THE MAGAZINE OF THE ELECTRICAL INDUSTRY
LG Smart Collection DIGITAL RADIO Radio is finally set to move into the 21st Century. GC reports on the movement towards digital radio switchover
LG’s 2013 Appliance Range is steeped in Innovation and Technology. From LG’s 6 Motion Direct Drive washing technology to best care for clothes, to LG’s Linear Compressor refrigeration technology for the ultimate in reliability and efﬁciency, not forgetting LG’s TrueSteam™ Direct Drive dishwashers for sparkling wash performance that’s a library quiet 38dB.
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SMART TECHNOLOGY. CLEVER DESIGN.
THE GREEN ROOM Changing demands in the Home Laundry & Garment Care sector
RETAIL SECURITY The benefits of Access Control and Cloud-based video surveillance
THE GRIMSEY REVIEW Bill Grimsey’s recommendations for the future of the high street
BACKCHAT A 2-minute interview with LG’s Craig West LINEAR COMPRESSOR
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Editorial Comment The Word
In and around the industry
The Grimsey Review
An alternative future for the high street
The Product Gallery Digital Radio
2013 will turn out to be a significant year for UK radio
Growth from Knowledge
GfK’s Nick Simon comments on the Digital Radio market
Smart TVs next in the firing line?
The Green Room: Home Laundry & Garment Care
The tradition of laundry day is rapidly being replaced by an ‘on demand’ approach to the cycle of wash, dry, iron, wear
From the Bench
Alan Bennett looks at value-added satellite dish installations
Technical advances carry additional security benefits for the retail sector
A 2-minute interview with Craig West, Head of Marketing – Consumer Electronics at LG
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Comment It’s hard to believe that the “Christmas Quarter” is almost here again, and that just a year ago we were looking back, as a nation, with a great deal of pride – and some relief – at a couple of events that we’d managed to pull off reasonably well with the eyes of the world upon us.
he Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic & Paralympic Games of 2012 gave us reason to forget the dire economic circumstances for a while, and reminded us that there are still some things we’re quite good at. But as we move towards the final quarter of 2013 and businesses are still falling victim to this crushing five-year crisis, we’re also reminded that there are still hard miles ahead, and that we need to draw not only on our ability to recognise and preserve the best of traditional practices, but also on our talent for creativity, adaptability and innovation. Knowing when to let go of something that has served us well but no longer does the job is just as important as inventing new ways of doing things. We do seem to have hung onto the nostalgic idea of “The High Street” for just a little too long. Insofar as it ever existed as a single concept replicated exactly all around the country, the High Street developed to serve the needs of its community. Those needs have, in some locations, changed so radically that the High Street, as we know it, no longer serves them and will have to be put to other uses. It’s taking a while for these plain commercial and social realities to sink in. Hence the rather embarrassing spectacle of High Street “initiatives” collapsing into bitterness and recrimination. The Grimsey Review (see pages 12,13 of this issue) is just the latest addition, but probably not the last. The outcome of Mary Portas’ involvement was fairly easy to see coming (we wrote about it in these pages at the time). When the Government asks a “celebrity expert” to get involved in any aspect of commercial life, it’s not going to end well. Government wants to be seen to be doing something decisive to win the approval of potential voters, and “celebrity” equals “publicity”, so job done there. The “celebrity”, particularly if he
GET CONNECTED SEPTEMBER 2013
or she is of the modern variety who are keen to prolong their fifteen minutes of fame, keep themselves in the public eye for a little bit longer and make a few more bob before they are elbowed aside by younger, fresher contenders, has a very different agenda from the Government. If there’s another TV series in it for them, so much the better. But as a general rule beware of anyone – from a “Dragon” to a retail guru – who purports to be brilliant at business but is prepared to waste valuable business time by going on TV and becoming a “celebrity” for fees that would not even tempt a reasonably senior banker out of bed. The Government, of course, has an agenda very different from the commercial enterprises its initiative is meant to help. Politicians are not very good at business. Their expertise is in looking good enough, in the short term, to get elected. So when Government and celebrities and the commercial interests of real-life retailers become entangled, disaster is bound to ensue. And it has. Grimsey’s Review has a few ideas that make sense. Business rates and shop vacancy costs need addressing. But we already knew that. He also says what Get Connected has been saying for the last two years: Some High Streets have come to the end of their useful life, and the location and premises need to be “repurposed” to serve a changed community. Retailers will, of course, already be aware that Government involvement is likely to prove both useless and costly, so anything suggesting a dedicated Minister or Commission or Committee should be avoided at all costs. It’s never a good idea for people who have actually run businesses all their lives to be required to pay for a bunch of people who don’t know much about practicalities, and who will take two years to tell you what you already knew.
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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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The Word : Industry News
Industry News August retail sales growth supports consumer optimism
retail sales values rose 1.8% on a like-for-like basis during August, up from a 0.4% decline in August 2012, with Home categories rebounding from July to put in the best performance. Food was the slowest category due to the tough comparatives during the Olympics last year. Online sales of non-food products grew 15.0% on a weighted basis, representing the best performance this year.
Comet bidder’s plans to open 80-store electrical chain “deeply flawed” Retail analysts have cast doubt over plans by entrepreneur Clive Coombes – who attempted to save Comet late in 2012 – to establish an 80-strong electrical store chain with the first outlets opening this autumn under the name Meridian Comet. Coombes is proposing to open between 8-10 stores and distribution outlets every 3 months over the next 2 years until the optimum 80 units is reached, at which point the group will be prepared for floatation on AIM. Coombes’ attempts to salvage Comet at the time of its collapse were thwarted by administrators Deloitte, who rejected his bids. He said that the gap in the market left by Comet is a massive opportunity to “run stores the old fashioned way that people yearn for” with prices that can’t be matched. There are no plans to sell online.
He added: “We have developed an infrastructure that we can bolt on to with ease as needed in order to cope with what is to be a rapid expansion.” Coombes intends to finance the new Comet through private investors, but retail analysts have questioned the re-launch, suggesting the plans are “deeply flawed” and branding the website launched by the entrepreneur to attract investors “incoherent”. Matthew Rubin at retail analysts Verdict warned that few are mourning the loss of Comet and to ignore online is doomed to failure. “With ‘old fashioned’ retailing and plans to avoid the multi-channel approach altogether, Mr Coombes appears to have overlooked where real market growth is coming from,” he commented.
What recovery? The UK’s rising population has been the driving force behind economic growth, according to a new TUC analysis which shows that GDP income per head is still 0.7% lower today than when the coalition took office and 7.5% lower than the UK’s peak level in late 2007. The current level of GDP per head is £23,728, just 0.7% higher than at the lowest point of the recession in September 2009. Economic growth at its current rate of 0.7% per quarter will not be enough to prevent a decade lost to economic stagnation, the 6
GET CONNECTED SEPTEMBER 2013
TUC warned. If the UK economy continues to grow at this pace, along with annual population growth of 0.8%, it will not return to its pre-recession peak level of GDP per head (£25,652) until early 2018. The TUC analysis shows that with household incomes falling in real terms and the majority of job creation taking place in low pay, low productivity sectors, UK economic growth is being driven by a rising population, rather than increased productivity. While the Government has been keen to talk up the UK’s recovery, a series of TUC
Growth in independent stores keeps empty shop rate stable More independent shops are opening than closing and net growth in the population of independents is keeping the empty shop rate stable, according to new research from the Local Data Company (LDC) and the British Independent Retailers Association (bira). The study shows that more than 320 independent shops will close every week in 2013, nearly 17,000 across the year in the biggest 500 towns if current closure rates continue, yet at the same time even more new businesses will open. In the first six months of the year 8,769 new shops opened, 424 more than closed. Last year the overall gain was 594 compared to 2,564 in the prior year. The LDC and bira pointed out that there has been a significant rebalancing away from shops that sell finished goods such and books and clothing towards those trading in services, food and leisure. But the margin between openings and closings was just 0.4% in the first half of this year: “Far too fine a margin for comfort and one that is all too easily reversed,” said bira.
“A CONUNDRUM OF ALICE IN WONDERLAND PROPORTIONS” Consumer confidence rose in August to its highest level since 2009, according to the GfK Consumer Confidence Index, which increased by 3 points during the month to -13, following a 5 point rise in July. The index has risen by 14 points in the past 4 months, the largest rise in a 4-month timeframe since 1982. Nick Moon, Managing Director of Social Research at GfK, said the rise was “a conundrum of Alice in Wonderland proportions” as official figures show that we are all worse
analyses have questioned the sustainability of current economic growth, particularly as living standards continue to be squeezed. An earlier report from the organisation showed that rising consumer spending is being driven by a sharp drop in household saving as opposed to rising incomes. The study revealed how recent signs of recovery have coincided with a 43% fall in family saving, which is now at its lowest level in four years. The analysis showed that between March 2012 and March 2013 the proportion of income that families put away dropped from £20.1bn to £11.4bn. Over this same period, consumer spending increased by 4.2%, from
off, with UK living standards at their lowest for a decade. “The explanation probably lies in the fact that there has been a steady flow of economic good news over the past few months showing the economy growing – however anaemically,” he commented. “With these figures receiving far more prominence than reports about declining real incomes, it is perhaps not surprising that people react to all this good news by declaring themselves more optimistic.”
£253.3bn to £264.0bn. This in turn helped the economy grow by 0.3%. Had saving rates remained the same during these five quarters, household spending would have been £9bn lower and GDP £5.9bn lower, which would have seen the economy contract by 1.3% and slip back into recession, the analysis reveals. The TUC said the findings highlight how fragile the UK’s recovery is and warned that relying upon families to raid their savings was not a sustainable option for ministers. “Unless real wages and household incomes start rising again soon, the economy risks creating another personal debt bubble of the sort that helped cause the recent financial crash.”
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The Word : Industry News
Arçelik revenues fall on decline in electronics sector Beko parent Arçelik reported revenues of TL2,665 million, a 4.1% decline in the quarter to 30 June as Electronics sales fell 35.8% to TL313 million. White Goods revenues grew 3.2% to TL1,801 million compared to the same quarter in 2012. Gross profit rose from 28.8% to 30%, but net income fell to TL1,554 million, declining from 6.3% in Q2 2012 to 5.8%. In its outlook for the full year, Arçelik said it expects a positive impact from newly launched Grundig White Goods.
Advent International sells D&G Advent International has agreed to sell Domestic & General to funds advised by CVC Capital Partners, in partnership with the existing D&G management team. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary regulatory clearances and is expected to take place during Q4 2013. Reports say the company was sold for £750 million.
Home Retail Group CE to step down Terry Duddy, Chief Executive of Argos parent Home Retail Group, is to step down from his role by the next AGM on 2nd July 2014. The search for his successor will be led by the Group’s Chairman John Coombe and will include both internal and external candidates. Duddy has led the group for 15 years, the last seven of those as Chief Executive.
See www.gcmagazine.co.uk for the stories behind the news… UK GDP revised upwards
Economic growth in the UK during the second quarter of this year has been revised to 0.7% by the Office for National Statistics
Whirlpool Corporation to become majority shareholder of Hefei Sanyo Whirlpool will acquire a majority stake in leading Chinese home appliances manufacturer for approximately RMB 3.4 billion (US$ 552 million)
Haier America becomes wholly owned subsidiary of Haier Group
“The acquisition is being made to further align the company’s global resources toward growth and success for the Haier brand in North and South America”
UK Warranty partners with Buy It Direct
New warranty product provides Buy It Direct customers with a ‘For Life’ pay-as-you-go extended warranty for domestic appliances and televisions
KNOWHOW MOVIES signs UK content deal with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment The deal is the latest in a series signed by KNOWHOW MOVIES in the past year
GET CONNECTED SEPTEMBER 2013
Sony says “no” to spinoff of entertainment business Sony Corporation has said “no” to Third Point LLC regarding a spinoff of its entertainment division following a unanimous vote of the Sony Board of Directors. Third Point CEO Daniel Loeb, a major shareholder in Sony, has been pressing the Japanese firm to turn its entertainment business into a separately listed company and to sell off 15-20% to investors. In one of a series of letters to Sony president Kazuo Hirai, he suggested that the company should use the money it would raise to strengthen its unprofitable CE operations. Sony sent a letter to Loeb stating that the Board and management team
strongly believe that continuing to own 100% of the company’s entertainment businesses is fundamental to Sony’s success, and that a rights or public offering is not consistent with the company’s strategy for achieving sustained growth in profitability and shareholder value. The letter set out a number of reasons (see www. gcmagazine.co.uk, story of 7 August, for full detail) and was concluded by President and CEO Kazuo Hirai stating: “We are encouraged by our progress as we continue to execute on our One Sony strategy. We have made many changes during my tenure as CEO, and we are confident that we are on the right path….”
Appliances Online rebrands as ao.com Appliances Online has rebranded as ao.com, revealing its new name, logo and brand identity in a TV advertising campaign as it embarked on its biggest national marketing campaign to date. CEO John Roberts said the company’s ambition is to take the Appliances Online business beyond the white goods category and ao.com offers a snappier, shorter name that resonates with the consumer and also works well across
all of the business’s platforms and potential categories. New product categories now available from ao.com include floorcare, small electricals and microwaves. Roberts added that the new brand identity truly reflects the ethos of the business. “We are facing the future with a confident, charismatic, iconic and fun brand. We couldn’t be in better shape,” he said.
Miele wins Total Excellence & Quality Award Miele has won the D&G Total Excellence & Quality (TEQ) award in the Domestic Appliance Manufacturer Category for the seventh time, with 94.6% of those surveyed rating the brand’s customer service as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’. The TEQ awards are widely regarded as a benchmark for excellence within the white goods industry. Lawrence Harrison, Service Director at D&G, said that over 400,000 surveys are sent out every year so the results are “incredibly robust.” He added: “Miele can be justly proud of winning the TEQ award for 2013 and taking the honour for the seventh time in the survey’s 16-year history.”
Dixons Travel unveils new concept store in Heathrow’s Terminal 5 Dixons Travel has opened a store at Heathrow Terminal 5, the second in a series of new concept stores for the brand following the opening of an outlet in the South Terminal at Gatwick Airport in early August. The new space offers an interactive layout that allows travellers to shop with ease. It features state-of-theart digital signage, floating screens designed to enhance the shopping
experience and a KNOWHOW service bar giving shoppers the added benefit of expert technical advice and support on site. Digital signage is also placed at the front of the outlet so travellers can shop when the store is closed. Dixons said it will continue to expand its travel portfolio and plans to launch another store in Heathrow Terminal 2. The Terminal is scheduled to open in June 2014.
The Word : Industry News
Big Red Sales sets up new division Repping company Big Red Sales has established a new division to meet customer demand for branded entry-level CE products. ‘Big Red Essentials’ will initially sell products from Goodmans and iLuv, but according to Big Red Sales director Nick Alsbury, “there are more [brands] in the pipeline.” BRE is staffed by three sales agents. Chelsey Harland (far right) will cover the North East and Yorkshire. Olly Sharp (left) the South West of England, and Stuart Hoad (2nd left) the East of England. Matt Ollerenshaw (2nd right) joins the main Big Red Sales team to look after the Midlands area. He takes over from John Lloyd who is retiring after 3 years with the company.
Samsung opens showcase in Harrods Samsung has collaborated with interior designer Kelly Hoppen MBE to create the Samsung Home Innovation, a premium showcase of the brand’s latest home appliances exclusive to Harrods in London. The technology is displayed in Hoppen’s vision of a “sleek luxury environment”, using contrasting textures such as wood, lacquer, metal and glass to create a space perfected for relaxation, dining, work or play. The new premium living experience is open to members of the public now and will host a number of consumer events over the coming months.
Alltrade announces date and venue for 2013 Tradeshow Distributor of cable, satellite and CI products Alltrade has announced that its 2013 Tradeshow will take place 17th October at the Copthorne Effingham Hotel, Gatwick from 11am – 6pm. The event is free to enter and offers visitors a range of promotions, a 5% discount on all orders placed at the show, a free bar and buffet lunch and a prize draw. Contact Alltrade on 0844 225 2700 or email email@example.com, or call in at any Alltrade Trade Counter.
The Word : Industry News
Exclusively Housewares plans dedicated SDA area for 2015 show
Hotpoint has entered the small appliances market with a collection of HD Line products which includes high tech versions of two appliances that have a special place in the brand’s history: Hotpoint’s very first product, launched in 1911, was an iron with a ‘hot point’ and the Hotpoint Junior Vacuum cleaner first came to market in 1928. Marco Milani, Indesit Company CEO, announced in May this year at the time of reporting the group’s fiscal Q1 results that the business would enter the small appliances market. The HD Line builds on more than 100 years of experience that has made Hotpoint the most trusted and bestselling appliance brand in the UK. The appliances are promised to deliver High Definition (HD) results in food preparation, steam ironing and vacuum cleaning. Products are designed to complement each other to provide a fully co-ordinated range. Irene Ippolito, Category Marketing Manager for the HD Line, said the range “perfectly demonstrates” the company’s knowledge of the kitchen environment and customers’ needs in the home.
cooking including microwaves, beverage making, food preparation and floorcare.” The 2013 show attracted its biggest audience to date with visitor numbers up on 2012 by just over 6%. Visitors attended from around the world, with the highest number of representatives coming from Ireland, the Netherlands, France, the Czech Republic, Estonia, the US, China and India, opening up welcome export opportunities for exhibitors. Boyd said the decision to provide a dedicated SDA hall was “not one taken lightly” and the organisers look forward to seeing it evolve steadily over the next couple of years. He added that the show will implement a proactive marketing campaign to ensure relevant suppliers in these sectors and appropriate buyers from current visiting companies and from the electrical retail sector are aware of the show’s expanded SDA offer. For further information, contact EH’s director of sales Patrick Wade on 01825 750784 or via patrick.wade@ exclusivelyhousewares.co.uk
RDO Kitchen Appliances and Kevin Farish Ltd have been announced as the winners of two competitions held by Beko plc at this year’s CI(H) show, where the Blomberg and Beko brands offered visitors the chance to win a Vauxhall Vizaro van branded with their store name and logo. RDO Kitchen Appliances won the Blomberg prize draw and Kevin Farish Ltd the Beko draw. RDO’s Roger Sargant (left) with Beko’s Steve Naylor
“ iceking now
offer the most comprehensive and fastest growing range of refrigeration in the uk market. . . fact!
Hotpoint enters SDA market with new HD Line
Increasing levels of interest in the SDA sector from suppliers and buyers has led organisers of the Exclusively Housewares (EH) exhibition to commit to increasing the number of SDA suppliers at the show in 2014, with a view to featuring a dedicated hall for the product category in 2015. EH runs annually in June at the Business Design Centre in London and is widely acknowledged to be one of the key events within the housewares industry. It is attended by key buyers from a wide variety of retail channels and in recent years has also attracted a growing licensing audience keen to team up with housewares suppliers. The event is supported by a wealth of big name SDA exhibitors, yet a clear opportunity exists to expand the number of brands and to bring MDA companies now selling small appliances into the fold, as no dedicated SDA show currently exists. Show director Simon Boyd said: “Our interest in this sector will include all the small electrical product categories as reported on by GfK: linencare, electrical
www.dad-online.co.uk Tel: 0844 854 6715 Fax: 0844 854 6716
The Word : Industry News
Sebo joins Dyson in criticising proposed EU vacuum cleaner regulations Sebo UK Director Justin Binks has joined James Dyson in criticising the EU proposed regulations for vacuum cleaners, stating that there is the very real possibility that the appliances of the future will not deliver the performance and ease of use consumers are entitled to and manufacturers’ creative design possibilities will be limited. Binks accused EU bureaucrats of interfering unnecessarily in yet another type of product and said that if the proposed regulations come into force as planned next year, it would result in products that could hugely frustrate consumers trying to clean their home. He said the proposals are limited in their scope when judging performance and the emphasis is on ‘pick up’ performance in conditions that are unrepresentative of the real world. “Usability is completely ignored and, sadly, the ease with which the cleaning head
can be pushed across the floor appears to be overlooked by the proposed regulations. “The tests used to judge performance are very much skewed towards cylinder models; the regulations associated with noise also favour cylinders. When assessed for noise, many upright vacuum cleaners will be unable to compete because they have more moving parts so are inherently more noisy, although still quite acceptable to the human ear. What is overlooked is that they do a better job due to the fact that the rotating brush lifts the pile and with it the dirt. “Quite simply, the proposed regulations are not well framed,” Binks added. His sentiments echo those of James Dyson, who in June this year called for a rethink on the proposed regulations, stating that they will incentivise manufacturers to develop machines that perform well in laboratories but not in the home.
Beko is back on TV this autumn with a £6 million campaign amplifying the brand’s message of quality. The 40-second ad shows a wealth of 9/10 scores gathered by consumer review company Reevoo. It is will run for 6 weeks alongside national press, digital and video-on-demand. Sony has launched a ‘Drive 4 Colour’ incentive to improve retailers’ knowledge of the picture technology incorporated in BRAVIA TVs. It offers Sony independent retailers the chance to win weekly spot prizes and the ultimate prize of an Alfa Romeo Mito. The scheme is modelled on the alpha=alfa programme, Sony’s most successful sales incentive to date, which targeted specialist photography retailers. Linsar has created a new-look website with improved Dealer portal where retailers can keep up to date with the
latest news, products and promotions and personalise their listing under the Where to Buy section with a photograph and text. The site also features Barry’s Blog, hosted by Linsar director Barry Kick. Hotpoint’s new interactive website hosts a range of videos showing inside the appliances to help visitors understand how its technologies work. The platform also makes it easier to obtain the latest information on the brand’s range of products and to register appliances within the ‘My Hotpoint’ area. Britannia Living has appointed Sara Barlow as new regional business development manager. She steps into the role after more than five years working within the company in a marketing, sales and product management capacity.
LG launches limited edition Holly Fulton washing machine
LG has partnered with British fashion designer Holly Fulton to launch the ‘Holly Fulton for LG’ limited edition washing machine. The LG 6 Motion appliance features a Holly Fulton fashion print and is exclusively available online at DRL’s ao.com. Customers can choose their own colour blend on the website to create an individual look that suits the style of their home. The partnership with Fulton marks LG’s return as the Official Garment Care Supplier to London Fashion Week Spring/Summer for the fifth consecutive season.
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LEADING UK DISTRIBUTOR WITH MANY EXCLUSIVE LAUNDRY PRODUCTS ....FACT!
Roberts produced this one-off Revival radio as a special gift for Prince George of Cambridge. It was presented at St. James Palace by Stan Vandenbergh, a longstanding Roberts employee, to Mr W. B. Andrews, MVO BEM, the Superintendent of the State Departments of St. James Palace.
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The Grimsey Review
GRIMSEY REVIEW PRESENTS “LOUD “Britain’s towns and high streets can become the driving force behind a real economic recovery; we just need the political will and determination to take meaningful action.” This is the opinion of Bill Grimsey, the former boss of Iceland and Wickes and author of ‘Sold Out’, who on 4 September published ‘The Grimsey Review – An alternative future for the high street’.
rimsey teamed up with eight associates, including research expert Matthew Hopkinson and risk analyst Nick Hood, to produce the review after becoming frustrated by the Government’s lack of progress, claiming that the ‘Portas Pilots’ scheme was giving false hope and trying to keep a failed model on a life support machine.
AN AILING SECTOR
In his diagnosis of the high street, Grimsey states that while the health of big retailers is slowly improving – although five quoted companies remain in the Company Watch warning area – the future for independents, a sector that the Business Secretary has previously acknowledged to be an essential part of a healthy high street, looks “very uncertain.” The analysis shows that 46.6% of all retailers in the UK are in the warning area, and by 12
GET CONNECTED SEPTEMBER 2013
definition at serious risk of failure, a fact that the retail veteran asserts should be a “loud wakeup call” to Ministers. Over 20,000 retail businesses are at risk and more business failures expected, and around 40,000 shops lie empty, a figure which has remained constant over the past three years. “The question that local and central Government have to answer now is ‘what are we going to do with these shops?’” says Grimsey. “One thing is certain. The high street landscape has now irrevocably changed and there is no point clinging on to a sentimental vision of the past. We have to start planning for a bold new world. “What is required is a business approach to set out the vision, the objectives and plans to develop each area as a unique, vibrant community hub with an economic blueprint.”
Grimsey decided to carry out the review after the Governmentcommissioned review of the high street carried out by Mary Portas in 2011 “promised the earth but delivered little.” He comments that it was “clear to me that Portas had failed to highlight to Government the dramatic structural changes impacting the retail industry through the convergence of changing consumer behaviour driven by technology and that brought about by the prevailing economic conditions. This is evidenced by the fact that no less than eight major national household retail names have gone into administration since the publication of the review in less than two years. None of this was forecast in the review, although it was clear to anyone with insight into the retail industry.” Grimsey adds that his frustration led to public criticism of both Mary Portas and the Government for using this serious issue as “little more than a PR stunt and to lay the grounds for a lucrative TV makeover show about the Portas Pilot Towns.” He points out that, when we talk about the high street, we’re referring to an industry that comprises some 95,000 companies, employing £326bn of gross assets, borrowing £65bn and with a total net worth of £135bn. “It is a sector that should be the envy of the world and yet is treated by central and local Government as a low priority,” he says.
BIG BUSINESS LEVY
31 recommendations presented in the report include those relating to business rates, parking, the repopulating of high streets and town centres as community hubs encompassing more housing, education, arts, entertainment, business/office space, health and leisure “and some shops”, and the full-time appointment of a Minister for High Streets to replace the current part-time position that is tagged on to the duties of Housing Minister. The review also calls for national retail and leisure chains to invest 0.25% of one year’s sales in 2014 into a local economic development fund
to sponsor local startup businesses in a similar way to the Prince’s Trust. The one-off levy would raise £550 million. “I honestly think the time has come for the big chains to put something back and help redesign the high street,” says Grimsey. “What we’ve seen in a lot of secondary town centre locations is that, as the chains move out to more lucrative out-of-town sites, they’re hollowing out the high street.” He adds that the Government has only spent about £20m on high street initiatives.
The British Property Federation (BPF) stepped in immediately to back Grimsey’s call for a review of business rates, as the organisation’s analysis of EU data revealed that the UK pays the highest business rates of any country in Europe. The BPF said that, as a proportion of GDP, UK business rates are more than three times those in France, and more than five times those in Germany. In cash terms, the UK Exchequer generated nearly €35bn from business rates in 2010, more than France (€15bn) and Germany (€12.5bn) combined. Liz Peace, chief executive of the BPF, said: “The Government makes a great play of claiming that it wants to create an internationally competitive tax system while at the same time hamstringing the nation’s businesses with the highest rates bills in Europe – bills that are ratcheted up with inflation each year regardless of wider economic conditions. “We’re pleased to see that Bill Grimsey recognises the damaging impact this has had on the UK high street, and we would urge the Government to commit to a root and branch review of the current business rates system, the way it is calculated and charged and the distortions it creates.”
The 31 recommendations presented in The Grimsey Review are as follows:
The Grimsey Review
WAKEUP CALL” TO MINISTERS RECOMMENDATIONS MAKING THE TRANSITION 1. Accept that there is already too much retail space in the UK and that bricks and mortar retailing can no longer be the anchor to create thriving high streets and town centres. 2. Set an objective to repopulate high streets and town centres as community hubs encompassing: more housing, education, arts, entertainment, business/o ffi ce space, health and leisure - and some shops. 3. Establish a Town Centre Commission for each town with a defi ned skill base and structure to build a 20-year vision for each town supported by a broad business plan in fi ve-year chunks. 4. Require local authorities to hold a public meeting annually to present the 20-year vision, town centre plans and progress made in the year, supported by an annual progress report. 5. Prepare for a ‘wired town’ vision or ‘networked high streets’ that puts libraries and other public spaces at the centre of each community based on the technology that exists today and will develop in the future. 6. Establish a ‘Digital Maturity Demographic Profile’ for each town to prepare for ‘networked high streets’ and tailor connection and communication strategies accordingly.
CREATING A FAIRER, MORE ECONOMICALLY SUSTAINABLE HIGH STREET 7. Reintroduce immediately the 2015 business rates revaluation to realign property values and freeze business rates from 2014. 8. Once revaluations have taken place any future increases should be an annualised CPI rate rather than a one-month snapshot. 9. From 2017 revaluations must be conducted annually. 10. Any business occupying a retail property in the retail core of a town centre that has been vacant for 12 months should receive 50% rate relief for two years. 11. There must be a political will and determination to reduce property taxation once the Government’s fiscal debt consolidation plans have been fully implemented. 12. The business rates system needs a root and branch review to establish a fl exible system that will reflect changes in economic conditions as they occur. 13. Local authorities to use a portion of their reserves to offer loans to qualifying small businesses. 14. Understand the success of the Bank of Dave set up and establish a process, including local
crowdfunding, for local people to collectively invest in the local community and start up businesses. 15. Connect planning applications to the business plan for each town and ensure that developments fi t within the criteria set. 16. Enable the change of use process to be used to convert entire sub-high streets to residential or other uses within the agreed high street plan and relocate the successful independent retailers into the main commercial centre. 17. Make it easier for motorists to shop by building in a two hour free high street and town centre car-parking system to the overall business plan for the location. 18. Local authorities to freeze car-parking charges for a minimum of 12 months.
COMMUNITY FIRST 19. Reduce mandatory rate relief for charities from 80 per cent to 70 per cent and of the remaining 30 per cent payable in business rates apportion a third to a ring fenced local authority pot for projects that benefi t the community. 20. Establish greater clarity on the mandatory rate relief criteria for charities, social enterprises and Community Interest Companies. Organisations whose primary function is to exist for the benefit of the local community - i.e. hospice shops should be given priority status for top up relief from local authorities. 21. Landlords of empty shop units should be required to apply for a change of use and make the asset productive in the community as housing, health, leisure, culture or education facilities in line with the town plan. 22. Make it compulsory for all Mega Mall developments to create a percentage of affordable space within the development for local traders and market stall pitches.
26. Create a full time high streets minister to replace the current part time position that is tagged on to the duties of housing minister. Encourage greater cross-departmental work between BIS and DCLG to fully understand shared government responsibilities for helping improve local high streets. 27. Establish a comprehensive evidence base that tracks the change in retail and leisure locations from a local, regional and national perspective. Actively encourage and fund research based on this data by academic institutions in partnership with the private sector in order to ensure ongoing thought leadership into the nature and reasons behind changes taking place. 28. Ensure that the economic blueprints produced by Town Commissions are sustainable and environmentally practical by understanding and emulating innovation from the Transition Town trials, for example. 29. Make it compulsory for national retail and leisure chains to invest 0.25% of one year’s sales (2014) into a local economic development fund to sponsor local start up businesses in a similar way to the Prince’s Trust. This would be a oneoff levy. 30. Implement the Town Centre Commission process through fi ve trials to test the methodology, information requirements, modelling techniques and viability of the whole process including public consultation. 31. A timetable should be set to conduct the trials by March 2014 and aim to exit 2014 with plans, measures and central technology in place for all town centres for implementation from 2015 onwards.
23. Evaluate the future of out of town shopping parks and prepare a plan to bring unwanted space back into use to benefit the community. 24. The Community Infrastructure Levy should be used to support the delivery of a town centre plan.
BETTER-MANAGED HIGH STREETS 25. Put in place common key performance indicators to measure the economic health of each town and link the reporting through a data dashboard to provide independent, objective and current data on performance. SEPTEMBER 2013 GET CONNECTED
The Product Gallery
Gallery Q Acoustics Q-BT3 Q Acoustics’ Q-BT3 Bluetooth wireless loudspeaker offers a dynamic, high-quality 2 x 50 Watts per channel power amplifier, a Bluetooth V4.0 wireless receiver with advanced aptX capability for improved sound quality and a low distortion Digital to Analogue Converter accessed via an optical input.
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KEF V300 digital TV sound system The first model in KEF’s new V Series range of audio-video products, the ultra-slim V300 digital TV sound system, is designed to give HDTV “the sonic performance it deserves.” The unit offers plug-and-play setup, control via the existing TV remote and freedom of positioning.
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Luce by Hotpoint Multiplo The new Luce Multiplo 45cm cooking unit offers five cooking modes powered by dual induction zones: steaming, roasting, deep frying, slow cooking and boiling. The appliance is supplied with two stainless steel cooking vessels with glass lids, two steaming shelves, a deep fry basket, pasta draining basket and a set of handles for removing the vessels. j j
LG 2013 laundry range LG’s new laundry range incorporates the F1495BDSA A+++40% 12kg TrueSteam™ washing machine and RC9055AP2Z A++ 9kg Eco Hybrid Tumble Dryer with heat pump technology, both of which offer 14 programmes. The tumble dryer features:
Hybrid technology offering a choice of speed or eco modes Auto Cleaning system Noise level: 64dB Available in white or black
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9 induction power settings with 1400W on each zone Sensor touch-control panel / Electronic display / Countdown timer with shutoff Dishwasher-safe accessories store neatly away inside the unit
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Zanussi launches new freestanding dishwasher range Zanussi’s new dishwashers incorporate a 30-minute Quick Wash programme offering A-class cleaning performance and an Auto Programme that modifies the wash according to the load. The interior is designed for quick and easy loading/unloading and has fully adjustable upper baskets. 60cm model ZDF140021WA features: j
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A++ for energy efficiency / Water usage 11 litres / 5 programmes Soft Spike design in the upper basket cares for delicate glassware Noise level 48db / Delay Start option between 1-24hours / AutoOff function Available in white and stainless steel
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The Product Gallery
Gorenje ‘red’ collection Gorenje’s first collection of co-ordinated coloured freestanding products comprises a washing machine, tumble dryer and fridge freezer. The red lacquer-coated RK61811RD 1.8-metre fridge freezer features:
A+ class energy rating / 219kWh per year Net capacity: fridge 230 litres; freezer 92 litres 4 glass shelves / bottle holder / 2 vegetable drawers / FreshZone drawer
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Indesit VIB 644CE induction hob Indesit’s VIB 644CE induction hob offers touch-control induction technology at “a fraction of the price” of competitors’ products. The cooking zones are controlled via an intuitive interface and provide a total power of 7.2kW. j j j
2 large and 2 small cooking zones 9 power levels / 4 boosters / Child lock ‘Cristal’ finish
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Hotpoint Classic Cream collection The new ‘Classic Cream’ appliance range from Hotpoint comprises six products from the Experience range (1 washing machine, 2 tumble dryers, 1 dishwasher and 2 fridge freezers) and is exclusively available to the brand’s inStore members in the UK. Washing machine WMEF 7225A features:
7kg load / 1200 spin / A++ energy rating / Digital display Cycles: Anti Stain, Anti Allergy, Platinum Wool, Eco, Whites, Auto Clean maintenance wash Child lock / 24 hour Delay Timer
08000 921 922 www.hotpoint.co.uk
Belling fanned gas ovens Belling has unveiled a new suite of freestanding cookers featuring GDHA’s proprietary ‘fanned gas’ technology. The collection delivers a combination of radiant and convection heat and is available in 55cm and 60cm widths. Model FSG60DOF features:
69-litre programmable main oven / 39-litre conventional gas top oven with electric grill 4 gas burners / Cast iron pan supports Glass lid with auto shutoff
0844 815 3735 www.belling.co.uk
Loewe 3D Orchestra IS Loewe’s 3D Orchestra IS is claimed to be the “world’s first” integrated wireless 3D home cinema speaker system and is designed for use with the latest generation Loewe televisions (chassis SL 220 onwards).
3D Orchestra Speakers: Frequency spectrum 200 Hz to 24 kHz Power: 40/80 watt sine/music each 3D Orchestra Subwoofer: Frequency spectrum 45 Hz to 300 Hz Power: 100/200 watt sine/music
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SEPTEMBER 2013 GET CONNECTED
Move over ana ogue... Radio is finally set to move into the 21st Century with consumer listening hours on digital platforms escalating and the Government voicing its commitment to switchover. George Cole reports
here’s no doubt that 2013 will turn out to be a significant year for UK radio. By the end of the year, the Government will announce that, in principle, it is committed to a digital switchover for radio. The move is inevitable, because as Ford Ennals, chief executive officer of Digital Radio UK (DRUK), points out: “Radio is an analogue island in a digital world.” There are challenges ahead, but Roger Darlington, chair of the Consumer Expert Group, which advises the Government on the digital radio switchover, states that “the pieces of the jigsaw are fitting together for the radio switchover.” Nick Hucker, Pure’s director of marketing, adds: “There is now real momentum in the transition to digital radio and we anticipate that the Government’s announcement will trigger a surge in consumer interest – just as it did with digital TV.”
LISTENING AND COVERAGE
But before the Government announces any switchover date, two criteria have to be met: at least 50% of all radio listening is via a digital platform (DAB radio, digital TV or online) and DAB coverage is equivalent to FM coverage. The latest figures from the radio research body Rajar reveal that in Q2 2013 the percentage of the UK population listening to radio via a digital platform reached 36.8%, a 15% year-on16
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year increase. Today, 28 million people tune into radio via a digital source each week. Some 24 million adults have access to a digital receiver (up 11% year-on-year) and more than 18 million DAB radios have now been sold. For the first time, analogue radio listening at home dipped below 50%, to 48.4%. DAB accounts for the bulk of digital listening hours (65%) and almost a quarter (24%) of total listening hours. Roger Darlington estimates that radio listening via digital will reach the 50% threshold around Q4 2015, with a
Philips’ ORD7300 DAB+ Dock for iPod/iPhone
Radio is an analogue island in a digital world” Government switchover announcement likely to be made in early 2016. Under the Digital Economy Act, broadcasters and consumers must be given two years’ notice before switchover, making 2018 the likely date when radio finally goes digital (some smallscale services will continue using FM).
DAB coverage is improving, and the recent extension of DAB services to Northern Ireland (ten new stations were launched in July) puts UK DAB coverage at around 90%. FM coverage is around 98%, so there is still a little further to go before DAB matches this. The BBC and commercial radio operators have yet to decide how further DAB coverage will be funded. “They have signed a memorandum of understanding over coverage,” notes Darlington, “but it has yet to be turned into a formal agreement.”
The barriers to digital radio are falling. A quality DAB radio can be purchased from around £25, and there is plenty of content. In London, listeners can receive around 60 local and national DAB stations, while most people living outside London can get around 30 DAB stations. Some broadcasters are now offering digital listeners additional content, such as BBC Radio 4 Extra’s Ambridge Extra (although this has generated some controversy amongst Archers’ fans without DAB radios). “The people who want DAB probably
have it by now,” says Claire Beard, marketing manager, Philips Consumer Lifestyle UK. “The key thing for those remaining will be the availability of unique and compelling radio programmes on DAB.” The Government has released the minimum specifications for domestic and in-car DAB radios. If a radio meets or exceeds the specification, it will be able to use a digital radio switchover certification mark. The specification includes Band III compatibility, ease of tuning, plus FM, DAB and DAB+ functionality. The industry hopes that when the Government’s switchover announcement is made, these specifications will be highlighted at the same time.
Manufacturers are playing their part in offering consumers a wide range of DAB products. Nick Hucker says: “Pure is continuing to innovate in the DAB market with a wide range of products to give consumers as much choice as possible. We have something for everybody at a range of price points.” This includes products offering Bluetooth, Wi-Fi connectivity, a wide range of colours and finishes plus in-car products like Highway. Roberts Radio’s product offering includes two personal DAB radios, the Sports DAB 3 and Sports DAB 4. Both use OLED display technology, have 20 station presets and DAB+ compatibility. Philips’ Claire Beard says her brand has launched a comprehensive range of products covering traditional DAB and internet radios. “Philips is focusing on providing flexibility and choice to the consumer,” she adds. “DAB is going into more and more products.” Current product trends for DAB include the wider adoption of wireless streaming, and there are an increasing number of DAB radios with Bluetooth coming onto the market to meet that demand. “We’re taking that trend further by adding multiroom audio control to a number of our DAB products,” says Pure’s Hucker.
But one of the biggest obstacles to digital radio is in-car listening, which accounts for around 21% of all radio listening. According to Darlington, there are two issues: “New cars and the current car population,” he says. “Regarding new cars, that’s going quite well, and about 40% of new cars have digital radios as standard. By the end of the year, all new cars should have them.” Claire Beard says the increased availability of DAB in new cars is a “major step forward” but Darlington notes that there are more than 35 million vehicles on the road. “About 31 million are cars, and only about 5% of cars have a digital radio.” Pure has developed a wide choice of in-car digital radio products ranging from adapters to advanced in-car stereos.
The Consumer Expert Group has put forward recommendations to Government regarding a digital radio switchover help scheme. “I can’t divulge the contents of our recommendations, but what I can say is that our suggested help scheme would be different from the one used for digital television,” says Darlington. A radio help
“A unified brand and message” from DRUK
The switchover announcement is sure to trigger a big upsurge in sales” scheme would be more wide ranging yet leaner than the one used for digital TV, with more groups eligible for assistance (for the digital TV switchover, the groups were limited to the elderly, disabled and low-income groups) but the level of help available being less. It’s estimated that the average household has around half-a-dozen devices with a radio tuner, and persuading consumers to replace their existing radios could be a challenge. But Jane Ostler, communications director for DRUK, says the issue is not as big as this figure might suggest. She cites an Ofcom survey which found 1.9 radios are used most weeks in households. “This suggests that most people will need to replace a couple of radios in the home and perhaps one in the car.”
There is still some resistance to the digital radio switchover amongst consumers. A YouGov Sixth Sense survey found that 64% of those surveyed listened to analogue radio, with just 6% intending to get a digital radio in the next 12 months. Some 20% planned to stick with analogue radio for as long as possible and almost one in five (18%) didn’t see the point of digital radio. Another 37% said they would get digital radio at some point, but were in no hurry. “The results didn’t tell us anything we didn’t know,” says Ostler, who states that a recent digital radio trial in Bath – entitled ‘Go Digital’ – told a different and more accurate story. The trial involved a representative sample of 237 households replacing their analogue radios with digital versions for six weeks. The results, says Ostler, were “overwhelmingly” positive towards digital radio. Four out of five in the trial found DAB easier to use than thought, and older people in particular appreciated the simple setup process. The average recommendation score out of ten (best) was 8.55, and eight out of ten people said they wouldn’t go back to analogue-only radio. The message is that once people experience digital radio, they really appreciate its benefits. According to Ostler, this is why retailers shouldn’t simply display DAB radios that are switched off. “There’s a role for the retailer and they can make some money out it,” she adds. DRUK has launched the second phase of its successful D Love campaign, with a “Share the Love” theme that encourages DAB owners to spread the word about digital radio to friends and family. “D Love has given digital radio marketing a unified brand and message, and retailers appreciate this,” Ostler maintains. “We get lots of requests for D Love leaflets and POS materials from retailers.”
Philips’ Claire Beard is upbeat about the future for digital radio: “We envisage a steady take up of DAB driven by new and exciting content as well as new and exciting products,” she says. “And the increased use of internet radio is having an effect on the market. Fifteen years ago, radio was radio, now it is being transformed beyond recognition. DAB is playing a part in all of that.” Pure’s Hucker adds that “product convergence is a continuing trend and we’ll see more products with combinations of technologies such as DAB with Bluetooth, as consumers want a seamless experience and products that fit in with their lifestyles. The switchover announcement is sure to trigger a big upsurge in sales and it’s important to ensure that retailers are well prepared with a wide range of products at different price points.” SEPTEMBER 2013 GET CONNECTED
Growth from Knowledge
Digital Radio GfKâ€™s Nick Simon, Account Director, Consumer Electronics, comments on the Digital Radio market
ntil the end of 2012, when the last regional switchover from analogue to digital TV was completed, you could have been forgiven for being less aware of the parallel efforts that are being made to effect a similar transformation in the radio market (despite the best efforts of broadcasters and trade associations alike). However, the related statistics are impressive. By the end of 2013, lifetime sales of Digital Radios (Digital Audio Broadcasting or Internet) will have surpassed 18 million units, which means that, even taking into account households where more than one product is owned, product penetration in Britain is getting nearer to the 50% threshold (of Britainâ€™s 26 million households) required to formally activate the switchover process. 2012 was a good year: despite the general downturn in sales of consumer electronics products, sales of all DAB
products still increased by 3% to over 1.8 million units, while sales of Internet Radio devices were stable and once again exceeded 100,000 units (at an average price of around ÂŁ125, which is more than double the price of a portable DAB radio). It seemed that sales were stimulated by a significant level of activity by manufacturers and retailers taking advantage of the London Olympics through spring and summer. And although there were modest year-on-year declines through autumn and winter and into the New Year, seven monthsâ€™ continuous cricket between England and Australia,
a new football season and the accompanying digital-only broadcasts up to spring 2014 should stimulate further demand. A decline in analogue radio sales meant that this venerable category is only selling half the quantities it was as recently as 2008, and this too suggests that there should still be plenty of scope to sell DAB and other Digital Radios. The majority of DAB products sold is made up of standalone portable radios, with remaining sales attributed to roughly equal quantities of Clock Radio and Audio Systems. To the latter we should also add the new generation of Connected Audio
A decline in analogue radio sales meant that this venerable category is only selling half the quantities it was as recently as 2008, and this too suggests that there should still be plenty of scope to sell DAB and other Digital Radios.
Total DAB by product: the consistent domination of portable radios ALL RADIO Total DAB = DAB Standalone + Hybrids
AUDIO HOME SYS.
Great Britain Panelmarket Jan â€˜08 - Dec â€˜08 - Jul â€˜12 - Jun â€˜13 Sales Ths. Units PORTABLE RADIO
Jan 11-Dec 11
Jan 12-Dec 12
Sales Ths. Units ( x1000 )
1,8 1,6 1,4 1,2 1,0 0,8 0,6 0,4 0,2 0
Jan 08 -Dec 08
Jan 09-Dec 09
Jan 10-Dec 10
Jul 12-Jun 13
devices (some to be found in GfKâ€™s Audio Systems reports, others categorised as Docking Mini Speakers). While the principal use of these devices is playback of music files, there is often a parenthesis dedicated to radio; such products provide access to thousands of digital radio stations worldwide. More than a million of these systems were sold in the twelve months up to the end of June, with cumulative sales in the last five years comfortably over three million. At the same time, retail sales of DAB Car Audio products do not yet reach 50,000 units a year, but many car manufacturers are now including DAB radios in new vehicles. If any further encouragement were needed, a cursory glance beyond the confines of traditional Consumer Electronics products reveals an infinite variety of IT and Telecommunications products (Tablets, PCs and Smartphones in particular) which are also allowing consumers access to digital radio. The next logical development should be the announcement of a date and accompanying calendar for the completion of analogue to digital radio switchover.
For further information, contact Nick Simon, Account Director, Consumer Electronics: Nick.Simon@gfk.com +44 870 603 8128 www.gfk.com/uk www.twitter.com/gfk_en 18
GET CONNECTED SEPTEMBER 2013
George Cole Gets Connected George Cole pinpoints hotspots in the world of consumer electronics
Smart TVs next in the firing line? U
nless you’ve been living in a cave for the past few months you can’t have escaped the uproar over children accessing unsuitable content on their home computers, such as porn sites, hate sites and suicide sites. The Government, as ever, wants to be seen to be doing something, hence all the noise being made about internet users having to opt into accessing porn sites and online filters. Will the moves make a big difference? I doubt it. But since when has that ever stopped a politician jumping aboard a bandwagon? Most of the concern about accessing porn has focused on smartphones and home PCs, but the Government also has Smart TVs in its sights. This is why anyone making or selling Smart TVs needs to be on the ball when it comes to parental control. In July, the Department for Culture Media and Sport published a report entitled Connectivity, Content and Consumers. On page 34 of the report, it states: “We want to ensure that the living room remains a safe space for children. But increasingly, set-top boxes and TVs connected to the internet enable programmes and films to be viewed on-demand, to fit viewing around our own schedules. These can fall outside of regulatory frameworks.” The report goes on: “People tend to consider connected TVs to be a TV-like experience and expect to be more protected than they are from content accessed through PCs and laptops. Yet, the technology means that it is easy to flick between regulated and unregulated spaces. Since this is not always clear, this increases the risk of people inadvertently accessing content that may be offensive, inappropriate or harmful to children.” The Government says it wants it made clearer when viewers move from regulated broadcast TV to the unregulated internet. For example, using the EPG to inform viewers when they are watching regulated content.
The report adds: “We want industry – broadcasters, manufacturers and platform providers – to lead the development of consumer tools in this area, working with regulators to consider what mechanisms can be applied to clearly label regulated and unregulated content... we will keep progress under close review and, if necessary, we will consider the case for legislation to ensure that audiences are protected to the level that they choose.” Tory MEP Emma McClarkin has also waded in and expressed concern over what children can access on Smart TVs. Expect others to follow. As Smart TV viewers have to actively fire up a browser or click on an app to move from broadcast TV to online content, I find it hard to believe that anyone cannot know when they have moved from TV to the internet. But the Government obviously thinks some consumers are too thick to realise this. That said, parental control on Smart TVs is a mish-mash, and the industry should consider a minimum level of control and try and standardise the way parental control systems are operated. Some Smart TVs offer walled gardens, so there’s little danger of unsavoury content being accessed. But other sets allow open internet browsing. Almost all sets have a PIN access system which disables the set, but it would be good to see more sophisticated PIN systems; for example, ones that could be used to block online access while allowing broadcast TV to be watched. Some Smart TVs allow users to customise the apps, giving owners greater control over the services and sites that can be accessed. Don’t be surprised if some manufacturers build some form of filtering into their sets. Whether we like it or not, this debate is not going to go away, and so manufacturers and retailers need to have ready answers for Smart TV customers who walk into a store and ask: “How can I protect my children?”
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates once said that Bluray was the last physical media format, but Sony and Panasonic obviously didn’t hear him, because the two companies have announced plans to develop 300GB optical discs (a dual layer Blu-ray disc holds 50GB). The system, which is set for launch in 2015, is aimed at the professional market, but a modified version could appear in the consumer market, especially when 4K TVs and camcorders start taking hold. However, don’t bet on the computer and consumer electronics industries allowing Sony and Panasonic to control all the key patents for any new consumer-based disc. SEPTEMBER 2013 GET CONNECTED
Home Laundry & Garment Care
THE LAUNDRY CIRCUIT THE GREEN ROOM Simon Freear, UK country manager for Amica, says no matter what experience consumers have with any brand, when they come to the market by necessity or desire, price is always the starting point. But he believes that this is an opportunity for independent retailers. “Knowing their display products and doing the maths for the consumer, to articulate and demonstrate cash savings over short periods, effectively pushes price down the list of priorities. Our most successful retailers then look at the whole package including after sales and in-store support.”
The tradition of laundry day is rapidly being replaced by an ‘on demand’ approach to the cycle of wash, dry, iron and wear – a change that has driven the requirement for products that provide speed, convenience and enhanced garment care. GC reports
ove it or hate it, home laundry is an essential household task; hence, the value of this sector of electricals continues to rise as consumers opt for appliances that will make the job quicker and easier. According to GfK, sales of washing machines increased 4% in the twelve months to June 2013 – a lift of £27 million, bringing the market value to over £934 million. The big capacity segment (7kg and above) continues to be the most significant driver of growth, now accounting for 70% of market value as 7kg appliances replaced 6kg as the standard drum size and sales of larger capacity machines continued to expand. 8kg+ products have seen the greatest uplift, with growth of 46% over the year adding over £115 million to the £365 million category.
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Richard Walker, sales and marketing director for De Dietrich Kitchen Appliances, quotes AMDEA figures showing that sales of integrated washing machines increased by 6% and integrated dryers by 12.9% in the year to June 2013. But Gorenje believes the washing machine sector has a problem. According to Marketing Manager Lauren Abbott, “there has been a real price war between manufacturers.” Abbott maintains that price competition has led to an influx of cheaper models that are proving popular with consumers, but sales of such appliances are unsustainable both for retailers and manufacturers. “Therefore,” she says, “it is hugely important for retailers to sell the washing machine as a concept, highlighting all of its key features, rather than just dwelling on price, to improve the overall market.”
AEG’s ProTex Plus washing machine benefits from a wool programme with cool down phase, which protects fabrics from the shock of cold water rinsing at the end of the cycle
Baumatic Marketing Manager Rita Balestrazzi is keen to point out that the laundry market is going through an “exciting” time of change, as shifting consumer habits have created new demand for energy-saving washing machines that can be used more frequently and deliver a wider range of wash options. She adds that households are no longer content to wash their clothes on a once-a-week basis: “Today’s consumers want to wash quickly and on demand, preferring speed and efficiency to overly-long economy and delicate programmes. On average, UK consumers now wash their clothes five times a week.” This switch to ‘on demand’ washing has overtaken the concept of ‘laundry day’ which, according to Gorenje’s Abbott, has become “an old and unnecessary tradition, due to the vast and innovative technology available even on entry-level laundry appliances.” Society has also changed, notes Abbott. “The majority of women work outside of the home and therefore the laundry is done in the morning or evening as there is no time to dedicate a day to it. Today’s laundry appliances are available with very generous capacities, meaning the user can cut down the number washes that need to be done.”
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Home Laundry & Garment Care
technology, stating that it “not only tells you the exact weight of the wash load but also recommends the right detergent dosage level. This greatly reduces detergent and water wastage.” Samsung remarks on an “explosion” in intelligent features that make consumers’ lives easier, “whether that be sensors that weigh the load and adjust the amount of water used accordingly, or preprogramming cycles.”
know which button to press” and that it is “too complicated.” According to Moverley, “anyone can use ‘Push and Wash’, so now there is no excuse for not hitting the button and getting the wash done.” An indicator of how intelligent control has helped to drive sales is provided
“Like so many aspects of modern living, our household routines are far less likely to follow predictable patterns compared to ten or twenty years ago,” comments Haier’s James Osborne, White Goods Product Manager, UK & Ireland. “Flexibility is the key to meeting the demands of the modern consumer. As our lives become busier and less structured, we’re less inclined to allocate one specific day for the household wash. Consumers demand more frequent usage from their washing machine and an ability to handle both light washes and heavy loads as efficiently as possible.”
Along with ‘on demand’ washing and greater capacity is a growing requirement for enhanced garment care. Joe Oram, Head of Product Line, Laundry & Home Comfort at Electrolux, says that customers at the top end of the market will look for a machine that takes “ultimate care” of their expensive wardrobe. He adds that the best way for retailers to convert consumers is to be able to demonstrate the various features that enable the product to take the best care of clothes while delivering best-in-class wash performance. Amongst the features that provide enhanced garment care is sensor technology, which Oram says has “changed the way we wash for good.” He points out that AEG’s top-of-the-range washing machine incorporates such 22
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The fully integrated DLZ714iT from De Dietrich has 16 wash programmes including a 30-minute quick wash and a wool programme
Sensor technology has been around for a long time, but many consumers returning to the market for laundry appliances will be unfamiliar with the concept, and the benefits it brings by way of money- and resource-savings and enhanced garment care will need to be explained. The upside of the technology coming of age is that it has trickled down to various price points, giving retailers a ‘story to sell’ at different levels of the market. It is also available from a wide spread of brands: Haier’s new A+++ (-40%) Intelius 500 washing machine is the brand’s most ecofriendly in terms of water consumption. It incorporates Haier’s automatic dosage system for detergent and softener and its automatic calculation of water hardness (Smart Detecting®) means the machine will dose according to the weight and type of load. An 8kg Wave Drum promotes garment care and the appliance offers stain removals for coffee, grass, wine and fruit. Gorenje’s “hero” 9kg W9665K washing machine optimises garment care via SensoCARE technology. This appliance also features a StainExpert function and uses SensorIQ technology to constantly monitor the wash process to maximise time, energy and water consumption. Hotpoint’s A+++ 9kg Experience model delivers ‘High Definition’ cleaning with an anti-stain programme that uses
Sensor technology has changed the way we wash for good” intelligent water and temperature control to remove 20 of the most difficult stains, such as fruit, blood and felt tip pen. It also offers an anti-allergy cycle and Woolmark Platinum Care cycles. Indesit’s Innex machines employ water balance technology to ensure that only the required amount of water and energy is used, whatever the load size. Innex also boasts the first ‘Push and Wash’ onetouch washing button, which turns the machine on and starts a 50-minute wash programme at the same time. Brand Director Ian Moverley says a study carried out by Indesit revealed that over 13% of Britons don’t feel confident using a washing machine, claiming that they “wouldn’t
9KG JOINS AMICA WASHING TEAM Amica has added 9kg washing machines to its existing 5, 6, 7 and 8kg ranges. Rated A+++ for energy efficiency, the 9kg Amica AWN912DJ features a large 33 cm porthole which opens a full 150 degrees for easy manoeuvring of large family loads. Blue LCD easy-read display shows wash progress and cycle selection. Available in a choice of white or Amica’s new black finish (model AWN912DJB). 15 straightforward programmes include anti allergy, quick wash, duvet, sport, hand wash, intensive and everyday 60°C. Super-fast 12-minute quick wash for smaller loads. Spin speeds variable to a maximum 1200rpm. Pause function allows the door to be opened at any point in the programme. No spin, pre wash, easy iron and start delay options pre-programmed. 2 years parts and labour guarantee.
01425 461600 www.amica-international.co.uk
The powerful Household Brand With excellent quality at affordable prices, Xavax has become a powerful force in white goods. What began as a comprehensive assortment of vacuum cleaner accessories and lamps was expanded to include additional areas. The newest members of the Xavax series are small household appliances, cleaning products, and energy-saving products in the â€œGreen Ecoâ€? line. To order, or find out more about Xavax, please call Hama (UK) Ltd on 0845 2304262
Home Laundry & Garment Care
by Baumatic’s Balestrazzi, who states that Baumatic sales have increased by 13% over the last 12 months due to the introduction of Auto-Programme technology to its washing machines.
The attention to garment care also extends to the tumble dryer category, where sensor drying and heat pump technology have upped the level of treatment of laundry items and significantly lowered energy use. Electrolux’s Joe Oram advises that sales of heat pump dryers have grown by 278% in the past three years. Oram says that AEG launched the first A-rated dryer in 2005. The appliance was also the first dryer to feature a heat pump – technology invented by AEG that drove a “huge step” forward in energy efficient drying. “Today, other manufacturers have followed AEG’s lead and A-rated dryers
Customers at the top end of the market will look for a machine that takes ultimate care of their expensive wardrobe HEAVEN SCENT
are more widely available. Heat pump technology may have been around a while, but many consumers are still unaware of its many benefits, from great fabric care to large money savings.” Stephen Hayes, Senior Category Marketing Manager at Hotpoint, points out that heat pump technology is available on Hotpoint’s Aqualtis and Ultima dryers and two Experience dryers, but that garment care has been “dramatically” increased with the use of drum technology. He explains that Hotpoint’s wave patterned drums and lifters, available on all of the brand’s dryers, give smoother tumbling by creating a cushion of air that helps keep fabrics and colours in “tip top” condition.
Miele’s heat pump tumble dryers offer an additional benefit, with the use of fragranced flacons that leave laundry items beautifully scented. The manufacturer says that European consumers spend around £2 billion a year on fabric conditioners with 85% choosing to use them because of their fragrance. But when garments are tumble dried the conditioner scent is often neutralised due to the use of high temperatures. The flacons were developed in partnership with a prestigious family-run perfume manufacturer in Provence and are available in three scents: Nature, Aqua and Cocoon. Laundry Category Manager Sian Rees explains that the intensity of the perfume can be set by simply turning the cap on the receptacle. Flacons last for around 50 cycles, depending on the selected intensity and programme duration, and the laundry will retain the fragrance for around four weeks. Consumers can switch between scents, as the flacon closes automatically on removal and the fragrance will keep for up to two years.
TWO IN ONE…
Gorenje’s W9665K 9Kg washing machine with SensoCARE technology
According to GfK, washer dryers have enjoyed the greatest growth in the laundry market, with a 7% rise in value in the year to June 2013. GfK’s Richard Allen says that sales of these appliances now amount to over £135 million and “despite average prices standing at over £130 more than a fully automatic machine, they are a popular choice for consumers with limited space in their homes.” Baumatic’s Balestrazzi maintains that consumers’ perception of washer dryers has considerably improved, particularly since the introduction of more intelligent washing functions. “Products are no
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Home Laundry & Garment Care
longer regarded as a poor compromise,” she comments. “Consumers have started to believe that washer dryers can offer an enhanced standard of washing as well as drying.” As with washing machines, the market for washer dryers is also expanding in the big capacity sector, offering consumers the facility to wash and dry loads up to 8Kg, without having to change the load or settings. LG’s newly launched F1695RDH 12/8Kg washer dryer delivers maximum capacity within a standard footprint and incorporates LG’s TrueSteam™ technology, which uses steam jets that drive through fabrics to dislodge stains and allergens. Hotpoint’s Aqualtis 11/7Kg washer dryer incorporates sensors that monitor moisture and temperature levels inside the drum to sense when the load is dry and will carry out an uninterrupted 7kg wash and dry cycle. Beko’s recently launched 9/6Kg washer dryer requires no intervention on a 6Kg wash and dry cycle and also caters for on-demand laundering. Home Laundry Product Manager Laura Selten says Beko was mindful to incorporate the facility to wash and dry up to five shirts in 55 minutes.
“The benefits of this are clear,” she comments. “Whether consumers want to save time and energy by giving a small load a quick refresh or need a speedy cycle when they realise that a garment they want to wear is still in the wash basket, the availability of a very quick load is clearly something of value.” Selten adds that this model “sets itself apart” from standard washer dryers, which can use as much as 40 litres of water per cycle to cool down the condenser during the drying process. “In contrast, Beko’s model uses air instead, thus being able to save up to 7,500 litres of water per year.”
THE FINISHING TOUCH
Of all the household chores demanding attention, ironing is the bête noire of many consumers. But the laborious task is considerably eased and garment care enhanced if using the best tool for the job. To some degree, this could explain why value in the irons market continues to rise. According to Morphy Richards, the total market boasts a healthy worth of £132.2 million. Annaliese Curtis, Category Consumer Manager for Garment Care at the company, says consumers’ purchase
considerations are likely to be related to the current economic climate, but this does not mean that they head straight for the cheapest models. “This is evidenced by growth in mid price-point products and the decline seen by tradebrands. We are increasingly finding that consumers are looking for a trusted brand.” Emmanuel Couppey, Marketing Manager for Linencare at Groupe SEB UK, confirms this point of view: “Price is not the key consideration for consumers when purchasing an iron or steam generator. Consumers are after great, fast ironing
The new Power Steam Elite is Morphy Richards’ most powerful steam generator to date
SEPTEMBER 2013 GET CONNECTED
Home Laundry & Garment Care
Price is not the key consideration for consumers when purchasing an iron or steam generator PRODUCT PROMOTION
The garment care sector benefits greatly from manufacturers’ advertising efforts and product promotions, and here we provide details on the current activities from suppliers mentioned in this feature. The new ion technology works in a similar manner to that in hair care and reduces the static in clothes using negatively charged ions which pass through the fabric. Working with the iron’s dual steam function, the ion technology easily removes creases and gives a soft, silky-smooth finish to garments. Groupe SEB’s Tefal brand – pioneer of steam generators in the UK – recently launched a range of “revolutionary” Smart Technology models designed to offer simple, one-touch controls while still catering for all ironing needs, from those seeking simplicity to ironing experts. The range incorporates three models: Easy control – one universal setting, safe to use on all fabrics, designed for the simplicity seeker; Auto control – three straightforward settings (Normal/ Delicate/Jeans) offering increased control for the more demanding user; X-Pert Control – five precise fabric settings (Synthetics/Silk/ Wool/Cotton/Linen) for the expert user who “wants to achieve perfection.” Curtis asserts that “Tefal is all about products that take the hassle out of ironing and deliver exceptional results.” A prime example of this strategy is, she says, the new Freemove iron, “a cordless model that delivers freedom of movement without compromising on results.”
Tefal’s Freemove iron has 2-in-1 Autosteam Control that automatically sets the steam output and soleplate temperature according to the fabric selected
Morphy Richards has invested in a multi-channel campaign to support the launch of its Power Steam Elite steam generator and steam irons with new ion technology. The ranges feature in two 30-second TV ads, supported by online activity through social media, e-mail marketing, affiliate marketing, blogger activity and online banner advertising.
Groupe SEB is supporting its new Tefal garment care products with a launch support package including POS, display units and in-store training materials.
Miele is offering a 10-year parts and labour warranty on its W5872 and W5877 111 Edition washing machines. The offer runs until March 2014.
Electrolux is running a cash back incentive across AEG products and has various value-added initiatives tied to the Zanussi brand. Promotions are supported with POS, online asset packs and guideline materials.
Haier’s Expectations Guarantee provides a full refund to any customer unsatisfied with a Haier product in the first 90 days after purchase.
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performance, reliable brands and good value for money from their purchase. That is why we increasingly see consumers trading up to higher spec irons and steam generators. “In garment care we see two key trends: an increase in the average market price for irons and big growth in steam generator sales. Consumers are trading up their purchases in line with the growing focus on fashion – people want to look good and a good quality iron or steam generator is needed to make clothes look their best.” Morphy Richards’ Curtis advises that value growth has been led by the shift from non-pressurised steam generators to pressurised models that retail at a higher price. The latter category has increased by 3% to £28.6 million in the past 12 months. Having identified the most important features consumers look for in a steam iron via a brand health check study, Morphy Richards conducted work with Loughborough and Bristol universities which led to the development of a unique dual steam chamber. The brand has effected two key launches in the garment care category this year: Ionic Soleplates and the Power Steam Elite steam generator, its most powerful steam generator yet. The appliance features 180g of instant steam and 4.5 bar pressure.
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From The Bench
Bespoke dish work Alan Bennett looks at value-added satellite dish installations
ast month’s bench had just gone to press when a new installer scheme was announced by at800, the mitigation body for 4G TV interference.
Expert independent installers in interference-prone areas will be appointed to help householders and others resolve Freeview TV interference problems from 4G phone masts. To qualify, staff must attend and pass at800 training courses; have Working at Heights qualifications, public liability insurance and a recent Disclosure and Barring service check; and be members of CAI or RDI. Accredited installers will get an at800-branded photo-ID card, at800 vehicle livery and a handbook. Support company OrderWork will book and allocate jobs on a regional basis, while at800 will pay the bills at an agreed tariff. Go for it if you can! See www.at800.tv
We have got used now to seeing scruffy, rusting satellite dishes, very often on the front of houses, sometimes several of them on the same multiple-occupation building. There’s no need for this, and even away from listed buildings and conservation areas many people care enough about appearances to go to some trouble and expense to keep the dish and its cable out of sight. Even on a
terraced house facing south this can be achieved by a pole-mounted dish looking over the back of the roof: it doesn’t have to be very high above the eaves. This is where independent dealers and installers come in – a cheap Sky contract job won’t stretch to this! Even if the building faces the satellite exactly head-on it’s possible to install a dish on a side wall, looking along it because the brackets can accommodate a 90° mounting angle. Unlike a terrestrial TV aerial, a dish can be at ground level: in the garden, amongst the shrubs or on a low wall or patio, so long as there’s not too many people or vehicles passing by. Only where the cable run exceeds about 35m is a line amplifier required. Concealed or not, the dish can be made less obtrusive by painting it to match the colour of the wall behind it, perhaps using the paint the house is coated in. Brick colour can be matched with red tile paint, while others (usually white) can be had in car paint from a motor accessories outlet. I’ve found gloss best, and never had any trouble with it reflecting the sun’s rays in the UK. It is possible to buy transparent dishes and square flat-plate ones (e.g. from UK distributors www.pulsat.com or www.satellitesuperstore.com) but they are expensive and seldom required. Cables, too, can be ugly and obtrusive, minimised by using the best-match colour, black, white or brown, and routing with care, even if that makes the run longer.
Concealed or not, the dish can be made less obtrusive by painting it to match the colour of the wall behind it, perhaps using the paint the house is coated in.
Some people want to receive programmes other than Sky and Freesat from Astra at 28.2°E, mainly in the way of foreign broadcasts for ex-patriots, students and language study; and ‘adult’ programming, which is less inhibited than UK channels, strictly controlled in content by regulator Ofcom. These are available from satellites close to 28.2°E, and amenable to reception with an offset LNB. A maximum offset of 8° or 9° in either direction is possible, embracing a good range of European TV and radio stations, including Polish, very popular where I am. The main carrier of adult channels is Eutelsat Hotbird 13 at 13°E, for which a special dish, easily available, is ideally required for offset working with this 15° separation. An offset LNB is additional
Offset LNB on bracket
to the existing one, fitted alongside on a purpose-designed bracket at the end of the arm. The 43cm dish supplied by Sky and others specifically for Sky reception does not afford the gain or bandwidth required for offset operation, but other makes and types of dish in 60cm (south UK) and 80cm (north/Scotland) sizes are amenable to it. Neither the dishes nor the LNBs are expensive and come with mounting hardware. Use of an offset LNB avoids the need for a second dish or a complex and expensive motorised one. Sky boxes are not very good at receiving non-Sky programmes, so a separate receiver/decoder is generally required for use with foreign broadcasts. Again, they are freely available from half-a-dozen or more mainstream manufacturers. If it’s not built into the receiver a CAM (conditional access module) is needed; complete packages for foreign reception are available from £150 upwards from Pulsat. For adult programmes a viewing card – costing from £40 for six months validity to £250 for one year’s viewing, depending on platform and viewing choice – is required. The suppliers of all this speciality equipment are experts and can quote for and make up complete bundles for any required language and satellite on request.
In the face of increasing encroachment by multiples, grocers and the internet, independent retailers and service shops are continually seeking profitable niche markets, ones not available except from skilled local practitioners: specialist dish work is very much one of these, in which equitable profits can be made. Whether you are a dish contractor currently doing routine and low-ticket work, or a dealer with an existing service department, this realm is worth your consideration. SEPTEMBER 2013 GET CONNECTED
Technical advances carry additional ACCESS CONTROL With so many expensive products kept in the electrical retail environment, implementing effective security measures is essential. James Kelly, Chief Executive of the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), discusses the benefits of access control.
t the end of 2012 the BSIA conducted a survey of its members regarding the use of security measures within the retail sector. The survey discovered that over 50% of members had found that the use of private security measures in retail had increased over the previous 12 months, with a further 65% anticipating that it would continue to increase over the course of the next year. The biggest threat to retail security was considered to be shoplifting and petty theft, with armed robbery, online theft and employee theft also posing a risk. There are a wide range of security products that can help prevent these threats, and with the fast-moving pace of the security industry, technology is constantly developing in order to suit a wide range of needs, particularly that of access control.
THE BENEFITS OF ACCESS CONTROL Access control systems have become commonplace across a wide range of sectors – particularly retail – as they provide the ability to control, monitor and restrict the movement of people, assets or vehicles in, out and around a building or site. It is essential in the protection of people and assets and has the additional benefit of being expanded from controlling, for example, a single entrance door to a large integrated security network. Electrical retail environments are full of valuable assets, both on the shop floor and in the stock room, and access control systems are designed to permit access only to people with the necessary authority to enter a particular area, ensuring that goods and people are
protected, while helping to manage known or anticipated threats. This is essential for retail stores that experience heavy footfall and wish to secure specific areas such as stock rooms from access by nonpersonnel. Access control systems come in various forms, such as a speed gate, turnstile or door. Identification devices can also vary, including PIN pads, biometric readers or smart cards. Retailers can choose their systems to integrate seamlessly with the store design, without being obtrusive.
Technological developments have been a huge driving force within the access control market. Such technologies include Near Field Communications (NFC), biometrics, Power over Ethernet (PoE) and wireless systems. These combinations have been maturing over the last few years and are set to dominate greater percentages of the market throughout 2013. IP technology is one aspect that has become a central part of the access control sector, just as it has within the rest of the security and wider technology world. The advances in technology mean that customer expectations have also altered, with IP technology no longer being a novelty. As such, mutually communicative systems are now considered essential within all kinds of infrastructures.
While security is, and will always remain, a top priority in the current economic climate, financial responsibilities have inevitably led to tighter budgets. As such, the fact that access control systems can be fluidly integrated with other systems in place, such as Building Energy Management Systems or Time and Attendance Systems, can make them an attractive solution that offers cost savings in the long run. Badge/token technology can be used to record employee hours and monitor visitor movement within a specific area. If appropriate, these can be processed against working hours both for temporary and permanent staff. This can also work in real time to feed transactions through to a business’s payroll, streamlining the management process. Access control can also integrate with fire roll-call technology, generating a report containing crucial information in relation to who is in the building and potentially where they are, a vital tool for locating employees on duty in the case of an emergency. The integration of access control with IT systems is another key trend within the sector. Mike Sussman, Chairman of the BSIA’s Access Control Section and Engineering and Operation Director at BSIA member TDSi, says: “Survey figures suggest that 65% of new security products will be delivered in the cloud by 2014. As well as the potential hardware costsaving and ease of setup (new parts of the network just need to have an IP connection) there are security benefits in that the core systems are physically stored away from premises and can’t be directly influenced by intruders.”
THE IMPORTANCE OF QUALITY
In such a fast-paced environment with regular technological developments, it is essential that the importance of quality is not forgotten. When sourcing a security system, it is crucial to choose from a quality supplier that meets the relevant British and European standards for their product or service. Members of the BSIA have undergone rigorous checks and meet strict quality criteria, ensuring that they will offer a reputable service.
To source a suppler near you visit: www.bsia.co.uk/find-a-local-security-company To find out more about how access control can benefit the retail sector, download our guide: www.bsia.co.uk/web_images//publications/162_ac_guide_retail.pdf 28
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security benefits for retail sector CLOUD-BASED VIDEO SURVEILLANCE Steve Bocking, Sales Engineering Manager at Genetec, a leader in IP video surveillance and access control, discusses how retailers can improve loss prevention with cloud-based security solutions.
sset protection across retail organisations is sometimes still viewed as a necessary evil. But at a time when shrinkage is on the rise, margins are low, competition is fierce and the economic climate is still somewhat uncertain, independent electrical retailers need to maximise any investment in technology and consider how it can positively impact their bottom line.
There is no question that independent electrical retailers face unique loss prevention challenges; display items can carry an usually high-ticket value and customers want to touch and feel those that theyâ€™re considering purchasing, so not everything can be locked away in glass cases. Business owners need to be one step ahead of shoplifters and keep close tabs on point-of-sale transactions to spot dishonest employees, faulty price labelling or poor business processes. Liability issues such as slip and falls on store property also require proper documentation to disprove false or opportunistic claims. The fact is, working in loss prevention today is not easy. And many retailers are still relying on analogue technology and simple DVR storage devices to record images from their sales floor, warehouse and checkout areas. This outdated technology leads to compromises in video quality, limitations in growth and storage space, and the inability to remotely access video due to bandwidth limitations. Also, independent retailers simply donâ€™t have the time or resources to manually sift through hours of video to identify points of vulnerability. This is why more and more retailers are considering the benefits of network security technology to enhance their loss prevention strategy. They are turning to newer concepts and modern security solutions that will help them not only contend with shrinkage, but also achieve operational efficiencies and to better understand their customers.
Genetec has recently launched Stratocast, a cloud-based video surveillance solution for shops and other commercial premises with a requirement for 10 cameras or fewer
CLOUD TECHNOLOGY OFFERS A SIMPLE, COST EFFECTIVE CHOICE FOR RETAILERS
Larger electrical retailers with dedicated security teams and infrastructure have been well served for some time by enterprise solutions. However, cloudbased technology is democratising access to enterprise-level video surveillance, making it a realistic option for the wider retail community. Deploying a cloud-based video surveillance system is the easiest and most affordable option for independent retailers who wish to switch from analogue or DVR-based technology to modern IP systems which can offer greater flexibility. This is particularly the case if it is built on an open architecture platform so that the retailer can lower the total cost of ownership by retaining some of the existing hardware and upgrading components over time, at their own pace. In terms of finances, going down the cloud-based video management route means retailers can focus on running the business without the burden and costs of housing, maintaining and cooling servers, or even the need for dedicated IT resources or expertise. It also means a predictable monthly expenditure spread over the lifetime of the investment, as opposed to a major capital expenditure up front.
In terms of functionality, retailers can get access to an easy-to-use online management platform that lets them view live and recorded video from their laptop, tablet or smartphone from anywhere in the world. While often overlooked, this is a key benefit of cloudbased video surveillance that has been commented on by early adopters. Take for instance a store owner who can holiday with the peace of mind that they can check in and see the store is safe in their absence, or the small-scale franchisee who can check how their other stores are being run without leaving the office. They can also choose from a wide range of the latest megapixel cameras, selecting the combination that best meets their cost and quality requirements. For example, retailers could consider adding a few HD network cameras to achieve a minimum of three times the resolution of some analogue cameras for more sensitive areas like cash registers or receiving doors, whilst keeping the costs down by mixing these with lower resolution cameras in less risky areas. Enhancing a loss prevention strategy means adopting the right technology for the job and analogue or DVR-based based systems are ill-equipped to meet these requirements. Cloud technology could be a real game-changer as it allows the powerful features and capabilities previously only available to household names in the industry to be easily and cost-effectively deployed by smaller stores and independents with multiple outlets. Take a minute to look at your business and the options available and you may just decide it could have a major positive impact on your bottom line. For further information, visit www.genetec.com or www.stratocast.com SEPTEMBER 2013 GET CONNECTED
2-minute Interview C
raig West, Head of Marketing – Consumer Electronics at LG, could envisage himself as a politician, for the most genuine of reasons, of course. But we’re having trouble seeing the fit here, as he describes himself as hard working, methodical, organised and tenacious, and he “never” tells lies…
Why did you choose to work in the electrical industry? Summer of 1996 (Euros 96 – I remember it well) I took a part time sales job in Currys and have not looked back since Who in the industry would you like to spend time with? James Dyson – I studied design and love all things technical
If you weren’t in your present position, what job would you choose to do? I would love to be a politician… just think of the freebies! Favourite TV programme? Match of the Day Favourite cuisine? Korean BBQ
How would you describe yourself? Hard working, methodical, organised and tenacious
Favourite holiday destination? Maldives – the best place I have ever been to
How do you think others see you? Similar (I hope)
Name your poison? Rekorderlig (all flavours!)
I would love to be a politician… just think of the freebies! What was the greatest turning point in your life? Asking Dixons HQ if they had any marketing jobs What makes you laugh? Lee Evans Do you have any bad habits? I am very stubborn Pet hate? Lazy people Hobbies? Watching most sports What’s the worst lie you’ve ever told? Me? Lies? Never…. What’s your greatest regret? It’s what you do about it that counts the most What historic figure do you identify with most? John Logie Baird – Inventor of TVs (how would I watch TV without his genius?) 30
GET CONNECTED SEPTEMBER 2013
What surprises you? Nothing You have been offered a leading role in a film of your choice, what character would you like to play? Johnny English
What’s your greatest achievement? My family What sort of music do you like? A bit of everything Favourite quote? “His friends call him George, the President calls him Geoffrey, we all call him Bungle.” Ed balls on George Osborne – his speech writer is a genius! Who has been the greatest influence in your life? My mum What do you daydream about? One day England will win the World Cup (football) What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you? 28 stitches in my knee when I was 12 years old! What’s the best kind of punishment? Are you still talking about fetishes? Who deserves it? Oh I see…. I’d say Admin, and make the lazy people do it
You have been offered the opportunity to rule the world for a day, what would be the first change you would make? Completely ban smoking
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? Working in Korea – Korean BBQ everyday…. Yummy!
Is there anything about yourself that you would like to change? Be less stubborn
Who do you most admire? Sir Richard Branson
Do you have any hidden talents? Still looking
What’s your greatest fear? Failure
What’s your favourite piece of kit? My smartphone
Do you have any particular fetishes? You’ll have to speak to my wife about that
What motto do you live by? Don’t worry about things you can’t control. Great when it comes to supporting Tottenham!
What would you put into Room 101? Red tape
Tomorrow I will… ...learn something new
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