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MAY 2014



CapDosing AUDIO & DIGITAL STREAMING Digital music streaming and multi-room listening comes to the masses

GUEST COLUMN Lancashire retailer Jonathan Dugdale on how the CE sector will drive the ‘The Internet of Things’





A 2-minute interview with Cromwell’s Sonu Kundi





Built-in Appliances:

A technology-rich sector with ‘big’ ideas

Food Preparation:

Healthy outlook for premiumend sales

Freestanding Appliances: Capacious appliances and convenience technologies drive growth

Coffee Machines:

T E S T E D T O L A S T 2 0 Y E A R S*

UK consumers still enthralled by the “coffee experience”

The Gourmet Quarter:

Manufacturers promote some of their innovative new products

*Washing Machines - Tested for 5,000 programs, not less than 10,000 operating hours to achieve 20 year use

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SEBO – the vacuum cleaner professionals For a chance to win a SEBO vacuum cleaner, enter our monthly draw at: www.sebo.co.uk


01494 465533




Contents 04 06 17 18 20 22

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© Copyright 2014 Mud Hut Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

23 24

Editorial Comment The Word

In and around the industry

George Cole Gets Connected

‘Smart’ products: Getting the balance right between security and convenience

The Product Gallery Audio & Digital Streaming

George Cole looks at the main trends in today’s audio market

Guest Column

Lancashire retailer Jonathan Dugdale considers the emerging market of ‘The Internet of Things’

From the Bench

Alan Bennett on the causes of picture breakup


An interesting two minutes with Sonu Kundi, commercial director of Cromwell Business Systems Ltd



26 31 32 34 35

Built-in appliances Food Preparation Appliances Freestanding Appliances Coffee Machines The Gourmet Quarter

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



Editorial Comment

Comment This magazine has, over the years, been a little outspoken on the subject of how our “real” economy – the one that actually does things, makes stuff, distributes and sells real things to real people – is used, abused and treated as a cash cow, to be milked for its wealth-producing and publicity potential by the political and financial classes who rely on us for all of their real prosperity, but have somehow pulled off the smart trick of being “in charge”, and always getting first dibs at the proceeds of our efforts.


et Connected remains entirely nonparty political, taking the view that all politicians – Con, Labour, Lib Dem – must have a short-term, vote-catching agenda that is fundamentally at odds with the longer-term view that the “real” economy has to take to planning, commercial strategy and development. Likewise, we’re not doctrinaire “bank bashers”, but will always question why bankers – who have over the past five years proven comprehensively that they can’t be trusted to handle money – still control access to the entrepreneurial funding through which the “real” economy fuels the growth of actual wealth. But we will continue to encourage our readers – the manufacturers, distributors, retailers and service providers who make, move and sell goods – to claim the credit for their achievements. Because it’s the achievements of the “real” economy that create real wealth. It’s pointless having a billion pounds to spend if there are no cars, houses, food, TV sets, white goods to buy with it. The master/servant relationship has been reversed, and we need to remind politicians that they’ve been elected to serve, and bankers that we are their customers and require them to serve us. The government and the financial institutions – what we facetiously call the “Eton Riflers” - do have to have it put to them from time to time that without us, they would have no-one to make their lives comfortable. Again, there’s no class war edge to the Eton reference. We do have, on the staff of GC, people who have had the benefit of an education at an “elite” University, but just didn’t join the Oxbridge mafia afterwards. An amusing case in point in the news recently was Vodafone’s £100 million investment in UK High Streets, with 150 new shops and 1,400 new retail jobs 4


(see GC website April 3rd.) Our Prime Minister, David Cameron, apparently without a hint of irony, commented on the Vodafone investment that it was “a sign that our long-term economic plan to create jobs and build a stronger, more competitive economy is working…”

REGISTER ONLINE for your FREE COPY of Get Connected Magazine


Marlinda Conway Editor in Chief

Terry Heath Editorial & Publishing Director

No, Dave. Government doesn’t, by its very nature, formulate long-term economic plans. And it doesn’t, and can’t, create jobs.“

Will Dobson Creative Director

James McIntosh Consumer Consultant

No, Dave. Government doesn’t, by its very nature, formulate long-term economic plans. And it doesn’t, and can’t, create jobs. The “real” economy does that. All you do is tinker about, probably trying to help, sometimes getting in the way, but always constrained by the date of the next election, and the absolute necessity to keep the “markets”, from whom you need to borrow the money to keep the country running, onside. So, the next time a politician says “We did that,” take the opportunity to say to yourself, and to anyone who will listen: “No. WE did that.” This industry has suffered badly during the recession, and it should be a matter of collective pride that it’s played a powerful part in the recovery we’re now beginning to see.

George Cole Consumer Electronics Consultant

Database independently audited by Firgrove Consultancy. Average net 10 issues: 5,927 Mar 2012 – Feb 2013

LG Smart Collection LG’s 2014 Appliance Range is steeped in Innovation and Technology. From LG’s 6 Motion Direct Drive washing technology to best care for clothes, to LG’s Linear Compressor refrigeration technology for the ultimate in reliability and efficiency, not forgetting LG’s TrueSteam™ Direct Drive dishwashers for sparkling wash performance that’s a library quiet 38dB.

With a Smart Choice, it’s all possible. www.lg.com/uk



For more information on LG’s 2014 Home Appliance Range, please email us on: home.appliances@lge.com

The Word : Industry News



Industry News Shoppers return to the high street in March S

unshine and promotions encouraged consumers back to the shops during March, with the high street recording the highest footfall for 11 months and the numbers showing little evidence of a north/south divide. The British Retail Consortium reported that footfall was 1.8% higher than a year ago, in contrast to the 2.9% fall in February, and above the threemonth average of 0.4%. Footfall on the high street was 2.6% higher than the previous year, out-of-town rose 3.0%, while shopping centres fell 0.5%.

But despite rising footfall, like-for-like retail sales declined 1.7% in March against unfavourable year-on-year comparisons due to Easter falling in April this year. Last March, like-for-like sales rose 1.9% on the preceding year. The British Retail Consortium said that sales on a total basis were down 0.3% against a 3.7% increase in March 2013. Food and Home categories were the worst affected by the Easter distortion. Online sales of non-food products grew 12.8% during the month.

UK SHOWS “SOLID” ECONOMIC GROWTH IN Q1 2014 Figures issued by the Office for National Statistics show that the UK economy grew by 0.8% in the first quarter of this year, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The figures – described by one analyst as “solid but not spectacular” – are the latest in a run of five consecutive quarters of growth, the most sustained continuous period of growth in UK GDP since the recession began. Encouragingly, the growth is coming from a broad base of economic sectors, not just from the fantasy world of “financial services.” In the real economy,

UK manufacturing performed particularly strongly, showing output growth of 1.3%, and construction, although hampered by the extreme weather in the early part of this year, managed growth of 0.3%. These latest ONS figures follow the International Monetary Fund’s forecast earlier this month that the UK would outperform all of the world’s largest economies this year and achieve annual growth of 2.9%. The UK economy, says the ONS, is now 0.6% smaller than its pre-recession peak in 2008

New kitchen retail concept on trial at Currys & PC World Currys & PC World is piloting a new kitchen retail concept at its Thurrock Megastore with the emphasis on design and accessories, including a cookware category featuring over 1,000 kitchen peripherals. The retailer said the new concept is more reflective of the modern home environment and how customers like to shop. It features complete room sets, including home

kitchens, and provides a space for customers to relax and enjoy food preparation and product demonstrations. A dedicated White Goods team and a KNOWHOW Hub are also on site, along with a specially-trained group of staff delivering demonstrations and advice specific to major domestic appliances at a ‘Showhow’ demo bar. The idea aims to capitalise

JOHN LEWIS OPENS YORK STORE A 92,000 sq ft John Lewis store located at Vangarde Shopping Park in York opened its doors to customers in April, some 150 or so having queued from 8.30am to sample the latest John Lewis experience. It is the first John Lewis store to open this year, bringing the retailer’s total store numbers to 41 in the business’s 150th year. John Lewis is to mark its 150th anniversary with a series of commemorative events celebrating its development, from a draper’s shop opened in 1864 to the £4 billion award-winning business it is today. An interactive exhibition at its flagship store on London’s Oxford Street will be at the heart of the celebrations. The retailer will also launch a special 150th anniversary television ad at the start of the celebrations.

on the retailer’s position as the consumer electronics “authority” in the UK, as well the fact it has a leading market share in white goods, thereby making it “the first destination for consideration on all kitchen lifestyle purchases and upgrades.” Katie Bickerstaffe, Dixons Retail UK & Ireland CEO, said: “Our inclusion of the cookware category makes us a one-stop shop for the kitchen.”

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The Word : Industry News

More than 50% of Argos’ total sales now commence online. Revenue from mobile phones and tablets represents 18% of total sales.”



JOHN LEWIS RETAINS ‘UK’S BEST RETAILER’ TITLE John Lewis retained its position as the nation’s best retailer for customer satisfaction at the Verdict Customer Satisfaction Awards, coming top overall as well as in its main product categories of Homewares and Electricals. Amazon took second place in the Electricals category and Asda followed in third place. Winners of the Online categories for customer satisfaction were as follows: Best Online Retailer Overall – John Lewis; Best Online Fulfilment – John Lewis; Best Online Pureplay – Amazon; Best Click & Collect Service – Next.

Argos opens digital store in UK consumers say no to Amazon’s Manchester ‘anticipatory shipping’ Argos has opened its first new digital store in the North of England at the Manchester Fort Shopping Park. The new ‘paperless’ store has a contemporary look, with tables of tablets replacing the laminated paper catalogues, stock checkers and pencils. It also offers customers access to new services such as the ability to prepay online for Fast Track store collection, free WiFi and a free chargebar for mobile phones and tablets. Steve Farndale, Argos’ Regional General Manager for the North, said: “We’ve had really positive feedback from customers on the bright new modern look of the store, and the tablets and digital media screens. They have told us that they can really see the benefit of being able to pay online and collect quickly using the new Fast Track service. The revamped store holds 40% more products now, meaning that we can provide even more choice more quickly to our customers.” More than 50% of Argos’ total sales now commence online. Revenue from mobile phones and tablets represents 18% of total sales.

Sony recall on final series of VAIO laptops Sony has issued a product recall on its VAIO Fit 11A laptops due to a fire risk caused by batteries supplied by a third party source. The company said it was identifying affected PCs by serial numbers and developing a programme to repair or replace them at no charge, or to refund the purchase price in accordance with the programme. According to the Wall Street Journal, Panasonic supplied Sony with the batteries. More than 25,000 of the VAIO Fit 11A models have been sold worldwide since February this year; around 7,000 of which were in Europe. 8


consent. The data revealed Earlier this year, e-retail giant that 55% of people would be Amazon filed a patent to deliver annoyed with the retailer and goods to customers before they would return any items they had had actually been ordered. received but hadn’t purchased, The Wall Street Journal reported that the retailer said it may box and ship products it expects customers in a specific area will want, based on previous orders and other Although it is uncertain factors it gleans from customers’ shopping exactly how anticipatory patterns, even before shipping will be employed, they place an online Abensur warned that if order. Amazon starts sending goods The ‘anticipatory to customers without their service’ will build on consent, it risks alienating the vast quantities of data Amazon holds on the vast majority of its customers, including shoppers.” analysis of wish lists, shopping carts and orders, allowing the retailer to deduce which products shoppers may and 37% would regard this type want to purchase. of predictive delivery as an The report prompted digital invasion of their privacy. commerce solutions provider “Amazon is certainly making Venda to commission YouGov to a bold and possibly unpopular poll the views of a representative move, but it is one which may sample of 2,052 UK adults pay dividends in the future, online on how they would feel thanks to the rise of the ‘I if Amazon shipped products want it now’ consumer,” said to their doorstep without their

Eric Abensur, Group CEO at Venda. “Given that pace and cost of delivery is a prevalent concern for online shoppers, it’s not surprising that Amazon are looking at new, innovative strategies to solve this issue.” Although it is uncertain exactly how anticipatory shipping will be employed, Abensur warned that if Amazon starts sending goods to customers without their consent, it risks alienating the vast majority of shoppers. “Privacy is still a huge issue for consumers, and from their perspective the idea of having every move they make put under the microscope can be disconcerting. Amazon and other retailers need to tread the fine line between offering customers a personalised online service, while cutting down fulfilment times, but at the same time they need to reassure consumers that their data is safe and not being misused for revenuegenerating activities.”

50,000 microwaves recalled by Currys Nearly 50,000 microwaves have been recalled by Currys over fears that a faulty component could cause them to overheat and catch fire. The affected models were sold under the Kenwood and Russell Hobbs brand names between 2006 and 2011 and are stamped on the back with model label CJ/AL28.

A credit note or replacement product will be offered to those returning the affected microwaves to any Currys store. Proof of purchase is preferred, but not essential.

design, colour and function for the home In the past five years, premium categories of food preparation, food processors and kitchen machines, have seen sales volumes rise by 40%. The sales of hot beverage makers, mainly coffee machines, have increased by a massive 62% pushing the value up by 138% in 5 years and overall the market for small kitchen appliances has risen to a value of £722 million.** So, if you already sell small domestic appliances you’ll know they earn their shelf space. If you don’t, or you’d like to find more, why not visit Exclusively Housewares and take a look at what the leading SDA suppliers could add to your product offer?



Visitors to Exclusively Housewares are well-looked after. You will receive free refreshments, including lunch, during your visit to the show. Find out more at www.exclusivelyhousewares.co.uk ** Source: GfK - based on Jan-Dec 2013 vs. Jan-Dec 2008

To secure your invitation to the UK’s premier housewares event please visit our website at www.exclusivelyhousewares.co.uk or call 0121 237 1130

The Word : Industry News


 SHORTCUTS Chinese manufacturer Haier ’s

LG is running a promotion offering

Chairman and CEO Zhang Ruimin has

a free G Pad 8.3 to consumers

been named in Fortune magazine’s list

purchasing models from the brand’s

of The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.

ULTRA HD 4K and OLED TV ranges

Mr. Zhang, the founder of Haier

in the lead up to the World Cup.

Group, ranks 22nd in the list of leading

The promotion is supported by POS

global figures from business, politics

materials and by national press and

and society who Fortune credits

digital campaigns.

with “energising their followers and making the world better.”

Hotpoint has launched a ‘Change For The Better’ campaign to encourage the public to replace their old

Panasonic is marking the forthcoming ‘summer of sport’ with a cash-back promotion offering purchasers of new VIERA TVs a cash refund up to £300. The offer runs until

appliances with new Hotpoint models

16th July 2014.

that are more energy efficient and

Pure is running a 2-month price

technologically advanced. The company is also offering cash-back amounts ranging from £25 to £150 on the purchase of selected appliance ranges. www.hotpoint.co.uk/change


Philips sells WOOX Innovations to Gibson Philips has signed an agreement for the sale of WOOX Innovations, its Audio, Video, Multimedia & Accessories business, to Gibson Brands Inc. The terms dictate that Gibson will pay $135 million and a brand license fee for an initial period of 7 years. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2014, subject to customary conditions. The Video business will be transferred to Gibson in 2017. Philips CEO Frans van Houten said the transaction is another important step in Philips’ transformation into a leading technology company in health and wellbeing. Gibson recently invested in audio brands including Onkyo and TEAC as part of its ambition to become the global leader in music and sound.

promotion for its Jongo wireless speaker system, providing a saving of at least 20% per speaker. The Jongo T2 speaker will now be available at £99.99, Jongo T4 at £149.99, Jongo T6 at £199.99 and Jongo S3 portable speaker at £149.99.



agorMastercook S.A., the Polish arm of Fagor Electrodomésticos, which filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors late last year, is to implement a collective dismissal programme resulting in the loss of 1,118 jobs by the end of May 2014. The factory in Wroclaw, Poland was acquired by Fagor in 2002.

According to the European Monitoring Centre on Change, the company said the reason for the redundancies is “because the factory is no longer profitable due to a shrinking order book and deterioration of situation in the domestic appliances market.” Redundant workers will receive a severance package.

Moves Gorenje UK has announced the appointment of Tim Taylor to the role of regional sales manager for the North of England, stating that the move follows a period of substantial growth. He joins Gorenje from distributor BCG. Britannia Living has appointed Mike Mitchell to the role of key account manager, responsible for existing clients and obtaining new business. 10


Fisher & Paykel has announced the appointment of Beverley Bundy as Area Sales Manager for the area covering Cornwall to Norwich. Haier Sales Director Nick Portlock has been promoted to the role of Managing Director, UK & Ireland, overseeing the region’s division with a brief involving implementation of a sales-led approach to the brand’s business. Portlock first joined Haier as Sales Director in September 2013.

Nick Clegg visits GDHA as £3m RGF investment announced Deputy Prime Minister the Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP visited the UK manufacturing headquarters of Glen Dimplex Home Appliances as it was revealed the business is to receive a £3m Regional Growth Fund investment, the largest sum to be awarded to a North West business. Mr Clegg (pictured right) toured the company’s 26acre Merseyside base and manufacturing facility and met with the some of the company’s apprentices. “What Glen Dimplex Home Appliances has done here is a great success story,” he commented. “It is very rare to see a company that fully manufactures its products FOR THE

on one site from beginning to end. We’re delighted the Regional Growth Fund is going to allow them to move onto the next phase of development.” GDHA Chief Executive Denver Hewlett (pictured left) said the RGF investment is “hugely important” to the company’s business. “Many years ago we committed to returning the manufacture of as many of our products back to the UK as possible but that has required significant investment. This money will allow us to further expand our operations, create jobs for the local community and increase our export activity.” AND



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The Word : Industry News


Dynaudio unveils new flagship loudspeakers at prestigious Whittlesey dealership Hi-fi retailer Analogue Seduction has been appointed the first UK dealer for Dynaudio’s new Evidence Platinum loudspeakers. The £58,000 speakers with state-of-the-art proprietary Dynaudio technology will be on demonstration at the Cambridgeshire retailer’s showroom, which offers customers a friendly and relaxed personal service, with the finest demonstration facilities. Dynaudio’s Platinum concept was first shown in 2012 at the Munich High End Show, following 7 years in development. The company describes the new units as the “ultimate expression” of its goal for audio excellence.

BRITANNIA MOVES ON PRICE OF COLOURANGE SERVICE Britannia is cutting the price of its Colourange service to make it available to a wider audience. The service has been available since 2006 at a premium price point across all of Britannia’s range cooker families: the Delphi, Fleet, Q-Line and Wyre, but Marketing Manager Michael Haigh said:

“We don’t want there to be any limitations when it comes to supplying our customers with the right finish for their home. “We are confident that by opening this service up to a wider audience we will make a real splash in the range cooker market,” he added.

 Vodafone invests £100 million in 150 new high street shops “...a sign that our long-term economic plan to create jobs and build a stronger, more competitive economy is working,” says Prime Minister David Cameron.

Apple regains ground in the first quarter of 2014, primarily due to the strong performance of the iPhone 5S, growing its sales share in Europe, Japan and Australia.

 Call to support energy-efficient appliance sales New report calls on the Government to help the public replace their old appliances with new, energy-efficient products to cut household energy bills by up to £75 a year.

 High street renaissance A change in consumer shopping habits brought about by the recession, mobile commerce and convenience shopping is driving resurgence in the UK’s high streets. 14


British hi-fi manufacturer Naim Audio has been awarded The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category in recognition of its range of high-fidelity music streaming products. Naim will be presented with the Award by the Queen’s local representative in a private ceremony held at the company’s headquarters later this year.

BSH app to control home appliances from other brands BSH is to launch a smartphone app that controls multiple home appliances, regardless of the brand.

A smartphone and a Wi-Fi router are all that is needed to use the free Home Connect app.

 Securing the ‘Internet of Things’…

 Smartphones: Apple gains momentum as Windows falters

Naim wins Queen’s Award for Innovation

The app is being launched with functions rated particularly important by customers responding to BSH market research. It enables the remote operation and monitoring of different brands of connected household appliances and can be used to access extra offerings that complement appliances, for example: an extensive collection of recipes and other services.

See www.gcmagazine.co.uk for the stories behind the news

IT security specialist McAfee outlines strategy for enabling the secure Internet of Things, the installed base of which is estimated at 212 billion “things” globally by the end of 2020.


Never mind the postbox: “FAB gold” for Winter Olympics star Lizzy Yarnold Smeg has presented Winter Olympics gold medal winner Lizzy Yarnold with a FAB28 gold fridge, complete with a Swarovski crystal logo, to compensate for Royal Mail not providing a gold postbox in her hometown and to congratulate her on her win earlier this year. The athlete commented that the fridge was “VERY” gold, and said “it will take pride of place in my kitchen…”

Speaking at the IFA 2014 Global Press Conference in Turkey during April, BSH Project Leader Dr Claudia Häpp said: “Consumer-oriented solutions are our trademark. This is true for all Home Connect services as well as for our approach to data protection, which is based on maximal transparency. We only use consumers’ data for the continual improvement of our services when they have given their express consent. On a technological level, we have collaborated with selected partners to develop a comprehensive security concept. Furthermore, the Home Connect app’s security will be certified.” Home Connect is conceived as an open platform that will continually develop to offer an increasing range of services. The app is expected to be available for IOS later this year and early next year for Android.

The Word : Industry News

Positive response to 2014 Euronics Showcase T

his year’s Euronics Showcase, which took place at Birmingham’s NEC 13th and 14th April, was a successful event for the manufacturers and retailers that the GC team spoke to. While some remarked that the show was “quiet”, this could have been attributed to the large size of the hall, which allowed plenty of freedom to move comfortably around the aisles. According to CI(H), visitor numbers were up on last year, with 97% of members attending – an increase of 2% on the 2013 event. Retailers commented that the show not only provided a once-ayear opportunity to benefit from manufacturers’ product deals, but it was also a great place to catch up with other dealers and friends in the industry.

generation of televisions. Director Terry Reed said: “Retailers visiting our stand were just blown away by the features and the looks of this fantastic new range.” Simon Freear, country manager for Amica UK, said the show was “really positive” for Amica and its distributor Portway. “It was our third year with a substantial presence, which clearly gave retailers confidence. Retailers that were at the show, probably the most proactive in the market, were all very upbeat about business, and seeing clear and consistent signs of sustained recovery. “We also saw an increase in the numbers of retailers looking to either service what they sell or to recommend a local partnership with an engineer they know and trust, which enables them to further

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Retailers that were at the show, probably the most proactive in the market, were all very upbeat about business, and seeing clear and consistent signs of sustained recovery.” The event attracted more than 50 exhibitors, with big names such as Beko, Indesit Company, Electrolux, Miele, F&P, Liebherr, LG, Samsung, Toshiba…, to name but a few, in attendance, but there were also new brands exhibiting, offering dealers the opportunity to extend their existing portfolios. Although not new to the show, distributor of small domestic appliances EPE Group reported a rise of 10% on last year in the business it conducted. “Our stand was busy throughout the show and we were encouraged to meet new members, as well as long-established customers,” said Investment, Sales and Marketing Director Harry Singh. TV brand Linsar, which has recently moved into white goods, reported a “big buzz” on its stand, as the company launched its next

protect their well-earned position in their local markets.” Adding to the positive comments, Oliver Mitchell, Director of TV support manufacturer Off The Wall, said this year’s Showcase was the company’s “best ever.” Off The Wall claimed a “first to market” at the show, with a curved TV stand designed to take the new curved models from LG and Samsung. “We received an unprecedented number of sales leads, not just for our new curved stand but across our ranges,” said Mitchell. Following the 2013 Euronics Showcase, CE Stuart Cook said the 2014 event would be bigger and would feature new marketing opportunities for members. The encouraging feedback from attendees this year suggests that the promise was delivered.

The global innovations show. ifa-berlin.com

IFA-Contact: Overseas Trade Show Agencies Ltd. Tel. +44 20 7886 3121 ⋅ jennifer.hall@otsa.net

The Word : Industry News



Panasonic reduced huge losses to post its first annual

quarter of 2014 by 4%, with revenues dropping to KRW 32.4

net profit in three years. The company reported earnings of

trillion. However, operating profit for the unit was reported to

¥120.44 billion in its fiscal year to March, after suffering a

be up 18% compared to the previous three-month period, partly

loss of ¥754.25 billion a year earlier. Revenues rose from ¥7.30

due to a number of non-recurring factors.

trillion to ¥7.74 trillion. Panasonic said it expected net profit to

LG Electronics posted a net profit KRW 92.60 billion

reach ¥140 billion in the year to March 2015. Ahead of its full year results for the year to 31 March 2014,

for the first-quarter 2014, following a KRW 64 billion loss in the

Sony Corporation issued a statement warning that

fourth quarter last year. The figure represents an increase of

losses for the year will be greater than the company forecast in

Q1 operating profit showed a significant improvement on the

February. The full-year loss is now expected to be ¥130 billion (£770 million), compared to the ¥110 billion loss previously forecast, and operating income will fall from the ¥80 billion February estimate, to ¥26 billion.

319% on the comparable quarter of 2013 (KRW 22 billion). last quarter, rising from KRW 238 billion to KRW 504 billion, and up from the KRW 305 billion reported in the same quarter of 2013 due to improved profitability at LG Home Entertainment Company. Unaudited first quarter consolidated revenues of KRW

BSkyB reported adjusted revenues up 6.6% in the nine months to 31 March 2014, with adjusted EBITDA down 2.4% to

14.27 trillion were 1.2% up on the same quarter last year.

£1,223 million compared to the same period last year, due to


connected services investment and the uplift in Premier League

the first quarter of 2014. Net sales totalled SEK 25,629 million

amortisation. The company said that the adjusted EBITDA

(£2,318.80 million) and operating income rose to SEK 749

result and operating profit of £910 million (down 8.5%) were

million, from SEK 720 million in the same period last year.

both in line with its expectations.

Earnings for the quarter increased from SEK 361 million to SEK

Lke-for-like sales at

Argos rose 3.3% in the 52 weeks

to 1st March 2014, to £4,051 million, mainly due to

reported organic sales growth of 4.5% for

431 million. European demand for appliances improved following a long period of market decline, but operations in North America were negatively affected by harsh weather conditions

increased internet penetration. Benchmark

early in the year. The company expects European

operating profit increased by £12.0 million,

market demand to increase by 1%-3% in 2014.

or 12%, to £112.3 million. Electrical products continued to deliver sales growth, driven by tablets, TVs and white goods, which together with strong sales of video game systems more than offset small declines in furniture, homewares and jewellery. Online sales now account for 44% of the retailer’s total revenues, with 18% coming from mobile sales.

European demand for appliances improved following a long period of market decline, but operations in North America were negatively affected by harsh weather conditions early in the year.”

Carphone Warehouse reiterated its full-year guidance after Q4 likefor-like revenue growth increased 2.3%. Headline earnings per share of 17-20 pence are up from 12.3 pence in the


ao.com owner

AO World plc

has confirmed that it finished the year in line with market expectations, with unaudited revenue growth of approximately 40% for the year ended 31 March. The online retailer, which floated on the London Stock Exchange earlier this year, said that adjusted EBITDA for the period is also expected to be in line with market forecasts. The

company will announce its audited results for the year ended 31 March 2014 on 5 June.

2012-13 financial year. The company also narrowed its headline

Whirlpool Corporation announced first-quarter

pro forma EBIT range to £145 million – £155 million from the

net earnings of $160 million, compared to $252 million in the

previous £140 million – £160 million.

same prior-year period in which it benefitted from US energy

Samsung posted a net profit of KRW 7.57 trillion for

tax credits. Net sales in the quarter were $4.4 billion compared

the January-March period of 2014, up from KRW 7.3 trillion in

$281 million, against $254 million in the same period last year.

the previous quarter. Comparable sales rose from KRW 52.87

Whirlpool reaffirmed its expectation for full-year net earnings

trillion to KRW 53.68 trillion, while consolidated operating

per diluted share of $11.05 to $11.55. The company continues to

profit slipped from KRW 8.78 trillion in Q1 2013 to KRW 8.49

expect to report full-year ongoing business earnings per diluted

trillion. Sales at the mobile telephones unit fell in the first

share of $12.00 to $12.50.


to $4.2 billion. Record first-quarter operating profit totalled

George Cole





etting the balance right between security and convenience can be a challenge. None of us would use an online banking service where anyone could instantly access our bank account. And yet, not many of us would want an online banking system that had so many layers of security that it took half the morning to get into your account. The same thing applies to network devices. We want them to be secure, and at the same time, easy to set up and use. A Smart TV manufacturer recently garnered a lot of unwelcome publicity when it was alleged that some of its Smart TVs had a security flaw around their Miracast feature. Miracast is a Wi-Fi standard that allows content to be shared between devices so that, for example, video stored on a tablet could be viewed on a Smart TV screen. The snag was that on some of this manufacturer’s Smart TVs, Miracast was switched on by default and used a simple password – ‘Miracast’ – which was burned into the sets’ firmware – there was no way of

resetting the password. The result was that a hacker could, in theory, control the TV and even download files from a USB stick connected to the Smart TV. You can understand why the manufacturer wanted to make the Miracast function as simple as possible for consumers to use, and they are not alone. Most Wi-Fi routers, for example, are supplied with the security encryption system switched off by default and a simple default password. Mobile phones come with a basic default PIN code for voicemail, which many people never bother to change – this is what phone hackers exploit. When selling a Smart TV or any other network device, it’s easy to focus on the bells and whistles, but a few minutes spent educating the consumer on the importance of security, and on how to change passwords and PIN codes, are just as important.

CABLE NEWS Get ready to explain another type of Universal Serial Bus (USB) cable to your customers, because later this year, cables conforming to a new USB standard are set to appear. The first USB cables and devices appeared in the mid 1990s, when USB was essentially a PC-related standard. Since then, USB ports have appeared on more than six billion devices including mobile phones, digital music players and digital cameras. Most devices on the market today conform to the USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 standard and use either standard sized or MicroUSB ports and cables. But whatever the size, today’s USB cables are asymmetrical and irreversible, so it’s easy to try and connect the wrong end of a cable to a port. And even if you get the ends right, there’s a chance the cable will be the wrong side up. In late 2012, Apple introduced its Lightning connector, which is compatible with USB. The Lightning port is smaller than a USB port and a Lightning connector is symmetrical and reversible. The new USB


George Cole pinpoints hotspots in the world of consumer electronics

standard – known as 3.1 – uses a similar system. A USB 3.1 cable is a similar size to the current MicroUSB standard (used by mobile phone chargers) and is symmetrical and reversible. But USB 3.1 is more than just a cosmetic makeover. Its data speed of 10 Gbit/sec is twice that of USB 3.0 and it offers other benefits such as scalable power charging, making it ideal for powering a wide range of

A USB 3.1 cable is a similar size to the current MicroUSB standard (used by mobile phone chargers) and is symmetrical and reversible.

devices. It will also mean that smaller and thinner devices can be developed, because the connection ports will be more compact than today’s USB ports. The bad news is that the new USB 3.1 cable will not be compatible with existing USB ports, although no doubt there will be a thriving market for accessories such as adapters.


The Holy Grail for electronics manufacturers are new and improved batteries that allow devices to run for much longer and charge at much faster times. So, the news that an Israeli start-up technology company has developed a prototype battery that took just 26 seconds to charge up a smartphone from dead sounds exciting. However, it’s one thing to develop a lab prototype and another to launch a commercially viable product. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think we’re going to see super batteries like this on the market for a long time yet.



The Product Gallery



The “world’s slimmest” soundbar The new soundbar from Humax, model ref: STA-1200 BSW, is claimed to be the “world’s slimmest” product of this kind. It comes with a passive subwoofer with built-in Bass Enhancer for rich, deep tones, and delivers spatial sound for a powerful cinema effect, with different modes to complement various types of programming.


Supplied with wall mounting brackets and shelf stand


Frequency range 40Hz-14KHz / Equaliser / Bass booster


Line in, Bluetooth connectivity, 3.5mm mini stereo jack, SPDIF


Subwoofer power output 100W


Power output 80W (20W/CH x 4) / 4 x Front speakers / Surround Mode



New SDA collection from Smeg Smeg has entered the SDA sector with a collection of 50s-style appliances comprising toasters, kettles, a stand mixer and blender. All are available in cream, black, red and silver to co-ordinate with the brand’s MDA ranges. The stand mixer featured has a die-cast aluminium body and a 4.8-litre polished stainless steel bowl. j

1000W direct drive motor



Variable speed control (10 steps with a soft start) / planetary action



Stainless steel wire whisk, aluminium flat beater and dough hook, plastic bowl cover, recipe book


Anti-slip feet / safety lock Optional extras: pasta roller and cutter set, spaghetti cutter and meat grinder 3-year warranty



GoLondon portable FM/ DAB/DAB+ Radio GoLondon’s moisture-protected portable FM/ DAB/DAB+ Radio is one of three new products from Sonoro and is designed particularly for use in the kitchen. Its hand-sized shell is clad in a durable interchangeable sleeve, available in a range of eight eye-catching colours. j j j


Dishwasher-proof sleeves in green, purple, white, orange, red, brown, black or blue Controls set back from the base to protect against spills Optional rechargeable battery pack supplies up to 12 hours of mains-free listening

0843 523 6344 www.sounddesigndistribution.co.uk

Muso™ by Naim Muso by Naim is an integrated wireless music system designed to deliver performance from sources such as streaming solutions, tablets, USB sticks, mobile phones and MP3 players. It features six 75W digital amplifiers driving six custom-designed Naim speaker drivers and can work as a standalone system or as part of a Naim or AirPlay multiroom system. Muso will be available in September 2014 and will retail at £895. j



UPnP, AirPlay, Streaming Services and Internet Radio via wired Ethernet (RJ45) or Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, 3.5mm jack, Optical S/PDIF


Multi-room connectivity




Muso control app / Remote Control


Touch-panel volume control / Room settings / Intelligent bass and treble control at low volumes

The Product Gallery

De’Longhi introduces its slimmest pump coffee machine De’Longhi’s Dedica coffee maker is just 15cm-wide, yet it sports all of the features found on a traditional pump machine. It comes in stainless steel, bright red and black finishes, and is available to order from June 2014.


Metal body and chrome trim Takes ground coffee or ESE pods Up to 15 bar pressure / Interchangeable crema filters / Frothing wand Intuitive control panel with user programming Cup warmer shelf



j j j j

Whirlpool’s new top-end side-by-side Caple CM2400 microwave This stainless steel and black glass combi microwave and grill co-ordinates with existing products in Caple’s Sense built-in cooking collection. It has a stainless steel cavity and 25-litre capacity and a white LED display that illuminates when the appliance is in use.

Whirlpool’s new top-of-the-range side-by-side frost free fridge freezer, model ref: WSX 53782 FCX, is both a style-statement for the kitchen and a friend to the environment: the appliance has a modern aesthetic with a user-friendly touch-control interface and is A++ rated for energy. j j


Touch controls Auto cook menu / Auto defrost by time and weight / Speed cooking Child lock / Timer / End of cooking signal 315mm glass turntable / Grill rack




j j j

j j

6TH SENSE® technology corrects variances in temperature 6TH SENSE® Fresh Control controls temperature and humidity Starlight system ensures better illumination inside fridge Customisable interior / In-door ice and water dispenser Total net capacity 559 litres



Elipson Bridges the gap… Elipson Audio has introduced the ‘Audio Bridge’, a convenient connection hub for its Planet LW active wireless loudspeaker system, which allows a wider selection of sources to be sent wirelessly to the speakers. It features APTX Bluetooth and provides high-quality wireless audio from portable devices in addition to wired connections, via RCA and mini-jack analogue inputs and an optical Toslink input for TVs. j

Bass Reflex amplified speaker / 2-way coaxial speaker 6.5“(165 mm)


Tweeter with 25 mm fabric dome


Bi-amplification using internal switching amplification solution from B&O ICEpower® 2 x 50 W


Frequency response: 48Hz - 20 kHz


www.elipson.com MAY 2014 GET CONNECTED


Audio Products and Digital Streaming

Wireless listening with style....

Full stream ahead... O

ne of the greatest strengths of the audio sector has been its ability to adapt to the changing trends in the music market. Consumers never stop listening to music; they simply find new ways of doing it, whether it’s switching from tape-based portable music players to digital music players, or from CDs to downloads. So, what are the main trends in the audio market today and how are companies responding to them?


Darren Judd, marketing manager at Philips Woox Innovations, says wireless streaming, particularly Bluetooth, is currently the fastest growing area in the audio market. “Bluetooth products have traditionally been cheaper than Wi-Fi products, but are now moving upmarket, for example: Philips’ premium two-box Bluetooth solution with NFC [Near Field Communication], the Fidelio E2 (BTS7000). Bluetooth-enabled soundbars are also doing well in the market as they allow the consumer to streamline the number of devices in their home. Philips offers a large selection of Bluetooth enabled products to meet this demand – from small portable speakers, such at the BR-1X, to the DS8400 dock (offering both Bluetooth and an Apple Lightning connector for flexibility) and also soundbars such as the HTL5120.” Adam Marshall, audio product Manager, Panasonic UK, notes that the traditional Hi-Fi market is in decline as customers are switching to wireless streaming. “In turn,” he says, “the wireless streaming market (including multi-room and portable Bluetooth) is growing fast in value terms. The value is being driven by multiroom. In line with this, Panasonic will be launching its new multi-room speaker systems this summer.” The systems will include AllPlay, a new media platform which allows music to be streamed into multiple rooms from various sources. The 20


The audio market is a shifting landscape with products and services bringing digital music streaming and multiroom listening to the masses. George Cole reports new models include the SC-ALL8 and SCALL3 wireless speaker systems and the SH-ALL1C network audio connector. The main trend in the audio market is connectivity and music on the move, according to Dawn Stockell, Head of Brand Marketing for LG. “Consumers want to listen to music seamlessly from different sources, making wireless audio a key focus for LG this year. All LG 2014 audio products support Bluetooth.” LG has announced a range of AV products this year including the spacesaving SoundPlate (LAB540W), MusicFlow wireless multi-room audio system (NP8740) and a 4.1-channel sound bar (NB5540).


Another development has been the rise of digital streaming. The digital music market used to simply offer downloads – music files that could be downloaded and played on a desktop computer or portable device. Apple’s iTunes store has sold well over 25 billion music tracks. But now, more and more consumers are listening to streamed music from streaming services like Spotify, which has around 24 million active users. According to the music industry body IFPI, digital music (downloads and streaming) accounts for 39% of the global music market by value. This sector is dominated by downloads, but the market is shifting. IFPI says that in 2013, the download market fell by 2.1% to $3.9bn, while streaming grew by a whopping 51% to $1.1bn. Little wonder that Apple has launched a music streaming service, ITunes Radio, and YouTube is said to be planning to launch its own streaming service. LG’s Stockell thinks that the arrival of 4G mobile services will enable

streaming services to continue to prosper, thanks to the stability, speed and quality offered by 4G.


Not only are consumers listening to more and more streaming services, but many are now setting up wireless streaming systems at home, using either Wi-Fi technology or Bluetooth – Apple has developed a proprietary media streaming system called AirPlay, which is compatible with Wi-Fi. Panasonic’s Marshall says this will be a major breakthrough year for wireless streaming, as many manufacturers enter the multi-room market. “Retailers will give more shelf space to this category and therefore streaming will be more widely visible to the consumer at the shop front. The multi-room concept is quite complicated for the consumer to understand, but manufacturers and retailers will be focusing on solving this in 2014. Although streaming is rapidly growing there is still a lot of room for improvement in terms of the audio quality of streamed files.” Woox Innovations’ Judd adds that “streaming is the main growth area, but there’s still a very large non-streaming market.” Some wonder if the traditional home audio system is likely to be supplanted by music streaming systems. “Traditional Hi-Fi is in decline,” says Judd. “Whilst some consumers will replace traditional home audio systems with new streamingenabled products, some may prefer to simply update their existing equipment to make it Bluetooth enabled. Philips supports the latter as well, offering our Bluetooth Hi-Fi Adapter with NFC (AEA2500) which connects to almost any

Audio Products and Digital Streaming Sennheiser Momentum on-ear headphones

Hi-Fi or PC speaker system and allows the consumer to stream music via Bluetooth on their existing Hi-Fi equipment.” “There is some evidence of this,” says Panasonic’s Marshall, “however, true audiophiles are still choosing the more traditional audio systems until the quality of streamed audio can match that of physical media.” LG’s Stockell says that, although audio streaming is growing, the company recognises the need to support multi-format playback, from CD to Bluetooth to Digital music multi-room, to suit a range of downloads and consumer needs.

streaming account for 39% of the global music market by value...”


Some go so far as to argue that smartphones and tablets could become the main music listening device for most people, in the same way that camera phones have, for many people, replaced compact digital cameras for taking snaps. “Nearly all streaming products are controlled by an app used on a smartphone or tablet, so the use of these devices as the main source of audio will increase as the demand for these type of products grows,” says Marshall. “The growth in services such as Spotify will also mean an increase in smartphone and tablet usage, as these services can easily be accessed via these devices.” Woox Innovations’ Judd agrees: “With the increasing number of Bluetooth/ Airplay enabled products on the market, it is simpler than ever to play music from smartphones and tablets. With streaming services such as Spotify now available to all on mobile devices, this will also have an impact on the numbers of people listening to their music on mobile devices. Services such as Spotify Connect [which can stream music from a smartphone to living room speakers] make it even simpler to stream music and are also contributing to growth.” A growing number of home music systems now include docking for smartphones and/ or tablets.






along with its STR-DN1050 and STRDN850 Network AV Receivers. Both can be connected to a home network for streaming and include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and AirPlay connectivity. Sony’s SRS-X9 is a Bluetooth/Wi-Fi/NFC speaker system. “Bluetooth enabled devices are ‘hot’ for retailers to stock at the moment, as they offer flexibility and ease to the consumer,” says Woox Innovations’ Judd. “Products such as the Philips Fidelio E2 Speakers offer easy wireless streaming via Bluetooth as well as NFC – where devices can be paired by simply touching your device (tablet/mobile phone) to the NFC spot on the device. This product can also be used to boost the sound of your TV (via HDMI or optical cable), offering a one-stop solution to home audio. “Bluetooth-enabled soundbars are also important products for retailers to stock. They offer consumers the flexibility to stream audio and also boost the sound from their TV in a neat package such as the HTL5120.” Retailers shouldn’t forget audio accessories like headphones. Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear headphones come in a range of colours, and the company’s new Momentum ivory headphone uses breathable leather for the headband and earcups. LG’s ‘hot’ product offerings include the MusicFlow wireless audio system (NP8740), which enables users to choose an almost limitless number of home audio configurations. Several speakers can be set up in any combination of rooms, connecting an entire household to a single system. A downloadable app turns a smartphone into a master control unit.

At one time it seemed inconceivable that manufacturers could launch Hi-Fi systems without a CD deck, but now many music systems come without CD playback. According to the IFPI, physical media (including CDs and vinyl) still account for more than half of the total global music market by value, but this figure is now just 51%, compared with 60% in 2011. The UK record industry body BPI reports that CD album sales fell by almost 13% in 2013, although CDs still account for more than 60% of UK album sales. So, are CDs days numbered? “The CD will be around for a very long time but is in decline by value and volume,” advises Judd. Panasonic’s Marshall believes “it is likely that the CD will have a limited future with the continued rise of streaming. The rate of this decline will only increase as streaming technologies and broadband speeds improve. However, some consumers will always prefer to have the physical media that comes with a CD, such as the printed album artwork.”


When it comes to choosing ‘hot products’ for retailers to stock, Marshall says that multi-room will be the “buzzword” for 2014. He also sees the continued rise of music subscription services such as Spotify, Napster and Deezer. Sony says wireless headphones, such as the company’s MDR-HW700DS digital surround wireless headphones system, which offers 9.1-channel sound, and MDR-ZX750BN Bluetooth headphones will attract a lot of attention this year,

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Guest Column

Open platform is the way forward In last month’s column Jonathan Dugdale, who has a retail and installation business in Clitheroe, Lancashire (The Connected SMART Home), looked at the growth of The Internet of Things (IoT), explained what it means in practical terms, and outlined the profitable opportunities open to retailers as the Connected or SMART Home moves from science fiction to fact. This month, he considers how the Consumer Electronics sector will drive the IoT in the age of the Connected Home


he Internet of Things (IoT), with its potential to link all the devices and appliances in our lives and give us control, brings massive opportunities. But, because manufacturers, service providers, installers, retailers and numerous other interested parties are bombarding the consumer with their own products, I believe this is slowing a highly profitable emerging market.


Diffusion of Innovations is defined on Wikipedia as “a theory that seeks to explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures.” The model explains how technology is adopted across a population, with ‘innovators’ pioneering the original technology; then affluent ‘early adopters’

investing early on; before the next group, the ‘early majority’, realising the benefits this technology has brought to their peers, brings the innovation to mass adoption before the ‘late majority’ and the ‘laggards’ follow suit. The rate at which technology is adopted has gradually increased over the years, with the SMART phone seeing one of the fastest rises to mass adoption, then the tablet and now the SMART TV, which, according to Future Source consulting, will represent 56% of all TVs sold in 2015. But what manufacturers need to understand is that this adoption is driven by the consumer, not by them.


As highlighted above, I believe that with so many people vying for this emerging market the consumer can become confused. What is a SMART TV? Ask this question to most customers and they won’t be able to give you a precise answer, yet in 2015 the majority of people looking to buy a new TV will be asking for

The Tech Adoption Curve

Innovators 2.5%


Early Adopters 13.5%


Early Majority

Late Majority



Laggards 16%

one regardless. What this shows is that, even though they don’t fully know what it does, they are driven to follow their peers who have already bought one. But beware! Early adopters have become more cautious: they get frustrated that they buy technology that soon goes out of date, and many are now a lot more wary when purchasing new products. If manufacturers want to push their own version of the SMART home and lock in consumers to their own eco system, then the IoT is destined to fail.


In order for consumers to understand the value of the IoT in our homes (the Connected or SMART Home), they need to be shown the benefits in a clear and consistent manner, and to have confidence that the technology that they are buying is going to satisfy their needs. Samsung, when they launched their SMART home vision at CES in January, talked about interacting with other products, and when I spoke to Colin Rodgers (general manager, sales) at an Awards ceremony he said that he thought it was good that Samsung didn’t have their own stores like Apple, because the ability to interact with other products is a strength. However, an article by Gigaom in April reports that Samsung’s vision has changed and a Samsung-only SMART house of the future is what they’ll be pushing. I can understand their reasoning somewhat. If they create their own set of products that they know work well they can offer support. Throw in a few third parties (e.g. Philips Hue bulbs and Sonos) and then there’s a problem. This is where a skilled retailer has an opportunity. However, Samsung, like other manufacturers, should think about

the bigger picture. Unless Samsung create their own stores and sell the whole connected solution as a package, installed in people’s homes, it’s not going to work, because people want a choice and they’ve also got a lot of old equipment that they want to utilise. Also, manufacturers should stick to what they’re good at and not try to do everything for everyone. With such a high level of innovation in technology, no-one can possibly be the best at everything. When I decided to diversify I had to gain a huge amount skills and knowledge, but it didn’t happen overnight. I use skilled subcontractors who specialise in the area that I need. I don’t have all the answers! A single ecosystem – such as Apple’s - will only help to create a niche market, instead of pushing the mass market solution that inevitably leads to increased sales volume – and, if the SMART platform is developed, to added long-term value for the consumer. Manufacturers should create an open platform that encourages innovation and collaboration.


If the IoT and the Connected SMART Home is to become a reality, this needs to be done: Create an industry standard, train a skilled work force, invest in the retail experience, encourage competition and innovation and, most of all, give the consumer what they want and don’t try to lock them into something - because they will resent you for.

CORRECTION: Last month I said Nest was bought by Amazon. It was, of course, bought by Google. Apologies, and thanks to all who spotted the error.

From The Bench

Alan Bennett describes the causes of torn-apart TV pictures


the analogue era the symptoms of reception problems were snow, ghosting and – on satellite channels – ‘sparklies’ on screen. They were well known, and gave useful clues to their origin. Now the invariable effects are image freezing, pixelation and streaking (see picture). Their causes, well known to aerial and dish riggers, can puzzle sales staff and TV installers. However; basically it’s down to weak or corrupted data in the signal stream.

possibilities for this are aged downlead cable, its penetration by water, or poor/ corroded connections at either end of it; or physical damage to the dish (bent?) or cable. If all of these are in order and the dish and LNB horn and cover are clean with unobstructed views, it’s possible that the LNB, the can mounted on the dish arm, is faulty or that the receiver itself, usually a set-top box, is in trouble. The simplest test for this is trial substitution by a known good replacement.

Picture and sound breakup is much more common with the terrestrial signals which carry Freeview programmes...



Satellite pictures are seldom spoiled by image break-up thanks to their rugged encryption and modulation systems and the direct and unobstructed passage of their signals to an outdoor dish, whose design and construction is standardised and efficient, having none of the halfmeasures or compromises often involved with terrestrial aerials. Their carrier signals are weakened in passing through very heavy rain, however, so reception can be affected (even down to the point of ‘zero signal’) in torrential downpours, but generally at rare intervals and then for only a few minutes at a time. If it happens frequently in moderate rain it’s likely that the signal is marginal in strength and/or quality anyway. This can be checked by calling up the reception indicators in the satellite installation menu: refer to the instruction book. Marginal satellite signal reception can also be responsible for constant or intermittent picture break-up, perhaps only on some channels or groups of channels. A frequent cause of this is slightly off-beam dish-pointing or, if wind-dependent, a loose mount. Other

Picture and sound breakup is much more common with the terrestrial signals which carry Freeview programmes: despite heavy protection and ‘armouring’ the pulse datastream can be weakened and distorted by inadequate, screened or badly positioned/pointed aerials; by multipath carrier reception; by interference of various types; and by low signal strength a long way from the transmitter. Beginning with aerials, set-top types may work OK in some areas and room positions close to transmitters, but are unreliable and not really to be recommended. Loft aerials are better but by no means guaranteed to work well. Far the best is an outdoor job, selected in size and dimensional group to match the local transmissions. This provides optimum signal, most resistant, because of its strength, to the interference which is a rife source of picture break-up problems.


Impulse interference and consequent data corruption can arise from various sources. Car and other motor ignition interference is rare now but motorcycles and lawnmowers can generate it – position the aerial as far away as possible from the road or whatever to minimise it. Strong signals from mobile phones in the vicinity of the aerial, cable or receiver can cause trouble, while the effect of local G4 relay phone masts has been the subject of previous articles in Get Connected, though the disruption is turning out to be less severe than was first predicted. An in-line filter from at800 usually eliminates this, and is available free of charge. The use of satellite cable, which is double-screened, is recommended for all Freeview installations because of its lower transmission loss and greater immunity to interference breakthrough.

Interference to Freeview reception can come from sources right there in the house or nearby. Old, worn or badly suppressed fridges, cookers, boilers and the like, and even light dimmers can cause it, along with home electronics gear like cordless phones, wireless links and standalone boxes. It is possible to find the culprit by switching each suspect unit off to see if the picture stabilises, then replacing it or fitting screening or suppressors as necessary. Again the strongest possible signal reception and the use throughout of satellite RF cables helps to defeat this type of interference. A faulty, misaligned or broken aerial can be responsible for weak or corrupt Freeview signals as can in-aerial-line or distribution amplifiers, troublesome when mounted at the top of the mast! These amplifiers, even when working OK, can induce picture break-up due to too strong a signal overloading the receiver – remove the amplifier or fit an in-line attenuator. As with satellite gear the best method of fault diagnosis is substitution, but check with broadcasters’ websites (and the neighbours!) first.


A developing medium for TV viewing is the internet, whose pictures do not break up. Instead they freeze or update slowly or jerkily in the face of bad data. Much depends on the image definition in use relative to the bandwidth of the feed line. It’s a good check to disconnect all phones and other equipment from the line to test for data corruption into the PC, router, media centre or whatever is processing the pictures. Then talk to the line provider, usually BT, and/or the ISP about possible line faults and perhaps a faster link. MAY 2014 GET CONNECTED




Why did you choose to work in the electrical industry? After 20 years of corporate life I took the opportunity to join a small, entrepreneurial company and get really hands-on Who in the industry would you like to spend time with? Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, to get insights into how they run the business



What’s your greatest achievement? Running a profitable, growing company in our very challenging industry


What makes you laugh? Comedians - too many to name, but including Tommy Cooper and Morecambe & Wise What was the greatest turning point in your life? Leaving home aged 17 Hobbies? Sport, especially golf, and watching movies

What sort of music do you like? Most current popular music, especially reggae

humour. Sadly, his commitment to business

What’s the worst lie you’ve ever told? I haven’t told it yet Greatest regret? Spending 5 years too long in the corporate world What historic figure do you identify with most? Nelson Mandela, because he never gave up How would you describe yourself? A bit driven, a perfectionist, but always able to chill out watching or playing sport, and with my wife and our Labrador How do you think others see you? A bit driven, a perfectionist, but not everyone sees my chilled side.... Pet hate? People who drift through life not showing commitment to anything

Who has been the greatest influence in your life? My father, without a doubt Name your poison A nice Chablis What do you daydream about? Leeds United winning the Champions League

Favourite cuisine? I love food from all over the world, but Italian’s my favourite You have been offered a leading role in a film of your choice. What character would you like to play? Tim Robbins’ part (Andy Dufresne) in The Shawshank Redemption You have been offered the opportunity to rule the world for the day. What would be the first change you would make? Make education and healthcare free for every citizen of the world

Favourite holiday destination? Indian Ocean What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you? Missing out on County football selection aged 16 Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? Celebrating Cromwell’s success in a new vertical market Greatest fear? That our Labrador hasn’t stopped growing yet

Is there anything about yourself that you would like to change? I’d like a full head of hair again

Who do you most admire? Anyone who can make a go of life in a new country - like my parents have

Any hidden talents? I can play the violin like Nigel Kennedy

Favourite piece of kit? My MacBook, by a mile

Favourite TV programme? Silent Witness

Any particular fetishes? No, I’m a nicely brought-up Punjabi boy

What motto do you live by? Where there’s a will, there’s a way

What surprises you? Two wins on the trot by Leeds United

Who would you put in Room 101? Michael O’Leary

Tomorrow I will... ....be a better man.

Any bad habits? My continued devotion to Leeds United If you weren’t in your present position, what job would you choose to do? I’d dream of being a Pro Golfer


Business Systems Ltd.

Favourite quote? “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough” (Mae West)


MAY 2014

cooking gcmagazine.co.uk


A technology-rich sector with ‘big’ ideas


Healthy outlook for premiumend sales


Capacious appliances and convenience technologies drive growth


UK consumers still enthralled by the “coffee experience”


Manufacturers promote some of their innovative new products


Built-in Cooking

New for 2014: AEG’s ProCombi SousVide oven

La grande cuisine Britannique The technology-rich built-in sector thrives on the style and innovation, and Britons’ desire for ‘at home’ gourmet cuisine is met with multiple appliances offering features fit for the professional kitchen


he built-in cooking sector has always been driven by technology and style, and innovation continues in both fields as cooking functions expand, capacity increases, displays become more interactive and designs evolve to reflect progressive 21st century living. And as celebrity chefs and cooking programmes continue to dominate our television screens, there is no sign of the nation’s interest in cooking abating, nor that the appeal of the kitchen as a central, design-led area of the home will diminish. Hotpoint Marketing Manager Iain Starkey remarks that “consumers are used



to having state-of-the-art technology at their fingertips, from smartphones to smart pad computers, so they demand technology that will make life easier in the kitchen, too.” He also notes that new technology is bringing features from the professional kitchen into the home to cater for the amateur chef. A recent development from AEG saw the sous vide cooking technique, now widely used by professional chefs, introduced to the brand’s 2014 collection of ovens. Sous vide (French for ‘under vacuum’) seals in flavour and nutrients and uses low temperature cooking to achieve tenderness and texture. AEG Head of Marketing Graham Bremer says the appliance is the most advanced multifunctional oven available. “It offers every possible oven cooking method, from conventional cooking, baking, grilling, steam cooking, as well as sous vide cooking – all within a single appliance.”


The drive for capacity is matched with that for energy efficient cooking, as evidenced in ovens such as Hotpoint’s 77-litre Openspace and Hoover’s 78-litre Prodige, both of which fit into standard 60cm housings and have the practical and energy-saving benefit of splitting the cavity into two separate ovens that work independently of each other. Hoover Candy’s Maurizio Severgnini, Managing Director Built-in Division, comments that the Prodige provides the useful space of a commercial oven and runs on the same hi-tech air circulation as a professional model. MD for Sub-Zero & Wolf UK Craig Davies speaks of the strong growth in high-quality dual convection builtin ovens and says this is due to their “convenience, versatility, feature-rich, consumer-friendly, space-saving and large capacity nature.”

Built-in Cooking

Looking beyond the standard 60cm housing, Davies advises retailers to “look for large capacity ovens around 98L with the full range of temperature control and oven settings from 29ºC for proving dough, through low and slow cooking, all the way up to 288ºC for roasting and oven settings for bread.” He adds that retailers should think about combining such ovens with a built-in convection steam oven which helps preserve nutrients, taste and texture and maintains up to 22% higher vitamin content in food when compared to cooking in standard ovens. “The two types of ovens combined offer the consumer every possible cooking option,” he maintains. Smeg UK Product Development Manager Joan Fraser and Caple Sales Director Danny Lay both comment that steam ovens are becoming a more popular choice due to their health benefits, as food retains more vitamins and minerals than is possible with conventional cooking methods, and at the end of this feature Gorenje UK National Sales Manager Stuart Benson gives his own personal take on such appliances, as he talks about “the secret of steam.”


Richard Walker, Sales & Marketing Director, De Dietrich Kitchen Appliances, notes the growing trend in sales of single electric multifunction ovens, while the market for basic fan ovens has levelled out. He quotes AMDEA figures that show growth in multifunction double ovens has fallen 10.6% and suggests that the numbers highlight the trend at the top of the market for incorporating two versatile multifunction single ovens side by side, or a single oven and an alternative compact option above. “Many single ovens in the market offer greater technological functionality than their double oven counterparts,” he says, “and this factor is certainly driving sales. Automatic cooking, which can only be found in De Dietrich Intelligent Control System (ICS) ovens, plus intuitive recipe options, which are available in all De Dietrich ICS models and from some premium manufacturers, enable the user to let the oven do much or all of the hard work for them, so are ideal for people with busy lives. Combined with a dual-purpose compact 45cm version, such as the De Dietrich DME1145X Compact Touch Control Combination oven with animated display – a multifunction oven with additional advanced microwave capabilities – the user has a far wider range of cooking options than with a double oven. These value–added appliances are also a win/win for retailers and kitchen designers, as they can achieve higher margins for incorporating two complementary ovens than with one double oven model.” Caple’s Danny Lay voices a similar opinion. Noting that “the ultimate cooking wall makes cooking easier, with appliances placed together,” he says: “This should include a large capacity multi-functional oven with a variety of programmes and preset recipes to deliver fantastic cooking results and a combination microwave with a number of functions, which provides extra cooking facilities and speeds up cooking times.” Lay also points out the benefits of adding warming drawers to keep food and plates warm.


Beko draws our attention to the much loathed task of cleaning the oven and highlights a new technology, unique to the brand, available on its OIM25503X

Built-in Cooking

around 5% growth year on year. Induction technology now makes up 29% of the hobs market, with volumes slightly outpacing value at nearly 18%, and whilst price erosion is slowly creeping in, the type of retailer selling these products has diversified from kitchen studios to mass merchandisers and online, taking sales to £36 million.”


Row of built-in appliances featuring the Smeg CMSC45 60cm Linea fully automatic coffee machine; SC45M2 60cm Linea compact microwave oven with grill; SC45VC2 60cm Linea compact combination steam oven

premium multi-function oven, which is one of the most energy efficient in its class, using 30% less energy than a standard A-rated model. The technology referred to is an oleophobic nano coating on the inner glass doors which prevents the buildup of dirt and grease. According to built-in cooking product manager Salah Sun, “this innovative technology means that the oven door simply requires cleaning with a soapy cloth after every 20 cooking cycles, maintaining the product’s shiny good looks and cutting out the need for nasty chemicals and repeat purchases of cleaning products.” Smeg’s Joan Fraser comments that her brand has worked hard to make pyrolytic ovens accessible across its range, enabling customers to choose an oven that cleans itself at a price they can afford. “Although pyrolytic ovens have been produced for a considerable amount of time, they haven’t been accessible for most people because of the high price point, so this could seem like fairly new technology to most customers,” she adds. But Amica UK country manager Simon Freear raises a doubt about pyrolytic cleaning: “We are noticing that consumers are increasingly aware of the advantages of pyrolytic, but many in the Amica midmarket positioning are concerned about the running costs for the programme and are easily convinced of the advantages of Aqualytic cleaning as an alternative.” Amica argues that pyrolytic cleaning takes 1½ hours at a temperature of 400° or 500° Celsius, while the Aqualytic system takes just 30 minutes at 90°C. 28


According to GfK, large cooking appliances (cookers, ovens, hobs, hoods) have seen a 2.5% increase in unit sales over the past twelve months, although value has increased by almost 4%, making the market worth £850 million. “Even discounting inflation, this indicates that consumers are prepared to trade up,” says Anthony Williams, Account Director for Home Appliances. In his overview of the market, Williams comments: “Built-in ovens have shown the most substantial rise in year-on-

Smeg’s Joan Fraser comments that her brand has worked hard to make pyrolytic ovens accessible across its range, enabling customers to choose an oven that cleans itself at a price they can afford.”


year sales with both volume and value reaching double digits, although volume has been marginally higher than the value development. This is primarily due to the resurgence in fitted kitchen bundles, which characterise the kitchen, furniture and DIY specialist channel, a major reason for a 14% boost in this route to market. “The independents performed well compared to the bigger chains but there is still a lot of potential by varying their product mix. Hobs and cooker hoods benefitted from attachment to builtin oven sales and both sectors saw

De Dietrich’s Walker says the market for hobs has been constantly shifting over the past five years. “These days, many consumers are not only trading up from gas or halogen versions to the ‘newer’ induction technology, but are often trading up from their older, basic induction hob to a more advanced model, often featuring zoneless technology.” De Dietrich’s zoneless induction hobs incorporate ‘horiZone’ technology that allows pans to be placed anywhere within the cooking area. Automatic pan detection means they adapt to all sizes of cookware. Multiple inductors beneath the ceramic glass surface provide total freedom of movement and many hobs in the range also feature a Power Tracker to ensure the desired temperature remains constant when the pan is re-sited. Panasonic is keen to highlight its “unique” Opti-Sensor technology, which provides constant temperature control and reduces power consumption. If the heat in the pan suddenly lowers when food is turned over or ingredients are added during cooking, the technology rapidly returns it to the set temperature. Hoover, whose Flexi induction hob allows users to cook anywhere within two large heat zones using any combination of cookware, up to a maximum of 12 small pans, maintains that many consumers are still willing to pay a bit more for technology that helps save time and resources. Built-in Division MD Severgnini advises that retailers should, if possible, have a demonstration model in-store. “Nothing illustrates the speedy efficiency of technology more than a pan of water reaching boiling point in just a few seconds,” he asserts. “It is those retailers that have working displays, or at least illuminated displays, that seem to be doing very well, especially with products that offer interactive technology,” adds Amica’s Freear.


De Dietrich’s Walker notes a volume rise of 18.8%* in sales of 90cm wide electric ceramic hobs (*figure includes induction), which he says “demonstrates the trend at the top of the market for larger kitchen spaces, often converted open-plan kitchen diners, where cooking takes place on a central island unit that can accommodate larger or more versatile hob sizes.”



Induction now available on freestanding cookers, range cookers, built in ovens and hobs. We are immensely proud to manufacture all induction products right here in Britain.

The smarter, faster, safer, greener way to cook View all our induction appliances online at: www.belling.co.uk

All induction products work on a 32 amp connection

Built-in Cooking

The affect of kitchen layout on cooker hood trends is also noted by Walker, who quotes AMDEA figures recording a 2.7% decline in volume sales of chimney and island hoods and a 1.1% increase in the integrated hoods category. “This, we can surmise, is in part due to the rise in popularity of downdraft extraction models. Again, this can be related to the trend towards clean and contemporary kitchen designs with the kitchen island taking the central visual role of any layout. Of all the built-in trends that have made the most significant change over the past decade, downdraft extraction is the most obvious because it is often the least obvious integrated appliance in the kitchen.” Jacqui Hoctor, Commercial Manager for Britannia Living, whose portfolio includes designer cooker hoods by BEST, says it is useful for retailers to ask customers plenty of questions about their kitchen in order to recommend the most appropriate cooker hood. “For instance, kitchen size can make a real difference, as a large open-plan kitchen will require a powerful extraction rate. If the customer does a lot of wok cooking or frying it would be useful to demonstrate the power of the extraction and how this has an impact on the level of noise coming from the extractor.”

Hoctor advises that the most significant innovations in the hood market at present revolve around quiet, unobtrusive appliances, and design and technology are becoming more of a focus for consumers when designing their kitchens.

In terms of prospects and future innovation in the cooker hood market, she says that ionisation hoods, which create clean air, may be the key area for product development.

De Dietrich DOP1160X ICS oven and DME1145X compact combination oven (above) are complemented by the DTi1053X 65cm dual zoneless induction hob, 38cm teppan yaki and downdraft extractor

THE SECRET OF STEAM Stuart Benson, national sales manager, Gorenje UK, considers how “the UK’s best kept secret” is unfolding…

 TIME SAVINGS: Food can never be overcooked or burnt, which is perfect for those building their culinary confidence, as it absorbs only the moisture it requires.


 ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Lower temperatures mean that less energy is used. In contrast to traditional ovens where air is heated by an element and then distributed by a fan, water in a steam oven is boiled in an inbuilt reservoir to create a cloud of steam within the oven chamber.

s the UK becomes increasingly aware of the dangers of an unhealthy lifestyle, steam cooking is developing as an exciting alternative that is actually much more flexible than you might think. There is often an assumption that steam cooking is limited to vegetables; however, steam has become a versatile way of preparing a vast array of tasty, healthy dishes. This includes everything from meat and fish to pasta and bread and even desserts. Steam cooking has been increasingly popular across Europe for some time, and the UK market is poised as next in line for the steam revolution. And it is easy to see why. Steam offers a wealth of benefits, including:  HEALTH: Vitamins, texture, moisture, colour and, most importantly, flavour is retained during cooking. And as steam cooking does not require any fat or oil, the meals produced are typically better for you. 30


 FLAVOUR: Multi-level cooking allows the creation of complete meals, with no intermingling of flavours. Steam also lends itself extremely well to refreshing previously cooked meals.  SIMPLE TO USE AND MAINTAIN: Steam ovens can be wiped clean of excess moisture, as food is not burned or baked on – unlike traditional ovens. If more intensive cleaning is required, Gorenje steam ovens have a dedicated steam-clean function to remove any stubborn stains or spills.

Stuart Benson So how are manufacturers responding to the benefits of steam? Here at Gorenje we are investing in some exciting innovations and are expanding on the success of steam combination models such as the BOC6322AX. In fact, we are incorporating a wealth of steam options into Gorenje+, an exclusive collection of steam ovens for independent retailers which will be available in July 2014. Steam cooking is now a viable option for every family kitchen. It offers health and lifestyle benefits, speed, convenience and energy efficiency.

Food Preparation The food preparation market is still booming, with big-ticket appliances and lifestyle trends helping to add value growth


ccording to GfK, the market for tabletop cooking and food preparation appliances remains strong, with growth of around 7% year-on-year taking the total value to £700 million. Anthony Williams, GfK Account Director for Home Appliances, notes that volume is flatter, suggesting that consumers are setting their sights on the premium end of the market, a fact evidenced by the sharp rise in the £100-plus price-points during the past eighteen months. “Removing standalone items such as kettles, coffee makers and toasters, the biggest slice of the market belongs to kitchen machines, where prices remain north of £200 average and at least a third of products have average prices of more than £300,” Williams reports. “The £30 million food processor market has seen sales decline by around 10% year on year. Yet, by contrast, stand mixers and combi food preparation devices are heading towards £50 million by the end of this year, thanks to savvy marketing and product placement.”


Hotpoint Marketing Manager Iain Starkey comments that growth in the food preparation market is continuing because consumers are “fascinated” by TV chefs and cooking programmes. And the economic situation, he says, has led to an increase in home entertaining, resulting in the desire for high quality appliances that enable hosts to entertain “with finesse.”

Rise of the

super machines... Tefal’s Fresh Express Cube & Stick

Morphy Richards’ Mike Shaw, Category Consumer Manager for Worktop Cooking, also observes economic factors influencing the market and highlights the fuelling of sales due to the rise in popularity of TV programmes such as The Great British Bake Off and MasterChef. “And those looking to update their kitchens are investing in these products, as this is more financially viable than a full kitchen makeover,” he adds.


The food prep market continues to produce innovations that make consumers’ lives easier and deliver functions that help turn artless cooks into budding chefs. Tefal, whose plan it is to capitalise on the healthy eating trend, has launched a number of “groundbreaking” food preparation products this year, aimed at what it believes is a key driver for the market. Laura Mitchison, Product Manager at Tefal parent company Groupe SEB, tells GC that the prior success of the Tefal Fresh Express

Exclusively distributed by HSCL

range, first launched in January 2012, led to the more recent introduction of the “all new”, next generation model, the Tefal Express Cube & Stick. “The Cube & Stick sits within the brand new category of kitchen appliance created by the Tefal Fresh Express family and is simple to use,” says Mitchison. The unit will quickly prepare a range of shapes and sizes, from slices to shreds, sticks to small cubes, with five different blade cartridges that are easy to clean and store.


The trend for healthy eating has also boosted the juicers category, as evidenced by a 4,000% increase in sales of such products at retailer Lakeland in 2013. The sector’s comeback can also be attributed to advances in technology. Many products now deliver more juice and vitamins from fruits and vegetables and are much easier to clean. According to Mitchison, the technology incorporated in the Tefal

Infiny Press Revolution™ juicer, when compared to that in standard juicers, will extract up to 35% more juice, 30% more vitamin C and 75% more antioxidants. The unit also helps to overcome the problem of cleaning – a bugbear that led to the juicer category falling from grace some years ago – as there is no waste chamber in the machine to clean out during juicing and all removable parts (the filters, screw etc.) are dishwasher safe. Hotpoint’s Starkey also remarks on the growing interest in juicing and says his brand’s technology is “a step ahead.” He explains that the Hotpoint HD Line juicer operates without blades and gently extracts all of the pulp and juice from fruit and vegetables. “It keeps all the nutritional values and vitamins intact, without separating the water from the pulp, and gives 30% more juice than a standard juicer.” Hotpoint introduced its HD Line to the UK mid 2013. Within the extensive collection is a blender that chops and blends and has a 1300W steam function for cooking a variety of foods to produce healthy meals.


With continued interest in home entertaining, cooking meals from scratch and healthy eating combining with the trend for colour-matching small kitchen appliances, volumes have begun to pick up steadily in the first quarter of the year; and, says GfK’s Williams, the future for the category “looks rosy.”

We stock over 100 Severin products in the categories: • Coffee/Breakfast • Food Preparation • Household • Hair & Beauty Why Severin? • Excellent value for money • Outstanding quality, built to last • 2 year warranty • Excellent retailer margins • Products only available in small retailers

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Freestanding Cooking

Little and large…

Technology advances at pace and consumers look to kitchen designers and retailers for recommendations and specialist knowledge”

The contemporary-styled Rosieres Bocuse

Freestanding Cooking is a market with two distinct characteristics; at one end we have the slot-in cooker, a solution for the standard 60cm gap between kitchen units, and at the other end, the style-statement range cooker, an appliance that adds considerable value to the market


he consumer trend for cooking appliances continues to move away from freestanding to built-in, although the sector, supported by sales of range cookers, is still recording credible numbers, and many manufacturers remain committed to the 60cm segment, as evidenced by recent launches from brands such as Zanussi and Amica, in which we see the technologies such as those found in built-in displayed with panache and appliances sporting elegant stainless steel and black finishes – designs so very far removed from the ‘mumsy’ look that many consumers still associate with slot-in cookers.


Looking at this particular side of the freestanding market, Rita Balestrazzi from Servis observes “a new generation of 60cm cookers”, which she says are designed for the growing number of galley-style apartment kitchens. “These 60cm models are available in dual fuel as well as gas and electric, offering an all-in-one compact and cost-effective alternative to investment in an oven, hob and hood set. “Such models are now being developed to compete against designer built-in ovens, coming in an array of alternative 32

colours and providing a minimalist and contemporary look. Some have glass lids which hide traditional gas burner hob-tops when the cooker is not in use and can be used as an additional worktop surface, helping to maximise the kitchen space available. “Models are also equipped with double oven capacities and fan, grill and conventional functionality, plus soughtafter functions such as Minute Minders to count down cooking times and Defrost programmes that can circulate unheated air in the cavity for a more efficient defrosting process. “They offer a much more practical installation option than 50cm models and have effectively replaced these as the UK’s compact cooker model of choice.” Amica’s 608CE2Ta(XX) freestanding cooker with easy-clean ceramic hob is considered one example of this new generation of appliances. It is part of the company’s latest 60cm range of electric and gas slot-in models and offers a 66-litre fan oven with energy savings of 20% over A-rated freestanding models; 8 functions with Ultrafan; an electric 2000W grill and a digital programmer with clock and timer. It may be aimed at the budgetconscious household, but its features to


Amica does 60cm slot-in with style

some extent belie this: It is finished in stainless steel; has easy-clean enamel oven liners; removable side racks, and, akin to the ‘big boys’ in freestanding cooking (i.e. range cookers), it even incorporates a storage drawer for pots and pans.


Anthony Williams, GfK Account Director for Home Appliances, says that consumer preferences in cooking have been broadly viewed as divided into two camps: “Those seeking a rural idyll and kitting out their kitchen with range cookers and softtoned tabletop appliances; and for the rest, stylish metallic appliances that complement their smartphones. The reality is usually somewhere in between, but the bigger, more visible major appliances tend to set the scene.”

Freestanding Cooking

Williams reports that the move towards built-in appliances resulted in a dip for freestanding cookers, particularly the traditional slot-in variety below 60cm, which has declined 5% year on year. Overall, he says, freestanding cookers account for around £396 million, compared to £415 million last year. At the more premium price points, only 110cm range cookers recorded positive growth (8%), with average prices in excess of £1500 making the segment the most consistent performer over the last 18 months. “We have noticed a steady growth in sales in the freestanding range cooker market, particularly in our top specification range cookers,” comments Britannia Commercial Manager Jacqui Hoctor. “Our most popular configuration continues to be 100cm twin oven range cookers due to the capacity and flexibility offered. Many consumers also favour the rotisserie attachment included in our 90cm, 100cm and 110cm twin oven range cookers.”


Britannia is confident of a strong performance in the cooking market. Hoctor observes consumers not only turning away from convenience meals for health benefits, but “actually enjoying” cooking and baking and looking for advanced technology from their cooking appliances. “In the range cooker market we see that this presents huge opportunities for 2014,” she adds. “Gas is still the preferred option as it has professional appeal; however, electric hobs have been growing in popularity over the past few years. Sales for gas and electric were more or less 50/50, but electric has taken the lead recently with 56% of the market. This increase is due mostly to growth in demand for induction, which now accounts for around a third of sales. “I expect the induction market to develop over the coming years as consumers become more aware that induction technology saves energy and is more controllable and safer than gas as there is no exposed flame. Additional premium options exist in combining induction with other professional cooking favourites. For instance, the Bertazzoni brand has created 90cm hobs which combine 30cm hob segments such as induction, teppan yaki and 5kW dual burners in one low-profile hob, allowing for total flexibility with ease of installation.”


“Freestanding cookers are rising in popularity, from traditional range cooker designs that have been brought up to date with the latest technology to contemporary models in stainless steel that blend seamlessly with other modern

burners including the Mijorose simmersafe burner and a super-gas burner with cast iron pan and wok support, plus a cast iron hotplate with griddle option. “Range cookers are always on trend,” asserts Craig Davies, MD for Sub-Zero & Wolf UK. “Not only do they look good, all cooking facilities are in one place, effectively saving countertop space. Plus, the advanced features, large capacity ovens and flexibility of cooking-surface options offers the consumer everything they could possibly need to create anything from rustic home cooking to professional-style gastronomic meals. “The most popular configuration is the 1219mm model, which offers a choice of cooking surfaces that include griddle, charbroiler or Frenchtop and a large 98L oven alongside a roomy but more compact 52L oven. The choice of cooking surface allows the consumer to choose the appliance that best fits their lifestyle and cooking style to easily create restaurant-quality food at home and make it simple and enjoyable.”

Britannia’s Chef Top hotplate is an appealing accessory

appliances in the kitchen,” comments Joan Fraser, Product Development Manager at Smeg UK. “With a range of sizes available, from 60cm up to 150cm wide, there is a freestanding model available to suit even the most compact of kitchens. Freestanding large-capacity ovens with up to five shelf positions to cater for large families are a prominent design at the moment, especially those that have quadruple glazing to ensure the exterior of the appliance remains cool.” Fraser adds that most customers choosing a range cooker want to make a style statement in the kitchen and “our traditional Victoria range cookers are becoming increasingly successful, especially in cream and black. However, red wine, silver, pastel blue and pink are also growing in popularity.”



Hoover Candy’s Maurizio Severgnini refers to range cookers as “big and bold style-statement” products that provide a great focal point for the kitchen, often being the basis of how the entire kitchen will be styled. But he adds that “it’s all about giving the consumer more choice – whether that’s size, colour, finish or price point – fitting in with their kitchen, lifestyle and budget. That aside, range cookers are becoming better specified, with many of the more technological features such as pyrolytic cleaning now being included.” Hoover’s top-end range cooker, the Rosieres Bocuse, incorporates advanced features such as pyrolytic cleaning. Severgnini says the contemporary-styled appliance represents “the next generation of range cookers.” It has multi-function ovens, a full size rotisserie, four gas

Big, bold, full-on styling from Wolf

“Consumers are often looking for versatile products that enhance their cooking, perform well and enable them to multitask more simply,” says Britannia’s Hoctor. “Britannia range cookers assist with this by featuring QUICKSTART technology which allows the oven to reach 200°C around three times faster than most ordinary ovens. This is often a key selling point and appeals to consumers leading busy lives. Britannia range cookers also feature nine-function electric ovens and a choice of gas or induction hobs. Cooking accessories also offer additional sales opportunities and are becoming increasingly popular, with more and more hobby chefs looking for advanced features including rotisseries, meat probes and teppan yaki hotplates such as our professional stainless steel Chef Top. “Cooking is an experience that involves every sense and, as such, retailers should look to demonstrate appliances wherever possible. As a range cooker is such a significant purchase it is particularly important to ensure consumers are able to really examine the product they are buying. Not only this, but with many advanced extras such as the meat probe and rotisserie now available in our range cookers, demonstrating these extras in action is crucial in order to show the consumer what a benefit these additions really are. “Technology advances at pace and consumers look to kitchen designers and retailers for recommendations and specialist knowledge. Taking the time to educate and explain the true benefits is extremely persuasive when encouraging a consumer to buy.”



Coffee Machines

De’Longhi’s slimline Dedica machine handles ground coffee or Easy Serving Espresso pods

“George Clooney’s inside!” Sales of hot beverage makers have increased 67% in the past 5 years and pod coffee machines are at the heart of this growth


eorge Clooney has a lot to answer for. Capsule coffee machines are proving particularly appealing to the UK market, with Nestlé’s Nespresso models a dominant force. According to Mintel, 14% of Britons, or 3.7 million households, now own a pod coffee machine. The jury may be out on the quality of the drink dispensed from such appliances, but they are certainly noted for their consistency. The added value for manufacturers of these machines is in ongoing sales of coffee pods, which, according to research company Euromonitor International, drove overall coffee value sales up by 12% in 2013, following sales of more than 600,000 pod machines in the prior year. Most commentators believe that sales of pod/capsule machines and manual espresso machines will continue to grow, but for the true coffee connoisseur it is the fully automatic bean-to-cup machine that holds the greatest appeal, and the proliferation of such appliances on the market has extended into the ranges of the majority of built-in cooking brands.


According to the British Coffee Association, coffee is the second most popular drink in the world, after water. And here in the UK we certainly owe our growing appreciation of the beverage to the spread of coffee shops in towns and cities following 15 years of considerable growth. In its Project Café13 UK report, Allegra Strategies states that the total UK coffee shop market is estimated at 16,501 outlets and continues to show strong sales growth of 6.4% on the previous year with £6.2 billion total turnover. Brands such as Starbucks, Costa Coffee and Caffè 34

Nero have transformed Britain into a nation of coffee aficionados, with their social hubs serving previously unfamiliar concoctions and offering a gathering place for different sections of the community: commuters thankful for a metabolism boost in the mornings; business people grateful for the fresh aroma and atmosphere of the readymade meeting place; housewives/mums appreciative of likeminded company and the midday caffeine hit… Drinking coffee is also a ‘grown up’ thing to do. Take a shufti through the window of your local Starbucks/Costa after school hours and you’ll find members of the fifth-form blazer brigade soaking up the ambience while sporting frothy cappuccino moustaches.


The art of coffee making has been embraced by UK consumers as the desire to recreate the coffee shop ‘experience’ at home has grown. As Joan Fraser, product development manager at Smeg UK, points out: “Many people now start the day with a fresh cup of coffee and we incorporate it into our daily routines, and when entertaining at home it is fantastic to be able to make your guest a ‘digestif’ coffee of their choice from a high-performance coffee machine.” Fraser recommends that the first decision customers need to make is whether they would like to use beans or ground coffee, or opt for a model that works with both. But “the pivotal decision maker,” she says, “is the power of the pump, which needs to be a minimum of 15 bar.” She also advises that retailers focus


customers on features that allow them to tailor coffee to suit their personal tastes, such as different strength options, the quantity of water per cup and a steamer facility for hot milk. De’Longhi’s view is that one-touch drink options will offer the “ultimate” convenience, and products that provide a broader coffee menu at the touch of a button as well as ease of cleaning and maintenance should be under consideration. “Many consumers end up not using their coffee machines if they are difficult to clean,” adds Craig Davies, MD at SubZero & Wolf UK. “Look for a model that offers a one-touch steam clean option and in which the milk doesn’t enter the internal machinery, avoiding any fiddly disassembly required to clean the appliance.”


The UK’s shrinking room dimensions have brought about the demand for smaller appliances to fulfill the needs of budding baristas coping with ‘shoebox’ kitchens. And in March this year we saw De’Longhi introduce its slimmest pump coffee machine to date. The new Dedica, a 15cmwide appliance, is available to order from June 2014 and boasts all of the features of a traditional pump machine, without taking up extensive worktop space. But there are other options, says Smeg’s Joan Fraser: “In a compact kitchen, a built-in coffee machine will allow consumers to maximise worksurface space and will also create a streamlined look.” Fraser maintains that coffee machines are far from a passing fad: “They are a permanent feature in the kitchen and used day in, day out, which is why more of us are now incorporating a builtin model in the design of our new kitchen.” Hotpoint has come up with another solution for the compact kitchen in the form of the deluxe HD Line coffee machine CM HPC HX0. The appliance can be wall mounted and there is no need to remove it to fill the reservoir or to dispose of used capsules. Hotpoint teamed up with Italian coffee specialist illy to create its new generation of espresso pod coffee machines. Marketing Manager Iain Starkey says: “These machines not only apply the correct level of pressure (19 bar) and reach the right water temperature (90°C), they also use the Iperespresso system developed by illy, which extracts coffee from the vacuum preserved capsule in two phases – ‘hyperinfusion’ to intensify aroma followed by ‘emulsion’ to create a thick, velvety and long lasting crema. “Enjoying a cup of espresso coffee is an experience that involves sight, taste and smell,” he adds.

The Gourmet Quarter




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Complete with a 500W motor, planetary mixing action and a range of attachments including the classic K Beater and Dough Hook, the kMix Stand Mixer comfortably handles large quantities of ingredients.


All of the appliances in CAST Line by Patricia Urquiola and Beko have been developed

VITAMIX – THE “PROFESSIONAL...” Vitamix®, the leader in premium blender innovation, presents the Professional Series 300 and the Professional Series 750. Performing tasks that no other blender can match, these new Vitamix models easily take the place of several kitchen appliances. Both offer quieter blending by up to 50% and a new, attractive compact design. They come with a variable speed control and pulse action to provide unlimited processing flexibility, as well as a 7-year guarantee. The Professional Series 750 additionally features five pre-programmed settings for Smoothies, Frozen Desserts, Hot Soups, Puree and a Cleaning Cycle. Come and see Vitamix at Exclusively Housewares, stand 450, at the Business Design Centre in London on Tuesday 10th or Wednesday 11th June.



These innovative appliances are bigger and better than ever before, with Zanussi introducing induction hob technology onto top-of-the-

with the consumer in mind and combine appealing design with functionality and technical performance. The product range includes ovens, hobs and hoods.

To stock Vitamix, please contact Martin Devaney on mdevaney@vitamix.com


Zanussi’s new range of freestanding cookers with XXL family sized oven capacity has been developed based on the really important features that consumers want from their cookers.

art technology and Patricia’s minimalist design. This is Patricia’s first foray into product design and at the heart of the designs was a desire to keep the highest level of functionality with a sleek, modern look.

range models, making them easier to clean, energy efficient and safer to touch. To help make cleaning that little bit easier, the collection features removable glass doors and self-cleaning catalytic liners that oxidise grease when cooking. The ThermaFlow cooking system allows customers to prepare their

main meal, pudding and garlic bread at the same time, as the fan’s placement inside the oven ensures no transfer of taste from one dish to another. Zanussi Trade Sales Number: 08445 610 610 www.zanussi.co.uk



Profile for Get Connected Magazine

Get Connected Magazine - May 2014  

Get Connected: The Magazine of the Electrical Goods Industry May 2014 issue

Get Connected Magazine - May 2014  

Get Connected: The Magazine of the Electrical Goods Industry May 2014 issue