technology and 6th Sense® Fresh Control with Active0° to keep food fresh for longer, while 6th Sense® Fresh Control constantly monitors and adapts the temperature and humidity levels to around 85% throughout the entire refrigerated cabinet.”
The new range of fridges, freezers and fridge freezers look cool, work smarter and offer quick and easy ways to lock food’s natural freshness in for longer. Highlights of the range include a bigger storage capacity, innovative TwinTech™ cooling technology that maintains separate humidity levels in combi bottom fridge freezers, stainless steel finishes, electronic controls, neat and handy Easy Store boxes and wine racks for better and more convenient storage. The range also includes Frost Free and Low Frost models to remove or lessen the hassle of defrosting.
Juliana Sado, Brand Marketing Manager, Whirlpool
and boosting energy efficiency and durability at the same time, is the digital compressor, as can be seen on the full LG side-by-side and multi-door line up.
The rising trend for open-plan living, with kitchens and living areas merging into one, prompts Mark Bristow, MD at refrigeration specialist Liebherr, to comment on the importance of noise levels in appliances. He advises that Liebherr’s CBPesf 4043as model operates at just 37dB(A), compared to the average fridge freezer output of 45dB(A). “To put this in perspective, 2-3dB(A) will double the noise level,” he explains. This particular model also has the added benefit of being A+++ -20% rated for energy and is 60% cheaper to run than an A+ model. According to Bristow, energy saving is something we will all eventually move towards, and in achieving this rating the CBPesf 4043as doesn’t sacrifice space or innovative technology. It incorporates BioFresh zero-degree cooling which, he asserts, saves between £400 and £600 in annual food costs. It also features three different temperature zones which he states is “a huge engineering feat”, and the use of SmartFrost means the
appliance is able to retain a reasonable capacity. Bristow adds that it will be some time before A+++ - 20% rated models are the norm anywhere, especially in the UK, and this puts Liebherr 18 to 24 months ahead of the market requirements. Beko’s Les Wicks believes it is likely that the A++ classification may soon become mandatory in the cooling category and his advice for retailers is to bring energy ratings to life at the point of sale, depicting them in real terms that people can understand such as the amount of money they will save on energy bills each year. Customers also need to be made aware that keeping the refrigerator and freezer well stocked saves energy. And this is where the size of the appliance purchased really matters, as a large capacity model may not be cost effective if it is to be run half filled 365 days a year. Retailers should also advise at the point of sale that the energy rating is based upon classification by size, so a smaller A+ rated fridge could use less energy than a larger A++ model. Customers need to be guided towards the total energy consumption in kWh/ annum displayed on the energy label if an informed decision is to be made.
“Selling a product on its efficiencies has never been easier. With the price of fuel and drop in household income, a tangible saving over a period of just a year is compelling.” Simon Freear, Country Manager, Amica UK
LIEHERR: COOLING APPLIANCES THAT ARE AHEAD OF THE MARKET With the current static market, Liebherr’s new A+++ cutting edge models are meeting consumer demands for desirable features such as zero degree cooling – BioFresh, SmartFrost freezing and a large capacity. Liebherr is benchmarking the latest design thinking with regards to what’s important to the consumer, whilst supporting the retailer with the ability to drive up cash margins with genuine benefits influencing the purchasing decision.
Liebherr has sourced appropriate materials and the latest manufacturing techniques in order to optimise energy consumption, capacity and low decibel ratings, which puts Liebherr’s premium appliances, such as the CBPesf 4043 Comfort, 18 – 24 months ahead of the market. www.myliebherr.co.uk Tel: 0844 122 655
MAY 2013 GET CONNECTED
Growth from Knowledge
Refrigeration given a boost by big capacity sales GfK’s Richard Allen reports on the factors that have put cooling at the top of the home appliances growth charts over the past twelve months
he cooling sector has proved itself as the leading home appliance category over the past twelve months with value growth of 5% on last year (March 2012 – February 2013). Sales have increased by almost £40 million to around £736 million as a rise in average prices has helped contribute to the strong value performance. The bulk of overall sales continue to come from the freestanding sector, which accounts for nearly 88% of the market value, although it was built-in appliances that recorded the greater percentage uplift. Sales for integrated products rose 6% on the year and are now worth £90million. That said, the most significant story in the cooling market this year, as has been the case for all domestic appliances, has been the rise of the big capacity segment.
US-STYLE APPLIANCES BOUNCE BACK
Playing a leading role in this movement has been the large American style fridge freezer. These appliances suffered in the early stages of the recession with consecutive years in decline as consumers were forced to reduce their spending and brace themselves for the tough times ahead. However, these appliances have enjoyed a comeback over the past two years and have seen sales increase 12% over the past twelve months. The category is now worth almost £110 million and accounts for 15% of total value sales. This comeback has been supported by the current state of the housing market, which has encouraged the public to renovate their current properties rather than relocate to another.
Cooling remains the stand out category within white goods sector MDA Total 8
Great Britain Panelmarket
Mar 12 - Feb 13 Sales Value £m
Mar 11 - Feb 12
Mar 12 - Feb 13
Mar 11 - Feb 12 : Mar 12 - Feb 13
WASHING MASHINES TUMBLEDRYERS DISHWASHERS COOLING FREEZERS COOKING BUILT-IN HOBS HOODS
Total Price GBP
For further information, contact Richard Allen, Account Executive, Consumer Electronics Richardp.firstname.lastname@example.org +44 870 603 8124 www.gfk.com/uk www.twitter.com/gfk_en 26
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These large aspirational products have become a consumer favourite, seen by many as a centrepiece feature for the kitchen. As a result, consumers are willing to spend an average of £841 to achieve the desired look, despite having to pay over two and a half times the price of a regular refrigerator. The success of these imposing products has led to the rise of the even larger fridge freezers (3 door+). This segment is beginning to gain momentum with value sales up 32% on the year to around £30 million. This strong performance has seen them establish a 4% share of the cooling market value. Whilst big capacity fridge freezers have been the key initiator of growth, the traditional fridge freezer continues to account for over 60% of the cooling category. These popular products have also increased sales over the year (+4%) with the sector now worth £445 million.
INTERNET SALES UP
As we have seen across all home appliances, the internet is becoming an increasingly important route to market. Internet sales increased 25% over the year to almost £230 million. Without this considerable growth seen online, the overall cooling category would in fact be in decline as traditional sales fell back £6 million over the period. The physical size of refrigerators lends itself well to this type of purchase, as the removal of old and installation of new products can often be troublesome and time consuming. This type of service is easily available to internet buyers, making it a simpler process, especially when making a distress replacement purchase. Online sales will undoubtedly play an instrumental role in the development of the cooling market over the forthcoming years. The remainder of 2013 will certainly pose a number of challenges for the cooling category. With no major sporting or public events to boost consumer spirits and confidence, and the economic climate remaining uncertain, the white goods sector will unquestionably come under pressure at some stage this year. However, the refrigeration market has proved itself as the standout performer in home appliances over the past two years, ensuring the segment is well placed to battle through 2013 on the front foot.
Making the connection Many products are now designed for the networked home, connecting a variety of devices such a TV, tablet, PC and smartphone and enabling consumers to carry out a myriad of activities such as editing and sharing photos, streaming video and music for multi-room entertainment, chatting online to family and friends and watching catch-up TV. But does the networked home have wide appeal, and how can retailers capitalise on the trend for interactive, connected lifestyles? George Cole reports
mit Rullay, marketing manager for TP Vision UK, maintains that, as with most technologies, the initial appeal for home networking tended to be with early adopters, but with Smart TV there has been very rapid takeoff within the mass audience, particularly for streaming movies and catch-up TV. As a result, consumers are now accustomed to connected living, using multiple devices simultaneously, and expect to be able to access content wherever they are, whenever they want to, according to Craig West, head of consumer marketing at LG.
So what are the most popular home networking features? LG’s West says consumers like moving content between devices, which is why LG has enhanced its SmartShare feature that enables users to transfer content from smartenabled devices to LG Smart TVs. LG’s 2013 line-up is designed to enhance content-sharing between devices with Tag On, a feature which instantly connects two devices for fast media sharing. To use Tag On, the user simply holds a smartphone or a device equipped with NFC (Near-Field Communication) short-range wireless technology close to an NFC sticker on an LG Smart TV. LG
Family viewing controlled by tablet
Cloud allows users to remotely stream content from almost any location. Although connected TV technology has come a long way, a TV’s primary function is still as a more passive entertainment device – viewers still want to sit back and enjoy a TV show, DVD or film in their living room, maintains Glenn Zanoni, senior product manager for TV & Blu-ray at Toshiba UK: “With that in mind, accessing on-demand content is key – use of BBC iPlayer or services like Netflix and Acetrax are still on the rise and aside from watching traditional broadcast content, they’re the most used connected feature on our TVs.” TP Vision’s Rullay says the most popular Smart TV services are movie streaming and catch-up TV using apps such as BBC iPlayer. Skype is also gaining in popularity as more sets are launched with integrated cameras. The new generation of Smart TVs offer a wide range of networking features and services. Panasonic’s ‘My Home Screen’ allows users to customise their own home screen by selecting up to eleven favourite apps, widgets, and services from one place. Every family member can set up their own customised Home Screen, and some top-end sets use a built-in camera and face recognition software to
bring up a viewer’s personalised Home Screen automatically as soon as they sit in front of the TV. Panasonic’s new Viera Remote App 2.0 is designed both for Apple and Android smartphones and links the devices to a Panasonic Smart TV. Swiping a device with a finger enables users to share content between it and a Viera TV, while using two fingers lets users save content such as videos and photos. The new app also turns a tablet or smartphone into
Probably the biggest challenge is getting customers to connect their Smart TV to the internet in the first place” a second display, so users can search for content online, for example, without any menus appearing over the main TV picture. The Viera Remote 2.0 app also enables a tablet or smartphone to act as a controller for the TV.
CONNECTIVITY & CONTROL
LG has recently strengthened its Smart TV music portfolio with the addition of the music service Napster across the 2013 Smart TV range and Spotify on selected media devices. The brand’s updated Magic Remote includes a universal control MAY 2013 GET CONNECTED
Panasonic Viera ‘Dads’ home screen
feature that allows users to control other home entertainment devices. Toshiba’s latest television range includes the new Cloud TV connected platform, which allows users to send messages or share photos with friends, access Facebook and follow Twitter feeds that are discussing the on-screen content. There is also Skype connectivity, making it possible to hold video chats over the internet. All of Toshiba’s new sets from 4 Series and upwards are compatible with the MediaGuide app which enables viewers to interact with a web-based EPG from their tablet or smartphone. Toshiba has also included Intel WiDi wireless connectivity on many of its TVs and Miracast on its new Blu-ray player range, which allows viewers to stream or display content from the TV on compatible networked devices. The 2013 range of Smart TVs from TP Vision includes the Philips MyRemote App, which allows content to be transferred from a tablet or smartphone to the TV screen with the swipe of a finger. The app also allows users to transfer content from the TV to the tablet or smartphone for multi-platform and multi-room viewing. The entire 2013 range of Philips Smart TVs from TP Vision are Skype ready and highend sets also offer a built-in Skype camera.
There are plenty of products with home networking features, but the challenge remains in how to encourage consumers to use them. Steve Simper, MD of distributor Alltrade, says: “Probably the biggest challenge is getting customers to connect their Smart TV to the internet in the first place. A YouGov survey last year found that less than 75% of Smart TVs were connected to the internet and only 50% of the Smart TV buyers surveyed actually understood what ‘Smart’ features were. Even for those customers keen to leverage the abilities of their new TV, a lack of hardwired network connection in the lounge or unstable Wi-Fi due to distance from the router are common issues.” 28
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Simper says this scenario presents retailers with an additional sales opportunity because running Ethernet cable around the house is often impractical, but there are various devices available that can extend the home network to the TV simply and cost effectively. “Powerline networking devices have really come of age with the advent of 500Mbps kits,” Simper advises. “Zyxel’s PLA4201 is our bestselling 500Mbps kit, offering high-speed connectivity and robust connection using the home’s mains wiring network. It is completely plug-and-play so customers can take it away with the TV. It offers encryption for network security and has been designed to prioritise HD video streaming. The Zyxel kit is perfect for customers wishing to use services like catch-up TV or online movie services, which can be easily demonstrated in-store.” Toshiba’s Zanoni says that making any technology easy to use is always a hurdle before it can really take off with mass consumers. “With that in mind, we’ve looked at the home networking features in our new range and tried to make everything as simple as possible. For example, our new TVs have built-in Wi-Fi, which makes connecting to the internet easy. We’ve also made it possible to control the TV or access EPG information by using a tablet or smartphone as well as the remote control. Cloud TV also integrates traditional broadcast channels with on-demand content. We expect all these things will encourage users to get the most out of their connected features.”
Amit Rullay believes there is still a need to communicate the functionality of Smart TV to some consumers and to make some owners aware that they can extend their Smart TV by connecting it to other products in their home. “It is important that the industry takes a common approach to both providing and communicating Smart TV functionality, which is why TP Vision is a founder member of the Smart TV Alliance,” he
adds. “The key is to make the experience as simple as possible from the initial installation to the familiarity of the home screen and the ease of navigating around the system.” He says that by grouping several functions in one Philips MyRemote App, TP Vision has streamlined home networking and made life easier for the consumer. Retailers can play a key role in getting the home networking message across to consumers and enabling them to make full use of the new features and services it offers. “Demonstrating the features in-store is always a useful tactic,” says Toshiba’s Zanoni. “Consumers always appreciate knowledgeable advice from staff, and actually showing how easy it is to connect their smartphones, tablets or even laptops to the TVs is worth highlighting. It demonstrates to consumers how all the features may benefit them.” Amit Rullay agrees: “As ever, seeing is believing. Retailers need to be able to demonstrate Smart TV functionality in a typical home-style environment.”
Steve Simper says that, given some of the public’s reluctance to connect Smart TVs to the internet, retailers really need to demonstrate the benefits in-store. “Showing iPlayer catch-up TV, photo-sharing or any of the ondemand media services available live is a compelling demonstration to up-sell on TV specification. Ask if the customer has broadband and the location of their router relative to the TV. Plug-and-play Wi-Fi extenders or Homeplug adapter kits are the perfect solution to getting a network connection into the lounge.” LG’s West has no doubt about the importance of retailers in selling the concept of home networking to consumers: “It is essential that retailers have the information and knowhow to display products correctly and demonstrate the benefits. It is also vital that retailers can explain to consumers the improved user-experience that these new technologies can offer.” West adds that LG aims to expand its consumer electronics training initiatives this year.
Philips 7008 series Smart TV
Humax DTR-T1000 YouView HD TV RecoRDeR – PRoDucT HigHligHT awaRD 2013
Free TV has never been so easy So incredibly advanced, so clever… yet so beautifully simple. That’s what puts Humax so way ahead of all STBs on the market. Through its choice of products, Humax offers the best possible ways to make the most of all the free non-subscription TV options. And that includes all the online services – but with no need to connect to a laptop or other digital device. Best of all, through their Electronic Programme Guides, these set-top boxes make it easy to enjoy great features. Like ‘Catch up’ TV, plus recording, pausing and rewinding of live TV. Humax. A whole new dimension in TV, with absolute quality that comes from the most advanced technology.
Euronics Showcase 2013 More than 60 suppliers exhibited at this year’s Euronics Showcase held at Birmingham’s NEC 14th & 15th April and 95% of members attended, according to CI(H) Chief Executive Stuart Cook who, delighted with the turnout, announced “we have raised the bar again…”
his was the second annual spring Showcase for the buying group, traditionally having had an autumn show and two separate events prior. And in this important year – CI(H) celebrates its 50th anniversary in July 2013 – the event was moved from Hall 11 to the larger Hall 12, making it the biggest since Euronics launched its very first ‘under-one-roof’ concept. While electrical retailing is still labouring under relentless price pressure, fast-moving changes in the way consumers prefer to shop and the wider economic downturn, the general mood amongst show-goers was buoyant, with some optimistic enough to comment “I think we’ve turned a corner.”
GET CONNECTED MAY 2013
Stuart Cook, although stating that margins are under pressure, said: “Our members are getting down and doing the business.” Cook was also able to report that around 30 prospective Euronics members attended this year’s show and some “really positive” meetings had been held. “I’d be very surprised if we didn’t sign up the majority of them,” he remarked. Some prospective suppliers to the group also attended. This year again, exhibitors were challenged with “creating theatre” on their stands and many rose to the occasion, including Beko, which as an Official Supporter of The FA Cup presented retailers with the opportunity to meet FA Cup legend Martin Keown on the first day of the show and to have their picture taken with the FA Cup on the second day. The brand showcased its new premium ‘Beko Champions’ range, which incorporates a new 3-door fridge freezer that extends Beko’s Multizone technology into the 60cm category. A new 6-litre dishwasher was also on display along with the company’s first freestanding washer dryer, which features drying technology that uses air instead of water to cool the condenser, providing a reduction in household water bills. Beko also ran two competitions giving Euronics members the chance to win branded vans – one Beko, one Blomberg. Range cooker brand Leisure unveiled its new UK-designed 110cm models, which form part of the new ‘Family Look’ upgrade across the collection. The appliances deliver all the features of the current models but with a more robust design build, improved handles and knobs and top cooking performance. Blomberg revealed its first high-gloss white product range comprising a high specification double oven, single oven and 60cm ceramic hob. Product offers such as the 5-year warranty on the built-in range and Cash Back on selected freestanding cooling models featured as another key benefit for retailers who join the Euronics exclusive Blomberg network. Polish MDA brand Amica, hosted by Portway Domestic Appliances at this year’s show, reported a “huge” level of interest from visitors. UK country manager Simon Freear said: “Awareness with the
consumer is growing and this works for us at an intimate show like CI(H). When you have an environment where you can outline the philosophy of a brand and build confidence with retailers in order to generate demand it’s a unique and valuable opportunity.” Highlights on the Amica stand included the new 9kg laundry range, redesigned freestanding cookers and built-in ovens with A-20% energy efficiency and a new range of built-in extractors alongside @micasmart ovens. New to the white goods sector, TV brand Linsar debuted a range of appliances that it plans to launch this summer. It comprises two washing machines, a fridge freezer and a dishwasher, aimed specifically at independents and backed by a 3-year guarantee. In TV, Linsar excelled itself, with featurerich products including Smart TV and Freeview HD, and the multiplatform Antix game player and plug–play–record in all new 2013 models. Star products this year come in the form of a new step-up range entitled VIBE – Visual Inspiration, British Excellence – a collection of ultra-slim units boasting “build quality to rival that of the top brands in the UK” in 32” to 50” screen sizes. “Their performance is exemplary,” according to Linsar director Barry Kick. Linsar also promoted a deal with Virgin Media, which offers retailers an additional revenue stream by signing-up customers to margin-boosting packages from Virgin Media’s service. These include TV with Tivo, Fibre Optic Broadband and Phone. The brand also displayed a range of Bluetooth speakers and home audio products from Nyne, a leading audio company based in Los Angeles – perhaps an interesting one to watch. GDHA brought its Stoves, Belling, New World and Lec brands to this year’s show in a ‘Made in Britain’ themed exhibition space where visitors were able to relax at a traditional British tea shop while receiving a demonstration of the company’s newly upgraded Tradeplace ordering facility and Go Deliver home delivery service. Amongst the products on display were Belling’s new built-in range, designed in collaboration with Sebastian Conran, the new Stoves double oven with fanned gas technology and the newly launched Stoves Professional 90cm multifunction gas oven,
which has an electric element that enables the production of both top and base heat – an unusual feature in a gas oven. On the Haier stand, the Intelius 500 direct drive A+++ (-40%) energy rated washing machine with auto-dosing, antibacterial features and smart detection took centre stage. The premium-end machine, which Haier is pitting against well-known German brands, is just one of the products to benefit from the Haier Expectations Guarantee: a promise to provide a full refund to any customer unsatisfied with a Haier product in the first 90 days after purchase. Spearheading Haier’s 2013 cooling range, the HB22FWRSSAA, a striking new top-of-the-range 4-door fridgefreezer with in-door water dispenser and automatic ice machine, is ergonomically designed to maximise its 387L capacity. The appliance is particularly suited to families in need of space for extra foodstuffs and capable of storing items such as large platters. Haier’s 3-door stainless steel fridgefreezer A2FE735CXJ with 347L capacity and chiller compartment offering three settings (quick cool, defrost and chiller) was also on display, alongside the HRF628IF6 classical American-style fridge freezer with humidity-controlled crisper, available with or without inbuilt water and ice dispenser. Hoover Candy offered retailers the opportunity to win the “trip of a lifetime” at this year’s show in celebration of its Aristocrat brand’s 40th birthday. Trade marketing director Steve Macdonald said: “Hoover Aristrocrat has been extremely successful for us and we are pleased to be able to offer a free 3-year warranty, exclusive models and protected margins on all of our products.” Refrigeration specialist Liebherr reported receiving “extremely positive” feedback from retailers, with the launch of its new integrated appliances in particular and a new ‘shop in shop’ branded concept that will now be installed in selected retail showrooms.
The implementation will create an interactive and dedicated space for consumers to experience Liebherr’s premium models in a move that enables retailers to sell up to products with aspirational features. The concept is designed to add value and boost retail margins. Aves Digital, a new brand offering a range of DAB+ radios, Bluetooth speakers and iPhone/iPod docking stations, looked to the Euronics show to help it build strong foundations in the independent retail channel. General Manager John Cohring said: “We exhibited at the Euronics Showcase for the first time and the stand, which was located prominently in the specially created audio area of the show, was consistently busy with members of the buying group keen to find out more about our product range.” EPE Group, a distributor of premium SDA goods which this year is celebrating its 10th anniversary, significantly increased its investment at the event as part of a drive to recruit independent electrical retailers and had demonstrators on hand. EPE distributes brands including Bosch, Cuisinart, De’Longhi, Kenwood, Panasonic, and Tefal along with a number of managed brands. Harry Singh, Investment, Sales and Marketing director, said: “I would encourage independent electrical retailers and cookshops to look at their product mix – the SDA market is a good market to be in, as every main SDA category is growing.” German floorcare appliance company Thomas used the show to introduce two flagship products with Aqua+ water filtration. Charles Gordon, the brand’s UK representative, said: “With leadership in many international markets, its [Thomas’] floorcare appliances meet the demand from a large target group with high purchasing power. “Both appliances are the only ones featuring Aqua+ in the UK and offering its intrinsic benefits. So, the CI(H) Show is an ideal platform to introduce these Thomas floorcare appliances to independent retailers as the company
focuses on the UK domestic market with an innovative, positive approach.” DAB radio brand Roberts had much to focus on, particularly its BlueTune range of Bluetooth wireless products. The company has also teamed up with British designer Clarke and Clarke to create two new additions, launching in the second half of 2013, to its iconic Revival range and has included the Revival in its Bluetooth plans for the year, too. Samsung demonstrated its new S Recommendation with Voice Activation technology and showcased its 2013 range, complete with the standout F8000, available this year in screen sizes from 40” to 75”. In white goods the manufacturer highlighted new additions to its laundry, cooling, cooking and floorcare ranges. Loewe, which joined CI(H) in November last year with a selected range of Agency products, used its first show to introduce a wide collection of TV and audio and the very first showing of the brand new, wireless operated 3D Orchestra Home Cinema system. Retailers were also able to see a selection of in-store POS available to those who invest space in the brand. With 66 exhibitors attending this year’s Euronics Showcase, it is not possible for GC to cover all within the constraints of this feature, suffice it to say that each and every one of the suppliers put on a good show. So much so that CI(H)’s Stuart Cook said a consumer day may well become a reality, although how such a day would work had yet to be decided. “A consumer day would require the support of both suppliers and members,” he commented, “but I am certain that consumers would welcome the opportunity to see the latest technologies as well as find out about Euronics, which has more stores on UK high streets than any other electrical retailer.” MAY 2013 GET CONNECTED
George Cole Gets Connected George Cole pinpoints hotspots in the world of consumer electronics
– not dead yet W
online ith all the noise being made about on Amaz s, iTune as such ces music servi the CD is about and Spotify, it’s easy to think that the case. to take its last gasp, but that isn’t ed Now, it’s true that CD sales have declin d and that music stores have disappeare a from the high street at a speed that keep up Stealth Bomber would struggle to ing in with, but the tiny, silver disc is hang try indus c musi UK the from there. Figures ed by body the BPI show that CD sales declin as the BPI 20% in 2012, to 69.9 million units, but g album sellin best the ins rema CD also notes, the of album sales. format, accounting for two thirds can only CD sales have suffered from what are sales many – circle s viciou a ed be term c impulse purchases, but as online musi t stores and services grow, high stree r fewe nting prese pear, disap s store opportunities for consumers to pick up a CD or two on a whim. Now that HMV has been rescued by the
£50 million restructuring specialist Hilco in a high street the that ce chan good a ’s deal, there ler scale. smal a on t albei ve, music store will survi Some companies are targeting CD enthusiasts, hence the plethora of and boxed sets and deluxe CD editions, h late developments such as Sony’s launc at. last year of the Blu-spec CD2 form Blu-spec was launched in 2008, and -red uses a blue laser in place of the infra a CD onto pits the ing burn for used laser more accurate master. Sony says this results in Blu-spec pit formation and less distortion. ordinary on play d, price iumdiscs are prem up by CD players and have been snapped pec Blu-s of l arriva the e Henc fans. c musi sed CD2, which also uses a Blu-ray-ba like mastering system. Developments the in CD the keep help will these game, although there’s no doubt that digital download and streaming will continue to eat into this market.
Digital heritage The news that the British Library is leading a project to archive one billion web pages from nearly five million UK websites each year got me thinking about how future generations will access the variety of digital formats and files around today. Think about how much of our 32
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lives and home entertainment is now wrapped up in digital – videos, sound recordings, photographs, music, emails and blogs, to name but a few. The problem facing future generations is twofold: whether the material will still be around, and whether they will be able to access it.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time I put a photograph in a photo album, because I store all my digital photographs on my smart phone or PC. I always try to make backups of my digital photos, but I don’t always remember, with the result that if my PC hard drive gets trashed or I lose my phone, I could well lose some important images. But even if you do back up your digital files, there’s no guarantee
The other month, I talked about the demise of the MiniDisc. Well, the format has been in the news again, although not for the right reasons. A survey of the ten worst technologies put the Sinclair C5 electric car at the top, but also included Betamax (3), MiniDisc (4), LaserDisc (5), the BSB Squarial satellite dish (7) and DAT tape (10). There’s a good case for including the Squarial, but I would argue that it’s wrong to include the rest. Betamax was a superb video format; MiniDisc offered editing and recording on a tiny optical disc; LaserDisc had better sound and video quality than any VCR at the time, and DAT’s audio quality is better than CD-quality sound. There’s a big difference between being the worst technology and losing out in a format war. And as we all know, the cream doesn’t always rise to the top.
that you will be able to access them in the future. Floppy disks and Zip disks were once the way most people stored data, but how many of us have PCs or drives that can read them? Many PCs no longer even have optical disc drives. Some people have opted for storing things like digital images and videos in the cloud, but can you guarantee that the company looking after all your digital data online today will be still around in twenty year’s time?
From The Bench
Video upscaling Image upscaling has come into the spotlight with the advent of 4K Ultra HD screens. Alan Bennett explains the principle
verybody in the TV business is aware of video image upscaling. But how does it work? How well does it work? And how does it help to sell TV and video equipment?
RESTRUCTURING THE IMAGE
Video scaling is used to match a picture structure to its intended use, generally straight onto a display screen. The screen might provide four times as many pixels as the stored or transmitted image can afford, so new pixels must be generated to fill the gaps, as it were. The simplest way of doing this is to simply ‘clone’ or repeat the existing ones and print them alongside. While this fulfils the need, the resulting picture looks coarse and offers no improvement on the original, merely a magnified version of it, discernible at a greater distance. High-speed digital memory chips and real-time processors provide the means to do much more than simply blow up the picture. The use of field-store memories presents two or three complete sets of picture data simultaneously. From these we get spatial (position on screen) and temporal (of time) information on present and – in effect – future changes of each pixel and its relationship with its neighbours. Now we can perform little electronic miracles in fractions of a millionth of a second. It is possible to interpolate between adjacent pixels to create average values, smoothing and improving the texture of the recreated image. Adjacent pixels can be examined for brightness changes, corresponding to edges and details, for emphasis to sharpen the picture. Where there is fast motion the enhancement effects are modified to suit; indeed, the treatment of still and moving parts of the image is quite different for optimum results. Grain/ snow effects are reduced by averaging the values of two or three successive (in time) stationary or near-stationary pixels. Many of the upscaling and enhancement effects can be modified by the user in menu-led preset adjustments to suit taste, picture sources and ambient circumstances. The algorithms and arrangement of upscaling and imageenhancement techniques are more of
an art than a science, and are at the heart of manufacturers’ video processing ‘engines’; they make a real difference to the perceived image as it is viewed. I must not be partisan here, but the rival systems can give quite different results on screen and these can be a strong selling point. Nobody can pretend for a moment that an upscaled picture is as good as one shot and preserved at the higher definition level; detail not present to start with cannot be constructed by processing. But good upscaling and enhancement can certainly offer a good subjective improvement of the image.
Of all TV external upscalers the most commonly available are embodied in DVD players – Toshiba is very active in this field. Apart from the image improvement described above, the main advantage of these is that they keep the video signal in the digital realm all the way from the disc to the screen. Especially now that analogue processing and glass-
All thinscreen TVs contain upscalers
for a second scaling operation within the TV: again this causes unnecessary degeneration of the image. While on the subject of video games, the upscaling process does introduce a time delay because of its use of a field store device. Different TV models and settings have a bearing on this aspect of performance, and practical tests are the best way to judge and assess it. With any other type of TV external upscaler it’s important to understand that this (even when correctly set to the TV’s native screen parameters) only duplicates the action of the one built into the TV or monitor, and can thus only offer an
Where there is fast motion the enhancement effects are modified to suit; indeed the treatment of still and moving parts of the image is quite different for optimum results. tube displays have gone, it’s pointless to convert to analogue in the player then back to digital in the monitor/ TV for processing and display, perhaps a metre away: the D-to-A and A-to-D processes each necessarily cause image degeneration and artefacts, and two lots of it are cumulative in their effects. Any Blu-ray player can play ordinary (SD) DVD discs, and automatically upscale their pictures, again keeping the video signal in the digital domain throughout the playback chain and avoiding the image deterioration involved in D-A and A-D conversions, perhaps a sales clincher. It’s important, in DVD players and other external upscalers, also TV games, to set the output if possible to the ‘native’ resolution of the display screen (given in its specification) to avoid the need
advantage if it performs better, unlikely in the case of an old or cheap upscaler and/or a new TV; price is a factor, but performance has improved rapidly with time.
In some applications, for instance picturein-picture displays, small screens, e.g. tablet PCs and especially Smartphones, also where the transmission or storage medium is limited in bandwidth or capacity, it’s necessary to reduce the original pixel count. This has to be done carefully. Merely knocking out or deleting say four in five pixels can give peculiar effects like one side of a door- or windowframe missing, one-eyed people, elongated house bricks and so on, so there is good reason to carefully examine ‘shrunk’ pictures as well as stretched ones. MAY 2013 GET CONNECTED
2-minute Interview D
on’t let the love of shoes and chocolate and the fear of snakes fool you: this is a multi-lingual, driven (some would say impatient) personality with a strong sense of justice. Also be aware that, judging by her choice of film role, she could well have firearms concealed in her hosiery. Meet Lana Sanleandro, Head of Marketing, Home Appliances, Samsung UK.
Why did you choose to work in the electrical industry? I love how technology brings new possibilities to people’s lives, and like nothing more than talking to them about how Samsung products bring innovation and discovery to their homes. It’s an exciting time to be part of Samsung as we launch new products, continuing to create a more connected home to enhance people’s lives What makes you laugh? My friends, family, The Inbetweeners & slapstick comedy What was the greatest turning point in your life? Losing my mum as a teenager. It gave me the perspective, drive and motivation to live each day to the full. What hobbies do you have? I love travelling, films and, surprisingly, after my recent London to Brighton bike ride, getting out on my bike What’s the worst lie you’ve ever told? Not being entirely honest with my personal trainer about my calorie intake… How would you describe yourself? Driven, committed, passionate
If you weren’t in your present position, what job would you choose to do? As a kid I really wanted to be a detective. I blame Columbo!
What sort of music do you like? I love most live music and see lots of bands - although I am partial to a bit of Motown, Michael Jackson and Prince
Favourite TV programme? At the moment I can’t get enough of Homeland, especially after bumping into Sergeant Brody at an event recently
Favourite quote? “A person who never made a mistake has never tried anything new” – Albert Einstein
I love travelling, films and, surprisingly, after my recent London to Brighton bike ride, getting out on my bike
Who has been the greatest influence in your life? My Mum and Dad
What surprises you? Random acts of kindness
What do you daydream about? Sun in the UK!
Favourite cuisine? A traditional roast dinner
Favourite holiday destination? It’s got to be either the Garden Route in South Africa, or Fiji
You have been offered a leading role in a film of your choice, what character would you like to play? Mrs. Smith You have been offered the opportunity to rule the world for a day. What would be the first change you would make? A cliché I know, but to eliminate poverty Is there anything about yourself that you would like to change? My metabolism!
What’s your greatest fear? Heights, snakes and celery
[At least it’s unlikely you’d encounter all three at the same time! – Ed.] Whom do you most admire? Emmeline Pankhurst. Against all odds she fought for what she believed in and what was right What’s your favourite piece of kit? Our soon to be launched T9000 refrigerator. It’s seriously making me consider moving house
How do you think others see you? All of the above, as well as impatient!
Any hidden talents? I can speak a few languages. Does that count?
What’s your pet hate? Dishonesty and injustice
Any particular fetishes? Shoes and Galaxy (chocolate)
What motto do you live by? Treat others as you wish to be treated
Do you have any bad habits? Caramel Apple Granny, Rioja and shopping on my Karen Millen app
What’s your greatest achievement? I think it’s still to come. Ask me again in 12 months’ time
Tomorrow I will… …strive to be better than I am today.
GET CONNECTED MAY 2013
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