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TV & HOME ENTERTAINMENT As the vital fourth quarter sales season approaches, George Cole looks at the big drivers in an exciting TV and Home Entertainment sector

TOWN & APARTMENT LIVING It’s all about style, function, efficiency, use of space and value for money as demanding 21st century consumers look for the best they can get in kitchen appliances to suit today’s lifestyles

GEORGE COLE GETS CONNECTED Is the BBC looking to tap the added revenue possibilities of computerbased catch-up services; and what’s next for Blu-ray? George Cole investigates

GROWTH FROM KNOWLEDGE GfK presents the facts & figures on how the “green revolution” is impacting on the UK kitchen appliances market

FROM THE BENCH Consumers’ brand loyalty is a thing of the past, argues Alan Bennett






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In and around the industry / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

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Town & Apartment Living Major domestic appliances for the 21st century lifestyle

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Jeff Griffiths on training to win with D&G / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /


Industry comment and a 2-minute interview with Samsung Home Appliances’ Andrew Jones

Editorial & Publishing Director: Terry Heath Telephone: 01420 88633

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Production and Print: Sparta Press, Blackfen, Kent. Copyright © 2010 Mud Hut Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the publisher. Get Connected is published by Mud Hut Publishing Ltd., Alresford House, 60 West Street, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7EH.

AUG 2010

Editor in Chief: Marlinda Conway Telephone: 01420 542145


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AUG 2010



lthough it’s still summer (notwithstanding the changeable weather), that “changing seasons” feel is beginning to bring an autumn atmosphere to the trade as the “back to school” ads appear on TV and retailers and manufacturers focus on the vital season ahead. Not quite yet the time to start mentioning the “C” word, but, in trade terms, it won’t be long until the countdown of shopping days begins and we start to see the tinsel and cards coming up front on our high streets. The shift into autumn for Mother Nature means that the abundant production of the harvest period is followed by a shut-down in preparation for winter. Plants – and some animals – will go into dormancy to conserve energy and survive until next spring. In the electrical industry, the opposite happens, as the year’s rich abundance of electrical appliances has to be sold during this vital season, and manufacturers and retailers enter a period of peak activity that will last from September through to January. For many manufacturers and retailers, the year’s biggest harvest is still to be gathered, and now is the time. The bad news for this season is that it is very hard to call. With inflation above target, falling real incomes, anxiety about the coming effects of the Government’s deficit-reducing programme and general nervousness about the underlying employment figures, can the UK consumer be persuaded to go for it in traditional seasonal fashion this year? The good news is that, as seasons go, 2010/2011 has an exceptionally rich array of electrical products to entice every kind of customer from early adopters to more traditional but no less demanding shoppers. In home entertainment (see feature page 15 of this issue), the UK consumer’s love affair with TV and all its offshoots and developments has every reason to remain intense and passionate. From superb new LCD flat panels, through the continuing growth of HD, Blu-ray and now the advent of 3D in the home, to the enticements of a connected, on-demand, internet enabled future with the TV at its heart, there is plenty for consumers to get excited about. Digital imaging – both still and video – has taken some giant leaps forward, and compact, micro system, DSLR and digital camcorder devices offer a range of advanced features and performance undreamed of just a few years ago. It may also be that this is the year for e-readers to fulfil their promise, as gifts that are both high-tech and encourage reading. DAB radio, the subject of intense scrutiny over the past few months (see Get Connected Editorial Comment July 2010), has a massive market to go for, and it’s up to the industry to convince consumers that if they’re going to buy a radio, it has to be DAB. The Major Appliances market, perhaps a little less seasonally affected, has also delivered what is probably the most outstanding offering of style, sophisticated function and value for money that we’ve seen in many years. Induction, with its clean, modern lines, energy efficiency and performance benefits, is edging its way into the conservative UK cooking world. And for those still not ready to take the plunge, gas and electric hobs now come in a choice of modern styles and finishes that allow householders to make that all-important “statement.” It’s also interesting to see how strongly the white goods industry has responded to changing social conditions in the UK, and producing style, compactness and high function to fit the new 21st century and is a way of life (see feature page 18 of this issue). Bricks-and-mortar retailers may be under pressure from the internet, as well as from the increased competition from the likes of Best Buy and a Currys that has considerably upped its game, and nobody knows yet which way the consumer will jump: will it be a “go for it” or a cautious season. But with VAT due to go up in January, this could be a reasonable last quarter?

Marlinda Conway Editor in Chief

Terry Heath Editorial & Publishing Director

Will Dobson Creative Director

James McIntosh Consultant Home Economist

Lynne Henry Communications Officer, GfK Marketing Services

George Cole Consumer Electronics Consultant

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Electrolux buys Merloni’s Ukrainian plant for €19 million Electrolux has signed an agreement to acquire the Ivano-Frankivsk washing machine factory from Antonio Merloni S.p.A. for €19 million. Ownership of The facility, which employs 150 people, is intended to strengthen Electrolux’s presence in the region and will function as a part of the firm’s supply base for markets in Central and Eastern Europe. Hans Stråberg, President and CEO of Electrolux, said: “By broadening our manufacturing base in the

emerging markets of Eastern Europe we will increase our competitiveness and be able to supply CIS markets from within the CIS area.” Ukraine participates in the free trade framework within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan and a number of other countries. Closing of the deal is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2011 and is subject to approval by competition authorities.

Gorenje acquires Asko Appliances Group from Merloni Slovenian manufacturer Gorenje has concluded a contract for the acquisition of premium Swedish MDA provider Asko Appliances Group. The purchase price has not been revealed. Asko produces dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers in Vara, Sweden and cookers, ovens and ironing systems in Lahti, Finland. The brand also has a niche range of professional products for the semi-commercial market.

Gorenje already has a foothold in the Swedish market and is “realising its strategy as a fastgrowing pan-European player.” The acquisition of Asko, which was formerly owned by Italy’s Antonio Merloni Group, will give the company further access to the Nordic countries and to North American and Australian markets. Gorenje said the move gains it “another prestigious brand for the group.”

See for the stories behind the news…  Fall in consumer credit reflects economic uncertainty, says FLA Consumers take ‘wait and see’ approach to long-term commitments

 Consumer confidence dents UK sales growth in July (BRC) Non-food sector hit particularly hard


AUG 2010

 July high street sales exceed expectations (CBI)


Survey predicts strong growth will continue into August

 UK unemployment down again Biggest drop in three years for the three months to June

 UK jobs under pressure later this year Private sector has to take up the slack

 King says return to economic “normality” a long way off Bank of England’s 2011 growth forecast cut from 3.4% to around 3%

BSH Customer Service wins 2010 TEQ Award BSH Customer Service has won the D&G Total Excellence and Quality (TEQ) Award for the second year running. 95.2% of the 420,000 customers surveyed by D&G rated BSH as “excellent or good” in the category of white goods manufacturers. BSH Customer Service made several enhancements to its operation to retain the Award this year. Colin Embling, Contact Centre Operations Manager, said: “The past year has seen significant investment in contact centre training programmes and this has produced more knowledgeable advisors who are now even better equipped to help the customer over the phone and avoid unnecessary engineer visits.” ”This is good news for our customers, but it is also very reassuring for our dealers,” commented BSH Customer Service Director Bernhard Vocke (pictured). “When they sell a Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau or Neff appliance, they can be confident that their customer will receive the best customer service in the industry.”

Loewe chief resigns after World Cup business falls below expectations Loewe CEO Frieder C. Löhrer has resigned after sales associated with the World Cup fell short of expectations. The company posted an EBIT loss of EUR 4.9 million in the second quarter of 2010 compared to a positive EUR 0.7 million in the same period last year (see ‘Company Financials’ section for further details). Loewe reported that higher procurement costs and price adjustments were compounded by problems with suppliers, which prevented the launch of the new Individual TV family in to key European markets until the World Cup had already started. Frieder Löhrer said: “We did not accomplish everything we had planned in recent months. In particular, the business associated with the FIFA World Cup in South Africa fell short of our expectations. I accept personal responsibility for this and have requested the Supervisory Board to accept my resignation with immediate effect.”

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The UK’s only touring kitchen & bathroom exhibition is bigger and better than ever before The only place to be seen this year is at the ‘A-List’ Big Tour 2010, featuring the biggest names in kitchens and bathrooms. Over 30 of the top manufacturers will be in attendance at an exclusive venue near you to give you incredible deals and helpful advice. With free entry, refreshments and amazing Airmiles prizes to be won, you’ll be given the 5-star treatment all the way.


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PURE and Marshall do it again At a launch event at the Marshall Amplification factory on 28 July, PURE and Marshall presented a new and improved version of the multi-award winning EVOKE Marshall digital radio, the EVOKE-1S Marshall. The EVOKE-1S Marshall is wrapped in black vinyl, recreating the iconic look of a Marshall amp, with solid wood construction, brass-effect control panel and a black metallic speaker grille. It has an integrated full range hi-fi speaker and is equipped to provide a natural

‘direct-from-the-studio’ sound. An optional, matching S-1 standalone speaker enables stereo output and richer, deeper bass. New features include ChargePAK compatibility; an OLED display with light sensor; more station presets (30 digital radio or FM); auxiliary input and FM with RDS. PURE’s textSCAN™ and Intellitext® have also been added. A USB connector enables software updates via the Internet. And, in true rock style, the volume pot still goes up to 11.

‘The vital ingredient’ supports Hotpoint cooking range Hotpoint has launched a major advertising and PR campaign to promote its new cooking range. ‘The vital ingredient’, which features the Openspace built-in oven and Ultima freestanding cooker, will appear in weekend supplements and selected consumer magazines until the end of year. The campaign will be backed by online advertising and TV sponsorship. A full suite of POS and promotional support is available to accompany in-store displays.

Andrew Lillywhite, former Logistics Director at Waterline, has been s appointed Commercial and Operation Director at kitchen, bathroom and heating distributor BCG. n Gorenje Commercial Manager Neila new Scrooby has been appointed to the . role of Regional Sales Manager, South ings Global operating company D&M Hold nt Inc. has announced the appointme l of Jamie McKay, former Commercia Manager for Denon UK, to General Manager of Denon’s pan-European take headphones operations. He will also Boston for ger Mana ral Gene of role the on Acoustics UK.


AUG 2010

n Hoover Candy has appointed Sharo e for Hamer as Sales Director responsibl UK and independent regional sales in the Northern Ireland.


AFG Whirlpool’s chest freezer (model Best 070 NF E-AP) has been awarded a Buy in Which? Magazine’s Best Buy . The Freezers Test Lab repor t, July 2010 test ory categ in best a ved achie product score of 72%. Manufacturer of energy saving and has charging accessories Energenie appointed AVSL Group Ltd as its UK distributor. The partnership will bring endent the Energenie brand to key indep UK. the t ghou throu ers retail

Paul Marshall of Marshall Amplification said: “Working with PURE we’ve created a digital radio that brings iconic Marshall design to an equally iconic radio that all listeners can embrace as a stylish statement of their love for music.” With a SRP of £119.99, the EVOKE-1S Marshall will be available at independent retailers from September, following initial exclusive availability at specialist music retailer HMV during August.

High retail margins offered on “unique” wall mounts for LED TVs US wall mount brand LEVELMOUNT is to launch a new range of products designed specifically for LED TVs onto the UK market. The firm is offering high retail margins with competitive retail prices, 24/7/365 European customer technical support, lifetime warranties and £1000/£2500 insurance protection plans. See full article on or contact 01379 871820 for further information:

Siemens’ top-of-the-range coffee marks machine, model EQ7, obtained top nel Chan on re featu g testin umer cons a in ahead 5’s Gadget Show to take 1st place mix. of appliances from Gaggia and Magi Disc’ Whirlpool has created an ‘Interface epan that allows any type of metal sauc eter to measuring 22cm to 28cm in diam ving be used on an induction hob, remo tionthe need for consumers to buy induc compatible pots and pans. Whirlpool Sado Brand Marketing Manager Juliana any said the accessory should “overcome sale.” of point the at es niggl The AEG-Electrolux Ergorapido was ce rated category winner in a performan test conducted by the independent ance German test institute SLG. The appli of the gained 78 points, putting it ahead , Bosch Move and Rowenta Air Force test. which came second and third in the pointBosch has created an eye-catching ers of-sale item for independent retail selling the eco-friendly Logixx 8 VarioPerfect™ washing machine ay with EcoSilence™ Drive. The displ that incorporates a digital photo frame res and runs a demonstration of the featu ble benefits of the product and is availa gers. free of charge via Bosch area mana r Siemens has launched a free 5-yea ances warranty on selected built-in appli in a major new promotion running five until January 2011. A minimum of ased qualifying products must be purch umers from participating dealers if cons me. are to become eligible for the sche

Indies come head-tohead in BBG-Peerless 2010 Cricket Cup final Hughes-Apollo were crowned champions of this year’s BBGPeerless Cricket Cup, having pitted a mixed team from the two retailing brands [Apollo was acquired by Hughes early last year] against Shasonic, in what BBG described as a “hard-fought” final. More than 160 competitors and spectators representing independent electrical retailers attended the annual event.


Carphone Warehouse Group (CW) said it is confident of meeting full-year expectations following better than expected Q1 results. CW Europe reported like-for-like revenues up 3.7%, largely due to strong sales of smartphones. Connections were down by 1.1% due to a reduction in sales of lower value prepay phones.

LG Electronics reported a net profit of 856.4 million won for the three months to the end of June 2010, some 33% down on net profit of 1.28 billion won for the corresponding period in 2009. Revenue for the three months was down slightly at 14.4 trillion won. Asian financial commentators say that failure to keep pace in the burgeoning smartphone market was largely responsible for the drop in profits. Loewe posted an EBIT loss of EUR 4.9 million in the second quarter of 2010, compared to a positive EUR 0.7 million in the same period last year, on sales of EUR 74.0 million – a slight rise of 4% on Q2 2009. In the first six months of 2010, Group sales increased by a moderate 3% to EUR 147.4 million. EBIT for the first half amounted to a loss of EUR 4.1 million, down from positive EUR 1.4 million in H1 2009.

Electrolux posted a 56% rise in net income to 1.03 billion kronor ($140 million) for the second quarter of 2010. Sales during the period fell 0.6% to 27.31 billion kronor. President and CEO Hans Stråberg said the business was “on track and presenting a record Q2 result…. 2010 could be the year we approach our goal of an operating margin of 6% with continued improved capital efficiency.”

Panasonic Corporation revised its halfand full-year forecasts upwards after improved performances in all divisions led to Q1 consolidated group sales rising 35% to 2,161.1 billion yen. Operating profit, pre-tax income and net income received a significant boost, rising from losses of 20.2 billion yen, 51.8 billion yen and 53.0 billion yen last year to 83.8 billion yen, 84.3 billion yen and 43.7 billion yen respectively.

Indesit Company posted net profits of €11.5 million in the 2nd quarter of 2010 against losses of €8 million in the same

Philips reported an upturn in profits for the three months to June 2010, with sales up 12% to €6.2 billion “led by double-

digit growth at Lighting and Consumer Lifestyle.” The Consumer Lifestyle division includes Philips’ TV and other consumer electronics products. Net profit was €262 million for the quarter, compared to €45 million for the same period last year. Samsung Electronics posted a record quarterly net profit to June 2010 of £4.28 trillion Won (£2.3 billion), up a massive 83% on the same period last year, but said the future outlook for consumer electronics means the high profits are unlikely to be sustained. While year-on-year operating profits in the semiconductor division were up 765%, telecommunications suffered a 36% fall, and operating profits in the digital media division, which includes TV and household appliances, were down by 69%. Sharp recorded net sales of 741.6 billion yen for the three months ended 30 June, a rise of 24.0% on the same period last year. Operating income improved from a loss of 26.0 billion yen to a positive 22.5 billion, while net income, at 10.6 billion yen, recovered from a loss of 25.2 billion. Sony Corporation reported sales up 3.8% year-on-year to 1,661.0 billion yen (18,663 million US dollars) for the first quarter ended 30 June 2010. An operating income of 67.0 billion yen for the quarter was in sharp contrast to losses of 25.7 billion a year ago. Income before taxes swung from a loss of 32.9 billion yen to 78.9 billion. Whirlpool Corporation recorded Q2 net earnings up 163% to $205 million, compared to $78 million during the same period in 2009. Sales increased 9% to $4.5 billion and operating profit rose from $134 million to $331 million.

Summer’s three “Ws” are winners for e-commerce According to e-retail body IMRG Capgemini, “www” spelt a record June for online sales. Purchases rose by 20% on the same month in 2009 to £4.4 billion, boosted by the combination of “the World Cup, Wimbledon and the weather.”This was the second consecutive month that year-on-

year growth has been above 20% – such high rates haven’t been recorded by the e-Retail Sales Index since June 2008. Online sales of electrical goods rose 26% compared to June 2009 and gained 3% on May 2010. The report also highlighted that June 2010 was a particularly strong month

for multi-channel retailers, who enjoyed year-on-year growth of 27%. IMRG said the rise suggests high street retailers are recognising the “overwhelming benefits” of a strong online offering. Read the full article at

AUG 2010

BSkyB posted a pre-tax profit of £1,173 million for the year to the end of June 2010 on revenues of £5,912 million. The company said that 90,000 new subscribers were added in the fourth quarter, taking the overall total to 9.86 million, 30% of which take HD.

period last year. Revenues rose 9.6% to €672 million in the three months to 30 June. Operating margin increased to €29 million, up 105.2% on the €14.1m posted in Q2 2009.


Apple’s net income for the three months to 26 June 2010 climbed to $3.25 billion, compared to $1.83 billion for the same quarter last year. Revenues, at $17.7 billion, exceeded analysts’ forecasts of $14.75 billion. 3.47 million Macs were sold during the quarter, a new 3-month record and 33% up on the same period last year. iPhone sales grew 61% to 8.4 million units, and the iPad, which was released at retail during the quarter, achieved total sales of 3.27 million units.



Marc Newson designs for Smeg A new collection of cooking products in finishes ranging from black and white to bright shades of blue, yellow and green has been designed by Marc Newson for Smeg. The Australian-born originator, renowned for his penchant for smooth, free-flowing lines and transparency, has imposed his stamp on this new range

of ovens and hobs by creating soft lines and userfriendly features. According to Smeg, the design was driven by the search for “maximum clarity, with immediately understandable symbols and simple commands.” And as an alternative to intuitive electronic displays with large and clear graphics, Newson ovens are also available with distinctive silver control knobs for those that prefer a more traditional method of operation. A range of 75cm gas hobs with silver controls comes in enamel finishes of blue, yellow, green, white or black, or in stainless steel. Alternatively, two models are available in a silky-matte effect black or white glass and complemented by gold control knobs. The Marc Newson collection also comprises induction hobs ranging from 30cm to 90cm wide with serigraphy in a choice of grey, gold or red brick. The 90cm-wide hob is also available in a ribbon version (35cm deep) with 3 in-line induction zones. Products are exclusive to John Lewis for the month of September and will be released to selected retail partners from October onwards.

Roberts teams up with Absolute Radio to push DAB sales Roberts Radio has created specially branded radios for Absolute Radio to help promote DAB to the network’s listeners. On-air promotions will run across all of Absolute Radio’s stations, targeting peak-time audiences of breakfast and home-time shows. A selection of the promotions will also be supported in national newspapers and magazines.

See for the stories behind the news…

 Project Canvas presses on with invitation to manufacturers Next step goes ahead despite Virgin Media complaint against Canvas

 ITV confirms move into pay-TV HD digital channels will be introduced to Sky+HD in autumn


AUG 2010

 Sky Sports 1 and 2 to be broadcast via Freeview


Sky and Top Up TV agree a deal with digital terrestrial broadcaster

 BSkyB reaches agreement on proposed sale of Easynet Global Services B2B telecoms operation to be sold to LDC for £100 million

Family-run TV and Video Direct branches out in Bury TV and Video Direct, a leading family-run independent electrical retail business in the North West, has expanded its existing portfolio of retail, commercial and Internet businesses to include an outlet in the The Rock, a new development in Bury. The first customers through the door were greeted with champagne by operations director Matt Brown (second from right) and retail manager David Evans (far right).

DSGi backs iPad PURE in full flow… as best-selling Christmas gadget DSGi has forecast the iPad to be the most popular of the 5,000 products on its shelves this Christmas. Revealing a list of the ten “big technologies” for the festive season this year, the retailer said its buyers are backing “a variety of exciting new products.” Microsoft’s Kinect for XBox 360, described as the “biggest step forward in game play since the Wii”, is tipped to be the second biggest seller of the season, and a move towards 3D is also predicted as the technology works its way across different product sectors. “By December, 25% of the TVs at DSGi’s PC World and Currys stores will be 3D, and with Sky planning the launch of its 3D channel along with numerous movie titles due for release in the format, demand is expected to be high,” the retailer said. “More 3D cameras will also arrive this winter and there will be more titles for the PS3, which already has 3D capability.”

PURE has launched a cloud-based music service that allows users to tag tracks on digital, FM or Internet radio stations and buy them direct from PURE radios with inbuilt Flow technology. The new service, dubbed FlowSongs, will be available in the UK as a beta, ahead of an international roll-out later this year. As the first of a range of new services coming to PURE’s Internet-connected digital radios, Colin Crawford, director of marketing, said FlowSongs will open up “significant additional sales opportunities and attract a whole new customer base.” The service allows unlimited tagging of tracks via a 90-day trial period and annual online subscription of £2.99. Tracks cost between 79p and £1.29 and can be streamed from any compatible PURE radio for downloading. “You hear it, like it and now you can buy it,” commented Will Page, chief economist at PRS for Music. “It’s a truly remarkable step forward in the digital convergence story as well,” he added.


Simon Freear_

Amica also promotes the technology and innovation of its products. What do you think are the most important developments from Amica that customers really see as a benefit and retailers can really sell? Amica is a leader in technological innovation. Our products provide a wide variety of exceptionally saleable features and options to suit a range of lifestyles and requirements. All of our products are rated A or above for energy efficiency and incorporate some of the very latest technology.

White goods have really developed in design and user-friendliness over the last ten years or so, and are now better value than they’ve ever been. What do you see as the most important recent innovations, and what’s in the pipeline to keep the momentum going into 2011 and beyond? The good news for consumers is that appliances have become more attractive, they are more functional than ever before, and they have also become more affordable with the wider availability of advanced technology. All of our washing machines now have Auto Sensors, which automatically match the levels of water and energy required to the weight and type of each wash load to save resources, and self-cleaning washing machines will become a must with

the ongoing trend towards washing at low temperatures. Induction is less limited by price than before and is becoming even more technically advanced - as demonstrated with Inari. The European trend of banking appliances will continue to emerge in modern property developments and new kitchen installations and will become more commonplace with the wider availability of other built-in products, such as coffee makers and microwaves. With the ongoing trend for open plan living and feature kitchens, there is also a rising demand for space-saving, statement and coordinated appliances. In October, Amica will launch a brand new builtin range, which will include Amica’s first combination steam oven and also built-in microwave to come to the UK.

If you had to name three things that make Amica a good brand to stock for retailers, what would they be? First: reliability. Our full two year guarantee for parts and labour is a reflection of the confidence we have in our products, which are durable, practical and above all reliable. Reliability is extremely important for everyone – retailers need to trust in the products they stock and consumers are reassured to know they are buying quality appliances that will last for years. Second: decent profit margins. Third: the Amica product range, from attractive basic models to gorgeous, high-tech, flexible and innovative showcase pieces, giving retailers the opportunity to suitably match appliances to buyers. Our product catalogue offers appliances to suit every household with a variety of options, features and functions to make everyone’s life easier and produce fabulous results whilst also preserving valuable resources.

AUG 2010

Amica promotes its guarantee strongly to the trade. How does that work for retailers, and what is behind it in terms of product quality, brand values and backup service? Amica has a long history in the design and manufacture of household appliances. Its original factories in Wronki, Poland, began producing appliances in 1957. The Amica brand was introduced in 1992 and is now well established as the first choice in Poland, renowned for a range of reliable products with attractive designs and an outstanding combination of features and quality. Amica has won numerous prizes and awards over the years, including Product of the Year and The Most Trusted Brand; and it has been ranked the tenth most valuable Polish brand and the seventh most innovative Polish company. Amica appliances have proved extremely popular across the world, and there are now subsidiary offices in many other countries. Every individual appliance is thoroughly tested before it leaves our factories to ensure consistently high levels of quality and consumers, retailers and distributors can be confident in Amica products - each one supported with an excellent after-sales care service and backed up by a full, two year guarantee for parts and labour, which is a great sales tool and extremely valuable for consumers, particularly in the more recent economic climate.

Self-cleaning is something to watch over the coming months. Reports show an increase in the sales of selfcleaning ovens for reasons of convenience, and the function will become more necessary on washing machines as thermostats are turned to even lower temperatures for washing. Our Scandium ovens are a real contender for the top spot in self-cleaning ovens, with the unique Aqualytic system being up to 90% more energy efficient than its pyrolytic counterparts taking just 30 minutes for a clean oven chamber using no detergents, scrubbing or intense heat. Amica’s brand new 7kg AWM712 and 714D washing machines cater for low temperature washing with 15 programmes including a self-clean cycle - which uses high temperature sterilisation to limit the build-up of bacteria, mould, dirt and odours in the drum and the tank, which will shorten the lifetime of any machine – particularly useful when washing regularly at low temperatures. Amica’s brand new Inari induction hob is a breakthrough in contemporary design. Also technologically advanced and highly flexible with an impressive maximum power output, Inari is the first to connect four heating zones of 210mm on a 60cm hob. There is a timer and a Booster for each zone - two can be used at the same time - and the Virtual Booster allows more effective shared power of the heating zones, even if one is using the Booster function. Inari is an open zone – it will detect the presence of a pan anywhere on its surface, and the Bridge function allows two heating zones to be used as one. These are all in addition to the usual benefits of induction, giving retailers a list of compelling, highly saleable features.



Amica has been establishing strong brand credentials in the UK, and Simon Freear, country manager in the UK, answers some of the questions that UK retailers have been asking about the brand and its background


Siemens Gigaset SL400A cordless handset The new Siemens Gigaset SL400A cordless handset is the brand’s smallest hands-free model to date. It features a large, colour display with illumination, simple keypad buttons and high definition voice quality on hands-free settings. The Unit is part of Gigaset’s ECO-DECT range, which uses 60% less energy than conventional power supplies. An ECO Mode on the base reduces transmission power by 80% and moderates the amount of power used in accordance with the distance between the handset and base station. 

Talk time: up to 14 hours

Standby time: up to 230 hours

Phonebook: up to 500 names, numbers, e-mails and anniversary reminders

Answer machine: up to 45 minutes recording time

Outdoor range: up to 300 metres; indoor range: up to 50 metres

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Philips MCI900 Streamium Hi-Fi with SoundSphere technology

Sebo Felix Pet vacuum cleaner with ‘Disco’ attachment

The Philips Streamium MCI900 hi-fi system with SoundSphere technology incorporates an integrated CD/DVD player, streaming capability and Internet radio in a two-box system with integrated 3.5” colour screen that displays album art and track info. The system features a high-quality class ‘D’ digital amplifier (50W per channel) partnered with high-grade 24-bit DAC for “class-leading” signal to noise ratio. Estimated retail price £999.

Sebo’s Felix Pet upright vacuum cleaner offers a solution for polishing a range of hard flooring using a versatile attachment suitable for virtually all surfaces, including PVC, natural stone, wood and varnish. Long-term use of the Disco polisher with a floor maintenance product is said to build up a strong, protective coating and seal scratches that would otherwise harbour dirt and moisture.

802.11n Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity

160GB USB hard drive

HDMI output

Remote control

01293 773128

S-Class filtration system

British Allergy Foundation Seal of Approval

Adjustable handle with suction power regulation

Swivel neck

2-metre hose


AUG 2010

01494 465 533


Whirlpool iXelium stainless steel gas hobs Whirlpool has added an anti-aging iXelium stainless steel finish to its collection of gas hobs. The easy-clean coating acts as a barrier to preserve the quality and natural shine of the metal, preventing surface stains and yellowing and reducing the signs of marks, scratches, temperature discolouration and corrosion. Model ref: AKT 725/IXL is a 750mm built-in unit featuring: 

Five burners: 2 x 1.65kW, 2 x 1kW, 1 x 3kW, 1 x 3.7kW four-crown wok burner

Ergonomically positioned front controls

3 x robust cast-iron pan supports finished in matt black

0208 649 5000


Vita Audio R1 MkII DAB/FM radio Vita Audio has introduced the R1 Mk11, an enhanced successor to the original R1. The new model has an optional ‘BackPack’ which provides power for wireless listening and a carry case produced from hand-stitched leather to protect the unit and aid portability. The Mk11 is available in Rich Walnut veneer or high-gloss lacquer finishes in Dream White and Midnight Black.

Switchable auxiliary input for MP3 and other audio devices; stereo headphone output

9 watts nominal power output; 3.5“ high-fidelity drive unit

Exclusive RotoDial control with soft illumination

High contrast display with large format clock

01702 601410

10 station presets and extensive range of clock & alarm functions

Samsung condenser tumble dryers Samsung’s first range of condenser dryers for the UK market feature the same design as the brand’s AIR Refresh washing machines and share many of the same benefits. The 7kg and 8kg machines incorporate ‘diamond drum’ technology, which creates air pockets that cushion the laundry for optimum fabric care, and paddles that lift items higher during drying so they remain in the warm air longer during each rotation. Flagship model SDC18809 has a glass door that gives a clear view of laundry as it dries. 

Full graphic user-friendly LED display

Sensor drying

29-minute quick-dry program; ‘Delay end’ setting

Certified Wool Mark

“My cycle” remembers regularly used settings

Reversible door; internal light

01932 455000

Fagor iF-64R frameless 4-zone induction hob This 60cm induction hob from the Fagor 2010 collection has a frameless design that will work well in contemporary kitchens in which the trend is for an uninterrupted, streamlined work surface. The four-zone appliance has digital touch controls for each cooking zone and nine precise power levels. 

Zone sizes: front right 18 cm (2.3 kW), front left 21 cm (2.3 kW), back right 18 cm (2.8 kW), back left 18 cm (2.0 kW)

Timer from 1 to 99 minutes on each zone

Seven safety features

5-year guarantee

01256 308 067

Baumatic P632BS multi-function built-in oven The latest addition to Baumatic’s family of BlackLine cooking appliances is the P632BS, an A-rated multi-function oven finished in black steel with a mirrored glass door. The 60cm appliance comes complete with two baking trays, a trivet and pizza stone and has removable side racks and roof liner, two safety shelves and telescopic runners.

0118 933 6900

Net oven capacity 50 litres

Wipe-clean enamel cavity

9 cooking functions

Triple-glazed removable door

LED programmer

AUG 2010

DAB, DAB+ and FM Tuner with RDS




George Cole ” George Cole pinpoints hotspots in the world of consumer electronics. E-mail:


AUG 2010

new generation of Blu-ray discs and players in Japan, which conform to the Blu-ray BDXL format. Standard Blu-ray

variations within these figures. For example,

discs store up to 25GB (single layer)

plugging the vast hole in the

40% of students watch live television on

or 50GB (double layer). The BDXL

country’s finances, all kinds of

laptops in their halls of residence.

standard makes it possible to produce

But how could viewers be charged

multi-layer discs that store up to 100GB

are being considered. Now, culture secretary

for using catch-up services? Well, Hunt

on a rewritable disc or 128GB on a

Jeremy Hunt has flown a kite, and raised

has rightly ruled out a universal PC tax,

write-once disc. Next year,Verbatim

the possibility of computer users being

so perhaps services like the player could

will be launching a triple layer Blu-ray

charged for watching catch-up services like

be made subscription or pay-per-view

disc that stores up to 100GB. Sharp

BBC player. The argument goes that while

offerings? It’s possible, but the picture

says a pack of ten BDXL discs will

TV viewers have to pay £145 annually for a

gets confused because freesat HD TVs

cost the Japanese equivalent of £60.

television licence, those watching TV on the

(and HD set-top boxes) can access player

Little wonder that BDXL is being aimed

net are getting it for free.

programmes, so if I’ve already paid my TV

at commercial enterprises such as

The TV licensing rules are a little

licence fee, why should I have to pay extra?

archiving and medical imaging.

confusing, and it’s very easy to fall foul

And the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and others are

of them when using a computer to watch

keen to launch Project Canvas, which would

but don’t expect it to make a great

television. If you use your PC to watch live

blur the lines between the internet, catch-up

impact on the Blu-ray consumer

television, then you need a TV licence. Ditto,

services and subscription-free TV services

market. Leaving aside its high price,

if your computer has a TV tuner card. But

like freesat and Freeview.

the biggest snag is that BDXL discs will

BDXL is an interesting development,

Although many of us now regularly

not play on standard Blu-ray players,

catch-up services, then you don’t need a

shop online and even use micropayment

recorders or drives. Because of this,

licence. However, Hunt has suggested that

services like iTunes to purchase individual

movie companies are not likely to use

this situation could change. But how could

music tracks, online payment systems can

it - well, at least not until BDXL players

charging for catch-up TV be implemented?

still sometimes be a pain to use and it can

are mass market products. It used to

The first thing to say is that despite the

be an even bigger pain to get recompense

be said that when large capacity discs

rise of PCs, broadband and catch-up TV

when things go wrong. BBC player is a

became available, film companies

services, most of us still use a television

fantastic resource and part of the reason is

would scrap boxed sets and put a

for watching programmes - around 97%

its ease of use: you log onto the site, select

complete TV or movie series onto just

of them are watched this way. What’s more,

your programme and then watch or listen.

one or two discs. But it never happened,

despite the rise of PVRs, DVD recorders

Placing an additional barrier in front of this,

not least because consumers think they

and catch-up services, about 95% of us still

in the form of some kind of payment system,

are getting more for their money if the

watch scheduled television services – in

would ruin a superb service. But since

content they buy is spread over a set

other words, we watch programmes at the

when has this consideration ever stopped a

of discs, rather than on one single disc,

time they are broadcast. But there are huge

politician from meddling?

however large it is.

if you only use your computer for watching


Sharp is the first company to launch a

s the government looks for ways of

cost-cutting and revenue-raising schemes




well connected


Slim, smart and

The UK consumer’s love affair with all things TV can only intensify as the home entertainment sector continues to fascinate us with new, exciting and irresistible attractions. George Cole looks at this season’s new faces and established stars

For Steve Gater, LG’s head of marketing, the World Cup gave viewers their first taste of subscription-free, high definition TV on terrestrial television. Over half of LG’s 2010 TV range is equipped with Freeview HD. “Almost a third of our TV sales in June were Freeview HD TVs, so there is clear demand,” he says. Within the LCD TV market, the key drivers have been the super-slim form factor, visible picture quality improvements and


away from old recording technology such as VCRs and VHS, and switching in high numbers to digital television recorders [DTRs]. Sales of DTR products, such as the new Humax HDR-FOX T2, should increase, now Freeview+ HD is on the market, and this will become the main route for any consumer to record their favourite HD and SD content free-to-air.”

3D in the mix No discussion about TV would be complete without mentioning 3D. “The availability of 3D-ready TV has certainly been a key highlight so far this year,” says

AUG 2010

A taste for HD

the availability of free to air HD content, says Tom Monetto, Sharp’s Aquos product manager. With LED technology (and particularly Edge LED), TVs have taken a step forward in aesthetic design, showing off some of the thinnest profiles yet. “Our Quattron TV offers contemporary design with a super slim bezel. In terms of picture quality, 100Hz and 200Hz are more readily available on TVs, key to improving the handling of fast moving action on any content. LED technology has also allowed for brighter images.” Graham North, Humax’s commercial director, thinks that the main drivers for sales of freesat and Freeview products lie in two main areas. “Firstly, the consumer is waking up to the fact they can receive quality HD content without the need to subscribe to a service,” he says. “Secondly, the consumer is moving



s the busy fourth quarter sales season arrives, it’s worth looking at what are set to become the biggest drivers in the television and home entertainment market. This is the time when broadcasters launch their new season of programmes, and a slew of blockbuster Blu-ray and DVD titles are released, so it’s little wonder that the TV remains at the heart of home entertainment. So what will attract this year’s TV and Home Entertainment buyers? “The main drivers for TV are relatively consistent in terms of picture quality, sound quality, design and overall viewing experience,” says Joni Shakles, Philips’ TV marketing manager. LED is now playing a significant role in allowing very slim form factors, she adds, while full screen local dimming LED technology has dramatically boosted contrast and black levels.



LG’s Gater. “Looking towards the rest of this year, consumer interest and uptake of 3D TV is expected to continue to build, with the rise in 3D content – in particular the Sky 3D channel due to launch in autumn.” At the IFA show, Sharp will unveil its first Quattron 3D TV. Sharp has developed the world-first four primary colour 3D LCD, and plans to offer 46- and 60-inch Quattron 3D models this Christmas. Philips’ Shakles says: “There’s no doubt that 3D will be a major feature of Q4, and Philips will have 3D-ready TVs across its higher end models.”


Connected TVs, providing internet access and compatibility between numerous electronic devices in the home, will also continue to drive sales, says Gater, as they offer consumers more compelling content. A large range of LG’s TVs offer LG’s NetCast Entertainment, which enables viewers to access popular online services - including Picassa and YouTube - from the comfort of their sofa. “Internet connectivity is becoming more important, with consumers increasingly aware of the potential to use their TV as a media portal,” adds Shakles, “and Philips will continue to promote its NetTV feature which will now be available on three of our TV ranges and offers viewers open access to the whole of the web.” Humax will be launching new internet TV features on its latest Freeview HD range – the HD-FOX T2 zapper and HDR-FOX T2 digital TV recorder. This will include popular catch-up services and Sky Player. North says Humax will continue to focus on Freeview and freesat HD digital TV recorders, but will be expanding this to include a whole range of internet TV services too. “We will be working closely with our partners in the internet TV arena to ensure we deliver strong messaging to the consumer about the value of catch-up services and how to access them. Humax will also be running promotional offers where possible to aid our key retailer partners in maximising sales,” he adds.

When it comes to Blu-ray sales, price will continue to be the main driver. “The cost is coming down for both hardware and discs,” says Grace Liang, Sharp’s AV product manager. Wieger Deknatel, Philips’ Blu-ray marketing manager, adds that “the main drivers on Blu-ray have been outstanding value for money, with a top quality product from major brands available for around £130, a continual stream of new features and the availability of software – with the top movie titles launching simultaneously on Blu-ray and DVD.” Deknatel also notes that new features have included: the ongoing development of BD Live; wireless connectivity; internet connectivity; and that in Q4, we are likely to see a wide number of products offering 3D playback. Philips plans to launch the new 7000 and 8000 series Blu-ray players, which will be 3D-ready and will include the company’s NET TV system for open internet connectivity – including video-on-demand for the BDP8000. James Forrester, Sony’s category marketing manager, says: “Entry Blu-ray players will continue to be the key volume driving models, particularly as the Blu-ray market becomes increasingly mass market. However, the key development will be in higher range product with real added value benefits. For example, 3D Playback will stand out for a lot of consumers with 3DTVs.” Sony is running a promotion through Q4, “Perfect Partners,” which is a package saving for the best matched Blu-ray player or home theatre system and a Bravia TV. “Not only does the consumer get a saving, but they get a recommendation from a Sony retailer, without having to do the research themselves,” adds Forrester. Liang says Sharp will be launching a 3D Blu-Ray player in October, which will offer a slim design and the possibility of being set up either horizontally or vertically. LG’s Blu-ray players and Blu-ray home cinema systems do much more than just play Blu-ray discs and DVDs, says Gater. LG’s 3D BX580 Blu-ray player and HB965TZ 5.1 home cinema system can wirelessly stream information and content from other compatible devices in the home via DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) connection. Many of LG’s Blu-ray products are also equipped with wireless technology to access a number of popular internet applications, such as YouTube via LG’s Netcast Entertainment.

Mounting demand Flat display sets not only look slim and stylish, but they can be wall-mounted or placed on many types of stands. “In terms of mounts, there are two main reasons why consumers want to have their screen up on the wall – the clean aesthetics of having the screen ‘floating’


AUG 2010

Getting connected

Blu-ray prices coming down




and the added functionality that a good quality bracket can provide,” says Paul Dawes, director of marketing, BBG-Peerless. With the new ultra thin LED screens, consumers are getting even closer to having a screen that hangs on the wall like a picture. Peerless’ Slimline range includes a fully articulating flat panel mount that is just 28mm from the wall, but can extend up to 730mm to give full 90 degrees swivel left and right, even with the largest screen. “In the UK, the wall mount market has grown to 1.3 million units per annum, according to GFK,” notes Jeremy Lanaway, Vogel’s’ trade marketing manager, “This is driven by consumers’ desire to save space in their homes by eliminating unnecessary bulky furniture, proven by the fact that wall mount volumes are almost overtaking sales of regular stands and furniture.” But Lanaway says many independents are missing out on sales. “Of the 1.3million sales, 892,000 were sold through mass merchants and only 118,000 wall mounts were sold in independent retailers. When aligned with TV sales, only one wall mount was sold for every twenty TVs.” He adds that since wall mounts yield a substantial value attachment to a Flat TV with high profitability, they can supplement those less than amicable margins from Flat TV. “A combination of new AV technology coming to market and households purchasing larger screens has created a need for stands to become ever more discreet with a lower viewing position,” says Chris Emerson, Alphason’s chief operating officer. Alphason’s offerings include two stylish Vantage stands designed exclusively for the new ultra slim TVs. the VAN840/2-BR-PB for use with LED TVs up to 50 inches in size, and the VAN720/2PB for TVs up to 47 inches. “In terms of furniture the drivers are very much the same, in that for most consumers the decision comes down to a combination of functionality and aesthetics,” says Dawes. “Ample storage space for AV equipment (DVD players, set-top boxes, games consoles etc), an effective cable management system and toughened safety glass shelves are all basic requirements for a TV support, while high gloss black and natural wood finishes to match the screen or domestic décor are the styles of choice for most consumers.” Peerless-BBG has high expectations for its Stabilis safety kit, which clamps a large flat panel screen to a stand or furniture, in order to prevent it from being pulled or pushed over in the home. The product is quick and easy to install and is universal for screens from 32- to 60-inches, with height adjustment and swivel facility.


A developing nation According to De Dietrich, in 2001 the UK census recorded 20% of people living in a flat or apartment. By the time the next census comes around, in 2011, Richard Walker, Sales and Marketing Director for the De Dietrich & Fagor brands, believes we can “confidently predict” this statistic will rise to around 30%, given the vast amount of urban regeneration in towns and cities throughout the past ten years. Simon Freear, country manager for Amica UK, quotes national statistics that show how the population’s living arrangements have evolved over the years: “The number of households in Great Britain increased by 34% between 1971 and 2008 while the average number of occupants fell from 2.9 people to 2.4 in the same period, reflecting an ongoing trend towards smaller households. Of the 25 million households in Great Britain in 2008, 64% were occupied by just one or two people – 14% more than in 1971.”



AUG 2010



s the UK develops, cities are spreading into the suburbs, and apartment buildings and narrow town houses designed to stimulate aspirations of idealistic lifestyles have sprung up on the banks of urban and rural waterways and become notable fixtures in neighbourhoods throughout the land. While opinions may vary on this modern-day turn in domestic architecture, the underlying reasons for it are perceptible. Locations offering good commuter routes to major towns and cities are becoming more crowded – in turn, the demand for homes in these areas is high; single occupancy is growing and families are contracting in size; and for those developing land in desirable environments, making the best of building vertically as opposed to expanding horizontally provides, to coin a phrase, ‘more bang for the buck’. The upside of this is: more bang for the builder’s buck translates into more bang for the appliance supplier’s buck. The number of cooking, cooling, dishwashing and laundry products sold into any single household is not infinite, but the opportunity exists to supply products into six apartments (for example) as opposed to one house. And many new apartment blocks are labelled as ‘luxury dwellings’, which suggests that appliances sold into them should certainly carry an element of good design and quality and, with this, a higher retail margin.

Freear also refers to a survey conducted last year by Cabe, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, which revealed that floor areas and room sizes in the UK are the smallest in Europe and our new builds are less than half the size of those in the US and Australia. In the same research, respondents also recorded an important detail of Britain’s homes: Of the 2,249 owners whose properties were built between 2003 and 2006, 44% said they didn’t have enough space for small children to play safely while food is being prepared and more than a third said there was not enough space in the kitchen for appliances.

Housing trends Changes in housing trends and lifestyles have a big influence on appliance buying patterns, so it is worth noting other developments in these areas before moving on. Eco-towns, in which compact, sustainable living is promoted, are destined to become a feature of Britain’s landscape. Such communities already exist and government proposals for additional developments are well underway. The creation of these ecologically balanced settlements will no doubt stretch the imagination of architects, builders and appliance designers, but in doing


a premium, are becoming a desirable and attractive feature, whether incorporated into a renovated back-to-back dwelling of the early 20th Century, a restored cottage of later years or a 60s semi. De Dietrich’s Richard Walker, referring to the aforementioned statistics, says: “Add to this the trend for open-plan living, which has been growing apace over the past five years, where dining rooms are being knocked through to create larger ‘living spaces’ or where house builders are purely maximising smaller spaces, and a pattern of appliance requirements has emerged for kitchens in these types of homes. Appliances either have to be smaller versions of their standard-size counterparts or there is a new trend towards incorporating separate options in one appliance, thus providing dual functionality in a single package.”

Clean-cut and clever In compact kitchens and open-plan living areas, a streamlined look is generally the most desirable. Clean lines with surfaces that are easily maintained. But for many consumers, the hob conjures up images of food spills, scourers and Cif. What a treat is in store for the purchaser coming back to replace the hob of yesteryear. The easy-clean surfaces of induction hobs and standard ceramic electric appliances, and those with new coatings such as Whirlpool’s iXelium, which can be found on the brand’s stainless steel gas hobs, are very much a benefit to be promoted at point of sale. Few people find cleaning the hob therapeutic, but fewer could image life without one. Yet Juliana Sado, Brand Marketing Manager at Whirlpool, suggests that such appliances are “not necessarily essential” in today’s kitchen: “Microwave and steam ovens can cope with the majority of hob work.” It’s doubtful that most would agree with this alternative view, but Joan Fraser, Product development and Training Manager at Smeg UK, in her usual resourceful way, reasons that

AUG 2010

so will also generate a greater demand for more environment-friendly products in the future. While the appliance market is heavily dependent on a healthy economy boosting the numbers of new and eco-friendly builds in the years to come, another transformation is taking place in the UK now. Light, airy and orderly living is an increasing draw for consumers, and open-plan kitchens, rather than a necessity dictated by space being at

Steve Dickson, commercial manager for Belling and Stoves, talks of the growth of cafe culture “sweeping towns and cities across the UK” and leading to a rise in popularity of built-in coffee machines. He says coffee makers such as the Stoves S7-E450BCMAUTO 45cm appliance offer a “convenient and stylish addition to the contemporary kitchen” whilst keeping counter tops free of clutter for preparing food. Or maybe that clutter-free space could be used to accommodate some of the selection of hob designs that are now available on the market…

Clean-cut and compact De Dietrich first introduced its compact ovens collection in 2003 with open-plan and compact kitchens in mind. The 2010 range incorporates the features and benefits found in standard sized De Dietrich ovens, and Walker says they offer a unique selection of options if sited side by side. “A 45cm multifunction




pyroclean oven (DOP745); a 45cm ICS microwave combination oven (DME795) and 45cm steam oven (DOV745) fulfil every type of cooking option, and if required can be sold separately as a second alternative to a standard multifunction single or double oven.” At the top end of the cooking market, the trend is very much towards compact appliances linked either with other compacts or with standard single ovens, notes Neff sales director Mike Jarrett. And when it comes to choosing new appliances, he believes that most consumers will probably have some idea of what they want, but this will be based on “emotional factors” such as design, brand and aspiration. “They need an ‘expert’ to either confirm that their choices are logical and rational or to offer guidance,” he says. Giving an example of how retailers can help consumers make the best choices, Jarrett draws on the current leaning towards steam and steam combination ovens and says retailers should be aware of the difference between the two – i.e. pure steam models and those that add moisture to traditional cooking methods: “The cooking principles are different and the latter provides cosmetic and texture benefits, but only for limited food types, whereas pure steam provides the ‘health’ benefits as well as maintaining colours, texture and vitamins for a wide variety of foods.” Opting for compact appliances also provides consumers with the choice of mixing and matching necessary cooking products with ‘luxury’ items such as warming drawers and built-in coffee makers.



many consumers simply do not need a fullsize hob. On the flipside, others need one or more additional hob functions. With this in mind, Fraser recommends Domino hobs as offering a practical and versatile solution. “Domino hobs allow customisation of the work zone according to space and cooking requirements,” she says. “Smeg’s 30cm models are available in gas, electric or induction cooking modes, with a variety of choices including a Teppanyaki hob, a fryer and an indoor barbecue.” There’s nothing like covering all the options, and inspiring your customers in the process. An interesting comment on the supply of hobs comes from De Dietrich’s Walker, who picks up on the fact that Energy Performance Certificates are a prerequisite for all new build projects, and many house-builders are seeking different appliance solutions to incorporate in new apartment developments, as opposed to the standard oven, hob and hood pack. He says a number of house-builders are talking to the Fagor brand regarding the installation of 60cm induction hobs as “not only do products save electricity because of their 90% energyefficiency but the installation of induction hobs in apartments negates the need for additional gas pipework at the time of build. This also results in savings over the longer term as annual hob inspections are no longer required.”

My space Evidence shows that while some consumers may choose to reside in pocket-sized homes – such as those trading down or owning second




homes as getaways – others, such as first-time buyers, for example, generally have little in the way of an alternative. Yet most will still want their surroundings to reflect their personalities and their kitchens to be well laid out and appealing with imaginative and resourceful means of storage and the full complement of domestic appliances. “It’s all about affordable luxury,” propounds Alessandro Finetto, Director of Global Consumer Design, Whirlpool Europe. “And we can relate to the car industry here, where we have a small car full of accessories (not gadgets) that delivers a better driving experience. Appliances are the same – delivering total quality using technology and programmes to generate money savings and a better quality of life.” Whirpool’s Sado adds: “With people leading increasingly busy lives they are looking for products that offer speed and convenience as well a healthier lifestyle. There are great advantages with steam and microwave cooking, which offer the passport to a healthy future.” Sado believes today’s microwave ovens are “very capable” appliances, with greater functionality than many full-sized ovens. “They are able to bake, brown, crisp and steam as well as microwave, all taking a fraction of the time and energy of a full-sized or conventional oven.” Whirlpool’s latest MAX range of microwaves comes to market in October 2010. The units have a rounded back and are designed to fit neatly into the corner of the worktop. Both new models are multifunctional, with the inclusion of steam in one and crisp and grill in the other. Hotpoint Brand Manager Iain Starkey notes that where worktop space is at a premium, built-in microwaves will offer a good solution but, on the other hand, he argues the point for the brand’s award-winning Openspace oven, which provides the versatility of a double oven

in a standard 60cm appliance. “At a capacity of 70 litres, the unit offers 20% more space than a traditional single oven and can be split into independently controlled compartments with the use of an insulating divider.” Belling and Stoves’ Dixon believes that creating a social, flexible space that enables consumers to deliver “professional results” is a chief priority, especially since more people now entertain at home. He adds that the styling and size of an appliance shouldn’t compromise its functionality and presents the Belling BI60i, the “world’s first” built-in oven to use induction in the main oven cavity, as a prime example of function and efficiency. The patent pending 6-in-1 appliance is capable of slow cooking, roasting, grilling, steaming, fan cooking and baking casseroles, and has a dual zone grill. The BI60i uses “an impressive 50% less energy than a standard A-rated oven when in induction mode” – a significant costsaving for the consumer.

Cool space Professional results, however, do not rely solely on the expertise or ingenuity of the cook, but also in the way foodstuffs are stored. Today’s cooling appliances are the larders of yesterday, offering flexible storage, precise temperature control, air circulation systems, humidity control and antibacterial linings, all of which help keep foodstuffs in tip-top condition, and are available in products of a range of heights and widths across freestanding, built-in and integrated collections. Compact or open-plan room layouts will mean the style of the cooling appliance will be every bit as important as its functionality. For those needing to create the illusion of space, Whirlpool recommends the use of glass and mirror finishes. The brand recently introduced the new Nova range of American-style sideby-sides which has finishes in black mirrored

A freestanding collection that’s all about free thinking. Idea 21:

AA energy rated ovens

Belling FSE60MF (60cm)

Introducing our all-new freestanding collection that’s full of big ideas. From the stylish 60cm gas twin cavity cooker to the multifunction cooker with innovative induction hotplate. And what’s more, all our freestanding cookers are AA energy rated and are made right here in the UK - ensuring the highest quality and the best supply. Here are some more great ideas that you can see across our new collection: Idea 33: Flame safety devices across the range Idea 39: Removable inner door glass Idea 3: Ergonomically designed control knobs Idea 48: Easy clean enamel


12617 Get Connected Freestanding 297x210.indd 1

19/7/10 14:46:28


apartment and open-plan living,” she says. “Hoods are a necessity, especially with the living area opening up. We forget that the hood has a crucial part to play, not only in removing cooking odours but also grease. The investment in a good quality hood with a high extraction rate and intelligent technology will also protect furnishings in the home. “And today they are no longer the ‘noisy monsters’ of the past,” she points out. “Good appliances are extremely quiet and powerful and, as well as extracting cooking odours, will vent room odours too and you don’t even have to remember to turn them on.” Whirlpool’s latest hoods in the Glamour, Fusion and Ambient ranges boast a 6th Sense® mode that uses the readings from inbuilt sensors to run at exactly the right power levels for maximum energy efficiency and extraction performance. The technology also detects other room odours and pollutants and will automatically start the appliance up at the correct extraction rate to improve air quality.

Quiet space


glass and in Luxilen™, a high-gloss durable material resembling glass. Sado says these units “may be big in capacity, but they are neat in dimension – slimmer than a conventional 60 cm fridge and freezer placed side by side.” And for customers who prefer, or are perhaps tied to, the choice of under-counter or built-under refrigeration, fridge drawers may provide a stylish alternative. Hotpoint has in its range a set of two 90cm soft-close drawers that fit neatly under the counter in a run of cabinets and can be finished with the brand’s ‘Experience’ steel fronts or with matching cabinet fronts. The award-winning design provides 190 litres of storage and incorporates a wine rack, two salad crispers, two meat/fish boxes, a dairy box and bottle holder.


AUG 2010

Designer space


Making a ‘design statement’ is generally an important detail both for first-time appliance buyers and those coming back into the market after a number of years, and many choose a single appliance such as the refrigerator or cooker hood to create the desired effect. Whirlpool’s Sado congratulates manufacturers for their development of “aspirational” cooker hoods, styled in a range of materials and shapes with features such as illumination that cleverly adapts for ambient and mood lighting – “ideal for town and

For those working in compact kitchens or living in open-plan areas the operational noise levels of appliances should be taken into consideration. Dishwashers that ‘gush’ their way through programmes and vibrating washing machines are not going to create an ambient living space. And where the luxury of a utility room is not present, there is also the style aspect to take into account. Integrating ‘wet’ appliances will help streamline the kitchen, thereby creating a greater sense of space, but in dishwashers there are some new and very striking design alternatives on the market. Gorenje, for example, has a décor door for its 60cm built-in dishwashers which complements its ‘Pure’ oven range and allows design-conscious consumers to create a “harmonious” space, while Neff has developed a stylish range of ‘In Line’ dishwashers. The two 60cmwide compact models, S65M63N0GB and S66M63N0GB, are suitable for placing at eye level; in a bank of appliances; an island unit; side-by-side; in column or beneath the worktop. 6 place-setting S65M63N0GB is just 45cm in height and, importantly, both are said to feature “quiet operation.” Smeg also offers a different take on the standard 60cm dishwasher: a 90cm, fullyintegrated horizontal model providing a variety of different installation options and designed to fit with 90cm pan drawers. Product Development and Training Manager Joan Fraser says: “Despite its width, the flexible DI912 requires only 36cm to open the door – an ideal space saver, especially in a galley kitchen.” Ruth Ferguson, Marketing Manager at

Gorenje UK, points out that dishwashers are “steadily losing their ‘luxury’ tag” as people come to realise the water, time and energy savings appliances can offer. She also notes “greater interest” in slim-line models, and says this suggests that more people are finding room in the kitchen for such products. “Dishwashers are also becoming standard prerequisites for new builds,” comments De Dietrich’s Walker. “However, anyone that has lived with a dishwasher is more likely to want one, even if the kitchen is lacking in space, and most manufacturers have for many years included 45cm slim-line options in their ranges.” He highlights the De Dietrich DVY640JU1 – a compact version incorporating the brand’s sensor technology and ‘Silence Inside’, which makes it “ideal for open-plan kitchens.” Operating at 43dB(A), “it will never drown out the sound of conversation.”

Less space Slim-line washing machines, rather than being of reduced width, offer a slimmer depth that allows them to fit under narrow worktops. Such appliances have existed in mainland European markets for many years and are now just becoming a feature in the UK. Amica has two 42cm models in its collection, the AWSM12D and AWST10L, both of which boast sensor-controlled operation, a drum capacity of 5kg and a broad selection of programmes. Indesit also offers a reduced depth model (the 5kg, 45cm IWSC5125) featuring the brand’s ‘Eco Time’ function, which washes smaller loads in around 30% less time, using 40% less water and up to 50% less energy than a standard cycle. The most recently launched slim-line machine on the UK market is the Candy Grand’O, a 40cm, 7kg appliance which Hoover Candy Marketing Director Steve MacDonald says is designed to give “a high-standard wash to those with a limited amount of floor space.” The A+ rated unit has a 350mm door for ease of loading and a full range of cycles that include Allergy Care and Stain Vanish options. Kitting out compact spaces and satisfying the demand for convenience and order in open kitchens is a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. As Gorenje’s Ferguson says: “A lack of space doesn’t mean that design and personal preferences have to be forgone.” There are a variety of options available for the consumer, she points out, “be it through the use of colour, designer collaborations or a single appliance used as a style statement. Consumers want their kitchen, whatever the size, to be an expression of their personality, and the retailer must take this into account if they want to make the most of the sales opportunity presented to them.”


A tale of two markets

Growth from Knowledge

Environmental efficiencies have been a particular focus and point of differentiation in the Major Domestic Appliances sector for many years, yet in Small Appliances the awareness and development of such has been markedly slower. Seema Baines, GfK Senior Account Manager, Major Domestic Appliances, and Andrew Walsh, Account Manager for Small Domestic Appliances, provide an “eco-update” on the two market sectors MDA Energy Efficiency

GfK Retail and Technology

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Small Kitchen Appliances


he Small Kitchen Appliances market has been slow to acknowledge the requirement for energy-saving products. And whilst efficiency ratings for white goods have been long standing, they have never existed in the small appliance sector. This in itself could be a key reason behind manufacturers’ lack of eco-products, as they are not required to compete on an “environmentally conscious” level, which in turn may have led to little demand from consumers for such products. One product market that is starting to adopt an eco-friendly position is Kettles, where reducing water consumption appears to be a key feature. Using less water not only saves on the water bill, but means the appliance is in use for less time too – a bonus of which is, of course, a reduction in energy. 85% of kettles sold have water-level indicator windows. MAT Jun ’09 - May ’10 value increased 8.8% to account for 90% of the sector (£142.5m). On the other hand, a more obvious energy-efficient option such as temperature control is only featured on 0.5% of kettles sold, a fall from 1.3% last year. Hot water dispensers have also been a recent development in the kettles market. The category launched mid-2007 with major brands developing products and citing that boiling water can be had “in seconds”. Again, this works on the principle that water consumption can be minimised and the time taken to boil the water vastly reduced. After an initial strong market penetration, hot water dispensers now account for 3.8% of the total kettles market value MAT (£6.25m), a decline of 12% on last year.

Energy efficiency is however a particularly relevant topic to white goods when considering that appliances such as fridge freezers remain switched on as a necessity for the majority of their life. Of the 2.1 million fridges and fridge freezers sold in the twelve months to May 2010, 97% were rated “A” or above – an increase from 63% back in 2004. With the “A” rating now becoming the industry standard, the “A+” and “A++” extensions reflect the fact that manufacturers recognise the need for the modern refrigerator to be less energy guzzling. For appliances with several functions that can boost efficiencies, such as washing machines, a triple-letter classification exists. This refers to energy efficiency (as measured for a fully loaded 60-degree cycle), wash performance and spin performance. More than three-quarters of the £838 million washing machine market falls into the rating of AAB or above. Dishwashers is another triple-class rated market with energy, cleaning and drying efficiencies. Sales of AAA rated products have seen impressive growth since 2002 and now constitute 85% of the market. Whilst consumer awareness of the need to be “green” has undoubtedly grown, there are perhaps more practical motivations behind purchasing decisions. The economic situation and spiralling utility bills have put pressure on disposable incomes and if consumers can see a cost benefit to appliances they will certainly take it. Green marketing remains a hot topic and with manufacturers, retailers and the media continuing to address how we can reduce our impact on the environment, retail sales of energy-efficient products will carry on growing.

For further information please contact: Seema Baines (small appliances): 0870 603 8114 Andrew Walsh (major appliances): 0870 603 8266

AUG 2010









Overall, it appears that eco-friendly appliances are yet to make a significant impact in the SKA markets. It is difficult to access the reasons behind the lack of products available and it could be attributed to a number of factors: including low consumer demand, low penetration of products from manufacturers, or a combination of the two. Perhaps little demand from consumers may have discouraged manufacturers from developing eco-products and ranges further.




Is brand loyalty a significant market factor in 2010? “No,” says Alan Bennett


ine sets, these Fergusons. Many people thought so, and other makes had their adherents too: Bush, Murphy, Decca, HMV – the further back in time you go the greater were buyers’ loyalties to specific brands. As with the car industry in recent times, television and radio dealers once had exclusive agencies, and companies like Murphy would swear their dealers to secrecy regarding technical details and service procedures. We’ve come a long way since then; most viewers now don’t know the make of their TV or whatever, even when phoning for help with it! Yet everybody knows what make of car they own…

AUG 2010

in the absence of individual components without anything to guide you, no matter

Manufacturers have done little to encourage

how skilled and experienced you are? If

brand loyalty, knowing, I believe, that there

buyers knew about this sort of thing such

is no great chance that users of their

little loyalty as might remain would go

equipment will seek out the same make

straight out the window. And rightly so.

again when their TV or whatever breaks

Meanwhile, retailers and retailing groups

down or needs updating. Indeed, the fact

have adopted their own brand names –

that it has broken down and not been

those belonging to supermarkets have

repaired can be a big deterrent to this. In

become bywords for low-end, low-cost

some cases famous, even iconic brands

no-repair rubbish – to avoid website and

now trade on their illustrious history and

magazine price comparisons per model

good reputation, dressing mutton as lamb,

between retailers. In other cases, and for

so to speak, and selling equipment which is

the same reason, specific model numbers

quite ordinary (and maybe having parts in

have been created by manufacturers for

common, perhaps even the whole lot apart

retailing chains and groups.

from cosmetics identical to other makes


deserving of the reflected glory of the name

Amongst brands which still have reasonable

it carries. This is true of some TV and video

kudos and a measure of loyalty are Sony,

products, and especially of white goods –

Bang and Olufsen, Loewe and Pioneer,

Such brand loyalty as remains now is

for many years we have sold, rented and

though the latter has now withdrawn from

largely confined to the over-55s, I’ve found,

serviced a wide range of washing machines

the domestic TV market despite having

and regretfully most of that is misguided

and tumble dryers, and have found that

made the best plasma TVs. In the radio field

because there’s virtually no correlation

the products of economy brand Beko have

Roberts and Pure enjoy a lot of respect

between early products and current ones

better build quality and lower rates of failure

from dealers and the public alike; the

from any manufacturer as design personnel

in service than those of two of the best

Roberts brand goes back to 1932. Again,

change, as every possible manufacturing,

known and longest established names in the

in high-class audio manufacturing there

marketing and service economy is

business. Living in my kitchen now is the

are several revered names which attract

practised, as third-party manufacturing

brilliant Beko model 7247, fulfilling all my

loyalty, fanaticism even, but, of course,

(‘badge engineering’) becomes common,

needs, and with a good prospect of longevity.

these are minority purchases in a minority

and as cheap and shoddy components (see

I believe that makers could pull back

product category. Even so, excellent design

last month) are used in production of all but

some loyalty on the part of dealers – and

and build characterise these amplifiers,

top-class equipment.

through them, customers – by offering a

speakers and associated gear – no crap electrolytic capacitors here!

vaguely believe that Wharfedale equipment

better after-sales service and support. For instance, by not running out of essential

is designed and built in a beautiful

spares even before their TV products’

video equipment is that most of it is much

Yorkshire valley, that Grundig products are

one-year guarantee has expired. But this

of a muchness in terms of appearance,

conceived and made in Germany BMW-

concept is lost on many manufacturers,

specification and performance.

style, that Finlux TVs still hail from swish

and not just those with cheap and cheerful

Scandinavia, and so on. But there are not

products: I’ve heard that a long-established

many of them left. For most buyers, the

and well-respected second-league Japanese

main – often the only – purchase criterion

brand has withdrawn support from all its

now for a TV, for instance, is price per

repair agents whose spares turnover is less

screen inch, while build quality, integrity

than £5000 a year, an impossible order for

and even performance don’t come into the

most regional service centres, and another

equation: “It’s got £100 off!”, “Wow, there’s a

blow for the punter whose equipment

42-inch telly for 500 quid!”

breaks down.

We still have a few customers who


not contain circuit diagrams. How on earth can you diagnose faults even to board level

selling at lower prices) and certainly not




To pile on the agony, the next generation of service manuals from this maker will

I guess much of the problem with TV and



THE D&G COLUMN Domestic & General, the leading specialist warranty services business. Domestic & General provides warranty services for UK and International clients and comprehensive product protection for more than nine million customers.

Training to win

A: D&G offers a comprehensive range of retailer support materials and initiatives that aim to give shop floor staff the hard and soft skills of selling warranties. In addition to our very successful electronic distance learning programme (currently being revised into version 4), we have four dedicated retail trainers and two sales managers on the road to assist in every store. Whether it is a quick brush-up of skills for a staff member or a fullshop training seminar, we can organise the training to suit your needs. Selling warranties effectively is a skill quite unlike selling-in traditional products such as a big screen TV or a new washing machine. Few customers come into store with the mindset that they will buy a warranty with their new appliance. The sell needs to be much smarter than simply waiting until check-out and asking them if they want a warranty - or perhaps spare batteries for the remote control. You might sell a few batteries, but not too many warranties. The very nature of warranties demands a completely fresh sales technique. Most shop staff are successfully geared up to offer customers physical products with tangible and immediate benefits, but these skills are not particularly effective at selling-in a service proposition. After all, warranties have no physical product to take home and admire, and their benefits won’t be felt until the covered product goes in two, three, or even five years’ time. Time and time again, a basic or refresher course is all that is required to really spark

off warranty sales and dramatically increase conversions. In next month’s D&G column we will look at some great case studies of retailers turning D&G training into maximum warranty revenue. Q: D&G talks about warranty “products” in the same way that my suppliers talk about their different white and brown goods products. Are there really clearcut warranty products that can be sold on the strength of their differentiation and benefits to suit individual customer needs? A: D&G offers a number of warranty and service plan propositions, and we refer to them in much the same way as manufacturers speak of their products. Each one has undergone a strategic market review, is researched and designed, and eventually launched to maximise sell-through by being the best “product” available. Many of the added value features of D&G warranties are the real sales clinchers, and offer sales staff the opportunity to address the warranty issue in new and compelling ways. Most D&G warranties at point of sale come with cover for damage caused by accident in the home and not just for breakdown. While many homeowners may be covered for this by their home insurance, in the event of an accident the D&G warranty has no claims forms to fill in, no excess to pay and no increase in premiums next year. Unlike many insurers, we do not have teams of loss-adjusters attempting to diminish the claim amount. We will simply repair or replace the product with an equivalent or better product! When it comes to paying for the warranty, D&G also offers a range of payment plans to ensure tight finances do not kill the sale. Our 10-month interest-free credit option spreads the payment over 10 months’ direct

debit with no additional charge, and our Pay Monthly Plans offer warranty cover for as long as the customer pays the small direct debit each month. They could pay for over 10 years, and when the product goes wrong D&G will replace it with a shiny new product sourced through the original retailer. They need never actually buy another product again! Q: D&G says that support and service to their retailers makes it easy, quick and painless for us to sort out our customers’ problems. How does that work from the retailer’s point of view? Take me through the process. A: Our electrical retailer back-up operation is second to no company offering servicebased product through independents. Not only do we offer all the materials and point of sale information you require to sell D&G warranties, our dedicated dealer support team is available through weekday business hours to help on any issue. From simple requests for more literature to in-depth questions about plan details, the dealer support team is there to help you. Even when your warranty customers come into store the dealer support team is just a call away. You can phone up to get the answer to specific queries or go through the process of booking a callout for them. We find this level of service really secures the customer-retailer bond. In the event of a problem the customer can call us direct of course, but retailers suggesting that customers should speak to them first can really benefit from the added-value service. All these product benefits and the sales techniques required to clinch the deal require high quality training on an ongoing basis. Whether your staff need to brush up their sales skills or you feel you are not getting the most from warranty sales, call D&G today and get training to win. 

AUG 2010

Q: All my suppliers and service providers talk about training. What I need for me and my staff is clear, simple product and sales guidance that we can put into practical operation on the shop floor every day. We want real results in sales, turnover and margin. What does D&G do for retailers in this basic area?



This month’s D&G Column looks at training – something all suppliers agree is important for their retailers, but not all suppliers commit substantial time and resources to. Jeff Griffiths answers retailers’ questions about the winning training initiatives D&G offers to its retail partners.



” Andrew Jones, Marketing Manager for Samsung Home Appliances, ‘doesn’t quite’ have a full-blown fetish with cars, but he does fancy starring in Bullitt, the late 60s film probably best remembered for its car chase scene, and joining the ranks of Clarkson as a presenter on Top Gear. If the next five years don’t see him elevated to a position where he’s exchanging banter with Hammond and May, then he isn’t envisaging too much in the way of change on the work front, although maybe more responsibility would yield a nicer car?

Why did you choose to work in the electrical industry? My father used to work for Littlewoods, and when it came to me applying for a job during my placement year he gave me a list of his contacts. I got a job with Miele and it went from there

How would you describe yourself? Enthusiastic, clear thinking and a bit lanky

How do you think others see you? Hopefully in the same way, although they may also say ‘loud’

Favourite quote?

If you ruled the world for a day, what would be the first change you would make?

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment

I would increase tax for all big-time sports stars, athletes, movie stars and musicians and give it all to the poorest people in the world. A worldwide day off would be pretty cool also

What’s your favourite piece of kit?

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

Always thinking I’m right

Do you have any bad habits? Probably!


Pet hate?

Cars – but it’s not quite reached fetish status

What makes you laugh?

People who say they will give more than 100%. 100% is the most you can give

What would you put into Room 101? Courgettes. What’s the point? – Answers on a postcard please…

Absurdity, stupidity and Family Guy

What sort of music do you like?

Who has been the greatest influence in your life? My parents

Anything by the Foo Fighters or Pearl Jam

What was the greatest turning point in your life? Meeting my wife

Favourite holiday destination?

Greatest achievement? Marrying my wife

Favourite cuisine?

Greatest regret?

I would honestly struggle to pick one. I like everything …except courgettes!

Not being rebellious enough as a teenager AUG 2010

Steve McQueen’s character in Bullitt

Probably the answer to one of these questions…

Do you have any particular fetishes?


Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

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

The usual: seeing friends, going to the pub (too much), cycling (not enough)


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

Greatest fear? Not living up to expectations

Who in the industry would you like to spend time with? My current team at Samsung, of course, because the banter is superb!

Favourite TV programme? Family Guy Anywhere I haven’t been yet

Name your poison? Cold beer. Guinness if I am feeling sophisticated

What surprises you? How negative people can be

What do you daydream about?

If you weren’t in your present position, what job would you choose to do?

Being in the sunshine

Top Gear presenter

David Attenborough

Who do you most admire?

Doing a similar type of role, maybe with more responsibility and a nicer car

My Nespresso coffee machine

What motto do you live by? Sometimes the path of least resistance is the best one! Tomorrow I will… Do my expenses

Best Buy vs Currys – a consumer’s first impressions: “We ventured into Best Buy Thurrock over the weekend. Very big, as expected, but there seemed to be lots of room about. Nicely displayed products and the demo rooms looked good. Staff greeted us with a smile and approached us, but not in an overbearing way. The experience was OK. “Then we went to the Currys Superstore about quarter of a mile away. It’s on two floors. We were very impressed. Products everywhere, well displayed in easy-to-find sections. It looked and felt much more inviting with a greater variety of stock available than in Best Buy. There were cooking displays and a lady dispensing free Nespresso coffee. They also have demo rooms and a very goodlooking hi-fi section. Lots of banners/ posters outside offering huge discounts/ money off and shouting ‘Come in – we’re nice people’. They’re really trying hard to combat Best Buy and, on first impression, they’re winning.”

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Get Connected: August 2010  

Get Connected: The Magazine of the Electrical Industry

Get Connected: August 2010  

Get Connected: The Magazine of the Electrical Industry