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OCTOBER 2014

gcmagazine.co.uk

T H E M AG A ZI N E O F T H E E L E C T R I C A L G O O D S I N D U S T RY

INCORPORATING:

SPECIAL INTEGRAL SUPPLEMENT

Small Kitchen Appliances Seasonal Cooking Gadgets & Accessories TV/AV Electric Heating Pick of the Season Product Gallery

vings a s e g u h rs and e f f O E ducts! V I o r S p l U o L o C lp EX of Whir e g n a r e across th

L A U VIRT

E S A C SHOW CTOBER O T S 1 3 20TH -

GEORGE COLE GETS CONNECTED The world’s worst-kept secret is out of the bag

GUEST COLUMNS Liz Goodwin, CEO of WRAP & Richard Cottrell of Vista Retail Support

FROM THE BENCH Alan Bennett on Dolby Atmos

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Contents

0 4 Editorial Comment 06 The Word 14 16 18 LINSAR X24 TV WITH SOUNDBAR www.linsar.com

Editor in Chief: Marlinda Conway Telephone: 01420 886 33 marlinda@gcmagazine.co.uk Magazine Advertising Sales: Brian Shilling Telephone: 01892 677 741 brian@gcmagazine.co.uk

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Subscriptions & Circulation: (GCCD) Telephone: 01420 886 33 circulation@gcmagazine.co.uk Creative Director: Will Dobson will@gcmagazine.co.uk

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

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

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

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

19 20

In and around the industry

The Product Gallery George Cole Gets Connected

Storage formats: In with the new ...and out with the old

Guest Column

WRAP CEO Liz Goodwin on efficiency and sustainability in the electrical goods industry

From the Bench

Alan Bennett introduces us to the latest innovation in home cinema sound

Guest Column

Richard Cottrell, sales and marketing director of Vista Retail Support Don’t let the retail Wi-Fi rogues rob you of your reputation

21 “Changing Seasons” Special Integral Supplement

A seasonal look at some of the principal electrical and electronic product categories that will be leading the retail charge during the crucial Christmas period, featuring:

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

22 Small Kitchen Appliances

Top-end quality, style and value

© Copyright 2014 Mud Hut Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. Mud Hut Publishing Ltd. Greyfriar Cottage, Winchester Road, Chawton, Alton, Hampshire. GU34 1SB www.gcmagazine.co.uk No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the publisher. Get Connected is published by Mud Hut Publishing Ltd., Greyfriar Cottage, Winchester Road, Chawton, Alton, Hampshire GU34 1SB.

26 Seasonal Cooking | Solutions for all seasons 29 Gadgets & Accessories | An ever-evolving sector 30 TV/AV | Changing times 32 Pick of the Season A gallery of outstanding products

34 Electric Heating

Focal point fires and portable heating

OCTOBER 2014 GET CONNECTED

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Editorial Comment

Comment Well, here it is....

It won’t be long before Noddy Holder begins to remind us it’s that time of year again, and here at GC Magazine we are allowing mention of the “C” word as long as it’s strictly in the context of the electrical retail annual schedule. It is likely to prove a defining Christmas for our business, and for retailing in general.

O

ur annual “Changing Seasons” Supplement (pages 21-34 of this issue) tries to identify some of the product and general business trends that are emerging in the run-up to the Christmas season, and there is plenty of decisionmaking, planning and preparation to grapple with over the next couple of months. Looking at the broader retail picture, the traditional seasonal stereotype of crowds of Christmas shoppers thronging high streets up and down the country, braving the late-night-opening crowds, taking in the atmosphere of local Christmas decorations and lights as they hunt for that perfect present, is fading into the mists of nostalgia. Many high streets can no longer provide the variety and choice that Christmas shoppers want. The number of shops in town centres, according to Local Data Company Research, “is declining significantly, particularly traditional retailers.” Net retail store closures (total closures less total new openings) for the year to date is approaching 1,000. And, of the new openings, “Betting shops, coffee shops, banks, pound shops, charity shops, convenience stores and American restaurants were among those opening the most outlets during the first half of 2014.” Faced with this dramatic contraction of choice, how many more shoppers are going to forsake the High Street and 4

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Marlinda Conway Editor in Chief

Terry Heath Editorial & Publishing Director

Will Dobson Creative Director

turn to out-of-town retail malls where they can be sure of finding a critical mass of the right kinds of shops; or, even more likely, take the easy, timeand-hassle-saving option of selecting and ordering online in the comfort of their own homes? Quite a lot, according to the August IMRG MetaPack Delivery Index, which suggests that a record 900 million orders will be dispatched in 2014, with 120 million in December alone. There’s a lot to be said for armchair shopping that takes some of the pressure off the hard-pressed consumer trying to cope with the high-stress cooking, catering and family entertaining duties that come with Christmas. But it will be a sad – not to say a businessbreaking – day when consumers in this country accept that Christmas is delivered by post in brown cardboard boxes and envelopes.

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


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The Word : Industry News

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Industry News Shop price Hyland’s presents competition deflation winner with £1,000 of vouchers intensifies in September S

hop prices recorded deflation for the seventeenth consecutive month, accelerating to 1.8% in September from 1.6% in August. While food inflation remained at 0.3% during the month, non-food recorded deflation of 3.2% against 2.9% in August. Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said the result was “good news for hard-pressed households.” The fall in non-food prices was mainly fuelled by bargains in furniture, flooring and electricals as increased activity in the housing market supported sales.

Staffordshire-based independent electrical retailer Hyland’s presented an early Christmas gift to the lucky winner of a competition supported by Bosch, Neff and Siemens. The Euronics retailer teamed up with local traders at the historic Longton indoor market located in the centre of the town, to give customers the chance to win £1,000 worth of vouchers to be spent in the market. On Saturday 4th October, Mrs T. Barwell was presented with the winning prize. “Out of hundreds who entered, we narrowed it down to five contenders with a pre-draw on 1st October. We then contacted those five, asking if they would be free on the 4th for the final draw,” the retailer said. “We were really pleased all five were able to attend on the day, and also Kath Banks, Deputy Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent, agreed to do the draw for us.

Consumer confidence slips in September Consumer confidence dipped again in September after rebounding into positive territory in August following the first fall in six months during July. As mid-term expectations for the general economy and personal finances declined, GfK’s UK Consumer Confidence

Index decreased two points to -1, with four of the five measures used to calculate the Index score falling. The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months dropped four points, to 1, and expectations for the general economic situation

over the same period declined by seven points, to 4. But despite falling sentiment, consumers’ appetite for big-ticket items increased. The Major Purchase Index rose one point in September, to zero, 14 points higher than this time last year.

Pictured (left to right): Hyland’s Longton store manager Andy Fox, competition winner Mrs T Barwell, Deputy Lord Mayor Kath Banks, Robert Hyland (Director), Mr Banks.

“The market traders did us proud putting on a finger buffet and it was a really nice end to the competition for us.” Hyland’s also had a gift for each of the 4 runners up as a thank you for attending.

EURONICS WINS CONTRACT WITH WELSH CHILDREN’S CANCER CHARITY

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uying and marketing group Euronics has won a contract to supply products to Welsh Children’s Cancer Charity LATCH and will deliver and install appliances via local Euronics agents. Heidi Andrews, online marketing co-ordinator for Euronics, said: “Families can order their kitchen appliances in stores across South Wales. On receipt of the order, Euronics will partner the family with their local Euronics Agent who will supply the product.”

SIRIUS BUYING GROUP 2014 AWARDS WINNERS The Sirius Buying Group 2014 Awards, held at the Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel in September, attracted in excess of 230 retailers and suppliers for an evening dinner and Awards ceremony incorporating a charity auction which raised £14,000 for Liver Foundation UK. The event followed the Sirius annual Trade Show, which was attended by more than 350 members. This year’s Awards were presented to: BSH for Manufacturer of the Year and Connect

Distribution for Distributor of the Year. The Appliance Centre in Bognor Regis won Retailer of the Year and the Company Representative of the Year went to Karen Parker of Smeg UK. Sirius has confirmed that its 2015 Conference will be held 7th–10th May at The Ritz-Carlton ABAMA Hotel, and its Golf Tournament will be held on the 22nd September. This will be followed by an even bigger 2015 Trade Show on 23rd September.

Pictured left to right: Sirius MD and owner of Nailsea Electrical in Bristol Peter Gilks; Sirius Commercial Manager Steve Jones; MD/owner of The Appliance Centre John Lawman; Sirius Chairman Gordon Jones.

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The Word : Industry News

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The changing face of retail revealed A

ALLTRADE ANNOUNCES DATE AND VENUE FOR 2014 TRADE SHOW

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istributor of satellite and custom installation products Alltrade is moving its annual Trade Show to a larger venue this year to accommodate additional brands and products and the growing presence of TV and custom installation exhibitors. Alltrade Managing Director Steve Simper said the continued success of previous Trade Shows prompted the decision to move to a larger, more central location. “This promises to be our biggest and most exciting [show] to date,” he commented. This year’s show takes place 30th October 2014 at Epsom Downs Racecourse from 11am – 6pm. TRIAX will again be the main sponsor of the event. For further information, telephone 0844 225 2700, e-mail tradeshow@alltrade.co.uk or enquire at any Alltrade Trade Counter

◎ Coroner urges product safety reform after inquest into Beko fridge freezer fire ◎ Internet sales predicted to increase 100% by 2019

study has shown that the rate of retail store closures fell to 16 per day in the first half of 2014, down from a peak of more than 20 closures a day in the first six months of 2012 and 18 per day in the same period in 2013, but the underlying trend reveals that the number of stores in town centres is declining. The research, compiled by the Local Data Company (LDC) for PwC, shows that 3,003 outlets closed in the six-month period compared to 2,597 openings, a net reduction of 406 shops. This is almost twice as high as in the first half of 2013 (209) and also greater than the closure rate of 371 for the whole of 2013. Taking the three months from July to 31 September 2014 into account as well, the net decline for the first nine months of the year rises to 964 closures, due to the collapse of businesses such as Phones 4u and La Senza. The type of businesses that are expanding on the high street are charity shops, discount stores and supermarket convenience outlets, but the loss of traditional retail stores is changing the profile of town centres: 365 goods shops such as shoe and clothes retailers pulled down the shutters for the last time, and

service retailers such as travel agents saw closures rise from 145 in the first half of 2013 to 245 in the first six months of 2014. Rob Hunt, restructuring partner at PwC in the Midlands, said: “The overall drop in store openings may look surprising given UK growth prospects, but at a macro level it is most influenced by shifts in retail business models from purely high street to multichannel.” “This data shows that we are now really starting to see the full effects of the digital revolution and consequent change in customer behaviour play out on the high street,” commented Andy Lyon, partner and retail expert at PwC in the Midlands. “Although the rate of growth of online sales is slowing, it still far outstrips store sales growth for most retailers, from a much higher base. This, combined with the advances in mobile technologies and smartphones, is only going to accelerate the channel shift. “We’re heading for a high street based around immediate consumption of food, goods and services or distress or convenience purchases. I’m not sure that’s what customers really want, but consumer and business economics are pointing in that direction at the moment.”

◎ Vestel strengthens consumer brand proposition

◎ IAM warns drivers against smartwatch use in cars

◎ UK e-retail Christmas delivery volumes forecast to reach 900 million

◎ End of the road for Phones4U ◎ EE launches home TV service

From To

◎ Midwich celebrates fifth successful Tech expo ◎ IAM warns drivers against smartwatch use in cars

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The Word : Industry News

EMMA SCOTT TO LEAVE FREESAT

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reesat Managing Director Emma Scott is to leave her post at the end of this year. She will be succeeded by Alistair Thom from the 1st January 2015. Thom is currently Freesat’s Finance Director and Company Secretary and has been with the business since 2011. Scott has overseen the growth of Freesat from the platform launched, initially as Launch Director at the BBC before becoming MD in 2007. Commenting on her decision, she said: “Creating a successful new TV platform has been an exhilarating journey but it is now time for me to seek new challenges in the digital media industries.”

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 SHORTCUTS Hughes Electricals, Barretts Digital, Brighthouse and Argos were amongst 107 organisations that signed an open letter calling for the three main political parties to commit to a fundamental review of the business rates system before the General Election. The letter appeared in The Daily Telegraph in September as a fullpage advertisement. UK network audio specialist Sygnifi, known for its Cocktail Audio CD-ripper/ streaming devices, is launching the NOVAFiDELITY brand, a name that marks a new era for the Sevenoaks, Kent-based company as it launches the first of its second-generation products. The first product to bear the new name and logo is the NOVAFiDELITY X12, which builds on the Cocktail Audio X10.

John Lewis has announced plans to open an ‘at home’ store in Worcester, located on a new retail scheme between junctions six and seven of the M5. The retailer will invest £7 million and create more than 100 new jobs in the outlet, which is expected to open in 2017.

Electronics specialist Maplin has opened its first trade and business counter, ‘Connect and Protect’, aimed specifically at sole traders and small firms. The 3000 sq ft store will specialise in CCTV, security and home automation, offering both the purchase and leasing of products. Online electrical retailer ao.com launched its German website six months ahead of schedule, taking its first step in the company’s European expansion. The site went live on 1st October for pre-orders, with deliveries commencing 14th of the month. The ao.de proposition will initially focus only on major domestic appliances, but otherwise will largely mirror the UK operation. Distribution businesses Exertis

Micro-P and Exertis Gem have merged into a single entity trading as Exertis (UK) Ltd, with four strategic product areas. Exertis UK will comprise IT and Mobile, managed from the Basingstoke, Stoke and Altham Offices; Home, managed from Harlow; Supplies, managed from Elland.

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The Word : Industry News

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Samsung earnings fall 60% on declining smartphone revenues

Moves Caple has appointed Jo Underhay as national trainer to work with its sales team in identifying training needs and creating bespoke packages for retailers.

S

Jo Underhay

Peter Hewitson has joined Gorenje UK as regional sales manager for the North West of England. Shalika Hooda has taken on the role of Brand Manager at Beko to support the company’s 25th anniversary in the UK in 2015 and assist the team in its strategic partnerships, consumer advertising, digital and PR activation.

Peter Hewitson

Shalika Hooda

Smeg UK appointed Paul Bretherton as Northern Contracts Manager and Clare Edwards as Customer Experience Manager. Peter Atkins has joined Hoover Paul Bretherton Candy as group national contract manager for the Baumatic, Candy and Hoover Peter Atkins Richard Lee brands. Richard Lee has been appointed sales director for Hoover’s freestanding division.

Daniel Connell

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Daniel Connell has joined GDHA as Head of Category Freestanding Cooking for Stoves, Belling and New World. Ben Peach, who has been with the company for four years, has been named as interim Head of Category Non-Cooking Appliances and Refrigeration for Belling, Stoves, Lec and New World.

amsung has forecast a 60% drop in third-quarter operating profit as it struggles to compete against Apple and lower priced products from Chinese rivals in the smartphone market. The company said it expects consolidated operating profit to be around KRW4.1 trillion on sales of KRW47 trillion. Earnings for Samsung’s CE business also declined substantially due to reduced average prices of TVs and an earlier than expected end to the peak summer sales season for appliance products such as air conditioners.

PHILIPS SPLITS COMPANY IN TWO Philips is to combine its Healthcare and Consumer Lifestyle businesses and transfer its Lighting Solutions business into a separate legal entity in order to boost growth in connected LED lighting systems and services. The company also said it would consider various options for alternative ownership structures for the Lighting business. “I do appreciate the magnitude of the decision we are taking, but the time is right to take the next strategic step for Philips as we continue on our transformation,” said CEO Frans van Houten.

Sony issues further profit warning Sony has warned that it now expects its full-year losses for the year to 31st March 2015 to be some ¥230 billion (£1.3 billion), which is more than four times the losses of ¥50 billion forecast in a previous estimate. This is the sixth profit

warning issued by Sony, which has been losing money for some years. The current uplift in the annual loss forecast is attributed by the company to continued losses being sustained by its mobile telephone business.

BOSCH TO ACQUIRE SIEMENS’ STAKE IN BSH Bosch is buying Siemens out of the two companies’ joint venture BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH (BSH). Robert Bosch GmbH is to acquire Siemens’ 50% stake in the joint venture for €3 billion. Siemens and Bosch will each receive from BSH an additional distribution of €250 million. The transaction is likely to be completed in the first half of 2015. BSH will then become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bosch Group. The terms of the agreement allow BSH to produce and market household appliances under the Siemens brand.

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The Word : Industry News

900 jobs go as Toshiba scales down PC business T

oshiba is to scale down its consumer PC business to focus on the profitable B2B sector. The company said it would withdraw from unprofitable markets and optimise sales bases in low-profit countries and regions. The Japanese manufacturer expects to reduce its global sales bases from 32 to 13 in FY2014. The restructuring will reduce the PC business’s global workforce by around 900 employees within this fiscal year and is expected to cut fixed costs by more than ¥20 billion against FY2013.

InSinkErator® brings a splash of colour to the kitchen InSinkErator®, the global leader in food waste disposers, is pitching for a greater share of the steaming hot water taps market with the launch of a new 3N1 tap that delivers filtered steaming hot, hot and cold water and can be easily retrofitted, with installation kit supplied. The new product is a one-piece tap designed and manufactured in Italy and comes at an affordable price point. It is available in chrome and brushed steel finishes, as well as three coloured options: Orange, Cream and Pearl White. At a press event in London, Ashley Munden, InSinkErator Managing Director for Europe, suggested that the product could possibly be made available in other colours. The introduction of colour gives consumers the option to make a statement in the kitchen or to match coloured appliances such as range cookers. The new tap is WRAS approved as it dispenses water at a range of

temperatures that do not exceed 98°C and is around 20% more energy efficient than a kettle. It provides approximately 100 cups of steaming hot water per hour from a compact 2.5-litre tank.

The introduction of colour gives consumers the option to make a statement in the kitchen or to match coloured appliances such as range cookers.“

Speaking at the launch event, InSinkErator’s Linda Phoutthasak, Marketing Manager Europe, said the company was delivering “a combination of the utmost kitchen convenience, high quality Italian design and the latest three-in-one innovations to the wider market.”


The Product Gallery

The

Gallery NESCAFÉ® DOLCE GUSTO® JOVIA by De’Longhi De’Longhi has launched the latest addition to the NESCAFÉ® DOLCE GUSTO® collection in a distinctive oval design available in bright red, white and black. The new model has 15-bar pressure, Thermoblock heating system for rapid heat up and an Auto Standby mode that saves energy. j

www.seriousaboutcoffee.com

Linsar introduces X24 TV with soundbar

Absolute Sounds brings oBravo HAMT-1 headphones to the UK

Linsar’s 24” LED TV with Freeview HD, built-in DVD and soundbar offers Bluetooth connectivity and two HDMI ports so users can connect to HD devices. The unit has two 10W speakers built into the stand and is wall mountable.

This pair of oBravo HAMT-1 headphones are the “world’s first” coaxial two-way headphones featuring fully patently AMT (Air Motion Transformer) driver technology. The driver configuration is said to deliver an exceptionally rich, detailed and immersive listening experience, with “astonishing” clarity in the midrange and effortless extension at frequency extremes. RRP £1,499. j

020 8971 3909 | www.absolutesounds.com

Liebherr to launch black steel sideby-side German refrigeration manufacturer Liebherr is to launch this A++ black steel SBSbs 7263 food storage centre in the UK market early next year. The appliance is finished in SmartSteel, which reduces the visibility of finger marks and is easy to clean, and incorporates Liebherr’s BioFresh technology for food preservation, NoFrost auto defrost and Precision magic eye technology for temperature accuracy.

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j

08444 122655

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www.myliebherr.co.uk

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www.linsar.com

The ultimate USB wall charger… Accessory company Techlink has introduced the ReCharge 6000 Power + Universal Wall Charger, which combines a high-charge-rate dual USB wall charger with the portable convenience of a 6000mAh lithium-polymer USB battery pack. The unit is the ideal for smartphones, tablets, cameras and any other devices that charge from a USB. Available from trade distributor Midwich. j

www.midwich.com

j

www.techlink.uk.com/products/recharge


The Product Gallery

Whirlpool Fusion cooker hood with iXelium™ finish The new Whirlpool AKR 799 IXL stainless steel chimney hood, part of the Fusion built-in range, features the company’s iXelium™ finish, which is easy to clean and won’t scratch or discolour. Whirlpool’s 6TH SENSE® technology makes this appliance self-regulating and highly effective at dispelling unwanted cooking odours. j

www.whirlpool.co.uk

AEG’s new UltraOne Green Haier launches new Intelius Series washing machines

The UltraOne Green is reported by AEG as its “most eco-friendly vacuum ever.” It is made from 65% recycled plastics and features an A-class energy rating. It is also 100% PVC free, so at the end of its lifetime 92% of it can be recycled. AEG has made over 40 improvements including, airflow, handling and dust pickup to the entire award-winning UltraOne range. The UltraOne Green is rated ‘AAA’ for hard-floor pick up, energy and dust re-emission.

Haier has introduced two Intelius Series washing machines onto the UK market. The HW80BD14266 and HW80-BD14266A offer a choice of 16 programmes and are driven by a Smart Drive Motor (SD Motor®) with 10-year warranty. They are A+++ -40% rated for energy efficiency and operate at 50dB(A) on wash cycles. Automatic detection calculates the wash time and amount of water required for each cycle.

j

j

www.haier.com/uk

03445 614614 | www.aeg.co.uk

Gorenje adds new colours to retro range Gorenje has added two new finishes to its popular Retro collection of fridge freezers, bringing the colour options to ten in total. The new baby blue finish will be exclusive to the RB60299 retro refrigerator, and a silver finish will be available for all three models in the collection. All appliances in the range feature A++ energy ratings, SuperCool Functions and MultiFlow accelerated air circulation. j

020 8247 39 80 | www.gorenje.co.uk

OCTOBER GET CONNECTED

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George Cole

GEORGE COLE G E T S

George Cole pinpoints hotspots in the world of consumer electronics

C O N N E C T E D

BLU-RAY IN WITH THE NEW...

W

ell, the World’s worst-kept secret is out of the bag – there will be a Ultra High Definition (UHD) version of Blu-ray. As the music and video industries race ahead with downloading and streaming services, the question was whether Hollywood and the consumer electronics industry would invest in a new physical format for video. Well, they have. The news was revealed at the IFA consumer electronics show by Victor Matsuda, chair of the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA). Mr Matsuda also provided a few details on the new format. Blu-ray UHD (there’s no official name yet and some are already calling it Blu-ray 4K) will offer four times the resolution of 1080p High Definition, with a resolution of 3820 x 2160. Colour bit depth will be increased from 8-bit to 10bit, H.265/HEVC compression technology will be used, and there will be support for a 60 frames-per-second display rate. A beefed up digital rights management

(DRM) system will also be used, as will HDMI 2.0 connectivity. Blu-ray UHD will be compatible with existing 50GB Blu-ray discs, but larger discs, offering 66- and 100GB capacity are likely to appear. The BDA says the new format will offer an enhanced colour gamut and dynamic range. The first licences for the new format will be available next Spring, with the first Blu-ray UHD players probably appearing in late 2015/early 2016.. The news of Blu-ray UHD has been generally well received, with many video enthusiasts on forum boards saying how much they prefer a physical format over streaming (especially when it comes to multi-channel audio). But some people are disappointed that Blu-ray UHD will only offer 10-bit colour, rather than 12or even 16-bit colour, which would have offered even better performance, as well as some degree of future-proofing. The question is: will the new Blu-ray format be a niche product or a mass

market format? Despite the arrival of affordable HDTV sets, many consumers still watch DVDs rather than Blu-ray discs. Apart from video enthusiasts, will many people want to move from standard Blu-ray discs to the UHD versions? How much will the new discs cost and what will the catalogue consist of? And will retailers be happy to stock three physical versions of the same film – DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray UHD? Although the new Blu-ray UHD players are likely to be backwards compatible with today’s DVDs and Blu-ray discs, existing Blu-ray players and drives will not play the new discs, unless some form of software and/or firmware upgrade is possible. Companies offering UHD streaming services, like Netflix, are likely to up their game over the coming twelve months, and it will also be interesting to see how many homes get access to high-speed broadband over the coming year, and whether its price will become more affordable. Still, the development of Blu-ray UHD is good news for video enthusiasts, and it will mean that manufacturers and retailers will have something new to offer consumers. And it should help shift even more UHD televisions.

...AND OUT WITH THE OLD From a new video format to old audio and video formats. We are currently having a big clear-out at home, and that means moving a lot of stuff from the attic. I’ve learnt two things: that I hoard a lot of rubbish, and second, that a lot of formats have come and gone in my time. Amongst the things I found were, Photo CD discs, which put 35mm prints onto a CD and were designed to hold back the digital photography tide: they didn’t. Digital Compact Cassettes, which put 16

GET CONNECTED OCTOBER 2014

digital recordings onto tape, and were designed to extend the life of the compact cassette; they didn’t. MiniDiscs, which stored digital audio on a tiny disc and were heralded as the future for audio; they weren’t. And then there are the LaserDiscs, Compact Disc Video discs (which stored analogue video on a CD), Compact Disc-Interactive (CD-i) discs (which put multimedia content on a CD); Sony NT tapes (these recorded digital audio on a postage stamp-sized cassette) and

Digital Audio Tapes (DAT) which recorded betterthan-CD audio on a tiny cassette. All were once seen as cutting-edge technology, but are now destined for the skip. And I haven’t even started on the boxes packed with old VHS tapes...

 georgecole@gcmagazine.co.uk


HEAR THE BIGGER PICTURE

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Guest Column: Liz Goodwin, CEO of WRAP

Understanding that “waste” is actually “stuff with value” This month Liz Goodwin, CEO of WRAP, which was set up in 2000 to help recycling take off in the UK and to create a market for recycled materials, emphasises the central relevance of efficiency and sustainability to the electrical and electronic goods industry, and explains how the recentlylaunched electrical Sustainability Action Plan (eSAP) is developing to help the industry meet the pressing demands of the future are embracing change and adapting to keep them at the forefront. To make this more mainstream, WRAP has recently launched eSAP (electrical Sustainability Action Plan). Through stakeholder engagement, we have identified a number of themes that aim to deliver collaborative action to improve the business efficiency and sustainability of electrical and electronic products throughout their lifecycle:

 Extending product durability through design and customer information

In

the UK, we have a love affair with owning ‘stuff’. Whether it is the home itself, or appliances and furniture within it, we buy it, and then dispose of or throw it away and replace it when it has stopped working for us, or we want an updated model. Why is this? Our German counterparts do not feel compelled to buy their house – choosing instead to rent. The same is true in France. Perhaps it comes down to the way, culturally, we have viewed consumption habits since the 1980s.

CHANGING TIMES

Well, the truth is consumption habits are changing, and some businesses have been slow to catch on. You have to think of the likes of Amazon and Ebay, and how downloading and streaming has transformed the way we consume goods. Many retailers and manufacturers who were market leaders 10 -20 years ago failed to spot this shift and have paid a serious - sometimes a business ending - price for not doing so. WRAP is working with businesses such as Samsung, Panasonic and Argos to help them rethink their business models. These companies 18

GET CONNECTED OCTOBER 2014

Consumers are increasingly telling us they want affordable goods that are durable and sustainable; which is why we are focusing on supply chain durability. One theme of this initiative is the importance of extending product durability through reducing the premature failure of products. Reducing early failure delivers direct cost savings on in-warranty returns, and WRAP has just published, at the WRAP Electrical Product Durability Guidance webpage, some guidance for electrical retailers to specify more durable appliances.

 Minimising product returns Many customers buy online or leave the store and return home with a product that’s not suitable for them – a cost that businesses have to pick up. Product returns cost UK businesses around £400 million per year, with many returns being found to have no fault. Collating data on the costs and causes of product returns will help determine better customer guidance before and after purchase something that we are actively working on.

 Understanding and influencing consumer behaviour on product durability and reparability Having a happy customer is good for business, so let’s look at this in a different way. Imagine this: a bundle of electrical goods, which might include such products as their washing machine, tumble dryer, fridge freezer, could be supplied to a single customer, who would pay one

fixed monthly price for everything. No unexpected costs, just a regular monthly outgoing to cover the initial cost of the appliances, any necessary repairs and future replacement models. A happy customer and a financially viable business model for you.

 Implementing profitable, resilient and resource-efficient business models I’ve already mentioned our love affair with ownership. We need to change the mindset and move away from any stigma around leasing. If you think about it logically, many customer relationships end at the point of transaction. By leasing, the relationship lasts long after the customer leaves the shop, which makes business sense. WRAP is working with businesses through its REBus project to analyse any financial factors businesses need to consider for such an approach.

 Gaining greater value from re-use and recycling You may be surprised to hear that 40% of electrical products go to landfill when many of them either work or could be repaired. Putting aside the environmental aspect to this, there is huge opportunity here for forward-thinking businesses. We are already seeing the emergence of such businesses, ready to seize the commercial opportunity. Take Environcom or FRN for example, who are electrical re-use and recycling specialists. They take WEEE products and restore them to good working order by repair (if necessary), testing and then selling on again. Re-using products like this gives them a new lease of life, not to mention offering a stream of income for the company through what could have been deemed a waste product. To date, four businesses have reported savings of over £2m from taking part in WRAP product design projects. And we know that electrical goods produced in 2011 still retain a value of £3 billion. By joining eSAP and being open to embracing change all of the above could help you tap into this, and more.

www.wrap.org.uk


From The Bench

Alan Bennett introduces us to the latest innovation in home cinema sound

Dolby Atmos

Of

late, sales of conventional (5.1 and 7.1) surround sound outfits have dwindled somewhat, while soundbars have been going well. Even so, soundbars primarily function to improve the sound from thin TV sets rather than provide an improved spatial surround soundstage. Interest in ‘real’ surround audio systems has recently been revived, however, by the emergence of the Dolby Atmos standard for home cinema use.

Onkyo TX-NR3030

ENHANCED SOUNDFIELD

Atmos was first introduced in cinemas in 2010 with the movie Brave by Disney Pixar, and there are now more than 120 films thus encoded. Cinemas use scores of speakers, some ceiling mounted, to do the job. In its domestic iteration the system is, in effect, grafted onto the existing 5.1/7.1 TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus format with additional speakers in the ceiling or mounted and oriented to fire upwards, depending on acoustic reflection from above. Dolby’s research has established that overhead speakers whose high-frequency response is selectively suppressed can simulate sound from various heights in nature, in conjunction with the sound waves from the other, lower-level speakers. Thus a new vertical dimension is added to the soundstage. The other innovation in Atmos is a new form of directional enhancement based on the principle of object or spatial coding rather than channel coding. Here sound feeds are more precisely directed to individual speakers and speaker groups, with amplitudes and frequency responses tailored in a way that closely pinpoints individual sound sources, up to 118 objects simultaneously, on the film set. The result is more realistic reproduction of background and point-source audio, and closer following of moving sound sources.

The effect, as I have heard it, is very good, sometimes startling.

The effect, as I have heard it, is very good, sometimes startling. Of course the cinema system is superior to the home version, of which the variant using ceilingmounted speakers is better than that using up-firing drivers. These latter are provided in deference to those – probably the majority – who don’t want to break up their ceilings at home to install speakers there; opportunities exist in room-, garage- and loft-cinema conversions and new-build theatre rooms. Installers take note! Cedia, the audio and home cinema installation organisation, is taking up Atmos with enthusiasm; and a ‘white paper’ has been produced for Cedia by Dolby labs.

HARDWARE AND COMPATIBILITY

Of course, complete Atmos systems can be had as packages, the main component being a new processor as the heart of the system. For those who want to upgrade existing surround outfits a new decoder/amplifier is required, currently available in, for instance, the Denon AVR-X4100W, Onkyo TX- NR636 and Yamaha RX-A2040. Others will follow. Decoders without power amplifiers are becoming available as adaptors. Generally processors are very versatile, being software/menu settable for any speaker configuration from 2.0 to 24.1. The ceiling speakers add another symbol, thus for instance 5.1.2 with two of them or 7.1.4 with four, either ‘mounted’ or up-firing. Processors can operate on streamed or Blu-ray sourced signals, and Atmos is of course backwards-compatible with earlier systems, primarily Dolby surround: the Atmos layer is superimposed on the existing coding and is ignored by ordinary surround processors which thus remain compatible with Atmos sources. Regarding the Blu-ray player, any existing fully-specified type can be used,

set to bitstream output. Although the disc specification (unlike that for 4K/UHD at the time of writing) is already in place there are few discs currently available with Atmos coding, though many are expected to come on stream in 2015. The cables will not need to be replaced because Atmos is compatible with existing types, and with HDMI 1.4 and 2.0 standards. The other vital components are the ceiling or up-firing loudspeakers, the latter typically mounted on top of existing floor-standing ones. They are specially designed for this purpose, and available now from Definitive Technology and Onkyo. More will follow: KEF has prototypes, and other speaker manufacturers will come into production, perhaps by the time you read this. Home Atmos systems are the perfect accompaniment to 4K UHD TV, and can be expanded to many more speakers if required, depending on the enthusiasm and financial resources of the user. Atmos can be installed in dealers’ demonstration rooms now, and any respectable newly-commissioned home cinema build should ideally incorporate ceiling speakers and wiring, even if they remain out of use initially.

COMMITMENT

Atmos will sort the men from the boys, so to speak, in the realms of dealers and customers. Even so, its cost ranges over a huge spectrum, from upgrades to full-blown high power systems and incorporating installation services, and there can be good profit margins in this sophisticated gear, particularly in its design, building-in and commissioning. At the lowest level I’ve heard of its application to soundbars and -bases, also headphones, though it’s hard for me to see how the system can realise much of its potential with these. Certainly this is not really a living-room adjunct, and will be a niche product, going best in prosperous districts. There will always be home cinema enthusiasts and early adopters, for many of whom Atmos will be a must-have, especially those who already have dedicated cinema rooms or buildings. The garage and loft Odeons will never be the same again! OCTOBER 2014 GET CONNECTED

19


Guest Column: Richard Cottrell

Don’t let the retail Wi-Fi rogues rob you of your reputation Richard Cottrell, sales and marketing director, Vista Retail Support, welcomes the retail benefits of in-store Wi-Fi and advises how to enjoy those benefits while ensuring that security is maintained

In

-store Wi-Fi is becoming part of the infrastructure of the 21st century store, carrying payment data, stock information and helping to attract tech-savvy customers with product news and offers. But security remains a key concern for both the consumer and retailer. The fact that breaches are rare is only down to the quality of the equipment being installed and the constant vigilance and skill of those responsible for its maintenance. A single failure would be enough to send a retailer’s reputation spiralling downwards. Imagine the damage if information from customers’ loyalty cards or their payment details were stolen or if hackers started selling on sales details. Faced with such challenges there is little room for complacency. Criminals are constantly seeking out all kinds of data, but especially the chip and pin details from payment cards. They have become capable of adapting consumer mobile wireless routers to intercept Wi-Fi traffic in any location. These small rogue devices can be hidden under display racks or behind furniture in a store. They seek to intercept payment data carried on Wi-Fi, even though it is heavily encrypted in compliance with PCI Security Standards Council requirements. If they can capture the data, the devices will transmit it to hardware at a remote location, where the criminals, or their associates, can try to decrypt it. Often these devices are placed by complicit employees who know all the nooks and crannies in a store.

INVEST TO SECURE

The way to guarantee security in the face of these threats is to install the smartest of systems that are capable of many functions at any one time. These systems can operate, monitor and protect the in-store Wi-Fi every minute of the day, while offering guest access, mobile Point of Sale functionality, inventory scanning and secure support to staff tablets. While such a system is fulfilling all these requirements, it handles all retailer and staff data in complete and secure isolation from the customer Wi-Fi, ensuring there can be no breaches. The implementation of these sophisticated Wi-Fi systems needs to be coupled with regular sweeps by the installers, looking to pick up rogue signals within a store. Retailers can also defeat visiting users of apps that consume a mass of data by narrowing in-store Wi-Fi bandwidth to a predetermined level, while undesirable websites or those of competitors can be blocked entirely. But as well as providing security and peace of mind, Wi-Fi systems backed by the cloud can generate a wealth of user-friendly analytics about customers. A high quality Wi-Fi system will allow shoppers to log on in a store as guests, using Facebook and social media accounts. Younger customers in particular are prepared to log on using smart phones in exchange for access to product and pricing information along with the opportunity to receive personalised push-offers. Should they do so through their social media accounts, then the retailer will have plenty of information about age, gender and preferences. The analytics supplied with integrated Wi-Fi solutions also offer easily-comprehended details about customers’ favoured price comparison apps and their web activity. The software can even flag up the arrival of frequent and high-spending customers or known VIPs.

Younger customers in particular are prepared to log on using smart phones in exchange for access to product and pricing information...”

20

GET CONNECTED OCTOBER 2014

FOOTFALL

Yet even when customers choose not to log on to Wi-Fi, retailers who have installed the right equipment can still track footfall around individual stores. Smart phones broadcasting their Bluetooth presence or searching for Wi-Fi can be tracked by triangulation techniques, giving anonymised information about location, journey round the store and time spent in different areas. The information is displayed on a floor-plan which can be added to the software. Using this data, retailers can work out which aisles or product ranges are most popular at which times of the day and alter what they offer accordingly. For instance, a manager can see which displays shoppers visit before heading straight for the till to make a purchase. Reliable in-store Wi-Fi also enables staff to use tablet devices for assisted selling and stock-taking. Here too the monitoring capability of integrated solutions comes into play as it means a manager can track employee scanners or Point of Sale equipment round large premises. The best Wi-Fi equipment is also designed to withstand heavy workloads when a store is crammed with people at Christmas or during sales. Such is their capacity, some solutions can also transmit high-definition video. Although integrated solutions can be more expensive than standard Wi-Fi hardware they remain within reach of retailers and will give a good return on investment. A recent survey suggested 58% of consumers were not concerned about sharing their data with businesses, with, perhaps unsurprisingly, 18-24-yearolds the group least bothered by it. If store owners are to capitalise on this growing trend for sharing data through smart devices, they must ensure they have completely secure and reliable Wi-Fi with multiple capabilities. Otherwise the rogues will rob them of their reputations.


GCM SUPPLEMENT

OCTOBER 2014

Changing Seasons

Inside: 22

Small Kitchen Appliances

26

Seasonal Cooking

29

Gadgets & Accessories

30

TV & Home Entertainment

34

Electric Heating

32

Pick of The Season A selection of products for the festive quarter 21


Small Kitchen Appliances

Mary makes Christmas The SKA market routinely performs well as the festive season approaches, and with TV cooking and baking shows continuing to inspire viewing audiences and healthy eating trends again on the rise, consensus holds that the fourth quarter of 2014 will again be a strong time for sales of kitchen gadgets

Kenwood Blend X Pro: ideal for festive entertaining

22

T

he small kitchen appliance market has been extraordinarily resilient to economic factors, showing consistent year-on-year growth, particularly in high-end products. This year, to the month of August, the sector grew 15% in value, to £175 million, and the prime Christmas sales period has yet to come. In recent years we’ve seen AEG, Hotpoint and Smeg enter the SKA category, US brand Bella has dipped its toe in the big pond to launch in the UK – marketed and distributed by MPL Home – and German brand Braun has made a welcome return under the auspices of the De’Longhi Group, which reached an agreement for the perpetual licensing of the brand, owned by Procter & Gamble, for use within the small kitchen appliances, ironing and selected household appliance categories in April 2012, and launched in the UK during summer 2014 with three new ranges.

GET CONNECTED OCTOBER 2014

It’s a competitive market, but all continues to strengthen. Secondly, the feel that the cake is big enough, strongest quarter of the year is upon with the UK’s now well established us: small appliances of all varieties and pronounced penchant for home are considered, by most, to be great cooking having driven the sector Christmas gifts. for a number of years and little in Braun Trade Marketing and Product the way of a slowdown in this trend Manager Penny Jones says the predicted. Celebrity chefs stirred the nearing of Christmas is traditionally motion towards home cooking, and the busiest in terms of sales “and we Mary Berry, the doyenne of baking are sure this year will be no exception and queen of the lemon drizzle cake, for Braun.” inspired millions to take up the art, or CHRISTMAS COCKTAILS science, as some would have it, as she starred (and still does) as a judge in Jones remarks that the SKA market the BBC’s The Great British Bake Off, has grown considerably over the a show in which strudels, sabotage, last few years and she observes in scathing glares and smutty particular the strength of innuendos conspire to the juicing sector and make riveting viewing the strong focus on for the masses. drink preparation And the SKA around the festive movement has season, such as As always, we been boosted the blending of expect the 4th quarter further by health cocktails for to be the busiest in trends different Christmas parties to those followed and juicing terms of sales and at the turn of the for the healththis year should be Century when the conscious who no exception.” George Foreman want to counteract Grill held the top overindulgence or spot. Self-proclaimed ward off colds and flus. “Juice Master”Jason Vale, “We expect the range of with his ‘Lose xlbs in x days Juice Braun Juicers to be a popular gift Programmes’ and ‘Super JuiceMe! this Christmas now that the trend 28-day Juice Plan’ proved to be rock for juicing is advocated strongly ‘n’ roll for celebrity world and its by nutritionists and celebrities, in followers, and alkaline diets such as particular the Braun J700 Multiquick 7 those promoted by Natasha Corrett, with its brushed stainless steel finish.” daughter of interior designer Kelly Jones suggests that retailers tie Hoppen, have contributed to an everproducts in with seasonal recipes so changing, tricky world of chopping, consumers can relate to each product slicing, dicing, juicing and crushing and quickly see how it will enhance that demands manual dexterity or their festive plans and benefit them the help of a complement of small in the kitchen. “Where possible, we appliances, or an all-singing, alladvise product demonstration at point dancing kitchen machine. of sale,” she adds. “This is a really The good news for retailers is that, useful way of showing how a product because the unremitting cooking, works effectively and a demonstration baking and healthy eating trends is a great way of reassuring consumers show no signs of abating, consumers before they make a purchase.” have had their fill of cheap gadgets According to GfK, volume sales of that aren’t up to the job and the Juicers/Presses in the year to August high-end market for small kitchen 2014 increased by 88.63%, with a 17.77% appliances, particularly juicers, lift in average price giving a 122.16% food prep and coffee machines, rise in value.


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Small Kitchen Appliances

Groupe SEB’s Pytel, says demonstration is an excellent way of showing the USPs of coffee machines. And the KRUPS EA9010 “does all the talking for you,” he remarks. This high-end Bean-to-Cup automatic espresso machine holds a recommended retail price of £1,299.99 and offers 17 one-touch, café-quality drinks. It also has the convenience of automatic settings and a self-cleaning steam nozzle. According to Pytel, “this product gets a WOW! response when consumers appreciate that they don’t have to clean the milk frothing nozzle as it’s done automatically for them.”

FROM SOUPS TO SMOOTHIES

Paul Rosen, CEO of MPL Home, comments that juicing is “on-trend” and time-starved consumers will love how the powerful 1000W Bella Juicer takes whole fruit without prechopping. “So, whether it’s a juiceto-go first thing, or an array of party Mocktails for friends, this High Power Whole Fruit Juicer is guaranteed to make juicing fun and is so easy to use.” Looking back at the 2013 festive season, Seb Goff, Trade Marketing Manager at Kenwood, says health products such as Kenwood’s Juicers and Blenders were popular Christmas gifts due to a consumer shift towards healthier eating. “We saw a rise in demand for products that allow consumers to make healthy food and drinks on the go,” he comments. “The Kenwood JE720 Juicer met this criterion, coming complete with an extralarge feed chute for juicing whole fruits and vegetables such as apples and carrots and a patented anti-drip system for serving clear, fresh juice straight from the juicer, allowing consumers to create a healthy drink, hassle free. “We always expect the 4th quarter to be the busiest in terms of sales and this year should be no exception, especially after another summer of foodie television shows such as The Great British Bake Off and Masterchef. These shows have led to resurging consumer interest in cooking and

Retailers: KRUPS believes its EA9010 Bean-to-Cup espresso machine “does all the talking for you”

home baking. Consumers are looking to purchase kitchen appliances from reliable brands such as Kenwood as they begin to experiment with cooking a variety of dishes at home.”

PRIME TIME FOR COFFEE MACHINES “The small appliance markets have always seen an uplift in sales in the run up to the peak Christmas season, this was certainly the case in 2013 and this year will be no different,” comments Dominik Pytel, Marketing Manager at Groupe SEB UK. “Real product innovation will always excite the consumer and genuinely useful features and benefits are ensuring small appliances continue to be a good category for the retail trade during this key selling period.” Pytel believes the preChristmas sales period is without doubt the key time for coffeemaker sales, as the café culture continues to inspire consumers. GfK figures show that sales of hot beverage makers, the majority of which are coffee machines, continue to expand. Year-on-year value growth to August 2014 rose 24.55%, while volumes grew 31.57%. Average price dipped slightly, by 5.33%, mainly due to the sheer breadth of brands and products now on the market as opposed to a fall in premium pricing. The variety of machines and price points has boosted consumer uptake, bringing products into more UK homes.

Genuinely useful features and benefits are ensuring small appliances continue to be a good category for the retail trade”

24

GET CONNECTED OCTOBER 2014

The market for food preparation products is the most diverse of the small kitchen appliance sector, with products ranging from choppers and hand mixers through to the majestic kitchen machine. But it is the high end that is bringing in profits for retailers, and consumers are not shy of spending considerable amounts of money on items such as premium kitchen machines. GfK figures show an uplift of 8.17% in the average price of food prep products in the year to August, with market value up 15.37% and volumes up 6.65%. According to GfK’s David Fearnley, UK Lead, Home & Living, consumers’ mounting desire to recreate at home the food and drinks seen on TV shows and bought in restaurants is continuing to drive the market for liquidisers. “These products are very diverse,” he says. “On one hand there are smoothie makers which, similarly to juicers, have enjoyed uplift in sales driven by the recent hot weather. At the other end of the spectrum are soup makers which, too, have enjoyed doubledigit growth. This is a market which is expected again to be a standout performer over the Christmas months as the weather becomes colder and consumers swap smoothies for soups.” Liquidisers and kitchen machines remain largely responsible for the food prep category’s success, with the former increasing 69% and the latter 16% on the year, jointly accounting for nearly 60% of the total category value. Fearnley points out that August was a lucrative month for liquidisers in particular, with sales breaking £6 million on the month for the first time ever as volume and value both rose over 70% against 2013. Kitchen machines also recorded strong volume growth, up 51%, although a fall in average price led to a more moderate 15% rise in value. According to GfK, new entrants and pricing changes have also affected consumer buying


Small Kitchen Appliances

habits: the proportion of kitchen machines bought online fell from 37% to 30% in just a year, bucking the wider trend in SKA. Kenwood comments that kitchen machines saw a 40.9% market value increase from October-December 2013, with its own market value share rising 29.4% year on year. Goff mentions the recent launch of the next-generation Kenwood Chef, the Kenwood CHEF Sense, which is designed to complement a range of cooking abilities. “We expect this machine to be popular in the run up to Christmas 2014, both as a gift for life and an investment piece to aid passionate cooks throughout the festive period and for many years to come. “We also see health gadgets being an increasingly popular Christmas gift this year with the growing trend for healthy living,” he adds. “Therefore, we expect to see a rise in demand for Kenwood Blenders such as the new Kenwood Blend X Pro, which can be used to blend fresh ingredients to make soups and smoothies. The Kenwood Blend X Pro is ideal for entertaining – its 6 preset functions include both fine and coarse chopping

Braun expects its new Multiquick juicers to be a popular Christmas gift

options, Auto Rinse, which is a blissful time-saver in a busy kitchen, and Ice/ Drink, which is perfect for mixing cocktails and cold drinks for friends.”

GETTING THE PARTY STARTED The change of the seasons can provide a great opportunity for retailers, manufacturers and suppliers of small appliances. The festive period is a time that some households save and

plan prudently for, and others throw caution to the wind in the hope that a spending spree will not come back to bite them. Whatever the motivation, apart from the “joy of Christmas” itself, consumers will spend, and colourful, well-appointed displays jazzed up to fit the occasion, skilfully selected product ranges and demonstrations that create theatre in-store will undoubtedly stimulate the desire to indulge.

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25


Seasonal Cooking Baumatic B630MC MegaChef 60cm Pyrolytic Oven

understand the taste and health benefits as well as the quality of the finished food.”

ON THE RANGE

GC asks manufacturers which cooking products and technologies they believe will be trending in the final quarter of this year

T

he pre-Christmas period has always been a significant time for the cooking sector, as consumers start to ponder the prospect of entertaining friends and family during the holiday period, some with a sense of trepidation. It is an anxious time for the cook of the family, but a ripe occasion for retailers to promote the advanced product developments that will afford even the novice cook confidence in the kitchen. It is encouraging to note that Joan Fraser, product development manager at Smeg UK, believes people are now ready for oven technologies such as steam, combi-steam and pyrolytic cleaning. Although such developments are not by any means new to the electrical trade, it has taken many years for widespread consumer awareness and acceptance to grow. But Fraser is now confident that the time is right: “We’ve discovered that consumers are happy to pay for these new technologies, because they’ve been around for just enough time for them to consider whether it’s something they want and need in their kitchen.”

COOKING WITH STEAM While Fraser believes there are still great misunderstandings about steam cooking and its key benefits, she maintains that, if a retailer gets it right, there are excellent opportunities to enhance the value of built-in oven sales. “Customers have switched on to steam and are becoming more aware of the health benefits 26

GET CONNECTED OCTOBER 2014

of cooking this way, but they quite often aren’t aware of its other attributes. It’s great for sterilising and for reheating food. It’s also good for multi-food cooking, especially if using cooking bags which help to segment the foods during the cooking process. Also, it means we can rethink conventional ways of cooking, such as using the steam function when baking bread, resulting in a light and well-risen loaf topped off with a light brown crust.

“Steam may be a small part of the market, but it is growing rapidly…” “Overall, we have found that built-in ovens are consistently among the best performing sectors of major domestic appliance sales over the last two to three years. Steam may be a small part of the market, but this is growing rapidly with customers who want to enjoy the health benefits associated with steaming food, especially with the 45cm compact as a great second option to their main oven. This has become a perfect choice for the user who enjoys cooking regularly and loves entertaining as it provides more cooking space and versatility.”

KEEPING IT CLEAN Pyrolytic ovens are another area that Fraser sees trending in the 4th quarter, and she says that Smeg has worked hard to make its models more affordable by having them operate on a 13amp socket, so there is no need to pay to upgrade the power supply. For retailers, she says: “A good question to ask a new customer is: Would you like an oven that cleans itself? There are very few people who wouldn’t be interested in that.” Caple Sales Director Danny Lay agrees that pyrolytic ovens are “definitely” trending this year and this is due to prices coming down. He adds that consumers are now more aware of the benefits of having an oven that is capable of turning grease and burnt-on food debris to ash so it can simply be wiped away with a damp cloth. Caple offers pyrolytic cleaning at the mid to premium end of the market, but Lay says the brand is currently working on a new entry-level model which it hopes to launch later this year. Lay also believes that induction, again not a new technology, is becoming more commonly understood. “In particular, the heating speed and energy levels, but also the flexibility of control. As with our concept TFT induction hob, there has been some focus on the tablet-style colour screen touch-controls as well as flexible cooking areas this year. And built-in steam ovens, in particular combination steam ovens, are also trending as more consumers

For range cooker brand Leisure, the emergence of smaller living spaces and time-poor consumers becoming more dependent on user-friendly appliances has brought about a demand for smaller cookers that offer the same features as its bigger models. Brand Manager Amanda Selby says Leisure recently introduced a 90cm model into each of its Cuisinemaster and Cookmaster ranges in response to this trend. Both appliances have the same style and modern design as the larger family members and offer the same benefits, such as multiple hob burners and flexible cooking space. Leisure competitor, Rangemaster, predicts an increase in sales of larger capacity ovens as families prepare for Christmas dinner parties and hosting relatives. But Marketing Manager Holly Johnston also notes the dilemma facing those with limited space in the kitchen, to which Rangemaster responded with the launch of a 60cm model, its smallest cooker to date. “With three designs available in gas and electric, the 60cm offers consumers choice and flexibility and it means they aren’t restricted by their living arrangements.” Naturally, Rangemaster expects demand for these smaller range cookers to rise in the lead up to Christmas. Johnston also predicts growing demand for ovens with self-cleaning functions.

COOKING WITH CONFIDENCE Christmas is a time of celebration and sharing quality time with family and friends, but for the cook of the household it can be a time of great stress, and those in the market for cooking appliances in advance of the holiday period will want products that will ensure they spend the majority of time with their guests, while feeling certain that the meal will not spoil. Caple’s Danny Lay believes consumers can now be confident of creating a festive meal which is just as good as one made by a professional chef, as built-in ovens now come with a host of intelligent features. “Look for ovens with functions ranging


6 BEAUTIFUL

COLOUR S

FOR INDIVIDUAL

TASTES Range cookers available in a suite of colours with co-ordinating hoods and splashbacks.

ICY BROOK

FLORAL BURST

HOT JALAPEテ前

DAYS BREAK

WILD BERRY

MIDNIGHT GAZE

Available in a variety of fuels, sizes and colours. See the full Colour Boutique range online at: www.belling.co.uk/colourboutique


Seasonal Cooking

from pre-programmed recipes to innovative controls that will deliver outstanding cooking results. This makes built-in ovens the perfect choice for those who want to spend time with their guests. Preset recipes enable the user to simply select the food type, enter the weight and let the oven do the rest, for perfect results every time. “Multi-functional appliances, from combination steam ovens to combination microwaves, which allow the user to cook a huge variety of dishes for the meal on the big day, make a great choice for Christmas,” he adds. Smeg’s Fraser advocates the multi-zone induction hob, which she suggests is a good choice for those who will have lots of pots and pans on the go at once. “Also, warming drawers are perfect for entertaining, to keep plates hot, and a coffee machine looks impressive and will provide guests with a great tasting, afterdinner caffeine boost. “An oven with pre-programmed recipes such as Smeg’s SFP140 is the ideal time-saver for those who are cooking under pressure, while a multi-cavity range cooker can also make life in the kitchen simpler, as you can set the various oven cavities at different temperatures to cook lots of dishes at the same time. A steam oven is also perfect for keeping food warm and/or reheating it. Many people don’t realise this, but it’s basically like having a hostess trolley,” she adds.

WELL TIMED “The simple subject of setting the time has to be the most important aspect of cooking any traditional Christmas dinner,” offers Owain

Beko’s new 100cm Rangecooker has an impressive 116 litres of capacity

Harrison, marketing director for Baumatic. “With LCD or LED full programmers in selected Baumatic electric single and double ovens, much of the stress can be taken out of cooking a turkey or joint, because the timer can be set in advance for cooking to begin and end while the cook gets on with other things. If the consumer has a supersafe induction hob, once the preparation is done, cooking can also be timed, thus allowing them to spend more time with friends and family. “If there is room in the kitchen layout for a steam oven, or combination steam oven together with a main oven, the Christmas pudding can just be timed to start and end when required, and the addition of a warming drawer will take care of heating plates before dinner is served. By incorporating an integrated coffee machine, or espresso centre, the after-dinner coffees can be served according to requirement – another added bonus.” Harrison also notes that because appliances are for everyday use and not just for Christmas, the ability to cook across a number of hob types is a trend that will continue to increase. “Consumers want the

Washing • Cooling • Freezing • Cooking

www.dad-online.co.uk

28

GET CONNECTED OCTOBER 2014

same kind of cooking options they see on numerous TV cooking shows, whether that be powerful and efficient induction cooking, flambéing via a gas flame, or indoor grilling and barbecuing using a teppan yaki grill. Keen cooks can have it all by opting for a professional-style cooking centre: a range of domino hobs installed side by side in a customised configuration.” He adds that this will provide a real sense of theatre in the kitchen, as the cook can interact with guests and family while performing the surface cooking at the same time.

AT THE COALFACE Consumers looking ahead to the festive season may well be blinkered as to what their cooking requirements are all year round, on a normal daily basis, so retailers will need to know their stuff in order to guide customers towards the best choice of appliances. Smeg’s Fraser has this advice: “Know your product, know your customer and know what to ask. Sales people need the product knowledge and the selling skills, so start by asking the right questions, such as ‘what do you cook?’ and ‘when do you cook it?’ as this will help you evaluate

what the customer needs. For example, a customer who likes cooking fresh homemade bread or crispy Yorkshire Puddings to accompany a roast dinner will need an oven or cooker with both top and bottom elements.” It’s important to find out whether your customer is mainly a one-pot casserole lover that prefers mostly oven cooking or an experimenter of sophisticated Eastern dishes requiring the use of a high kW gas flame. And as Salah Sun, built-in cooking product manager at Beko, points out: “It is absolutely vital to ensure that staff fully understand the latest technology and can relay this in an easy and concise manner. Appliances are bought infrequently by general consumers, so even features that have been around for some time are worth explaining. This will ensure that they can appreciate the differences between products and will hopefully encourage them to spend a bit more to get the latest technology and the best features.” Owain Harrison, marketing director for Baumatic, concludes with a message for busy retailers and designers: “The seasonal uplift for built-in manufacturers during the 4th quarter understandably coincides with what is often the busiest time of year for kitchen designers and retailers, while also being a key time for replacement purchases. There are always different reasons for this, but the key underlying factor tends to be that, whether replacing old for new or having a new dream kitchen installed, the kitchen must always be ready before the Christmas period.”

Stylish Cooking


Gadgets & Accessories

Every step you take... While the proliferation of portable electronic gadgets and accessories has been eating into some of the traditional consumer electronics markets, it’s also cannibalising itself as devices such as smartphones, already taking chunks out of MP3 and digital imaging, acquire the bigger screens, better audio visual quality and enhanced connectivity to move closer to becoming truly singledevice multimedia solutions for many consumers

If

you ever have cause to use public transport or walk our streets, you will have noticed the growing proportion of fellow travellers who carry their own electronic communications and entertainment systems with them at all times; not only to make and receive calls, catch up on emails and social media and listen to music, but to watch sport, enjoy a movie, catch up on TV programmes or get stuck into a series “box set” online.

MOVING TARGETS Retailers looking to identify the winners in this rapidly moving market should, when making their decisions for the Christmas season, bear in mind this overarching assertion from GfK, from its findings for portable consumer electronics in Western Europe announced in Nuremberg last month: “Bluetooth connectivity is one of the most significant growth drivers on the market for portable consumer electronics.” Consumer spending on Bluetooth-enabled radios and docking speakers was more than doubled compared to the same period last year, and “bluetooth stereo headphones and headsets are more popular than ever before, generating revenue growth of 54%”. Keeping the importance of Bluetooth connectivity in mind, there have been winners and losers in the portable market. MP3 (down 16% by value) and MP4 players are under “competitive pressure from smartphones.” And the digital imaging market has changed as quality cameras in smartphones and tablets take over from compact digital cameras.

However, the digital camera is by no means down and out. “The digital camera market is suffering,” says GfK, “especially fixed lens cameras with 25% value decline in the first 6 months of 2014 compared to same period in 2014. Nevertheless, some categories are performing well such as compact premium (fixed lens camera with large sensor) which is enjoying 6% value growth year on year in 2014.” This is partly due, says GfK, to a greater choice in the category, and the prospect of higher quality pictures – which still cannot be matched by the smartphone – appealing to photography enthusiasts. The “Tough” (waterproof and/or shockproof) camera segment has seen “significant growth” in 2014 compared to the same periods in 2013. “In 2014 (January to April) the total digital camera market volumes have fallen by 20%, while tough cameras in contrast have grown by 16%.” This, suggests GfK, is because these cameras can go where the expensive and more delicate smartphone cannot: consumers will not risk their smartphone on a sandy beach, or where there is likely to be robust handling, water splash or even total immersion. Tough cameras are built to handle these environments and produce quality images.

HEAR THE DIFFERENCE Headphones and mobile stereo headsets have been cited as star performers in a generally difficult market, and in the UK have declined only 3.7% in volume and 0.3% in value in the year to July 2014. The figures show that, in a market where it’s possible to find

The Archos 101 Oxygen 3 tablet

headphones priced from a few pounds to £1000-plus, more consumers care about sound quality and are prepared to pay for it, causing a significant uplift in average price. Across Europe, says GfK, “the sales volume of headphones and mobile stereo headsets was stable, at 17.3 million units in the first half of 2014. Owing to a positive price development, value revenue improved by 3.7%. “At 43%, the wired headband segment continues to hold the greatest value share in the market. However, the major growth drivers between January and June 2014 were the markets for wired in-ear models, which fit more deeply in the ear canal and therefore block out passive noise more effectively (revenue +18%), and for Bluetooth stereo headphones and headsets (revenue +54%). In the Bluetooth segment, headband models were again the strongest with a 75% share of volume revenue. Consumers are evidently not necessarily deciding against wired headband headphones, but instead opting for models that offer an additional Bluetooth connectivity.”

READING THE TABLETS In August 2014 mobile computing grew by 7% in value over the same time period last year, but there was a decline for media tablets of 20% in value year-on-year. “A lack of major new product launches or innovation,” says GfK, “has meant that continued price promotion is used by vendors and retailers to

generate volume in the tablets market with the average selling price of tablets declining by 9% year-on-year.” Computing tablets (touchscreen devices with full operating systems) are identified as a growth area, and the market for these products grew by 39% in volume comparing August 2014 with August 2013. “Although it is a relatively small market compared to notebooks or media tablets,” says GfK, “ it shows that the mobility offered by tablets is a factor valued by consumers.”

PUTTING IT ON The category which has caused a lot of excitement – but has yet to prove itself as a trend rather than a fad – is wearable devices, and the health conscious market is still driving it. “It’s apparent,” says GfK, “that the Health & Fitness Trackers are the products fuelling Wearables take-up; accounting for over 50% of the volume in Q2 2014 with sales growing by nearly 20% from January 2014 to July 2014, adding considerable value to the Wearables movement.” However, new research from Hampshire-based Juniper Research suggests that “increasingly capable smart watches will incorporate multiple sensors, negating the need for separate devices to measure health and fitness biometrics. Global smart wearable device shipments will more than quadruple by 2017, reaching 116 million units, compared to an estimated 27 million this year.” OCTOBER 2014 GET CONNECTED

29


TV/AV

Times have changed so much over the past decade for TV that traditional assumptions, and even the language we use to talk about it, have to be adjusted to 21st century realities. The category has taken a severe economic battering, but in 2014 there are signs that it’s still got plenty of life, innovation and – crucially – margin in it.

T

he concept of the livingroom TV as the focal point of family entertainment has moved on with the digital times. Viewers don’t now gather at a time dictated by the TV schedules to “watch TV”; they “consume content”, including but not restricted to TV broadcasts, on a wide array of devices - such as tablets, computers, smartphones – wherever they happen to be, at home or on the move. They are largely able to “consume” this content on demand, at a time of their choosing, rather than the time dictated by the broadcaster. However, in spite of this devicebased digital revolution, the “traditional” TV is in remarkably good health, considering the overall hard times the business has been experiencing. True, fewer and fewer manufacturers have found themselves able to make a profit with TV, and some very proud brands have had to give way to relative newcomers in the market; but equally true, there’s still nothing as exciting to the UK public as a very big, very beautiful, very slim, very “smart” television, and innovations such as smart(er) TV, UHD, OLED and the dramatic curved screen still grab the headlines in a crowded CE market.

TV MARKET BACK TO GROWTH In fact, GfK figures show the TV market has grown steadily so far in 2014, with January to July 2014 sales up 5% in volume and 11% in value compared to the same period in 2013. The World Cup definitely helped, but even in July, sales were in growth by 8% (volume) and 10% (value), suggesting that the market has stabilised. Though general economic improvement has been one reason for growth, GfK’s opinion that “some of the reasons are likely to be found within the TV industry itself” acknowledges the perennial resilience and selfrenewing innovation of the TV sector. 30

GET CONNECTED OCTOBER 2014

The Roth Neo 6.2 SoundCore, a soundbase solution distributed by BBG

THE BIG DRIVERS According to GfK research, there are a number of elements contributing to growth. Bigger screens are important: “Jumbo TV,” says GfK, “ is the main driver, with 43-49-inch screens up 34%, and 50-inch + up more than 50% in August 2014 compared to August 2013.” Ownership of 50-inch + screens in the UK is still relatively low (less than 3 million have been sold since 2006), and as they become more affordable there is massive scope for continued growth. “Smart TV,” adds GfK, “is now quite a dominant feature. 60% of all TVs that cost £200 or more are equipped with Smart capabilities.” Average price of a Smart TV in 2014 has been £606, which is £100 cheaper than in 2012. The technology has also opened up opportunities to sell connected boxes and dongles that make “ordinary” TVs Smart at very affordable prices. Additionally, GfK notes, “the introduction of Ultra HD to the mass market has definitely been the headline in the TV industry so far in 2014.” And this has happened very quickly. In January, UHD was selling “only a few hundred units a month” at an average price of almost £3500. By July the average price had halved as the technology was extended to a broader range of screen sizes. Finally, says GfK, “curved screen technology has also been gaining

Caple’s TV470, part of a built-in matching kitchen

traction very quickly – in July, 6% of the total TV market and a third of the UHD value was coming from curved screens.” The outlook is that “while all these new technologies will remain at a premium at least during 2014, the increased affordability and variety of products available will continue to trigger consumer demand and will allow the TV to remain the centre piece of the living room in every home.”

SOUND SHIFTS Great picture quality and size demands the added component of satisfying sound to complete the in-home experience, and as our bigger, better panels move inexorably into the waferthin, minimum-bezel future, finding quality sound in a simple, stylish package to suit the screen has become an issue. The home cinema sound solution has suffered a sharp decline, losing 44.5% in sales volume and 45.5% in value in the year to July 2014, compared to the same period a year earlier. It’s become a more niche product (see Alan Bennet’s column, page 19 in this issue), as the simpler, stylishly elegant and acoustically sophisticated one-box solution, the soundbar, has gained sales traction, scoring a huge 105.9% uplift in volume and 68% in value in the year to July 2014. The soundbase, which can be used as a support for the ultra-thin TV panel or separately on a shelf or in an equipment rack, is also winning converts.

Neither should it be forgotten that smaller screen sizes in well-specified TV panels – as promoted in the UK by such companies as Linsar – are an area of demand in multi-screen households. And there is always the “special” design feature, such as Caple’s TV470 189-inch TV, created as “a matching, built-in television, which complements an entire, built-in appliance collection in the kitchen.” This remains a tough market, but has the advantage that the UK public has never given up its love affair with big TV screens.


Pick of the Season

of the

With plenty of great products to sell, retailers have the opportunity to take advantage of seasonal consumer spending and to help bring some conviviality, and profit, to the fourth quarter of the year. Here we feature the products that some manufacturers and suppliers have selected as their “Pick of the Season” 2014.

OPTIMISE YOUR MARGINS WITH DIMPLEX’S NEW STOVES The Burgate and Meribel electric stoves from Dimplex provide consumers with the option to choose one of two Dimplex flame effects: Optiflame or Opti-myst. The black gloss Burgate, which was named Best Electric Appliance in the Hearth & Home Awards, and the white gloss Meribel (pictured) both offer opening doors, thermostatic control and a choice of 1kW or 2kW fan heat settings. The use of innovative Opti-myst technology ensures the most realistic flame effect on the market, using ultrasonic technology to give the effect of flames and smoke.

Like all Dimplex Opti-myst models, remote control operation enables control of both the heat output and flame effect, which is available independently to give a stunning effect 365 days a year. Both models are included in the Dimplex Display and Demonstrate range, which is only available to retailers with showroom premises.

Tel: 0844 879 3587 Email: marketing@dimplex.co.uk www.dimplex.co.uk/fires

RACLETTE FUN WITH SEVERIN GRILLS Now we are approaching winter there is nothing cosier than a Raclette evening with friends for social enjoyment. Raclette is something special: each person can fill the little retro pots with their favourite ingredient while delicious meat sizzles away on the upper grill level – fun for everyone! SEVERIN offers a wide range of functional and stylish Raclette grills in various designs and sizes. Every grill has its unique features

and leaves no wishes unfulfilled. These quality products come with a 2-year warranty and are the ideal present for loved ones.

Contact HSCL on 01204 558181 sales@hscl.info www.hscl.info

MASTERS IN THE KITCHEN... Earlier this year, Leisure introduced a 90cm design to its family of Cookmaster and Cuisinemaster models, designed to offer consumers the same style and modern design, along with the high quality and features of its larger family members, including easy-clean technology, multiple hob burners and flexible cooking space. This month sees the range cooker brand launch its new integrated marketing campaign, developed to create disruption and impact with its striking new advertising using the concept of food ‘tribes’ (meat, fish, vegetarian and baking). The activity aims to further build brand awareness whilst driving consumer engagement with Leisure.

www.leisurecooker.co.uk

32

GET CONNECTED OCTOBER 2014


Pick of the Season

RING IN THE CHANGING SEASONS WITH VITAMIX® As winter approaches, Vitamix is the ultimate kitchen appliance for electrical retailers to stock in the run up to Christmas. The premium blender company’s latest model, the Professional Series 300, is certain to be on the top of all food lovers’ wish lists this season. Turning fresh produce into flavoursome smoothies, hot soups or frozen desserts within minutes, the Professional Series 300 provides maximum versatility while

investing a minimum of time, thanks to its powerful motor, variable speed settings and pulse action. It comes with Vitamix’s renowned self-cleaning function and 7-year warranty and features a black, red or cream base.

To stock Vitamix, please contact Martin Devaney: mdevaney@vitamix.com www.vitamix.co.uk

COOK IN STYLE WITH MONTPELLIER The latest release from Montpellier’s ‘Stylish Cooking’ range is the INT450 60cm Induction Hob. With a wealth of features including front touch controls, pan detection, electronic timer, hot surface indicator and clever automatic heat up, this hob certainly doesn’t disappoint. The benefits of induction technology are vast. Induction doesn’t lose any heat through convection so it’s 30% more efficient than a gas hob and 25% more than a ceramic hob. Induction is also 30% faster than ceramic and has intuitive technology. The Montpellier INT450 offers peace of mind by not functioning unless a suitable pan is placed on the zone.

To view the full range visit: www.dad-online.co.uk

BELLING IS COOKING ON GAS! Heritage cooking brand Belling has unveiled new gas models in a 90cm size for two of its most popular range cooker models. Offering a contemporary look, the Belling DB4 90GT offers a minimalistic, sleek aesthetic. Alongside this model’s good looks is a host of useful features including a five-burner gas hob with cast iron pan supports which includes a large wok burner. For serious cooks, it also has a large fanned-electric, 91-litre oven with three shelves which can be used in 25 positions. This fanned electric oven has an A energy rating and a defrost function. A smaller 62-litre conventional gas oven comes with two shelves which can be placed in five different positions.

www.belling.co.uk | 0844 248 4149

STYLISH GAS HOB FROM STOVES The Stoves 70cm SGH700C features five gas burners to provide rapid heat and maximum cooking control. Offering bags of cooking flexibility, the SGH700C’s five burners include a 3.5kW wok burner, cast iron pan supports, automatic ignition and chunky, easy-to-use front rotary controls. Available in stainless steel or black, the SGH700C is a great-looking hob offering the keen cook plenty of space.

www.stoves.co.uk | 0844 248 4149

OCTOBER 2014 GET CONNECTED

33


Electric Heating

Sales of electric stoves such as this Dimplex Burgate are mirroring a continuing trend for solid fuel models

It’s

or per

mage as

34

a quote that paints a touching picture of inglenook fireplaces and wood burning stoves, comfy winter evenings spent by a crackling, glowing fire. An aspirational scene, indeed, and one that can be found in numerous home & lifestyle magazines as the prospect of autumn nears. The reality is that a great number of UK homes cannot accommodate a real fire, but the desire to change the ambience of a room and the mood of its occupants can readily be realised with the installation of an electric focal point fire. Be it traditional or contemporary, there is a model to complement all types of décor.

consumer confidence is returning after a difficult few years, the electric fires category continues to perform well. Opportunities are there to be taken.” Stammers believes that the biggest difference with electric fires over alternative fuels such as gas or solid fuel is the majority of electric models can be used independently of heat, giving the ambience and effect of flames 365 days a year, even in warmer months. “In fact, research shows that 67% of customers who buy an electric fire have gas central heating in their house, which means that they probably could have opted for a gas fire but chose electric in preference,” he comments.

DESIGN STATEMENT

WEATHER DEPENDENT

TV programmes such as 60 Minute Makeover and picture-book lifestyle magazines have certainly helped to boost the focal point fires market, encouraging sales all year round, as many products are bought during home improvements; not necessarily as a means of heating a room, but as a style statement. Chris Stammers, marketing director at Dimplex, notes that sales of electric fires in the UK overtook gas fires some years ago and they were, according to GFK, one of the few consumer durables to increase high street sales from 2011 to 2012, opposing the trend of categories such as Digital imaging, TVs and other electronic products to grow by 18% in volume and 11.8% in value. “Fast forward two years,” says Stammers, “and total market estimates are that sales of electric fires will have risen by around 7% from 2013 to 2014. With higher efficiencies, more realistic flame effects and positive signs that

The dilemma facing the Electric Heating market on the whole is that it is subject to the vagaries of the British weather, and in the first half of this year it struggled due to milder winter weather. The UK was entertained by a winter of rain, flooding and storms, and wet weather in winter usually means milder temperatures, which was the case throughout December, January and February. While March brought a contrast to the wet months which preceded it, it also brought a taste of spring, with temperatures again above the long-term average and the number of air frosts falling below average. With the mild weather continuing, GfK recorded year-on-year volume sales down 19.5% and value down 11.25% in the period to July this year. But the good news was that consumers were spending more to obtain well designed, quality products, so average price rose by 10.26%.

GET CONNECTED OCTOBER 2014

This De’Longhi Dragon oil-filled radiator provides electricity savings of up to 7% per annum

With weather patterns unpredictable in the UK, sales of seasonal products such as fan heaters are becoming more and more sporadic during offpeak months. But with this comes opportunities for retailers, if the right products are stocked at the right time.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

The portable heating market ranges from spot-heating products such

as fans through to convectors and oil-filled radiators, the latter of which De’Longhi describes as “ideal and highly efficient for a long-lasting heating, widespread in the room evenly and silently.” A feature of the De’Longhi Dragon model pictured on this page is its “exclusive” ECO function, which optimises energy consumption and guarantees the correct level of comfort. Uncomplicated button operation regulates power flow and temperature level, giving up to a 7% saving on electricity per annum. Energy efficiency has become an important element in the portable heating market throughout its product categories. Dimplex draws our attention to its Cadiz Eco Oil Free Radiator, which uses micathermic heating technology. The brand claims this offers cost-effective, rapid heating with the capability to heat a room up to 35% faster than oil filled competitors and saves up to 30% on energy too. “Such innovations have marked a step change in the portable radiator category,” Stammers maintains. “No longer seen as a costly supplement to inefficient heating systems, they are now a flexible, safe and reliable source of heating ideal for those rooms where heating is only required periodically or where additional warmth is needed because of the room occupancy – for example, a baby’s nursery. They are affordable too, which makes marketleading models a great addition to any electrical display in cooler months.” It will be interesting to see how the Electric Heating market pans out by the end of 2014. At the time of writing, a beautifully warm and sunny Indian summer lives on.


HEAT THE ROOM, NOT THE HOUSE

De’Longhi Portable Heaters

SAVE

WITH SMART HEATING

ECO PLUS

ONE-TOUCH ENERGY OPTIMISATION

ELECTRONIC CLIMATE CONTROL LED DISPLAY, TIMER, DIGITAL THERMOSTAT

RAPID, EFFECTIVE HEATING EXCLUSIVE DE’LONGHI PERFORMANCE DESIGN

WITH DE’LONGHI PORTABLE HEATERS UP TO

Why choose Portable Heating? Consumers are increasingly looking for money-saving solutions throughout their homes and lifestyle. So, instead of switching the central heating on to heat your entire house, De’Longhi is recommending: Heat the room, not the house. Why choose a De’Longhi heater? De’Longhi’s stylish, performance design and Smart Heating features provide rapid comfort without costing the Earth. What’s more they are built to last with up to 10 years guarantee. Why choose De’Longhi? With over 30 years experience in designing and manufacturing heating systems, De’Longhi is a brand that consumers look for and trust. For further information visit: www.delonghi.co.uk or call 02392 392555

To offer the ideal heating solution for every customer, list the full range: Dragon 4 Oil Filled Radiators

SlimStyle Convector Heaters

Ceramic Fan Heaters


Get Connected Magazine : October 2014  

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