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NOV/DEC 2013


RetaileR of the YeaR

THE BRITISH EMRAS Entries now open for the 2014 British Electrical Manufacturing & Retailing Awards

2013 Over 270,000 customer surveys sent out More than 1,000 retailers rated

THE KITCHEN STUDIO Today’s kitchen: a gallery that exhibits style and expresses individuality

RETAIL WARRANTIES Changes in consumer buying habits are shaping the extended warranties market

INDUSTRY MOVERS As we look ahead to what we hope will be a continued economic recovery, GC reports the views of some of the “movers” in our industry

BACKCHAT A 2-minute interview with Britannia’s Chris Honer

Only 3 winners….

Magimix products are designed to make life simpler for the serious cook. Most have their roots in professional products originally designed for commercial use. For this reason they work well and are built better to last longer. The range combines the best cooking traditions with today’s technology, and is supported by strong domestic use guarantees and after-sales service.



Contents 04 06 15 Editor in Chief: Marlinda Conway Telephone: 01420 886 33


Creative Director: Will Dobson


Magazine Advertising Sales: Brian Shilling Telephone: 01892 677 741

Advertisement Production Administration: Will Dobson Telephone: 01342 850 456

Sharon Maslen Telephone: 01892 677 742

Subscriptions & Circulation: (GCCD) Telephone: 01420 886 33

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

Production and Print: Blackmore Press, Shaftesbury, Dorset

25 28 29

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

32 33

© Copyright 2013 Mud Hut Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. 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.


Editorial Comment The Word

In and around the industry

The British EMRAs

Enter now for the 2014 British Electrical Manufacturing & Retailing Awards

In the Spotlight

Indesit Company Managing Director Maurizio Pettorino

The Kitchen Studio

Clever design and big style-statements

Retail warranties

GC provides an update on the electrical warranties market

In the Spotlight NexusEngage

“The Future is in Your Hands”

The electrical industry’s “movers” reflect on the progress made during 2013 and outline their plans for 2014

George Cole Gets Connected

A matter of trust: “Will my Smart TV spy on me?”

From the Bench

Alan Bennett takes a look back at the ‘accessories of yore’


A 2-minute interview with Chris Honer, Managing Director at Britannia Living



3 Access to over 2 Million spares parts & accessories 3 Over 120,000 lines in stock ready for despatch 3 Over 40 years in the industry 3 Order online 24/7 3 Free next day delivery available 3 Direct delivery available Deliver any of our stocked items direct to your customers door

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Editorial Comment

Comment In 2014 Get Connected – the magazine – celebrates its tenth year in the electrical goods industry. We are not renowned for blowing our own trumpet, but this is a significant landmark, so perhaps it’s allowable to summarise what we’ve done and what we are planning to do in the future.


2004, Get Connected launched with a strong conviction that the shape of electrical manufacture, supply and retail in the UK was changing, and there was not currently a trade journal that acknowledged and served that process of change adequately. We believed that creating partisan barriers between different kinds of retailers – independents, multiples, departmental stores and mass merchandisers – was counter-productive, since it no longer reflected the realities of the industry. Manufacturers need a multi-channel approach to retailing. Retailers need to know how the market as a whole is moving. And it’s the job of a trade journal to help these elements

which the GC website has always been acknowledged throughout the industry can be viewed with equal convenience on your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. We’ve also made it easy to link with social media to give an all-round, one-stop source for the sharing of up-to-the-minute trade news and comment. Something to look forward to in the New Year. And 2014 is also the year when the new Electrical Retail and Manufacturing Awards (the EMRAs), partnered by Get Connected, will hold its first gala Awards night at the world class Twickenham Rugby Stadium venue. Awards? Hardly pioneering, you may say. But the EMRAs, apart from bringing the integrity and

Get Connected is the only trade journal in this sector that has remained in the ownership of the same independent publisher, with the same senior team, for the past decade. communicate with each other for the benefit of the industry. Hence the name “Get Connected.” Ten years on, some other trade journals are just beginning to get the idea, and changing their approach to reflect the “new” realities. Get Connected was something of a pioneer, and we’re proud of that. We’re also proud of the fact that, far from being the “newcomer”, Get Connected is the only trade journal in this sector that has remained in the ownership of the same independent publisher, with the same senior team, for the past decade. Looking ahead, and in the spirit of continual development and innovation, we shall be launching our redesigned and re-engineered website in January 2014, optimised for all devices, so the faster, fuller news and information service for 4


prestige that all credible Awards schemes should have, is a broader, more inclusive idea that moves beyond the parochialism that can restrict its vision, and puts the UK electrical industry in the context where it belongs – as an industry that can take its place as world class among all branches of industry and commercial activity. The EMRAs say not just “the best of British electricals,” but “the best of British.” There’s also an innovative opportunity for the young guns in retail to enter in a format that anyone who’s posted a video on YouTube will instantly understand and warm to. Do have a look at the EMRAs information in this issue, enter yourself or your company, and book for one of the great nights in one of the great British venues. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous and exciting 2014.

REGISTER ONLINE @ for your FREE COPY of Get Connected Magazine

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

The Word : Industry News

Industry News Retail sales decline Loewe “back Retailers set for best on track” in October T

he Office for National Statistics reported retail sales down 0.7% in October from September, leaving them 1.8% higher than in the same month last year. The results were weaker than expected and signalled a slowdown from the 1.3% rise during the third quarter. The ONS said there was a marked fall in sales of

electrical products, including big-ticket white goods. A separate report showed that retail footfall fell 2.9% in October compared to the same month last year, following a 2.4% fall in September, resulting in the worst performance since the start of the year on a three-month rolling basis, excluding Easter distortions.

Hoover acquires Baumatic Hoover has confirmed the acquisition of Reading-based white goods supplier Baumatic UK, which fell into administration 8th October after reported troubles in the Czech Republic, where the business is headquartered. Global legal practice Norton Rose Fulbright had previously been appointed to Baumatic-ČR in connection with debt restructuring. The practitioners’ work also involved advising Baumatic on a restructuring plan for the entire Group, which has subsidiaries throughout Europe and in China and a widespread global presence.

See for the stories behind the news…  Opcapita to receive £117 million from Comet collapse

Deloitte says unsecured creditors, who are owed £232 million, will get less than 1p in the pound

 Business costs rising 3.5% ahead of inflation, says FPB

Firms still facing uphill battle to make ends meet, despite signs of an economic recovery

 CBI: UK now on steady growth path

Business group raises growth forecasts for 2013 and 2014

 Discretionary income stabilises in October Steep decline in essential item inflation offsets weak income growth

 Ownership of Toshiba Television Central Europe transfers to Taiwanese firm Compal Electronics Japanese brand will continue to supply European market with products manufactured through ODM collaboration with Compal



German AV manufacturer Loewe, which was granted permission to carry out a self-administration insolvency process early in October after filing for creditor protection in July this year, announced that it has received a specific written offer from a bidder confirming commitment to a long-term investment which will support the realignment of its business. The company said the process of assessing the offer had already begun and the Executive Board would be entering into negotiations with the interested parties to finalise the details of the purchase agreement. “It is also possible that further potential investors may present specific offers,” it added. Matthias Harsch, Loewe Executive Board Chairman, said: “This means we have reached a crucial milestone that will put Loewe firmly back on track for success and underscores the attractiveness of the premium Loewe brand and the company as a whole.”

Christmas since 2007

A new study suggests that retailers will have their best Christmas since 2007 with consumers spending almost £2 billion more than in 2012. Market research company Verdict estimates that £88.4 billion will be spent in the fourth quarter of 2013, £1.95 billion more than last year. 2013 will produce the strongest growth since pre-recession 2007 (2.2% year-onyear) as non-food makes a recovery, and for the first time since the early 2000s all major retail sectors will experience growth. 12% more (£11.6 billion in total) will be spent online as consumers exploit the convenience of click & collect. Online’s share of retail is expected to rise to 13.2%. Verdict said that the recovery in the housing market is driving consumer confidence and boosting home related sectors and PPI refunds will help finance delayed big-ticket purchases.

SIXTH CONSECUTIVE MONTH OF SHOP PRICE DEFLATION Overall shop prices recorded annual deflation for the sixth consecutive month in October, deepening to 0.5% from the 0.2% decline reported in September. Nonfood recorded annual deflation of 2.4% in October, from 2.0% in September.

Fagor Electrodomésticos files for Bankruptcy Spanish white goods manufacturer Fagor Electrodomésticos filed for bankruptcy in the Commercial Court of San Sebastian on 13 November, stating that its subsidiaries would follow suit, after parent company Mondragon Corporation refused to inject the cash needed for the company to survive. Fagor Ireland filed for bankruptcy on the same day. Fagor Electrodomésticos filed for protection from creditors on 16 October as it tried to finance an estimated billion euros of debt. Fagor Mastercook SA, its Polish operation, filed for protection at the Spanish Court at end of October. FagorBrandt, the French arm of the Group, later filed an application for insolvency in the Nanterre Commercial Court.

Sales at Fagor Electrodomésticos, which employs nearly 6,000 people, are estimated to have dropped by 37% since 2007. De Dietrich Kitchen Appliances Ltd, which is responsible for De Dietrich, Fagor and private label business in the UK, emphasised on several occasions that it operates as a separate legal entity and is not directly affected by Fagor’s plight. The company said it has “maintained profitability for the past seven years and maintains adequate provisions to meet its obligations in terms of creditors, employees, customer service and warranties.” A spokesperson for Dietrich told GC: “The UK business is profitable and cash rich.”


ards 2013 Aw

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The Word : Industry News

Liebherr’s ‘shop in shop’ concept debuts at Stellisons Liebherr’s first ‘shop in shop’ concept has been successfully implemented at Stellisons’ 32,000sq.ft Electrical Superstore in Ipswich, Suffolk, with the creation of an interactive dedicated space for customers to experience the Liebherr collection. The move adds another touch of theatre to the independent retailer’s showroom and enables the sell-up of products with aspirational features. Stellisons’ Ipswich store incorporates kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms with appliances fitted, so customers can experience exactly how products fit within a home environment. Mark Bristow, MD at Liebherr, said: “Our ‘shop in shop’ concept is lucrative for the retailer and the Liebherr brand. It sells added value and features, and therefore drives up the independent retailer’s cash margin. For Liebherr, there are shared costs and promotion, whilst creating demand and a quicker route to market.” Liebherr intends to install the branded ‘shop in shop’ concept in a number of selected retail showrooms as it continues to support its retailer network and strengthen its brand presence in the UK.

Richer Sounds founder bequeaths business to employees Julian Richer, founder and managing director of the Richer Sounds chain of stores, has bequeathed the business to his employees in his will. Richer Sounds is an unlisted PLC 100% owned by Julian Richer. The business trades from 53 outlets, 10 of which are in London, and has a strong online presence. Julian told the Financial Times the firm was his life’s work and said he did not have “a spoilt child

to run the business.” He named IT director Julie Abrahams to succeed him as managing director. “If I could find someone I felt would keep it going, I’d be more inclined to sell it,” he told the FT. “But then the worry is that I’d sell it and then someone might sell off all the freeholds or do something terrible to it that it would go bust in six months, and that’s my life’s work. So I’d rather leave a team in place.”

Julian began buying and selling hi-fi separates at the age of 14, while still at school. At 17, he had three people working for him. At the age of 19, in 1978, his business formally started trading with its first shop at London Bridge. According to the company, this store has been featured in the Guinness Book of Records for the highest sales per square foot of any retail outlet in the world for the past 20-plus years.

Maytag launches new retailing concept Maytag is working with its sole UK distributor D.A.D to roll out a number of Maytag Premier Centres, the first of which has launched at independent retail outlet Gillman’s in Gloucester. Maytag said the new blueprint for the brand will offer a variety of benefits both to consumers and retail partners. “It will ensure that the high quality Maytag appliances are sold by the best independent retailers across the country. Their staff, trained by Maytag, will have expert knowledge to introduce customers to Maytag appliances.” Maytag Premier Centre dealers will benefit from the brand’s reputation for high quality and robust design and receive marketing support including advertising and PoS material. Margins will also be protected as exclusive offers will be available only through Premier Centres. Retail staff will receive in-depth product training and will be rewarded with “highly attractive” staff incentives. Simon Starkie, National Account Manager for Maytag, said: “We’re hoping to encourage around ten specialist retailers who will do justice to the brand to become Premier Centres over the following months.” “The concept has been developed to give the best possible representation of the brand and to protect retailers’ margins,” commented Lee Gillman, Purchasing and Director of Sales at D.A.D. “Bearing in mind that Maytag is a high quality brand, this should be a win-win proposition for everyone.”  See full story at

MERIDIAN EXPANDS INTERNATIONAL BOUTIQUE CONCEPT Meridian Audio has announced the opening of its latest boutique store, located in the heart of the Chelsea Design Quarter and displaying the complete range of Meridian Audio systems. The boutique is set across dedicated zones housing the multi award-winning line up along with a technical and design consultation area and a state-of-the-art home cinema theatre for one-to-one demonstrations. Meridian West London is the latest in an international group of Meridian 8


Boutiques ranging from Bangkok to Mexico City, Kuwait, Moscow, Fort Lauderdale, Singapore and Delhi.

Celebrity TV chef Gino D’Acampo

and Zanussi brought a taste of Italy to familyrun electrical business Peter Rhodes in Market Rasen, after the retailer won a Zanussi window display competition. The store, which had been painted Zanussi yellow for the competition, was a hub of activity on the day, with book signings and demonstrations from D’Acampo and instore offers including 20% off Zanussi products.

Integrated storage with intelligent technology For a seamless, uninterrupted aesthetic, only Liebherr can deliver the largest volume of fresh and frozen food storage, perfectly integrated into your kitchen. Featuring BioFresh and NoFrost technology, they also integrate features that actually work to make your life easier and your food fresher. BioFresh helps food retain vitamins, aroma and taste for significantly longer, while NoFrost technology delivers fast, frost-free freezing, meaning every food item is kept in optimum condition. A range of different storage combinations also ensures that whatever your kitchen vision, there’s a model that integrates perfectly – because Liebherr believes in fresh kitchen thinking. To discover more visit or call 08444 122 655.

The Word : Industry News

COMPANY FINANCIALS Amazon narrowed its operating loss from $28 million

Consolidated Group sales at

in Q3 2012 to $25 million in Q3 2013. Net sales at the online retail

quarter ended 30 September increased 3% to ¥1,881.8 billion,

business increased 24% to $17.09 billion. Net losses of $41 million

compared with ¥1,823.7 billion in the same period last year.

compared with losses of $274 million in Q3 2012. In its fourth-

Operating profit rose to ¥82.4 billion from ¥48.8 billion a year ago.

quarter 2013 guidance, the company said it expects net sales to be

Pre-tax income improved from a loss of ¥316.5 billion to a positive

between $23.5 billion and $26.5 billion, or to grow between 10% and

¥84.8 billion. Net income also improved, from a loss of ¥698 billion

25% against Q4 2012. Operating income is expected to be between a

to a positive ¥61.5 billion. Panasonic revised its sales forecast for

negative $500 million and a positive $500 million.

the full year up from ¥7,200 billion to ¥7,400 billion and operating

BSkyB posted revenues up 7% to £1,843 million and an

operating profit of £285 million, down 8%, for the three months ended 30 September. The company recorded 800,000 new paid-for subscription products and rapid growth in connected Sky+HD boxes, up 642,000 to 3.4 million. A fourfold increase in on-demand usage was reported, along with 219,000 net additions to Sky Go Extra.

Electrolux announced that it will cut 2,000 jobs and

launch a new round of cost cuts to counter tough market conditions in Europe, after posting a bigger than expected fall in third-quarter earnings. Net sales during the quarter amounted to SEK 27,258m while income fell from SEK 923m to SEK 656m.

Groupe SEB reported a business rebound in the

third-quarter of its financial year, with operating profit in line

profit up from ¥250 billion to ¥270 billion. Its net income forecast of ¥50 billion was revised upwards to ¥100 billion.

Philips reported comparable sales growth of €5.6 billion, up 3% for its third fiscal quarter, with a 33% improvement in

operational results to €634 million. Net income increased to €281 million compared to €105 million in Q3 2012.

Samsung Electronics reported a 26% jump in third-quarter profit, driven by strong smartphone sales and a recovery in its memory chip business. The company made a net profit of KRW8.24 trillion, up from KRW6.56 trillion in the same period last year. Operating profit rose to a record KRW10.2 trillion.

Sharp posted a second-quarter net profit of ¥13.6 billion,

with expectations. The company said it experienced “significant

against a ¥17.9 billion loss in the first three months of its fiscal

acceleration” in revenue growth in the period, 10% like-for-like, to

year. The company reported a tenfold rise in comparable operating

€998 million, driven by volume. Operating profit for the quarter

profit, up from ¥3 billion to ¥30.8 billion. In its full-year forecast,

was €96 million, an 8% increase over Q3 2012. Sales in the UK were

Sharp said it expects a 14.2% increase in sales, up from ¥1,471.3

described as “vibrant”.

billion last year to ¥1,680 billion.

First-half sales at the

Home Retail Group

rose 3% to £2,596m, with like-for-likes up 2.3% at Argos and 5.9% at Homebase. Sales at Argos grew to £1,716.8m but gross margin rate fell by approximately 75 basis points. Benchmark operating profit was £7.7 million, a £4.4 million (136%) increase on the comparable period last year.

Indesit Company posted third-quarter sales of

€718.9 million, 10.1% down on the same period last year. Operating profit fell 28.6% to €27.8 million. The Group’s net result for the quarter was a positive €9 million, a return to profit after the negative results of the first half.

LG Electronics announced third-quarter 2013


Panasonic for the second

Sony reported revenues up 10.6% to ¥1,775.5 billion for its

second quarter ended 30 September, but operating income fell

51.2% to ¥14.8 billion and net losses increased from ¥15.5 billion to ¥19.3 billion. Sony cut its full-year profit forecast by 40%, stating that it expects to make a net profit of ¥30 billion in the financial year to 31 March 2014, down from the ¥50 billion forecast in August. Consolidated sales for the fiscal year are expected to be ¥7,700 billion, down from ¥7,900 billion. Consolidated operating income is expected to be ¥170 billion, ¥60 billion below the August forecast.

Whirlpool announced Q3 net earnings of $196 million compared to $74 million in the same period last year. Sales

rose 5% to $4.7 billion, led by strong growth in North America.

consolidated revenues of KRW13.89 trillion and a fall of KRW56

Operating profit totalled $313 million, against $213 million in the

billion in net profit, to KRW109 billion. Sales of mobile devices

prior year. Whirlpool increased its full-year diluted earnings per

increased 24% year-over-year, but competitive conditions in the TV

share guidance to $10.45 - $10.65 compared to the previous range

sector and an unfavourable foreign currency exchange rate affected

of $10.05 - $10.55, and its full-year adjusted earnings per share

overall revenues. Operating profit rose 27% to KRW217.80 billion.

guidance to $9.90 - $10.10 compared to $9.50 - $10.00.


The Word : Industry News

BRC moves to solve business rates problem The BRC has appointed tax experts EY to support a “rigorous process” of examining the options for reform of the business rates system. The organisation said the outcome will be recommendations for changes to business rates that will contribute to UK economic growth, reinvigorate high streets and town centres and secure new retail jobs. Following September’s RPI rise, the BRC predicted that retailers will face a £242 million increase in business rates in 2014.  Read the full story at

Dyson goes to court over EU’s “misleading” vacuum energy label regime Dyson has launched a judicial review at the European General Court to prevent people being misled by the new EU energy labelling regime for vacuum cleaners.

The move follows a call from the Malmesburybased company in June this year for a rethink on the proposed energy label, in which it stated the label will incentivise

Exclusively Housewares 2014 sells out in record time

 Read the full story at

Exclusively Housewares organiser Brooke House Exhibitions has confirmed a full line up for its 2014 show, just 16 weeks after the 2013 event closed its doors. Visitor numbers at the 2013 show were up 6% on the prior year. “We are delighted once again to be in the position of having a sellout show,” said show director, Simon Boyd.

Dixons Retail plc has completed the sale of its ElectroWorld operations in Turkey to Bimeks, one of the leading electrical specialist retailers in the region. The transaction, first announced in September, will see all 32 ElectroWorld stores, including 18 franchise stores, pass to Bimeks.

Roberts Radio has appointed former Sony UK General Manager for the independent channels Diane Fuller to the role of Global Sales and Marketing Director.

Big Red Sales Ltd has added Dimplex to its portfolio of brands and will be selling the company’s portable heaters and electric fires to independent retailers. 12


John Lewis is to open a 230,000 sq ft, four-level department store at Westfield London. The outlet, which will be the retailer’s first West London branch and is expected to open in 2017, will stock over 350,000 lines and have a “unique” outdoor dining terrace with views over the listed Dimco buildings and BBC television centre. It will create approximately 600 new jobs.

manufacturers to develop machines that perform well in laboratories but not in the home.

Dixons Retail completes sale of ElectroWorld

Britannia Living has promoted sales and marketing director Chris Honer to the role of managing director. See 2-minute interview with Chris on page 34 of this issue.

John Lewis plans new store at Westfield London

For further information: or +44 (0)121 237 1130.

Ian Bywater has been appointed Market Leader for the UK & Ireland at Innovations, a WOOX Innovations standalone subsidiary of Philips which was established following the Dutch company’s move to terminate its agreement with Funai for the transfer of the Audio, Video, Multimedia and Accessories business, after a breach of contract by Funai. GDHA Chief Executive Denver Hewlett has joined the UK Trade and Investment’s (UKTI) network of leaders for the launch of Export Champion 2014, an initiative unique to the North West designed to offer local businesses peer-to-peer support.

“We are extremely lucky to have a fantastic waiting list for space in the show and we are steadily working towards being able to expand the show in 2015 by introducing an additional hall dedicated to small domestic appliance (SDA) exhibitors, which will also allow us to free up some space to bring in additional housewares manufacturers.”

Kenwood has launched a new six-figure above-the-line campaign to raise awareness of its range of kitchen machines in the run up to Christmas. The campaign features a new combination of print and digital ads, advertorials and online activity. Kenwood has also extended the guarantee on its premium lines to five years. De Dietrich has launched a marketing campaign to help retailers promote its collection of pyrolytic combi-steam ovens, with a specially developed logo, oven stickers and an additional dedicated section on the brand’s website. The technologies will also be promoted via online and print advertising in 2014 and retailers are being offered specialist training sessions on the products. Hotpoint is giving a further boost to its inStore members with 3- or 5-year warranties on selected premium appliances. The deal is based on an additional 2 or 4 years on labour, on top of the standard one-year labour guarantee. All Hotpoint appliances are covered for 5 years on parts as standard.

Keeping floors clean everyday has never been easier Introducing iRobot® Roomba®, the amazing vacuum-cleaning robot that cleans your floors automatically, giving you more time to spend on the enjoyable things in life. The robot vacuums dirt, dust and pet hair from all types of floors, and cleans around, behind and under your furniture. It was created by iRobot, where we’ve been building robots to make a difference to people’s lives for 23 years – and sold more than 10 million home robots around the world. To find out more – and change the way you vacuum, forever – drop in to one of our retail partners or visit our website.

© 2013 iRobot Corporation. All rights reserved. iRobot and Roomba are registered trademarks of iRobot Corporation.


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The Word : Industry News

Feature Title

Fisher & Paykel builds brand distinction Rakesh Tiwari, general manager, UK and Europe for Fisher & Paykel, invited Get Connected to the New Zealand company’s UK offices in Milton Keynes to talk about future plans in the UK for this internationally known brand. F&P, now owned by the Haier Group and about to celebrate its 80th anniversary next year, is a household name in New Zealand, sells in more than 50 countries worldwide and has a reputation for quality engineering and innovative design, but despite a longestablished presence in the UK, the brand is still not widely recognised here. “We need a pull on the brand now,” says Mr Tiwari. “We do need to become more aggressive, and to engage with the [UK] public more. Our products, designed in New Zealand, are quality engineered, exceptionally well designed and have an individuality that gives them appeal and personality.”

With a background in engineering, Mr Tiwari has a genuine enthusiasm for F&P’s individuality, and an intuitive feel for how good design and engineering best serves consumers. “We want to become the world’s most human-centred appliance brand,” he says. “We have a pioneering heritage, and our guiding principle is ‘don’t make technology challenging, make it easy and simple to use’.” The human face of the brand is supported by a website which, says Mr Tiwari, “is human and has a personality,” and features blogs on food and cooking that appeal to a wide public. Early next year, the brand will be launching new dishwashing, cooling and cooking products in the UK, building on the success of the Red Dot design awardwinning 90-litre built-in oven launched recently. The UK public will be hearing more of the “Real, Generous, Human, Curious” brand that is Fisher & Paykel in 2014.

Aircoustic launches high-margin headphones Vivanco has brought Aircoustic’s new headphones to market, stating that the In-Ear and On-Ear models bring larger profit margins to retailers than many other widely established brands. The range comprises the Sports, GSM/ Cellular, Travel, Urban and Premium Series, all of which are presented in gift boxes (tempting for the Christmas market) and reportedly “measure up well against higher priced earphones.” Suggested retail price is in the £20.00£30.00 band.

New Zanussi dishwashers give consumers more time Life’s too short to wash up so help your customers save more than one week a year with Zanussi’s new dishwasher range


anussi is launching a brand new range of dishwashers designed for consumers who want to spend less time on the dishes and more time doing what they want. The new range was developed through extensive consumer insight, which highlighted the really important features that Zanussi consumers want from their dishwasher.

GREAT TRADE UP OPPORTUNITIES? EASY. There are three models in the range, spanning 66% of the market, with price points from entry to mid-market, allowing excellent trade-up opportunities. The new models all feature the Zanussi design signature: a sleek, contemporary look which our research shows 79% of consumers prefer over competitors’ designs.

FAST AND EFFICIENT The new range is fast, efficient and easy to use. Highlights include the 30-minute Quick Wash programme – the only dishwashers to offer this speed with an A-class cleaning performance – energy ratings of either A+ or A++ and water consumption of just 11 litres.

For more information please call Zanussi Trade Sales on 08445 610610

The British EMRAs

Rewarding the best of British Industry

Gala Dinner and Awards Evening 15 May 2014 15

The British EMRAs

ENTER NOW FOR THE 2014 BRITISH ELECTRICAL FIND OUT HOW AT WWW.EMRA-ONLINE.CO.UK “An EMRA says not just ‘the best of the British electrical industry’, but also ‘the best of British industry’” The British EMRAs bring a new dimension and fresh perspective to Electrical Industry Awards in the UK, recognising leading design, sustainability and contribution to the UK economy, with a focus on the manufacturers, retailers, brands, products and support services that deserve recognition as leaders in our own industry. Winning an EMRA not only acknowledges excellence among our peers, but emphasises that the winners are recognised as world class performers alongside the global icons of style, design, engineering, innovation and best business practice across all major industries. An EMRA says not just “the best of the British electrical industry”, but also “the best of British industry”

EMRA CATEGORIES 2014 – RETAILERS’ AWARDS ELECTRICAL RETAILER OF THE YEAR Open to all retailers of electrical and electronic products in the UK, including all independents, multiple electrical retail chains and departmental and other stores with electrical departments

EMRA SALES STAR – MAJOR/SMALL DOMESTIC APPLIANCES Open to all sales personnel who sell MDA/SDA products in any type of retail outlet. This is one of EMRA’s video entry categories

EMRA SALES STAR – CONSUMER ELECTRONICS Open to all sales personnel who sell CE products in any type of retail outlet. This is one of EMRA’s video entry categories

LEADING IN-STORE DISPLAY Open to all electrical retail outlets. Initial entry will be via photograph(s) submitted by the retailer showing a general or specific in-store display

EMRA MULTI-CHANNEL AWARD Open to all electrical retailers with bricks-and-mortar outlets AND a website presence. Initial entry will be via relevant screen grabs, website address submitted for inspection, and supporting documentation demonstrating how the synergy between website and store outlet promotes overall trade

LEADING INDUCTION/TRAINING PROGRAMME FOR SALES STAFF Open to all electrical retailers. Entry will be via documentary submissions from retailers demonstrating effectiveness of staff induction/training, and/or sales staff nomination/endorsement of a retailer

Join us at the EMRA Gala Dinner and Awards Evening at the world For table bookings and sponsorship opportunities contact 16


The British EMRAs

MANUFACTURING & RETAILING AWARDS EMRA CATEGORIES 2014 – MANUFACTURERS’ AWARDS The Categories for 2014 have been chosen to reflect what is most important to industry practitioners in the second decade of the 21st Century. Product categories are open to all products on the UK retail market during 2013, regardless of their initial launch date.

LEADING DESIGN – LAUNDRY PRODUCT Open to all built-in and freestanding home laundry products on the UK market

LEADING DESIGN – COOKING PRODUCT Open to all built-in and freestanding cooking products, including microwave & combi ovens, on the UK market

LEADING DESIGN – DISHWASHING PRODUCT Open to all built-in and freestanding dishwashers on the UK market

LEADING DESIGN – TV Open to all TVs, Set-top Boxes, Systems and Technologies on the UK market

LEADING DESIGN – HOME CINEMA/SOUND PROJECTION PRODUCTS/COMBINATIONS Open to all Home Cinema Systems and TV Sound Projection Products on the UK market

LEADING DESIGN – AUDIO Open to all music players, hi-fi systems, radio & accessories such as headphones on the UK market

LEADING DESIGN – DIGITAL IMAGING Open to all cameras and camcorders on the UK market


Open to all built-in and freestanding refrigeration, freezer and wine storage products on the UK market

Open to all MDA, CE, and Small Appliances Manufacturers & Distributors selling product in the UK market via any retail channels, who support their retailers with training programmes, pre- and aftersales support





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

Open to any 3 or more MDA products presented as a range or collection on the UK market


Open to all cylinder, upright, hand-held, stick and cordless vacuum cleaners, steam mops and deep cleaners on the UK market

LEADING DESIGN – SMALL APPLIANCE PRODUCT OR RANGE Open to all Small Domestic & Small Kitchen Appliances on the UK market

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

famous Twickenham Stadium on Thursday 15th May 2014 01892 677741 or 01892 677742 NOV/DEC 2013 GET CONNECTED


In the spotlight: Indesit Company

I ask our people to wear the shoes of our customers, even in negotiations” Maurizio Pettorino talks to GC about his first year as Managing Director of Indesit Company UK & Ireland; the intricacies of the domestic appliance market, both for retailers and manufacturers, and the company’s move into the small appliance sector

Pettorino started his career with Procter and Gamble in 1989. In 1999 he joined Reckitt Benckiser and moved on five years later to American Express, where he held the position of Vice President Corporate Card, Italy. He joined Coca Cola in 2007 as Commercial Director, Italy, and in October 2012 he was appointed Managing Director of Indesit Company UK & Ireland, heading up a 2,200-strong team.



hen Maurizio Pettorino joined Indesit Company in the UK in 2012, he was told that the worst aspect of life in our illustrious realm would be the British weather. So a pleasant surprise, then, for the Italian gent to have experienced one of the warmest summers since records began in 1910 and, ironically, a summer during which distributors and retailers were crying out for refrigeration appliances, as products were in short supply; the heat wave having brought about a situation that not many manufacturers could have predicted. However, life in the UK is treating Pettorino well and he is finding it “an easy, nice country to live in.” As for the marketplace; this he describes as “interesting” and “difficult”, too, as notes the loss of “one significant player” [Comet] and that retail chain’s investment in the market. 18


On his appointment, Pettorino said: “I’m very excited by the opportunity to manage a great team and to continue to deliver top-range business results, quality products and first-class service for Indesit Company’s customers.” After a year in the job, has he succeeded? “Yes,” he tells GC. “There is always more to do, but on a score of zero to ten I’d say a seven or eight. If you ask me if I am happy with the results, the answer is ‘yes’. If you ask me if I am proud, the answer is ‘partially’.” Under Pettorino’s leadership, both the Indesit and Hotpoint brands are performing well. Indesit has been the best growing brand in the past couple of years, he says, and although Hotpoint has experienced growth, he acknowledges that there is some room for improvement. “The challenge,” according to Pettorino, is to “reverse some of the trends.” He states that white goods profitability must grow for Indesit Company and for its retail customers, and the most significant change he has made since taking up the reins at the firm is to raise the level of consciousness regarding the business’s strategy to market: “Market segmentation, which is something Indesit was late to recognise, and the transition of volume to value.” But at all times with the company’s clients in mind: “I ask our people to wear the shoes of our customers, even in negotiations.”


In the past four years, household appliance prices in the UK, according to the ONS, have increased at rates below the nation’s inflation target, rising by 6% in this timeframe. To put this into perspective on a domestic level, the price of food has risen by 19%; electricity by 25%; gas by 21% and road fuels by 29%. So, in terms of economic pressures, such inactivity in the growth of appliance prices means that Indesit Company clearly faces the same difficulties as many other manufacturers: revenue declines, particularly in mature markets, and increased costs. Material costs continue to rise at a time when the company is intent on increasing product quality. The solution, says Pettorino, is to compensate with efficiencies. “We need to improve our profit pool for the good of the company and for our customers,” he remarks. As such, Indesit Company SpA recently planned a €70 million investment in an efficiency drive involving the streamlining of central management departments and rationalisation of production as a response to the economic and competitive situation in Europe, where the market is still below the volumes of 2007 – Western Europe -10% and Italy -25% – and prices and margins are being eroded by the expansion of producers from lower cost countries. In 2012, Indesit Company SpA posted revenues of almost €2.9 billion and a group profit of €62 million.


Pettorino states that one of the greatest difficulties the electrical appliance market poses is “competition from newcomers.” Yet he concedes that competition is “good”, maintaining that it brings value and innovation to consumers and helps to stimulate market demand. “Stimulating market demand is a priority for Indesit Company,” he asserts. “The problem here is that the UK is a replacement market; consumers won’t change an appliance if it is still working.” Pettorino was recently elected Chairman of the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA), a role in which he will work closely with the organisation’s contacts to broaden understanding of the efforts

In the spotlight: Indesit Company

made by all member companies to produce high quality, sustainable products. He explains that one of the “challenges” for the industry is that a third of UK appliances are more than 10 years old, 15% are more than 15 years old and the average replacement time is 8 years. Dishwasher penetration is around 35% and in dryers it is 15%. “The metrics in Europe are much better than in the UK,” he comments. “UK consumers are simply not aware of the water and energy savings today’s appliances offer.” He adds that the UK “should be first concerning energy labels, but it is the worst.” The upside of this, he points out, is that it offers great opportunities for retailers.


“This is not an easy game, but we are determined to work for our customer. There is no doubt that Pettorino sees the What is within our reach has been done UK, when compared to other European and we will continue to improve.” markets, as a totally different beast, although he notes that the demise of the high street is a common phenomenon, NEW MOVES except it is occurring on a much greater In May this year, at the time of announcing scale here. Indesit Company SpA’s 1st Quarter results, A consequence of the shift in UK CEO Marco Milani said that the company consumers’ shopping habits, and of would enter the small appliance market. During the summer months, the HD Line, the economic climate in general, is the a collection of high-performance sizable decline in the independent appliances promised to deliver retail community, an important channel which Pettorino is “High Definition (HD) results” adamant must be supported in food preparation, steam The small appliance and maintained. He believes ironing and vacuuming, was market is extremely that people need to be introduced to the UK. crowded, but Pettorino able to visit their local Pettorino describes the independent store, where HD Line as unique, high maintains that there is room, they can receive service and quality and distinctive in “particularly for premium advice: “Independents’ offers its design: “Technologically products that offer style, differ significantly from other advanced, premium technology, quality and channels,” he says. products offering USPs value for money.” “For retailers there are both consistent with those of challenges and opportunities. Hotpoint’s major appliances.” The threat is margin compression, Why did the company enter the small appliance sector? “Hotpoint but the opportunity is in product differentiation and the services they offer is in 24 million households in the UK so at store level. Differentiation is a clear it is a market opportunity for the brand, strategy for Indesit and we have many particularly in the high-value end,” he says. SKUs dedicated to smaller retailers to It should be mentioned here that help them.” Hotpoint also has another trump card in He adds that the internet is a “major that is was voted the UK’s most trusted challenge” for retailers. “Therefore, it is a kitchen appliance brand by Reader’s challenge for Indesit.” The internet has Digest for 11 years running. seen major growth throughout Europe, The small appliance market is but in the UK it is “extremely developed,” extremely crowded, but Pettorino he notes. “We are asking our customers maintains that there is room, “particularly to help us with our internet strategies, for premium products that offer style, but it is our responsibility and we have to technology, quality and value for money.” deal with it.” He adds that the new appliances are Commenting on whether white goods priced to allow Hotpoint to target the are being sold too cheaply through certain vast majority of UK consumers. channels, which independents often Commenting on whether the HD complain of, he says: “We don’t manage Line offers good margins for retailers, prices into the market. It is illegal. Every he could only state that margins were player should have the freedom to set “competitive”, stressing, as he did before, their own prices, but price and benefits that retailers are free to set their own should be promoted together. resale prices.


The HD Line is distinctive and stylish. Products are designed to complement each other to provide a fully co-ordinated range. The collection includes a Steam Blender with a 1300W steam function; a bladeless Slow Juicer that creates 30% more juice than a standard juicer; a multifunctional Food Processor with 12 accessories; a Kitchen Machine incorporating a direct drive motor system, which can be upgraded with separate accessories including a cookie maker and pasta set; a 700W Hand Blender; a Digital Kettle with temperature selections ranging from 50ºC to 100ºC; a range of three stainless steel Toasters; a collection of Steam Irons that includes a Steam Generator – Hotpoint’s first product, launched in 1911, was an iron with a ‘hot point’ – and a range of HD Line Vacuum Cleaners. The small appliance market has had a great run over the past few years while many electrical sectors have struggled to maintain growth. Even the recession didn’t curtail its vigour, particularly at the top end, where products can cost more than a major domestic appliance. But how long can the upward trend last? “It is difficult to say,” comments Pettorino, “but we are optimistic about the trends and the opportunities the collection presents for consumers to upgrade.”


Pettorino is charged with responsibility for a brand with a heritage spanning more than a century and a company which claims to be the biggest supplier of kitchen appliances in the UK, operating the largest white goods service organisation in the region. As his first full calendar year at the helm draws to a close, GC enquires what his greatest focus will be for the Indesit and Hotpoint brands in 2014. “Value on both sides [Indesit Company and retailers], technology, and added value for consumers,” he responds. NOV/DEC 2013 GET CONNECTED


The Kitchen Studio


Kitchen design by Woodstock Furniture

Gorenje Marketing Manger Lauren Abbott also alludes to the trend for protrusionfree design, stating that many consumers now expect appliances to have touch controls “with no bulky knobs or handles to disturb the sleek and seamless appearance they desire.” She adds that requirements in cooking appliances have changed “dramatically” in recent years: “As technology moves forward at an astounding rate, people desire the best they can afford in order to make their kitchen high tech and impressive to visitors. “Consumers are not prepared to settle for the most commonly purchased oven or hob, they want products that fit around them and match their personal needs. Cooking needs today are all about making lives easier. We are seeing features such

Feeding the senses It’s difficult to imagine the kitchen as a place of toil where mothers once slaved over washboards and hot stoves to keep families clean-clothed and fed. Nowadays, this room is the central living area, a social spot in which families gather to cook and dine, engage in recreation and entertain friends. GC reports


oday’s kitchen is a haven, a source of pride, a gallery that exhibits style and expresses individuality, with aspirational islands defining zones, floor to ceiling cabinetry providing scale, wood and textured materials delivering a sense of warmth, and lights, glass, mirrors and colour adding to the all-important element of drama. The clever design of the kitchen in the main image of this feature creates a beautiful living space as it flows with the garden area, bringing the outdoors in to produce a light, airy and enticing environment. Light-reflecting highgloss cabinets are complemented by the warmth of the chocolate oak-framed island, detail which is repeated around the cabinetry on the main bank. A mirrored plinth gives the illusion of greater space and the minimalist canopy with integrated LED lighting provides height and scale and adds to the overall sense of spaciousness.


Looking at developments in kitchen design, Doug Haswell, Furniture Manager at Caple, says muted shades are very much one of the latest trends: “As the 20


demand for kitchens continues to work around open-plan living schemes, these subtle shades work well with living and dining areas as they will blend in seamlessly with a dining set or living room cabinets.” With interest in home cooking and entertaining at an all-time high, consumers clearly expect their appliances to offer convenience and functionality, but they must add to the style and glamour of the kitchen area, particularly in the case of open-plan living. Mark Bristow, Managing Director at cooling specialist Liebherr, notes that the design of appliances alters simultaneously in line with modern kitchen design. He highlights the trend for handle-free furniture and comments on Liebherr’s new under-worktop wine cabinet with ‘TipOpen’ technology. “The TipOpen concept allows this newly designed wine cabinet to be perfectly integrated into a handle-free kitchen,” he states, explaining that the glass door of the appliance opens automatically to 7cm when lightly tapped, but if it is not opened further within around three seconds the soft-closing system automatically shuts it again, protecting the contents and ensuring that energy is not wasted.

AMICA WHITEGLASS PACK Amica, the Polish manufacturer of midmarket built-in and freestanding appliances, has introduced a new white glass and steel version of its popular OKC653SW vertical chimney extractor, at the request of kitchen and electrical retailers for a complete whiteglass package. Amica OKC653SW hoods are part of the brand’s growing built-in collection and provide both a distinctive look, with stainless steel and black smoked glass now supplemented by the stunning new stainless steel and white glass model, and the latest in touch- and remote-control extraction technology.

Introducing Kenwood’s New Chef


• High quality and durable 4.6L glass bowl with graduations, perfect for daily food preparation and entertaining • Piano gloss white finish with polished metal accents for a premium and stylish look • Includes a Thermoresist™ blender, shatterproof Tritan™ food processor, Borosilicate glass 4.6L bowl, 3 stainless steel bowl tools plus creaming beater

• Kenwood is the No. 1 brand in Kitchen Machines* • All the quality, reliability and durability associated with the brand and the Kenwood range of kitchen machines • Over 20 optional premium quality attachments for slow, medium and high speed outlets Available Now

Contact your local Sales Manager for more information

Free Kenwood Kitchen recipes app also available to download

App is also available on the Amazon app store

App is now available on AndroidTM devices

Tel: +44 239 239 2392 Kenwood Ltd, New Lane, Havant, Hampshire PO9 2NH

*Source: GfK UK, Food Preparation, Volume and Value Sales, MAT July 12 and August 13.



The Kitchen Studio

such as the 78-litre [built-in] Hoover as pyrolytic cleaning, touch screens, Prodige Oven may come in handy. Where pre-set recipes and large capacities travel space is available, however, range cookers down the market to become available to are becoming increasingly popular.â€? most budgets. “The choice of hob purchased by today’s consumer has also changed. STATEMENT PIECES Homeowners require hobs that don’t Severgnini suggests that the appeal of cost the earth to run and look stylish on the range cooker is due to the draw of TV the worktop while featuring innovative cooking and baking programmes such technology. This is why induction sales as The Great British Bake Off, the BBC are increasing year on year.â€? series in which the country’s best amateur Bo Simonsen, Market Manager UK & bakers are put to the test on cake baking, Ireland for Witt, a brand that has recently pastry and bread making. The resultant launched a new collection of induction rise in the popularity of range cookers has hobs, says people want premium quality been more brands and products on the and the newest technology on the market, marketplace. coupled with elegant and stylish “Big and bold, these styledesign, functional solutions statement products provide and a fully featured a great focal point to brand. “Today, it is the kitchen and often vital that the design provide a basis of The kitchen is complements the how the rest of kitchen and adds the kitchen will increasingly becoming to an overall be styled,â€? says a reflection of people’s atmosphere of Severgnini. “Even harmony and the more costpersonalities; some bright balance.â€? conscious buyer and vibrant, some The new SQW is now able to induction hobs enjoy the all-round more subtle and from Witt cleverly versatility provided subduedâ€? register the zone on by a range cooker. With which cookware is placed lower priced models such and the individual slider control as the new 90cm Candy Range connected to that zone is automatically Cooker collection, which features products illuminated. The white light produced starting from just ÂŁ750, the market is provides a sense of quality and elegance. opening to a fresh wave of buyers.â€? “Full induction is a totally new product Severgnini’s reference to “big and boldâ€? line from Witt being launched in UK as and “style-statementâ€? products resonates we speak, bringing new technology, sharp with Liebherr’s Bristow, who maintains design and truly pioneering products to that “big is beautiful.â€? He says that large, market,â€? comments Simonsen. statement appliances are the ultimate indulgence and popular because of their luxury status: “As a lifestyle choice, today WALL-TO-WALL GLAMOUR we expect a fridge freezer with huge Caple Sales Director Danny Lay is of the capacity and a designer aesthetic.â€? opinion that, if a seamless look is desired Bristow adds that Liebherr’s product in the kitchen, then built-in appliances are innovation, high quality components, required to complement the latest trends storage capacity and design are in modern kitchen design. He maintains demonstrated in the SBSes 7165: “A that banks of multi-functional built-in statement focal point, this stainless steel appliances such as ovens are proving model is a large capacity American-style more popular for a “professionalâ€? cooking fridge freezer with five different climate display. Built-in warming drawers will zones including a multi temperature add to the mix as they are designed to fit integrated wine cabinet for 21 bottles. It is neatly below ovens or coffee machines, frost-free and features BioFresh drawers he says, while the “ultimateâ€? cooking wall to keep food fresher for up to three times makes cooking easier as appliances are longer than conventional fridges.â€? placed together. But Maurizio Severgnini, Managing Director Built-in Division of Hoover Candy INVESTMENT UK, argues that it’s about giving the The kitchen is the most investable area in consumer more choice. “Whether that the home, and for house buyers the style means size, colour, finish or price point, and design of this asset will top the list consumers are looking for intelligent of priorities and can make or break the appliances that are stylish, offer value sale. According to the Royal Institution of for money and fit with their lifestyles.â€? Chartered Surveyors, a new kitchen can There is no “one size fits allâ€? solution, he add up to 4% to the value of a home. contends. “For example, somebody may Clearly, kitting out this important space own a small apartment but be big on will need to be done on a realistic budget. entertaining, which is where a product There is little point in spending ÂŁ30,000 on 22


VITAMIX More than just a blender... The Vitamix is a must-have for anyone who wants to create fresh and flavourful dishes at home using whole-food ingredients. The Vitamix is more than just a blender: the variable speed control allows users to make a variety of dishes and drinks within a matter of seconds. With the facility and power to make items ranging from hot soups,

smoothies and sauces to nut butters, curry pastes and sorbets, this versatile, durable kitchen essential will soon become the most used appliance in the kitchen. The Vitamix is equipped with a 2-horsepower motor that generates blade speeds of up to 240mph and comes with a spill-proof lid and easy-grip handle. It is easy to clean and has a 7-year guarantee.

To stock Vitamix, please contact Martin Devaney:  07968 520174

the kitchen of a property worth ÂŁ180,000; likewise, a ÂŁ10,000 kitchen in a ÂŁ500,000 property is unlikely to impress. Those in the market for their ‘dream kitchen’ will naturally focus on cooking and/or cooling products as statement pieces, but the practicalities for everyday life in the 21st Century demand that the more mundane items such as laundry appliances and dishwashers must be accommodated too. With the shift to open-plan living and the emphasis now on social spaces, GC asks if there is any evidence that consumers are moving towards integrating ‘wet’ appliances to disconnect the perception of work from that of pleasure by screening such utilitarian products from view. “With minimalist interior design remaining popular, many consumers choose to integrate their appliances to ensure a sleek finish,â€? responds Hoover Candy’s Severgnini. “By hiding an appliance away behind a kitchen unit, the kitchen can indeed look less utilitarian. However, there is certainly still a place for freestanding appliances.â€? Hotpoint Marketing Manager Iain Starkey says that around a third of the dishwashers he sells are built-in and demand is rising. “Of all our behind-the-


MATCH Hoods and splashbacks thoughtfully designed to compliment your range cooker.

View the full collection online at:


The Kitchen Studio

door products, dishwashers are the most popular as they are easy to install and quiet enough not to cause a disturbance.�


There are, of course, a number of built-in solutions for dishwashers; one particularly appealing range being the In Line collection from Neff. These models can be built in to a bank of appliances and sit beautifully beside other products in the range such as coffee machines, ovens and warming drawers. Gorenje’s answer to concealing the dishwasher is a dĂŠcor panel that matches the company’s Pure line of appliances. Lauren Abbott says this creates “a seamless and aesthetically pleasing kitchen for those consumers who desire the built-in look, and is certainly a change from the typical white box.â€? The built-in washing machine, however, seems to be a less appealing option. Or perhaps, from a consumer’s point of view, the decision hinges purely on finances. There is a choice of sub-ÂŁ200 freestanding washing machines on the market, but built-in models at entry-level cost ÂŁ100-plus more than their standalone counterparts. Hotpoint’s Starkey says built-in models are increasing in popularity, but freestanding appliances still remain by far the most common, “accounting for a massive 96% of washing machines sold.â€? Sales of freestanding washer dryers are around 87%, he adds.


In terms of what may trend in the finishes of kitchen appliances in the future, Starkey notes that stainless steel remains the most popular, followed by white, but black continues to show solid growth, as does cream, a finish introduced to selected products in the

brand’s Experience range and available to Hotpoint ‘inStore’ members. He also points out that “people are becoming more daring with the coloured products they choose, with colours such as orange, green, purple and blue.� Hoover Candy’s Severgnini adds that modern interior design and colour choices are varied, “but it is important to remember that, for appliances, it is often the finish that secures the sale.� Hoover has kept to fairly safe options in colour choices for its 90cm range cookers (ivory, stainless steel and black), “meaning,� says Severgnini, “they complement virtually every modern kitchen design concept.� Many other brands have been bolder in their use of colour. Haier, for example, has used black and red glass finishes in a series of its appliances, while Gorenje took a confident step this year in launching an MDA collection in a vibrant fire red.

Belling Classic 110DF range cooker with matching splashback and extractor hood


Mike Shaw, Consumer Category Manager for Worktop Cooking at Morphy Richards, remarks that the kitchen is increasingly becoming a reflection of people’s personalities; some bright and vibrant, some more subtle and subdued. “What we are seeing are kitchen appliances to meet all of these different traits, from bright and funky colours to more subtle pastel and cream combinations. “What’s more, consumers are now striving for an overall colour theme in their kitchens and appliances. The demand to match primary work-surface products such as kettles and toasters has extended to secondary appliances that are

generally stored in cupboards, including slow cookers, stand mixers and food processors. This trend has also shifted across to homewares such as pan sets, bread bins and utensils.� De’Longhi also observes consumers becoming more adventurous with bolder styles and colour and has tapped into the trend with its Vintage Icona and PrimaDonna S Colours collections. The Vintage Icona range of kettles, toasters and pump coffee machines comes in tan leather, black, cream, blue and olive green with 1950s design elements given a twist to create a fun, refreshing look. The PrimaDonna S Colour Bean to Cup machines are available in eight colours: Mint Green, Vanilla Yellow, Coconut White, Cinnamon Brown, Pepper Grey, Red Fruits, Black Liquorice and Blueberry.


The picture featured above provides an example of how coloured small appliances are used to accentuate the main statement piece in the kitchen (note the kettle, toaster and scales). The image is provided by GDHA, which recently invested in the accessories sector with the launch of a new collection of glass splashbacks designed to complement its brands’ freestanding, built-in and range cooking products. The Belling Classic 110DF is presented here with matching Jalapeno Red splashback, although the new accessories are available in a variety of colours, including the full colour and monochrome Union Flag prints that celebrate Stoves’ and Belling’s Made in Britain heritage.

A NEW BLUEPRINT FOR KITCHENS Introducing Panasonic’s New Range of Built-in Appliances Panasonic’s new built-in appliances establish a new level of high-end design technology for the contemporary kitchen. Taking guidance from Japanese minimalist principals, this impressive line-up of appliances maximises the potential of flat surfaces for uncomplicated kitchen fitting and easy maintenance. The range amplifies purity and reduction of form by replacing the obstruction of buttons and dials 24


with flush Electrostatic Display Panels offering touch control and underlying Blue LED Displays. This covetable collection includes: pioneering Induction Hobs with unique Opti-Sensor Technology, a quiet yet powerful Cooker Hood, single Electric Ovens with Pyrolytic Self Clean and A+++ energy efficient Dishwashers.

 0844 844 3899

, d l o g n i h t e m o S


something new…

The UK extended warranties market, like the electrical and electronic business as a whole, is undergoing change and adaptation to meet profound shifts in consumer buying habits, and is, at the same time, continuing to weather the criticisms that have been levelled against it almost since the day extended warranties were invented


alling the extended warranties market a “rip off” is nothing new – we remember this magazine reporting mainstream TV comedians doing standup material on the threatening and coercive sale of warranties nearly a decade ago – and this staple whipping-boy of the consumer media still breaks out in the odd Which? Report or Watchdog programme. There are still, as in all commercial enterprises, examples of mis-selling and sharp practice for anyone whose business it is to look, but on the whole extended warranties providers and sellers are running a tighter, more transparent and more customer-oriented operation than ever before, and are at the same time responding inventively to what consumers really want and need in this time of change. Get Connected invited some of the established - and newer - suppliers in this field to explain how they

Simon Harrison, Sales Director UK & Ireland, Assurant Solutions

think things have changed, what the future might look like, and what they’re doing to help shape it.


Asked about changes in consumer buying habits and their impact on extended warranties, Assurant Solutions sales director UK and Ireland Simon Harrison had some interesting observations. “Consumers,” he said “are doing more research and purchasing online. British retail Consortium figures for the third quarter of the year show there has been a 7% increase on total consumer electronic search volumes. Perhaps more interesting is the fact that there has been a 44% increase in smartphone search volumes and a massive 71% increase in tablet search volumes, while desktop search volumes have decreased by 11%. Warranty providers such as ourselves are working closely with our retailer and manufacturer partners to develop online point of sale solutions. “However”, he added, “when it comes to the product itself, extended warranties can look and feel pretty similar. We’re seeing more development in covers for mobile devices and gadgets and I think that’s to be expected given the innovation in this sector. Warranty providers need to constantly refine their propositions to suit the changing requirements of customers, and as these gadgets increasingly interact with other electrical items in the home, we could well see more demand for multi-appliance propositions.”


“From our research results,” said Mr Harrison, “while 56% say they’re likely to buy an extended warranty on a complex item such as a smart TV or computer, in reality traditional white goods remain top of their list. Only 18% of our research respondents who had bought a laptop in the previous 12 months had purchased a warranty. In contrast, 32% who bought a washing machine, 25% who bought

extended warranties has seen a positive shift in attitude,” responded Mr Harrison. “Back in 2011, 53% said that insurance provides peace of mind and this increased to 63% in 2012. I would say that the economic environment has influenced this growing reassurance in the product as 20% of respondents to our most recent index indicated that they had insufficient funds to replace an appliance through personal savings compared to 11% in 2011.”

Warranty providers need to constantly refine their propositions to suit the changing requirements of customers...” a dishwasher and 24% who bought a fridge or fridge-freezer bought a warranty for their appliance. Interestingly, we’re seeing a shift in the white goods sector with a demand for more service-oriented schemes. Our clients [retailers] are increasingly looking for what I call point-of-need products which offer the consumer the opportunity to secure a 12-month warranty when they need it most – when the appliance actually breaks down.” And what about the negative perception of extended warranties that seems to have existed for a long time. Is that fading now? “Our own index of why consumers buy


When GC suggested competition in the market has grown, Mr Harrison took a different view. “I disagree,” he said, “that there is more competition this year. The new entrants that we saw come into the market in 2011 and 2012 have consolidated their positions and there is certainly a wealth of choice for consumers compared to five years ago. “At Assurant Solutions, we view ourselves as a challenger brand and we don’t offer an off-the-shelf package, rather build a bespoke product and service solution tailored to meet the requirements of each individual client. This might mean NOV/DEC 2013 GET CONNECTED



that we provide risk management services to one client by purely underwriting the warranty product, while the solution for another could involve product development, underwriting, claims management and assisting with their sales training. “We offer a full suite of services to retailers enabling them to cherrypick the level of support required for the solution that we have built for them. We can provide extensive training support to their sales teams and marketing support to maximise penetration levels. We can develop online point-of-sale solutions to support the various sales channels if that is important to them. We can develop technological solutions to enable their customers to manage their service contract.” Looking to the future, Mr Harrison predicts that “online sales will continue to grow and consumers are going to depend more on extended warranties in general for essential maintenance of vital household goods including smart TVs, tablets and other mobile devices. “However,” he adds, “with our research indicating that 74% of consumers buy their extended warranty for their appliance or gadget directly from the retailer either in-store, by phone or online then the retail distribution channel is going to continue to be the dominant distribution channel, in my view.”


On the question of online extended warranty sales, long-established provider Domestic and General’s director of sales Jeff Griffiths concurred: “While there has been a shift towards online goods purchases in the last few years, bricks and mortar customers are still going into store looking for customer service. For warranties there has not been such a wholesale shift in

buying habits. This is largely because the demographic of people looking for customer service and going into High Street stores is very similar to the demographic of those customers that value a warranty from a trusted and respected provider. “I don’t see online warranty purchases becoming a major part of the UK warranty market. By its nature a warranty is a secondary purchase, an incremental item that needs pro-active sellingin. Penetration percentage of warranties with online electrical goods sales is historically very low, well below 1%, while the best High Street retailers can take that figure to over 30%. Warranties need face-to-face contact and, even as buying habits continue to evolve, online warranty sales are unlikely to become big business in the foreseeable future.”


Mr Griffiths is equally sceptical about the notion that competition, in the shape of new providers, is actually increasing. “I am not sure,” he said, “that growth in warranty providers is as accurate as saying that there has been a change of warranty providers. While new entrants have emerged we must remember that only a few years ago electrical goods warranties were also available from providers that no longer operate in this space. After more than 60 years and now with over 8 million customers in the UK, Domestic & General continues to maintain its number one position in the warranty sector.” Looking ahead, Mr Griffiths believes “warranties will continue to develop in line with new products and new ways of retailing them, continuing to deliver features and benefits that provide real value and highly tangible benefits. Possibly the reason many providers have failed in the warranty sector is that short-termism of low price and limited protection simply does not meet today’s customer expectations of long-term support and quality protection. Domestic & General has built its business on supplying our customers and retail partners with products that deliver benefits and exceed customer expectations.”


Jeff Griffiths, Director of Sales, Domestic & General 26


Relative newcomer to the UK, Square Trade, has the stated purpose of bringing a “fresh attitude” to the UK extended warranties scene. The freshness extends to embracing online warranty sales, designing

Kevin Gillan, UK Managing Director, Square Trade

warranty products that fit the new buying habits and appliances now being bought, and ensuring that transparency and trust are part of the proposition. Kevin Gillan, UK managing director, says “extended warranties have, historically, had a bad reputation in the UK, and where we come in – why we entered the UK market – is to take responsibility for transforming and bringing back trust to this market. The status quo is not right, and does need changing. The industry needs a shakeup. Square Trade products can now be bought in Tesco, in Asda, on eBay and Amazon. Our service is good, our proposition is transparent and value for money, and our customers’ reviews are there to be looked at online. We want to surprise customers with the ease of making claims. We want to be the AA or RAC of the CE industry.” Square Trade’s strategy, says Mr Gillan, is based on the company’s ability to serve the changing needs of the market, in ways that the market is now demanding. “The electrical industry used to be about white goods,” he says, “but today customers are increasingly looking for technology protection as mobile devices become practically universal. We try to create good warranty products at good prices, backed by good service. Consumers are spending more and more money on technology devices – mobile telephones, tablets – and fewer are

being insured. That may be because of the historical lack of trust in extended warranties, left over from the times when claims were more difficult to make. But with the huge growth in sales of tablets, for example – much of it from parents buying this now essential educational tool for their children – there is no way they should be left uninsured. With children – or for that matter, adults – using electronic devices on the move, they are more prone to accidents, and being able to ensure that a cracked screen gets fixed quickly looks like good value for money.”


“Online warranty sales are the future,” says Mr Gillan with confidence. “The option to call is always there, but we offer online flexibility: extended warranty products can be bought online after devices have been purchased; claims can be made quickly and easily online. That’s a big strength of Square Trade. We’re as much a technology as an insurance company. “We’re customer-centric, and we come at the process from a customer’s point of view. This was highlighted over the summer with Tesco giving anyone buying a tablet a complimentary extended warranty. That’s innovation on a large scale, with a major retailer buying into the proposition. And manufacturers will increasingly embed the warranty proposition into the CE product, making it an integral part of the offer.” Looking ahead, Mr Gillan concludes that “Square Trade will continue to serve customers and develop channel partners and move more and more into the mobile devices space. We’re still at the beginning, and the Square Trade brand hasn’t yet achieved the consumer awareness we’re targeting. We’ve got a lot to do still, and success will come when Square Trade is seen as the natural choice for technology.”

D&G RETAILER OF THE YEAR 2013 Domestic & General announces the winners of the UK’s largest consumer survey of electrical retailers INDEPENDENT RETAILER OF THE YEAR 2013







he Independent Retailer of the Year 2013 award was again presented to Barretts of Canterbury, the retailer having collected a ROTY in 2011 for being the UK’s most recommended single store and taken the accolade of Independent Retailer of the Year in 2012. Barretts maintained a customer satisfaction score of over 96%, with Marks Electrical (Leicester) and Bradford’s Sonic Megastore coming in a “very close” second and third place respectively.

Owners and managers of the three winning retailers were presented with their trophies at the

Winners and hosts: (left to right) D&G’s Derek Hollingdale; RGB Direct’s Phil Thorogood and Jason Digwa; D&G’s Lee Miller; Shaun Barrett from Barretts Digital World; Andy Pallant and Robert Hughes from Hughes Electrical; D&G’s Jeff Griffiths

Alan Ducasse restaurant at London’s Dorchester Hotel. The event was hosted by Domestic & General sales

Over 270,000 surveys are sent

averaged by the number of respon-

director Derek Hollingdale, director

out to customers following a major

dents to obtain an overall score. The

of sales Lee Miller and national



three Retailer of the Year accolades

account director Jeff Griffiths.

independent retailers, multiple store

go to the independent, multi-store

chains and online electrical retailers

and online retailer with the highest

are rated by their customers on criti-

combined scores. The total score is

cal areas of customer service.

converted to an overall customer

“This year’s Retailer of the Year survey




across the board and new record



high customer satisfaction scores

Using a 0-10 scale, bricks & mortar

in both the Internet and multi-store

retailers are scored on their store



satisfaction percentage for clarity. 


presentation, staff product informa-

Hollingdale. “The results, along with

tion, customer service and product

If you’d like to know how your

The multi-store Retailer of the Year

the ongoing success of these busi-

demonstration. Online retailers are

store fared in the ROTY 2013

2013 was again secured by Hughes

nesses, underline the importance

rated on website presentation, ease

survey, e-mail richard.stevenson@

Electrical. This category was intro-

of great customer service in difficult

of navigation, product information

duced in 2012 to monitor the perfor-

trading times.

and convenience of delivery. Retail-

mance of multi-branch retailers and

“The three winning businesses,

ers that achieve a minimum of 20

For information on driving your

generates large volumes of customer

along with all those featuring in

survey returns qualify for the title.

customer feedback via the D&G

survey data. Building on its success

the top echelons of the survey, can

Their scores across the four key

online ROTY survey portal, e-mail

in 2012, Hughes Electrical used the

be justly proud of being rated as

questions are added together and

survey data to further improve its

the UK’s very best retailers by the

operation, resulting in the chain’s

customers they serve. Domestic &

overall customer satisfaction score

General has built its business on

rising 2.5% to 91.08%. Mains Elec-

more than 60 years of delivering

trical was “just pipped” into second

exceptional customer care and we

place, with Stellisons a close third.

are very proud to sponsor these

Moving up from 7th place last year, RGB Direct was voted this year’s

awards that celebrate the best in customer service.”

A MESSAGE FROM D&G The Retailer of theYear survey for 2014 is already underway but we need the help of UK retailers to really drive responses. Would you

Internet Retailer of the Year, scoring

Retailer of the Year is an unbiased

like to know exactly what your customers think of your store, staff

a new record customer satisfaction

survey of UK electrical retailers by

courtesy and knowledge and their demonstration techniques?

score of 93.98% for Internet ROTY

their own customers. Sponsored

and “narrowly beating” previous

and administered by leading spe-

Simply encourage your customers to fill in the ROTY online

multiple winner Crampton & Moore

cialist warranty provider Domestic

into second place. Electrical Discount

& General, it is designed to reward

came in 3rd place, ahead of a record

the very best in customer service

provide ROTY compliment slips to pin to your till receipts. E-mail

number of UK Internet retailers rated

across all electrical retail channels for further information.

in this year’s survey.

in the UK.

survey by embedding the ROTY survey URL and direct access QR code on your website, receipts or e-receipt e-mails. We can also


In the spotlight: Nexus

Avant-garde retailing A fresh approach to a maturing problem Consumer shopping habits have changed and the high street needs to evolve….”


exusEngage, a specialist in bringing retail space, brands and retailers together, is promoting a pioneering concept that merges empty retail space with “cutting-edge” technology to enable brands to interact with consumers in a new way, with ‘pop-up shop windows’ on display for a short-term period of between one to six weeks offering high impact, maximum visibility and encouraging consumers to engage with brands and with retailers in their immediate vicinity. It is a concept that should work both for high streets and shopping centres, both of which, according to recent figures from the British Retail Consortium, are suffering from a drop in footfall. Brands can demonstrate products in key high street locations in peak buying periods and drive customers to the nearest point of sale with a voucher code or special offer that enables them to purchase from traditional retailers they know and trust. Monster Products, Nokia Mobile and Sky’s NowTV have begun working with the new model and are said to have reported “excellent consumer engagement”, with a retail sales uplift of up to 300%, after setting up store fronts in shopping centres around Britain. Using the latest technologies and social media techniques, NexusEngage takes empty retail spaces and turns them into interactive experiences, enhancing the consumer shopping journey direct from the pop-up retail window. Shoppers are driven to engage with brands in a novel manner, while the brands receive feedback and incremental sales. “Consumer shopping habits have changed and the high street needs to evolve if it is to stop the dramatic increase over recent years in empty spaces popping up all over the UK,” says Simon Ellson, CEO at Nexus Engage. “Rather than providing a traditional and in-decline high street experience, NexusEngage combines today’s shopping habits with new interactive ones, allowing consumers to browse product or experience a brand on the high street then buy later online if direct sales is an objective. However, if brands choose, they may also push consumers to partner bricks-and-mortar retailers nearby to purchase products. This combines a desire to see a return to



centre, and it had experienced “a great return on investment” and a threefold uplift in product sales in the nearest John Lewis. “As well as leading customers to sales, we also saw an impressive rise in competition entries from the window, by eight times compared with normal socialdriven competitions we have run.” Shop windows transformed by NexusEngage can encourage shoppers to take part in any number of chosen activities, such as receiving an interactive

growth on the high street with security for familiar high street retailers who need the additional footfall.” Speaking of how the concept developed, Ellson says: “Walking through a shopping centre one day I noticed that there were an awful lot of empty shops and it seemed crazy to me that these couldn’t be used somehow. “After some research we discovered that over 46,000 shop windows were currently vacant in the UK, spread across high streets, shopping centres and retail parks. By working with brands to set up interactive windows, they sell more products, retailers get shoppers back onto the high street and consumers get what or holographic product demo, going to they want – better and more engaging a nearby retailer to purchase with a ways to shop. Fulfilment then comes from a retailer they trust. discount code, giving direct brand or “It’s a win-win situation and an product feedback in exchange for absolute no-brainer for new or a prize, or simply entering a established brands looking for competition that enables the direct engagement.” collection of consumer data. “As a concept, there is Vicky White, assistant Shoppers are driven so much that we can do marketing manager at to engage with brands with these shop fronts,” Monster Products, revealed in a novel manner, says Ellson. “As we that when NexusEngage only dress up the shop first came to her company while the brands window and do not let with the proposal it was so receive feedback and consumers into the store compelling that Monster had incremental sales. to be involved. itself, it means there is no She said that using the shop need for a store refit or for window meant the brand would the landlord to worry about be twice as visible as in any other dilapidations or damage to their advertising medium in the shopping space. The real trick with making these shop windows a success is ensuring that the consumer is truly engaged with the window. “We have already experimented with holograms that demonstrate product; twitter competitions that run on largeformat screens; discount vouchers that you can download for shops in the precinct via your smart phone, and lots more.” NexusEngage, a new business which is part of the Retail Marketing Group of companies, believes its pop-up shop window concept is a “win-win” for all: “Brands get relatively low cost multi-week shop window engagement, landlords receive income from unused space, high streets and shopping centres can be revitalised, which will bring footfall back, and consumers get access to best-inthe-market brands at the best prices.”

Industry Movers

THE FUTURE IS IN YOUR HANDS This time last year, the “movers� in our industry were predicting a tough year ahead, and for a number of retailers and manufacturers it certainly was challenging, as evidence of business failures on both sides has shown.

But there are always positives to draw on. We’ve seen manufacturers working closely with retail partners to create more in-store branded Centres which come with a broad range of support initiatives, and we’ve seen consumer confidence trickle back, with the first half of the year bringing the dividend of a boost in spending and a hint of the long-awaited “green shoots� of recovery. What 2014 holds for the electrical industry remains to be seen. The only certainty is that all trading partners in the supply chain will need to continue to work together, listen to each other, offer mutual support, and have the vision, strategy and the momentum to carry the good work that has already been done into the coming year. As we look ahead to what we hope will be a continued economic recovery, our “movers� review the achievements of 2013 and outline their plans for 2014.

Rakesh Tiwari

BIG PLANS FOR THE YEAR AHEAD Rakesh Tiwari, General Manager, Europe & UK, Fisher & Paykel Appliances, is “very excited� about some of the new products his brand will be introducing in the New Year

For more information on Fisher & Paykel’s appliances:  0845 0662200.

“In a very tough retail market, 2013 had its challenges for us all, but here at F&P UK we are pleased with our results in a difficult trading year. “A cool and wet spring gave a slow start to the traditional time for selling cooling products, but once summer finally arrived, orders for our new French Door fridge freezer exceeded our expectations, which is always good news. Of course, our famous Dishdrawer dishwasher continued to sell well throughout the year. “Our plans for 2014 have been finalised and I am very excited about some of the new products we will be introducing in the New Year. One has already arrived – the award-winning 90-litre single oven with 11 functions. We are also putting in place a strong promotional plan to support the introduction of these products and to raise consumer awareness of Fisher & Paykel Appliances. “Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those retailers who have supported F&P during 2013, not forgetting my sales & marketing team at the UK head office. “Wishing you all the very best for the festive season, and a Happy New Year!� NOV/DEC 2013 GET CONNECTED


Industry Movers

VERY BRITISH BRANDS Denver Hewlett, Chief Executive of Glen Dimplex Home Appliances, is proud to fly the flag for British manufacturing “In 2014, Made in Britain will continue to be an important message for our business. For us, Made in Britain is not simply a PR angle or a route to export; it’s something we think our retailers

We are proud to fly the flag for British manufacturing. “From a product perspective, energy efficiency has understandably moved higher up the purchase priority list for many

Understanding of induction is growing, a fact supported by increasing induction hob sales.“ at home can really sell. According to our research amongst UK consumers, more than a third of British people say they’d buy British more often if it were easier to identify British products.

consumers, as people generally have a much clearer understanding of the link between energy labels and cost savings on their bills. As a result, we are expecting induction to continue to gain ground in 2014.

“Understanding of induction is growing, a fact supported by increasing induction hob sales. We are constantly researching the market and regularly survey consumers at events such as The BBC Good Food Show to see whether the message is getting out there. Comprehension of the technology is definitely growing but we know we still have a lot to do. Manufacturers need to play their role in presenting the technology in as simple a way as possible, whilst retailers can really seal the deal by demonstrating its features in store.�

Denver Hewlett

GDHA  0844 248 4466


Chris Stammers “If you are not already taking advantage of the lucrative electric fires market, now is the time to act. Electric fires are more popular than ever with more than 450,000 products sold each year representing sales worth ÂŁ85 million in the UK. And with attractive margins, not to mention extra display incentives available from Dimplex, it is easy to see why more electrical retailers are devoting space to fires. “This year we supported retailers with our first ever national TV advert, a highly targeted campaign which encouraged consumers to



Dimplex marketing director Chris Stammers: “Dimplex offers an unrivalled range of electric fires and portable heating products�

media console with an integrated 1.5kW Dimplex fire. “Don’t miss out on the opportunities presented by electric fires. Update your display now and look out for more of the same market-leading product innovation and retailer support from Dimplex in 2014.�

Electric fires are more popular than ever with more than 450,000 products sold each year representing sales worth ÂŁ85 million in the UK.â€? visit the Dimplex website to find details of their local retailers and the fires on display. “We also launched more than a dozen new electric fires in 2013, each offering the ambience of a real fire 365 days a year without the need for costly installation or high running costs. Highlights include the award-winning Opti-V flame effect and a unique new TV midi unit which combines a stylish

Dimplex  0844 879 3587  0844 879 3578

Industry Movers

EXCLUSIVE AND MINIMALIST KITCHEN APPLIANCES ARE HOT “More and more customers are cherry picking the appliances they build into the kitchen,� says Bo Simonsen, Market Manager, Witt UK & Ireland Ltd “They pick the best products from the best manufacturers; choose the best built-in fridge; the best looking hood; the best dishwasher and the newest technology in induction hobs to get the finest all round products.

Scandinavia by storm. They are now being launched in the UK. “The recently developed series of very flexible and elegant full induction hobs from Witt automatically register the zone on which the cookware is placed

Few words are needed with truly beautiful design.� “It is no longer ‘one brand fits all’. People want the best products that fit their needs. Few words are needed with truly beautiful design. Witt’s entirely black and intelligent full induction hobs and cooker hoods have taken

and light up the connected slider control. When the appliance is off the surface is entirely black and therefore provides an exclusive look that fits into every kitchen. “The elegant vertical hood is designed to fit seamlessly into

any contemporary kitchen and add a stylish touch. The intelligent and unobtrusive shape gives the best of both worlds: efficient extraction of cooking smells and fumes and full view of the cooking area, without the risk of users damaging their head on a sharp edge as they work. “All Witt hobs and hoods feature the latest in technology and will bring a special sense of quality and elegance to any kitchen.�

Bo Simonsen

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George Cole

George Cole Gets Connected George Cole pinpoints hotspots in the world of consumer electronics

A matter of trust Y

ou may well have heard reports of at least one Smart TV apparently sending private viewing data out to the internet without the viewer’s knowledge or consent. A British blogger claims that the set not only provided details of what he was watching, but also data about the files he played from an external drive attached to the Smart TV. The blogger suspects the information could be used for targeted advertising. At the time of writing, details are murky, and we have yet to hear the manufacturer’s response. But what is clear, is that the internet is now awash with posts, tweets and blogs about this incident, and a large number of people are suspicious or even hostile to the concept of Smart TV. As I said, it’s too early to make a definite statement about what happened, but the

industry is always in danger of losing public confidence and support when incidents like this happen, whether by accident or design. In an earlier column, I said it was vital that Smart TV manufacturers and retailers had a clear answer for consumers who ask: “How can I protect my child from watching unsuitable online material on your Smart TV?” Perhaps, they should also be ready to answer the question: “Will my Smart TV spy on me?”

Another day, another audio format If you thought the music industry had given up on new audio disc offerings, think again. High Fidelity Pure Audio (HFPA) discs have recently arrived in the UK. They are also known as Bluray Audio discs, because they use the extra disc capacity and enhanced audio performance provided by Blu-ray to offer users 24-bit 96KHz audio in three forms: DTS-HD Master Audio, uncompressed PCM and Dolby True HD. HFPA shouldn’t be confused with Blu-ray Spec discs, which were launched several years ago. These discs use blue laser technology during disc mastering, which is claimed to reduce disc errors. But Blu-ray Spec discs conform to the audio 32


CD standard and play on any CD player. By comparison, HFPA discs play on any Blu-ray player; games console (such as the PS3 and PS4), and computers with Blu-ray drives. HFPA also has nothing to do with the ‘super CD’ formats, SACD and DVDAudio, launched at the end of the 1990s. The public seems quite happy with MP3 downloads and audio streaming, both of which offer sub-CD sound quality, so why launch HFPA? The format’s biggest supporter is Universal Music Group, which has launched around 30 titles in the UK. Artists released on HFPA include Nirvana, Queen, The Rolling Stones, plus a sprinkling of jazz and classical titles. The discs

A British blogger claims that the set not only provided details of what he was watching, but also data about the files he played from an external drive attached to the Smart TV.

cost around £12 each, which isn’t bad for a premium product. And because (unlike audio CDs) Bluray discs can’t be ripped, buyers also get a free MP3 version for playing on portable devices. Universal Music Group believes there are still many consumers who want a physical disc rather than a digital download. And many music fans are looking for better sound quality. One of the challenges SACD and DVD-Audio faced was that consumers had to buy a new and expensive player to hear the enhanced audio tracks, but HFPA discs will play on a £50 Blu-ray player. Even so, I’m not convinced that even this will make HFPA anything more than a niche format.


The number fifteen marked a few significant milestones in 2013. It was fifteen years ago when the first DVD titles arrived in the UK. DVDs improved sound and video quality, and other features such as fast access to scenes, sub-titles, extra dialogue tracks featuring comments from actors or directors; deleted scenes, and hidden content (“Easter eggs”) made them a big hit with the public. Consumers couldn’t get enough of DVDs and DVD boxed sets and high streets were full of busy video rental stores like Blockbuster. Now, Blockbuster is in administration again and the future doesn’t look too bright for bricks-andmortar video stores. It’s interesting to note that it was also fifteen years ago that Amazon launched in the UK and the Google search engine was developed. This helps explain why the home video market has changed so much in recent years.

From The Bench

Accessories of yore Christmas is a good time for selling accessories. It’s a good time, too, for telling stories. Here Alan Bennett rattles the chains of some ghosts of times past


oday we can offer our customers a very wide range of accessories for TV and audio. Years ago there was not so much variety but some of what was available was bizarre indeed...


A permanent colour TV service started in America in 1954 and then thought was given to getting colour on an ordinary black & white set. There came onto the market an amazing adaptor, an outfit with an electric motor driving a large colour filter wheel divided into segments of red, green and blue. The TV signal was decoded into its primary colour components and fed in turn to the picture tube in synchronism with the rotation of the wheel mounted on top of the TV’s cabinet. It worked, but the big problem was shocking image flicker. This coloursequential concept anticipated, in some ways, the displays of modern one-chip video projectors, whose colourwheels rotate too fast to cause flicker problems. Another device for colour rendition from a black & white screen was a transparent plastic overlay sheet tinted blue at the top, pink in the middle and green at the bottom. It didn’t do much for studio shots! People actually bought and used these things. There was also a stick-on polarising filter, claimed to increase picture contrast, and a range of bulbous oil-filled magnifying lenses, mounted in adjustable frames, to increase the size of the very small TV pictures of long ago.

then. As screens got bigger the coarseness of the 405-line picture became noticeable and a technician-fitted device to counter this appeared: the spot-wobbler applied a high-frequency vertical oscillation to the tube’s electron beam to fill the spaces between scanning lines without impairing definition – wow! The first TV remote control systems had wired handsets, and the first cordless ones were not electronic at all: they used a white light beam, or had metal rods inside, held rigid at one end and ‘pinged’ at the other by the control buttons. Tuned microphones in the TV picked up their ultrasonic tones and operated sound and channel selection functions including – would you believe? – a motorised rotary station tuner which clunked round, one channel at a time, until you got the one you wanted. Most TVs of four or five decades ago had a live chassis for economy of components, and a good trade was done in hearing-aid kits incorporating a safety isolating transformer to prevent electrocution of the hearing impaired viewer.

The 1970s was the decade of ‘boxes’, generally hooked to the TV via its aerial socket to be isolated from the ongoing live chassis.”


In 1955 ITV began broadcasting in Britain and the must-have accessory was a Band III converter, used in conjunction with a new aerial to receive the new programmes. Most convertors used two valves and they made the ITV broadcast signal look like a BBC one to the TV set. There was often spurious patterning and interference too. All that for one extra programme, though it doubled the choice


The 1970s was the decade of ‘boxes’, generally hooked to the TV via its aerial socket to be isolated from the ongoing live chassis. TV games were popular and initially were wholly analogue in operation. I built one with rectangular tennis paddles and a square ball. Increasingly sophisticated types followed, the best remembered being the Atari 2600 console and its wide selection of games cartridges. I’ve still got one, now a family heirloom. Prestel, a forerunner of the internet, used – for domestic applications – an adapter box connected to a telephone line and an ordinary TV; we used Prestel for spare parts ordering etc. long ago. There appeared many other add-on boxes. Teletext adapters, using multi-IC

Atari 2600: under the Christmas tree in 1980?

circuits and wired remote controls came along, but their on-screen images were somewhat woolly by the time they had been PAL-encoded, modulated, tuned and then demodulated and decoded again in the TV set. Advancing digital techniques brought more goodies later: picture-in-picture boxes and stereo adapters, boxes which decoded NICAM sound transmissions for presentation to standalone stereo and surround speakers, a vast improvement on the monaural system which had gone before. We’ve now wandered into the 1980s, by which time mains isolated TV chassis had put in an appearance while some boxes had only AV connectors, so another accessory came along: the UHF modulator, in effect your own fleapowered TV transmitter for aerial socket connection to older sets.


Some incredibly posh and sophisticated TV/radiograms were made by the likes of McMichael in the 1940s and after, at prices unaffordable except by the rich. There were cheaper radiograms, mono and stereo, the HMV Stereomaster being amongst the later ones, many of which we repaired and serviced in their day. For the more impecunious listener standalone record decks were available with a mono audio output for use with a radio having a ‘gram’ socket. Perhaps the most unusual sound accessory was a tape-deck adaptor chassis (Gramdeck) which sat on top of an ordinary multi-speed record deck and, driven by the turntable spindle, turned it into a reel-toreel ( ”) tape recorder. Incorporated were all the necessary mechanics and there was a preamplifier to bring off-tape signals up to disc pickup level. Very ingenious! NOV/DEC 2013 GET CONNECTED



2-minute Interview C

hris Honer, Managing Director of Britannia Living, may hate liars; but, all’s fair in love and sales, as the man himself will testify (correct, Chris?), having once told a buyer that he could obtain an autograph of his [the buyer’s] idol in a bid to secure a large display order....

Why did you choose to work in the electrical industry? I had an opportunity to go into kitchen sales from school and have never wanted to do anything else! How would you describe yourself? Insomniac How do you think others see you? Fair and dedicated Who in the industry would you like to spend time with? I enjoy spending time with my colleagues, because they are nice people What makes you laugh? My family and then anything slapstick, especially Groucho Marx Hobbies? I don’t really have much time for hobbies but in my spare time I help to run the village shop and Post Office with my wife Pet hate? Liars What’s the worst lie you’ve ever told? When I first started as a sales rep I told a buyer I could get an autograph of his idol, a Crystal Palace footballer, to get a large display order! It worked but he never did receive the autograph What was the greatest turning point in your life? Becoming a parent and having to be a responsible adult Greatest regret? Having to leave Cornwall to progress my career 34


Is there anything about yourself that you would like to change? My eyes. I am as blind as a bat! Do you have any particular fetishes? Shiny shoes Do you have any bad habits? I’m sure I have plenty. It’s probably best to ask my wife and family What’s the best kind of punishment? The one that suits the crime Who deserves it? The perpetrators Who, from any walk of life, do you most admire? Anyone who has chosen to care for others as a career

Name your poison? Anything fizzy What sort of music do you like? The Jam What historic figure do you identify with most? There is not anyone I particularly identify with, but I would like to have met Henry Tudor. I respect the fact that he fought for what he believed in and consistently modernised and transformed the country throughout his reign

You have been offered the opportunity to rule the world for There is not a day, what would anyone I particularly be the first change identify with, but I you would make? Ban anyone would like to have from putting tuna met Henry Tudor. sandwiches on the same plate as non-fish ones at buffets

If you weren’t in your present position, what job would you choose to do? History teacher Favourite TV programme? Comedies

Favourite cuisine? The Cornish pasty – and it has to be eaten from the paper bag it is purchased in! Favourite holiday destination? Polperro in Cornwall Favourite quote? “Go on, get out! Last words are for fools.” – Karl Marx

What would you put into Room 101? Fish What’s your greatest fear? Fish What do you daydream about? That one day everyone will see sense and cook on a Britannia range cooker Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? Alive Favourite piece of kit? A fountain pen and moleskin notebook Life is…. So don’t waste time – just do it!


Representing the next level of TV picture quality, LG ULTRA HD 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. And, for a limited period, customers can claim a free LG G PAD 8.3 Tablet when they buy an LG ULTRA HD TV.*

It’s all possible. Powered by

*Please visit for full terms and conditions. Offer closes 31st January 2014 23.59 GMT. Images not to scale. Photographer: Andrew Rowat.

A professional performance Give your customers the red carpet treatment! SEBO professional uprights have been world leaders for many years due to their outstanding German build quality, design excellence and superb performance. SEBO domestic vacuum cleaners are built to the same high standards: That is why they routinely come top in reliability and customer satisfaction surveys and that is why, when you sell a SEBO, you can sell with confidence

SEBO – the vacuum cleaner professionals 01494 465533

Profile for Get Connected Magazine

Get Connected Magazine - Nov/Dec 2013  

Get Connected: The Magazine of the Electrical Goods Industry

Get Connected Magazine - Nov/Dec 2013  

Get Connected: The Magazine of the Electrical Goods Industry