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NOVEMBER 2012

w w w. g c m a g a z i n e . c o . u k

KITCHEN STUDIO The 21st century kitchen demands aspirational design, an inviting ambience and high performance. Get Connected reports on the state of the art

GROWTH FROM KNOWLEDGE GfK with the facts and figures on digital imaging

SIEMENS ON DISHWASHERS A global brand presents dishwasher technology and innovation

ELECTROLUX ON WASHING Electrolux’s professional-inspired Inspiration Range of home laundry appliances

SPOTLIGHT ON CONNECT Connect Distribution: “The power behind the brands”

THE BRITISH EMRA AWARDS In 2013 the Get Connected Product of the Year Awards are developing and expanding into the Electrical Manufacturing and Retailing Awards. Now is the time to make sure you are a part of the new British EMRAs

Total Excellence & Quality TEQ Awards 2012 Over 125,000 customers ranked their repair service in the 15th annual Total Excellence & Quality (TEQ) Awards. Sponsored and administered by leading warranty specialist Domestic & General, the TEQ awards honour commitment and outstanding repair service of white goods brands across the UK – with Glen Dimplex Home Appliances (GDHA) taking the TEQ top spot for 2012.


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CONTENTS

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18 20 22 29 p20 JARRE TECHNOLOGIES AEROSKULL SPEAKER www.jarre.com

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

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

www.gcmagazine.co.uk

Editorial Comment

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The Word

In and around the industry / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Siemens on Dishwashers

Cutting-edge technology from a global brand / / / / / / / / /

Spotlight on Connect Distribution A profile of the “power behind the brands”

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

The British EMRA Awards

Get Connected is developing its highly respected Product of the Year Awards to become the Electrical Manufacturing and Retailing Awards. Find out how to enter / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

The Product Gallery

Kitchen Studio Feature

An in-depth look at the 21st century kitchen and its appliances / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Electrolux on Inspiration

The domestic laundry range inspired by Electrolux’s professional appliances / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Growth from Knowledge

GfK with the big picture on digital imaging / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

George Cole Gets Connected

Apple’s goodbye to optical disk drives and the UK’s goodbye to analogue TV / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

From the Bench

Bad vibes from Google? / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Backchat

2-minute interview with Maurizio Severgnini, Managing Director Built-in Unit, Hoover Candy

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

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

Creative Director: Will Dobson  design@willdobson.co.uk

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

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

Advertisement Production Administration: Will Dobson Telephone: 01342 850 456  gcads@willdobson.co.uk

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

NOV 2012 GET CONNECTED

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EDITORIAL COMMENT

Marlinda Conway Editor in Chief

It’s been a momentous month in electricals. Terry Heath Editorial & Publishing Director

F

inancial results from some of the Japanese giants who have dominated global Consumer Electronics for so long show that they are in deepening trouble. And national multiple retailer Comet is in administration. Not brilliant news for the Christmas sales season. But it vindicates Get Connected’s argument over the past few years that the electrical industry, and specifically electrical retailing in the UK, is not merely suffering from the effects of a long, deep and persistent economic downturn, but is actually undergoing a fundamental and permanent realignment. It appears that French owners of Comet, Kesa Electricals (now Darty), may have been prescient

are the backbone of our economy. We said last month that SMEs appear to be letting a once-ina-generation opportunity to put banks in their place slip away. Is this unhelpful “bank bashing”? This true story (only the names have been suppressed and the figures modified to protect the innocent), straight from the horse’s mouth, says otherwise: An electrical industry businessman who has used the same bank for all his business and personal banking for decades applied for an overdraft facility of £45,000 to carry out expansion of a current enterprise. The projections were realistic, the figures added up, and the bank’s representative told our businessman there would be no problem.

It’s a very, very hard environment for electrical retailers. But where there are challenges, there are also opportunities.” in letting the entire UK Comet operation go for £2 last February, throwing in a £50 million “dowry” as well. Buyers OpCapita promised to keep Comet going for “at least 18 months.” A promise they have been unable to keep. As we go to press, administrators are reported to be seeking a buyer. Who would be brave enough to take on Comet now; and what would they want from OpCapita to sweeten the deal? It’s a very, very hard environment for electrical retailers. But where there are challenges, there are also opportunities. The one constant seems to be that electrical retailers must learn to make the Internet their friend. This magazine has also been calling for a fundamental change in the balance of power between our major banks and the SMEs that

The facility was approved at branch, and went to Head Office for what was expected to be routine “rubber stamping.” But the people at the top said they wanted to attach conditions before approval: the businessman and his partners would have to put £45,000 in a savings account which they would promise not to touch, and then the £45,000 facility would be forthcoming. In effect, if the partners in the business could deposit £45,000 in real money, the bank would agree to lend them £45,000. Our businessman’s response to this condition is unprintable. Major UK banks’ excuse for not lending what they promised to SMEs last year is that there’s “no demand.” Little wonder. What are we going to do about it?

Will Dobson Creative Director

James McIntosh Consumer Consultant

George Cole Consumer Electronics Consultant

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

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THE WORD | INDUSTRY NEWS

The tail end of Comet

As

this issue of GC went to press, electrical retailer Comet confirmed a notice of intent to file for administration with the formal appointment of administrators expected early the following week, putting 6,500 jobs at risk. Insolvency firm Deloitte had been put on standby to take over the chain’s 240 stores. On 19th October GC reported online and in its e-bulletin that private equity firm OpCapita, which bought Comet in February this year for £2, was believed to be exploring bids placed to buy the business, although it had not formally been put up for sale. At the time of the sale of Comet to ‘turnaround specialist’ OpCapita, Comet’s former owner Kesa Electricals (now Darty), agreed a ‘dowry’ of £50 million to sell the business and took on responsibility for a pension fund deficit of some £35 million. The purchasers then gave an undertaking to run the business as a going concern for at least 18 months. John Clare, former Dixons boss who became Chairman of the company, said he would be there to secure the chain’s longer term future by putting strong management and financial structures in place, believing that the business could be turned around. But without the protection of its large parent company Kesa, credit insurers refused cover to suppliers, leaving the business in the position of paying up-front for stock from some sources, with others legally claiming ‘retention of title’ for

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GET CONNECTED NOV 2012

goods in the event of administration and some refusing to supply the retailer at all. Sources say that OpCapita is believed to be the biggest secured creditor, so will be repaid first (after the administrators, of course) from monies raised by the administration process. The notice to appoint administrators provides companies with an initial five working days of breathing space to discuss any possible survival plans with their nominated administrator. This can be extended to 10 working days, but formal administration usually follows. A spokesperson for Comet said: “In the meantime the board is urgently working with its advisers to seek a solution to secure a viable future for the company.” At Dixons, which is still in the process of mastering its transformation and turnaround programme, shares rose 13% on the news. It’s a sad ending for the 80-year old Comet business. At the time of writing, the company’s website had crashed and suppliers were said to be “commandeering stock”. It is also the biggest retail collapse since Woolworths in 2008 and comes a month after the failure of JJB Sports. Other recent big-name casualties have included Clinton Cards, Blacks Leisure, Game, Peacocks, Allied Carpets and Allders.

Dixons.co.uk website closes Currys and PC World parent Dixons Retail plc has closed its online business Dixons.co.uk to concentrate on its multichannel offering, six years after Dixons high street stores were rebranded Currys.digital. The move follows improvements to the multichannel offerings for Currys and PC World. The Dixons brand will continue to exist via the company’s travel stores based in UK airports.

October retail sales exceed expectations Retailers reported a strong rise in sales volumes in the year to October and expect growth to continue at a similar pace next month, according to the CBI. In its latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey, the CBI said 47% of retailers reported that sales volumes were up on a year ago while 17% recorded a decline. The resulting balance of +30% well exceeded expectations, and was the fastest rate of sales growth since June this year (+42%).

Retail employment rises at fastest rate for two years Retail employment rose by 2.9% in the third quarter of 2012 compared with a year earlier, the fastest growth in two years, according to the BRC. The figure is equivalent to 20,533 additional full-time jobs, although the increase was driven by part-time workers, particularly in the grocery sector. The number of outlets and full-time jobs in nonfood retailing declined.

Multiple retailers close 20 stores a day Multiple retailers closed 20 stores a day on average in the first half of 2012, a net reduction of 953 shops in the period compared to 174 shops in the whole of 2011. Closures were highest in the South East, at 830 stores. According to data compiled on behalf of PwC by the Local Data Company, analysis of July and August 2012 shows a worsening situation, with the number of closures increasing to 32 per day for the two months as a result of recent administrations and drawdowns.


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THE WORD | INDUSTRY NEWS

Argos has developed a five-year transformation plan to reinvent itself as a digital retail leader. The plan is underpinned by a three-year investment programme to transform the business from catalogue-led to digital-led, restoring it to sustainable growth. Argos parent, Home Retail Group, said it is likely that the chain will close or relocate at least 75 stores as their leases come to an end over the next five years.

Retail “Taskforce” starts High Street rejuvenation initiative Property, retail and banking sectors have signed up for the Distressed Retail Property Taskforce, a group formed to look at ways of helping to revitalize town centres in the UK where retailers are struggling and shop premises stand vacant and unproductive. The Taskforce includes the British Property Federation, the British Council of Shopping Centres, the Local Government Association, the Booksellers Association, Barclays Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland, and can at least be commended for grasping the basic fact – one that we at GC have been putting to our own industry for at least a couple of years – that the current plight of our High Streets is not just a temporary, fixable result of the recession, but a deeper, more permanent and fundamental shift in the way UK consumers do their shopping.

Taskforce chairman Mark Williams said: “The Taskforce recognises that our High Streets are going through a structural recalibration, rather than an economic cycle from which we will emerge over time. We have too many shops, the wrong size and under-invested. So the change in town centres that is required is significant and will require public and private sectors coming together to find ways of financing these changes. What we’re talking about are essentially infrastructure projects that can future-proof our towns for the next 50 to 60 years.” The bad news is that the Task Force’s first priority – to get hard facts on the real size and extent of the High Street malaise – involves an initial six months or so of research. Six months on, the problem may have worsened, and for some, any “solutions” the Taskforce comes up with will be too late.

See www.gcmagazine.co.uk for the full story

matters

what’s

inside

The Government’s announcement that business rates bills will continue to be based on 2008 property values until 2017 will create a “toxic cocktail” that threatens to drive more businesses to the wall, according to CVS, a leading business rates specialist which represents more than 25,000 businesses across the UK. Mark Rigby, Chief Executive of CVS, said: “Extending the current charging regime until 2017 – nine years after rateable values were last measured – is unjustifiable and is simply heaping pain upon pain for businesses crying out for some respite from Government. “No business could get away with charging prices that are so many years out of date. Struggling firms shouldn’t have to take it from the Government, yet they are being required to do so.” The British Property Federation said the decision was a further blow to the country’s struggling high streets, which will lead to businesses continuing to pay business rates based on top-of-the-market 2008 rents. “By postponing, the Government is not allowing the downward adjustment that would otherwise take place for suffering retailers,” said Chief Executive Liz Peace. Jerry Schurder, Head of Rating at Gerald Eve, said it was “awful news”, especially for retailers. “Businesses have already waited too long for the rating system to adjust to the state of the economy and to make them wait a further two years will cause much further hardship to the economy.” The postponement of the revaluation of rates until 2017 was part of the Government’s new Growth and Infrastructure Bill, which was introduced to Parliament during October and aims to reduce confusing and overlapping red tape.

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THE WORD | INDUSTRY NEWS

Sharp said that it may not be able to continue as a going concern after nearly doubling its full-year loss projections. The company posted a net loss of ¥249.1 billion in the 3 months from July to September 2012 versus a net profit of ¥9.4 billion in the same period last year. Revenue fell 4% to ¥645.5 billion from the previous year. Sharp now expects a net loss of ¥450 billion against an earlier forecast of a ¥250 billion loss for the full year. Restructuring at the company continues. Toshiba posted net sales of ¥2,685.9 billion for the 6-month period ended September 2012, down 7.8% on the previous year. Net income rose 4.9%, to ¥25.2 billion. Sales in the Digital Products division, which includes LCD TVs, dropped 20% to ¥686.6 billion. Panasonic Corporation posted a net loss of ¥698.0 billion for the second quarter ended 30 September 2012, compared with a loss of ¥105.8 billion a year ago. Consolidated group sales fell 12% to ¥1,823.7 billion. In its outlook for the full year, Panasonic revised its original sales forecast of ¥8,100.0 billion down to ¥7,300.0 billion. A net loss of ¥765.0 billion is predicted. The company had forecast an income of ¥50.0 billion for the fiscal year.

Indesit Company posted third-quarter Group revenues of €797.6 million, up 4.6% on Q3 2011. Adjusted operating margin in the period grew 22.5% to €43.1 million and net profit 37.4% to €20.6 million. The company said the market in greater Europe continued to contract in terms of unit shipments (-0.7%). Group sales for the year are expected to rise by around 2% on last year with earnings before interest and taxation in the region of €120 million. Samsung Electronics reported revenues of KRW52.18 trillion on a consolidated basis for the third quarter ended 30 September 2012, a 26% increase on the same period in 2011. Operating profit reached an all time high of KRW8.12 trillion, representing a 91% rise, while net profit for the three months was KRW6.56 trillion. Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business posted KRW26.25 trillion in revenue for the quarter, accounting for more than half of the company’s total revenue. Digital Media & Communications – comprising the Consumer Electronics and IT & Mobile Communications business sectors – accounted for KRW41.90 trillion in sales, up 41% year-on-year. In Device Solutions, operating profits reached KRW2.29 trillion on revenue of KRW17.40 trillion.

LG Electronics recorded Q3 revenues down 4% year-over-year to KRW12.38 trillion. Third-quarter net profit of KRW157 billion and operating profit of KRW221 billion grew from losses reported in the same period last year. LG Home Entertainment Company sales of KRW5.49 trillion were led by an increase in LCD TV. Mobile Communications improved significantly, recording operating profit of KRW22 billion. Revenues increased to KRW2.45 trillion. In Home Appliances, revenue rose 6.4% year-over-year to KRW2.87 trillion. An operating profit of KRW129 billion reflected strong sales in the US and in emerging markets. Sony posted a net loss of ¥15.5 billion in the July-September quarter versus a loss of ¥27 billion in the same period last year. Revenue rose 1.9% to ¥1.605 trillion, while operating income returned to the black with a profit of ¥30.3 billion compared to a ¥1.6 billion loss in the prior year. Whirlpool Corporation reported Q3 net earnings of $74 million compared to $177 million during the same period last year. Sales in the quarter were $4.5 billion, compared to $4.6 billion in 2011. Operating profit totalled $214 million,

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THE WORD | INDUSTRY NEWS

up from $136 million in the prior year. Whirlpool Europe, Middle East and Africa reported sales of $703 million versus $874 million in 2011. Unit shipments fell by 9%. The region recorded an operating loss of $35 million compared to $12 million a year ago.

to 985m. Operating income improved to SEK 1,461m, corresponding to a margin of 5.4%. During the quarter, five of the six business areas delivered an EBIT margin at or above the company’s target of 6%, with Major Appliances Europe the only business falling short.

BSkyB reported revenues up 4% to £1,715 million in the quarter to 30 September 2012, with 48,000 new households added during the period, 28,000 new standalone home communications customers and 20,000 new TV customers. Operating profit rose 5% to £310 million and EBITDA 3% to £392 million.

Philips posted Q3 comparable sales up 5%, to €6.1 billion, with all three business sectors contributing to growth. EBITA, at €450 million, represented 7.3% of sales. Net income was €170 million compared to €76 million in Q3 2011. Profit margin improvements for the Group were led by Consumer Lifestyle and Healthcare.

Electrolux recorded net sales of SEK 27,171m for the third quarter of 2012, up 5.9% on the previous year with organic growth representing 4.6% of the rise. Income for the period rose from SEK 825m

Amazon recorded a net loss of $274 million in the third quarter to 30 September 2012, compared to a net income of $63 million in the same period last year. The figure included a loss of

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$169 million related to the company’s stake in daily deal site LivingSocial. Net sales increased 27% to $13.81 billion compared with $10.88 billion in the same period last year. In its guidance for the fourth quarter, Amazon said it expects net sales to be between $20.25 billion and $22.75 billion, or to grow between 16% and 31% compared with fourth quarter 2011. Operating income is expected to range between a loss of $490 million and a profit of $310 million. Sales at Argos in the 26 weeks to 1 September rose to £1.686 billion, from £1.675 billion in the first half of 2011. Multi-channel penetration increased to 51% of total, with online Check & Reserve the fastest growing channel, now representing 30% of all sales. Mobile shopping contributed in excess of £100 million during the period.

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Important information for our customers Double D. Distributors Returns Policy. There have been changes in the practice and procedures by our suppliers to their Returns Policy which has a reflection on our working practice. In order to continue with our quality of service to you and to enhance our overall working standards, we intend to incorporate the measures and therefore wish to advise you of our new procedures. These will in no way affect your statutory rights but will speed up our methods and ultimately improve our service to you. The new procedure is as follows:-

Established in 1976, we have been servicing the independents for over 30 years. We distribute LED / LCD / PLASMA ƒ On receipt or notification of a returned item, you should phone our Administration Department who willreceivers, facsimile a copy of our Returnsand a great many accessories from HDMI cables to televisions, audio equipment, satellite media players Proforma. wall mountable brackets. We are a great asset to retailers who cannot trade directly with the big manufacturers ƒ On receipt of your notification our staff will forward a returns number the buying detail required to deliver the goods to us. and we haveandthe power to keep our prices competitive, to give you (the retailer) the best deals possible. ƒ All goods that are returned must have the number of the original We work closely with names such the as serial Samsung, Toshiba, Sharp, LG, Humax and many more. To see our new invoice. This big invoice shall include number of the returned catalogue ƒ oritem. to open an account with us, please phone our Sales line. We will be only too happy to help. The returned item will be accompanied by a proof of purchase that will show that the fault has occurred within 28 days from purchase by the customer from you. ƒ If the item has shown faulty outside the 28 day period then the manufacturers warranty comes into operation. ƒ Manufactures, such as Finlux, have maintained their returns policy and therefore we will continue to act as their agent for the stated period for returns until service set up is provided. ƒ Returned items should and where possible be returned in the original boxes, with all accessories. We appreciate this may prove difficult but every effort should be made to encourage this practice. If it is not possible, every effort should be made to ensure the safe carriage and return of the item to us.

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THE WORD | INDUSTRY NEWS DOMESTIC & GENERAL MD KEN WILSON AND SERVICE DIRECTOR LAWRENCE HARRISON PRESENT THE OVERALL TEQ WINNER TROPHY TO GDHA CHIEF EXECUTIVE DENVER HEWLETT AND CUSTOMER CARE DIRECTOR PAULA HODKINSON

Sony Europe announces new European marketing team

Alltrade show an ‘all round’ success This year’s Alltrade trade show, held at the Copthorne Hotel in Effingham, Sussex on 11th October, hosted 34 exhibitors and more than 260 trade visitors during the course of the one-day event. With YouView, PVR, networking and install technologies now forming a key part of the Alltrade distribution portfolio, key brands such as Triax, Echostar, Humax, Sonos and Freesat were all on hand to speak to trade visitors. Alltrade MD Steve Simper commented: “Despite near monsoon weather conditions, this year’s show has been the most successful, with record numbers of exhibitors and visitors as well as orders placed. “It is great to see so many of our key suppliers using the show to launch new products aimed squarely at Alltrade customers and this demonstrates that, for the aerial and satellite industry, there is plenty of new business to be had post switchover.” This year’s show also underlined the trend for diversification across the aerial

and satellite industry, with many brands exhibiting for the first time. All in all, the event was considered a “qualified success.” Simper said that of the 400 preregistered companies, those who didn’t make it have been contacted and the majority said that work commitments came up at the last minute. “We’ve been asked if we can do it all again as the feeling is that these guys have missed out,” he commented. The company is already in the process of planning its 2013 show.

GDHA celebrates win at 15th annual TEQ Awards Glen Dimplex Home Appliances is celebrating its success as winner of the 2012 Domestic Appliance Manufacturer TEQ Award. Sponsored and administered by the UK’s leading warranty specialist Domestic & General, the annual TEQ Awards are widely regarded as a benchmark for excellence within the white goods industry, recognising manufacturers and contractors who have consistently provided customers with high-quality repair services over the last 12 months. GDHA achieved the highest customer satisfaction rating in the company’s history, with 95% of those surveyed rating it as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ and more than 97% of customers happy with the company’s helpfulness, efficiency and speed of response, both from the contact centre and engineers. Lawrence Harrison, Service Director at Domestic & General, presented GDHA Chief Executive Denver Hewlett and Customer Care Director Paula Hodkinson with their award at Nunsmere Hall Hotel in Cheshire. Miele and BSH came in “close” second and third places respectively. A further 15 TEQ trophies are awarded to independent repair agents across the UK for their outstanding service.

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Sony Europe has announced key appointments to its new European consumer marketing team, reflecting its transformation from a business of ten individual sales companies to a single pan-European company. The changes come as Sony focuses on the main strategic priorities of Mobile, Digital Imaging and Gaming and revitalising the TV business, as set out by its new global President and CEO Kazuo Hirai. The new European marketing team will be led by Gildas Pelliet, Head of Marketing Europe, who assumed the position in July 2012, supported by platform and product marketing heads and in-country marketing heads who will lead local execution. In the UK, Matt Coombe continues to head up brand and consumer marketing.

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


THE WORD | INDUSTRY NEWS

Pure produces Washing machine “world’s first” manufacturing returns to the UK mainstream multiroom audio product family Pure is claiming the “world’s first” family of mainstream multiroom audio products with the launch of the Jongo wireless system, which distributes synchronised music and audio to multiple devices from a single source, including the new Pure Connect App for iPad, iPhone and Android and an increasing number of the brand’s connected products. Starting at £149.99 (RSP), the Pure Jongo multiroom audio family will be made up of a range of contemporary wireless speakers and hi-fi adapters. The system allows users to purchase a single product and expand as required across multiple speakers and/ or multiple rooms with additional Jongo or Jongo-compatible products. The first product to launch in the Jongo range is the S340B portable wireless speaker.

Ebac Group, which employs 200 people producing watercoolers, dehumidifiers and air coolers, is to bring washing machine manufacturing back to the UK, with a dedicated new production facility in the North East creating more than 200 jobs. Ebac is to develop the new products in a £7m venture made possible by £1m from the Regional Growth Fund. The company says that around 4 million washing machines are bought in the UK each year, all of them imported, and it believes that its plans can provide an economic boost by replacing those imports with appliances made in the UK. Ebac’s Group Managing Director Pamela Petty said: “We have spent months exploring

Hoover Candy receives Sirius award Hoover Candy has been named Manufacturer of the Year by the Sirius Buying Group at its 2012 awards held during a dinner in the Forest of Arden hotel in Warwickshire to mark the end of the Sirius annual trade show. “We have had an excellent year with Sirius and are thrilled to have been given the title of Manufacturer of the Year 2012. The judges told us that we were chosen for the whole-hearted commitment and support that we offer to retailers,” commented Hoover Candy sales director Sharon Hammer. Gordon Jones, Chairman of Sirius, presented the award.

Sonorous management Aves Digital targets raises £7,000 in charity cycle ride UK indies Milton Keynes-based supplier of audio products Aves Digital is targeting the independent retail channel as it looks to develop its business in the UK market. The company, which currently operates an online store selling a range of DAB+ radios, Bluetooth speakers and iPhone/iPod docking stations, is the first overseas subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Tunbow Group. Aves general manager John Cohring said: “There is money to be made in our product range. As we look to establish and grow the Aves brand in the UK it is key for us to build good, strong foundations in the independent retail channel. The Aves range of products is highly demonstrable and I’d encourage independents to come on board.”

not only the feasibility of manufacturing washing machines but also the processes involved and we are very confident of having a high quality, competitive product on the market within the next two years.” “If we are to resolve the UK’s economic problems, we need to start making things again and support for projects such as this is a huge step in the right direction,” added Ebac chairman John Elliott. The successful implementation of a washing machine manufacturing facility will also prepare the way for Ebac to produce other domestic applicances in the future.

Sonorous MD Paul McCarthy and Sales Manager Keith Hayes have completed a 3-day, 230-mile cycle ride across the Trans Pennine Trail to raise funds for the Encephalitis Society. More than £5,000 has been raised to date, with the final total expected to reach £7,000.

alpha = alfa encourages retailers to sell more Sony cameras Sony has presented two Alfa Mito cars to the winners of its alpha = alfa onlinebased sales incentive programme, which was established to incentivise employees of photography retail chain Jessops and independent photography specialist retailers to develop a greater understanding of Sony Digital Imaging products and to help them sell more Sony cameras and lenses. The winners, Patricia Hubbard from Jessops in Sheffield and Darren Kearney from Park Cameras in Burgess Hill, West Sussex, were presented with their prizes at Sony’s UK head office in Weybridge, Surrey by Chris Bowen, Country Head for Sony UK and Ireland, and Shaun Dorrington, Marketing Director for UK and Ireland.

NOV 2012 GET CONNECTED

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THE WORD | INDUSTRY NEWS

Meet with the industry at the Neff hits the TRIC Christmas Lunch sweet spot with The Television & Radio Industries Club has announced that there are still seats available at this year’s TRIC Christmas Lunch, which will be held in the Great Room of the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on Tuesday, December 11. Single tickets as well as tables of eight, ten or twelve can be booked via TRIC Director George Stone on 01277 624448 (info@tric.org.uk)

Industry body retra has donated £8,455 to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. The charity was chosen by Andrew O’Gorman, retra president for 2012/2013, to receive the gift at the end of his first presidential year. Kenwood has launched a six-figure Christmas advertising campaign to raise awareness of the brand’s main kitchen appliances. It comprises display advertising and advertorials in print as well as a 20-second VOD ad running on Channel 4’s 4oD service. Miele is offering £111 cash back on its W5872 washing machine and T8860 WP tumble dryer throughout November 2012, along with a prize draw for purchasers of any of its Edition 111 laundry collection, which runs to the end of January 2013.

True Colours, the specialist AV division Matthew Webster of the Midwich group, has announced the appointment of Matthew Webster as Specialist Account Manager. Hama (UK) Ltd has won the Celestron Cosmos Award for ‘Best Market Penetration into New Markets 2011-2012’. The award was presented the annual Celestron International Distributor Meeting. Electrolux has announced its headline sponsorship of Taste of Christmas, the UK’s biggest Christmas food festival taking place at London’s ExCeL from 7th - 9th December.

Samsung has announced a new ‘Reward Yourself’ promotion running throughout November in which customers purchasing selected products across the brand’s latest range of home appliances will receive a 22” Samsung Smart TV. The manufacturer is also extending its free 5-year warranty on selected home appliances until 30 April 2013.

Leisure Range Cookers has teamed up with Delia Online in a campaign to raise brand awareness and support retailers throughout the pre-Christmas season. The site features Delia’s festive recipes and shows the benefits of the multiple ovens that range cookers offer. Visitors are also invited to vote for their favourite menu for the chance to win £500 worth of Waitrose or John Lewis vouchers.

Irish distributor Naa Ltd. has been appointed by Baumatic to distribute the brand’s complete line-up of four appliance collections, focusing on the electrical and kitchen channels.

The YouView Humax DTR-T1000 has won the Best Freeview HD Recorder award in the ‘Set Top Box’ category at the annual awards of technology magazine What HiFi? Sound and Vision.

Bake it Yourself campaign

Neff reveals that its ‘Bake it Yourself’ campaign, launched in March this year, has attracted a social audience in excess of 175,000, which is higher than the monthly circulation figures of magazines such as FHM, Vanity Fair and Olive. John McLauchlan, Senior Product Manager for Neff, said the success of the campaign was “truly phenomenal.” BIY now has more than 150,000 Facebook fans and 29,000 Twitter followers, and is ranked 1st for Facebook likes, 1st for most talked about campaign and 1st for share of voice of any home appliance brand.

Kenwood turns ‘calamity Kirsty’ into culinary Queen Kenwood crowned Kirsty Pulsakowska from Reading ‘Kenwood Chef 2012’ at the inaugural ‘from Disaster Chef to Kenwood Chef’ competition final. The event was the climax of a nationwide search the country’s most hopeless cooks, with the aim of transforming their culinary offerings from “inedible to incredible”. Kirsty, whose kitchen disasters had included burning a salad and attempting to cook steak & kidney pie with steak-flavoured crisps and kidney beans, won prizes worth more than £4,000 including a kitchen makeover, an advanced cookery course and Kenwood products. Runners up in the competition received a Kenwood Chef and a trophy to remind them of their experience.

Refrigeration specialist Lec, which this year celebrates its 70th birthday, has obtained Energy Saving Trust approval across its entire product range. Beko has announced the appointment of Tina Kapoor to the role of trade marketing manager and Jenni Akthar as digital brand manager.

Industry association AMDEA has launched a new website providing information on the significance of the domestic appliance market and the industry’s achievements in sustainable technology. apoor

Tina K

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Jenn i Akth ar

KIRSTY PULSAKOWSKA RIGHT WITH KENWOOD CHEF 2012 JUDGE EMILIA FOX  SILENT WITNESS ACTRESS AND SELFCONFESSED DISASTER CHEF


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NOV 2012 GET CONNECTED

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SPOTLIGHT ON CONNECT DISTRIBUTION

The power behind the brands... Connect Distribution has a heritage spanning more than 40 years. It has grown to become the UK’s largest independent spare parts and service distributor, operating in the B2B, B2C and service markets and specialising in distribution and service solutions. GC talks to Sales Director Martin Depper

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and the company’s bespoke ‘Connections’ online ordering system, hile we’ve seen the demise of a number of high-profile which was established in 1995 and has now become a “market leading” distributors such as Inman & Co., Harris & Russell and programme within the domestic appliance industry, available 24/7 and HI Group during these recessionary years, Birminghamoffering the facility for customers to place orders, submit enquiries and based Connect Distribution has prudently manoeuvred its way perform product searches at any time of the day or night. through the imposed economic straits by holding firm to its As any commercial enterprise knows, investment in ‘backend’ systems core business values and its vision to be “the first choice for is essential to smooth, uninterrupted service, a satisfied customer home appliance after-sales service, spare parts and accessory base, and fundamental to growth, and Depper believes that Connect’s distribution”, without cutting corners. own in-house IT development enables the operation to strike the Yes, there have been challenges. Sales Director Martin Depper tells level of efficiencies for it to continue to progress. But investment in GC that order values have been reduced and the biggest adjustment has streamlining all systems including manual warehouse functions, with been a changing customer base. “A good few hundred accounts have voice technology which improves operations and increases accuracy, closed,” he reveals. But on the upside, “many new ones have opened. for example, allows the company to manage headcount and We’re seeing hardware companies diversifying into spares, provides more order processing capacity, he says. and larger appliance suppliers doing the same.” The key to Connect’s success, Depper believes, is its “dynamic approach.” It works closely Managing profit margins with manufacturers and customers to In maintaining and strengthening its The distribution centre understand their business and requirements, core business of supplying spare parts, provides access to over 1.5 offering direct delivery to consumers, consumables and accessories from managing the supply chain for spare hundreds of different brands, Connect million SKUs with stock in parts, accessories and small appliances has over a number of years developed excess of 120,000 lines and an both from UK suppliers and direct brands of its own: Wellco, which covers from factories worldwide, and “driving” products ranging from pre-packed average of 200 new lines added business activity. “We’re constantly electrical accessories to small domestic each day, but it is Connect’s creating business rather than waiting for appliances, and Electruepart, which strong capabilities in supply it to materialise,” he asserts. offers a complete universal range of This is a company which is also in the appliance consumables and accessories. chain management systems enviable position of having no single direct While these well developed brands offer that distinguish it.” competitor. There are certain areas of crossover Connect’s extensive customer base value for with other distributors, according to Depper, “but money, high margins and greater choice, the our differentiation is the huge range of spare parts we organisation is fully aware of the difficulties that stock and our ability to resolve supply chain issues.” holding wide ranges of stock poses for independents, many of which have built their reputations on providing high levels of service. Depper tells GC that the business has moved Managing the supply chain away from the standard distribution model to provide an “essential” Connect claims to be the largest independent home appliance service service. “You could say that Connect is an extension of its customers’ and spare parts distribution organisation in the UK. It has in excess of 500 businesses,” he adds. direct employees, operating from a 42,000 sq ft head office complex and Such service enables independents to expand their product ranges a 225,000 sq ft national distribution centre which is “expanding all the without holding extensive stock levels and to break into new markets, time.” Depper reveals that another new extension is just finished and, at too: Connect supplies products from over 100 small domestic appliance the time of writing, is about to go live. brands and is a specialist distributor to floorcare names such as Miele, The distribution centre provides access to over 1.5 million SKUs Dyson and Bissell. Virtual warehousing means that goods can be ordered with stock in excess of 120,000 lines and an average of 200 new lines and delivered direct to the consumer, eliminating inventory handling added each day, but it is Connect’s strong capabilities in supply chain and warehousing costs and increasing retailers’ profit margins in the management systems that distinguish it. Stock levels are meticulously process. Depper adds that Connect is also an accredited supplier to planned and managed to ensure all items are readily available to meet the buying groups CI(H) and Sirius, which extends its reach further and gives demands of the market, often exceeding 97% availability for next working members access to the expansive ranges on offer. day – a task that is supported by a “front line” call centre response team

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WWW.LIVINGKITCHEN-COLOGNE.COM WWW.IMM-COLOGNE.COM

The move into service In 2002, Connect established Repaircare, a division which would provide a ‘one stop’ solution to white goods manufacturers, high street retailers and insurance companies for guarantee and extended warranty service and repairs. According to Depper, Connect had identified a gap in the market between spares provision and service providers, and “with our core strength in spares and systems, we realised that we had the knowledge required to deliver service.” Repaircare has since grown to become the largest independent white goods work provider to the UK independent trade, with a first tier network providing access to more than 500 trained service technicians, supported by a second tier comprising independent service companies that undertake work when necessary. Apart from the obvious benefits Repaircare brings to the white goods industry and to consumers, Depper says “it’s also nice for our salespeople who generally walk into independents looking for business to ask ‘can we give you some business?’”

Adapt or die? Talking to Depper somehow peels away the layers of this business – which for the most part appears to fly serenely under the radar – revealing both scale and intricacy. Like any organism, it is made up of many interrelated elements and systems, skillfully combined to function as a seamless whole, but which must adapt and respond to change in order to survive. For this subtle master of distribution, whose strapline “The power behind the brands” denotes its strong supply chain management capabilities, the future lies in “constant reinvestment” in systems and initiatives. “The opportunity for us is that service is second in line for many manufacturers,” says Depper. “Although they are aware of the importance of service; sales and marketing come first, and this is understandable.” Depper is also conscious of the shifting marketplace and recognises that the company must keep evolving by providing new ideas and solutions for customers. “For manufacturers, we need to continue to identify ways to help them gain further efficiencies and reduce costs; and for independents, we need to continue to expand our spares ranges, stocking new brands as they come to market to ensure their businesses also run smoothly.”

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EMRA AWARDS

The British Electrical Manufacturing & Retailing Awards

The Get Connected Products of the Year Awards scheme has been adopted by the industry as representing the highest standards of integrity, credibility and genuine prestige, and the right to use and display the distinctive Award logo on products and promotional material has become a sought-after benefit. From this established foundation, GC is in 2013 beginning, with industry partners, the development of the EMRAs – The British Electrical Manufacturing & Retailing Awards. Many of the familiar award categories will remain, but will be progressively augmented by further categories that reflect the entirety of the industry in future years.

WELCOME TO THE BRITISH EMRAs 2013

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he British EMRAs bring a new dimension and fresh perspective to Electrical Industry Awards in the UK, recognising leading design, sustainability and contribution to the UK economy, with a focus on the manufacturers, brands, products and support services that deserve recognition as leaders in our own industry. Winning an EMRA not only acknowledges excellence among our peers, but emphasises that the winners are recognised as world class performers alongside the global icons of style, design, engineering, innovation and best business practice across all major industries. Nominations will comprise entries put forward by the EMRA panel and those selected from applications received. Details of how to enter the Awards are provided in these pages. The EMRAs are judged against standards of excellence. Any entrant achieving those standards will win an EMRA Award. There may be more than one Award recipient in each category. Each entrant will be scored on the aggregate of points awarded by the EMRA panel plus votes received by Get Connected readers.

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THE BRITISH EMRA AWARDS

FOR 2013

The Categories for 2013 have been chosen to reflect what is most important to industry practitioners in the second decade of the 21st Century. Product categories are open to all products available on the UK retail market during 2012, regardless of their initial launch date.  Leading Design – Laundry Product Open to all built-in and freestanding home laundry products on the UK market

 Leading Design – MDA Collection or Range Open to any 3 or more MDA products presented as a range or collection on the UK market

 Leading Design – Cooking Product Open to all built-in and freestanding cooking products, including microwave & combi ovens, on the UK market

 Leading Design – Dishwashing Product Open to all built-in and freestanding dishwashers on the UK market

 Leading Design – Refrigeration/ Cooling Product Open to all built-in and freestanding refrigeration, freezer and wine storage products on the UK market

 Leading Design – Floorcare Product Open to all cylinder, upright, hand-held, stick and cordless vacuum cleaners, steam mops and deep cleaners on the UK market

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

 Leading Design – TV/Home Cinema/Sound Projection Products/ Combinations Open to all TVs, Set-top Boxes, Home Cinema Systems and Accessories, Sound Projection Products, “Smart” TV configurations, systems and technologies on the UK market

 Leading Design – Consumer Electronics – Music & Imaging Products and Accessories Open to all Consumer Electronics Products not encompassed by the previous category, including Digital Imaging, Portable CE Products, Hi-Fi, Music Docks, Radio, Accessories..., on the UK market


EMRA AWARDS

 Leading Retail Training/Support Open to all MDA, CE, and Small Appliances Manufacturers & Distributors selling product in the UK market via any retail channels, who support their retailers with training programmes, pre- and after-sales support

 The EMRA Award for Sustainability

 The EMRA Export Award

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

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

FOR THE BRITISH EMRAs Entries and supporting materials should be sent via

THE EMRA AWARD FOR SUSTAINABILITY

e-mail to: EMRA@gcmagazine.co.uk

Please supply:

ALL PRODUCT AWARD ENTRIES Please supply:  Manufacturer/Supplier name  Contact name/Telephone/E-mail  Awards Product Category applied for  Product range/name/model no. (if applicable)  UK launch date  Supporting material:

 Manufacturer/Supplier name  Contact name/Telephone/E-mail  Awards Category applied for  Supporting material:  Up to 1,000 words outlining your company’s credentials in sustainable manufacturing, logistics, products’ performance and end-of-life recycling provisions/disposal

 Product images x 2 (max)

THE EMRA EXPORT AWARD

 Product spec sheet

Please supply:

 Up to 500 words on all or any of the following design features in support of your Awards entry:  Innovation  Technology  Aesthetics  Outstanding USPs

 Manufacturer/Supplier name  Contact name/Telephone/E-mail  Awards Category applied for  Supporting material:  Up to 500 words, including supporting data, outlining your company’s export success

LEADING RETAIL TRAINING/SUPPORT AWARD Please supply:  Manufacturer/Supplier name  Contact name/Telephone/E-mail  Awards Category applied for  Supporting material:  Up to 500 words detailing the training/support programme  Evidence of results/success and any related testimonials

Entries and supporting materials should be sent via e-mail to: EMRA@gcmagazine.co.uk The closing date for entries is Friday 21st December 2012 Please note that incomplete entries will not be considered

NOV 2012 GET CONNECTED

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Jarre Technologies Aeroskull speaker The Aeroskull from Jarre Technologies is a uniquely designed curiosity promoted as “a monument to design, power and precision.” It has two 15 Watt speakers hidden behind sunglasses and a 40 Watt Sub Woofer covering the entire back of the skull. The unit is compatible with all generations of iPhones and iPods. Price tag: £349. ❯

iPod connector / 3.5mm mini jack

Bluetooth – APTX et A2DP codecs

IR remote control

Available in eleven colours

www.jarre.com

Emma Bridgewater DAB+/FM radio

AEG UltraOne Mini

British pottery designer and manufacturer Emma Bridgewater has teamed up with audio firm View Quest to launch a portable DAB+/ FM radio with built-in iPhone/iPod dock. The retro-styled unit, finished in a print from Bridgewater’s iconic ‘Polka Dot’ range with leather surround and handle, is available this month (November) and has already received a 5-star review from technology magazine What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision.

The UltraOne Mini – baby of the awardwinning AEG UltraOne – is 30% smaller and at 4.5kg weighs a third less than its mum. The 1800W bagged appliance has AeroPro remote controls on the handle and automatically adjusts suction power to suit the cleaning surface. At 72dB, the UltraOne Mini is also one of the quietest vacuum cleaners on the market. Warranty: 5 years. ❯

370 Air Watts / 3-litre dust capacity

AeroPro 3-in-1 nozzle (brush, crevice and upholstery nozzle) stored on board

HEPA 13 filtration

8-metre cord with rewind / 11 metre action radius

10 station presets

Up to 15 hours’ battery life

Auxiliary input

Dual Alarm / Wake up to radio, iPhone or buzzer / Snooze and sleep mode

www.viewquest.co.uk

08445 614614 www.aeg.co.uk

Amica open zone induction hob Amica has introduced an open zone induction hob in white glass with a bevelled edge finish. The four zones – 2 x 22cm and 2 x 18cm – are controlled using a centrally located sensor panel with one-touch operation and slider control. ❯

LED display

Power levels 1-9 plus anti-burn setting

Child lock, minute minder and pause button

Booster and timer on each zone

Pan detection

01425 461600 www.amica-international.co.uk

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Whirlpool Ambient oven Whirlpool’s new Ambient AKZM 788 IX multifunction built-in single oven features a generous 67-litre capacity, Jet-Menu electronic programmer and an energy rating of ‘A-10%’. ❯

Programmes: Conventional, Keep Warm, Bread & Pizza, Grill, Turbo-Grill, Fast heating, Maxi Cooking, Circa-fan cooking system and Defrost

JVC GV-LS2 and GV-LS1 live streaming cameras

Electronic LCD display / ‘Push push’ retractable controls

Catalytic cleaning

Finished in anti-fingerprint stainless steel

JVC’s GV-LS2 and GV-LS1 live streaming cameras are offered as smart solutions for real-time streaming needs, with wireless multi-camera system integration at a fraction of pro system cost. The units are equipped for those who want to stream events live over the Internet, with high speed, ultra-quiet pan/ tilt/zoom operation remotely controllable via tablet, smartphone or PC.

020 8649 5000 www.whirlpool.co.uk

1/2.3” 12.4 Megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor

FALCONBRID high speed image processing engine

GV-LS1: Full HD resolution at up to 2x zoom and 4x electronic zoom / GV-LS2: 10x optical zoom

Sony MDR-XB headphone range The new MDR-XB headphone range from Sony comprises five closed dynamic models with Advanced Vibe Structure designed to reproduce punchy, accurate bass sound. The units are slim and light with a smooth swivel and foldaway action so they’re easy to carry and store. ❯

Capacity: 3000mW

Full HD quality AVCHD video recording onto memory card / Built-in Wi-Fi

Driver unit: 50 mm, dome type

Frequency: 3 Hz –28,000 Hz

Internal stereo microphone / MIC input for external microphone connection

Sensitivity: 106 dB/mW

Impedance: 24Ω at 1kHz

01932 816000 www.sony.co.uk

www.jvc.co.uk

Hotpoint Quadrio receives “cool” redesign Hotpoint’s Quadrio fridge freezer has undergone a redesign from one of Europe’s top styling houses. The appliance now sports a flat-fronted door profile with distinctive recessed vertical edges, courtesy of Milan-based designer Makio Hasuike. ❯

A+ rated / Fully frost free / Super cool / Super freeze

iCare intelligent refrigeration / Internal LED control

2 x half-width salad bins / Full width chiller for fish and meat

2 x pull-out freezer drawers

08000 921 922 www.hotpoint.co.uk

Marantz UD7007 universal disc player Marantz has unveiled its new flagship 3D Blu-ray player, which has the ability to play audio and video content from all available disc formats. The unit’s Ethernet network connection enables the play of digital audio or video content from a home network or connection to online services such as YouTube and Netflix. ❯

Full control with Marantz Remote App in combination with new generation Marantz receiver

32bit/192kHz DAC and high quality stereo analogue audio stage with HDAM

2x HDMI out to separate audio and video / HDMI - 3D ready, CEC

02890 279839 www.marantz.com NOV 2012 GET CONNECTED

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THE KITCHEN STUDIO

ELECTROLUX GRAND CUISINE: THE PINNACLE OF PROFESSIONAL HOME COOKING

Illusion is the first of all pleasures… Aspirational design, an inviting ambience and confidence in technology are all the ingredients required to make the dream kitchen a sensational reality. GC reports

T

he demands placed upon the 21st century kitchen have changed remarkably in recent years as openplan living and home entertaining require it to blend seamlessly into the living/dining space, with cabinetry viewed as furniture pieces and appliances as accents, and practicality, style and convenience demanded of both. The latest design trends and how these can transform the kitchen into a desirable social space greatly influence consumers’ vision and feel for this principal room. Today we see the use of multiple material types, colours, textures, cabinet sizes and surface levels creating an organic flow that differentiates and personalises in an ‘easy on the eye’, relaxing setting, sympathetic to a homely atmosphere. The industrial look defined by the predominance of stainless steel appliances is now on the wane, gradually being replaced by a more eclectic aesthetic, “a less co-ordinated and natural environment,” remarks Baumatic Marketing Manager Rita Balestrazzi.

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This liberation from the harsher, more restrictive industrial style she believes has resulted in the rise of conveniently sized appliances as manufacturers, inspired by the more flexible contours of kitchen furniture, create more adaptable shapes and sizes in builtin products which are small enough to install in space-saving corner units or in the curve of a kitchen island.

Kitchen art While kitchen cabinetry is still designed to be “sleek and minimalist,” Balestrazzi observes the creation of space-saving towers, sometimes in colour or wood panel, so that more compact appliances can be stacked together, one below the other, with complementary mirror-glass finishes and brightly coloured frames for these smaller appliances producing “a striking design feature akin to artwork on a wall.” Jon Brennan, Commercial Manager for Built-in at GDHA (Stoves, Belling, New World) notes “surprisingly colourful accents” as one of

the big interior design trends that have filtered down to appliances. “Our New World Colours collection of built-in ovens, which features single and double units contrasting black glass with brightly coloured trim in metallic purple, blue, green, red or ultra-shiny chrome, has been so well received, we’ve now applied the aesthetic to our freestanding cookers and added a fantastic copper tone,” he comments. While reasoning that there is “nothing new” about stainless steel, Steve Dickson, Commercial Manager for Range at Belling and Stoves, says the application of the material is changing, apparently led by Ikea’s more industrial take, which he believes has rekindled interest in professionally-styled range cookers that would look equally at home in a large-scale commercial kitchen. “But colour has always been more readily embraced on a range cooker,” he concedes, “and this continues to be the case. And perhaps driven by this year’s distinctly patriotic tone, we’ve noticed an increased interest in a traditionally English colour palette of blues, racing green and rich, letterbox reds.” Leisure, too, is embracing colour in its range cookers with the launch of Nutmeg Brown, Snow White and Regency Red joining its existing collection of black, cream, silver and stainless steel models. Amanda Castle, marketing manager


THE KITCHEN STUDIO

at Beko (Leisure owner), believes the developing trend for colourful kitchen appliances that make a style statement represents a “huge opportunity” to grow incremental sales.

British passion TV programmers and lifestyle magazine editors remain intent on portraying the British as a nation obsessed with the kitchen, and more so with complexities of cooking. It is now possible to consume a diet of food shows 24/7 with the choice of umpteen publications serving up additional courses to nourish even the most fanatical cook. Though not all of us aspire to cook like Heston, neither nurturing the desire to indulge in the sphere of molecular gastronomy nor showing a peck of interest in kitchen science, a significant proportion of us are genuinely passionate about cooking. This is a community for which a standalone cooker or matching oven and hob simply isn’t enough, and whose demands for a range of different appliances, or for those that will offer a number of different functions, are becoming representative of a now common breed of consumer. “Cooking appliances have had to become multi-purpose tools,” asserts Baumatic’s Balestrazzi. “Products are being designed to function as two- or three-in-one appliances, providing a space-saving solution for the dynamic cook. Intelligent technology is also being mass produced for the domestic kitchen, offering a greater range of diverse and time-saving features. Double ovens are being designed to rival the cooking spectrum of range cookers, providing up to 14 programmes and larger capacity ovens, with some offering a net 58 litres for the main cavity and a secondary oven of 33 litres.” Joan Fraser, Product Development and Training Manager for Smeg UK, believes that, with the possible exception of the first time purchaser or those looking for a straight replacement to fill an existing niche, consumers are looking for “a total cooking solution” such as a main oven partnered with one or more compact appliances. “For retailers, a compact appliance is a valuable additional sale to complement a 60cm single oven which, when paired with a steam oven, compact combination microwave, coffee machine or warming drawer, offers the consumer a much more flexible cooking solution than a traditional double oven.” Fraser adds that recent experience gained while attending major consumer shows proved that people looking for a standard single oven can be sold relatively easily on the benefits of purchasing one or more compact appliances to complement it, “especially if they can see some enhancement of their lifestyle.” GDHA’s Jon Brennan maintains that the wealth of cookery programmes, recipe books

AEG ProTex PLUS washing machine The AEG ProTex PLUS washing machine L98699FL ensures precise and gentle washing for exceptional care of clothes. Our [AEG] research shows that AEG ProTex PLUS protects clothes 30% better than previous models. Our Optisense also uses just the right amount of water, detergent and time for outstanding clothes care that will keep garments looking like new for longer. This super-efficient washing machine has an outstanding A+++-20% energy rating and has been awarded the Quiet Mark. www.aeg.co.uk Trade Sales Number: 08445 610561

and dedicated food channels has put gourmet cooking within reach of every home chef, resulting in amateur cooks and bakers wanting professional results and professional-standard appliances that wouldn’t look out of place in a commercial kitchen. But the purchasing decision, he believes, has become increasingly complex. “It is no longer purely made on price, style or size, but a combination of these along with the added benefits that better technology makes available.”

upwards of £200,000 for those choosing the best ovens – the fact that the brand is addressing “a gap” in the market for such products, albeit 50,000 people worldwide (some with multiple properties), and is intent on strengthening its already well established professional credentials, demonstrates how serious it is about leading the cooking market, and how passionate consumers have become about cooking – even those perceived more likely to call in the caterers.

C’est magnifique

Behind closed doors?

The cooking market has become highly developed, sophisticated and diverse, and if proof of this were summoned, it can be evidenced in the development of Electrolux’s Grand Cuisine, a professional cooking system introduced in September this year, tailored for the world’s most exclusive homes. The collection comprises an arsenal of hobs and induction zones including a sear hob and ‘surround’ induction zone, combination ovens, a blast chiller, precision vacuum sealer, stand mixer, bespoke ventilation system, and the Molteni, the iconic French-style range cooker, built to order and, as it happens, the choice of the world’s most demanding chefs. While we don’t expect to see this grand collection from Electrolux on many shop floors – starting price for the full range, excluding the Molteni stove, is around £78,000, rising

Earlier this year, Electrolux, which has 90 years’ professional expertise and is Europe’s leading supplier to professional kitchens and laundries, introduced the Inspiration range, appliances ‘inspired by professionals, adapted for consumers’ and within the price reach of the average household. The collection extends from cooking to the more utilitarian aspects of domesticity such as laundry and dishwashing – products which some commentators believe are now in many instances being integrated to disconnect the perception of work from that of pleasure by screening them from view.

DITCH THE KETTLE? INSINKERATOR’S HOT & COLD TAP HAS IT ALL COVERED…

23


THE KITCHEN STUDIO

AMICA SCANDIUM: SIMPLE ELEGANCE

Hotpoint Brand Director Ian Moverley states that around a third of dishwashers sold by his brand are built-in and demand is increasing. “Of all our behind-the-door products, dishwashers are the most popular as they’re easy to install and quiet enough not to cause a disturbance.” Moverley adds that built-in washing machines are increasing in popularity, but freestanding, at 96%, still remains by far the most popular. Baumatic’s Balestrazzi, meanwhile, believes that semi-integrated models have done much to broaden the appeal of built-in wet appliances as the exposed control panel allows users to easily check on the progress of programmes. The trend for more compact appliances has also contributed to growth.

Sales of built-in dishwashers increased 3% in value between 2011 and 2012 and built-in washing machines 15% within the same period. “Baumatic sales have seemed to corroborate this trend,” says Balestrazzi. “Semi- and fullyintegrated slimline dishwashers have risen by 20% and integrated 60cm laundry models have actually doubled over the past year.” Amica UK country manager Simon Freear notes that in new installations, wet appliances are either built-in or tucked away in a utility room to hide them from view. “With many families spending much of their time in the kitchen and it being used for entertaining guests, it is a priority for homeowners to create an attractive and efficient work space with

Amica Zen oven The Red Dot Best of The Best oven 2012 must be a contender for any retailer seeking dream kitchen appliances. Due into the UK after Christmas this year, the Zen oven from Amica is a technically advanced appliance conceived for the consumer seeking tranquillity and simplicity. The antithesis of overwhelming technology: Amica Zen has no illumination, alarms, ringtones or buzzing timers – nothing to attack the senses. Whilst it offers the best of Amica cooking features, such as multifunction, the Zen oven does not have a clock or a timer. The simple glass door has a matt

Liberate that space...

non-reflective finish and the handle a smooth, tactile choice of Birch, Ebony or Oak – both features add to its discrete presence. Prices are expected to be around £499, which includes a 2-year parts and labour warranty. Twitter: @amicauk Facebook: Amica UK Email: sales@amica-international.co.uk www.amica-international.co.uk

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GET CONNECTED NOV 2012

modern, integrated design and streamlined, co-ordinated appeal.” Appreciation of this rationalised design concept can be seen in De Dietrich’s Premium Collection, which integrates dishwashing appliances and cooling as well. Sales & Marketing Director Richard Walker says products can be concealed behind matching cupboards or unit fronts, either within tall housing or a “perennially on-trend” island unit. Samsung, on the other hand, is to introduce “pioneering” new glass finishes on its premium freestanding cooling models to complement existing white and black glass finishes, and stainless steel and black finishes into its freestanding laundry range, particularly for premium models. Gino Grossi, Product Manager, Refrigeration, says the move is to meet customer demand for matching finishes throughout the kitchen. Hoover’s Steve Macdonald adds that it is “unlikely” consumers will always choose to screen wet appliances from view: “The popularity of our chrome ‘All in One’ washing machine suggests that buyers are often keen for these appliances to be seen as a stylish addition to the kitchen.” “When it comes to wet appliances, style is just as important as ease of use and a variety of feature benefits,” comments Les Wicks, Head of Product and Buying at Beko, who takes the opportunity to highlight the brand’s 7kg integrated model, which he says “boasts all the innovative features of the freestanding ‘Excellence’ range, but with the added value of slotting easily into a built-in kitchen.”

The defining quality of the streamlined kitchen is that it should be devoid of clutter, with floor areas clear of all but the well-placed objet d’art and worktops freed of all but well-chosen accents or embellishments. Even the kettle can now be considered surplus to requirements, according to Ashley Munden, Sales and Marketing Director for InSinkErator, who advises consumers to “say goodbye” to the appliance in preference of a modern ‘hot & cold water tap’ with “no dangling leads, no clutter and no fuss.” The InSinkErator tap offers “tremendous” hidden advantages, explains Munden. It is energy efficient, consuming less than a 40W light bulb; it can be used for making all sorts of hot drinks and for hygienically cleaning bottles and jam jars etc; for blanching vegetables; warming baby food and bottles; thawing frozen food.... It also provides cold, filtered water so saves on purchases of bottled water, while freeing up space in the refrigerator and reducing the number of bottles sent to landfill. Munden also advocates the installation of a waste disposal unit for keeping the kitchen free from clutter, allowing a cupboard or two to be rid of storage bins, the worktop quickly


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THE KITCHEN STUDIO

Belling 100 Collection adds the ‘wow’ factor to kitchens As part of its Centenary celebrations, much-loved family brand Belling created a collection of products that combine its rich heritage with modern good looks and technical innovation. The 100 Collection combines clean lines, a brilliant white finish and chrome accents and has four, sleek built-in ovens to integrate perfectly in kitchens of all shapes and sizes. The BI60FP CEN is a 60cm built-in electric fanned oven which makes the most of available kitchen space. With a fully programmable 58-litre capacity, a variable electric grill and five shelf positions for practicality, this A-energy rated appliance will create the ‘wow’ factor in any kitchen. www.belling.co.uk Trade support line: 0844 248 4149

A BEAUTIFULLY BOLD STATEMENT BY BAUMATIC

and easily cleared during food preparation and plates cleared quickly after a meal. “We have all come to accept that we separate our waste to help recycling and the environment, but it has created the need for at least three or more storage containers in the kitchen. This is not just highly inconvenient, as most of us are strapped for cupboard space, but food waste emits an unpleasant smell and storing it is unhygienic. The modern waste disposal unit fits neatly under the sink, without taking up valuable storage space, and quiet operation means it is ideal for openplan living.”

Smart living While the Consumer Electronics industry focuses on connectivity and the networked home, contesting its position at the centre of household, stimulating consumer desire with bigger, smarter and more stylish TVs along with accompanying developments in peripherals and content, the Kitchen Appliances sector does not intend to be sidelined – perceived as the poor relation in terms of advances in technology nor in its capacity to challenge as the nucleus of

family life, the nerve centre of the household, where members gather and activities abound and appliance connectivity offers new and more flexible ways to organise everyday lives. Tablets and smartphones have brought the reality of the ‘smart home’ a step closer for appliance manufacturers, with the prospect of the app-controlled kitchen opening up a new world of technological advancement in which appliances can be monitored and controlled remotely by the user, remote diagnostics employed by service providers, and in which the use of alternative energy sources with the conventional grid and access to the smartgrid will invariably ensure the more efficient, sustainable use of resources. One could ask: isn’t it enough that we already have cooling that auto defrosts, dishwashers that auto sense, washing machines that auto dose, ovens that auto cook....? Moreover, it could be questioned if the British public is ready for this new, app-controlled innovation in kitchen appliances. Amongst the companies that believe it is, is Siemens, which at this year’s IFA presented its very own scenario of the intelligent home. It extended from the mobile control of appliances via tablet and/or smartphone to the

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THE KITCHEN STUDIO

SIEMENS HAS A VISION OF ‘SMART LIVING’

intelligent use of alternative and conventional energy sources, and within this could be found what is likely to stimulate the senses of the already hardened app-dependent. In this setup, the smartphone or tablet is used to visit the home refrigerator, from any place at any time, producing an image of the contents inside. Items of preferred foodstuffs are then selected by touch and recipe suggestions provided on request. On selection of the favoured dish a shopping list is automatically generated, and while still at his/her desk (or

wherever), the individual can buy any additional items required for the meal. Moving into the kitchen, the recipe is projected onto the worktop area as a multitouch projection which can be followed stepby-step to the point of putting the dish in the oven. When the cook taps a command on the projection, the oven automatically selects the right cooking programme….. Though not all of us could perhaps envisage wanting to go the whole hog with such assistance, wouldn’t it be great to know if you had enough milk, butter or other essential in the fridge, rather than winging it in the hope that backtracking into the early evening traffic for a trip to the shops won’t be necessary? When will this be possible? “In about two years we will be able to implement aspects of this scenario by bringing the first correspondingly equipped appliances to the market,” says Sonja Ehmer, Head of Marketing at Siemens in Germany.

Lec injects some colour… Refrigeration specialist Lec, which is this year celebrating its 70th birthday, has added two new colour additions to its existing line-up of A+ rated cooling and freezing appliances. In respond to consumer demand for a wider range of style options, Lec has made a number of its 50cm and 55 cm under-counter and combi products available in stylish black or brushed-effect silver. Three of Lec’s bestselling 55cm undercounter products are now available in the new finishes, including the U5511 undercounter freezer, the R5511 under-counter refrigerator and the neat but spacious L5511 under-counter larder (pictured), which offers 133 litres of cooling capacity.

Philips HomeCooker A completely fresh approach to cooking Philips’ HomeCooker is the first in a new range of kitchen appliances co-created by Philips and world-renowned chef and campaigner Jamie Oliver. This cutting-edge kitchen appliance does the preparation as well as the cooking. It chops, stirs, steams and sautés and can be left unattended due to the incorporation of ‘AutoStir’ technology. The appliance comes with a cookbook of 25 bespoke recipes developed by Jamie Oliver. Additional recipes will be available to download from Philips.co.uk/ homecooker, and users can cook along with Jamie as he demonstrates his favourite recipes using the HomeCooker in a series of videos available to view on the site.  Stirs, melts, simmers, stews, boils, steams, fries and sautés  Intuitive control panel on base  PerfectTemp – for perfect temperature settings 40–250°C  QuickSet timer – up to 99 minutes  Auto shut off  3-litre stainless steel bowl, glass lid, steam tray, steam basket, pasta insert and stirrer  Dishwasher safe For further information please visit : www.philips.co.uk/homecooker

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Introducing the super energy-efficient Inspiration Washing Range from Electrolux Electrolux is the only company to provide complete, high-performing kitchen and laundry solutions for the professional market, and now consumers can have the many benefits of these professional products in their own home. The new Electrolux Inspiration range of laundry and dishwashing appliances has taken the very best features of the brand’s professional machines and adapted them for domestic use, creating highly efficient systems that guarantee excellent results, productivity, hygiene and low operating costs. Electrolux Inspiration: Inspired by professionals, adapted for consumers

Energy efficient The new Electrolux freestanding laundry range is one of the most energy efficient in the 10kg capacity sector. Electrolux washing machines are rated from A+++ to the top of the range EWF1408WDL model which is rated A+++-20%. This model was included in The Independent’s top 10 washing machines (Oct 2012). The AutoOff feature ensures the appliance consumes zero energy when the cycle is finished, just as if it were switched off.

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SteamSystem Electrolux Professional laundry systems use steam to refresh and de-wrinkle delicate items, and now the new domestic range has adapted this steam technology for the home. The steam function is so effective that it can produce garments ready to wear, straight from the drum. This allows consumers to skip, or at least halve, the timeconsuming ironing process for many items of clothing. What’s more, steam technology is no longer reserved for the ‘lucky elite’ as this new laundry range incorporates steam in every model, regardless of price.

HeatPump technology, which is used in Electrolux’s professional laundry systems, reduces energy consumption by using a lower temperature to dry garments in a gentler environment. Not only is this good for clothing (the internal temperature is very gentle, at 20-25°C less than a normal condenser dryer) but it is also good for the environment, using up to 50% less energy than a standard A-rated model. In other words, when compared with a normal A-class dryer, our tumble dryer will run a second cycle, or a 9kg load twice, for free! EcoCare tumble dryers with HeatPump technology

Easy-load dishwashers for ‘RealLife’ use Consumers can now load what they want, how they want, with the flexible baskets incorporated in Electrolux’s RealLife® dishwashers which can be raised, moved and adjusted to accommodate bulky or odd-shaped dishes, including XXL plates up to 34cm in diameter. Our FlexiSpray arm is designed to rotate with maximum cleaning coverage to ensure efficient cleaning of the dirtiest of loads. Of course, the RealLife® dishwasher has an A+++ energy rating, and what’s more, it uses absolutely no energy between cycles.

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Electrolux Trade Sales: 08445 610610 www.electrolux.co.uk NOV 2012 GET CONNECTED

29


GROWTH FROM KNOWLEDGE

Flashes of hope for the camera market?

Growth from Knowledge

In spite of an overall decline in Digital Imaging, superzoom products are still in demand. GfK Account Director Richard Gregory provides an update on the camera market

GfK

can report that the digital camera market registered a unit decline of 15% yearto-date (YTD) to August 2012, yet despite this overall fall, some imaging categories displayed healthy growth rates, stimulated in part by the Olympics. Within the superzoom camera sector (products with 10 times or more optical zoom), sales increased by 30% in volume and 18% in value. The average selling price of product declined, however, falling 9% from £189 to £172. Factors troubling the market, such as high levels of ownership and cannibalisation by smartphones, have been offset by the greater functionality that superzoom cameras can provide. Such innovation has been imperative in drawing large amounts of consumer interest. Elsewhere in the camera market, the single lens reflex (SLR) sector fell by 11% in volume and 5% in value YTD. July had been the first month to show volume growth in 2012 for this imaging category, and with stock levels back to normal following the natural disasters in the Far East and the ‘Summer of Sport’ to push consumer demand, this seems a welcome trend. However, the main impact was the movement of some sales from August to July, helped by an uplift during the period prior to the Olympics or in the first week of the event. Looking ahead, with the average selling price for a digital camera at £185 in August 2012 (the highest ASP since April 2008), we can hope for some improvement in value in the future months and years, assisted by an increase in demand for higher quality units.

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Sales Value GBP

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 Richard Gregory, Account Director Tel: 0870 603 8259 Email: Richard.Gregory@gfk.com To find out more about GfK, visit www.gfkrt.com/uk or follow us on 30

GET CONNECTED NOV 2012

Twitter: www.twitter.co.uk/gfkrtuk


GEORGE COLE GETS CONNECTED

George Cole pinpoints hotspots in the world of consumer electronics.

APPLE SAYS GOODBYE TO DISCS

In

my last column, I wrote about the impact of streaming and downloading on physical media sales. I concluded that while the digital media market is growing, most consumers were sticking with formats such as DVD and Blu-ray. But was I too optimistic about the prospects of physical media? Some might think so, following the news that Apple has dropped optical disc drives from its computers. The news came in an interview given by Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vicepresident, worldwide product marketing. Unveiling the latest line-up of Apple computers, Schiller described optical disc drives as “old technologies that are holding us back,” adding that Blu-ray was not “a great technology.” Apple has a lot of form when it comes to jettisoning what it sees as obsolete technology. In 1998, it dropped floppy disk drives from its iMac computer, long before memory cards and USB flash drives became standard portable data devices. In 2008, the

32

MacBook Air portable computer came without an optical disc drive, so this latest move is perhaps less surprising than it should be. One of the reasons for abandoning optical disc drives is that it means that Apple can design computers that are even thinner than ever, and of course, it helps Apple if con-

sumers purchase music and movies from its ITunes store rather than on disc. But is it a smart move? Opinion is divided. Some people have noted that they hardly ever use optical discs these days. “I’ve got hundreds of CDs in my attic and can’t remember the last time I played them,” said one blogger. But another noted that “I’m not going to fork out £20 for a digital copy that takes three hours to download, when I can go into town and buy a Blu-ray disc and play it straight away. It also looks nice on the shelf.” If large numbers of people decide to download the 25GB or 50GB of data normally held on a Blu-ray disc, the internet is going to grind to a halt pretty soon. Apple has proved to be a pioneer in technology and you can’t argue with its success. But I can’t see other computer manufacturers following Apple’s lead in a hurry, and I certainly don’t see consumer electronics companies abandoning optical disc drives for a long time yet.

TRIVIAL PURSUIT

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

A question for future versions of Trivial Pursuit: What’s special about 24 October 2012? The answer is: that was the day when analogue TV transmissions ended in the UK. Northern Ireland was the last territory to switch to digital, and the digital switchover campaign was both on time and under budget – you can’t say that about too many government-driven technology projects can you? The analogue TV service was launched 70 years ago and had served us well, from 405-line black and white pictures to 625-line colour, not to mention teletext, stereo sound and even wide screen TV with the short-lived PALplus format. It’s quite a coincidence that analogue TV ended almost to the day when Freeview celebrated its tenth anniversary. Digital TV not only offers more channels, but the rate of innovation is much faster – we’ve already had HDTV, 3DTV, Connected TV and Ultra High Definition TV in less than a decade.

Talking of Ultra High Definition TV (UHD TV), the move by the US Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) to adopt UHD as the official description for the new generation of high resolution television sets is a good one. In order to qualify as a UHD TV, a set will need a minimum native resolution of 3840 x 2160 and have at least one input capable of displaying a UHD signal without any up-conversion. UHD TVs are trickling onto the market under various names including, 4K TV and Quad HD (because they offer four times the resolution of today’s HDTV sets) so it makes sense to set a standard name now. We already use various terms to describe television sets that connect to the internet, including Smart TVs, Connected TVs and Internet TVs, and this can be confusing for consumers. Anything that gives clarity to the evolving television market can only be welcomed.

GET CONNECTED NOV 2012

E-mail: georgecole@gcmagazine.co.uk


FROM THE BENCH

E-mail: fromthebench@gcmagazine.co.uk

Electronic mugging Alan Bennett, seething with anger, describes his internet hijacking at the hands of Adobe and Google

A

few weeks ago I was working at my PC on the internet when there popped up on my screen an invitation to update my Adobe Flash player. This sort of thing is very common, from Adobe and others, so I clicked on the offer without hesitation as I’ve done many times before. The download occupied some considerable time and appeared to be taking place in two or three parallel streams. This must be a good and comprehensive one, I thought, and expected it to enhance my Adobe functions, though very often I’ve found little change to be seen after a routine update like this.

Hijack When I next went to use the web I was horrified to see that my entire internet management had been taken over by Google Chrome, installed without my knowledge or permission under cover of the Adobe update. The previous operator, Internet Explorer (chosen and installed by me), had been entirely swept away; my home page MSN News was gone, replaced by a Google Chrome word-entry page and box. Gone likewise were all my wellused favourites - like eBay, Get Connected, Wikipedia, speed checker and a rival search engine. What a breathtaking, evil deceit! Not having time at that moment to uninstall the thing (and for interest’s sake) I went through the procedure of asking it to change my internet home page to MSN News. “Oops!” said Google, “We couldn’t find MSN.” The Western world’s biggest web search engine couldn’t find one of the largest global internet organisations? I put in one of the many alternative MSN News addresses for my home page. “Oops!” said Google Chrome: “We couldn’t find that either.” How

crafty, how manipulative, how blatant! I uninstalled Google Chrome via the control panel of my PC and angrily phoned the customer service office of Adobe UK.

Deceit With some delay and difficulty I got through to an operator there who told me that there had been so many complaints about this that they were seeking – in his own words – a ‘workaround’. He told me that there was probably a small box on the offer screen leading to a tick box where you could opt out of (not into!) the Google Chrome hijack. How many people see, look for or go into these small-print boxes, and how many would realise the significance and effect of the Chrome takeover if they did? I think virtually all of them would assume it was some kind of enhancement to their Google search engine, not a complete change of internet regime and management. I quizzed the operator as to why his company had practised this deceitful subterfuge, and why Google Chrome? He said he didn’t know, though much subsequent ploughing through the two companies’ websites and various forums produced the vague point that Google Chrome has Optimised Adobe Flash Player Integration; I guess this is sufficient excuse in the eyes of the perpetrators for the electronic mugging they carry out. Why is it not optimised – or even, is it? – on such huge engines as Internet Explorer?

Insidious While I, and no doubt virtually everyone who reads Get Connected, have the knowledge and ability to uninstall such programs as Google Chrome if they want to (even though

it entered their PCs with the same stealth, disguise and evil domination intention as a virus), the same is not true of every computer user, many of whom would have to pay a consultant trouble-shooter to eliminate it from their PC. There can be very few computer users who do not use Adobe, even without ever having bought an Adobe product, because it’s the de rigueur tool in so many internet applications. So what better route for a third-party company, search-engine or whatever, to insidiously penetrate millions of home and office computers to the detriment of established engines and systems, chosen and installed by their owners? From talking to people much more familiar with computers than I, and from internet forums and the like, I understand that sometimes even the half-hidden opt-out tick boxes do not work, though I cannot substantiate this myself. In any case I believe that this sort of practice, especially by two global companies, among the biggest names in the internet world, shows utter disrespect, contempt even, for their own customers, and particularly for their rivals, here web explorer and search engine operators; and brings themselves and the internet into disrepute. Having wiped Google Chrome out of my computer for ever, I wish I could likewise terminate my use of Adobe. Certainly I will never buy an Adobe product when any other company’s alternative would do the job.

Manipulation In view of all this, now that Smart TVs are becoming numerous in people’s living rooms I do wonder what crafty and evil manipulation and deceit can potentially be practised there? See George Cole’s column on page 32 of the August issue. Thank heavens that TV manufacturers have ring-fenced much of their sets’ internal software and confined it to their own control. These global companies still have honour and integrity – don’t they? I would welcome readers’ opinions and experiences to the email address above. NOV 2012 GET CONNECTED

33


BACKCHAT

2-minute interview · He’s an electronic engineer, but admits to being somewhat impatient and a bit of a butterfly when it comes to hobbies. He’d like to play Sicilian detective Inspector Montalbano (than whom he has considerably more hair!) on the silver screen. Describing himself as “demanding but fair” might in another person be seen as a euphemism for “hard taskmaster,” but in this case it has to be said that anyone who plays a saxophone at any level has his heart in the right place. Meet Maurizio Severgnini, Managing Director Built-in Unit, Hoover Candy. Why did you choose to work in the electrical industry? I always liked technical stuff, I qualified in electronic engineering, and the rest is history

How do you think others see you? Hopefully demanding and fair

Who in the industry would you like to spend time with? I have been extremely fortunate to have met many interesting and capable people, so my list would be too long. However I have a favourite: he/she knows who they are!

Any bad habits? I can’t keep still for longer than 5 minutes

What makes you laugh? Mainly I laugh at myself and at the condition of human nature What was the greatest turning point in your life? Having a family Hobbies? I am too fickle and try lots of things. I am a mean table tennis player though

What’s your greatest regret? I’ve never driven a tractor in my life and my granddad had a farm! What historic figure do you identify with most? I like the unsung heroes of history. There has been so much good done over the years which we fail to recognize How would you describe yourself? Demanding but fair GET CONNECTED NOV 2012

If you weren’t in your present position, what job would you choose to do? I’m not entirely sure, although I think it would be nice to be able to transfer to the new generation the good things we have learnt over the years

What would you put into Room 101? My impatience What sort of music do you like? The radio in my car is tuned to Classic FM, and on occasions does shift to Jazz FM Favourite quote? “It is good to do things right, but it is better to do the right thing”

I still get both shocked and amazed by young people today. They have much more to offer than we give them credit for and they often come up trumps”

What’s the worst lie you’ve ever told? Rain is not too bad!

34

Pet hate? Untidiness

Any hidden talents? Certainly not rhythm… I am a frustrated Saxophone player

Favourite TV programme? Spooks What surprises you? I still get both shocked and amazed by young people today. They have much more to offer than we give them credit for and they often come up trumps Favourite cuisine? I love eating at home with friends and family. I suppose ultimately I like what my children call Mummy food You have been offered a leading role in a film of your choice. What character would you like to play? Inspector Montalbano

Name your poison Single malt (however no more than one bottle a year)

What’s your favourite holiday destination? Something within a three hour flight max. And with sunshine! Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? Hopefully doing what I know best but in a much improved way What’s your greatest fear? Deep water What motto do you live by? I do not have a motto, but I do try to make each day better than the previous Life is… …truly wonderful!


A Great British Brand

Brilliance comes with a 5 year warranty

Available in Brushed Titanium, Carbon Black & Polar White

Sharing the same ethos as it’s retail partners, customer service is key to the Linsar product range. We listen, adapt and produce TVs that consumers love. From a compact and stylish 16” to a stunning top of the range 55”, Linsar TVs are technologically advanced in every way including ‘pausing & recording’ of live TV. NEW...Linsar’s new 19” and 22”combi TVs have the most advanced ultra thin DVD players built in, enabling a slimmer more stylish profile. So come and see for yourself and be amazed at the Best of British Brilliance

• OUTSTANDING QUALITY • BEAUTIFULLY DESIGNED • STUNNING FEATURES • LATEST TECHNOLOGY • EASE OF USE • AVAILABLE IN 16” TO 55”

www.linsar.com For more information speak to a sales representative or contact Linsar on: 0845 555 1101


Get the apps for free View21.com

View and control TV the Smart way

Future-proof your TV experience with the View21 next generation Digital TV Recorder and companion apps* for iPad, iPhone and other mobile devices Watch live TV and recorded programmes in any room View one programme on your TV and another on an iPad/iPhone Plan your viewing from your device with the appâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 8 day guide Simple setup gets you up and running in no time

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

Play and Photo apps need to be connected to the same wireless network as the View21 box. View21 apps available free for a limited period, see View21.com. View21 is a registered trademark of ABC Ltd. iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S and other countries

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Get Connected Magazine - November 2012  

Get Connected: The Magazine of the Electrical Industry