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MARCH 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

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A breath of fresh air Let SEBO take the hard work out of housework

CUSTOM INSTALL A timely opportunity for electrical retailers to take the first steps into custom install

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

IN THE SPOTLIGHT Rangemaster celebrates a special milestone

GUEST COLUMN Phil Scholes, SME Sales & Marketing Director for npower

GEORGE COLE A coup for YouView

BACKCHAT A 2-minute interview with Vestel’s Brian Boyer Visit gcmagazine.co.uk for the latest

SEBO – the vacuum cleaner professionals For a chance to win a SEBO vacuum cleaner, enter our monthly draw at: www.sebo.co.uk

www.sebo.co.uk

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CONTENTS

INSIDE... 04 Editorial Comment 06 The Word

In and 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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The Product Gallery

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Guest Column

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Custom Install

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In the Spotlight

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George Cole Gets Connected

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From the Bench

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Backchat

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npower’s Phil Scholes on energy efficiency in the workplace

George Cole examines the potential for retailers looking for fresh profit opportunities

Rangemaster marks the production of its 1,000,000th cooker

Here’s looking at YouView, digital radio switchover and Blu-ray UHD

Alan Bennett picks out some useful gadgets and accessories for the service and repair technician

A 2-minute interview with Brian Boyer, Head of White Goods Sales, OEM, Vestel

MARCH 2015 GET CONNECTED

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EDITORIAL COMMENT

COMMENT IT’S MORE THAN HALF A CENTURY SINCE THE ELECTRICAL INDUSTRY REALLY BLOSSOMED IN A BRAVE NEW WORLD JUST EMERGING FROM POST-WAR AUSTERITY.

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elatively few households owned a “O wonder!...... television – even a flickering, grainy, ......O brave new world monochrome nine-inch CRT, let alone That has such people in’t.” today’s smart, UHD, multi-million colour, But any nostalgia for those halcyon days ultra-thin huge screens that were barely shouldn’t blind us to the fact that, while imaginable then even to science-fiction, they were rich with new opportunities, but have now become standard. Washday it was never easy to make a fortune in was about washboards, mangles, hard electricals. The industry needed people graft, chapped hands and hoping for bright of vision who recognised the world was and breezy weather for pegging out on changing and had the acumen and foresight the washing line – a far cry from the load to anticipate and provide for it. They were up, push a button and walk away washing experience of the 21st century. pioneers with no tried and tested Housework was done with traditional blueprint of how a duster, a broom and things should be done; just the courage to maybe a push-along sweeper. Few homes risk an uncharted “Old, reliable future and back their had a landline methods of doing judgment. telephone, and business have been swept We’re on the the mobiles that away by a new wave of threshold of just nobody can live sophisticated products such another without today and altered consumer revolution now. Old, were just another reliable methods of science-fiction demand.” doing business have dream. Personal computers didn’t exist, been swept away by a and computing was done by new wave of sophisticated specialist programmers on roomproducts and altered consumer demand. With smart homes, the Internet sized machines with banks of valves and of Things and fundamentally changing punched tape reels whose power is now shopping habits comes a need for new easily surpassed by a handheld tablet. pioneers. People who have the confidence Entrepreneurs with vision and energy to back their own judgment. Our industry saw the opportunities, and set about supplying homes with the “luxury” electrical needs “such people” now, to reinvent the goods that newly confident and increasingly business, take it forward and, perhaps above all, prevent us from slipping into well-off consumers were craving. that other “Brave New Word” – Aldous Manufacturers designed and made massHuxley’s vision of a dystopian society market appliances to meet the new lifestyle where a small “elite” pre-determines aspirations. Independent electrical retailers every person’s role and position prior to proliferated and prospered. Multiples birth, ethical values don’t apply and being mushroomed on our high streets. different is not an option. Great times to be in the electrical As was true 50 years ago, being different industry, with such massive demand from is what is needed now, and that takes so many consumers. Perhaps times that courage because, as Huxley says, “If one’s truly warranted Miranda’s awestruck quote different, one’s bound to be lonely.” from The Tempest : 4

GET CONNECTED MARCH 2015

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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“Goodmans presents innovation that everyone can enjoy”

The household name is set to make innovative technology accessible for all as the industry landscape begins to shift.

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Utilising Qualcomm® Allplay™ technology, Icon lets you play music from your library, internet radio or via online music services

Contact Goodmans l 2nd Floor, Breakspear Place, Breakspear Park, Breakspear Way, Hemel Hempsted, HP2 4TZ l +44 (0)3444 122 541 l marketing@goodmans.co.uk

OODMANS has worked hard to become a recognisable British brand in the home entertainment industry. Since 1923 we’ve dedicated ourselves to creating accessible, customer-focused products. And moving forward, we’ll continue to do the same… We live in a rapidly changing world. To stay ahead of the technological curve it’s essential that companies adapt and evolve. At Goodmans we may be proud of our past, but we’re more excited about where we’re going. Versatility is written into our DNA. In response to the evolving ways in which people are interacting with technology, Goodmans is offering a fresh, forward-looking range of products. Our new collection delivers style and substance: inviting, intuitive devices showcasing careful design and advanced technology. Devised with usability in mind, they’re not overloaded with unnecessary features and work straight out of the box. Our passion for innovation is leading us into new device categories too. By remaining attentive and consistent, we’ll encourage customers to experience Goodmans products in new categories, as well as in the ones we’re already known for. Furthermore, with our finger on the pulse, we’ll keep creating products geared to match buyer trends and aspirations. The Goodmans mantra is ‘all things considered’. This means that careful thought is given to everything we make. We’re continually reflecting on customer needs, designing real value and innovation into our product. This conscientious approach leads to the ‘brilliantly simple’ – products that show simplicity with a touch of ingenuity. Our latest range includes Oxford. It’s a digital radio that brings an iconic 1960s design up to date with contemporary attributes. As well as DAB+ Digital Tick

compliance, it has Bluetooth streaming and is NFC tap and pair ready. Goodmans Go is also making a splash. It’s a durable, Bluetooth and NFC-enabled DAB+ radio with smartphone charging capabilities. A boldly beautiful all-in-one. Splashproof with a long battery life, it makes a good companion for on-the-go music lovers. Exceptional, cinematic audio makes the Aspect – a soundbar with Bluetooth and NFC connectivity – our essential product. It can be positioned horizontally or vertically, and is held in place by a smart magnetic base. With compact dimensions that make it highly versatile, the Aspect delivers surprising sound for its size. Moreover, its clever sound processing maximises audio quality in both positions. It’s with an eye to the future that we’ve devised the Icon. Impressive in design and specification, it’s a connected audio speaker that supports High Resolution Audio playback. The Icon features Qualcomm® Allplay™ technology, enabling it to connect to Spotify, TuneIn and Tidal, amongst others. At Goodmans we’re committed to creating beautiful technology that’s a pleasure to use and has real value. We’re also committed to making technology accessible to every consumer. With this in mind, we’ll be moving into the exciting new areas of connected audio and the connected home – bringing brilliant simplicity to complex product areas. We’ll partner with technology companies such as Qualcomm to deliver top class features alongside our leading British design. Get a taste of what Goodmans has in store at the upcoming Euronics trade show (Birmingham NEC, end of April). Come and see how we combine fresh design with a faithfulness to our core values…


INDUSTRY NEWS

GCMAGAZINE.CO.UK >> UPDATED DAILY

THE VERY LATEST ELECTRICAL GOODS INDUSTRY NEWS

RETRA APPOINTS NEW CEO

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oward Saycell, Deputy CEO of retra (pictured), has been appointed CEO of retra & retracare and will officially take over the position on 1st June 2015. He succeeds Bryan Lovewell, who is retiring after seven years. Saycell has over 30 years’ industry experience and has worked with retra for three years, managing the legal helpline and playing an active role in the management of many of the association’s events and activities.

Prior to joining retra in 2012 he spent 28 years with Sony. He has also been involved with the Television and Radio Industries Club (TRIC) since 2006, where he remains an active committee member. Matt Sheldrake, General Manager of retracare, has been promoted to the role of Deputy CEO of retra & retracare. For further retra news or for information on becoming a retra member visit: www.retra.co.uk Email: reception@retra.co.uk

LOW PAY COMMISSION RECOMMENDS 3% INCREASE IN NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE

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he Low Pay Commission (LPC) has recommended to the Government that the adult rate of the National Minimum Wage, which applies to workers aged

21 and over, should rise by 3% to £6.70 from October 2015. With inflation now forecast at 0.5%, the recommendation, if accepted by the Government,

would be the largest real-terms increase in the NMW since 2007, taking its estimated real value three-quarters of the way back to its highest ever level.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE HOLDS STEADY IN FEBRUARY Consumer confidence remained stable in February as low inflation, driven mainly by falling oil prices, helped people feel more confident about their personal finances. GfK’s UK Consumer Confidence Index lingered at 1 during

the month, with three of the measures used to calculate the index increasing and two declining. The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months increased one point, to 6, and

expectations for the general economic situation over the same period increased four points, to 3. The appetite for major purchases, although falling one point, to 4, was 15 points higher than at this time last year.

VISIT GCMAGAZINE.CO.UK FOR THE STORIES BEHIND THE NEWS...  Household spending power takes another leap  Mobile accounts for 40% of all online retail sales  Late payments still hampering SMEs  BEST reports rise in downdraft Lift sales  LG unveils luxury ‘LG Watch Urbane’

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AO SHARES FALL ON PROFITS WARNING S

hares in AO World plc dipped by almost a third as the company issued a warning that profits for the financial year ending 31 March 2015 will be below expectations. AO World floated in February 2014 with a market value of £1.2 billion, which some analysts likened to the dot-com bubble created by technology companies in the early 2000s. In a statement, the company said: “…it is now apparent that some of the revenue growth in the second half of FY14 and going into FY15 was due to the extra publicity surrounding the Company at that time. This impacted the year-on-year growth rate.” AO has found achieving expected sales growth to date in Q4 FY15 “difficult” and this has negatively affected adjusted EBITDA, it said. At the time of its Q3 trading statement, AO expected to meet the market's expectations for both revenue and adjusted EBITDA in the UK, even taking into account the loss of a logistics contract, the cost impact of driver legislation changes and the adverse effects of Black Friday, which did not produce incremental sales, but condensed sales into a shorter time period. The company said it now expects revenue and adjusted EBITDA for its UK operations to be c.£470m-£475m and c.£16.5m respectively. John Roberts, Chief Executive Officer, commented: "AO has experienced tougher than expected trading conditions in the final quarter of the year, as compared to Q4 in FY2014. While we are disappointed that sales and profits are going to come in slightly below expectations, we remain committed to our market-leading, customer-focused business model. “We continue to redefine retailing in our chosen categories with unbeatable prices, huge range and availability, complemented by amazing service. Having delivered on all our strategic objectives through this financial year, we are confident of our ability to continue to deliver for our customers and to further drive the success of AO in the interest of all stakeholders."


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INDUSTRY NEWS

LONDON FIRE BRIGADE CALLS FOR SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS ON FRIDGE FREEZERS T SHOP PRICES REMAIN IN DECLINE

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hop prices recorded deflation for the 22nd consecutive month in February, shifting to 1.7% following deflation of 1.3% in January. Non-food deflation moved to 2.5% from 1.8% in January, while food recorded annual deflation of 0.4% compared to 0.5% in the prior month. BRC Director General Helen Dickinson said the overall figure was in line with the 12-month average.

ESF WELCOMES ADDITIONAL FUNDING TO PREVENT SALES OF COUNTERFEIT GOODS

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he Government has pledged an extra £400,000 to help trading standards officers prevent dangerous goods being sold in the UK. The money will be allocated by National Trading Standards (NTS) and includes £182,000 for its ports and borders project which is improving surveillance at Southampton and Felixstowe ports. Electrical Safety First welcomed the Government announcement. Director General Phil Buckle said: “In addition to funding criminal activity and hurting legitimate businesses, buying counterfeit can place our families and our homes in danger. “Around half of all domestic fires in Great Britain arise from an electrical source, with electrical products the prime culprit, and our research has found that sales of fake goods on social media have increased by almost 15% in the last year, with seizures of mobile phones rising by over 50%. So we are delighted that the Government has recognised the importance of product safety and we ask that they continue to work closely with local authorities to tackle the increase in counterfeit goods which threaten the safety of the UK consumer.”

he London Fire Brigade is calling for fridge freezer manufacturers to act now to make their products safer, stating that it believes most manufacturers are still “dragging their heels” on making fire safety improvements, despite 71 serious injuries and seven deaths in London since 2010. Fridges and freezers are of particular concern because they contain large amounts of plastic and highly flammable insulation, which if ignited can cause large, rapidly developing fires that spread quickly, giving off highly toxic gases. The Brigade said that the doors and side panels of most fridges and freezers are usually covered in metal but it is concerned that many still use a flammable plastic backing. It is calling on the industry to ensure the backs of fridge freezers are made of non combustible or fire retardant materials as standard. The issue hit media headlines in September last year at the inquest into the death of Santosh Benjamin Muthiah from Harrow, who lost his life in a house fire caused by a fridge freezer. After the hearing, following a submission from London Fire Brigade, the Coroner reported on the serious risk posed to the safety of consumers by the lack of any requirement to use nonflammable materials to protect the highly flammable insulation from ignition. According to the LBF, there is, on average, one fridge freezer fire a week in the Capital. The Brigade said it has been lobbying the industry to make fridges and freezers more fire resistant for the last three and a half years.

London Fire Brigade Deputy Commissioner Rita Dexter said: “Every home has a fridge or freezer and the chances are it will be plugged in and working safely for years, but it is no exaggeration to say that they are potentially the most dangerous household appliances if they are involved in a fire. “They contain large amounts of highly flammable foam insulation, often only protected by a thin plastic covering. This can be a recipe for disaster if a fault occurs or if a fire spreads from somewhere else to the fridge or freezer. They are also one of the few electrical items in your home to be always left on and these fires pose an even greater risk if they start when people are sleeping. “Putting a simple non-combustible or fire retardant covering at the back of appliances is a relatively simple change that manufacturers can make and one that we believe would reduce the number of injuries, and potentially deaths, caused by fires involving fridges and freezers.”

WARNING RELEASED AFTER RECALLED DISHWASHER CAUSES BLAZE The fire and rescue service is urging people to register electrical appliances on AMDEA’s ‘register my appliance’ website after a faulty dishwasher caused a kitchen blaze at a home in Cannock, Staffordshire. An investigation found that the dishwasher, Hotpoint model FDL 570 G, had been recalled by the manufacturer.

For more information visit www.responsible-recycling.co.uk

MARCH 2015 GET CONNECTED

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MARCH 2015 GET CONNECTED

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For more information visit www.responsible-recycling.co.uk

REPIC Responsible Recycling is our new campaign to encourage greater consumer REPIC Responsible Recycling is our new campaign to encourage greater consumer participation in the world of WEEE recycling... visit our new website for full details! participation in the world of WEEE recycling... visit our new website for full details!


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TERESA ARBUCKLE APPOINTED MD OF BEKO UK & IRELAND

COOL

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eresa Arbuckle has been appointed Managing Director of Beko UK & Ireland. She succeeds Ragip Balcıoğlu, who moves to Turkey to take up a new role as Assistant General Manager/CSO International Sales at Beko parent company Arçelik Group. Arbuckle, who has a strong history of strategy development and execution, joined Beko UK in 2011 as Marketing Director. Leading the marketing department during that time has equipped her with significant insight into the needs and challenges of the UK & Ireland business, the largest Beko international affiliate. Commenting on her appointment, she said: “Beko plc has gone from strength to strength in recent years and this year sees the Beko brand celebrate its 25th anniversary of trading in the UK and third year positioned as the UK’s bestselling large home appliance brand. It is an exciting time to be at the company and I look forward to the challenge.”

SONY SPLITS OUT VIDEO & SOUND BUSINESS

www.amica-international.co.uk

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Sony is targeting 1st October 2015 to commence the next stage of its reorganisation process by spinning off its Video & Sound business unit and launching it as a self-sustained, wholly owned subsidiary. The move follows the spin-off of Sony’s TV business last year. The Japanese manufacturer also said it intends to move forward with preparations for splitting out other business units and it would no longer pursue volume growth in its TV and Mobile Communications businesses as both markets are experiencing intense competition and commoditisation. The exploration of potential alliances with other companies in these areas is to continue. The company said it is positioning Devices, Game & Network Services, Pictures and Music as the segments that will drive its profit growth over the next three years. A target has been set for ROE of more than 10% and an operating profit in excess of ¥500 billion for the Group by March 2018. Earlier this month, Sony predicted a net loss of ¥170 billion for its fiscal year ending 31 March 2015.


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INDUSTRY NEWS IH EURC ONIC S VIS

2015 BRISTOL SHOW EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS O

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rganisers of the 28th Bristol Show, which took place in February, said the event again exceeded expectations. Brands on show were up from 178 in 2014 to 197 this year and visitor numbers increased 7% on 2014. Overseas visitors came from Norway, France, Australia, Austria, Russia, Ireland, China, Switzerland, Portugal and Taiwan. The third annual Clarity "Best of Show" Awards were presented to: Yamaha for Best Home Cinema Room; Dynaudio for Best Presented Room; Henley Designs for Best Sounding Hi-Fi Room; Hi-Fi Racks for Best Stand in Open Areas; Entotem for Most Innovative Room. Sound & Vision Bristol 2016 will take place 26th to 28th February.

RETAIL SECTOR TOPS CONSUMER COMPLAINTS LIST

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he number of complaints made about products and services has almost doubled over the last 12 months to reach 66 million, and Britons are now more likely to take action against companies that let them down. According to the Ombudsman Services’ annual Consumer Action Monitor, there has been a 74% rise in the number of problems actioned by consumers. Retail is the most criticised sector, attracting around 18.5 million complaints, which fell evenly between online-only retailers and shops. Growth in internet shopping was said to have been a key driver. The telecoms sector is the second most criticised, accounting for 9.9 million complaints. Overall, this year’s report showed a marked shift in the willingness of consumers to take action when they have a grievance, with 47% taking their complaint to either the supplier or a third party. This compared to 34% in 2013. This increasing consumer activism is, in part, being

fuelled by technology in two ways, according to the report. E-commerce is removing human interaction from many purchases, making minor problems more likely, and social media is giving customers the opportunity to campaign directly if they have a problem. More than 5.2 million complaints were made last year through channels such as Facebook, Twitter and consumer forums. Yet despite the rise in complaints, the report uncovered an additional 71 million problems that were never acted upon. Commenting on the findings, Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith said: “While it is encouraging to know that consumers are becoming more aware of their rights and more likely to take action, we’re also seeing millions of problems that aren’t taken up with suppliers. “In 2015, as new legislation brings alternative dispute resolution services such as ombudsmen to more and more sectors, there will be more routes for customers to seek redress.”

COOL

cool ~ adjective., – calm, together (slang), collected, relaxed, composed

www.amica-international.co.uk

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2015 NEFF MASTERPARTNER AWARD WINNERS N

eff has announced the winners of its seventh annual MasterPartner Excellence Awards, which took place at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm, London and was hosted by The Great British Bake Off presenter and internationally renowned baker Paul Hollywood. The winners are as follows: • Best MasterPartner® Window Display: In-toto Southport • Best MasterPartner® Showroom: Ramsbottom Kitchen Company Ltd • Best use of Advertising, Marketing and Social Media: Rugby Fitted Kitchens Ltd • Best Kitchen Design using Neff – up to £20,000: Development Direct Ltd – Martin Baptie • Best Kitchen Design using Neff – over £20,000: Ashley Ann – Elaine Barnet • Best Newcomer WINNER: Solstice Kitchens • MasterPartner® Area Business Manager of the Year 2015: Richard Fisher • Supreme MasterPartner®: Ramsbottom Kitchen Company Ltd

MIELE ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF GRAND DESIGNS LIVE STAND COMPETITION

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iele has announced the winners of its Grand Designs Live, London 2015 Stand Competition, which gave independent kitchen retailers the opportunity to win a 30m2 stand worth over £16,000 at the show. Ben Russell of Arlington Interiors won the Under £20,000 category, Violet Nankervis of Ruach Kitchens the Under

£30,000 category and Richard McGee of Holloways of Ludlow the Under £60,000 category. The prize also includes the Miele appliances incorporated in the winning kitchen designs, 100 complimentary tickets, publicity on the Grand Designs Live website and editorial coverage in the pre-show e-newsletter.

AMICA OPENS FIRST ‘SOLUS’ SHOWROOM

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olish home appliance brand Amica has opened the first in a series of planned ‘solus Amica’ showrooms, located at the headquarters of Andover-based

distribution partner Portway Domestic Appliances. The dedicated, branded space displays a range of freestanding and built-in products from all appliance categories. Amica said it will be making full use of the new facility by running training sessions, creating new product videos and digital content for websites and blogs. Many of the appliances are live for cooking demonstrations and photography. Consumers are also welcome to visit the showroom by appointment.

BOSCH TAKES TO THE ROAD WITH NEW MOBILE TRAINING ACADEMY

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osch’s new Mobile Training Academy is embarking on a tour of the UK to give retailers hands-on experience of the brand‘s new Serie 8 range of built-in appliances ahead of the consumer launch on 1st April. The new Mobile Training Academy, which is the first of its kind for Bosch, has the full range of new Serie 8 built-in ovens and dishwashers, complemented by hoods and hobs. In the forthcoming weeks the vehicle will visit retail parks to provide retailers with training sessions, and from May onwards it will also be open to consumers, stopping at major shopping destinations including the Birmingham Bullring and Lakeside Thurrock. A team of expert trainers and home economists will be onboard running live cookery demonstrations and training both for retailers and consumers. The Academy will travel around the UK for the next 12 months.

INSINKERATOR® INVESTS IN MAJOR MARKETING CAMPAIGN

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nSinkErator® has extended its marketing efforts with its largest ever national television and press advertising campaign, following the launch of its 3N1 steaming hot water tap. The ad will run on a range of channels including Sky, Good Food, ITV3, ITV4 and More 4 as part of enhanced PR and marketing

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activities employed in an ongoing strategy throughout 2015. The broadcast project will be supported by additional consumer online and print advertising, with a new focus on food titles, home interest and lifestyle magazines. Alongside national press coverage in The Times, the activity broadens the scope of the 3N1 campaign to ensure

nationwide footfall for trade partners. Marketing material for the campaign will remain consistent across the multiple platforms, with a brand new website focusing on technical innovations and lifestyle benefits, providing a useful reference both for consumers and retailers. Corresponding printed brochures, point of sale and in-store displays

will be introduced to illustrate product benefits to consumers. “What better way to start the year than with a marketing activity of such scale,” said Linda Phoutthasak, InSinkErator® Marketing Manager Europe and Russia. “This is a huge step forward for InSinkErator®, and we start as we mean to go on throughout the year.”


“One of the best vacuums we’ve ever tested”. Winner of Which? Best Buy Vacuum Cleaners January 2015.

Plenty of vacuums claim to handle pet hairs. But Which? only picked one as its favourite for our furry friends. Thanks to its ability to remove pet hair, fine dust and animal odours. Refer to your Business Development Manager for more details. £30 cashback available on the Complete C3 Cat & Dog PowerLine. Valid from 5th March – 9th April 2015. For full terms and conditions and details on how to claim speak to your Business Development Manager.


INDUSTRY NEWS

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 SHORTCUTS

Left to right: Neil Old, Jessops Managing Director; Gemma Puffer, Jessops Marketing Manager; Richard Sibley, Deputy Editor, Amateur Photographer

JESSOPS RECEIVES GOLD AWARD FOR GOOD SERVICE Photographic specialist Jessops received a Gold Award for Good Service at this year’s Amateur Photographer Awards, which recognise the best photographic equipment and photographic retailers.

Fisher & Paykel UK has partnered with New Zealandborn chef Peter Gordon, who will create new recipes and dishes for F&P customers and star in a series of videos that will be available on the brand’s website and social media platforms. The recipes will also be shown in selected kitchen studios to demonstrate the ease of use of F&P ovens and hobs. LG’s premium refrigeration, laundry and dishwasher products have been recognised for energy savings of up to 35%, compared with equivalent models, and will now carry the ‘Energy Saving Trust Verified’ logo.

Zanussi ZRB38213WA Frost Free Fridge Freezer, and the Zanussi ZOP37902XK 74-Litre Built-in Pyrolytic Oven. Cooling specialist Liebherr is to exhibit at the Grand Designs Live exhibitions taking place in London and Birmingham in 2015. Liebherr’s Lutz Weber, Regional Sales Manager, West and North Europe, said: “This investment will help us to continue to grow and strengthen our profile in the UK, thus ensuring we remain a requested household brand.”

SIRIUS PRESENTS £15,050 TO LIVER FOUNDATION UK The SIRIUS Buying Group, an active charity supporter, has raised £15,050 for the Liver Foundation. A cheque for the monies was formally presented to the Liver Foundation at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital by independent retailer Paul Cunningham, owner of A1 Appliances in Dursley, Gloucestershire.

Left to right: Professor Darius Mirza, Transplant Surgeon; Moira Perrin, Liver Transplant Coordinator; Paul Cunningham, Owner/MD of A1 Appliances, Dursley; Peter Gilks, SIRIUS Buying Group Executive MD and Owner/MD of Nailsea Electrical, Bristol

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Whirlpool’s 6TH SENSE PowerDry ADP 900 IX dishwasher has been awarded 9/10 by Trusted Reviews, which praised the appliance for its “hero features”, noted as the PowerClean and PowerDry programmes, and stated that it “quite literally cleans up on well thought-out and easy-to-use features.” Electrolux will be actively promoting five of its Which? Best Buys via a 6-month campaign that will include point-of-sale, leaflets and promotional literature prominently featuring the Which? Best Buy logo. The campaign will highlight the AEG OKOKombi Plus L99695HWD Washer Dryer, the A++ rated AEG stainless steel S74010KDX0 Fridge, the Zanussi Under Counter ZFT11100WA Freezer, the

Leisure is launching an Easter cash-back promotion running from 19th March to 14th May 2015 across selected 90cm, 100cm and 110cm range cookers. Consumers purchasing one of the selected appliances will be entitled to claim up to £200 cash back. Exertis UK has launched a month-long March Madness 2015 promotion offering discounts and incentives on top brands covering PC, IT, Software, Gaming and Consumer Electronics. www.exertis.co.uk/home/ marchmadness

Beko has announced its sponsorship of Team Turx, the first team to represent Turkey at the Extreme Sailing Series last September, which is continuing to contest the 2015 Series which started in Singapore in February. Smeg has been awarded a Which? Best Buy for its TSF02 four-slice toaster, receiving an overall score of 77% in recent tests. Cooling specialist Liebherr’s BlackSteel side-by-side SBSbs 7263 has received an iF Design Award for Product Design. Beko has introduced a spring cash-back promotion to drive sales of its Americanstyle fridge freezers. The promotion commenced 5th March and will run until 6th May on a selection of models.

KEF has received a Dolby Atmos Award in recognition of the company’s ‘Leadership in introducing Dolby Atmos for the home’. Stephen Auld of Dolby Europe Ltd visited KEF UK to present managing director Steve Halsall with the award. Smeg is to exhibit at this year’s Ideal Home Show, which takes place at London’s Olympia from 20th March – 6th April, with a 200m2 stand (H749) featuring new and existing products, set in the heart of the Ideal Kitchens section.


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INDUSTRY NEWS

GCMAGAZINE.CO.UK >> UPDATED DAILY

BRITANNIA ADDS SPLASHBACKS TO MDA PORTFOLIO

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ritannia Living has introduced a collection of 28 splashbacks to complement its kitchen appliance range. The new units are available in a variety of configurations from 90cm-120cm, proportionate to Britannia’s range cooker specifications, and are available in stainless steel, glass and decorative steel. Michael Haigh, marketing manager at Britannia Living, said: “Consumers who bought a Britannia range cooker had to spend time searching elsewhere for a matching splashback. This is no longer necessary as all of our splashbacks have been designed with our ranges in mind. We are delighted to be able to provide a more complete solution for consumers, becoming a one-stop destination for range cookers and accessories.”

AEG LAUNCHES FIRST AAAA-RATED VACUUM CLEANER ONTO UK MARKET

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EG’s latest vacuum cleaner is understood to be the first to launch onto the UK market with four A-grades in accordance with the new EU energy labelling and ecodesign regulations. The new AEG UltraOne Quattro holds A-grades for energy efficiency, dust pickup, both on carpet and hard floors, and dust re-emissions. AEG said it will launch a range of top performing A-graded vacuum cleaners, the 800W UltraOne Quattro being the first.

B&O COMMEMORATES 90TH BIRTHDAY WITH NEW COLLECTION

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ang & Olufsen has launched a new collection comprising six of its most popular products redesigned in rose gold in celebration of its 90th birthday. The collection has been designed to represent the 1920s when Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen established the brand. The products capture the mood and

DURACELL SMARTPHONE AND TABLET CHARGERS THE REASONS GO ON AND ON DURACELL BATTERIES, CHARGERS, SYNC & CHARGE CABLES FULL RANGE COVERING ALL MAJOR MAUFACTURERS APPLE LICENSED (MFI) AVAILABLE FROM PSA PARTS (DURACELL’S EUROPEAN LICENSEE FOR MOBILE PHONE AND TABLET ACCESSORIES)

SMARTPHONE & TABLET

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GET CONNECTED MARCH 2015

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style of the time which, combined with the warm fabrics recently developed in collaboration with fashion designer Stine Goya, represents a 90-year relationship between the company and its customers. Products chosen for the new ‘Love Affair Collection’ are the recently launched BeoVision Avant 85, the all-in-one entertainment solution BeoVision 11-46 and BeoRemote One, the magic-touch BeoPlay A9 music system and the lightweight BeoPlay H6 headphones. Also included is the classic BeoLab 18 with a new walnut lamella front and a cabinet in an elegant rose gold.

NEW-GENERATION BUILT-IN COLLECTION FROM GORENJE

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orenje has revamped its built-in cooking collection to create a new generation of appliances, available from March 2015. The new built-in ovens, hobs, hoods and coffee machines will replace Gorenje’s current flagship range and offer developments such as large capacity ovens up to 75 litres, ergonomic design with matching fascia panels and user-friendly interfaces across the portfolio. In line with the ‘Life Simplified’ ethos, Gorenje has grouped the appliances into three categories: essential, advanced and superior, with each line offering increased functionality. “From a pyrolytic oven available for under £300 to state-of-theart hobs that provide a fully automatic cooking experience, we are confident that our new appliances offer something for every type of cook,” commented Stuart Benson, national sales manager at Gorenje UK.


THE LATEST ELECTRICAL GOODS INDUSTRY NEWS >> GCMAGAZINE.CO.UK

INDUSTRY NEWS

SONAB INTRODUCES RETAIL ENVIRONMENT WIRELESS AUDIO SYSTEM

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he System 9 retail environment wireless audio system from Sonab is designed to help minimise installation costs and time, while offering a flexible sound system that delivers premium sound quality. The ‘snap & play’ system provides easy fitting as the CLS powered speakers clip into existing 240V spotlight tracks for power and receive

CD quality audio signals wirelessly from the CTX wireless transmitter, which can be connected to any sound source including PC, Mac, Smart Phone or Tablet. According to Sonab, a whole store fit takes just a matter of hours. System 9 speakers are powered by inbuilt amplifiers, which together with a digital signal processor and digital

distribution filters produce superior performance compared with regular speakers, the company claims. The speakers are also energy efficient, requiring just a few watts, while the CTX transmitter runs on a few microwatts. When not in use, System 9 speakers automatically switch off into energy-saving standby mode.

FREEVIEW PLAY MANUFACTURERS ANNOUNCED

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igital UK and Freeview have announced that Panasonic will be the first manufacturer to launch TVs featuring the Freeview Play connected TV service, making it available in its new 2015 line-up of VIERA TVs. Channel 5’s Demand 5 service will also join the platform, completing the

launch line-up of catchup players alongside BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD. The news follows a major Freeview rebrand in preparation for the launch of the new TV offer. Panasonic plans to offer Freeview Play recorders at a later date, and multibrand manufacturer Vestel

will follow with a range of Freeview Play products. Humax, meanwhile, is to become the first manufacturer to launch settop boxes delivering the new Freeview Play TV service later this year. The new boxes will support HD content and feature built-in Wi-Fi for wireless

broadband connectivity to access Freeview Play’s range of catch-up services. Three built-in tuners open up advanced recording functionality alongside the catch-up and on-demand services, with the option of 500GB and 1TB built-in hard drives for up to 300 hours and 600 hours of storage

space respectively. Details on the price, features and specifications of the Humax Freeview Play boxes will be made available at a later date.

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THE PRODUCT GALLERY

gcmagazine.co.uk

GOING RETRO WITH THE GPO EMPIRE The vintage-style GPO Empire is finished in a wood and black matte design with woven cloth speakers built in. The unit has retro-look brass dials and incorporates a three-speed turntable and analogue radio.

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Auto on/off option Play/pause lift arm Option for AUX in to connect to extra speakers Built-in RCA audio out Headphone jack Compatible with GPO Westwood speaker amplifier

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www.gporetro.com

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FISHER & PAYKEL “FLAT WHITE” COOLING Fisher & Paykel has added a white finish to its flat door premium fridge freezers to deliver a contemporary “Flat White” range of ActiveSmart™ models which keep food fresher for longer.

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SmartTouch controls Flexible shelving and storage Slide-out bins and trays on full extension runners Adaptive defrost (automatic defrosting) French door and Bottom mount versions available

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www.fisherpaykel.com/UK

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IS THIS THE PERFECT COFFEE MACHINE FOR CAPPUCCINO/LATTE LOVERS? The new AEG Fantasia coffee machine creates authentic, frothy coffee-shop cappuccinos and lattes using AEG’s steam and whisk system to ensure milk reaches the desired foam texture, and a cold milk frothing setting makes cold and iced coffees too. The Fantasia uses Lavazza A Modo A Mio capsules and comes in three colours: Ebony Black, Rubin Red and Latte Cream.

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Favourite drink styles can be programmed in Thermoblock Technology for optimum coffee temperature Milk froth selector 0.9-litre water tank | Capacity for 10 used capsules 9-minute auto shutoff function Adjustable drip tray for different sized cups De-scaling alert

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08345 611 611 | www.aeg.co.uk

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Q ACOUSTICS 3000 SERIES LOUDSPEAKERS Q Acoustics’ all-new 3000 Series hi-fi stereo and home cinema loudspeakers comprises five new designs: two bookshelf models, a floorstanding model, an active subwoofer and a dedicated home cinema centre channel speaker. j j j j j j

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Ultra-low resonance cabinet with dual layer front and top panels Targeted pivotal internal bracing and minimal rear mounted terminal plates 2 in 1 Concentric Ring Dome design tweeter mounted into a butyl rubber, resonance-absorbing housing Tonal quality of bass/midrange drivers improved with upgrade of cone material to paper/aramid fibres Improved crossover boasts audiophile components including u-core inductors Available in Matte Graphite, American Walnut, premium Lacquered Gloss Black, Lacquered Gloss White and Leather finishes

GET CONNECTED MARCH 2015

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www.qacoustics.co.uk


THE PRODUCT GALLERY

KITCHENAID REINVENTS THE BLENDER KitchenAid’s Artisan Magnetic Drive Blender uses an interlocking magnetic drive system to power the blades and safely secure the jar. It is a stable, low profile die-cast metal design that, according to KitchenAid, offers unprecedented performance with intuitive technology. Operation is simplified by four preset recipe programmes: Juice, Soups/Sauces, Milkshakes, Icy Drinks/Smoothies. j j j j

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2HP peak motor Stainless steel blades 1.75L jug with no-slip soft grip handle Ingredient feed funnel with integrated measuring cup

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Manual speed control | Pulse function | Soft start Available in Candy Apple, Empire Red, Frosted Pearl, Onyx Black, Almond Cream and Medallion Silver finishes

www.kitchenaid.co.uk

CAPLE INTRODUCES C950I MODULAR MULTI-ZONE INDUCTION HOB

WHIRLPOOL LAUNCHES JET CHEF MICROWAVE IN ‘ABSOLUTE’ DESIGN

Caple has brought a uniquely designed multizone induction hob to the market with the launch of a model with four modular zones configured in a semi-circle around the control zone. Each zone and the control panel can be inset or fitted flush to the work surface.

Whirlpool’s latest Jet Chef combination microwave oven (JT469) is claimed to provide the high-quality cooking performance one would expect from a traditional oven, at the speed of a microwave, and is styled in the brand’s new ‘Absolute’ design. The 33-litre appliance incorporates Whirlpool’s 6th Sense® technology. j j j j j

Steam, grill, crisp, hot air cooking and defrosting Chef Menu with 30 automatic recipes | 3D microwave distribution Steamer accessory Jet defrost | Bread Defrost Backlit interactive LED display

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2 x 300mm 3.0kW zones; 2 x 270mm 1.4kW zones 11 power levels include keep warm function and power booster Memory recall and pause Child safety lock | Residual heat indicators | Automatic pan detection | Safety shut-off | Anti-overheat/overflow RRP: £1,845

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www.caple.co.uk

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www.whirlpool.co.uk

VITAMEISTER SLOW JUICER JOINS TEAM SDA RANGE Team UKI’s VitaMeister Slow Juicer (model ref: SLJ 7R) has a separate vegetable processor accessory with two attachments for slicing or grating. The appliance has a high torque, slow speed 150W motor with forward and reverse action and operates at a maximum noise level of 65dB(A).

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Inbuilt safety systems Two pushers | Two cups 20-minutes continuous use | Overheat sensor Non-electrical parts dishwasher safe Comprehensive instructions include serving suggestions

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Tel: 0121 693 1959 | www.teamuki.com

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MARCH 2015 GET CONNECTED

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GUEST COLUMN | PHIL SCHOLES

ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN THE WORKPLACE PHIL SCHOLES SCHOLES, SME SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR FOR NPOWER, LOOKS AT THE PRACTICAL MEASURES BUSINESSES CAN TAKE TO REDUCE ENERGY CONSUMPTION IN THE WORKPLACE

1. REDUCE WASTAGE It sounds simple, but if lights, air conditioning, heating and ventilation and other equipment are not required, then they should be switched off. Control systems are an effective tool available to do this. These technologies automatically switch off items like display cabinets when they are not in use

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eing able to turn the lights on, boil a kettle and power up computer equipment are things we each take for granted, particularly when in the office. But how often does any one of us consider the energy used in being able to power each of these electrical appliances? After all, we all think we are at work to work, not to worry about our energy consumption. However, the energy we use at work comes at a cost, just as it does when we are at home. Time and time again we find that small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across various sectors prioritise costcutting measures in other areas of the business over managing and monitoring their energy efficiency. However, energy management is becoming an increasingly important part of any business plan, with independent authorities such as The Carbon Trust stating that good energy management can result in cost savings of between 5% and 25% per year. This point was reflected in a study we conducted with 500 SMEs, where we found that better energy management can deliver substantial cost savings – currently almost half (48%) of the companies we spoke with spend between 25% to 50% of their total business costs on energy. However, despite this figure, many are still struggling to find the time to focus on energy or to identify the practical measures they can take to unlock potential savings. But could more be done to increase that figure? For those businesses that are ready to make a change in how they manage their energy, we believe there are four areas which hold the key to driving energy use down and cost efficiencies up. 18

GET CONNECTED MARCH 2015

2. LOOK AT LIGHTING Businesses keep premises well lit for customers and employees, but savings of up to 20% could be achieved by making small investments in energy-efficient lighting. Even small changes such as changing from halogen spotlights to LEDs could save up to 80% of energy used and reduce maintenance costs, too, as they last much longer than traditional light bulbs

3. HEATING UP Assessing heating and ventilation equipment can also make a big difference. Heat can easily escape out of the front door in buildings with large, open entrances. One way to save energy is to install ‘air curtains’ above the entrance. These provide a stream of hot air, keeping the warmth in and the cold out

4. GET EMPLOYEES INVOLVED A change in employee behaviour and attitude to energy could also have a real impact. All staff should be encouraged to think about their energy usage and consequently their role in reducing consumption. Appointing an ‘energy revolutionary’ can be a simple but effective step. They can assist by taking responsibility for initiating small-scale efficiency practices and reminding colleagues of the everyday steps they could all undertake to bring energy usage down

Being conscious about a business’s energy use is not rocket science. There are many small (and often simple) changes that could be made, either by the business or employees, to make a big difference. By taking a considered and intelligent approach to energy management, significant savings could be made within the company, whether this is through innovative technologies or by enforcing basic changes in attitudes or approaches. As the importance of energy management increases, I think it’s about time that we honestly asked ourselves if we can afford to ignore energy consumption within our businesses, don’t you?


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CUSTOM INSTALL

NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR CE DEALERS THE RETAIL CLIMATE IS CHALLENGING FOR INDEPENDENTS, AND SO ADAPTING, DIVERSIFYING AND GRASPING NEW SALES OPPORTUNITIES IS ESSENTIAL IF THEY ARE TO REMAIN A VIABLE BUSINESS. ONE POSSIBLE ROUTE IS TO MOVE INTO CUSTOM INSTALLATION. GEORGE COLE REPORTS Ashley Shorey-Mills, area manager south for Hughes Smart Home

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ore than two and half years ago the electrical trade association Retra launched Retra Install, an initiative designed to help retailers make the transition from selling products to installing products and systems in people’s homes. Commenting on the move, Retra’s outgoing chief executive Bryan Lovewell says: “The margins on selling a flat panel TV are very thin, so retailers need to offer further services. Hanging a flat TV on a wall and running some wires through the walls can make a retailer better margins than the product itself.” Stuart Tickle, managing director of specialist custom install distributor AWE, agrees. “The biggest opportunity for independent retailers getting involved with home installations can be summed up in two words: increased profit. Half the revenue on a full custom installation comes from installation, programming and so on. Good retailers have always added value to customers, but the traditional areas of value add, such as a showroom, have been substantially eroded by easy access to online reviews and fast home delivery.”

SMART HOME, SMART MOVE

Ashley Shorey-Mills, area manager south for retailer Hughes Smart Home, based in East Anglia, says: “More and more products are 20

GET CONNECTED MARCH 2015

centred around the internet and customer interaction. To make the most of these opportunities, I’d suggest you think about your customers. These days they can purchase amazing products at low prices, with good customer service. With this in mind, you need something which sets you apart from the crowd, and smart home technology is the way forward for this.” Phil Hansen, operations and marketing director at Clarity Alliance, a trade association for the hi-fi and home cinema industry, says it is becoming increasingly tougher for independents. “You’ve got the multiples, online retailers and reduced footfall all putting pressure on price and margins. Consumers are becoming more aware of the smart home and the connected home, but it is complicated. A good level of service is something independents are renowned for, so they are ideally placed to enter this market.” But many retailers are reluctant to grasp the nettle, notes Bryan Lovewell:

“The timing is perfect for retailers to move into custom install”

“I am concerned that some retailers are somewhat conservative,” he says. “Things that have been good for their business for the last thirty or forty years aren’t necessarily right for the market today – they have to adapt.”

CHALLENGES

“The biggest challenge to business owners is to actually take the first steps,” adds Stuart Tickle. “I am not talking about anything that puts the existing business at risk, but they must commit at least a small number of key staff that are willing and able to learn the skills.” But it is understandable why some retailers may think twice about moving into custom installation, because as Phil Hansen notes, there are challenges. “Education is a challenge, because you need to learn an awful lot. Not just about products, but networking, security, what products work together and how to interface products with control systems. It’s not like delivering a television or plumbing in a washing machine.” There are also resource implications, he adds: “Your business effectively becomes a computer help desk and you’ll need to be able to cope with the customer queries that will undoubtedly come. You also need to be prepared for callouts to fix things, so there are time and staff implications. Custom install isn’t a quick fix for retailers wanting to expand into new areas, but it could be a very rewarding fix if they get it right.”

MAKING IT WORK

“You have to put the investment in from day one, yet it can be a slow burner, as it takes time to get customers to realise what the service is about,” maintains Ashley Shorey-Mills. “It also tends to open you up to more disquiet from customers, as the installations take more time and, of course, this brings more expectations and pitfalls.” So how can retailers get it right when it comes to moving into custom install? Shorey-Mills says: “You need to research the market and work out how you can make the transition, without affecting your current business model. We made the move in February 2013 after being made aware that other small businesses were beginning to offer a custom install service. I met one of those businesses and discussed how his business model worked, to get an idea of how it could be successful for us.” He adds that one hurdle to overcome early in the process is getting the


CUSTOM INSTALL

message out to your staff. “They need to understand and appreciate the idea behind the change, and also be trained appropriately. Customers visit a store with the aim of purchasing a new TV, washing machine etcetera. Shop floor staff need to communicate with the customer to understand their needs, as this could help you jump from selling a TV, to selling a small smart home system. And by using your current infrastructure to sell, install and service goods to a high standard, you can invest in new products and in new areas to ensure you continue to develop as a retailer. “It takes a lot of faith and money to start it up, and most importantly, forward thinking. Times are changing and you need to develop with them.”

HELP IS AT HAND

The great news for retailers is that there is plenty of help out there. Retra has joined forces with Clarity to develop custom install courses for retailers, which are set to be launched this year. ”If members contact Retra, we can provide all the information they need and put them in touch with the right person for the right course at a reasonable cost,” says Bryan Lovewell. The courses run by Clarity will also be supported by other courses provided by distributors and manufacturers: “We aim to offer courses that will help retailers enter this market. We are not competing with the high-end courses offered by [home technology trade association] CEDIA,” says Clarity’s Hansen. Most of the Retra/Clarity courses will last for a day and will include topics such as home networking and how to add streaming music to an existing wireless network, or setting up a connected home cinema system.

“Our trade supplier partners will also offer more specialist courses, such as room acoustics,” adds Hansen. “The courses will run at various venues, such as Retra offices or a distributor’s training facility. If it’s commercially viable, we could even run courses at the retailer’s premises.”

WHERE TO START

“The first step is for the business owners to identify the areas of custom installation they want to get involved with. The last thing any business should do is jump in head first to an area like full-blown home automation, which they may know little about,” advises Stuart Tickle. “This is where AWE and our Smart Home

Hands-on training at the AWE Smart Home Academy

Academy are here to help. Whether it’s a simple single room system or whole house integration, AWE provides the training and support for businesses to identify their areas of potential and start the process of evolving from a simple or mid range installation into whole house integration, if and when it is appropriate.” Hughes Smart Home is a member of CEDIA, which has been very helpful, according to Ashley Shorey-Mills. “CEDIA provides support for these new opportunities. Having the knowledge and training expertise of an association like CEDIA to call upon simply gives us the confidence in what we can do. We have had several excellent meetings with CEDIA, which has provided us with updates on new services and products and advice on how CEDIA training can benefit us. Becoming part of a team like CEDIA is a great way to gain understanding of the market and spot the opportunities that are probably staring you in the face.”

“Times are changing and you need to develop with them”

THE TIME IS ‘NOW’

CEDIA can help retailers move into the custom install market

“For years, surviving on consumer electronics has been hard enough as it is, so this is a lifeline for us,” states Shorey-Mills. “At some point the ‘big boys’ in our marketplace will join this revolution, so we have to be experts and ready for this in advance of them joining the smart home revolution.” Phil Hansen says the rise of the smart home market and the rapidly expanding Internet of Things (which connects billions of devices across the internet) means the opportunities for retailers to move into this market are very exciting. “And it can only get bigger and more exciting as more manufacturers bring out connected home and smart home products,” he comments. “The timing is perfect for retailers to move into custom install.” MARCH 2015 GET CONNECTED

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

William McGrath (left) pictured with the Town Mayor of Royal Leamington Spa as he cuts the celebratory cake

RANGEMASTER HAS BEEN MANUFACTURING COOKERS FOR MORE THAN 185 YEARS AND ON 4TH MARCH 2015 THE BRAND CELEBRATED A SIGNIFICANT MILESTONE

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ocal dignitaries, customers, suppliers, employees and former employees gathered at Rangemaster’s factory in Leamington Spa to mark the production of the company’s millionth range cooker – a golden Nexus 90. Rangemaster has been making cookers in Leamington Spa since 1830 and is now considered part of Britian’s industrial heritage. Recent years have seen major investment in the factory, with the creation of a new state-of the-art design and production centre reinforcing the firm’s commitment to British manufacturing and support for the local economy. In the past five years £8 million has been invested and employment at the factory had grown by 11%. William McGrath, Chief Executive of the AGA Rangemaster Group, addressed the audience at the event and spoke proudly of the company’s heritage: “Rangemaster cookers are built from experience. Experience gained since the first Kitchener was made here in 1830 by Sidney Flavel in the Eagle foundry, the same place that a new modern generation of range cookers was introduced in 1995. “Rangemaster’s modern range cooker immediately captured the public imagination and has become the nation’s favourite

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William McGrath, Chief Executive of the AGA Rangemaster Group, delivering his speech

The millionth Rangemaster comes off the production line

range cooker brand. On the 4th of March, our millionth range cooker was proudly manufactured here in Leamington Spa, from where modern cooking began in 1830. “Today, momentum continues domestically and overseas in Europe, North America, Australia and China, accelerating our journey to 2,000,000 cookers. “Thanks a million to our customers, our suppliers and our manufacturing team.” The day also celebrated the opening of Rangemaster’s new training academy and showroom, where customers’ sales teams come to acquire product knowledge and to experience Rangemaster cooking. It showcases the brand’s product breadth. From the modern style of the Nexus to the continental design of the Elise, Rangemaster’s product range has grown over the years with new designs, sizes, fuel

options and colours to cater for changing consumer needs and desires. This eagerness to adapt to lifestyle changes and kitchen trends has helped Rangemaster to the forefront of the market – it is Britain’s No. 1 range cooker brand and it is also the most highly rated by consumer watchdog Which?, with nine models featuring in the Which? Top 11 ‘Best Buy Range Cookers’. Rangemaster is marking the production of its one-millionth cooker by placing a golden ticket in every model made on 4th March 2015, so when each appliance finds a home, the family will have the opportunity to win a range of prizes.

0800 804 6261 www.rangemaster.co.uk


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GEORGE COLE

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

A COUP FOR YOUVIEW I

bet the champagne glasses were clinking away at YouView headquarters when the news broke that Sony was the first TV manufacturer to integrate the YouView platform into its TVs. Sony’s 2015 Bravia range will be the first to offer YouView. YouView combines digital TV with catch-up services and on-demand content. I have to confess that I thought YouView had missed the boat when it came to getting the platform built into TV sets. YouView was late to market, and by then, most TV manufacturers (like Samsung, LG and Panasonic) had developed their own smart TV platforms. YouView seemed to be surplus to requirements. As a result, YouView became a settop box-only platform, with just one manufacturer (Humax) making them.

YouView boxes can be purchased or acquired as part of a subscription package from Talk Talk or BT. So, it’s great news for YouView supporters that it will soon be a TV feature too. I use YouView everyday and it really is a good platform. The menu and user interface are well designed (so much so, that my Sky box interface now seems positively clunky) and features like recording, catch-up TV (YouView offers BBC iPlayer, ITV player, 4OD and Demand Five) and search are simple to use. However, the Sony/YouView announcement raises some interesting questions, not answered when Get Connected went to press. YouView will run on Sony TVs under the Android TV platform, developed by Google. Like

NO 3D FOR BLU-RAY UHD? W

ill the new generation of Ultra High Definition Bluray players include an option for high-definition 3D? The signs seem to be not. A leaked PowerPoint slide purporting to show the specifications for the forthcoming Blu-ray UHD format (specs are due to be officially announced around summer) was picked up by Japanese technology site AV Watch. 3D specs were conspicuous by their absence. It is possible to read too much into a single presentation slide, but I wouldn’t be surprised if 3D UHD isn’t offered. Here’s why: There were no new 3DTV sets launched at this year’s CES show in Las Vegas, which is hardly a ringing endorsement of the format. 3D video titles are still being released, but it’s closer to a trickle than a flood. Although it doesn’t cost much to add 3D chipsets “Although it to a TV or Blu-ray player these days, many doesn’t cost much retailers report that a 3D logo on a product to add 3D chipsets can actually deter sales, because consumers think they’re paying for something they to a TV or Blu-ray won’t use. That said, it’s likely that Blu-ray player these days, many UHD players will offer 3D functionality, but retailers report that a only for Full HD titles.

3D logo on a product can actually deter sales...”

 georgecole@gcmagazine.co.uk

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YouView, Android offers on-demand content such as GooglePlay and Netflix (which appeared on YouView at the end of last year). It seems highly unlikely that Bravia owners will be offered two on-demand options, so we could see a cut down version of YouView. The other question is whether Sony’s Bravia TVs will also include storage for recording programmes from the YouView menu, or allow users to plug in external storage. When news of Freeview Connect (which will offer similar features to YouView) was announced, some wondered whether YouView was living on borrowed time. This development will certainly help extend the life of the platform, and we might even see more TV manufacturers offering sets with integrated YouView.

IS THE DIGITAL RADIO SWITCHOVER EDGING A LITTLE CLOSER?

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he latest digital radio figures released by radio research body Rajar for Q4 2014 saw digital listening hitting 37.9%, a 6% increase year on year. Digital radio listening at home overtook analogue listening for the first time – the share was 46.2% and 45.6% respectively. Added to this, Ofcom has shortlisted two parties (Listen2Digital and Sound Digital) for the second commercial DAB multiplex, due to come on stream next year. This will see 15-18 new DAB stations. If digital radio listening continues to grow at this pace, then the 50% threshold needed to trigger the start of a digital switchover should happen around late 2017. But even if the 50% point is reached, there’s no guarantee that the government will decide to start the switch. There’ll probably be a three-year migration period to final switchover, which puts the date at 2020 – election year if fixed term Parliaments remain. Call me a cynic, but when the time comes, expect the government of the day to call for yet another review and kick the whole process into the long grass again.


FROM THE BENCH

SERVICE AIDS ALAN BENNETT PICKS OUT SOME USEFUL GADGETS AND ACCESSORIES FOR THE SERVICE AND REPAIR TECHNICIAN

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he repair and service scenario has changed tremendously over the years: some diagnosis and repair techniques now call for central or regional facilities and skills. Even so, many problems can be solved by a good ‘GP’ engineer.

TRANSPORTATION

Not all servicing can be carried out in the home, and especially in a busy rental outfit like the one I am part of there is quite a turnover in end-of-contract and repossessed equipment. That’s no problem with black boxes and small TV screens, but when it comes to large kitchen appliances and monster TVs there can be transportation problems. While it’s important to protect the equipment, saving your own back is vital; many people in our industry have irreparably damaged theirs. To this end, various appliances are available. CPC offers, on order numbers WG18946 and WG18881, low roller trolleys for moving washing machines, freezers and the like over flat surfaces. For use on stairs and over steps a useful and relatively inexpensive (£47) 2×3-wheel ‘climber truck’ by Duratool eases the task – CPC’s order code for this is TL10574. Damage to white goods and in particular to TV screens is easily inflicted and can be very expensive – or impossible – to repair. All-enveloping padded ‘muffs’ are marketed by CHS to prevent this. They are not cheap, but they are very tough and durable and come in a range of sizes to suit most thinscreen TVs and kitchen appliances. Unlike blankets they leave no ‘chinks’ and will not move off or fall away from the equipment they are protecting.

boards and modules like remote control zappers there is a very inexpensive ‘helping hands’ gadget, adjustable as to angle, at a mere £4 on part number TL01327. One with a magnifier is stocked by Nedis on order number HH-391A. A bright and powerful magnifying lamp is needed in conjunction with these and for servicing work generally – they are stocked by CPC and by Nedis. Returning to the subject of remote control handsets, getting the covers apart can be difficult, a job eased by a separator tool, part number 604019 from CHS. Inside, wear of the contact ‘pill’ surfaces is a common failing, repairable by application of a special conductive paint, sold by Nedis on order number CHCW2605. Although pattern replacement zappers are cheaply available (and in some cases, very cheaply made!) customers are often happier to have a repair and retain their own, especially with top-end brands and models. To check the operation and emission of zappers there is the RCTEST indicator from CPC. This is useful in the shop as well as in the service bay.

“Damage to white goods and in particular to TV screens is easily inflicted and can be very expensive – or impossible – to repair.”

ON THE BENCH

Once you’ve got the gear into the workshop and onto the operating table, a whole raft of service aids comes into play. Staying for a moment with the physical aspect, CHS markets stands and jigs to securely position and hold thin TVs while they are under repair. To support PC panels for inspection and service, CPC offers a bench-mounting jig, order number TL01412, at £89. For small

Picoscope

VIRTUAL INSTRUMENTS

While TV and audio servicing and fault diagnosis is nowadays carried out with a PC and specialised software and apps (where manufacturer support is essential in many cases) there is still a need for general purpose test gear, and here a good alternative to a conventional oscilloscope is a virtual one, consisting of an A–D converter and computer interface. Many types are available, starting with the Pico (www. picotech.com) 2000 series, a USB powered 1/2 channel type with 8-bit resolution,

priced at less than £80. The 3000 variant is a 4-channel 8-bit type, while 4000-series instruments have 12-16 bit capability. Pico digitisers as are marketed by Anglia Components, CPC and RS Components. Bitscope virtual instruments cover a wide range of types and applications, and run with Windows, Mac, Linux and Raspberry Pi operating systems. Their waveform and spectrum analysers and data acquisition systems are of most interest to the service engineer. Simple instruments can double for analogue oscilloscopes and multimeters, while data analysers can monitor and display the dynamic conditions on all eight lines of a data bus simultaneously and display them in colour on an ordinary PC. Starting at a modest £89, they mostly have 100MHz bandwidth and 40 MS/sec data capture. They are sold by CPC and Farnell.

The LAB1 unit by Velleman

BENCH WORKSTATION

A very useful and quite inexpensive workstation for the repair bench is the LAB1 unit made by Velleman, a company better known for its electronic construction kits. It incorporates a temperatureadjustable low voltage 48W soldering iron (specially designed for work with lead-free solder); a regulated power supply with switched selection of six DC voltages at max 1.5A with LED power and overload indication; and a 3 digit digital multimeter with 200mV–600V and 200µA–10A DC ranges, 200V–600V AC ranges, 200Ω–10MΩ resistance reading; semiconductor and continuity (with buzzer) tests and dynamic-hold facility. A handy, versatile and very well priced (£91 from Quasar Electronics) three-in-one instrument for use in first-line fault finding and repair, and in conjunction with more sophisticated test and diagnostic equipment. Don’t forget to wear a static-discharge wristband in all your dealings with the innards of home entertainment equipment. MARCH 2015 GET CONNECTED

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BACKCHAT

2-MINUTE

INTERVIEW

VISITOR NAME: BRIAN BOYER

HE’S A FOOTIE-LOVING FAMILY MAN AND ALL-ROUND ‘MR NICE GUY’ WHO, IN SPITE OF MISSING OUT ON A LOTTERY JACKPOT, IS QUITE CONTENT WITH HIS LOT IN LIFE. BUT DOES HE OR DOES HE NOT TELL LIES? MEET BRIAN BOYER, HEAD OF WHITE GOODS SALES, OEM, VESTEL – A MAN IN SEARCH OF A FETISH…

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hy did you choose to work in the electrical industry?

I excelled in my Youth Training Scheme and realised that I was good at selling Who in the industry would you like to spend time with? Sir Alan Sugar – I admire his sense of humour and success in this industry How would you describe yourself?

The birth of my beautiful daughter Greatest achievement? Being where I am today and happy in my home and work life Who has been the greatest influence in your life? My mum

Mr Nice Guy

Greatest regret?

How do you think others see you?

Not being in my old company’s lottery syndicate when they won a £2.2m jackpot!

Mr Nice Guy! What hobbies do you have? Playing football and following my local team Lincoln City What makes you laugh? Derek Trotter from Only Fools and Horses What’s your pet hate? Bad time-keeping

What historic figure do you identify with most? I’d love to think that I had just a fraction of Gandhi’s social skills. He’s one of history’s most famous negotiators If you weren’t in your present position, what job would you choose to do? Train driver

You have been offered the opportunity to rule the world for a day, what would be the first change you would make? Increase the national speed limit. Or if this can’t be done, ban all the other drivers from the road! Favourite quote? Two wrongs don’t make a right What sort of music do you like? Anything from the 80s Name your poison? Spiced Rum Favourite holiday destination? Turkey, of course! What do you daydream about? Holidays! What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you? My Dad dying Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? MD! What’s your greatest fear? Snakes

Luther

You have been offered a leading role in a film of your choice, what character would you like to play?

Favourite cuisine?

An unexpected hero. Move over Clark Kent…

Death by chocolate

Chinese (Chow Mein)

Is there anything about yourself that you would like to change?

…and who deserves it?

Favourite TV programme?

Who do you most admire? James Bond What’s the best kind of punishment….?

I’d like an athletic build!

The person that took all the Crunchies out of the Cadbury Heroes box!

Do you have any bad habits?

Do you have any hidden talents?

What’s your favourite piece of kit?

Despite working for one of the world’s leading electronics manufacturers, I still use a paper diary. I’m teased about it, but I’ve never missed an appointment

Ice Skating Do you have any particular fetishes?

Apart from Vestel’s super-cool French door fridge/freezers, I really love the SONOS Speaker System

Still looking for one…

What motto do you live by?

What’s the worst lie you’ve ever told?

What would you put into Room 101?

I don’t lie!

Salad. Definitely salad!

What surprises you? Everything!

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What was the greatest turning point in your life?

COMPANY: VESTEL

GET CONNECTED MARCH 2015

Where there’s a will there’s a way Life is… …like a box of chocolates


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Get Connected Magazine - March 2015  

INSIDE: 04 Editorial Comment 06 The Word In and around the industry 16 The Product Gallery 18 Guest Column npower’s Phil Scholes on energ...