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JULY 2015

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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

DISHWASHERS Is the dishwashers market “on track for rapid expansion?” One industry commentator thinks so

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CONTENTS

INSIDE... 04 Editorial Comment 06 InTheandWord around the industry

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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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D.A.D’s Adrian Gillman argues the case for private label products

The Product Gallery Dishwashers Dishwasher penetration in the UK remains static but consensus holds that the “future is bright”

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Home Entertainment & AV Accessories

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George Cole Gets Connected

Today’s home entertainment enthusiast is even more demanding when it comes to features, functionality and flexibility

GC’s CE champion looks at where Ultra HD Blu-ray is heading

25 From the Bench

Alan Bennett on Quantum Dot technology

26 Spotlight on Beacon Technology

James Pepper, technical director, Vista Retail Support, explains how smart retailers can turn customers’ instore smartphone use to their advantage

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EDITORIAL COMMENT

COMMENT THE BUDGET, ALWAYS A FOCUS OF ANALYTICAL ATTENTION, WAS SEEN AS PARTICULARLY SIGNIFICANT THIS SUMMER, BEING THE “FIRST CONSERVATIVE BUDGET” IN NEARLY TWO DECADES. BUT IN OUR BUSINESS, A SIMPLE CORRELATION BETWEEN THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT AND THE PERFORMANCE OF THE ELECTRICAL INDUSTRY IS NO LONGER POSSIBLE. IT’S ALL SO MUCH MORE UNPREDICTABLE NOW.

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ime was, not so long ago, when electrical retailers had a fairly clear idea of their position in the commercial socio-economic landscape, and so were able to make broad industry-specific predictions based on a general perception of who would be the “winners” and the “losers” following any given Budget. The indicators of how much and how often consumers would be likely to spend on household electrical and consumer electronics items were well established, and electrical retailers – provided they had a reasonable basic level of competence – could all expect to receive their slice of consumer spending. That’s not how it works any more, though. It may still be possible to predict (if rather broadly) the level of consumer spending on household items, based on an assessment of the wider economy and the state of consumer confidence. But it is absolutely not possible for individual retail businesses to assume they’ll get the “share” of spending they always have in the past. There could be a national sales boom in electrical goods that leaves some individual retailers struggling to survive. Or there could be a dearth in UK sales during which some individual retailers make outstanding profits. Because it’s no longer just about having a shop selling goods that people want to buy. It’s about offering those goods for sale at the times, in the places and under the circumstances that 21st century shoppers

prefer. After all, we’ve all got roughly the same brands and models, at (very roughly) similar prices. The challenge is to make sure your potential customer finds you, whether that be in the High Street or in cyberspace, at the exact time they are ready to buy, whether that be at 3 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon or at 2am on a rainy Sunday. The old retail skills are not irrelevant, but they are only one piece of an increasingly complex sales jigsaw. Who’d have thought, for example, that a customer could walk into a bricks-and-mortar outlet looking for a specific electrical item, and that the most effective retail strategy to progress towards a sale could be to contact that customer via their telephone! It’s a complex world, and if you’ve ever watched a group of young people walking down the street “together”, but each one of them communicating with someone who’s not actually present in the group, then you’ll know that, like it or not, the telephone can be far more interesting than face-to-face interaction. Similarly, the PC or the tablet or the smartphone can be the quickest, easiest, most convenient and probably most cost-effective way to source, compare and buy electricals. People don’t always buy from people in that straightforward, face-to-face way any more. The human element has to be there, but in a more carefully thought through, pervasive, persuasive way that has all the buying options covered.

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Marlinda Conway Editor in Chief

Terry Heath Editorial & Publishing Director

Will Dobson Creative Director

James McIntosh Consumer Consultant

George Cole Consumer Electronics Consultant

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INDUSTRY NEWS

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THE VERY LATEST ELECTRICAL GOODS INDUSTRY NEWS

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE ON THE REBOUND

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onsumer confidence took an unexpected leap in June to reach its highest level in more than 15 years. GfK’s UK Consumer Confidence Index increased six points to 7, with all five measures used to calculate the Index rising. Joe Staton, Head of Market Dynamics at GfK, said the renewed optimism amongst consumers could translate into a busy time for retailers. “The number of shoppers agreeing that now is a good time for people to make major purchases such as furniture or

electrical goods has powered ahead by a buoyant 14 points this month compared to negative sentiment for the same period last year,” Staton commented. The appetite for major purchases increased to 16 in June and is 18 points higher than this time last year. The situation is a surprise turnaround from last month when the Consumer Confidence Index fell three points to 1 with the suggestion that it may have been affected by the election results. All five measures used to calculate the index declined.

WHICH? ANNOUNCES 2015 AWARD WINNERS Richer Sounds has won Best Retailer in this year’s Which? Awards, which recognise what the consumer organisation deems the best businesses in the UK. Sony was awarded Best Audio-Visual Brand and Miele received Best Home Appliance Brand. The award for Best Photography Brand went to Nikon.

LOCAL MAYOR OPENS NEW HUGHES ELECTRICAL STORE

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he Mayor of Great Yarmouth Cllr Shirley Weymouth has officially opened Hughes Electrical’s new £1.5m store on Pasteur Road. The 5,500 sq ft ‘Hughes Plus’ outlet, which will have around 50% of its electricity provided by solar energy, has taken 18 months to complete. Hughes said it will offer an outstanding customer experience including same day delivery and

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installation; areas dedicated to and supported by leading electrical brands; a greater range of built-in appliances; laptops, tablets and a special audio section, “all backed up by a huge range of stock.” The store also offers click & collect customers the convenience of parking directly outside the back door. “We see this significant investment as Hughes giving a big vote of confidence in the future of Great Yarmouth,” said Managing director Robert Hughes (pictured right). “Our new store reflects the way consumers are now shopping. They want to go online to look at and compare products so last year we upgraded our website. It now enables them to check stock levels, see which stores provide demonstrations and offers a click & collect service. “Customers want stores to have a comfortable shopping environment with large product displays, free parking and friendly and knowledgeable staff, which is what we have created at Great Yarmouth.”

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BRIGHTHOUSE PRE-TAX PROFITS UP 16%

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rightHouse has reported revenue up 5.5% to £351.7 million for the year ended 31 March 2015. The retailer said it achieved 3.9% like-for-like revenue growth from stores opened for more than two years. Profit before tax rose 16.0% to £19.6 million. Twelve new BrightHouse stores were opened during the year, including the first new concept satellite store in Saltcoats, Scotland.

AO.COM BRITAIN’S BEST RETAILER FOR CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

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.com has won Verdict’s Best Retailer Award for 2015, ousting John Lewis which received the accolade for the past two years. It is the first time an online pure-play retailer or an electricals specialist has taken the top prize. Best Online Fulfilment Retailer also went to AO.com. Patrick O’Brien, Content Director at Verdict, said: “AO.com has been pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved online. Its extensive use of video, customer reviews and detailed product information and knowledge are clearly appreciated by its customers, backed up with free next day delivery and low prices.” The Awards are based on two surveys of 22,000 shoppers, carried out by Verdict, in which AO.com scored highly across all areas of service, with “standout” scores in delivery options and returns policies, price and value for money. John Lewis, however, pipped AO to the post to win Best Electricals Retailer. The department store chain also won Best Homewares Retailer and Best Clothing retailer and had a hat trick of second places: Best Retailer, Best Online Retailer and Best Click & Collect Retailer.


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INDUSTRY NEWS

PROPERTY INDUSTRY WARNS AGAINST 60% BUSINESS RATE TAX

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wo leading property industry trade bodies have warned that unless the Government significantly changes the business rates system, businesses could face a 60% rate of tax by 2022.

In a joint response to the Government’s review of business rates, the British Property Federation and British Council of Shopping Centres have outlined how out of kilter the tax is with

CURRYS PC WORLD PREDICTIONS ONS FOR CHRISTMAS 2015

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urrys PC World has named the products it expects to be bestsellers for Christmas 2015 and is forecasting a lead for audio and health & fitness goods. The retailer said that fitness gadgets are up at 900% year on year at its stores and the health trend has brought about a 90% year-on-year rise in sales of high-speed blenders.

The Top 10 list is as follows: 1. Sonos multi-room system 2. Samsung multi-room system (M3, M5, M7) 3. Jawbone UP 4. Fitbit Surge 5. Nutribullet Pro blender 6. KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer (in Crystal Blue/Boysenberry) 7. Sony Bravia X8 Smart Ultra HD 4K 49” (with Android) LED TV 8. Samsung Smart Ultra HD 4K 48” Curved LED TV 9. Lenovo’s next generation Yoga ‘2 in 1’ convertible laptop 10. Ninja Nutri blender

rental values, which have grown only 5% since 2000 and remain lower than their 2007 high. The response cites research by a number of rating surveyors which

suggests that the business rates multiplier applying after the 2017 business rates revaluation will represent a tax rate of over 50%, which is likely to increase to nearly 60% by

2022. The multiplier, which determines how high the business rates bill will be, is currently set at 49.3%.

Read the full article at www.gcmagazine.co.uk

ARGOS SEES DROP IN FIRST-QUARTER SALES

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ome Retail Group has said it expects sales at Argos to be “challenging” during the first half of the trading year after a decline in the first quarter. Sales fell 2.6% to £846m in the 13 weeks to 30 May 2015, with like-for-likes down 3.9%. John Walden, Chief Executive of Home Retail Group, said: "The performance at Argos in the

quarter was broadly in line with both our expectations and previous guidance, with sales being adversely impacted by market declines in key electrical and seasonal product categories.” The fall in sales of electricals was principally driven by market declines in TVs, computers and tablets and partially offset by growth in mobiles.

NEW APPLIANCE BRAND AIMS TO BE THE “ALDI OF THE ELECTRICAL WORLD”

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ousehold appliance brand ElectriQ has announced its launch in the UK, stating that it aims to be the Aldi of the electrical world. The company says it is ready to take on big-name competitors with a unique proposition of high quality, accessibly-priced appliances, air conditioners and gadgets and has gained listings with retailers such as AppliancesDirect.co.uk, BHS Direct and Debenhams Plus. It is aiming to double its portfolio and product range by 2016. Currently, the range includes goods such as robotic vacuum cleaners, built-in microwaves, cooker hoods, food prep appliances and air treatment products. ElectriQ Managing director Victor Stoica said he discovered during a trip to China that most of the big brands’ appliances were being manufactured in the same factories. “I got talking

to the factory owners and was able to buy the same or very similar products that I could then offer to customers without adding on a premium for having a popular brand’s logo,” he commented. “We don't have massive advertising campaigns and we have a very small workforce, meaning we can give amazing value to retailers and then, in turn, customers. We only choose the best possible products from the best factories, meaning you'll always get the best quality for your money.” Stoica said he really admires companies such as Aldi which, rather than focusing on popular brands, know that the same products can be made or sourced cheaper at the same quality but for a much lower price. “This is how I've built the business model for ElectriQ and it's working really well so far,” he added.

“We pride ourselves on the level of quality, value for money and variety of products we are able to offer within the ElectriQ range. Our aim is to create products which not only satisfy the customer’s needs and reduce their costs at the point of purchase, but also ensure we are delivering on our promise to create a greener world and cut their energy bills and carbon footprints. “We’re constantly adding to the product range and looking for even more innovative ways to offer value for money, so we feel the future looks bright and we’re determined to achieve not only increased sales but also even more variety for our customers by 2016.”

www.ElectriQ.co.uk for trade enquiries. JULY 2015 GET CONNECTED

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SAMSUNG MISSES Q2 EARNINGS GUIDANCE S

amsung Electronics has said its earnings for the second quarter are likely to be below analysts’ expectations. The company is estimating operating profit down 4% on last year, at KRW 6.9 trillion, below the KRW 7.2 trillion expected for the April to June period. The South Korean manufacturer is expecting sales of KRW 48 trillion, underperforming the forecast KRW 53.4 trillion. Samsung will report its final Q2 results later this month.

BEKO PARENT TO OPEN R&D CENTRE IN UK B

eko parent Arçelik has announced it will open a research & development centre in the Cambridge Science Park. It will be Arçelik’s second R&D facility abroad.

The centre, opening this summer, will focus on areas that will contribute to the development of innovative products in the field of white goods, with software design, new materials, and advanced production technologies taking priority. Arçelik is currently recruiting for its first UK R&D employees. “Our global brand Beko has proved its high competitiveness power by maintaining its leadership position in the United Kingdom, where consumers have high levels of consumption consciousness,” said Arçelik CEO Hakan Bulgurlu. “Our new R&D centre will strengthen our leadership position in the market further.” Arçelik has eight R&D centres in Turkey and one in Taiwan. 8

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SONY IN FUNDRAISING PLAN S

ony is hoping to raise a total of ¥440 billion on the sale of shares and convertible bonds. Sony said it plans to use the funds raised from the share issue to increase production and R&D for stacked CMOS image sensors in its Devices segment in order to enhance profitability. The company will apply the funds raised by the convertible bonds to capital expenditures in its Devices segment and the repayment of loans. In February this year, Sony said it was positioning Devices, Game & Network Services, Pictures and Music as the segments that will drive its profit growth over the next three years, and it would implement growth measures and engage in aggressive capital investment in these areas with the aim of achieving both sales growth and profit expansion.

A target was set for return on equity of more than 10% and an operating profit in excess of ¥500 billion for the Group by March 2018. The company reported a net loss of ¥126 billion for its 2015 financial year in April and said it expected to return to profit in FY2016, with a fullyear net of ¥140 billion.

BBG AND AUDIO-TECHNICA PART COMPANY

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udio-Technica and its exclusive UK distributor BBG Distribution have announced they will be parting company in an amicable agreement that will see Audio-Technica’s UK Consumer range of headphones, turntables and cartridges distributed by its own UK operation from 1st October 2015. Both companies are currently working together to ensure the smoothest possible transition. Audio-Technica is in discussion with BBG staff to retain their continued participation in building the Audio-Technica Consumer brand within the UK. Watford-based BBG operates as a subsidiary of Peerless Industries. It was acquired by the company in May 2009 and has since been successful in establishing the Peerless-AV brand in UK and EMEA Retail and Professional markets. It also distributes a number of leading audio and AV brands. BBG Managing Director Gordon Dutch (pictured) told GC the AudioTechnica move is a “win win win” situation for all concerned: BBG, Audio-Technica and customers. Robert Morgan-Males, AudioTechnica Europe Marketing

Director, said: “BBG has achieved amazing successes for the Audio-Technica brand in the UK Consumer market in a little over 24 months. The high level of sales, support and professionalism gives our retail business a firm basis to build upon and we very much appreciate all the efforts and hard work the team at BBG have put in.”

“...the AudioTechnica move is a “win win win” situation for all concerned: BBG, Audio-Technica and customers.”

“Our BBG division has played a key role in the success of many significant retail brands, including Audio-Technica,” said Dutch. “However, our main focus has always centred on audiovisual accessories. In light of this transfer, we have decided

to move away from the Premium Home Electronics area of the business and continue to focus on our own brand of Peerless-AV TV and flat panel mounts, TV, audio and PC cables and TV furniture products. “As of 1st October 2015 we will no longer distribute some of the audio brands we currently offer including Elipson, Onkyo, TEAC, Roth, Somle and Wharfedale. “We will work with all our suppliers and retailers to minimise possible disruption and thank them for all their partnerships in the past as well as their continued support of Peerless-AV going forward.”


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INDUSTRY NEWS

EBAC SECURES £10.5MILLION FUNDING DEAL N

ewton Aycliffe-based manufacturer Ebac has secured funding of £10.5 million including £5.5 million of new facilities from RBS Invoice Finance, RBS and Lombard. The refinance facilities will support the growth of Ebac’s washing machine production and the development of its Norfrost by Ebac chest freezers range.

The facilities consist of a £6.5 million working capital facility from RBS Invoice Finance and a £1 million revolving credit facility from RBS. A further £3 million asset finance line from Lombard has been provided to support the introduction of new machinery. Pamela Petty, Group Managing Director of Ebac, said: “RBS have supported our plans from the

inception of the project throughout, providing us with a solution which is adaptable to the changing needs of a growing business.” Paul Goodchild, Business Development Director at RBS Invoice Finance, added: “We are delighted to support a UK manufacturer that is doing something different and seeking to reinvigorate the production of white goods in the UK.”

US JUSTICE DEPARTMENT MOVES TO BLOCK ELECTROLUX/GE DEAL

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he US Department of Justice has filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in a bid to block Electrolux’s acquisition of General Electric Company’s appliance business, stating that the $3.3 billion deal would eliminate competition that has benefited American consumers through lower prices and more options. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Leslie C. Overton of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division said the proposed acquisition would “leave millions of Americans vulnerable to price increases for ranges, cooktops and wall ovens, products that serve an important

role in family life and represent large purchases for many households.” She added that the lawsuit also seeks to prevent a duopoly in the sale of these major cooking appliances to builders and other commercial purchasers, who often pass on price increases to home buyers or renters. Electrolux, which announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire GE Appliances in September last year, said it “vigorously” contests the DOJ’s effort to oppose the transaction and it disagrees with the Department’s assessment that the acquisition will harm competition. The company

added that it found the DOJ’s opposition to be wholly inconsistent with its 2006 decision to approve Whirlpool’s acquisition of Maytag – one of Whirlpool’s major competitors on the US home appliance market at that time. Electrolux President and CEO Keith McLoughlin said: “We believe this acquisition accelerates consumer innovation, which improves the

industry as a whole and results in more consumer choice than ever.” The manufacturer said it remains confident in its assessment of the competitive merits of the transaction and its favourable impact on consumers and therefore still expects the transaction to close in 2015. Sources say that the acquisition would give Electrolux around 40% of the US appliance market. v St Har isit u 19 tahnd roga s at -22 nQ22 te F d a Ju in Ha ir ly 20 ll Q 15

NEW COMMERCIAL STRUCTURE FOR HOOVER CANDY UK BUILT-IN DIVISIONS

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he commercial teams for the Hoover, Candy and Baumatic brands have merged to become a centralised Built-in division based at the Hoover Candy Baumatic office in Reading, Berkshire. The new division is led by Owain Harrison, previously marketing director of Baumatic, who has been promoted to UK head of sales and marketing, Hoover Candy Baumatic (Built-in). Hoover bought Baumatic out of administration at the end of 2013 after the company fell into trouble with its operation in the Czech Republic. The brand was said to have been “thriving” in the UK market. Under the new commercial structure, Maurizio Severgnini, Managing Director Built in Division of Hoover Candy UK, will take a new head office role as director OEM - Strategic Partnerships, a move which the company said is regarded as “pivotal in securing the Group’s global ambition to further develop its presence in strategic categories.” LG’s former general manager for CE Sarah Beechey joins the Reading division as head of sales (Built-in) for all three brands, reporting directly to Owain Harrison. “Sarah represents a key change in our strategy as we now seek to leverage the huge potential and cooking knowledge we have across all our brands within the UK market,” said Harrison. The Freestanding commercial division for Hoover Candy UK retains its current structure.

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FAULTY APPLIANCES CAUSE NEARLY 12,000 DOMESTIC FIRES IN THREE YEARS, SAYS WHICH?

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recent Which? investigation has found that nearly 12,000 household fires were caused by faulty home products between 2011 and March 2014, and that it's possible some brands are more prone to catching fire than others. Which? obtained the findings from the Government after submitting a Freedom of Information request. The data is based on Government figures for domestic fire incidents in Great Britain attended by fire and rescue services and relates to 11,965 instances of appliances that were faulty, incorrectly installed or improperly maintained.

The consumer watchdog discovered that more faulty washing machines and tumble dryers caught fire than TVs or irons, and it also said that “more Hoover washing machines and Hotpoint dishwashers caught fire than we would necessarily expect.” The figures showed that washing machines were the worst culprits, causing 14% (1,723) of the fires recorded during the aforementioned period, while irons were the least likely to cause a fire. Which? also said it believes it is possible for some manufacturers to “drag their feet” when issuing a recall. Executive director Richard

Lloyd said: “It’s shocking that some everyday household appliances can pose such a danger – washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers are often the appliances we leave on overnight or

 SHORTCUTS Hotpoint is marking the launch of its new Ultima S-Line washing machines with a Love Your Clothes campaign and is offering a free compact steam generator worth £79.99 with selected Ultima laundry appliances. InSinkErator® has teamed up with cookery writer and TV chef Jenny Bristow to offer bi-annual cookery Master Classes at her Co. Antrim home and studio. The events provide a platform upon which to promote the benefits of InSinkErator’s steaming hot water tap and food waste disposer direct to consumers. Baumatic has partnered with Virgin Wines to launch a three-month summer gift promotion on its wine storage appliances. Purchasers of selected wine cabinets will receive a complimentary gift set of up to five bottles of wine. The offer is supported by promotional materials.

Amica is commencing a yearlong programme of supporting grass roots sporting events with sponsorship of Oxford’s first open water swim event on the River Thames. The support includes an undisclosed sum towards staging the event and the provision of a suite of home appliances worth £1,000 for the overall winner on the day. EPE Group has been appointed exclusive distribution partner for floorcare brand Bissell. TV and white goods company Linsar has been named one of “The 8 top tech brands you’ve never heard of” by online review website Trusted Reviews. Hotpoint won Best Kitchens and Bathrooms Product for its Open Space oven at the Housebuilder Product Awards 2015.

Visit www.gcmagazine.co.uk for the stories behind the news...  BRC warns that more than 80,000 shops could close by 2017  Indesit drivers vote for strike action

 AO World considering move into next European market  WRAP sets out 5-year plan for “resource revolution”

 Humax awarded Bronze status by BT’s Supplier Forum

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as we leave our house. “More needs to be done to protect consumers from this risk and it’s crucial that products known to be dangerous are recalled as quickly as possible.”

WHIRLPOOL TO INCLUDE HOTPOINT AND INDESIT BRANDS ON GROUP STAND AT IFA

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hirlpool Group will make an appearance at IFA Berlin this year on a 3,000 m² stand displaying its new, competitive offer for the European market, featuring five complementary brands with their own distinct identities and bringing the Hotpoint and Indesit brands into the fold following the acquisition of Indesit Company last year. The brand line-up on the stand located in Hall 9 will comprise Whirlpool, Hotpoint, Indesit, KitchenAid and Bauknecht.

“SOLID START” FOR EXCLUSIVELY ELECTRICAL SHOW

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eaction to the launch of Exclusively Electrical, which ran at the Business Design Centre in London during June, alongside its longer established sister show Exclusively Housewares, has been “overwhelmingly positive”, the show organisers have said. Brooke House Exhibitions, owner of the two events, said they closed knowing that combined visitor numbers were up, re-bookings from exhibitors had hit their highest level ever and that several new initiatives affecting both shows had all received a positive response. “We want to build the specialist electrical retail audience for this show and this year was a solid start,” said show director Simon Boyd. “Exclusively Electrical is a long term investment for us and there is a lot more for us to deliver to our exhibitors in this area, particularly in the specialist electrical market.” Next year’s Exclusively Electrical and Exclusively Housewares will take place on June 14th and 15th at the Business Design Centre in London.


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INDUSTRY NEWS

FREE ONLINE SALES TRAINING FOR RETRA MEMBERS retra’s online sales training platform, developed in partnership with T21 Training, is now up and running with two modular courses covering finance and warranties. The initiative offers members free-of-charge, unlimited access to professional sales training tools

specifically designed for electrical retailers and, according to retra CEO Howard Saycell, it is “one of the most comprehensive and ambitious training platforms in the electrical retail industry.” The modular nature of the courses with logical progression, un-lockable

MADE IN BRITAIN LAUNCHES INITIATIVE TO BOOST BUSINESS FOR #1000MAKERS

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he Made in Britain Campaign has announced a drive to recruit a further 500 British manufacturers by the end of the year to assist them in gaining sales with the use of the Made in Britain marque, whether they sell locally or are already exporting their goods. John Pearce, CEO of Made in Britain, said the Campaign incorporates a community of makers ranging from specialist craftspeople right through to mega-corporations. “The goal we all share is sustainable economic growth and the creation of manufacturing sector jobs. With twice as many members we can increase the impact we have when lobbying buyers and specifiers around the country, highlighting this diverse range of businesses, products and people,” he said. The #1000Makers initiative aims to reach 1,000 for January 2016, when the organisation will be engaging with the general public and businesses through retail promotions and online stores.

steps and achievement certificates is designed to keep the training enjoyable and engaging. The platform works on desktop, laptop and mobile devices. “Staff training is vital to business success and ultimately will put more money in the till,” said Saycell.

“This is another great example of how the association is leading the way in delivering real business benefits to members, helping them to succeed in today’s challenging retail environment.” retra@retra.co.uk | 01234 269110

PHILEX MOVES INTO SECURITY WITH NIGHTWATCHER BRAND

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hilex Electronics is expanding into the security market with a range of products under the Nightwatcher brand. The new security division will be headed up by Peter Bromage, who founded the Nightwatcher brand in Europe. Commenting on the move, Philex Senior Product Manager Michael Roxborough said: “Entering the security category is a logical step, based on the significant growth in the CCTV market in Philex's customer base. We will target the NightWatcher range of security lighting and CCTV products through our extensive retail and trade channels.”

www.madeingb.org

Moves

AREA SALES MANAGERS

Acoustic Energy has appointed a new outsourced sales team to manage and support the specialist independent channel. Buckinghamshire-based Avoke takes over the role from Henley Designs, which has been handling sales as part of its product portfolio since the beginning of 2014.

We are looking for experienced sales managers to join our expanding team in the U.K. You will be responsible for building relationships and developing major accounts in your region. These roles offer great career opportunities and the

We offer a very competitive tailored renumeration package including additional benefits to attract the right high-calibre candidates.

Hisense UK Ltd has appointed Ben Fox to the newly created UK role of Head of Marketing Nick Lenkowski and expanded its sales team with a further two key appointments. Andrew Wood joins as General Sales Manager for the UK and Alison Ladkin has come onboard as National Account Manager for major clients AO and CIH.

Andy Wood

Exciting career opportunities available with leading appliance and brown goods brands De Dietrich and NordMende.

right people will progress very quickly.

SDA distributor EPE Group has appointed Nick Lenkowski to the position of national field sales manager.

Ben Fox

SOUTH EAST AND SOUTH WEST

If you have what it takes to build brands and exceed sales targets then apply by emailing your C.V. in confidence to: Wendy Judge Administration Manager AB Distributors Ltd. wendy.judge@abdistributors.co.uk The home of De Dietrich and NordMende Appliances

Alison Ladkin

JULY 2015 GET CONNECTED

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INDUSTRY NEWS

GCMAGAZINE.CO.UK >> UPDATED DAILY

 @GC_Team

OFFICIAL LAUNCH FOR HOOVER’S WIFI-ENABLED WIZARD COLLECTION

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oover’s WiFi-enabled Wizard range of appliances, which retailers attending the Euronics Showcase in April will have seen, received its official launch to the UK market at the Saatchi Gallery in London. There are thirteen individual WiFi-enabled products in the collection, including large capacity washing machines ranging from 8kg to 13kg; Dynamic Next fridge freezer; dishwashers with 16 place settings; 60cm and 90cm décor hoods; a 78-litre oven and 60cm induction hob. The range can be simultaneously controlled via a single app that allows users to monitor energy consumption, access programmes, receive alert messages and view the status of their appliances and programmes while on the go. At the event, Hoover revealed the results of a new independent survey which showed that 40% of Britons would be interested in operating their appliances remotely via WiFi. Steve Macdonald,

marketing director of Hoover freestanding division, said the survey results confirmed what the company had hoped: “That the UK is as excited as we are about this new innovation.” Wizard will provide an alert if the user has forgotten to add a dishwasher tablet or needs to top up the rinse aid or salt, which apparently one in five survey respondents has done. If the fridge or freezer door is left open, notification is quickly sent via the app, which also monitors cooking activity on the hob and the quality of air in the kitchen, so the extractor hood is activated automatically when required. The app will allow users to save the oven settings for their favourite dishes and adjust the temperature and regulate cooking time. But if you plan to put a chicken in the oven before you leave for work and start cooking it late afternoon, ready for dinner, you’ll be asking for trouble – no smart oven is that ‘smart’. Hoover says “you can be buying your evening meal

whilst pre-heating your oven, so it’s at the perfect cooking temperature when you arrive home.” But most modern-day ovens will be up to temperature by the time you’ve put your groceries away, never mind prepped the food. Needless to say, we remain unconvinced about the benefits of smart ovens, particularly as many ovens today offer advanced, intelligent cooking programmes. And while

WHIRLPOOL AIMS FOR SUPREME CARE WITH NEW PRODUCT LAUNCHES

A

press launch at a pop-up launderette in London marked the introduction of

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Whirlpool’s new iF Design award-winning Supreme Care range of matching front

loading washing machines and tumble dryers. The new laundry range has a modern, high-end aesthetic and operates at 67dB(A), which is claimed to be the quietest spin cycle on the market. The instrument behind the reduction in noise level is Whirlpool’s new ZenTechnology™. The energy saving A+++ (-50%) appliances benefit from PrecisionClean™ advanced rinsing performance and PrecisionDose™ detergent dosing. SoftMove™ ensures gentle treatment of garments, while the new drum pattern reduces friction by 70%. The

you can start a laundry wash while still in the office (provided you remember to load the machine) so you arrive home to freshly washed clothes with minimal creasing, you could instead, on an everyday basis, programme your machine and press ‘Delay Start’ when loading it as most machines now provide this option. But controlling appliances via mobile devices definitely does bring other advantages,

as users will be alerted when appliances need to be cleaned or serviced and, importantly, energy consumption can be monitored. Hoover’s survey showed that 59% of people did not know how much it costs to run their household appliances or how much energy they use. “Consumers have always trusted Hoover to bring them something new and with Wizard we have done exactly that,” said Macdonald.

drum speed and movement are customised for each programme. FreshCare™ technology tumbles garments for up to six hours after the cycle is completed, keeping them fresh and reducing wrinkles by up to 30%. The Supreme Care washing machines are available in 8kg, 9kg, 10kg and 12kg capacities. Independent tests have shown that the new Supreme Care tumble dryer range is the “number one” for fabric care and drying woollens, guaranteeing up to four tumble dryable woollen jumpers in ready-to-wear condition in an hour without the need for additional racks or accessories. The appliances incorporate the aforementioned

SoftMove™ technology and a SteamCare™ system which releases wrinkles and refreshes items in less than 30 minutes. 3DryTechnology™ dries gently and evenly using three-dimensional air jets. The top of the range Supreme Care Premium Design heat pump dryer has an A+++ energy rating. The range is available in 8kg, 9kg and 10kg capacities. Whirlpool also used the event to launch a new Supreme Dual NoFrost range of freestanding combi fridge freezers which “combines the finest technology with the means for optimum management of fresh and frozen food for a life centred on zero wastage.”


OPINION

withdraw is a one-way ticket to becoming a ‘one-hit-wonder’, no longer thought of, or even respected for trying to become a major brand.

TODAY’S “NEW” BRANDS COULD BE TOMORROW’S LEADERS

ADRIAN GILLMAN – MANAGING DIRECTOR, DOMESTIC APPLIANCE DISTRIBUTORS

In

a market saturated with private label products, there has always been an argument as to the relevance of some of these brands and whether they are just a ‘flash in the pan’ with no life expectancy or sustainability. But with a wider and more intelligent view of the market, where we now know and dissect customer browsing and buying patterns, fact tells us that consumers have made a significant shift from purchasing well-known and respected brands in favour of new products, with their final buying decision being made on price. Consumer buying patterns are telling us that yes, there is room in the market for everyone, and yes, we want the choice.

CONSUMER EXPECTATIONS & CHOICE

Specifications on appliances have now become an expectation in the buying process. Consumers now expect particular criteria on, for example, basic washing machines. These brands are expected to offer the ‘standard’ programmes, cycles and features, and the consumer no longer trawls through lists of specifications when choosing their appliance. It’s now a ‘given’ for the consumer that what they are buying works, and works well. So, with so many brands - including new private label players - in the market, all offering the same expected specifications, consumers now have the ability to make their choices informed on aesthetics, guarantees, reviews and, of course, price, rather than solely on specification. Surely we want to give our consumers choice? A choice of brands, specifications, styles, prices and so on. If we simply removed private labels from the market, we are removing freedom of choice. We are also making white goods less accessible to all budgets and requirements. In a market that’s ever evolving, to simply stop and

If some of today’s big players in the market, such as Beko, had simply given up and gone home when they were a new brand fighting to compete with the leaders in the field such as Hotpoint, the white goods industry would be a very different and less diverse market than it is today. With 50% of the UK’s homes now using a Bekoproduced product, they have paved the way by growing a brand and making products accessible to all budgets and applications. Are we now suggesting that new brands don’t strive to succeed? Are we ignoring the success that the leaders in the field have had? They all started as small, unknown brands and look at them today. Ask the consumers if they would like more or less choice. I think we all know the answer.

DIFFERENTIATION

It has rightly been suggested that, with such a lot of players all competing for the same consumers and market share, brands need to set themselves apart from the competition. With similar prices and specifications being offered, these brands need to focus on their added value offerings and their tailored buying experience. With little insight into “new” brands such as Prima, HomeKing and Iceking, it’s very easy to assume that they are hanging onto the slipstreams of big brands and simply just staying afloat. But with a little bit of market knowledge, you’d find that these brands are hot on the heels of the big boys and are growing at an incredible rate. Statistics have shown that Montpellier is the fastest growing private label appliance brand in the UK - now only in its second year. With pop-up stores sprouting up all over the country, brands such as this are creeping up on well-established brands while their focus is elsewhere. Money, resources, marketing and research & development have all been implemented in Montpellier’s route to market, and they have proved hugely successful, having sold 100K+ units in a year. Those figures prove that private label brands with the right plan, products, support and ethos are successful and are continuing to grow rapidly.

“These brands are hot on the heels of the big boys and are growing at an incredible rate...” INDEPENDENT ASPIRATIONS

These private label brands are often depicted as being disorganized, small and essentially no competition. But while they’re being written off and being paid little attention to by the market, they are busy growing, evolving and getting ready to “come out of nowhere” and perhaps even take the number 3 or 2 spot at the top. We must also not forget that not only do these brands offer choice for a market where choice is key, but many of these brands were created to support the high street and the independent retailers. Some of these brands have been helping independent retailers survive in what has become a very difficult and aggressive market. Distributors have the control of their own private label brands, meaning that they can make sure that prices contain enough margin to support everyone in the chain. In turn, these retailers are helping to steadily grow these brands. It also helps the retailers evolve and offer consumers something new and exciting in a world where we see the same big brands every day. In a market which began with independent retailers, we have a responsibility to support them and respect their need for choice, and to supply their customers with choice. We are in the market of growing and evolving, not shrinking. In our eyes, we are in a big world, and a big market where there is room for every type and size fish. But don’t discard the little ones, as often, the small become the mighty. JULY 2015 GET CONNECTED

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THE PRODUCT GALLERY

gcmagazine.co.uk

BRAUN CARESTYLE 5 IRONING SYSTEM Braun’s CareStyle 5 ironing system eradicates creases faster and with the least amount of effort. iCare technology automatically adjusts the temperature to the right setting when the iron comes into contact with different types of fabric to protect delicates such as silk and lace. The appliance heats up in just two minutes and features the “world’s first” Eloxal 3D BackGlide soleplate to speed up the ironing process and improve glideability over zippers, seams and buttons. j

www.braunhousehold.com

ILVE INTRODUCES PRECISION TEMPERATURE CONTROL TO THE RANGE COOKER

British brand Roth Audio has brought matte black and matte grey finishes to its OLi POWA-5 Bluetooth aptX-equipped stereo speaker system, complementing the existing black and white highgloss options. In addition to Bluetooth, the POWA5’s connectivity list includes a pair of RCA analogue connecters, a 3.5mm stereo jack input, two optical inputs and a pair of USB outputs to provide power to mobile devices.

Range cooker manufacturer ILVE has added digital temperature control to its Milano, Roma and Roma SD collections. The new E3 feature provides accurate control of oven temperatures, which now reach from 30°C to 300°C. The model pictured is the Milano 100cm model with microwave oven and 6-zone induction hob. j

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www.ilveappliances.co.uk

BANG & OLUFSEN ADDS BEOLAB 19 TO LOVE AFFAIR COLLECTION Bang & Olufsen has added a limited edition BeoLab 19 wireless subwoofer in a rose gold-style finish to its Love Affair Collection. The metal, dodecahedronshaped unit has twin 8in drivers mounted back to back and driven by separate 160 watt amplifiers. It has four WiSA-certified antennas for optimum wireless sound quality. j

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ROTH INTRODUCES OLI POWA-5 BLUETOOTH STEREO SPEAKER IN MATTE FINISHES

www.bang-olufsen.com

www.rothaudio.co.uk

SEBO EVOLUTION RANGE SETS NEW STANDARDS The SEBO Evolution vacuum cleaner is said by the manufacturer to “establish benchmarks in durability and usability.” The appliance is available in three models - 300, 350 and 450 - which offer working widths of 30cm, 36cm and 46cm. It has four brush heights, adjustable via the telescopic tube or by foot, a wand and integrated suction hose, full-size crevice and upholstery nozzles, HEPA-class Standard exhaust filter and 5-litre, 3-layer filter bag. j

01494 465 533 www.sebo.co.uk


THE PRODUCT GALLERY

MAGICO UNVEILS LATEST ULTRA HIGH-END LOUDSPEAKER California-based loudspeaker brand Magico’s new S7 is a full range, 3-way, 5-driver floorstanding speaker that incorporates new tweeter, midrange and bass driver designs derived from Magico’s limited edition £130,000 per pair M Project speakers. The S7 starts shipping in July with retail prices ranging from £58,000 to £64,000 per pair, depending on the specified finish. A range of automotive-quality paint options is also available. j

020 8971 3909 | www.absolutesounds.com

HOOVER DYNAMIC NEXT 4 X 4 FRIDGE FREEZER Hoover’s Dynamic NEXT 4 x 4 multi-function fridge freezer – the first of its kind from the brand – has a large fridge with double doors and two spacious freezer drawers, offering a net capacity of 378 litres. The appliance is A+ rated for energy and boasts a full touch screen display so users can easily control the temperature of the fridge and freezer zones.

CERAMICA ISLAND HOOD FROM CAPLE

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LEISURE LAUNCHES COOKMASTER MODEL WITH INDUCTION HOB

Caple’s CR700 Ceramica island hood has a copperfinished handmade ceramic body and 550m3/h extraction with a maximum sound level of 55dB. A remote control with four speeds provides easy adjustment and the auto timer switches off the appliance ten minutes after cooking is complete. The unit has a stainless steel, washable grease filter and measures 690mm in diameter. j

www.hoover.co.uk | 0151 334 2781

Leisure’s Cookmaster CK100D210K is the first product in the brand’s range to offer an induction cook top. The five-zone hob complements the Cookmaster’s two spacious ovens and traditional grill cavity. The new launch will be supported with a marketing programme running up to and throughout the main sales season.

www.caple.co.uk

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www.leisure.co.uk

AMICA MOVES INTO INDUCTION MODE… Amica has announced a new generation of “feature packed, great value” induction hobs. The PI654 60cm model pictured has touch operation with a round slider control, 4 induction zones with timers, including a left hand bridge zone, double boosters, an automatic heat reduction system, pan detection system, residual heat indicator and a child safety lock. j

www.amica-international.co.uk JULY 2015 GET CONNECTED

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DISHWASHERS

NO BENEFITS BRITAIN THE DISHWASHER: DOMESTIC APPLIANCE OR FAMILY MEMBER? FAMILY MEMBER, IT WOULD SEEM IN MOST INSTANCES. DISHWASHER PENETRATION REMAINS IN SUSPENSION FOR ANOTHER YEAR, AS 60% OF BRITISH HOUSEHOLDS CONTINUE TO WASH THE DISHES BY HAND, ESCHEWING THE MANY TIME- AND RESOURCE-SAVING BENEFITS THIS DOMESTIC HELPER BRINGS TO EVERYDAY LIFE

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he dishwasher market grew by almost 5% in 2014 with value sales reaching £259 million and growth driven by the more premium built-in sector, which rose 11% compared to the previous year with sales surpassing £123 million (Source: GfK). An improved housing market coupled with rising numbers of kitchen renovations helped stimulate sales of built-in models, but growth in the freestanding sector, which accounts for 52% of the market, remained flat. The poser for the UK dishwasher marketer is how to convince the public of the advantages of ownership. There aren’t many consumers who nowadays would choose to sweep their carpets with a brush or use a washboard and wringer to do the laundry, yet 60% of households still live in the era of tedious, time-consuming domestic labour when 16

GET CONNECTED JULY 2015

it comes to dishwashing; oblivious, or deliberately discounting, the personal and environmental benefits dishwashers provide. Market penetration has idled around 40% for a number of years now, characteristic of the sector, which tends to advance in fits and starts as opposed to a steady, progressive movement, its rutted passage often reflecting general economic cycles and trends in the housing market. Amica UK Country Manager Simon Freear observes this latter detail, noting that dishwashers are routinely included in new builds as developers recognise the requirements of busy singles and families. “Where space is at a premium, a slim-line model is substituted,” he remarks. Freear also believes that concerns about the overall cost of ownership have been “efficiently debunked” by manufacturers, in

favour of the tangible lifestyle advantages a dishwasher brings. “Hygiene, labour and time-savings rank highly with the consumer, but so too does water consumption and the choice of wash functions – speed, delicates, half-loads etc. – which bring flexibility and protection for delicate items. “Dishwashing is no longer considered a luxury, as two generations of consumers have grown up with a ‘washing-up’ machine being part of the average household. These consumers recognise that working parents rely on dishwashers both to save time and hide waiting-to-bewashed clutter in busy homes.” “We still need to encourage purchase by first-timers who have never owned a dishwasher,” contends Whirlpool Trade Marketing Manager Neil Austin, noting that homeowners could save thousands of litres of water and produce significant savings on energy bills. “The dishwasher is the perfect appliance for long-term, tangible green benefits,” he asserts. “On average it could save over 12,000 litres of water per year, which is the equivalent of 150 baths, compared to dishwashing by hand, and they save a tremendous amount of time too – up to 300 hours per year.”

Miele’s G6995 K20 dishwasher incorporates Knock2Open technology


DISHWASHERS

and is ergonomically set at waist height to reduce the need to bend when loading and unloading.” Rita Balestrazzi, Brand Communications Manager for Sharp Home Appliances, believes the dishwasher market is “on track for rapid expansion,” offering promising sales opportunities for both the freestanding and built-in segments. “Whilst the freestanding sector has flagged, it is poised for imminent recovery, as manufacturers work on the development of a whole new generation of affordable models that can offer larger capacities as well as greater water-saving potential and enhanced anti-bacterial washes,” she maintains.

MEETING EXPECTATIONS

PREDICTING PROGRESS

Austin, however, sees a bright future for the dishwasher: “A boost will come from the new-build sector, which is beginning to flourish once more. Building regulations make it necessary for newly built homes to meet minimum water efficiency standards, which are becoming ever more stringent, and mean that the dishwasher will play a major role in reducing water consumption in homes going forward.” Fisher & Paykel, which is currently running a detergent tablet promotion nationwide with Reckitt Benckiser, expects to see dishwasher penetration increase to over 45% in the next few years. Marketing Manager Helen Haider says: “I think the trend for timesaving appliances will aid the penetration of dishwashers. People are so time poor. If they can put on the dishwasher to run a wash in 40 minutes they can then use that time for doing more engaging activity. This is not only a laboursaving device – with the higher temperature wash programmes it is also a more hygienic way for washing and drying dishes. “We are seeing a need for both larger and smaller machines. The efficiencies of the single DishDrawer™ are there for all to see. It will only take 7 litres of water to do a full wash. It takes between 6-7 place settings

So what do consumers really want from their dishwashers? Well, Whirlpool is one manufacturer that has invested in consumer research in order to find out, and the most important observations and feedback included: “I don’t like having to towel dry my dishes after they’ve been washed in the dishwasher”, “I want to be able to put plates and cutlery straight onto the dinner table after being cleaned in the dishwasher”, “It’s annoying having to shake off water from plastic that’s been in the dishwasher and leaves water stains.” Whirlpool used this research to bring a new premium dishwasher in both freestanding and built-in formats to market. The new 6th Sense® PowerClean™ models incorporate a new PowerDry option, which the company claims “makes them

“Energy efficiency and the reduction in water consumption remain the major focus when developing new components, appliances and technology…”

the No.1 in cleaning and drying in just one hour.” PowerDry eliminates the clouds of steam that arise when the appliance door is opened after the wash, and “everything” (including plastic items) is dried perfectly and ready to put away. Whirlpool says it has taken “an important leap forward” with the PowerDry concept. The brand’s 6th Sense® PowerClean™ technology is claimed to ensure outstanding cleaning results on the toughest soiling without the need to prescrub and pre-wash. PowerClean™ features high-pressure nozzles at the back of the dishwasher to remove burnt-on food debris from pots, pans and oven dishes, offering 35% better cleaning results when compared to a dishwasher without the technology. 6th Sense® detects the soil level of the entire load, and regulates the water pressure of the jets, adjusting the pressure as required.

Gorenje’s GV6SY2 contemporary-styled Simplicity dishwasher is available in black or white

JULY 2015 GET CONNECTED

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DISHWASHERS

“Size is also key,” says product manager Laura Selten. “We know that one size does not fit all, and at Beko we have responded by ensuring that consumers can choose from slim-line, freestanding or built-in models, all with A+ energy efficiency ratings. “Style, quality and innovation are all key factors consumers look at when purchasing an appliance. Homeowners are also starting to look at the energy efficiency ratings of their appliances, not only because they are looking to save money but because they want appliances that are environmentally friendly.”

WATER CONSUMPTION

PERFORMANCE

“Consumers want dishwashers that reliably deliver a great clean and that operate with minimal noise levels when in operation,” comments Maurizio Severgnini, Managing Director of Hoover Candy UK’s Built-in Division. “The Hoover HLSI400PW Powerwash dishwasher delivers on both of these fronts,” he adds. “When the Powerwash programme is selected, the spray arm directs a highly concentrated water and detergent solution directly onto the crockery via six multi-directional water jets. This ensures that even the most heavily soiled dishes and pans come out spotlessly clean and sparkling. The HLSI400PW Powerwash dishwasher is also extremely quiet and boasts a generous capacity which accommodates 15 place settings – 25% more than a standard 12 place-setting dishwasher.” Touching on innovations in product design, Caple sales director Danny Lay also draws our attention to power washes that increase the washing temperature and duration to break through heavily soiled loads and auto washes with intelligent sensors that check the cleanliness of the load to maximise time, energy and water savings. “Dishwashers can save even more water and energy with variable temperature settings, so the homeowner can use the coolest setting to use less energy, for example, or a rapid wash which will use less water,” he says. Beko, whose DSFN6839W model uses just six litres of water, believes that households are becoming more knowledgeable about the benefits of dishwashers, including the savings they offer in time, energy and water. 18

GET CONNECTED JULY 2015

Candy’s CDIM 3653 Maxi Plate integrated dishwasher has 15 place settings and holds up to eight 34.5cm plates

According to GfK, models that use an average of 10 litres of water or less per cycle now account for almost a quarter of volume sales in the UK. “Water usage and energy efficiency are becoming an increasingly important topic for consumers as they look for ways to cut back on their rising household bills,” says the firm’s Daniel Fearnley, UK Lead, Home & Living. Fearnley adds that this trend has picked up considerable momentum over the past year and appears to be more of an important feature of the dishwasher market, with consumers willing to invest more for an appliance that promises a longer term cost saving. V-ZUG, whose Adora SL dishwasher reuses the water from the last rinse to

DISHWASHING IS BLACK OR WHITE Amica’s ZMW646BE/WE 60cm dishwasher is available in a choice of white or black and is A++AA rated for energy, wash and drying performance. This model has 14 place settings, start delay up to 24 hours, a zone-wash function, six wash programmes, five different temperature selections and a child safety lock. Noise levels are kept down to 45 dB(A), which is easily quiet enough to chat over, and baskets and racks are flexible and variable to allow for larger pots and pans. The third rack cutlery basket and an LED interior light make the appliance easy to load and unload. 01425 461600 www.amica-international.co.uk

“Dishwasherexperienced consumers are tired of poor quality appliances that leave glasses looking murky”

achieve “sustainable wash results” using 7 litres of water, highlights just how much dishwasher technology has progressed: “That’s an 82% drop in water consumption over the last 25 years,” says Rhys Evans, Sales Director UK & Ireland. “A partial load programme ensures that the machine is efficient even during smaller loads, reducing the usage to 1-6 litres,” he adds. Evans believes that dishwasherexperienced consumers are tired of poor quality appliances that leave glasses looking murky. “Our exclusive steam fresh function utilises the power of steam to provide a spot free and gleaming finish. The effectiveness of the Adora SL dishwasher was recently verified by the independent Swiss testing lab Veritas, so customers can be assured there will be no more rinse residues or water marks on glasses.”


THE WORLD’S FIRST DRAWER THAT DOES YOUR DISHES

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

www.fisherpaykel.com/uk, facebook/FisherPaykel/UK, 08000 886 601, sales@fisherpaykel.co.uk

*T&Cs apply. Visit fisherpaykel.com for more information


DISHWASHERS

EFFECTIVE DRYING

The V-Zug Adora SL also has an automatic door-open function, which helps reduce the drying time and dissipate steam. Evans says this provides better cleaning for plastic items and also reduces condensation building up under the work surface. Auto-open drying is now available from a number of brands, including Miele, which has also introduced Knock2Open technology. “The dishwasher simply opens after being tapped twice on the top third of the door,” explains dishwasher category manager Sian Bailey. “Extraneous noises from the area surrounding the appliance are identified and ignored, allowing an uninterrupted wash cycle.” Maytag’s MDW 5001 AGW model uses Jet Dry technology, so the load is washed and dried “perfectly” in an hour, including plastic items. The appliance holds an ‘A+++’ energy rating, ‘A’ for washing and ‘A’ for

drying, and incorporates multi-zoning technology that makes washing half loads efficient and economical, according to the manufacturer. “Energy efficiency and the reduction in water consumption remain the major focus when developing new components, appliances and technology for the kitchen,” says Blanca Castro, Trade Category Manager, UK and Ireland. “This is the case across all product categories, and Maytag is continuously investing in technology to reduce energy and water consumption.” Castro adds that this model has an “extremely quiet” overnight programme of just 39dBA.

FLEXIBLE CAPACITY

Sharp’s Balestrazzi points out that more attention is being paid to the internal configurations of both freestanding and built-in dishwashers to further improve efficiencies: “Collapsible plate racks and

HIGH PERFORMANCE AND EASE OF USE… The CDA WF610BL is a high performance freestanding dishwasher presented in a minimal and stylish curved black design with concealed door-edge control panel. The A++ energy rating, intelligent programmes and 9-litre water consumption for a 15 place setting load mean that this dishwasher is highly efficient. Convenient features such as the two removable top-level cutlery trays and interior light for easy unloading, together with height-adjustable upper baskets even when loaded, make this dishwasher very easy to use. www.cda.eu

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Whirlpool’s Power Dry technology represents an “important leap forward” for the brand

partially removable drawers are now being included in the design of more affordable mid-range models. Additional third drawer compartments are being made to accommodate cutlery, enabling sharp knives and forks to be separated from crockery that might otherwise be scratched or damaged during the wash process and, as they are removable, these drawers also allow cutlery to be transferred from the dishwasher much more quickly and easily.” Joan Fraser, product development manager for Smeg UK, says the most popular layout for customers can be found in its 13 place-setting models with 3rd level FlexiDuo top drawer, as this feature allows users to arrange cutlery or small cups, ladles or bulky utensils however they want. FlexiDuo is available in Smeg’s DI6013NH-1 fully-integrated ‘press & release’ handleless dishwasher, which has a half-load FlexiZone option that lets users wash a reduced load without putting restrictions on where the items are placed, whereas traditional half loads allow only one of the baskets to be used. Candy’s CDIM 3653 Maxi Plate integrated dishwasher is a great example of an appliance that caters for the flexibility to wash large items, according to Hoover Candy’s Severgnini: “This extra-spacious dishwasher offers a 15-setting capacity and can accommodate up to eight large plates of 34.5cm in an innovative new way to maximise space.” AEG’s F6602Vi0P model offers a flexible layout and also utilises a range of features to care for items, such as SoftGrips and SoftSpikes that gently hold delicate glassware in place, “so consumers can be sure their special champagne flutes and wine glasses are never damaged,” comments Andrew Wasdell, Electrolux Product Manager for Dish Care, UK & Ireland.

LOOKING AHEAD

Summing up the mid- to longer-term future for the dishwasher, Whirlpool’s Neil Austin says: “It is being accepted, albeit rather slowly, as a time-saving, labour-saving, resource-efficient and environmentally friendly appliance. “They are a sound and proven investment that will more than justify their place in the home in a tough economic climate, where saving energy, water and money is of paramount importance to the householder of today. “Additionally, the most important consideration for the next generation of homeowners, who have all grown up with a dishwasher, is that they would not consider a home without one. “Attitudes towards dishwashers are changing and they are definitely becoming more positive, ensuring greater household penetration to the levels of those enjoyed by our European neighbours.”


HOME ENTERTAINMENT & ACCESSORIES

BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME WE HAVE COME A VERY LONG WAY SINCE A RECORD PLAYER, A TV AND A COUPLE OF RADIOS CONSTITUTED THE AVERAGE BRITON’S IDEA OF A FULL COMPLEMENT OF ENTERTAINMENT DEVICES IN THE HOME. GEORGE COLE LOOKS AT WHERE WE ARE NOW, AND AT THE CURRENT AND FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES IN AN INCREASINGLY SOPHISTICATED AND DEMANDING HOME ENTERTAINMENT AND ACCESSORIES MARKET

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ome entertainment systems have always encompassed audio and video, but today’s products may also include physical and digital formats and wired and wireless connectivity, as well as catering for a wide range of analogue and digital products, from turntables to tablets, speakers to smartphones. Now, High Definition TV has been joined by Ultra High Definition (UHD) or 4K. It means that today’s home entertainment enthusiast is even more demanding when it comes to features, functionality and flexibility.July.pdf Get Connected

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Darren Judd, marketing manager for audio and home cinema at Gibson Innovations, brand licensee of Philips, says: “Home entertainment enthusiasts are looking for performance, quality and flexibility, with their AV equipment able to serve multiple purposes – whether streaming music or watching films, television and gaming.” The 2015 range of Philips home cinema products offers Bluetooth connectivity for streaming music from phones, tablets or computers. The 25/06/2015 15:39

Classic Swing Arm TV Mount

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“Connected products offer more variety to consumers” – Humax Freetime

Philips Fidelio B5 soundbar offers both apt-X and AAC Bluetooth (codecs that offer high quality audio over Bluetooth) for high-fidelity music streaming. Listeners can also choose to have the product working as a single bar, or as a surround system. “Consumers are also looking for a design that will complement their living room/home cinema, in a neat and attractive way,” adds Judd. The new Fidelio XS1 ultra slim soundstage sits beneath the TV, saving room space. Dawn Stockell, head of brand, LG Electronics UK, says: “Consumers have a growing interest in building connected systems across the home, freeing their audio and visual content from the confines of the living room and spreading it to the rest of the house. GfK says almost 500,000 multi-room units were sold in 2014, with continued growth in the year ahead. Similarly, futuresource suggests one in five households will buy a multi-room speaker by the end of 2015.”

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LG’s Music Flow wireless multiroom speaker system range includes the LG H4 portable speaker, which can be used around the home and garden. LG Music Flow speakers can transfer music from Google Play Music and other content providers – including Spotify and Deezer - to your speaker at the touch of a button. “LG believes that multi-room systems will become the standard way to play music, and we will continue to see consumers upgrade their traditional audio speakers to multi-room systems,” adds Dawn Stockell. “This connectivity for home entertainment also extends to visual content: Smart TVs such as LG’s webOS platform, allow you to screen mirror your tablet or smart phone, and transfer content from your small screen to the big screen.”

QUALITY SOUND, QUALITY VISION Stephen Auld, senior account manager, Dolby Laboratories, believes that “home entertainment enthusiasts are looking for theatre

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HOME ENTERTAINMENT & ACCESSORIES

systems that give them the best possible experience. We’ve seen tremendous excitement from enthusiasts embracing the desire for an immersive cinematic experience in the home. Being able to enjoy overhead sound that’s incredibly lifelike and comes alive from all directions is a real game changer.” Dolby Atmos enables users to get overhead sound with overhead speakers in the ceiling, or Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers. There are also add-on Dolby Atmos-enabled speaker modules that can be placed on or near existing speakers. Humax commercial director Graham North notes that home entertainment aficionados “are beginning to shift their focus from standard definition receivers and set-top boxes to more competitively priced, full high definition settop boxes that include internet connectivity. Connected products offer more variety to consumers. The ability to access home networking capabilities within new home entertainment products is something enthusiasts are seeing as a ‘must’ in order to maintain a seamless interaction with their devices across the living room.” Barry Kick, director, Linsar, says: “UHD will be huge in 2015. The trend towards ever larger screens will not last forever, but we do expect it to continue for the rest of the year. Large screen will be dominated by 4K, with 1080p the budget option until volumes decrease to the point where there is almost parity with 4K. Consumers are also looking for good sound in smaller screen size sets, which is why our

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recently introduced X24 DVD product incorporates a soundbar.” The forthcoming arrival of UHD Blu-ray players will appeal to many home cinema enthusiasts too.

THE RETAIL COMPONENT

Retailers can do much to help customers obtain the best cinemalike experience. “Retailers should have a full understanding of how products can optimise the experience,” says Graham North. “Retailers must offer adequate training services that educate employees, not only on how to provide live demonstrations, but also to work closely with the customer to determine their requirements. It’s crucial to understand how coupling customers’ home products with additional devices or services could enhance their overall experience.” Dawn Stockell believes “retailers should focus their planning support on two central questions: how large is the customer’s room, and where is the sofa located? With this in mind they can then start to determine the size of the TV that will be appropriate for the room, before moving on to ask what type of TV they enjoy watching.” The complete home theatre experience requires surround

sound, she adds. “Customers often opted for a 5.1 channel home cinema system with tall boy speakers. However, LG has a new generation of multi-purpose Smart Hi-Fi products that not only play your music around the house, but also double up as a surround sound system for your TV. The Music Flow range of products connects via the Wi-Fi in the home and allow various speakers, soundbars and Blu-ray players to connect wirelessly, eliminating the need to run cables across the living room floor.”

WORKING TOGETHER

Stephen Auld says “it’s about working with the customer to find out what suits them best and being able to offer a range of options and provide good advice. Nothing beats experiencing something yourself, and it will help hugely if customers are able to experience the products on offer and to hear for themselves.” “Retailers should try to recreate the common living room/home cinema situation - such as a small room with limited space and lots of soft furnishings - to best demonstrate how the sound equipment would work in their own home. This will also demonstrate products to their best ability,” says Darren Judd. “Retailers should also understand how the room/home cinema setup is used – does the room have more than one function? Products such as the Philips Fidelio B5 offer the flexibility of a soundbar where space is at a premium.” Barry Kick adds: “We are seeing the retailers who offer the best and most varied in-store experience enjoy the most success. Be creative, offer solutions and be a really nice place for customers to visit.”

MUTUAL SUPPORT

Philips Fidelio for Hi-Fi streaming

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Some manufacturers are helping retailers sell home entertainment products and accessories by offering retailers services, kit, POS material, training or support. Humax, for example, offers a range of face-to-face, multimedia and

educational assets in its independent retailer training programme. It has provided product training to more than 5000 retail staff over the past twelve months. “This ensures key partners fully understand the full Humax product range, how the products differ from other devices on the market and the benefits each offers to consumers.” Says Graham North. Humax also provides dedicated educational material including a range of ‘how to’ and sales videos, designed to bring the features and benefits to life for retailers and ensure they can refresh their knowledge online at any time. “We have been working closely with our OEM and retail partners to provide technical consultation, training and support,” says Stephen Auld. LG’s Dawn Stockell says that in-store presentation and demonstrations are critical in bringing to life the latest technology and design features for consumers. “No matter how products are arranged in-store, it’s essential that they are clearly labelled with key features and benefits, to enable the consumer to assess the product that is right for them. To further help consumers navigate, it is ideal that the arrangement follows a logical sell-up structure,” she advises. LG offers cut-away demonstration products and mechanical comparison POS units to explain LG’s core technologies. LG has recently extended its Shop-in-Shop concept to four more UK locations. The layout and space of these Shop-inShops showcase both products and technology, Stockell adds. The LG Lounge is a training app which can be accessed by retail staff via a smart phone or tablet. LG’s training team can also offer independents training for new products. The home entertainment world is fast-moving, but there is a lot of help out there for retailers who want to stay ahead of the game and provide the best customer experience.


ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

Sennheiser creates bespoke listening experience for all ears The everyday lives we lead get noisier and the interruptions more prevalent. Uninterrupted audio and music or TV moments just for you are to be cherished. As we age our hearing develops, it changes the sounds we can isolate and the background noise we can’t. According to UK charity Action on Hearing Loss, 10 million people in the UK – or one in six of us – are currently experiencing hearing difficulties.

J

ust as we would choose a pair of glasses to ensure we could see better, a customised sound experience to cater to different needs and tastes is an equally important sensory function to address. Yet shockingly, only 15% of us would seek help for our hearing compared to 89% who are happy to wear glasses, with it taking an average of ten years for people to tackle hearing loss. With this issue in mind, Sennheiser has created a product as part of its RS range of home entertainment headphones which is completely adaptable to individual listening needs. A headphone capable of delivering a bespoke listening experience tailored for every ear! Designed to encourage the rediscovery of the most subtle detailed sounds, the RS 195 is a specialist wireless headphone boasting seven dedicated pre-sets and modes to increase speech intelligibility. Whether watching TV or listening to music, they work to tailor the sound to the user’s preferences and personal hearing requirements to enhance the listening experience. With a comfortable around-ear ergonomic design, the RS 195 is ideal for sustained periods of use – up to 18 hours if desired. It also features an excellent digital wireless audio transmission, with a range of up to 100 metres from the base unit, which means interference-free listening with no fussy wires to contend with. The benefits go beyond improved hearing too. The headphones are also a great solution for watching TV in busy household environments, or when trying not to disturb other family members. Say goodbye to subtitles. The RS 195 is available now in John Lewis stores – online and in Oxford Street and Reading branches – priced at £349.99.

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JULY 2015 GET CONNECTED

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GEORGE COLE

GEORGE COLE GEORGE COLE PINPOINTS HOTSPOTS IN THE WORLD OF CONSUMER ELECTRONICS

ULTRA HD BLU-RAY – A STEP CLOSER L

ast month, I asked whether discs had a future. Well, since then, the Blu-ray Disc Association has released a little more information about the forthcoming Ultra HD Blu-ray format. We know that the new format will support image resolution up to 3840 x 2160, as well as High Dynamic

Range (HDR – a feature that improves image colour and contrast) and frame rates up to 60fps. The new discs will be dual-layer (66GB) or triple layer (100GB) and we have even seen the new Ultra HD Blu-ray logo. But many questions remain. It’s not clear what audio formats the new disc system will support, although we know it includes object-based audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. However, initial soundings suggest that different players from different manufacturers might support different audio formats. New Ultra HD Blu-ray players have to be backwards compatible with standard Blu-ray discs, but it’s not clear whether it’s also mandatory to have compatibility with DVD and CD discs. It seems that UHD Blu-ray players will be smart devices, able to analyse the

maximum resolution of the set they are connected to. So, if you connect a UHD Bluray player to a 4K television, it will output a full resolution picture. Connect it to a 1080p HD set, and the output signal will be downscaled to match the screen resolution. There is also talk of a digital locker, like the UltraViolet system used for DVDs and standard Blu-rays. This gives consumers access to a digital copy of the movie they have purchased. The copy is stored in the cloud and can be downloaded and viewed on a portable device, such as a laptop or tablet. Panasonic showed the first prototype UHD Blu-ray player, but Samsung is the first company to announce plans for a commercial launch, probably just before Christmas. No surprises that we haven’t heard anything about prices yet, but you don’t need a crystal ball to know that the first generation UHD Blu-ray players and discs will command a fair premium over their standard counterparts. Even so die-hard home cinema fans, who must have the best possible sound and picture quality, will be prepared to pay a hefty premium for UHD Blu-ray. The hope is that Hollywood gets behind the new format and that there is a good selection of UHD Blu-ray movie titles when the format launches.

FREEVIEW MILESTONE BT FIRST OFF THE UHD BLOCKS

So,

BT will be the first to offer European viewers a UHD TV channel, with the launch of BT Sport Ultra HD this August. Consumers will need a 4K TV, plus a new BT UHD/ YouView box (manufactured by Humax) and access to BT’s super-fast fibre broadband service, Infinity. The new box will have 1TB of storage, enough for 600 hours of SD recording and 250 hours of HD content, says BT. Noticeable by its absence is any news on whether BT plans to give customers access to

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other UHD services, such as those from Netflix. Nor is there any mention of UHD recording, so I contacted BT to see if I could get any more information. “We’ll be releasing more details soon,” said a BT spokesperson. “So, there’s a chance that you will offer UHD recording?” I asked. “That’s all I can say at the moment.” Hmmm. It could be that BT is keeping some of its powder dry, but my money is on BT viewers having to watch all UHD content live.

C

ongratulations to Freeview on reaching a significant milestone – the technology is now installed in more than 100 million devices. Two thirds of these are TVs, but you’ll also find Freeview tuners in products such as DVD recorders, Blu-ray recorders, PVRs and set-top boxes. I’ve often thought that Freeview should have been called “Phoenix,” because it arose out of the ashes of the ill-fated ITV Digital platform in autumn 2002. So, what’s the secret to Freeview’s success? The fact that it’s subscription-free has certainly helped, but so has the way the service has evolved, with more channels; HDTV, PVR-functionality, and soon, a connected service with Freeview Play. Further down the road, we can expect to see 4K services on Freeview.


FROM THE BENCH

ALAN BENNETT DESCRIBES THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND THE LATEST TV DISPLAY SCREENS. WHAT WILL QUANTUM DOT DO FOR DEALERS AND VIEWERS?

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he buzzword in TV now is quantum dot. It’s an enhancement to LED/LCD imaging which improves the picture at a lower cost than OLED screens. Most current TV screens use LED/LCD technology, in which white light from an array of LEDs (backlight) shines through a polarising filter onto a matrix of LCD cells – millions of them – and then through another (90°) polarising filter and a sheet of tiny colour dot filters, each aligned with an LCD cell to render the pixels which form the picture. Each LCD cell ‘twists’ the light polarisation up to 90° to control the brightness of the light it lets through, and thus the intensity of the colour dot it produces. In conjunction with the other two colour dots of the pixel (picture element) any colour, including white and grey, can be produced at any brightness level at that point on the screen. In very thin rows and columns these pixels form the complete image. In a 4K display there are 8.3 million pixels, each consisting of three colour dots, one each of red, green and blue. This adds up to almost 25 million dots in total. Some screens have yellow dots as well. The backlighting LEDs are blue with a yellow phosphor added to produce white light which, however, is not ideal for its purpose as we shall see.

ENTER THE QUANTUM DOT

Quantum dots (QDs) are tiny semiconducting nanocrystals, varying in size for this application from 2-10 nanometres (nm), just 10-50 atoms wide. This is 10,000 times narrower than a human hair! One of their properties is that they are able to fluoresce (emit light) when irradiated by light of any colour. It’s important to understand that they do not act as any kind of colour filter: they regenerate or ‘purify’ incoming light into very sharply-defined primary colours. The colour they emit depends on their size. A dot about 50 atoms wide gives red light, one about 30 atoms wide green light, one 15 atoms wide blue light. In TV display

All these vials of quantum dots are backlit by a single blue LED

panels only red and green QDs are used – the blue comes direct from the LEDs. An even mix of these, fabricated into a sheet or bar and irradiated by blue LEDs renders a white light, rich in the primary colours. These bars or sheets provide pure white edge- or full-field backlights, the latter amenable to local dimming which offers better black levels in the picture. Thenceforward they shine through the same polarising, LCD and dot-filter sheets as in a conventional LCD-based screen. From the simplest viewpoint, then, QD panels have an extra layer in the screen assembly and no yellow phosphor in the primary LEDs: they can be made in the same factory and with the same fabrication techniques as conventional image panels, unlike OLED which is a different ball game altogether.

QD cannot, however, match OLED in terms of black level or viewing angle: in these respects it does not surpass today’s LED/LCD models. Even so it offers a marked improvement over them in terms of perceived image quality at, perhaps, a third of the cost of OLED. A QD picture looks a lot more vibrant than an ordinary one, and will really come into its own with advanced TV systems like Dolby HDR – at present studio and transmission systems are geared to the screens we have now. One day we may see direct-view QD panels in which the pixels themselves are formed by quantum dots, but at present that seems a long way off for various reasons. Meanwhile QD has many applications outside television, in the lighting, solar cell and medical imaging fields, for instance.

“Quantum dots (QDs) are tiny semiconducting nanocrystals, varying in size for this application from 2-10 nanometres (nm), just 10-50 atoms wide. This is 10,000 times narrower than a human hair!”

ADVANTAGES

The white backlight from ordinary LEDs is ‘polluted’ by unwanted hues and somewhat deficient in the TV primary colours, particularly red and green, so that the colour filter dots at the front have to work quite hard, as it were. This makes them inefficient, both in terms of light loss and colour purity. With a better light source they can do a much better job, rendering a brighter picture with a greater spectral gamut and thus more vivid colours: this is the primary advantage of QD screen technology. Following on from these are a wider dynamic range (particularly with new and improved TV systems) producing brighter images with better contrast range; and lower power consumption due to less light loss in the picture panel, particularly relevant to battery powered gear.

SETMAKERS

In 2013 Sony produced QD screens in the form of its Triluminous range of high-end TV models, and continues to develop the technology. South Korean manufacturers LG and Samsung are working hard in this field, alongside their activities on the OLED front. Another major promoter of QD is China’s TCL company, little known here because its market is primarily in its home country at present. It has a 65" QD model on sale there. At CES 2015 LG showed their very thin 65" S9400 4K QD model, while Samsung showcased the SUHD JS9500 series, capable of twice the brightness of the average LCD/LED TV. It has QD full-array backlighting with local dimming. Lesser models – in the JS8500 and JS8000 ranges – are cheaper, incorporating edge-lit display panels. JULY 2015 GET CONNECTED

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SPOTLIGHT ON: BEACON TECHNOLOGY

customer is guided to the items they are interested in by a map on their phone interacting with the beacons. Then, once they are in front of the fridge or TV they are thinking of buying, the nearby beacon will offer them all the product information they want. It can even hold their attention by directing them to videos that demonstrate the full functionality of different models. Along with providing useful information that can be downloaded and stored without the need for a pen and scraps of paper, the beacon will quickly inform customers of prices, promotions and finance deals that apply to whatever they are interested in.

THE VERSATILITY OF ELECTRIFY IN-STORE RETAIL

WILL

MORE AND MORE CONSUMERS ARE USING THEIR SMARTPHONES IN-STORE AS A SOURCE OF TECHNICAL INFORMATION, OFFERS, FEATURES AND PRICES WHEN THEY’RE SHOPPING FOR ELECTRICALS. SMART RETAILERS ARE CATCHING ON TO BEACON TECHNOLOGY AS A WAY OF TURNING THIS TO THEIR ADVANTAGE AS CUSTOMERS MOVE AROUND THEIR STORES. JAMES PEPPER, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, VISTA RETAIL SUPPORT, EXPLAINS

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etailers specialising in white goods and electrical products will know the difficulty of meeting customers’ demands for technical information, offers and prices in a busy store. And when staff are free, the first family they approach prefers to be left alone, fumbling with their phones even though it is obvious they want to know more about the 88-inch TV they are looking at. In the meantime, other customers have been hoping someone can explain the installation requirements for five different models of washing machine. For many retailers, the consequences of these sudden increases in footfall can be hard to cope with. However, there is an in-store technology that is capable of engaging with tech-savvy customers in a more comprehensive way.

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TWO-WAY INFORMATION

Beacon technology, using small instore transmitters to communicate with smartphones, is now attracting a lot of attention, thanks to its versatility and ability to work in very tightly defined areas. Using Bluetooth technology, it opens a direct, but non-intrusive, channel of communication to the more than 70% of UK consumers who own smartphones and the 85% of them who expect to use their devices when shopping (DigitasLBi’s 2015 Connected Commerce study). And while beacons give customers information about products, they offer retailers reliable data about the way customers move round a store, the length of time they stay in certain areas and how well layouts work or promotions are received.

However, many retailers mistakenly fear this aspect of beacon technology, worried that pumping out offers and notifications will very quickly irritate customers and encourage them to leave for competitors or shop online. The first point to consider is that beacon systems do not automatically bombard shoppers with messages. The level and content can be set by store operators to their own requirements and are easily managed from desktop dashboards with simple interfaces. Secondly, there is plenty of evidence that shoppers want to receive information via their smartphones in-store – provided retailers are sensible about the number of notifications they send.

THE POWER OF TARGETED INFORMATION

RESPONDING TO CUSTOMER DEMAND

Consider how beacons make a retailer’s life easier in a store with many different electrical products on display. Having entered the store, the

A survey conducted earlier this year on behalf of Vista Retail Support backs this up. The research found that more than a

third of shoppers (39%) now enter stores with their smartphone’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi switched on, and that more than four-fifths (84%) wanted information about offers available on the day to be sent to their phones. Almost the same percentage wanted to receive discount codes (83%). However, the research showed that most consumers do not want to receive multiple notifications, with 54% saying they just wanted a single message sent to their phone as they enter a store. The Vista research also revealed a startling result – with 63% of consumers saying they would enter premises if enticed by a notification as they walked by. Even for store operators selling electrical goods, this presents an opportunity. Beacons only have a limited range, but it is enough to send time-limited offers to entice passers-by who have the retailer’s app on their smartphones.

FINE-TUNE YOUR RETAILING

The instantly adaptable nature of the technology means individual store managers can, for example, respond to demand stimulated by a TV programme the previous evening. Using this facility, passersby could be alerted to offers on a new model of liquidiser used in a cookery show. By using beacon technology efficiently and with imagination in this way, store operators can give the more connected consumers the interactive and exciting experience they are looking for. The advantage of the technology is that while it also gives customers control about the information being sent to their phones, it gives retailers real insight into the dynamics of customer-flow and the effectiveness of promotions. And once customers have shown themselves open to offers via beacons, store operators can seize the chance to upsell revenueenhancing finance, maintenance and insurance deals. By engaging consumers and giving them accurate and relevant information, beacons make it far less likely they will leave for home and buy online – substantially reducing the showrooming phenomenon. The technology promises to give real competitive advantage to retailers who embrace it, with correspondingly positive results on the balance sheet.


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Get Connected Magazine - July 2015  

04 Editorial Comment 06 The Word In and around the industry 13 Opinion D.A.D’s Adrian Gillman argues the case for private label products 14...