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JULY 2014

T he M ag a zi ne o f T he E l ectr i c a l G O O D S Ind u s try

THE GREEN ROOM: Dishwashers The dishwasher saves work, water, energy, money and personal time, so why has an industry Trade Marketing Manager dubbed it “the big white elephant of the appliance market”?

HOME ENTERTAINMENT & AV ACCESSORIES The home entertainment market is a constantly moving target and what is cutting edge today becomes standard tomorrow

Guest columns Lancashire retailer Jonathan Dugdale continues his series on the Internet of Things Clavister CEO Jim Carlsson on embedding security in the Internet of Things

IN THE SPOTLIGHT Smeg UK MD Mike Giddings talks to GC about the brand’s progress in the UK

BACKCHAT A 2-minute interview with Lec’s Ben Peach

A breath of fresh air Let SEBO take the hard work out of housework SEBO vacuum cleaners help make cleaning easy. Light to push, with comfortable handles and long cables, using them is a breeze. High technology filtration ensures that all the dust they capture is safely trapped inside, protecting against harmful allergens, as well as keeping the home clean. Some models even filter out odour, which is great if there are pets. As the world leader in professional upright vacuum cleaners, SEBO knows how to make reliable, high performance machines. Made in Germany, they are built to last, so you can sell them with confidence, which makes a refreshing change these days.

SEBO – the vacuum cleaner professionals For a chance to win a SEBO vacuum cleaner, enter our monthly draw at:

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NEW LAUNDRY RANGE FROM ZANUSSI ZANUSSI’S NEW LAUNDRY RANGE OFFERS CONSUMERS JUST WHAT THEY WANT... Zanussi’s 10kg washing machine and 8kg tumble dryer feature huge drum capacities and clever programmes that make doing the laundry that little bit easier. The washing machine can manage up to 75 items* of clothing in one load! It also features three quick wash programmes and an option to delay the end of the cycle so that customers can choose exactly when their washing will finish. The heat pump tumble dryer keeps energy costs to a minimum and delivers incredibly gentle garment care all year round. *75 items is based on washing: 15x jumpers, 15x t-shirts, 15x trousers, 15x underwear, 15x socks

Zanussi: Trade Sales Number: 08445 610 610

Editor in Chief: Marlinda Conway Telephone: 01420 886 33 Magazine Advertising Sales: Brian Shilling Telephone: 01892 677 741

Subscriptions & Circulation: (GCCD) Telephone: 01420 886 33 Creative Director: Will Dobson

Sharon Maslen Telephone: 01892 677 742

Advertisement Production Administration: Will Dobson Telephone: 01342 850 456

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

Production and Print: Blackmore Press, Shaftesbury, Dorset

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

Contents 04 06 16 18 22 23 24 25 26 28

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

The Word

In and around the industry

The Product Gallery The Green Room

When will the majority of UK consumers accept the dishwasher as an economically sound proposition?

Growth from Knowledge

GfK provides an update on trends in the dishwashers market

Spotlight on...

Tablet Technology

Guest Column

Jonathan Dugdale looks at fresh progress towards connectivity in our homes

Guest Column

Clavister’s Jim Carlsson says security must be placed at the heart of the next generation of smart connected devices

In the Spotlight

Smeg UK

Home Entertainment & AV Accessories

George Cole considers the objectives of home entertainment fans

32 33

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

Editorial Comment


George Cole Gets Connected

A wakeup call for UHD TV

From the Bench

A day in the service van with Alan Bennett


A 2-minute interview with Ben Peach, Product Manager at GDHA refrigeration brand Lec



Editorial Comment

Comment 2014 is slipping away. High Summer is past and the days are already getting shorter. We believe that 2014 could, when we look back on it, be a much more interesting and significant year than its nondescript and disappointing first half suggested.

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some traditional retail locations redundant he World Cup delivered the odd and rendered any blanket “Save the High “sensational” score, but from England’s Street” campaign futile. It’s also the way point of view, as soon as our lads had that big retail names are increasingly fair taken the very first available opportunity game for asset-strippers who have no to depart meekly and without fuss from interest in retailing whatsoever. See page the competition and slip quietly onto 6 of this issue for the best way to make the plane home, it was never going to be money in electricals. The fate of Comet is “emotional” – even on a very big TV. Your not a new phenomenon, but 2014 saw it heart’s not in it if your team’s not in it. spelled out with naked clarity. Likewise Wimbledon. The first British Pause also, if you’re in retail – and men’s singles champion for 77 years, particularly in electricals – to consider having “reigned” for less than a year, what other pointers to your future 2014 appeared to choose not to expend any has provided: the “Internet of Things” (see extraordinary effort in defending his title, pages 24, 25 of this issue) started out as a and got off Centre Court as quickly as bit of a zany, science-fiction take on fridges possible as soon as someone looked like talking to cookers, the central heating and making a competition of it. There was a bit of a flicker on the washing machine working the UK’s “feelgoodometer” together, your home when the Tour de entertainment system France tackled the choosing what you Yorkshire Dales, want to watch and “...remember how recently then headed listen to, and your a flat TV screen actually home becoming south across mounted on the wall, and the controllable the flatness of ability to communicate instantly remotely from the Fens and your smart through the with someone the other side of the phone. But picturesque world via a device no bigger than remember how villages of Essex a cigarette packet, was pure to finish with a recently a flat science fiction? The IoT is sprint up the Mall. TV screen actually coming. Be ready.“ Apparently, Brits are mounted on the now much better at wall, and the ability to communicate instantly riding bikes competitively than at football, cricket.... or with someone the other side practically any other of the sports we used of the world via a device no bigger than a to beat the world at. cigarette packet, was pure science fiction? If there’s a point, it’s that things change The IoT is coming. Be ready. Likewise, think whether we like it or not, and 2014 could about you and your staff making routine be the year, in hindsight, when Lycra and use of tablets in the showroom to achieve sideburns really took over as the icons of “assisted sales.” It’s working for some British sport. It makes sense to stay ahead already (see page 23 of this issue), and it of the curve. won’t do any harm for you to look into how 2014 has also revealed to us, already, it might work for you. the profound change that’s taking place 2014 is the year to take a good look at in retailing. It’s not just the evolution in the changing world and decide what will consumer buying habits that has made work for you in 2015 and beyond. 4


Marlinda Conway Editor in Chief

Terry Heath Editorial & Publishing Director

Will Dobson Creative Director

James McIntosh Consumer Consultant

George Cole Consumer Electronics Consultant

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

We’ve cleaned up again. Bosch has now won a Which? award 4 years in a row. ards 2014 Aw

Guten Tag. I’m Karl, the Bosch Engineer. I’m very proud to work for the company that’s now won a Which? award for an unprecedented fourth year running in 2014. That’s great news for us, but even better news for your customers. Because whatever questions they have about which appliance to buy next, there is really only one answer: Bosch. Watch my videos to discover more at

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Industry News

How to make money out of electricals The recent findings by a Leeds employment tribunal – that 275 ex-Comet employees made redundant when Comet went into administration were unfairly treated and are now entitled to full compensation – will have come as no surprise to anyone who has been keeping an eye on the fallout from Comet’s crash.


right time to go into administration also good news for the to maximise the value of return other 6,889 ex-Comet on investment, even when that staff who may also be entitled to may mean leaving customers compensation, though slightly less and suppliers high and dry, and good news for UK taxpayers who thousands of employees without a will have to foot the compensation job or any compensation. bill via the Insolvency Service. But perhaps even more importantly, what has emerged about the history of Comet’s disappearance from the electrical retail scene in the UK is a textbook example of how to ... what has emerged turn a handsome profit from about the history of Comet’s a retail operation in difficult trading conditions. disappearance from the Apparently, the key electrical retail scene in the UK to success is to have no is a textbook example of how to interest whatsoever in turn a handsome profit from trading as a retailer at all, and to avoid getting bogged a retail operation in difficult down in all that tedious detail trading conditions.” about creating attractive retail environments, devising a strong offering with great value products, providing well trained staff and We have done a little research excellent customer service….. into the Comet story, augmented In fact, caring about retailing is by information from The Needle a real disadvantage. It could get in Partnership LLP, which represented the way of the single-minded focus 275 ex-Comet employees at the on acquiring a business at the right tribunal. You can judge for yourself price, attaching the right strings, whether the private equity smart then coldly calculating exactly the

guys have proved beyond doubt that trying to run a retail business is a mug’s game:  In February 2012 Comet was sold by Kesa Electrical to a consortium of venture capital funds associated with private equity firm OpCapita. The sum paid for Comet’s entire retail operation was reported to be £2, and Kesa also provided a “dowry” of £50 million to the purchasers. It came out at the tribunal that, under the financial arrangements put in place for Comet by OpCapita LLP, Comet was supplied with working capital through a secured loan from one of its owners, Hailey Acquisitions Limited (HAL).  In spite of a “major turnaround plan” and improved trading performance from Comet, “by August 2012, HAL had begun actively exploring administration and closures as a way of extracting

money out of Comet, and appointed a firm of retail consultants to draw up a plan to close Comet’s stores, looking at when rent payments were due and when would be best financially to stop trading. Trial closures were carried out in Edinburgh and East Kilbride in September and October 2012.”  “The plan formulated for HAL to maximise the return on its investment required the stores to be closed and stock sold in the run up to Christmas, as this was the optimum timing to sell stock and tied in well with rent payment dates.”  HAL withdrew working capital from Comet and demanded the return of capital already advanced. “The Tribunal found this was because Hailey Acquisitions knew this would push Comet into administration and they could then put into place the well formed

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plan to close the stores and make all the staff redundant. This information was not shared with the employees.”  Employees were told that the administrators were working towards a sale of the Company or sales of some of its stores. However, evidence was given at the Tribunal that this was extremely unlikely. “Deloitte LLP had already been instructed to try and sell the business before the administration and there had been no serious interest. Any buyer would have had to repay HAL some £50 or £60 million. The only viable option from the moment that HAL withdrew the working capital was a closure of all stores and establishments and mass redundancies – yet this information was not shared with staff.”  The Tribunal noted that Deloitte LLP, the administrators of Comet, had on Monday 5 November signed and submitted an official HR1 form to the Secretary of State confirming that no redundancies were proposed. “This is surprising given the factual background which emerged during the Tribunal case, and the Judge described this as ‘positively misleading information’ and noted that there is potential criminal liability for a failure to notify the Secretary of State of proposed redundancies.” Victoria Robertson, Employment partner of The Needle Partnership LLP, commented: “Comet’s demise is one of the biggest High Street casualties of recent years. A corporate raid by private equity FOR THE

investors resulted in a 75 year old British company being destroyed and nearly 7,000 jobs being lost. During the Tribunal case it emerged that [employees] had been lied to, misinformed, and treated with very little dignity or respect whilst Comet’s owners extracted the maximum value from the business.” Incidentally, just to rub salt into these painful wounds, Deloitte LLP, the administrators, filed a report in October 2013 showing that they had been paid £5 million in fees. The same report details that the retail consultants involved in store management and closures had been paid £7.2 million. Meanwhile, Comet and its owners escaped any liability for paying redundancy pay and notice pay but employees were left to claim the minimum statutory amounts from the Insolvency Service (i.e. the tax payer). The Insolvency Service will also pay the protective awards. So, no messy involvement in the arts and skills of electrical retailing, and everyone’s a winner. Except, maybe, Comet customers. And of course suppliers. And don’t forget the employees. And consumers whose choice has been reduced. And the reputation and wellbeing of electrical retailing in the UK. And our depleted High Streets. And the taxpayers such as you and me who will be paying for the employee compensation. Apart from that, everyone’s a winner. Or, more accurately, the investment capital consortia with no apparent interest in our industry except as a collection of assets ripe for exploitation, are winners. AND


Fresh calls for review of insolvency laws following Comet Tribunal The Government is facing renewed demands for a review of UK insolvency laws following the outcome of the Comet Tribunal in June, which could result in thousands of employees who were not properly consulted about their redundancy sharing a £25 million protective payment, financed by the British taxpayer. The Tribunal Judgment puts more pressure on Business Secretary Vince Cable, who in December 2012 instructed the Insolvency Service to investigate Comet’s collapse after the Government [i.e. the taxpayer] was left with a £50 million bill for unpaid taxes and redundancy costs. Usdaw General Secretary John Hannett, commenting on the findings of the Tribunal, said: “This area of law requires review because it is riddled with injustices for both workers and taxpayers and is stacked in favour of the financial and business sector. The Government needs to end the perverse financial incentive for employers and Administrators not to comply with legal obligations on collective redundancy consultation. “Yet again the taxpayer will have to pick up the bill for what is owed to sacked staff because administrators deliberately flouted the law. It’s absolutely disgraceful that companies can get away with this sort of tactic in the 21st century. “The former staff at Comet have had to wait over 18 months for this decision, having already been through the trauma of losing their job and being forced to seek justice through a lengthy Tribunal hearing.”

Shadow Secretary for Business Chuka Umunna first raised his concerns about the investigation into the Comet collapse in November 2013, shortly after it was revealed that new owner OpCapita was to receive almost £117 million from the retail chain’s demise. “One year on, ministers are still letting down the high street. Vince Cable promised in December 2012 that he would review the way insolvency works in the UK so that the lesson can be learned but no action has been taken,” he said at that time. Mr Umunna has again voiced his opinion that no action has been taken. The Insolvency Service said it is considering the Employment Tribunal Judgment making an award to former staff of Comet because of inadequate consultation prior to redundancy, but cannot at present confirm former employees’ eligibility for a payment. No comment was made on why the investigation, the findings of which will not be made public, has taken so long. A further hearing to confirm who is eligible to claim a payment is to be held on 17 July 2014.


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UK consumer confidence moves into positive territory C

onsumer confidence moved into positive territory in June for the first time since March 2005, with four of the five measures increasing on last month. GfK’s UK Consumer Confidence Index showed an overall rise of one point, to 1, a change which Managing Director of Social Research at GfK, Nick Moon, described as “unspectacular” but “psychologically important.” He added: “The next few months will be particularly interesting, since the previous venture into positive territory was merely transitory – two isolated months in January and March 2005.” The last time the Index was consistently positive was in 2002.

Retail collapses at 5-year high Retail insolvencies have unexpectedly risen to their highest point in five years, as 1,287 businesses went under in England, Scotland and Wales in the year to 31 March 2014, up by 12% on the 1,149 insolvencies in the previous 12 months.

YouView may be forced to rebrand following High Court ruling Internet TV service YouView may have to change its name after the High Court ruled that it infringes the ‘Your View’ trade mark owned by independent telecommunications company Total Ltd. Total said it will now be seeking an injunction against YouView to prevent any further use of the name together with financial payment and legal costs. Paul Gordon at Willans LLP, who represented Total, said: “It shows that the Courts of this country will protect parties against businesses such as YouView who infringe intellectual property rights. YouView were made well aware of Total’s rights before they launched the service under the infringing name yet they chose to launch it under that name regardless.”

WHIRLPOOL AND INDESIT COMPANY BIGWIGS ARRIVE IN UK Speculation that American leviathan Whirlpool Corporation is preparing for a takeover of Italy’s Indesit Company is mounting after ‘important’ foreign visitors from the two groups were spotted at Indesit’s UK headquarters in Peterborough. It is no secret that Indesit Company has been looking for a merger to help it achieve growth: Electrolux, Whirlpool, Arçelik and General Electric are said to be amongst the interested parties. However, according to sources, Whirlpool has already approached Indesit’s biggest shareholder Fineldo S.p.A, the Merloni family’s investment holding company, with an offer for a 45% stake in Indesit Company S.p.A. Fineldo said early in May that all options on Indesit were open, including that the Group could continue on a standalone basis. Indesit Company posted a net loss of €6.2 million for the first quarter of 2014, compared to a profit of €4.1 million in Q1 2013. Comparable Group revenues declined 6.6% to €560.1 million.

Onkyo announces capital/business alliance in Home AV business Onkyo has entered into a basic agreement with Baring Private Equity Asia to commence discussions to integrate Pioneer Home Entertainment into a Baring/Onkyo entity. A portion of shares in Pioneer Home Electronics Corporation (PHE), a wholly8


owned subsidiary of Pioneer, will be transferred to Baring and Onkyo, after which Baring will have 51% stake in PHE. The remaining 49% will be determined in consultation between the related parties. Pioneer and Onkyo will retain their existing brands.


Maplin sold in £85 million deal Maplin Electronics, which has 210 stores in the UK & Ireland, has been sold to private equity firm Rutland Partners in an £85 million deal. The retailer has been owned by Montagu Private Equity since 2004. In 2012, a new management team led by CEO John Cleland was introduced to reposition the business. It has been working on refreshing the store experience, invested in a new web platform and refocused the business on innovation and ‘first in, last out’ product ranges. It also invested heavily in online cross channel retailing and fulfilment disciplines, all of which are said to be contributing to a recovery in the business. Rutland’s Nick Morrill commented: “We are delighted to be able to invest in Maplin and recognise the great progress made by management so far in the recovery of the business but more importantly the potential still to be unlocked.” Rutland’s investment was supported by Investec Growth & Acquisition Finance.

BARNARDO’S THANKS BRITISH EMRAS FOR 2014 CONTRIBUTION It’s now been confirmed that a final £1,500 – proceeds of the silent auction and table decoration sale at the British EMRAs Gala Awards Night at Twickenham Stadium on May 15th – has been received by Barnardo’s, the chosen charity of the British EMRAs and its headline sponsor Beko. Barnardo’s community support assistant Nicky Fuller said: “You must be thrilled with your contribution, it will make such a difference to the young people, the children and their families which we support and are in so need of donors like you.” Headline sponsor Beko and the organisers of the British EMRAs 2014 would like to pass on thanks to everyone who attended the EMRAs and contributed to the total raised towards the vital work of Barnardo’s. And it’s also now been confirmed that the British EMRAs Gala Awards Night 2015 will be held at Twickenham Stadium on May 14th. For enquiries and bookings contact Sharon Maslen: Telephone: 01892 677 742 Email:


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Blomberg offers retail support for Greenplus appliances Blomberg is supporting retailers with advice on how to boost sales of its Greenplusbadged appliances and is providing POS and training for products carrying the new logo, which is intended to highlight the best energy-efficient appliances within the brand’s collection. Within the range are A++ washing machines and an A++ rated heat pump tumble dryer which offer enhanced garment care, and an A-rated double multifunction oven. “Our new Greenplus initiative offers an effortless solution to energy inefficiency,” said Steve Naylor, Independent Channel Manager at Beko plc.

Indesit Company issues dishwasher safety notice 330,000 dishwashers sold in the UK under the Hotpoint and Indesit brands could be affected by fault which has caused 18 appliances to catch fire. The dishwashers were manufactured predominantly between January 2008 and July 2010. Indesit Company said the fault can be easily and quickly repaired by its qualified engineers, who will visit affected customers’ premises and fit a newly manufactured component free of charge. “We are currently in the process of directly contacting all the registered customers we have on our database as an owner of one of these appliances,” the company said in a statement. For further information, visit the Indesit or Hotpoint websites or contact the Customer Service Centre on 0344 822 5201. 10


LG Electronics has announced the forthcoming arrival of its 77” and 65” Curved Ultra HD 4K OLED TVs onto the UK market, in stores from October 2014. The two models, 77EC980V and 65EC970V, combine LG’s proprietary WRGB OLED technology and Ultra HD 4K screen resolution (3840 x 2160

pixels) and incorporate LG’s ULTRA CINEMA 3D. The 77” model won ‘Best of Innovations’ at the 2014 CES Innovations Awards and is the world’s largest screen of its kind. Retail guide prices are £19,999 for the 77” and £5,999 for the 65” model.

Valor makes a return to the UK cooking sector


len Dimplex Home Appliances has added the Valor brand to its cooking portfolio and plans to re-launch it into the sector, with two traditionally styled freestanding products initially exclusive to Euronics members.

The new appliances are 55cm and 50cm freestanding gas models with traditional high-level grill, four-burner hob and conventional oven, available in white or black. They will be manufactured in the UK. Valor was acquired by the Dimplex Group in 2011 after falling under difficult market conditions. The company was established in Birmingham in 1890 and produced oil-storage containers principally for the Anglo-American Oil Company (subsequently better known as Esso). The first Valor heater was produced in 1902 and the

business went on to launch its first oil-powered cooker in 1926. It later ceased producing cookers, focusing instead on home heating appliances. Denver Hewlett, Chief Executive of GDHA, said: “GDHA specialises in reviving struggling brands and we are very excited about the prospect of re-launching Valor. Valor remains a recognisable name in the home heating sector, but it once had a great reputation as a manufacturer of cooking appliances. We hope the new Valor range will appeal to those looking for a well made, reliable and traditionally styled cooker.”

Moves InSinkErator® has appointed Linda Phoutthasak to the role of Marketing Manager, Europe, reporting to Ashley Munden, Managing Director, Europe.

Simon Martin has joined InSinkErator® as Key Account Manager based in the Midlands, with responsibility for maintaining and developing sales and supporting retail partners. He will also focus on developing and extending sales to new-build developers.

Midwich has announced the appointment of Jon Dew-Stanley as director of solution sales, responsible for assisting clients to design and deploy technical AV solutions using the latest technologies available from Midwich vendors.

Dynaudio has appointed former Bang & Olufsen Senior Manager, Specialist in DSP & Acoustic Technology, Jan Abildgaard Pedersen to the role of Chief Technology Officer.

“Of course, if you enjoy mopping, scrubbing and vacuuming, iRobot® might not be your thing...” It’s true. Some people actually like tedious, heavy housework. Love it, even. We don’t. We do, however, love the fresh look and feel of beautifully clean floors. If you feel the same (and our millions of happy customers suggest most people do) you might just appreciate our high-performance floor cleaning robots: •

iRobot® Roomba® Vacuum Cleaning Robot vacuums everything from the hardest tiles to the thickest carpets.

iRobot® Scooba® Floor Scrubbing Robot is based on professional-grade cleaners to scrub hard floors.

iRobot® Braava™ Floor Mopping Robot is the quick, efficient way to dry or damp-mop your hard floors.

Whichever robot you choose, as soon as you set it to work you’ll see how it delivers on our commitment to create only practical robots that make a genuine difference to people’s lives. It won’t walk or talk or make your breakfast, but when you realise just how well it cleans, we think it will make you smile.


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StyliSh Design excellent function Did you know that induction hobs compared to gas or ceramic hobs are significantly more energy efficient and economical to use? The reason is that the induction technology is faster and has a far better energy utilization and thereby wastes less energy. Witt induction hobs give you state-of-the-art technology, Scandinavian design and a lifetime of cooking pleasure!

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John Lewis “number one” UK retailer for mobile commerce


ohn Lewis’ mobile shopping experience has topped a league table of the UK’s top 20 retailers. The department store chain set a benchmark score of 75% and was closely followed by Argos and Amazon UK, which gained 72% and 71% respectively. The results were released in a Mobile Commerce 2014 report published by EPiServer, in which Currys’ website received considerable praise, being highlighted as “worthy of note”. EPiServer said: “While not an overall performer due to a lack of any apps, its [Currys] mobile site website received the best score of all 20 retailers. The easy-to-use site adapts to screen or browser size, has touch-enabled elements and delivers many of the services

expected by consumers such as product reviews, customer service contacts and location tracking maps. It is also one of the only mobile sites or apps to utilise video content and, according to Google’s PageSpeed Insights, is one of the fastest to load.” The annual study of the UK’s top 20 retailers, now in its third year, revealed that many are struggling to deliver the sophisticated and hasslefree mobile commerce experience that consumers now expect. This was reflected by an average score of 47%, compared to 55% in 2013. Scores varied from a high of 75% to a poor 8%. John Lewis demonstrated a consistently good mobile strategy across its Android and iOS apps and mobile site.

Kevin Farish courts local press with “sellout” cookery event An Electrolux cookery event at Kevin Farish Domestic Appliances in Dumfries was reported to have been a sellout, with every seat in the house taken for a cookery demonstration by Tom Kitchin, chef proprietor of Edinburgh restaurant The Kitchin. More than a hundred people watched as Kitchin created dishes using the latest Electrolux appliances. The event, themed Simply Steam, was followed by the signing of the chef’s latest book, Kitchin Suppers. Dumfries and Galloway What’s Going On featured the story on the day and local press across the region also covered it on the front pages of Friday editions, providing Kevin Farish and Electrolux’s brands with great exposure to the public.


Kitchen appliances damaged in fire Dozens of kitchen appliances were damaged when an electrical fault caused a fire at A.A. Domestic Appliances’ warehouse in Halesowen, West Midlands. Local media sources said fire crews were called to the scene at the unit in Banners Street on the evening of 12th June. The incident reportedly involved several washing machines and a fridge, but left the 65ft x 200ft unit severely smoke damaged. A.A. Domestic Appliances is a family run business that has been specialising in domestic appliances for 30 years. The company has a retail outlet in Hagley Road, Halesowen.

Elipson SoundTree installed in Dorset showroom Poole-based Stone Audio has installed an Elipson SoundTree system – the second in the UK – in its AV showroom, which is dedicated to offering the very best in hi-fi, home cinema & multi-room audio and video equipment. Elipson’s SoundTree is a musical tree sculpture designed to surround listeners with high quality audio. It comprises spherical speaker-fruits suspended from the ceiling by cables and can be adapted to suit any environment. Stone Audio, whose portfolio includes installations in stately homes and apartments, 5-star hotels and super-yachts, prides itself in selecting and providing high quality equipment that is “sometimes a bit out of the ordinary.” Alex Scott-Simons, MD and owner of the company, said: “We are proud to join Selfridges of London and other world renowned locations in Paris, Milan and New York in being able to show and demonstrate this stunning and unique piece of audio art.”


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Representing the next level of TV picture quality, LG ULTRA HD 4K boasts a resolution four times higher than Full HD so that, even when viewed close up, it delivers an image that is so incredibly sharp and crisp, it gives you the best view in the world.

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Photographer: Andrew Rowat. Images not to scale.

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Beko launches new range of American-Style fridge freezers


eko has introduced a new collection of EcoSmart Americanstyle fridge freezers with the UK’s largest capacity non-plumbed model within the range. The flagship model ASN541 delivers water and ice on tap and offers the flexibility of being placed anywhere within the kitchen as no water source is required. The launch will be supported by a £5m television and digital marketing campaign. There are fourteen variants within the range, offering different

specifications and colours. The collection is available in white, silver, stainless steel and black with recommended retail prices from £679 to £999. Beko is offering consumers up to £100 cash back on certain models until 20th August 2014. “American-Style refrigeration is worth £149m annually and with our innovative new models we’re hoping to further drive category sales,” said Gino Grossi, Refrigeration Product Manager at Beko. “We’re confident this new range of smart, stylish appliances offers

consumers both superior aesthetics and technology. To ensure retailers are making the most of this opportunity we are offering bespoke POS materials for in-store standout, as well as a training programme for store staff.” George Mead, Brand Marketing for Beko, said the supporting £5m multi-media marketing campaign will include the new American-style Fridge Freezers, Built-In appliances and the EcoSmart range.

SAMSUNG LAUNCHES ‘HOME INNOVATION PARTNERS’ DISTRIBUTION SCHEME Samsung Electronics has forecast a 25% drop in operating profit for the period April-June 2014, citing a slowdown in the global smartphone market and the continued strength of the Korean Won as major factors. Operating profit for the quarter is now forecast at KRW7.2 trillion (£4.2 billion), down from KRW9.5 trillion in the same period last year. It is the third consecutive quarter in which the South Korean giant’s operating profit has shrunk. Rent-to-buy retailer BrightHouse reported revenues up by 12.2% to £333.3 million and EBITDA up 10.1% to £52.6 million in its 2013/14 financial year. The company opened seven new stores during the period, bringing its total portfolio to 286. Like-for-like sales rose 6.9%.

Dixons Retail plc reported underlying pre-tax profits of £166.2 million for the full year to 30 April 2014, a 76% increase on the previous year. Performance across key European markets improved, and in the UK & Ireland further strong progress pushed underlying operating profits up by 24%. The Group reduced costs by a further £45 million to hit its 2-year £90 million cost reduction target. Group online sales increased 16% to pass the £1 billion mark. Dixons confirmed that the merger with Carphone Warehouse had been cleared by the European Commission. Carphone Warehouse posted likefor-like revenue growth of 5.3% (2013: 4.6%) for the 12 months ended 29 March 2014. Pro forma Headline EBIT increased 14% from £132m to £151m, in line with guidance. Total sales at Argos rose 4.8% to £868m in the 13 weeks from 2 March to 31 May 2014. Like-for-likes increased by 4.9%, driven by a strong performance in seasonal products and continued growth in electrical products, principally as a result of increases in video gaming and TVs, although this was partially offset by a market driven decline in tablets. Internet revenues grew in line with total company sales and represented 42% of all Argos sales. An approximate 25 basis point gross margin decline was principally driven by an adverse sales mix impact from growth in margin dilutive electrical products.



Samsung Home Appliances UK has launched a Home Innovation Partners (HIP) initiative to support selected independent retailers by improving distribution of the brand’s range of domestic appliances. Samsung work with two key distributors: Hampshire-based Portway will provide the brand’s major domestic appliances and Birminghambased Connect will manage the distribution of small appliances (floorcare and microwaves). Around 30 independent dealers have been given Samsung HIP status, providing them with more regular visits from their respective Samsung account managers, access to bespoke in-store displays and the supply of a wider range of products. Retail staff at HIPs outlets will also be able to download product images and specifications and take part in training modules via an online portal.

Maytag establishes three new Premier Centres Maytag has extended membership of its Premier Centre retail concept to three new locations following the success of its first Centre, which opened at Gillman’s of Gloucester (pictured) in November 2013. Buy It Direct of Alfreton, Apollo Appliances of Sheffield and Crawford’s Domestic Appliances of Heywood, near Manchester, will now open as Maytag Premier Centres, a concept developed to support the reputation of the brand and reward its best independent retailers. A total of ten leading independent electrical dealers are being invited to join the scheme, each of which will benefit from in-depth product training, marketing support including advertising and POS material and exclusive sales offers that guarantee protected margins. Maytag also offers a 10-year parts warranty and 2-year labour warranty on appliances.

Practical Practical Range Ra Perfectly Pr Simon Starkie, National Account Manager for Maytag, said: “We are delighted to welcome these three outstanding showrooms to the network and will continue to work with our sole and exclusive Maytag distributor D.A.D to identify a further six exceptional specialist retailers wishing to become Premier Centres over the following months.”

Perfectly Priced

The Word : Industry News


FC Barcelona and Beko sign global sponsorship agreement FC Barcelona and Beko have announced a new agreement in which the home appliance brand becomes the club’s global sponsorship partner for the next four years. Beko’s new logo will feature on the sleeve of FC Barcelona’s new team jersey and training kit – a first for any commercial brand – and the two partners will also work together on global marketing and social responsibility strategies.

Exhibitors at this year’s Exclusively Housewares show, which ran 10-11 June at the Business Design Centre in London, were said to have been “delighted” by the turnout and support. Although no official visitor numbers have yet been released, the 13th EH show was reported to have attracted top buyers from a range of sales channels and countries representing housewares, tableware, SDA and licensors. The show’s regular party of guest international retailers also attended, representing distributors, leading department stores and specialist housewares/cookshop retailers from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden. EH is run on behalf of the housewares members of the British Home Enhancement Trade

 SHORTCUTS Home furnishings retailer Dunelm has chosen the Servis brand for its launch into the major domestic appliances sector. Dunelm has opted to rely upon Servis for the fulfilment of all its MDA requirements.

Samsung Home Appliances UK is offering consumers a free Galaxy Tab 3 7.0inch (Wifi) when they purchase selected home appliances from the brand’s latest range. The promotion will run until 17 August.

Panasonic has been awarded ‘Best Photography Brand’ for the second consecutive year at the Which? Awards 2014.

Smeg puts pedal power behind national charity

Simple Audio is giving consumers the opportunity to try high resolution music streaming in their home for 30 days with the new Roomplayer+ or Roomplayer+ with Amp on a ’30 days to love me’ guarantee. The promotion runs during July and August 2014.

Smeg UK staff and their families are to undertake a number of fundraising activities in support of national charity Action Medical Research. Amongst the activities is a 261-mile London to Paris bike ride, taking place in September this year, in which nine members of the Smeg UK team will be participating. The event is staggered over four days and finishes at the Eiffel Tower.

InSinkErator ® has gained Quiet Mark accreditation for its top-of-the-range Evolution 200 and Evolution 100 food waste disposal units.

Anthem AV Solutions has secured an exclusive deal with French company Trinnov Audio to distribute the brand’s recently developed high-end line in the UK & ROI.


See for the stories behind the news  A quarter of all e-commerce  Agreement reached stores break UK law

 “Top tips” for enhanced showroom design

 UK Warranty secures new electrical industry deals



on definition for High Resolution Audio

 Damson Headbones

crowdfunding smashes target

Association (BHETA). William Jones, housewares sector director at BHETA, said the feedback from exhibiting members was “extremely positive”, with many commenting on the quality of the visitors, through to the general organisation of the event. 2015 will see the launch of Exclusively Electrical, a dedicated SDA show that will run alongside Exclusively Housewares at the Business Design Centre in London on Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th June.

SDA distributor EPE Group has established a new trade distribution unit for branded small domestic appliances and has appointed Simon Brooks as its national sales manager. The new entity, Trade Direct Electrical Appliances, will supply the electrical wholesale channel as well as professional trade counter businesses. It will also fulfil procurement opportunities within a range of B2B businesses.

 Fibaro: a new home

automation opportunity for installers

 MPs show support for business rates reform

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The Product Gallery


Gallery Smeg’s new FQ60 fridge freezer Smeg has launched this four-door fridge freezer with MultiZone compartment in a choice of white or black finishes. The appliance is A+ rated for energy and operates at 46dB(A).


LCD touch display Gross capacity 610 litres including 77-litre MultiZone compartment Extra Fresh Zone / Active Blue Light technology 5-drawer freezer Manual ice-maker


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Crystal Acoustics introduces WiDAC audio receiver Crystal Acoustics’ WiDAC Wi-Fi audio receiver will enable wireless streaming to any audio or home cinema system from smartphone, tablet or computer using superior Wi-Fi connectivity. A high-quality Wolfson DAC and digital optical output guarantee excellent sound performance and flexibility.


Ultra-compact unit Airplay and DLNA USB power supply


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Long distance reception over Wi-Fi SRP £59.99

De’Longhi multi-tasking Multifry cooker De’Longhi’s Multifry will cook dishes ranging from risottos and French fries to pies and pizzas. The unit boasts a patent-pending Surround Heat System in which the top and bottom heating elements can be operated separately or simultaneously.


Cooks up to 1.7kg of potatoes in just 14ml of oil Removable paddle Adjustable thermostat and timer 4 different models ranging from £159.99 to £249.99 Recipe book with 250 ideas available on app for iPhone, iPad and Android


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Tangent portable DAB+ radio with Bluetooth Tangent has created an enhanced version of its DAB2GO DAB+FM portable radio, adding Bluetooth 3.0 for wireless streaming from smartphones and tablets. The unit is available in a choice of Walnut veneer and high gloss White, Black and Red cabinet finishes.


3” full range speaker 5 presets Dual alarm clock Support for A2DP and AVRCP Input: Aux-in 3.5mm jack, USB Charge Outputs: Stereo headphone out and Record out Amplifier power 5W


01923 205600 |

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The Product Gallery

Eltax creates Bluetooth versions of award-winning speakers Danish speaker brand Eltax has launched a Bluetooth version of its awardwinning Monitor 3 bookshelf loudspeakers with multiple analogue and digital connections. The 3 BT speakers are finished in either black or white and supplied with a remote control. j j j j j j j

Frequency range (+/- 4dB): 50 Hz - 20 kHz Tweeter 1” (25mm) / Mid/bass driver 5” (130mm) Power Output 50W Connections: Optical, Coaxial, RCA, Mini-jack, Subwoofer out Built-in DSP EQ presets: Bass / Treble j Standby consumption <1W (EUP 2013)

Panasonic 4K video recording premium bridge camera

GPO Attaché retro-styled portable record player This vintage-inspired portable briefcase turntable from GPO plays at speeds of 33/45/78 RPM and has built-in stereo in each corner. It is made of wood and bound in leatherette and comes in pillar box red, sky blue and vintage brown.


Analogue output: RCA connectors L/R Digital output: USB port Records vinyl to a USB stick (supplied) SRP £89.99


0845 521 4095 |

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Panasonic’s most advanced bridge camera to date, the LUMIX DMC-FZ1000, has a compact and high quality build and is said to boast a number of “firsts” in its class, including a large 20.1MP 1-inch High Sensitivity MOS sensor and 4K video recording capability.

Whirlpool introduces 6-litre dishwashers


Whirlpool has launched two 6TH SENSE® PowerClean dishwashers, both of which use just six litres of water. The freestanding ADPL 7470 IX and built-in ADG 8900 are ‘A++AA’ rated with 13 place settings and eight programmes.


High quality LEICA lens with 16x Optical Zoom Enhanced Venus Engine 4K (QFHD 4K: 3840x2160, up to 25fps (PAL) in MP4) Full HD high speed video at 100 fps (PAL) Smooth zooming for seamless video / Faster and more precise autofocus Dual rapid 4response, crystal-clear display 22 different filters Instant image sharing


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Programmes: 6th Sense PowerClean; Pre-Wash; Fragile (40°C); Rapid (45°C); Eco (50°C); Daily (60°C); Intensive (65°C) and Steam Multizone wash option / Anti-bacterial rinse option Adjustable racking system Washtime display / Display for salt and rinse aid Tablet setting / Delay Start Noise level of 42 dB(A)



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The Green Room: Dishwashers

Old habits die hard

Dishwashers have proved their worthiness on the eco-scale yet 60% of UK households still prefer to wash and dry dishes by hand, unconvinced, or unaware, of the appliance’s impressive benefits. GC reports LUXURY?


ishwashers save work, water, energy, money and personal time; they promote household hygiene and help de-clutter kitchen worktops; they protect hands and nails from detergent damage; they remove one of the elements that can often lead to family arguments (i.e. the washing up), and they leave dishes dry and sparkling clean. What’s not to like? When viewed alongside other household white goods, the dishwasher’s worth and efficacy remain blighted by consumer misconceptions. Amongst those erroneous beliefs are exorbitant water and energy consumption, extensively long programme cycles, the need to rinse dishes before placing them in the appliance, ineffective cleaning of pots & pans and, surprisingly, the myth that the appliance fills up with water still exists. Whirlpool Trade Marketing Manager Juan Pillay describes the dishwasher as “the big white elephant of the appliance market.” 18


The top-of-therange De Dietrich DVH1180GJ has an A+AA rating and operates at a 39dB(A) noise level

Pillay comments that many consumers still find it difficult to appreciate the value and benefits of the Delay timers are a dishwasher, and many also still see it as a luxury, non-essential fantastic way in which to appliance. He raises one of life’s use electricity when it’s going inconsistencies as a means to be cheaper and dishwashers of fighting the dishwasher’s corner: “An unsatisfactory can now be set with a delay work/life balance is a of up to 24 hours” widespread source of consumer stress. The jury is out on whether Danny Lay, being ‘always available’ due to Sales Director, Caple mobile connectivity is collapsing the work/leisure divide, or if technology is a godsend in relieving the pressure on our working lives. Yet we are happy to indulge in the luxury of the latest smartphone, a passion for apps etc., so surely anything penetration rate at 54% for 2013 and that reduces stress and adds convenience, Austria’s at 76% for that same year. releasing time, is a bonus?” As a matter of interest, Euromonitor Pillay adds that the dishwasher is also notes that BSH Home Appliances the “perfect appliance” for the modern maintained its number one position in home and family and saves a tremendous dishwashers in the UK market, with an amount of time – up to 400 hours per overall retail volume share of 29% in 2013. year. “But for those that have never Electrolux ranked second with a total retail owned a dishwasher it still remains a volume share of 19%, followed by Indesit mystery as to why on earth anyone would Company with 15%. ever want one.” An independent survey commissioned Yet those that do own a dishwasher by Candy this year somewhat challenges would choose to give up other personal or the UK’s estimated 40% penetration rate, household items before they’d part with revealing that 56% of those questioned their resource- and time-saving appliance. owned a dishwasher. “This suggests that One statement we came across recently market penetration is on the rise and may seem a bit OTT, but it expresses the dishwashers are now being seen as more value that existing dishwasher owners of a necessity,” says Hoover Candy UK’s place on the product: “…they say they’d Maurizio Severgnini, Managing Director, offer up their kids first and then throw the Built-in Division. dog in for free.”


With the public divided into two camps, dishwasher penetration in the UK continues to idle at approximately 40% – markedly lower than in European countries and the US. Mintel’s estimates for 2011 put Germany’s dishwasher penetration at 77%+, Spain’s at 49%+ and the US at 78%+, while Euromonitor UK’s more recent figures place France’s


Severgnini believes there has been a positive shift in consumers’ perception in recent years and recognition of the fact that using a dishwasher rather than washing up by hand does save water and energy. He also sees further growth in slim-line models as a result of a rise in single occupancy households, smaller apartments, studio flats and new-build properties.

The Green Room: Dishwashers

Beko Product Manager Laura Selten adds that estimates suggest over 21% of dishwashers sold are now slim-line models. The most recent AMDEA data (April 2014), as quoted by Stuart Frost, Key Account Manager for De Dietrich Kitchen Appliances, shows that built-in dishwasher sales rose by 9.2% in volume year on year, of which 4.2% were 60cm models. “A built-in dishwasher is never a distress purchase,” he comments, “so this figure should also be regarded as a bellwether for the continued positive uplift in the property market.” Whirlpool’s Pillay believes that a boost in sales will come from the new-build sector once housing construction gets well underway again. The reason for this uplift being that building regulations make it necessary for newly built homes to meet stringent minimum water efficiency standards. “This means that the dishwasher will play a major role in reducing water consumption in homes. Once a consumer owns a dishwasher

they won’t look back, and it will be regarded, finally, as a must-have appliance.”


According to Candy’s aforementioned dishwasher survey, consumers rate internal layout, the capacity to wash large items, the number of place settings and energy efficiency as the most important criteria when choosing an appliance. The increasing need for flexible layouts and capacities has risen in line with interest in home entertaining and the fact that crockery sizes have become bigger, with square and rectangular dishes added to the traditional round designs and more pots and pans in everyday use. It has been said that dishwasher owners do more cooking than non-owners. “Today’s consumers are looking to make the most of their homes for socialising and entertaining, and dinner parties have been brought to the forefront of this activity,” says Maytag’s Juliana Sado, Senior Brand Marketing Manager for

DESIGNED TO MATCH ALL KITCHEN STYLES The ingenious Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer™ can be placed anywhere within the kitchen, seamlessly fitting into cabinetry. Powered by SmartDrive™ intelligent technology with load sensing and 9 wash programmes, the DishDrawer™ dishwasher provides up to 12 place settings, with flexible racking system, adjustable cup racks and folding tines that can accommodate long-stemmed wine glasses. The DishDrawer™ also comes with a 5-year parts and labour warranty for your customers’ total peace of mind.

For further information: 0845 600 1934

The Green Room: Dishwashers


Ongoing improvements in dishwashers mean that those coming back into the market for their second or third machine will by default gain better efficiencies and, having recognised the many benefits and value products bring to their lives, these are the very consumers who will be disposed to trading up to more advanced models. To this group of people, having a dishwasher is on a par with having a washing machine – it is a household necessity. Studies show, however, that many of these more mature, earlier dishwasher adopters tend to rinse dishes before placing them in the appliance, an unnecessary habit that wastes time and water and could easily be kicked if the range of programmes and operation of water delivery systems were explained at the point of sale. “Any programme that makes the consumer’s life easier, and especially where resource consumption is kept in check, is welcomed,” says The Hoover HLSI400PW Powerwash dishwasher boasts a generous Whirlpool’s Pillay. capacity that accommodates 15 place settings He asserts that the Martin Wilson, brand’s 6TH SENSE® PowerClean™ technology Northern Europe. “The capacity of a appliances, while the drive Electrolux Product Manager ensures “outstanding” to save water has become dishwasher can therefore be hugely cleaning results on the “one of the biggest sales important, with entertaining at home and toughest soiling with no need experimentation with cooking resulting in imperatives.” She points out that to pre-scrub or pre-wash. “This a lot of washing up.” models consuming fewer than 12 technology detects the soil level of the Hoover Candy’s Severgnini says that litres of water per cycle now account for entire load and regulates the water over half of dishwasher volume sales. Candy created its CDIM 3653 Maxi Plate pressure of the PowerClean jets, adjusting Water efficiencies have been a key integrated model based on its survey it as required. PowerClean has special focus for dishwasher manufacturers feedback. “It is a great example of an high-pressure nozzles at the back of as early models did indeed guzzle great appliance that caters for these needs,” the dishwasher to remove burnt-on quantities, around 70 litres or more per he asserts. “This A+ energy rated, extraIntegrated food from pots, pans and oven dishes, cycle. By 1978, average consumption spacious dishwasher is brand new to the dishwashers are offering 35% better cleaning results ranged between 41–56 litres, reducing to market and offers a 15-setting capacity proving extremely when compared to a dishwasher without 22–38 litres by the year 2000. and can accommodate up to eight large popular for the technology. A further advantage of Maytag later became the first plates of 34.5cm, in an innovative new Slovenian brand PowerClean™ is the ability to clean extramanufacturer to bring consumption way to maximise space.” Gorenje (Model large items such as baking trays, with no down to a mere 6 litres with the Servis’s Rita Balestrazzi notes that ref: GV63214UK pictured) additional water consumption.” introduction of the MDW 606 AWG affordable dishwashers at the mid (current model: A+AA rated MDW 0713 end of the market are now equipped AGW). Beko’s A+ rated DSFN6839W, with internal layouts incorporating launched in 2013, also uses just 6 litres of collapsible baskets that can be wholly water to clean an entire load, as does the or partly removed to make room for more recently launched Whirlpool A+AA large or awkwardly sized crockery items. rated ADPL 7470 IX. “Removable cutlery drawers are also At 6-litres per cycle, one would have helping space to be used more effectively, thought the acme had been attained. But allowing cutlery to be loaded separately no, Servis is aiming to take consumption so that it doesn’t scratch or damage even lower. According to Balestrazzi, neighbouring dishes,” she adds. the brand is to introduce a model that consumes as little as 5.5 litres of water EFFICIENCIES per cycle. In the premium end of the dishwasher Maytag’s Sado says energy efficiency market, flexible layouts and capacity and the reduction of water consumption are complemented by outstanding will continue to be the major focus for efficiencies. Balestrazzi observes manufacturers when developing new that the most highly specified models appliances. consume 20% less energy than A+++ rated

Dishwasher penetration is at just 40%, meaning there is still a lot of potential to take advantage of a growth market”



The Green Room: Dishwashers

Hoover Candy’s Severgnini highlights the Powerwash programme on Hoover’s HLSI400PW dishwasher, in which the spray arm directs a highly concentrated water and detergent solution straight onto items via six multi-directional jets. “This ensures that even the most heavily soiled dishes and pans come out spotlessly clean and sparkling,” he comments. AEG’s ProClean™ dishwashers incorporate a FlexiSpray satellite spray system that accommodates items such as crystal and heavily soiled casserole dishes in the same wash with the use of the ProZone programme. This treats items in the top baskets gently and those in the lower basket with a greater level of power. Water pressure is up to three times higher in the bottom basket and the temperature up to 25% higher. Martin Wilson, Product Manager at Electrolux says the programme is “ideal for the most challenging cleaning.”

CAPLE DI628 BUILT-IN DISHWASHER Multi award-winning appliance specialist Caple’s stylish dishwasher collection produces sparklingly clean dishes and glassware. Seven models demonstrate how Caple has achieved low levels of water consumption through their washing and drying cycles. Energy efficiency, washing and drying performance have also been improved. The fully integrated Di628 dishwasher has an impressive triple A rating for energy efficiency, washing and drying performance. A maximum 30cm plate diameter, cutlery tray and 14 place settings add to the features, which include a 49dB sound level and eight programmes plus an economy wash that uses just 10 litres of water.

For further information: 0117 938 1900

Smeg’s DF6FAB retro freestanding dishwashers have an A++ energy rating, A-rated drying performance and A-rated cleaning performance

Even in slim-line dishwashers, a superclean wash performance can be achieved, despite appliances’ irregular shaped cavities. A prime example of the innovation in water delivery systems can be seen in Smeg’s recently introduced SwingWash technology, which has been applied across the brand’s full range of 45cm models. A specially designed central spray arm is supported by an additional swing arm which pivots from corner to corner. The swinging motion of the additional arm rotates it in alternative directions to effectively cover the front and rear of the appliance, delivering powerful water coverage throughout the entire cavity. Product Development Manager Joan Fraser says consumers can be confident of “a great wash result every time.”

Miele’s A+++ rated G6582 SCVI K2O dishwasher incorporates Auto Open drying along with the brand’s Knock2Open technology, which opens the appliance door automatically when it is tapped lightly two times. “Knock2Open is great for contemporary, streamlined kitchens as lines remain clean and unbroken,” she says. The G6582 SCVI K2O also runs an Extra Quiet programme, reducing the noise level down to 38dB, so the appliance is suitable for open-plan kitchens.



De Dietrich’s Stuart Frost points out that another key aspect of washing the dishes is drying them. He opines that the standard sales points are usually about the wash phase, while drying is rarely spoken about. “De Dietrich is one manufacturer that believes that the drying aspect is as important as the wash process. It has developed the best possible drying performance in its dishwashers, borrowing technology from the Watersports and Motor industries – each of its machines features an internal plasma coating at the internal roof of the machine to ensure an unequalled drying time.” Sian Bailey, Dishwasher Category Manager at Miele, comments on the introduction of Auto Open drying, which automatically opens the appliance door once the programme has finished. This allows steam to escape and cool air to circulate for perfect drying results.

Commentators believe that the dishwasher market is turning the corner and looking pretty bright. But, as Fisher & Paykel points out, manufacturers and retailers must continue to promote the benefits of ownership. “There is a generation which has been brought up in a home where they had the use of a dishwasher, so when moving into a home of their own, a dishwasher will be a ‘must’, just like the mobile phone, tablet and large screen TV.” Whirlpool’s Pillay agrees: “The next generation of homeowners, many of whom will have grown up with a dishwasher, would not consider a home without one. Attitudes towards dishwashers are changing and definitely becoming more positive, ensuring greater household penetration to the levels of those enjoyed by our European neighbours. Owning a dishwasher makes perfect sense.” JULY 2014 GET CONNECTED


Growth from Knowledge

Dishwasher market boosted by sales of integrated products Richard Allen, account manager, MDA at GfK, puts some numbers to the increasingly complex UK dishwashers market


has been a challenging year for dishwashers, with total value sales falling 2% to ÂŁ252million (May13-Apr14). Whilst freestanding products continue to account for over half the value sales with 53% share, these standalone products have endured a disappointing year with value falling 10%. Conversely, the built-in category has enjoyed an excellent twelve months with sales rising 9% to make a market now worth nearly ÂŁ120million. Despite average prices being ÂŁ60 higher than the freestanding alternatives, these premium products are proving increasingly popular with consumers thanks to the sleek design and professional finish they provide.


As with any other home appliances, capacity remains a significant feature when it comes to consumer choice. The dynamic in dishwashing is somewhat different from the

general trend suggesting bigger is better within the kitchen: full-size dishwashers are actually seeing a drop in demand. Unit sales are down 8%, with value slipping by over 5%, as consumers begin to opt instead for the more convenient slimline products. Whilst the kitchen remains the hub of the home, rising house prices are limiting the property sizes that many home-buyers can now afford. As a result, these space-saving options are becoming invaluable to certain consumers keen to cram the kitchen with as many time-saving appliances as possible. They can also offer greater efficiency for those living in smaller households, as smaller washers can help make each cycle more economical and more affordable in the long run.


This is also leading to the development of products with low water consumption. Models that use

an average of 11 litres or less for each cycle now constitute 37% of value sales, and 17% of these products use no more than 8 litres of water per wash. Water usage and energy efficiency are becoming increasingly important topics for consumers as they look for ways to cut back on their rising household bills. The energy saving trend is

picking up considerable momentum, and appears to be a particularly important feature for dishwashers. Hopefully, the energy and water saving message can help convert those that still prefer the rubber glove option as market penetration remains much lower than for other major appliances.


GfK Dishwashers Great Britain Panelmarket DISHWASHERS

Lower than

Dishwasher value salesvalue May13-Ap14 ÂŁ252million -2% Lower than last year ÂŁ252million Dishwasher sales May13-Ap14 last year Value % Share MAT 14

Value % Share MAT 13

MAT 14



Fullsize 58%


53% 83%

Value Growth

80% Value Growth


+19% 42%

Built In

47% 17%

For further information, contact Richard Allen, account Manager, MDa:  +44 870 603 8124 22


Internet sales are a significant factor behind the success of the dishwasher category. Value sales increased 17% over the past year and a third of all value sales were made

Water usage and energy efficiency are becoming increasingly important topics for consumers as they look for ways to cut back on their rising household bills.

GfK Panelmarket Data Great Britain

MAT 13




online. The physical size of major appliances also lends itself well to this type of purchase as the removal of old, and installation of new, products can often be troublesome and time-consuming.


The rest of the year provides both opportunities and challenges for the dishwasher sector. The World Cup kicked off in June, with its tendency to divert consumer spending away from the home sector towards the technology markets. But following on from this period there is plenty to suggest that sales could start to increase. The economy is picking up nicely with recent government figures forecasting an era of economic growth. Coupled with growing consumer confidence, buyers are now more likely to spend money on big ticket purchases such as appliances. The improving housing market will help stimulate sales as home owners look to renovate their new properties. History suggests that built-in appliances in particular do well during an upturn in property sales, which will only aid the growing demand for integrated washers. The low penetration rate also indicates sales growth is on the horizon as first time buyers, reliant on a dishwasher in their family home, look to get one installed rather than getting their hands dirty with the dishes.

In the spotlight: Tablet Technology

In-store technology After a period of intense development by major manufacturers, led by Toshiba and HP, the implementation of smart in-store technologies such as tablets is now taking off, as retailers gain confidence in their ability to enhance the customer experience and increase sales. Richard Cottrell, sales and marketing director, Vista Retail Support, looks at the opportunities opening up for forward-looking retailers


ith mobile spending in the UK set to hit £23 billion within four years, a recent Conlumino survey found that 60% of Brits with tablets are shopping more, thanks to the convenience of the device. In responding to this trend, one out-of-town retailer has just deployed 2,500 iPad minis in its outlets, and has had to implement very little training, as many staff already had personal experience of these devices. At the same time, despite the tough nature of this working environment, they have had very few devices damaged or stolen. As with a large chain of builders’ merchants which has implemented 800 iPads and iPhones, the reason would appear to be that staff see how tablets make their jobs much easier and more rewarding, and so take extreme care of the devices. Nonetheless, where required,

When a customer enquires about a particular type of game, a tablet can act as the ideal sales aid by demonstrating genuine in-game footage, providing essential immediacy.” tablets with a more rugged build are available along with protective jackets. Tablet PCs have already had a significant impact in top-end stores, where both the retailer and customer can benefit from assisted selling. If, for example, a customer is looking to buy an expensive pair of trainers, the in-store staff have the information at their fingertips to provide specialist advice to meet the customer’s specific needs. This really works where the customer has a clear idea of what they are looking for. For the retailer, this presents a golden

opportunity to cross-sell or upsell, by demonstrating other related products which may enhance the customer’s experience. Although the tablet PC has yet to establish a similar foothold in massmarket retail, it will start to have greater application as it develops broader PC functionality. The creation of a modular, robust tablet with full connectivity as a full-blown mainstream POS device is an exciting prospect for mass-market retailers looking to improve both customer service and operational efficiency. POS equipment will effectively be available as a detachable and fully-portable device, allowing in-store colleagues to use it for a variety of stock-related tasks, including dealing with customer inquiries about availability and reducing checkout queues by taking credit card payments. However, the enabling technology is at an early stage of development and has yet to be proven. It also remains unlikely that, for the foreseeable future, tablets will be adopted to enable guided selling in high-volume, low-margin stores.


As the battleground for online commerce moves into the mobile arena, games resellers for example are already showing great interest in using in-store tablets. When a customer enquires about a particular type of game, a tablet can act as the ideal sales aid by demonstrating genuine in-game footage, providing essential immediacy. Cycle shops also have an ideal opportunity to use tablet PCs in the battle against “showrooming” - to cut down on customers using the premises

as a showroom before leaving to make a purchase online. A tablet in the hands of a member of staff who knows what they are talking about can demonstrate the range of value-added items which buying a cycle online simply cannot match - from ensuring the right size and set-up, to innovative support initiatives such as safety courses for children, special servicing deals and sponsored cycle clubs. Use of the tablet could well begin a conversation in which the customer is more likely to compromise on the initial purchase price as part of a superior total offering.


Looking ahead, the smart retailer should have the technology to steer the customer through the store in exactly the same way, using the customer’s own tablet PC or smart phone. The good news is that, for those retailers who can afford it, such technology is already available. It is often said that self-service kiosks employing tablet PCs are the future of high street retail. In fact they are already here in the form of look-up pads in Argos and Boots’ Advantage touch screens, for example. The main constraint preventing more widespread use of self-service kiosks – and, in particular, self-service check-outs – is that of payments. As soon as the technology enabling payment by cash, credit card or, for example, PayPal via tablet becomes generally available, this will act as a springboard for more mainstream adoption of self-service kiosk applications in-store. Despite its relatively high cost, it looks as if the tablet PC is set to play an increasing role in the retail environment as the technology evolves. JULY 2014 GET CONNECTED


Guest Column: Jonathan Dugdale

One step closer to the SMART or Connected Home? Jonathan Dugdale, who has a retail and installation business in Clitheroe, Lancashire (The Connected SMART Home), has been writing a series for GC Magazine on the challenges and opportunities of the “Internet of Things” (IoT). In May he called for an open platform as the way forward. This month he looks at fresh progress towards connectivity in our homes

Jonathan Dugdale


the last few months there have been two announcements that have directly affected electrical retail in the UK, and will no doubt help to shape a new and emerging industry over the next few years:

Conference held in San Francisco in early June. There had been many rumours about what Apple was planning as a decisive entrance to this sector; after much debate, just 1 minute and 12 seconds out of the 2-hour keynote speech was devoted to explaining Apple’s vision.


This highly publicised merger was, according to Carphone Warehouse CEO Andrew Harrison, to create a “leader in European consumer electrical, mobiles, connectivity and related services,” and to “stay ahead of the curve” in reference to the Internet of Things and the Connected Home (Financial Times). Obviously there were differences in opinion about the real reasons for combining the two companies. But now, when you type “SMART home” into Google, at the top of the rankings appears “New SMART Home Technology from PC World”. Open up the site and you have references to a vision of the “SMART Home – For a safe, efficient and enjoyable home”; “SMART Health” and “SMART gadgets”. At the moment it is unclear exactly what shape the merged entity’s involvement will take, but what they have done is open up new areas within several stores in relation to SMART technology, with the aim of demonstrating it to the consumer in a tactile and tangible way (see report on Get Connected website June 3rd.: “Currys & PC World’s SMART Tech zones launch”


Apple introduced this new platform at its annual Worldwide Developer 24


Many people had expected the announcement of new hardware such as the iWatch and a new Apple TV (rumoured to be the new “home hub”). But what Apple did was announce a new software platform with a common language from which to make products from different manufacturers work. In essence, Apple wants to solve the problem of interoperability between products, and to control our homes with the iPhone and the iCloud. They want to make it simple for consumers to connect devices together, which is good. But the home network is complicated. While Apple has been deliberating on what to do in this market, the innovators have been innovating and the early majority has been buying other products. Apple is applying itself to solving a problem that needs solving, and will no doubt get a lot of manufacturers and developers on board. But what they’re not doing is defining what the SMART or connected home is. And this, in my opinion, is where the problem lies.


It means that the largest manufacturer and second largest company in the world, Apple, sees an opportunity to help make the SMART Home a reality. And that the largest electrical retailer in the UK (which has just doubled in size and has a huge presence on the high street) will start pushing the concept of the SMART or connected home. I believe this will start to push more people into my shop. It will raise awareness amongst consumers – and this, to me, represents a huge opportunity for retailers to actually define what this new market is and how it will benefit the consumer.


After listening to a podcast from (twitter: @hometechpodcast), the suggestion is that Apple’s attitude is more open than ever before and that

I think seamless integration is imperative, but it is a long way away and Apple alone will not be able to do this in the face of too much choice and too much competition.”

manufacturers will be actively encouraged to seek the new Apple standard and encourage developers to share their ideas. But this is Apple, so who knows!


With Apple’s reputation for creating secure Operating Systems and implementing protocols that just work – for example, Airplay: it’s likely that a platform for a seamless customer experience will be provided. However, my argument would be that the home network is a lot more complicated than it was a few years ago, in terms both of standards (e.g. Zwave, zigbee, Bluetooth, wifi, etc) and in the number of different products that have entered the home.


I honestly believe that the connected home will be a mismatch of SMART products that are able to work together. I think seamless integration is imperative, but it is a long way away and Apple alone will not be able to do this in the face of too much choice and too much competition. I actually think that manufacturers should take hold of this market as a collective, and look to initiatives such as the Allseen Alliance that offers an open standard for connectivity where Operating Systems don’t matter, so that they aren’t dependent on two companies alone – Apple and Google. This opens up competition, and in the long run this is better for the consumer. But, if Apple does somehow pull enough manufacturers together to adopt their new protocol, then I could be wrong. I believe the consumer will slowly adopt new technologies over time, driven by the likes of Apple and Dixons Carphone. But there will be opportunities for people like myself to demonstrate the benefits of each technology to the consumer, and to provide the skills to install them and connect to existing products within people’s homes now.

Guest Column: Jim Carlsson

Embedding Security in the Internet of Things The future of the Internet of Things is taking shape (see Jonathan Dugdale’s column on page 24 of this issue, and his previous columns in the series). However the IoT develops, it will mean a better-connected world, with huge possibilities for positive change as our devices and household appliances talk to each other and to third parties. But with greater connectivity come greater opportunities for cyber-criminals. Jim Carlsson, CEO of Clavister, says security must be placed at the heart of the next generation of smart connected devices


ccording to some estimates, the global installed base of devices and household appliances communicating with each other and with third parties will have risen to some 212 billion by the end of 2020. While this is great, in theory, it should come with a caveat: the more devices that become internet enabled, and the higher the level of connectivity between those devices, the greater the opportunity for hackers to cause damage and disruption. If we simply start connecting an increasing number of devices to the internet without properly considering the security implications, we could hand hackers the opportunity to cut our electricity, flood our homes and pry deeper into our private lives. Indeed, we have already seen the first reported “attack” which exploited both smart household devices and conventional computers. Late last year more than 100,000 consumer devices, including an internet-connected refrigerator, smart TVs and multimedia hubs, were exploited to send more than 750,000 spam and phishing emails. The majority of the devices used in the attack were not infected by malware, but were simply left open so that attackers were able to use their IP capabilities to relay spam and infected emails. But this incident highlights just how resourceful attackers have become in using unconventional, but effective, attack vectors.


Now that attacks against these smart devices have begun they will only escalate, and securing this explosion in device numbers will be critical. It goes without saying that, with the potential threats of

interception and attack on devices connected to the Internet of Things, a wider spectrum of manufacturers are going to have to consider providing solutions that are both connected and robustly secure. However, this will not be straightforward due to the limited processing capability and on board memory that many newly connected devices will have. This severely limits the scope for conventional security software, in turn running the risk of leaving newly connected devices in the security dark ages. For instance, as things stand, security will rely upon users changing passwords and other settings away from defaults, and ensuring the devices are not left open – in the same way that people are recommended to protect their home WiFi networks. Given the increased stakes, relying on such primitive security measures is likely to be futile in the battle against cyber-crime. A new generation of security will be required to protect our connected lives, and manufacturers will be tasked with adopting a new generation of protection – embedded security.


Embedded security is the concept of reducing the footprint of robust security software, enabling it to be embedded into the appliance without impacting on the device’s capabilities. This would facilitate the installation of network-based firewalling, web filtering, application control and encryption capabilities within a very small storage and memory usage footprint, enabling secure networking for a wide variety

Jim Carlsson

of devices. The upshot of this would be a range of devices operating on distributed but secure environments. This kind of advanced security technology will enable IT and communication equipment manufacturers to achieve competitive advantage, differentiation and higher margins for their products by embedding security into IP-enabled equipment such as routers, switches, access points, electricity meters, household appliances and vehicles – in fact, into any device that connects to the Internet. Clavister’s advanced solution is an excellent example as it enables vendors to utilize existing spare computing power in devices to apply comprehensive network security, using the minimum of extra processing power and capacity.


The possibility that devices in our homes will become increasingly connected and entangled may seem farfetched and the prospect of a criminal using nothing more than a computer to flood a home an idea from science fiction. As outlandish as the concept of ‘the Internet of Things’ may sound it is inevitably going to emerge – as will the increased threat from hackers. It is therefore critical that we integrate security at an early stage in its evolution, to ensure maximum protection against interception, tampering and attacks. Failure to do so might just be catastrophic. JULY 2014 GET CONNECTED


In the spotlight: Smeg

“Smeg is growing, it is ambitious, and there is still more to go...” 2014

is a significant year for Smeg UK. The business, a leading European subsidiary of Smeg S.p.A, has recently undergone broad internal restructuring due to notable growth in the period since 2008 and expectations of a continued escalating trend into the future.


Smeg UK was established in 1989 so this year celebrates its 25th anniversary. Products are mid- to top end, widely recognised as aspirational and exhibit the brand’s Italian heritage in their design. MD Mike Giddings says big changes for the brand came in the mid 90s when the kitchen became the ‘hub of the home’. ‘Lifestyle’ became the buzzword, and as the media started to pick up on the change in status of the kitchen from a place of toil to a design-led nucleus for socialising, enthusiasm spread. Magazines and TV programmes had found a new topic of interest for the consumer.

Mike Giddings has been with Smeg UK for 13 years, six of which he was Sales Director. In January 2013 he was appointed to the role of Managing Director. In this issue he talks to GC about the developments that put the brand ‘on the map’, so to speak, and the drive to fulfill its future potential “Suddenly, there was a demand for commercial-style appliances in the domestic environment and Smeg was already at the forefront of this class of design,” says Giddings. “The FAB range was introduced in the mid 90s, too, and the company started to experience rapid growth.”


It’s often said that growth brings its own brand of challenges and though it wasn’t all plain sailing for Smeg, Giddings believes that the company’s rigid foundation of “innovation in appliance design and technology”, coupled with a broad range of products – the vast majority of which 26


Suddenly, there was a demand for commercialstyle appliances in the domestic environment and Smeg was already at the forefront of this class of design...”

are kept in stock – and a strong, dedicated team, smoothed the journey through a significant change in consumer demand and the business’s evolution. “I know it’s often been said by many companies, but here at Smeg we have a great bunch of people, many with 10-15 years’ service and great loyalty to the brand,” Giddings enthuses, before moving on to speak about the logistics and service functions that operate like well oiled machines to support the brand and its customers. After-sales service is managed by a longstanding partner, whose business is predominantly Smeg, with 450 fully trained engineers providing training, spares and online support. The company saw Smeg through “the rough and the smooth” that comes with rapid expansion and Giddings believes this aspect of the business is now amongst the very best in the industry. His underlying conviction is that it is “second to none.” Although he deliberates before commenting: “Well, let’s put it like this: we may not be the best, but there aren’t many better.” He emphasises that Smeg does not operate a “just in time” policy on stock, which is a bonus for retailers and customers. The company’s 110,000 sq ft warehousing and logistics facility in Portsmouth holds levels close to 100%. The unit was first established 10 years ago and has been expanded since to accommodate the brand’s growth in the UK market. It operates in excess of 20 trucks and delivers direct to consumers’ homes.

In the spotlight: Smeg


Despite the adverse economic conditions instigated by the financial institutions in 2008 and the biting recession that followed, Smeg’s business continued to develop. “We didn’t come out of the recession unscathed,” concedes Giddings, “but since 2008, business has grown by 60%. Of course, we had a third fewer customers and products in those earlier times,” he adds. But it is the past few years that have brought about considerable changes in the company’s performance, which Giddings, although acknowledging major shifts in the marketplace and a change in the level of competition, attributes to three cornerstones: “The team, marketing and products.” Again he refers to the loyalty, expertise and strength of the UK team and affirms that they are “confident and positive” about the direction the company is taking. On the marketing front, Giddings says that one of Smeg’s aims is to be more proactive and approachable, maintaining that “it sees itself as being out of the main stream; perhaps being a family business means it has a different culture.” He points out that Smeg has always been renowned for its distinctive advertising creatives, but more recently the business has been practising its intention to be more proactive and accessible by taking part in consumer shows and events which give the brand and its products greater exposure to the public, a move evidenced at this year’s Ideal Home Show in London, at which the Fiat 500 fridge (SMEG500R) was ‘parked’ on the stand so visitors could have their photo taken ‘behind the wheel’. Smeg has a big notable on its side in that its iconic retro-styled appliances provide copious opportunities for unusual marketing stunts.

The third cornerstone that Giddings refers to – i.e. products – is based upon unique designs and innovation aligned with continuous investment in production. “Almost all of our products are manufactured by Smeg in Italy, so there is total control over what we do,” he says.


Smeg deals with all channels: independent retailers, multiples, online retailers, distributors, department stores, kitchen specialists, the contract market… so the brand has the broadest potential reach. “We don’t want to be a jack of all trades and master of none,” states Giddings. “But the pros outweigh the cons and we are fortunate to be doing well in every sector.” It is a strategy that would warrant consideration if the company was losing out in certain sectors, “but we’re not,” he remarks. Giddings is modest enough to suggest that some of this could be down to “luck”, but then he is secure in the knowledge that the indicators are pointing in the right direction. “We survive by being different,” he comments. “During 2013/14 we’ve seen the compound benefit of all the positive things we’ve done. We were well into double digit growth in 2013 and expect even more this year. We’re seeing a rising trajectory.”


Speaking about the recent changes within the company, Giddings explains that Smeg has previously operated with a flat management structure, and although he has immense admiration for the experience held within the organisation, he is also aware of the natural propensity to continue doing things in the same manner and the positive benefits that “new blood” can bring to the table. “We’ve put a new senior management team in place, a new board, if you like. We’ve restructured into departments to capitalise on the existing experience and skills. “The new structure also allows for succession planning and progression within the company. Now we have the right people on the bus and they are all sitting in the right seats, so we have a tight, focused team in place as the market is coming back,” he asserts.

Smeg has a big notable on its side in that its iconic retro-styled appliances provide copious opportunities for unusual marketing stunts.“ READY FOR ACTION

Smeg is introducing 150 new products in the UK this year – many of which were seen at EuroCucina in Milan – rolling out from autumn-time onwards. It is also exercising its impressive reputation for 50s-styled products to launch into the small appliance category. “It’s a competitive market,” Giddings acknowledges, “but the new Smeg range is mid- to top end and has a strong brand synergy. Smeg is an aspirational brand. These are not the sort of small appliances that people will put into the back of their cupboards; they are statement pieces that consumers will want to display.” He adds that the new SDA collection also gives Smeg access to the lucrative gift market, in which small appliances remain a popular choice. Giddings concludes that “Smeg is growing, it is ambitious, and there is still more to go.” The brand commands a considerable market presence, yet it still has a sizable consumer population to aim for and is contemplating further rapid growth. “We’ve been there before,” he says, referring to earlier growth trends, “and we’re well positioned to cope. The structure is now in place.” JULY 2014 GET CONNECTED


Home Entertainment & AV Accessories

Toshiba: Maximum HE technology to achieve minimalist lifestyle

Making complexity simple The objective of every home entertainment fan is quite simple: to achieve the best possible sound and picture quality, within a specified budget, and with a system that fits in the available space at home. George Cole looks at the complex and constantly changing routes to this deceptively simple goal


he tricky part for retailers is finding the right products that help consumers achieve this requirement. The home entertainment market is a constantly moving target, and what is cutting edge today becomes standard tomorrow. Features such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Smart TV, internet access and apps are now very much a part of the home entertainment landscape.


Picture quality illustrates how this is a constantly-changing market. Not so long ago, Full HD displays offering 1080p resolution represented the ultimate in image quality. But the arrival of Ultra High Definition TV (aka 4K), which provides four times the resolution of 1080p, has changed 28


the rules of the game. “4K technology is a key trend in the home entertainment market, including TVs, Blu-ray Disc Players, Recorders, and home theatre Systems,” notes Craig Cunningham, TV product manager, Panasonic UK.“ 4K-enabled devices and technologies will completely change the way users are able to capture, share and view content in stunning Ultra High Definition quality.” Dawn Stockell, head of brand marketing at LG Electronics UK, says: “As 4K Ultra HD looks to become more mainstream this year, and with more than three quarters of consumers stating that picture quality is the most important feature when purchasing a TV, we will be offering a wider range of screen sizes within our Ultra HD 4K range.”


Toshiba says that a lot of premium features are filtering down the range, giving more consumers access to many more features. Features such as Smart TV continue to be a huge area in home entertainment that is continuously evolving, says the company. Toshiba’s new Smart TV Cloud includes MediaGuide Replay, which recommends programmes viewers might enjoy, based on past viewing and recording habits. Improving the audio experience is also important, adds Toshiba, which is why the company has introduced the new Cevo audio engine to the L74 series TV sets. The Cevo Audio engine and new labyrinth speaker system provides a more powerful sound from a slim TV. LG is launching a wider range of OLED TVs this year, and the company believes that the immersive nature of Curved OLED screens will lend itself to watching sport and movies at home. LG Smart+ TV with webOS, which is available on a wide range of LG’s 2014 TVs, allows viewers to navigate their Smart TV across the bottom of the screen rather than to have their viewing interrupted by switching to

Home Entertainment & AV Accessories

another interface – a useful feature for film fans looking online for information about an actor, for example.


“For the home entertainment enthusiast, a TV with full network connectivity is a must, so users can get content from virtually any source,” says Craig Cunningham. “Home entertainment enthusiasts will also be looking for integrated Wi-Fi and DLNA [the home network standard for various devices] capability, so they can surf the internet and access an everincreasing number of internet apps, all from the comfort of their couch, as well as enjoy multimedia content such as photos, movies or music that are stored on a home network device or USB media.” Many home entertainment viewers are also using second screen apps, which link TV or video content with online content that can be viewed on a tablet or smartphone. He also thinks that home entertainment enthusiasts are now looking at 4K TVs to replace their current HD screen to provide an immersive cinematic experience in their own home. Enthusiasts want high quality pictures, but at an affordable price, says Toshiba, pointing out that many consumers aren’t in a position to splash out on a 4K TV, even if the desire for incredible picture quality is there. As a result, Toshiba has introduced premium 2K panels to its L74 TVs, allowing enthusiasts to achieve stunning picture quality at a more affordable price.

Denon soundbar: high performance in a minimalist environment

channels. Not every home entertainment fan will live in a household that can receive digital TV via a roof-top aerial, and so an internal aerial may be the only option available. The performance offered by indoor aerials varies, but Philex has joined forces with with Loughborough University to develop the SLx Digitop Pro Flat Indoor Aerial, which is claimed to offer much better reception than conventional indoor aerials.

4K technology is a key trend in the home entertainment market”


The main sources for high quality images are Blu-ray discs, DVDs (many players offer upscaling technology), the internet (which offers HD content and soon, 4K content from services such as Netflix) and digital TV, with Freeview, Freesat and subscription services like Sky offering HD


“Consumers are increasingly interested in the audio quality,” says Dawn Stockell. “We have announced a range of advanced AV products for 2014, including the space-saving SoundPlate (LAB540W), a wireless multi-room audio system, MusicFlow (NP8740) and a 4.1-channel Sound Bar (NB5540). We believe the audio experience is a critical element of the home viewing experience, which is proven by the fact that half a million soundbars were sold in 2013, with high

Anthem MRX710

growth rates expected to continue.” And today’s home entertainment systems need to offer flexibility when it comes to listening to sound around the home, she adds: “Consumers want to listen to music seamlessly from different sources, making wireless audio a key focus for LG this year. All LG audio products for 2014 support Bluetooth.” The home entertainment accessories market offers many consumers an affordable and flexible means of

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Home Entertainment & AV Accessories

OFF THE WALL FIRST WITH CURVED TV FURNITURE Off The Wallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Curveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; stand is designed for curved TVs from 48-inch to 65-inch screen sizes. At 1.5m wide, it features an attractive slanted outer frame cabinet in a choice of Walnut and Light Oak (pictured) real wood veneers as well as a Piano Black version. Within the frame the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Curveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; houses a dark grey floating inner cabinet that can accommodate two full width components side-by-side behind two toughened grey glass doors. Above, there is space for the latest Soundbar speaker systems, and the Curve also includes Off The Wallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;No More Wiresâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; cable management system.

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LGâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s soundplate & soundbar provide a stylish and efficient solution

upgrading their system and retailers an extra revenue stream. Toshiba notes that soundbars are becoming increasingly popular, as customers want to get the best, most immersive sound possible in their living rooms. Denonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s DHT-5514 soundbar and Paradigmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Soundtrack 2 soundbar both include digital sound processing

(DSP) technology to emulate 2.1-channel surround-sound, and also have an onboard wireless subwoofer. Audio enthusiasts will no doubt argue that nothing beats a true 5.1-channel or 7.1-channel system when it comes to the ultimate surround-sound experience in the home, and they are right. But for many consumers budget, a lack of space in the living room or simply the desire for a less complicated set-up, will mean that they find soundbars with digital surround-sound a more appealing option. What is more, soundbar audio technology has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years, and you can get very impressive results with the latest products. The Anthem MRX510 is a receiver that includes 7.1-channel audio, eight HDMI ports and a room correction system that helps users place their system speakers in the optimum position.

Facilitating real product showcases is absolutely central to the purchase process for consumersâ&#x20AC;?


When it comes to retailers helping customers plan their home theatre in order to obtain the best cinema-like experience, Toshiba says that while a large screen TV is a must for creating a cinema-like experience, additional products such as a soundbar range can take the audio experience to the next level. The company says itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important that retailers explain the benefits of additional audio enhancements in a home theatre environment, so demonstration areas are essential to show off their range and power. Thin bezel TVs are also important, as many consumers want the biggest screen to fit in the space they have to fill. Craig Cunningham says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Retailers need to find out from the customer what they want from their home theatre set-up so they can advise on the most suitable products.â&#x20AC;? Dawn Stockell believes that â&#x20AC;&#x153;the foundations of good in-store customer service will always stay the same: ensuring that staff are prepared to educate consumers on the latest technologies and, most importantly, the benefits to consumersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; lives.â&#x20AC;? She adds that in terms of the retail environment, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s critical that the set-up enhances the design of the TV and provides potential buyers with an instant cinematic experience. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For consumers exploring totally new technologies for the first time, seeing really is believing. We know from research undertaken by LG that fifty per cent of people have said theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re more likely to buy a Smart TV if they can see a live demonstration in-store. So facilitating real product showcases is absolutely central to the purchase process for consumers.â&#x20AC;? The LG Lounge training app provides retailers with product information and tips on a smartphone or tablet. The app includes modules covering LGâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s TVs and sound systems, and dedicated sections on the latest UK products. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For example, the LAB540W or LG SoundPlate, is space efficient and can be placed directly underneath a variety of 32- to 55-inch TVs to minimise clutter - exactly how it should be showcased in-store.â&#x20AC;? Panasonic home theatre for 21st century living



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George Cole


George Cole pinpoints hotspots in the world of consumer electronics


A WAKEUP CALL FOR UHD TV Is the industry heading in the right direction when it comes to Ultra High Definition Television (UHD)? Also known as 4K, UHD TV is seen as the next big leap for television, offering picture quality with at least four times more detail than 1080p HDTV images. Many UHD TV sets have been launched, but one man thinks the industry should pause and reset UHD TV.


oe Kane is chief executive of Joe Kane Productions (JKP), a company set up to help the video industry improve video quality. Joe works with Hollywood studios and various video and TV technical bodies. In fact, many technical meetings take place in his home, one of the few places in Hollywood with a UHD system. “HD had a long gestation period and broadcasters and studios had time to make the transition. But UHD TV seems to have appeared on the market before anyone knew it was coming and what it was. No-one anticipated it; it just happened. Now, the industry is running fast to catch up,” he says.

If UHD TV is implemented in its form today, it will have a shorter consumer format life than 3D...”


“UHD needs to offer consumers more than is being offered today, and this doesn’t simply mean higher resolution, but also better colour, extended dynamic range, better bit-depth and improved grey scale. If UHD TV is implemented in its form today, it will have a shorter consumer format life than 3D,” Joe contends. “The industry wants to develop UHD TV incrementally, but that’s a big mistake. We need to make the big leap now. Sure, it will be more expensive for everyone in the short term, but it will provide stability for the long term. Let’s create a system that will be good for the next twenty years. There’s no grand plan and this upsets me.” 32


Contrary to what many people think, there is very little 4K content available. Although many films have been scanned in 4K, they have often been scanned and down-converted on the fly – very little real 4K material is recorded and kept.


Future-proofing existing UHD TV sets is not easy, says Joe, “One manufacturer tried marketing a UHD TV with an upgrade connector box. But they discovered that you couldn’t upgrade the set for what is now being proposed for UHD TV without changing the boards inside the television.” Nor is he is impressed with the latest UHD TVs. “The first sets with built-in H.264 [a video compression standard] decoders will appear by the end of the year, but these sets are already out of date before they have even arrived. You want a set with built-in HEVC decoding, and I see HEVC, H.265, as a short-term step to where we need to be. If I were buying a UHD set today, I would go into the store with the mindset that it will be essentially useless in a year’s time.” A proposed 8K system may also be impractical for consumers. “You’ll need a set with at least a 24-ft screen to see the full benefit. At this point, the question is not whether I can afford to buy a set this size, but whether I’ll need to purchase a new home to accommodate it.”


“I do wonder whether Blu-ray will rise to the challenge of UHD,” Joe questions. “If Blu-ray is going to survive, it has to be better than anything else out there. From my discussions with Blu-ray manufacturers, they are concerned about costs and would like to implement UHD incrementally. Blu-ray needs to offer 16-bit colour, but it’s hard convincing manufacturers today that, at the very least, they need to raise the Blu-ray standard from 8-bit colour to 12-bit colour.” The future of HDMI as a standard digital connector is in doubt, says Joe. “It is my opinion they are also going to have to come up with a scheme for handling compressed data if they are to continue using the current connector. Meanwhile, we can use alternative connectors, such as DisplayPort, USB or Wi-FI for UHD content. My hope,” he concludes, “is that the ultimate HD system will arrive sooner rather than later, and that when it happens, it will become available for many consumers and not simply a few.”

From The Bench

A day in the van Alan Bennett takes us out in the service van for close encounters with the diverse problems that fall to the installation/repair technician


was 8.30 on a bright summer morning as the big silver van pulled off the shop forecourt with a bunch of service calls and a couple of installations on the itinerary. On this job you never know what to expect...


The first call was to a Beko washing machine, type WM87247, just inside its (extended) three-year guarantee. The problem was failure to dispense the fabric conditioner at the end of its washing cycle. The liquid, perhaps a little diluted, was still lying in its trough after spin and shutdown. This is not a common fault in our experience, but the solution was quickly found. Above the powder/ conditioner tray (and visible when it’s withdrawn) are a series of holes, flushed through with water when the time comes round in the wash programme. These had become almost completely blocked by a kind of black/grey gunge, easily scrubbed away with a toothbrush. The drawer itself was very mucky too, so we recommended the user to give it a good scrub. Of course the guarantee does not include any kind of cleaning, so a service charge had to be made, much to the dismay of the owner who assumed – as most of them do – that every problem was covered. This would have been free of charge for a rented machine. On, then, to an all-in-one sound system whose display was stuck on ‘DVD’ and which was utterly silent on all settings of its volume control even though it spun the disk OK. It was simply cured by a mains reset - a short withdrawal of its mains plug. The house was near an industrial estate, maybe causing spikes and glitches on the mains supply, so we sold them an in-line mains interference suppressor in the hope that the sound system would be less likely to get its knickers in a twist in the future.


The third call, somewhat out in the sticks, involved an ancient TV of obscure make long since out of business. There had been a thunderstorm the previous night, and it soon became obvious that this old-timer had succumbed to its violence! There were silvery-black splatters on its signal panel and its power supply panel. Other damage was likely, and the prospect of getting spares and service data was slim indeed on this one. A write-off then. We agreed to refund the call-out charge if this customer took out a new rental contract with us and that’s what happened a couple of days later, he having passed the credit check – not always the case with our prospective customers... As we packed away the tools the radiotelephone perked up, diverting us to a house on our route where a ham-fisted builder had severed somebody’s dish cable. The best way to deal with this is to replace the entire run from the dish to the Sky box with a new one. No way would the builder agree to pay for this, however, so a compromise solution was adopted: we fitted an F-connector to each of the severed ends and joined them with a double-ended barrel coupler, then wrapped the whole lot thoroughly in self-amalgamating tape. The discomfited builder agreed to paint it to match the wall behind. At least we didn’t have to get the ladder off the van for this one.

“Repair kit” for a severed signal cable

complaint was poor Freeview reception, with the picture and sound breaking up and dropping out at erratic intervals. Tea in hand, we sat down to watch, and after a while got to see the effect. These intermittent problems can be difficult to solve, but here the on-screen appearance of the disturbance, and its duration, rang a bell for us. We went off to the kitchen and played with the thermostat knobs on the gas boiler and the fridge while the picture was monitored; the boiler operation had no effect, but as the fridge cut in and out we got the very same type of picture breakup. The fridge, not very new and not very energy-efficient, was the culprit. We sold them a new one with A+ rating and it was in there the next day. Good going so far! On the last call of the day, to yet another TV, we found a completely dead set: no sound, no picture, no panel lights, no sign of life at all. It was a Panasonic thinscreen model, not too old and in good condition. With the back off and a stethoscope (yes!) on the chopper transformer of the power board a very faint ticking sound could be heard, usually an indication of limiting-mode operation in the face of electrical overload. Working with an ohmmeter a short-circuit rectifier was located in one of the transformer’s low voltage secondary circuits, and replaced by a new one, not an exact equivalent but suitable for this application. This resulted in pictures, sound and a bill for £92-odd.

“With the back off and a stethoscope (yes!) on the chopper transformer of the power board a very faint ticking sound could be heard...”


A couple of installations were easily done, apart from the frustrations of recalcitrant taps and pipes. At the next call the


I can’t claim that every day is as successful as this, with many hundreds of pounds transacted, but it does highlight two things: the sales potential of a good road crew and the versatility demanded of them. JULY 2014 GET CONNECTED



Why did you choose to work in the electrical industry? I didn’t! The opportunity was not planned, as I had previously worked in the footwear industry. I took the opportunity to work for GDHA when it arose, as I felt it was a good move for my career. I’ve not looked back!

Who in the industry would you like to spend time with? I have made many friends through my role at GDHA, both within work and with retailers I’ve had the opportunity to meet What makes you laugh? Lots of things make me laugh, quite often childish humour. I like many comedians such as Ricky Gervais and programmes such as The Office and Peep Show. However, in the office we work in it’s always a good atmosphere, with a lot of light-hearted ribbing What was the greatest turning point in your life? Graduating from University is the greatest turning point in my life and one of my proudest moments

Any particular fetishes? I couldn’t possibly say…. What would you put into Room 101? Liverpool FC. Booooo!! What’s your greatest achievement? Graduating from University What sort of music do you like? Rap/Hip-Hop



Who has been the greatest influence in your life? My Dad and Grandad

considering his loyalty to Liverpool’s “other” cheese, and is Product Manager at

Hobbies? I like playing lots of sports. I play football and have a massive love for Everton, who take up a lot of my time What’s the worst lie you’ve ever told? I lied about being ill whilst at Uni in order to get out of handing an assignment in on time Greatest regret? I passed up the opportunity to coach football in America, in order to move to my first proper job after University What historic figure do you identify with most? Bill Clinton or Tony Benn. I think my ideology sits somewhere between these two people How would you describe yourself? Laid back with a good sense of humour How do you think others see you? Hopefully, as above Pet hate? Bad drivers and selfish people Any bad habits? I am sure I have numerous bad habits. Occasional use of bad language being one! If you weren’t in your present position, what job would you choose to do? I love sport so I think I would be a football coach, or skiing coach 34


Favourite quote? “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

Name your poison Beer What do you daydream about? Winning the lottery, or Everton winning something… ...Anything!

Favourite holiday destination? Florida

Favourite TV programme? The Wire is my favourite ever TV show, closely followed by The Sopranos and Breaking Bad. I love gritty drama What surprises you? How much there is to learn about this industry Favourite cuisine? Chinese You have been offered a leading role in a film of your choice. What character would you like to play? Tony Soprano in The Sopranos You have been offered the opportunity to rule the world for a day. What would be the first change you would make? I would take steps to reduce the gap between the rich and poor

What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you? Losing my two nans and my granddad What’s the best kind of punishment… Exile …and who deserves it? Me. For this interview Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? Hopefully still at GDHA, in a Head of Category role What’s your greatest fear? Until I have a family I have to look after, my greatest fear will be cheese Who do you most admire? Nelson Mandela What’s your favourite piece of kit? A bit corny, but it’s the house I bought two years ago

Is there anything about yourself you would like to change? I would like to look like a Men’s Health model

What motto do you live by? Treat people how you would like to be treated

Any hidden talents? I am a really good skier

Life is... easy or as hard as you want it to be

the possibilities are endless

Slice | Grate | Chop | Whisk | Blend | Bake



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Profile for Get Connected Magazine

Get Connected Magazine - July 2014  

Get Connected: The Magazine of the Electrical Goods Industry. The sharpest, freshest, most relevant and commercially aware electrical trade...

Get Connected Magazine - July 2014  

Get Connected: The Magazine of the Electrical Goods Industry. The sharpest, freshest, most relevant and commercially aware electrical trade...