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SEPTEMBER 2010 www.gcmagazine.co.uk

T H E

M A G A Z I N E

O F

T H E

E L E C T R I C A L

GEORGE COLE GETS CONNECTED Qrious developments from Sony; concerns for the future of your digital photo memories. George Cole makes the points

INNOVATION Neff: The groundbreaking style and technology of the new Flexinduction hob

DISHWASHERS The hygienic, labour-saving, energy and water-efficient appliance that should be a “must have” for all your customers. Especially the massive 60% of them who have yet to discover its indispensability

THE GREEN ROOM The final instalment of GC’s 2010 series on the green revolution in domestic electricals that has created fresh opportunities for retailers

THE KNOWLEDGE Sony explains the appeal and potential of the e-Reader as the gift season gets under way

FOCUS ON D&G Domestic & General is moving into an “exciting new era.” GC looks at some of the people and ideas driving electrical warranty business

BACKCHAT Les Wicks, head of product and buying at Beko plc: delicate but still spicy

HOW ON EARTH?

I N D U S T R Y


66583_Trade_FLEX_Fresh_297x420.indd 2-3


The Neff FlexInduction hob is designed to give your customers complete flexibility. As well as two standard zones, it boasts a large flexible zone that can accommodate several pans of various shapes and sizes all at the same time. Furthermore, the FlexInduction zone uses four unique independent induction coils to give consistent heat wherever a saucepan is placed within it. To find out more about working with Neff or if you would like further information on our newest products, please call us on 01908 328 352.

INTRODUCING FLEXINDUCTION. HOW ON EARTH C AN ONE ZONE HEAT FIVE PANS?

WRITING KITCHEN HISTORY

04/08/2010 18:20


CONTENTS

05 06 12 14 16 18

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Editorial comment

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

/ / / / / /

George Cole Gets Connected

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

The Product Gallery

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Innovation Focus Neff FlexInduction

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

23

27 28 30 32 34

Dishwashers

Green, smart, hygienic, indispensable: The domestic appliance no-brainer

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

The Green Room

Final instalment of GC’s 2010 green appliances series

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

/ / / / / / / /

Haier Today

The Knowledge

Sony: the e-Reader revolution is here

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

From the Bench

Alan Bennett catches the buzz

D&G: Distinguished history, glowing future

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

GET CONNECTED

SEP 2010

MIELE CM5 BARISTA FREESTANDING COFFEE MACHINE www.miele.co.uk

4

Get Connected Greyfriar Cottage Winchester Road Chawton Alton Hampshire GU34 1SB www.gcmagazine.co.uk

The Word

In and around the industry

Backchat

Industry comment and a 2-minute interview with Beko’s Les Wicks

Editor in Chief: Marlinda Conway Telephone: 01420 542145 marlinda@gcmagazine.co.uk

Editorial & Publishing Director: Terry Heath Telephone: 01420 88633 terry@gcmagazine.co.uk

Magazine Advertising Sales: Telephone: 01420 88633 sales@gcmagazine.co.uk Creative Director: Will Dobson design@willdobson.co.uk

Subscriptions & Circulation: GCCD, 13 Premier Avenue Grays, Essex RM16 2SB. Telephone: 07818 088671 Fax: 01375 370436 circulation@gcmagazine.co.uk

Advertisement Production Administration: Will Dobson Telephone: 01342 850 456 gcads@willdobson.co.uk

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

Production and Print: Sparta Press, Blackfen, Kent. www.spartapress.co.uk 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.


EDITORIAL COMMENT

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

Top Cat TheConnected Voice of The BC100819 Get 74x210mm:Layout 1 Manufacturer

W

hy are we all so scared of our banks? We work with them, lend them money, borrow money other people have lent them, put it to use and make it grow through business effort and expertise and, as their customers, give them the business that keeps them going. But the relationship, in spite of the massive exposure of greed and incompetence that has occurred over the past couple of years, shows every sign of becoming even more one-sided. Established businesses and entrepreneurs the only driving forces of the private sector-led recovery that is the only hope for the country - are having to go cap-in-hand, jump through hoops, prove their worthiness, pay excessive interest rates and put up cast-iron security. And this to people who, on their recent record, you wouldn’t trust to manage a village fete tombola stall, and who are hoarding the bail-out cash we gave them to repair their balance sheets and are giving themselves “performance bonuses.” A true story: a small business that has banked with the same organisation for ten years has had the annual “arrangement fee” for its modest and rarely-used overdraft facility doubled. What’s that for? Also, charges for writing every cheque, paying in every cheque, and using every internet banking facility have all been increased. There’s an additional charge every month that the credit balance falls below £5,000, and interest on a credit balance in the business account has, after all these years, been suddenly and completely axed. In effect,

23/8/10

15:40

borrow money and you pay. Lend money to the bank that it can profit from on the shortterm money market and it pays you nothing. You have a business banking service, but if you want to actually use any of the individual services, you pay for each one, each time. As a fictional account of a dystopian system it wouldn’t be credible. But it’s true. This is not a remote, philosophical argument about the theory of banking and commerce. It has a stark and depressing reality for many who have had their businesses, their livelihoods, their jobs, their prospects destroyed or crippled by the stupid things the banks have done with our money. But it seems there’s no alternative. A few grumbles; a few Government noises about “unacceptable” bank bonuses and practices; more “task forces” and initiatives to “examine” a situation that’s already perfectly clear to anyone who experiences it every day as part of running a business. But no solutions. This is the only boat we’ve got, and perhaps it’s just too big to rock without drowning the entire hardworking crew along with the freeloaders? But that’s enough of that. Electrical retailers, like most businesses, don’t need any more salt rubbed into wounds that are already smarting with injustice. Is there anything to feel good about? The economy is looking better and, encouragingly, construction work is leading the growth charge. As we enter the vital last-quarter period there’s some hope that there will be more takers for the stunning array of outstanding brown and white goods on offer ahead of the 2011 VAT rise.

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Some big names are arriving at Big Tour 2010...

Average net circulation for the 12 issues distributed between Jan-Dec 2008 is 6,228


THE WORD | INDUSTRY NEWS

Barretts Digital World wins Belling’s Brian Turner competition Canterbury-based Barretts Digital World has won Belling ambassador Brian Turner for a day in a ‘Win Brian’ competition which was exclusive to Get Connected’s magazine and website. The Belling competition offered retailers the opportunity to have the top chef perform a

live, in-store cooking demonstration to entice new and existing customers to their showroom. Denver Hewlett, CEO of Belling brand owner GDHA, said: “Supporting independent retailers is a key part of what we do as a business and we are delighted to be able to demonstrate that support by bringing Brian Turner to Barretts Digital World for a live demonstration. Barretts is a well respected, long-established business and is very much a key retailer for Belling and the other Glen Dimplex Home Appliances brands – we’re sure the day with Brian will be a huge success for Barretts and very popular with customers in the Canterbury area.” Barretts has a 10,000 sq ft superstore located in Wincheap and has been serving its local community for more than 100 years. Director Shaun Barrett is the current president of industry association retra.

Indesit Company Training Tour reaches 1,000-plus retailers More than 1,000 retailers attended a series of training events across the UK and Ireland this summer when the Indesit Company training team took to the road to introduce Hotpoint and Indesit’s new ranges of cooking, cooling, laundry and dishwashing products. The training team travelled to 12 locations and hosted 13 events to share its knowledge and expertise and to give retailers an introduction to BC100819 Get Connected 74x420mm:Layout 1 23/8/10 the 50-plus new product lines.

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Capturing the true spirit of Whitehaven… A photograph competition organised by retailer Brooks of Duke Street in Whitehaven was won by local resident Mr Bill Robertson. This winning image depicts the community spirit that exists in Whitehaven, showing crowds gathering around the harbour for an evening fireworks’ display during the town’s annual Food and Drink Festival.  Read more about “Capturing the true spirit of Whitehaven…” at www.gcmagazine.co.uk

More choice from PURE PURE has added three new PowerPort products – a combined reading light and fan, a globe light and a directional reading light – to its ‘PURE Choice’ range of radio accessories. PowerPort, a feature on the majority of PURE’s bedside radios, provides power for USB devices such as mobile phones and solves a problem for consumers that have insufficient power points next to the bed. According to PURE, the accessories range presents a great opportunity for independent retailers to increase revenue and capitalise on current sales of PURE radios, most of which have two accessories each.

...the industry’s biggest touring exhibition by a

*

l


a

THE WORD | INDUSTRY NEWS

DSGi quarterly results in line with expectations Currys and PC World parent DSGi reported sales in line with expectations for the 12 weeks ended 24 July 2010. Total Group sales rose 3%, boosted by demand for the Apple iPad and strong sales of TVs in the lead up to the World Cup. John Browett, Group Chief Executive, said it was “an encouraging start to the year, especially given the challenging market conditions.” Gross margins across the Group increased 0.1% year-on-year. The UK businesses performed particularly well (up 6% like-for-like), “most notably with customers responding to our strong World Cup promotion and the excellent product ranges on offer,” Browett commented. DSGi’s store transformation programme is reported to be making “rapid progress.” 200 stores have been reformatted in the UK, 43 of which were completed during the period.

Bosch has launched a promotion providing consumers the opportunity to claim back the cost of running an appliance for the first year after purchase. The scheme, which runs to 30 September, offers up to £45 cash back on the brand’s most ene rgy efficient appliances. Roberts Radio has pro duced a special edition Revival radio for Paramount Pictures UK to publicise the film ‘Made in Dagenham’ which plays in the UK from October 1st. Radios aut ographed by stars of the film will be used for a series of on-air, online and prin t competitions and promotions. Some will also be donated to charity. Yorkshire-based AV furn iture manufacturer Optimum International will be supporting this year’s ‘Newsroom’s Got Talent’, a star-studde d charity event hosted by Claudia Winklem an and featuring some of the big gest names in television. The ‘talent’ will be judged by Piers Morgan and form er ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ judge Arlene Phillips.

Off The Wall has produc ed a high-quality, full-colou r 16 page brochure that features lifestyle photography mirroring the brand’s positioning and displays all product finish options across the company’s Origin, Skyline and Pro file product ranges. Call Big Red Sale s on 01344 893932 for further informa tion.

See www.gcmagazine.co.uk for the stories behind the news…

 Household finances under pressure i n August Economic upturn fails to deliver improved income and job security

 John Lewis opens second ‘at home’ store Two further outlets planned for autumn 2010

 3D TV may take longer to take off in the UK Consumer survey finds only 2% likely to spend on a 3D-enabled TV in the next year

 OFT launches online hub to help retailers comply with the Sale of Goods Act At-a-glance guide, detailed explanations and training materials available FOC

long stretch

The Aga Rangemaster Group has posted a pre-tax profit of £16.4 million for the half year to 30 June 2010, compared to a £2.4 million loss in the same period in 2009. Revenues, at £12 3.4 million, were up 5%. 62% of sale s were in the UK, 23% in mainland Europe and 15% were international.

SMEs “being charged more to borrow” than last year The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), publishing its latest business confidence monitor, has reported that bank fees and costs for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have risen since the end of last year, and many small businesses are unable to borrow from banks, because their lending criteria are “too restrictive.” Chief executive of ICAEW Michael Izza commented that: “… banks are being a little more choosy about who they lend to. They’re also charging more money, they’re making sure that the lending they do make to businesses, they can make money on. They’ve been getting their balance sheets in order for the last year or so.” The banks’ defence, as ever, is to claim that there is “less demand” from SMEs for business borrowing.

To which SMEs reply that, with costs and conditions so demanding, they are either refused facilities or cannot afford them. It’s a circular argument to which the government, or the banks’ recently constituted business lending “task force”, needs to find a resolution if private enterprise is to take on the task of resuscitating the economy. Quote of the week – if not the year – comes from Angela Knight, chief executive of the British Bankers’ Association: “Everybody understands that banks cannot risk their customers’ cash unless they are absolutely sure it will be returned.” If only everyone in business were as prudent as the banks, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in.  Read the full story at www.gcmagazine.co.uk

Over 30 of the biggest names in kitchens and bathrooms will be at the ‘A-List’ Big Tour 2010. You'll get the 5-star treatment, with incredible deals and helpful advice - and it's coming to an exclusive venue near you.

TOUR DATES Scotland Hampden Park EARLY BOOKINGS QUALIFY FOR STADIUM TOURS* Birmingham National Motor Cycle Museum FREE ENTRY INTO THE MUSEUM Manchester MUFC, Old Trafford EARLY BOOKINGS QUALIFY FOR STADIUM TOURS* Bristol University of the West of England Conference Centre London Mercedes-Benz World, Weybridge

4th Nov 10th Nov 12th Nov 16th Nov 18th Nov

*Stadium tour availability strictly on a first come first served basis.

Register today for the industry event of the year

0870 60 60 601 www.bcgxl.co.uk/bigtour2010


THE WORD | INDUSTRY NEWS

Business support group helps OFT “Stealth tax” establish banks’ reluctance to lend will provoke fury amongst business owners, says FPB The Forum of Private Business is hosting a questionnaire on behalf of the Office of Fair Trading to ascertain how business owners are being treated by major lenders. The move comes after new figures from the British Bankers’ Association showed bank lending to businesses fell again last month. The FPB said in a statement that it hopes as many small firms as possible will take part in the online survey in order to provide the OFT with clear evidence of bank-related problems and difficulties facing business owners. The survey can be accessed via the URL www.bit.ly/cPVVcf and is noted to be “completely confidential”.

 UK second quarter economic growth revised upwards

The Forum of Private Business has reacted to reports that a workplace parking levy scheme which was given the green light in Nottingham last year is set to be extended to other towns and cities. It is thought that councils across the UK plan to introduce the scheme, which could force businesses to pay “tens of thousands of pounds” each year simply for providing employees with somewhere to park their cars. The FPB described the levy as a “stealth tax” and said it will provoke fury amongst business owners and have a disproportionate impact on small firms. “It’s the equivalent of charging homeowners to park on their own driveways,” commented Forum spokesperson Chris Gorman.

The Office for National Statistics’ GDP estimate of 1.1% growth upped to 1.2%

 Log on to www.gcmagazine.co.uk for full article

See www.gcmagazine.co.uk for the stories behind the news…  Changes to CAI annual event schedule Second trade fair replaces yearly roadshows

 ‘Starting Off’ at BSH Home Appliances Ltd Three school leavers recruited via new Apprenticeship Scheme

 August retail growth “nothing to write home about” Like-for-like sales rise 1%

 Short-term economic outlook good for UK BCC upgrades forecast but only for short term

Read all about it… Log on to

www.gcmagazine.co.uk for Get Connected’s coverage of IFA 2010

GET CONNECTED

SEP 2010

GDHA supports Big Tour’s ‘Big Challenge’

8

GDHA has generously donated 16 products to the Action for Children charity in response to ‘The Big Challenge’, an initiative created by distributor BCG as part of its ‘Big Tour 2010’ event. The Big Challenge aims to encourage every business within the kitchen & bathroom industry to donate money or products to help refurbish or provide new kitchen or bathroom facilities for fifteen Action for Children homes in the UK. Jonathan Casley, Sales and Marketing Director of GDHA, said: “Each of the 15 projects provides a different, but nonetheless essential, service to vulnerable young people. Some of the facilities offer much needed shortterm residential breaks for the parents of children and young people with disabilities, others offer temporary accommodation to homeless young people or even short breaks for children who are carers themselves.” GDHA’s donation comprises a mix of cooking and refrigeration products from across its New World, Belling, Stoves and Lec brands. Casley explained that some of the kitchens in the AFC facilities are in excess of ten years old and no longer fit for purpose. The newly updated kitchens, he said,

will provide a cooking environment that is safe and accessible for children, carers and staff. And, for those projects where cooking is taught as an essential life skill, the new kitchens will provide a “fantastic learning environment” that will help young people achieve independence.

“As a company we are very proud of our UK heritage, and our Prescot manufacturing base is a major employer for surrounding neighbourhoods, so a sense of community is very important to us. What all of the AFC projects have in common is that they are local or regional and have been set up to serve the very real needs of their communities.” GDHA is a prominent exhibitor on the Big Tour, and Casley spoke of the benefits of the annual event, but firstly he addressed the “tough times” the industry has recently been through: “The recession hit the white goods sector hard and for a long time I think we’ve been in a state of flux, waiting to see what happens next. However, there are green shoots, consumer confidence is up and people have started spending, and we see Big Tour 2010 as an opportunity to showcase our latest product innovations. “We want to demonstrate that despite the recession we have continued to invest in research and development and, as a result, we’ve got a range of innovative products that we believe will create a real buzz.” Retailers can find out more about Big Tour 2010 by visiting www.bcgxl.co.uk


BC100820 Stars Get Connected Ad 297x210mm:Layout 1

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STAR NABMIGGEESST THE BRANDS

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.

TOUR DATES

Opening times 10am-8pm

EARLY BOOKINGS QUALIFY FOR STADIUM TOURS* Scotland Hampden Park 4th Nov FREE ENTRY INTO THE MUSEUM 10th Nov Birmingham National Motor Cycle Museum EARLY BOOKINGS QUALIFY Manchester MUFC, Old Trafford FOR STADIUM TOURS* 12th Nov Bristol University of the West of England Conference Centre 16th Nov London Mercedes-Benz World, Weybridge 18th Nov *Stadium tour availability strictly on a first come first served basis

IS ENTREYE FR

Register today for the industry event of the year

0870 60 60 601 www.bcgxl.co.uk/bigtour2010

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THE WORD | INDUSTRY NEWS

Look – no wires! Haier is to introduce a fully wireless HDTV into the UK market in January 2011. The product offers a real fix to the problem of the unsightly bird-nest of cabling behind TVs, and a handy solution for mounting products without having to channel cables into walls. Haier’s wireless TV was the winner of the prestigious ‘Product of the Future’ award at CES 2010.

Everhot grows sales by 50%

PURE provided the entertainment for a team taking on a charity bike ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End on an unusual circular conference bike. A weatherproof Oasis Flow internet-connected digital radio was supplied for the centrepiece of the cycle built for seven riders. The Germanbuilt Conference Bike (CoBi) was conceived as a work of art by American inventor Eric Staller. Six riders pedal at their own speed while one steers the vehicle.

Gloucestershire-based Everhot, manufacturer of hand-built electric ranges, has recorded a 50% increase in sales for the year to July 2010. The company is known for its traditional-style products which operate via a standard 13 amp plug and do not require reinforced floors or flues. Sales and marketing director Richard Frost commented that Everhot products require a “very specific” type of range cooker retailer and the firm had successfully managed to identify and approach suitable outlets during 2009. He added that the company is still seeking “one or two” associations with retailers in specific geographic regions.

Sky has confirmed that all 50 High Definition (HD) channels promised to customers will be available by Christmas following the recent launch of LIVING HD on the platform. The announcement coincided with the news that Sky has now attracted more than three million HD subscribers. Whirlpool has been awarded ‘Best Buy’ status for its JT366 JetChef microwave oven by consumer magazine Which?. The product scored 78% in test – the best in its category – and achieved one of the highest overall ratings of the 126 microwaves reviewed by the Which? panel of judges. Bosch is to launch a high-profile consumer press advertising campaign

which will run throughout October and November to promote its new Exxcel 8 Steam Condenser Dryer. Full page ads are scheduled to appear in high-end national press and consumer magazines with an ABC1 readership. Gorenje is re-launching a promotion providing a 5-year parts and labour guarantee on its new range of ecofriendly washing machines and dryers. From 1st September to 31st December 2010 consumers purchasing the following products will be eligible for the extended warranty: washing machine models WA72145 and WA72145BK; condenser dryer models D72325 and D72325BK. Rent-to-own retailer BrightHouse was awarded ‘Buyer/Merchandiser of the Year’ and ‘Supply Chain Professional of the Year’ at the Skillsmart Retail Rising Stars Awards held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London early September.

‘Buy now, pay later’ trading terms from Vogel’s Vogel’s is treating independent retailers to an “early Christmas present” with the launch of a new trade promotion that provides financial support through the forthcoming peak-selling period. The seasonal deal from the manufacturer of wall mounts offers lower prices and ‘buy now, pay in 2011’ trading terms.

Introducing our new range of A+ energy rated fridges and freezers - seven fantastic products that won’t break the bank.

The coolest way to save money and the planet.

This stylish and modern under counter range is complemented by an impressive A+ energy rating to considerably cut energy bills without compromising on style. For more information or to order your Lec A+ POS, please call 0844 248 4147 or visit www.lec.co.uk

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A NEW DIMENSION IN TV HAS ARRIVED

Available across LED, LCD and Plasma TV platforms, with conversion from 2D to 3D using our stylish and lightweight 3D Active Glasses. Pair it up with the world’s first 3D Blu-ray player* the BD-C5900 to create a richer 3D home entertainment environment. *Correct as of March 2010

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GEORGE COLE GETS CONNECTED

George Cole ” George Cole pinpoints hotspots in the world of consumer electronics. E-mail: georgecole@gcmagazine.co.uk

A QRIOUS DEVELOPMENT O ne of the biggest news items at this year’s IFA Show was

This isn’t the first time Sony has tried to enter the online music

the announcement that Sony was bringing its Qriosity

market. An earlier online music service, Sony Connect, closed down

video and music service to Europe. Qriosity (“Curiosity”

in 2007. Will Qriosity fare any better? I have my doubts. As a rule

– geddit?) has been described as a rival to Apple’s iTunes online

of thumb, consumers aren’t keen on paying for streaming services,

music and video service, but that’s not correct. Qriosity (in my

because the music or video is not theirs to keep (fewer than 10%

book, any brand name that requires you to think about how to

of Spotify users subscribe to the premium service, which removes

pronounce it, is a duff one) will offer streamed music and video

the adverts), whereas people will pay for music downloads (more

and not downloads like iTunes, so it’s more a rival to streaming

than 10 billion tunes have been downloaded from the iTunes

media services like YouTube, Spotify and Last.fM. Qriosity will offer

store). Second, the service is currently only compatible with Sony

movies from the major studios (including Sony, Warner and Disney)

products. Now it’s true that iTunes is only compatible with iPod

and music that will be aimed at a number of Sony web-enabled

players, iPhones and iPads, but Apple has sold rather a lot of them

products including Bravia TVs, Blu-ray players, home theatre

(275 million iPods, more than 50 million iPhones and more than 3

systems, Vaio computers and PS3 games consoles. At the time of

million iPads). Sony will have to open up Qriosity to other brands

writing, no price details were given, although in the US – where

if the service has any chance of succeeding, and even then, it’s not

Qriosity was launched earlier this year – movies cost $3.99-5.99

known how many rivals will want to support Sony’s service. Finally,

(£2.60-3.90) each, depending on picture quality (the service offers

unless it’s easy for consumers to connect their Sony TV or home

SD and HD content).

theatre system to Qriosity, consumers will give it a wide berth.

KEEPING YOUR MEMORIES SAFE Will tomorrow’s generations be able to

Heat from a laser changes the physical

The French National Centre for Scientific

view today’s digital photo albums? Most

structure of the dye and these changes

Research has conducted a number of

people now use a digital camera for

represent digital data – zeros and ones.

tests on optical media and says: “We were

taking snaps and most digital snaps are

But the dyes are sensitive to heat, light

surprised to see that the lifetime of discs,

stored on a computer hard drive or a

and humidity, which is why recordable

some of which were designed to last for

smartphone - very few are printed out.

discs should be stored properly.

centuries, rarely lasted longer than five to

GET CONNECTED

SEP 2010

But computer hard drives crash and PC

12

The quoted lifetime for recordable

ten years.” In a few extreme cases, some

technologies become obsolete. That’s

discs varies, from 10-100 years, depending

why we are told to back up images onto

on the quality of the disc. But some

other media, including optical discs such

think these times are overly-generous.

customers to purchase quality branded

as CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs. But how

The US National Archives and Records

blank discs, if they are planning to

stable are these forms of media? Some

Administration’s website, for example, says:

archive precious data. And the lesson

discs use gold reflective layers and other

“CD/DVD experiential life expectancy is

is clear: whatever medium you use for

materials to prolong life, but inevitably

two to five years even though published

backing up today, it’s not going to last for

the data on recordable optical discs will

life expectancies are often cited as 10

ever, and you should transfer important

become corrupted, and possibly even

years, 25 years, or longer...We recommend

data (such as family photographs) onto

unreadable. This is because recordable

testing your media at least every two years

fresh media every few years. But how

discs use organic dyes to store data.

to assure your records are still readable.”

many of us will bother?

discs had a lifetime of just one year. Retailers should try and get their


A freestanding collection that’s all about free thinking. Idea 7:

An induction hotplate on a freestanding cooker

Belling FSE60i (60cm)

Introducing our all-new freestanding collection that’s full of big ideas. Let’s start with our groundbreaking induction technology, which provides a smarter, faster, safer and greener way to cook. And, what’s more, all of our freestanding cookers are manufactured 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 6: A energy rated ovens Idea 48: Easy clean enamel

FOR A BROCHURE CALL 0844 248 4149 OR VISIT WWW.BELLING.CO.UK


Humax HDR-FOX T2 Twin Tuner HD Terrestrial PVR

Miele CM5 Barista freestanding coffee machine

The Humax HDR-FOX T2 Twin Tuner HD Terrestrial PVR has an 8-day on-screen electronic programme guide, home networking facilities, and a hard disk drive capacity of 500GB. It provides 2 hours of live TV buffering/delayed recording and incorporates a CI+ slot.

This compact coffee machine is Miele’s first countertop bean-to-cup appliance. The unit has user friendly, touch-button controls and simple navigation via a scroll-through menu. It is finished in stainless steel and will be available in the UK from November 2010. Prices start at £999. 

Adjustable 15-bar pump pressure



Water-per-cup programming



Selectable coffee strength



4 cup sizes and adjustable grind coarseness



Interactive TV service via MHEG



Dolby Digital Pulse Audio Output



HDMI output (1080p, 1080i, 720p, 576p, 576i)



Fully compliant to UK DVB-T2 profile as well as DVB-T

0844 669 8800 www.humaxdigital.co.uk

0845 365 6600 www.miele.co.uk

De Dietrich DCi900XU freestanding Pyroclean cooker with induction top De Dietrich’s new DTi900XU freestanding cooker has an electronic pivoting control panel with animated display, improved four zone induction hob with 99-minute timers on each zone and upgraded oven technology incorporating a Cooking Guide with 49 preset recipes and Pyroclean options. 

‘A’ rated 60cm model finished in anti-fingerprint stainless steel



58-litre capacity; 12 oven functions



Eolyse catalyser destroys stale odours



Storage compartment beneath oven

01256 308 067 www.dedietrich.co.uk

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SEP 2010

GE Appliances GCU23LGYF and GWU23LGYF fridge freezers

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Available now, these new GE Appliances A-rated side-by-side fridge freezers offer versatile storage with four Clear Look™ adjustable door bins, two slide-out freezer baskets, two sealed fresh-food pans and three slide-out shelves which take up to 12 fl oz of liquid spillage. 

23 cubic feet capacity



GE ‘Climate Guard’ temperature management



LED dispenser light; filtered water; crushed or cubed ice



Finished in high-gloss white or stainless steel

0844 248 4598 www.geappliances.co.uk

Sony 3D HT-AS5 surround sound system The recently launched Sony HT-AS5 ultra-compact surround sound system is designed to provide room-filling audio, without filling the room with audio equipment. 

3D pass-through on 3 x HDMI inputs and 1 x output



2 x optical/1 x coaxial digital input for games consoles, set-top boxes



1000W output power from S-Master digital amplification



7.1-channel LPCM from Blu-ray players



BRAVIA® Sync; BRAVIA® Internet Widget

01932 816000 www.sony.co.uk


THE PRODUCT GALLERY

Beko OIM22500XP built-in Pyro ‘Programme Clean’ oven Beko has extended its built-in range with the introduction of the 65L multifunction Pyro ‘Programme Clean’ oven, which offers two programmed cleaning options: one for lightly soiled cavities and one for heavily soiled. The 60cm appliance is ‘A’ rated for energy and available now. Fully programmable LED timer



Telescopic shelf system



Fingerprint-resistant stainless steel finish

Whirlpool MAX microwave ovens

01923 818 121 www.beko.co.uk

Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 camera This new Fujifilm camera offers “Real 3D” content by replicating the human optical system. It provides the option of viewing 3D images and video through a built-in 3.5inch LCD display or via an optional 8” 3D digital viewer/photoframe, with or without special glasses. Content can also be viewed on any large screen 3D TV using the glasses supplied by set manufacturers. 

3D HD Movie (720p) and 3D still image capture



Two Fujinon 3x optical zoom lenses



3D Real Photo HD processor



2D special effects using simultaneous shooting functions

Whirlpool’s new MAX 35 and MAX 38 microwave ovens have a 13-litre capacity and full-size 28cm turntable, yet their design allows them to slot neatly into the corner of worktops. Products are available in white, silver, black or stainless steel finishes. 

Flat-screen glass door for visual impact and easy viewing



MAX 35 equipped with steam function



MAX 38 equipped with grill/combi-grill functions and Crisp® technology



Super-fast Jet Defrost programme

0208 649 5000 www.whirlpool.co.uk

0844 553 2322 www.fujifilm.co.uk

Haier DW12 mirrorfronted dishwashers

Candy Grand’O GOFS272 washing machine Candy’s recently launched Grand’O washing machine has a depth of just 40cm, yet offers a 7kg load capacity. The A+ rated appliance is designed for user convenience, with large 350mm door and advanced wash options that include a 32-minute rapid cycle and ‘stain vanish’ wash.

Haier is to launch a range of 60cm dishwashers styled in the striking mirror-fronted design currently present in the brand’s cooling collection. Products are AAA-rated with LED progress indicators and touch controls. Mirror finishes in red, black and white, and a stainless steel model is also incorporated in the range. All will be available before Christmas.



1200 rpm spin speed



12 place-settings; 9 wash programmes



Wash phase indicator; Delay Start



Water consumption 12 litres



Allergy-care rinse, Cold wash, Mix & Wash options



Height-adjustable upper basket; folding tines in lower basket



Active wash system



Half load and Delay Start options

0151 334 2781 www.candy-domestic.co.uk

01483 411810 www.haiereurope.com

SEP 2010

12 cooking functions



GET CONNECTED



15


INNOVATION FOCUS

NEFF_4c_ohneClaim_08.eps, 100m, 63y 29k

Neff FlexInduction: the leading edge of induction hob development INDUCTION – THE 21st CENTURY SOLUTION

Neff

has established a powerful reputation for outstanding style, combined with levels of performance, reliability and intuitive, user-friendly operation that loyal consumers return to time and again when renewing or upgrading appliances. The brand also has a track record of constant innovation, with intelligent and truly user-relevant technologies such as CircoTherm®, NeffNavigator and Point and Twist leading the field in 21st century cooking. With Induction cooking gaining ground in the UK as the hob technology for today, Neff has maintained its market leading position with the development of the Series 5 FlexInduction hob. It’s an innovation with real user benefits, and represents a new generation in induction cooking.

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Since induction hobs first came to the UK market, achieving a revolution in faster, safer, more stylish, more controllable and more energy-efficient cooking, Neff has been at the cutting edge in both style and technological innovation. There is no doubt that induction is the future, and retailers report that, whenever induction is effectively demonstrated, customer conversion rates are exceptionally high. As induction gains converts in the UK, with more and more consumers understanding both its performance benefits and its potential for clean, minimalist style, it has been important to keep pushing the boundaries at the high end of this exciting cooking development. Neff’s FlexInduction takes induction cooking to the next level, providing Neff retailers with the twin advantages of traditional, trusted brand values and fresh technology that makes life better.

THE NEFF SERIES 5 FLEXINDUCTION HOB T44T43 For all its deeply researched and expertly designed technology, incorporating cutting-edge ideas executed with traditional Neff expertise, the Neff Series 5 FlexInduction Hob T44T43 is, above all, a supremely simple, intuitive and convenient innovation: Neff expertise and values in the service of user-friendliness and contemporary lifestyle requirements. Its benefits are easy to explain and easy for consumers to understand, and it addresses and meets a real consumer need. Simply put, FlexInduction frees hob cooking from the limitations imposed by the traditional induction “zones”, which are of a fixed size and position, generally marked by printed circles, conforming to the “traditional” layout of a four- or five-burner gas, radiant electric plate or electric ceramic hob and effectively restricting where pans can be placed. FlexInduction delivers a new flexibility and versatility by providing a large 380mm x 200mm zone on one side of the hob, which provides consistent heat across the whole surface of the zone and can accommodate the placing of one very large pan, or any combination of large, medium and small pans anywhere on this zone. Sophisticated pan detection technology identifies the size and positioning of each pan, and activates the right combination of specially designed independent coils to achieve the most efficient cooking. The technology is sophisticated, but the benefit is simple and immediate: any pan, or combination of pans, of any size, can be placed on the big FlexInduction zone, and the hob will detect their presence and size and deliver even, consistent and efficient heating where it’s needed. Maximum flexibility with minimum effort.


HOW FLEXINDUCTION MAKES COOKING EASIER For the retailer, the essential benefits of FlexInduction– to be added to the inherent benefits already present in induction hobs – are easily summarised:

 Accommodates any pan size  Allows the pan to be positioned anywhere within the zone  Allows multiple pans to be placed on the zone at the same time  Reduces wasted energy “Bigger zone” cooking on induction hobs is not, in itself, new. The Neff advance is in the design, shape, placement and independent/combined operation of the four induction coils beneath the FlexInduction zone. Before the Neff innovation, issues with larger zones have included inefficient energy use when coils are unnecessarily activated, and poor detection of smaller cookware at the edge of the zone. Neff’s innovative design of four specially shaped coils, which may be activated independently or in combination, according to pan size and placement as detected by sensing technology, ensures both that power is not wasted by activating unneeded coils, and that small pans on the edge of the zone are not “ignored” by the hob. For the user, it’s an instinctive, easy-to use benefit, emphasised and made even simpler by the redesigned zone designation printing on the hob surface. There are two rings designating “traditional” hob zones, plus a large rectangular shaded portion showing the area where any pan or combination of pans can be placed. Newly designed controls put the entire versatile possibilities of the hob at the fingertips of the user.

NEFF FEATURES SECOND TO NONE In addition to the FlexInduction benefits, the Series 5 FlexInduction T44T43 delivers the outstanding array of high-end features that Neff retailers and their customers have come to expect, including:

        

Electronic control Four power boost zones Touch control FlexInduction operation LED display for each zone LED timer for each zone with switch-off function and acoustic signal 2 stage residual heat indicators Child safety lock Safety cut-out facility Automatic pan recognition

The Series 5 is also, naturally, designed to be used with Neff domino hobs via the optional connecting links Z9914X for seamless style. And each appliance comes with Neff’s 2 Year Manufacturers’ Guarantee.

INDUCTION COOKWARE Pans, to be suitable for use on induction hobs, should have ferrous metal content. Many pans in current use are suitable, but an easy check is to use a small magnet to test cookware. If the magnet sticks, it’s OK for induction. But for those who want to complete the style makeover that the beautiful, slim black ceramic glass and bevelled stainless steel trim of the Series 5 FlexInduction provides, there is always the opportunity to invest in a new set of pans.

Neff – the natural choice for retailers. The perfect choice for consumers.

If you would like more information on the FlexInduction NEFF_4c_ohneClaim_08.eps, 100m, 63y 29k hob or other Neff appliances call: 01908 328352

or click onto:

www.neff.co.uk 17


DISHWASHERS

efits ndamental ben fu e th s it is v re GC le r and the lifesty e sh a w h is d e th of ’, hat ‘misjudged w e m so , is th st boo es product provid

It

saves water and energy, so is good for the environment and for household bills. It promotes good kitchen hygiene, de-clutters worktops and acts as a means of storage. It is kind on glassware, crockery and utensils. It reduces the use of Marigolds, scourers and detergents, and is (by default) gentle on the hands and nails… All in all, it’s a great piece of kit for any household. Yet, after so many years, we are still asking the same questions: Why is the penetration of dishwashers in the UK market so low? Who wouldn’t want all of the above coupled with quick and easy kitchen tidying and extra leisure time?

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SEP 2010

Penetration

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THE INDESIT PRIME IDP148 HAS EIGHT PROGRAMME SETTINGS AND AN INTUITIVE DIGITAL DISPLAY

Estimates show that the penetration of dishwashers in the UK is well below the levels in mainland Europe, at 33%–37% versus 50%–55%. It’s a remarkable variance in the realms of major domestic appliances. Yes, there has been ‘steady’ growth in the UK market throughout the past decade, but most would admit that this has been achieved by replacement sales – those who have owned a dishwasher will not want to be without one. A dishwasher is one of those products that if it were possible to offer a 60-day ‘try before you buy’ not many customers would return the goods. But, of course, theory and practice are two different principles, and convincing consumers of the need to own a ‘great’ piece of kit tends to rely on word of mouth or education provided by manufacturers and retailers. Having said this, Hotpoint has taken a step forward by entering into a 2-month promotion offering a 30-day money-back guarantee. According to Brand Manager Iain Starkey, if the consumer is not satisfied for any reason, Hotpoint will come and collect the appliance and refund the cost in full, “no questions asked.” Generic advertising for dishwashers tends to centre on detergents rather than the benefits of appliance ownership so washes over the heads of those who don’t own such a product. But with more than 60% of the market oblivious to the benefits, or simply reluctant to take the step forward and purchase, what needs to be done to capitalise


DISHWASHERS

THE NEW ‘IN LINE’ COMPACT DISHWASHERS FROM NEFF OFFER A BROAD RANGE OF INSTALLATION OPTIONS

Of all MDA categories, dishwashers has suffered the most from consumer misconceptions: the worst of all being the myth that products are water-guzzling money wasters. To this day, there are still people who believe the appliance cavity fills with water when the door is closed, and not much has been done by way of depictive or explanatory advertising to shatter those illusions. This misapprehension is a powerful negative that directly opposes the reality of the water and energy savings products offer. When asked the product/price-dependent question: how long might it take a dishwasher to pay for itself it terms of energy and water savings?, Jane Massey, Siemens Brand Manager

Hygiene Some years ago, Bosch, to its credit, ran an advertisement promoting the hygiene factor of dishwashers – a salient feature that doesn’t oft find recognition, either by word of mouth or at point of sale, yet one of the utmost important benefits offered by appliances. The metal-clad hands featured in the Bosch

SEP 2010

Clearing up the myths

said: “This is the wrong way to approach the issue.” She pointed out that “no one says ‘buy solar panels and get your money back in 5 years’. It’s a known fact that you will not see a return for at least 20 years.” Massey believes “the key story and reason that anyone should turn down their heating, recycle and buy more energy-efficient appliances is the environment and the future of our planet.” It’s a difficult one to call. Why would those who believe the dishwasher is a water-guzzler consider it a purchase that will protect the environment? Massey does point out, though, that Siemens Zeolith dishwashers use just 10 litres of water and are 20% better than A-rated machines, and says “compare this to washing up by hand and immediately you will see that in the course of a year, the money invested in an energy-efficient machine has saved thousands of litres of water and produced a significant saving on your energy bill too.” She adds that all Siemens machines offer a time delay so consumers can use electricity at the cheaper rate, and notes that Siemens, too, offers a free trial (28 days). “The above benefits coupled with the bonus of clutterfree worktops and hygiene mean that no one ever brings back the dishwasher at the end of the trial.” Maytag’s Caroline Guillermard, Product Marketing Manager, Premium, has made a good stab at estimating the savings to be had by using the Maytag XXL 17, which is claimed to be “the world’s largest capacity dishwasher”. The unit accommodates 17 place-settings and four wash levels and uses just 9.9 litres of water. It offers 40% more capacity than a standard dishwasher and could save at least 11,000 litres of water and 821kW of electricity each year. “These figures are conservative,” she says. “The hand-washing consumption is on the minimal side, as many sources state this can take anything up to 104 litres a time.”

GORENJE’S DISHWASHER DÉCOR PANEL COMPLEMENTS THE BRAND’S RANGE OF ‘PURE’ OVENS

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on this sales opportunity? And why does the majority of the British public not consider the dishwasher an everyday kitchen necessity? Juliana Sado, Brand Marketing Manager at Whirlpool, says it’s an “uphill struggle” to get the dishwasher message across. “Those with sufficient income would rather spend their hard-earned cash on other goods before buying a dishwasher, while lower income consumers are struggling with additional financial pressures and deem them unessential.” Simon Freear, Country Manager for Amica in the UK, believes it is a lack of first-time buyers that is holding the market back: “The dishwasher is still regarded as a luxury item by those who have never owned one,” he says. Mike Jarrett, Sales Director for Neff, meanwhile, is of the opinion that the recession is the most recent culprit in dampening sales. He reasons that, during the downturn, people stopped moving house, which tends to be a trigger for new kitchen installations, and some put off projects involving large expenditure, so the dishwasher is again classified as a “luxury” item.

However, this is how Guillermard arrived at the savings’ results: Hand washing: 1 x per day @ 40 litres of water, 7 days per week for 48 weeks = 13,440 litres used, compared to Maytag dishwashing: 9.9 litres x 220 cycles per year, which equals 2,178 litres used. A household of four, washing dishes by hand, is estimated to use 1050 kW of electricity per year, compared to 229 kW using the Maytag. Cost to wash up by hand = £105, compared to £22.90 using a Maytag XXL. Electricity savings = 821 kW per year, or £82.10 per year. Guillermard also estimates that households could save up to 300 hours a year by using a dishwasher. It’s a convincing story, and if all the other attributes of ownership are taken into consideration, the argument for purchase keeps growing stronger.

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DISHWASHERS

creative depicted just how hot the water temperature should be to achieve clean, germ-free kitchenware and showed that only a dishwasher could realise the desired result. Temperatures in the region of 150˚F and above are not for the human hand. It is a feature of today’s products that ‘care’ programmes such as those for glassware, for example, will run at lower temperatures, but the fact remains: a dishwasher will wash and dry items more hygienically than by doing the job by hand. Guillermard goes so far as to call hygiene “a spectacular benefit” and says it is “much underplayed.” And she is right. Surely people are not oblivious to the deposits of mashed potato and starch (for example) that reside on their knives, forks and dishes after washing-up by hand? And worse dishwashing-related hazards exist. As Richard Walker, sales and marketing director De Dietrich Kitchen Appliances (De Dietrich and Fagor), points out, “tea towels contain bacteria and microbes that are transferred straight back to clean dishes when drying.” He also, of course, notes the environmental aspects to consider and says that the De Dietrich and Fagor brands both feature AAA-rated 60cm dishwashers in their collections and De Dietrich also has an AAA-rated 45cm model. Guillermard supports Walker’s comment and reasserts her belief: “The dishwasher cleans and dries more hygienically than any hand-washing system. The water is hotter,

HOOVER’S 3D 3 DRAWER DISHWASHER HOLDS 15 PLACESETTINGS

the chemicals more effective and there is no germ-ridden dishcloth or tea towel involved in the process either.” Hotpoint has dubbed the dishwasher “a hygiene champion”. Brand Manager Iain Starkey says it can play a “crucial part” in protecting the family from harmful bacteria. “The higher water temperatures and stronger detergents make for a much more effective cleaning process – a very hot and powerful combination that you simply couldn’t use in a traditional sink, even with rubber gloves on. “Everything, including delicate glassware, china and crystal, always comes out of the dishwasher sparkling clean and dry, so consumers don’t have soggy tea towels lying around the kitchen or wet dishes piled up on the draining board, and that means the kitchen is a lot tidier and a lot less prone to harbouring germs. “And hygiene is even more important for the little people in our lives,” Starkey adds. “That’s why the Hotpoint Ultima FDD914 has a ‘Baby Cycle’ that gives an intensive wash to remove harmful bacteria from crockery and cutlery used to feed babies and young children.” Whirlpool’s Sado is keen to point out the benefits of steam in the dishwashing process. She says Whirlpool’s AquaSteam technology is a “tremendous innovation” that helps to eliminate bacteria and sanitise dishes. “It was the first dishwasher in Europe to use steam technology,” she asserts. “The advantages of steam are numerous as it rehydrates dried, baked-on food particles to release their grip. With baking and roasting trays and tougher jobs, it eliminates soaking and pre-scrubbing using 24 rotating, high-pressure jets.”

Technology improvements

THE MAYTAG XXL: “THE WORLD’S LARGEST CAPACITY IN A STANDARD SIZED DISHWASHER”

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Hygiene, enhanced by innovations in sprayarm design and intelligent technologies, and significant advances in energy and water efficiencies are just a sample of the developments in dishwashing appliances. De Dietrich’s Walker says there have also been “dramatic improvements” in other technologies over the past five years, all of which are important factors to note at point

of sale. These improvements have been in key areas: “Better internal design has resulted in greater capacities with machines offering 13 or 14 place settings; the introduction of internal sensors has resulted in certain models being able to intelligently assess dirt levels and reuse grey water in some instances; the reduction of noise levels in machines to exceptionally low levels means that the dishwasher can operate in an open-plan living space without interrupting conversation.” Of innovations in product design, Siemens’ Massey notes that the biggest uplift in sales for her brand came about when the third ‘VarioDrawer’ was introduced into the dishwasher range. “Increasing the capacity to 14 place-settings and having the flexibility of cutlery in the top drawer, plus small items and serving utensils as well, was a vast improvement over competitor models already in the market,” she comments. Steve Macdonald, Marketing Director, Hoover Candy, maintains that developments in maximising the capacity of dishwashers have increased the popularity of models with 15 place-settings. And Hoover itself has recently launched a ‘3D’ 3-drawer unit of this size. Macdonald says that “by utilising the extra space created by the 3rd drawer the appliance has an additional 10% capacity in comparison to other 15 place-setting models.” Improved basket layouts and build technology are at the heart of these increasing capacities, and what could be classed as ‘the mother of all’ dishwashers when it comes to volume, the Maytag XXL, claims “the world’s largest load height (58 cm) packed into a standard-height machine.” As mentioned earlier in this feature, the product has 17 place-settings. It also offers other unique features: 4 x wash levels and a 7-basket system. Guillermard says “the additional racks control and guide the user to maximising the interior to its fullest advantage.” At the top is a rack for knives, long spoons and serving ladles, and the fourth and lower basket offers an extended load height of 39cm – “probably the largest available,” she observes. “This space is ideal for plates and platters, chopping boards etc.”


SO SOPHISTICATED SO SLEEK SO BEKO

When your customers demand something stylishly different – point them towards the stunning new Beko Collection. It gives them kitchen appliances with all the build quality, reliability and energy efficiency expected from a leading brand – like the new OIM25501, an ‘A’ rated massive capacity oven, and complimentary range of gas or electric hobs including induction. Features that add up to Beko’s genuine added value. And appliances that are loved by home owners who want to make a real style statement in the kitchen.

Refrigeration Laundry www.beko.co.uk

Dishwashing Cooking

Beko-Black-Get Connected-297x210.indd 1

07/09/2010 14:58


DISHWASHERS

WHIRLPOOL’S ADP 7955WH/SL DISHWASHER USES POWERCLEAN MAX™, 6TH SENSE® AND AQUASTEAM TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE “VERY BEST” PERFORMANCE AND CLEANING RESULTS

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SEP 2010

Little and large

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For some consumers, a common objection to purchasing a dishwasher is a lack of space in the kitchen, and it is Maytag’s Guillermard who puts this “main gripe”, as she calls it, into context: “Do remember that we often have cupboards full crockery, equipment and gadgets that are rarely used taking up valuable space, yet we are happy to house these products for the few times we may make use of them. But a dishwasher is so much more useful than an ice cream maker or a deep fat fryer that has been stashed away for that once-a-year treat.” Les Wicks, Head of Product and Buying at Beko, says highlighting solutions such as slim-line dishwashers that fit into the smallest of kitchens can open up the possibility of purchase to consumers who would otherwise assume they have insufficient space for such a convenient product. “The Beko slim-line DE2541F has a market-leading 10 placesetting capacity, meaning that it can easily tackle pots, pans and crockery in one go,” he comments. Whirlpool’s Sado says the market for full sized models is down by 11.6% in volume and 5.21% in value, but the growth in slimline dishwashers has risen: “Slim-line models represent around a third of the total sector by volume and this has increased by 4.7% over the year. Value has grown by 11.9%.” She believes this result is an indication that consumers are prepared to pay for the “size advantage” of slim-line products. Gorenje Marketing Manager Ruth Ferguson also notes that sales of slim-line

dishwashers are showing signs of growth and reasons that this suggests products are being bought by first time buyers, normally for a smaller home. “This generation has grown up with a dishwasher and considers it a necessity, not a luxury. The integration of the dishwasher into everyday life is clear when one considers that almost all modern crockery and cookware is now dishwasher safe, unlike in the past,” she comments. Siemens’ Massey is in agreement: “We have noticed that the slim-line market is growing quicker and has suffered less of a decline than the full size market. We believe this is because more new home owners and/or younger people are coming from households where they always had a dishwasher, so when starting up home for the first time, even in a flat share situation, they will not consider a kitchen without one. Traditionally, British kitchens are smaller than those of our European neighbours, so the first dishwasher tends to be a slim-line model and this also explains the growth.” Neff ’s Mike Jarrett looks at a different concept and configuration for smaller dishwashers and says that, with the introduction of new compact models “a whole new market has opened up for dishwashers as they can be built-in at eye-level in kitchens of any size or shape.” Jarrett is referring to Neff ’s new ‘In Line’ dishwashers, which are 45cm and 60cm high and complement the brand’s cooking collection. “We have already seen an enormous amount of interest and anticipate significant growth in this area in the future,” he adds.

Clean-cut design Neff ’s new ‘In Line’ dishwashers are the epitome of style and elegance. Both models can be placed in a bank of appliances; an island unit; side by side; in-column or beneath the worktop and offer a chic, streamlined look for the modern-day kitchen. Style is, of course, for most consumers, an important feature of domestic appliances. Gorenje’s Ruth Ferguson draws attention to the trend for open-plan living, and says “people want their appliances to blend in seamlessly and therefore designs are becoming softer and minimalist. The kitchen and living areas are blending into one to become the hub of the home.” In acknowledgement of the trend for clean-cut, minimal kitchen layouts, Gorenje recently introduced a décor door for its 60cm built-in dishwashers. The unit complements the brand’s ‘Pure’ range of ovens. Chinese manufacturer Haier, who attracted much attention at last year’s IFA show in Berlin with its mirror-fronted cooling products,

is to take this stunning design feature into dishwashers with a new collection due to launch before Christmas. Appliances will be available in red, black and white mirror finishes, and in stainless steel. See ‘The Product Gallery’ in this issue for further detail. Amica, too, is bringing a new dimension to the market this year with the introduction of the ‘Platinum’ collection, due for UK release in October. Country Manager Simon Freear says the range will provide a choice of three dishwashers – 60cm semi- and fully-integrated models and a 45cm fully-integrated version.

Looking ahead… The market for dishwashers in the UK has slowed recently and Freear believes this is due to the reduction in spending on major and luxury purchases by householders, a shortfall of new-build housing and the lack of firsttime buyers who may have grown up with a dishwasher in the home. But he does feel that sales will return to a steady level of growth as more consumers are persuaded by the longterm benefits. A boost may also come again from the new-build sector. Gorenje’s Ferguson says that a recent survey by MTW Research suggests the house-building market is picking up and most new homes will have built-in dishwashers, especially as the Plan G regulations for all private new-builds have now come into force. “The regulations limit water consumption to 125 litres per person per day,” she explains. “Dishwashers use much less water than washing by hand, which can take anything from 40 to over 110 litres per wash. Compare this with the 12 litres per load used by the new Gorenje GV62224.”

WHO PUT THAT STUFF IN MY BASKET?


THE GREEN ROOM

FAGOR PARENT MCC’S SAN ANDRES MANUFACTURING FACILITY

GC asks manufacturers:

RICHARD WALKER

firm is not driven solely by ‘legislation’; it is also driven by conscience and societal wellbeing. More to come on this subject later.

Green investment Manufacturers’ investment in saving the earth’s resources goes beyond the development of ‘A (and above)’ rated products – it is a prime objective for companies to make their businesses as green as the appliances they produce. BSH, which sells the Bosch, Siemens, Neff and Gaggenau brands in the UK, is just one of those who have employed advanced analytical methods to improve efficiencies in this area. The Group says that it has set “clear guidelines” which apply to every employee and every stage of the value chain. BSH introduced environment protection into its corporate principles as far back as 1989. Then, and now, this ethos begins at the “very top” with the Board of Management and its clear conviction that sustainability and good corporate citizenship belong at the very centre of the company’s philosophy. A product environmental analysis introduced in 1996 made resource conservation and efficiencies a mandatory target of every development project the Group would undertake. “Part of our Eco strategy is the ‘Green Ray Project’ which supports Carbon Footprint with a Plant for the Planet undertaking. This helps to raise funds to plant thousands of trees in Kenya and provides education on sustainable land management skills and work for local communities….”

– Steve Macdonald, Marketing Director, Hoover Candy

SEP 2010

R

ichard Walker, sales and marketing director for De Dietrich Kitchen Appliances in the UK (De Dietrich & Fagor brands), speaking about the new Fagor range for 2010, said: “Retailers can rest assured that when they promote these appliances they are not only promoting resource savings but a brand that is worthy of incredible accolades in terms of efficiency and ultimate sustainability.” It is a potent statement that draws on much more than any product’s ability to perform and deliver. It is a statement that instills a sense of trust in the producer. That producer is the Fagor Group, which is part of Mondragon Corporacion Co-operativa (MCC), the world’s largest co-operative. In fact, the Fagor Group claims to be the fifth largest manufacturer of domestic appliances in Europe. It is the owner of eleven brands and is represented in 100 countries with a foothold in all five continents. Walker says that “sustainability, care for the environment and fairness” are all principles that sit firmly within the heart of the owner of the De Dietrich and Fagor brands. “Parent company MCC has been the recipient of numerous European environmental awards and certifications and is an active participant in a joint initiative to reduce CO² emissions in the Basque region of Spain, where much of the electrical manufacturing base for Fagor and other MCC brands is based.” Walker adds that MCC is regarded by intellectuals and global economists as “one of the best business models in the world.” And he can support this statement. Like all responsible producers in the domestic electricals industry, MCC conforms to ISO standards in its production [the company holds in excess of 160 ISO certificates for environmentally-sound practices alone] and environment-conscious compliance standards such as RoHs (restriction of hazardous substances). But this

GET CONNECTED

Features about the environment tend to focus on products’ consumption of vital resources rather than the ‘inside story’ from firms who produce the appliances that drain what the earth is struggling to supply, yet the carbon footprint of the entire commercial chain weighs heavily on the planet. So in this, the last in the 2010 series of ‘The Green Room’, GC asks manufacturers to sport their green credentials. For retailers selling electrical goods it will be comforting to know that the eco-friendly products on shelves come from equally eco-friendly, responsible sources committed to driving sustainable businesses

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THE GREEN ROOM

GORENJE’S VELENJE MANUFACTURING PLANT

BSH says “we operate 28 production sites, 25 of which have completed certification under ISO 9001 (quality) and ISO 14001 (environmental management) and have been consistently recording their environmental performance in the form of indicators for many years.” BSH has brought its most efficient appliances into a “Super Efficiency Portfolio” and says that the products sold in 2009 will bring a saving of some 1.1 billion kW hours of electricity over their lifetime. The Group is acknowledged as a formidable opponent in the realms of appliance manufacturing. Its 2009 sales amounted to €8.4 billion and, with a workforce of 39,000-plus; 41 factories; around 60 companies; and a presence in more than 40 countries, the Group claims to be “the world’s third largest” in the home appliance sector.

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Bringing it home

24

For GDHA, manufacturer of the Stoves, Belling, New World and Lec brands, a major part of supporting the drive for sustainable production has been a renewed commitment to UK-based manufacturing. Steve Dickson, Commercial Manager for Stoves and Belling, says that the growing difficulties of sourcing components from around the world and the carbon footprint involved in doing so prompted GDHA to look closer to home and to reap the benefits of supporting the UK market. “By sourcing from the UK, rather than importing, we control every element of product quality and development and have radically reduced the carbon footprint of many of our products. Currently, more than 75% of our freestanding, built-in, range and hob products are manufactured in the UK and this figure is increasing all the time. “ “A sustainable approach starts at home” is Electrolux’s view. And while an eco culture helps differentiate both the brand and its products, Head of Communications Susan Dean says it also generates positive impacts on the bottom line. “Sustainable thinking is integrated throughout the Electrolux operations,” she tells GC. “Electrolux aims to generate positive contributions, both to the planet and to people. The group is founded on the principles of ‘ethics and integrity’, ‘respect and diversity’, ‘safety and sustainability’.” Electrolux has received a number of accolades over recent years for its environmental performance. According to Dean, the company is committed to being

part of the solution in reducing carbon emissions through leaner manufacturing, forward-thinking product innovation and design for efficient use and recycling. “When achieving the Group’s 2012 target to cut energy consumption in its operations, Electrolux will save approximately SEK200 million a year compared to 2005 energy costs.” Electrolux also has a “well established programme for dealing with social responsibility.” This ensures that the company and its suppliers both maintain fair principles for staff at all locations where production and sourcing takes place. Electrolux’s leaning towards social as well as environmental responsibility chimes with Fagor parent MCC’s philosophy of societal wellbeing. Within its mission statement, MCC testifies that it is “firmly committed to the environment, competitive improvement and customer satisfaction in order to generate wealth in society through business development and the creation of, preferably co-operative, employment…” MCC has invested in a privately funded university specialising in humanities, languages, business studies and engineering – all complementary subjects for potential future employees who, after working for the company for two years have the opportunity to become part owners. The business has also established a Foundation to promote the philosophy of “cooperativism” in some of the poorest developing countries in the southern hemisphere. The principal objective is to help educate communities and create self-managed companies to achieve sustainable growth and development for the future.

Years of practice Environment policies for businesses are seen by some onlookers as a relatively new concept, purely because it is only in recent years that the subject of sustainability has gained ground and captured media attention. As Gorenje Marketing Manager Ruth Ferguson points out: “The history of environment protection at Gorenje dates back 40 years to when the company built its first waste water treatment plant.” Ferguson also notes that since 1985, a dedicated ecology department has managed environmental issues at Gorenje, but the major development was in 1998 when the company adopted a strategic Group plan which defined the environment protection strategy as one of the top priorities of its operations. “Today, environment protection at Gorenje is not merely a commitment and an indisputable responsibility, it is also a business activity that is being developed in the field of waste management, waste electric and electronic equipment recycling, providing consulting services and restoring ecologically degraded areas.” In the last decade, Ferguson says that “investment in environment protection and advancement of technological processes and equipment has reduced the amount of hazardous waste per product by 42%, and the volume of waste disposed by 54%. The total load on the treatment plant has been reduced by 76%, water consumption has been reduced by 65% per product, and natural gas consumption per product by 39%.”

Amica is another company that has been involved in “pro-environmental action” in the field of manufacturing technology for many decades. UK country manager Simon Freear says this dates back to the mid 80s. “Every year, by reconstructing production lines with ongoing investment in the development and introduction of environmentally friendly technology to limit the amount of water and energy used, as well as the amount of water and sewage produced, Amica cuts emissions of harmful substances (mainly NO2) into the atmosphere.” Freear gives as an example of Amica’s commitment the changes introduced in preparing steel plate surfaces for enamelling and painting. “Overall,” he says, “these have resulted in an almost six-fold reduction [per item manufactured] in the release of sewage into the environment which, of course, also produced a reduction in the use of mains water.” He also refers to other benefits such as the elimination of 200 tonnes of concentrated hydrochloric acid per annum and 20-25 tonnes of organic solvent emissions per year.

“The technology incorporated in Dimplex’s range of oil-free portable radiators/heaters was developed because we recognised that oil is a finite resource and its extraction can have a hugely negative impact on the environment. The recent events in the Gulf of Mexico resulting from BP’s drilling in less accessible sites have shown that there is a limit to how long we can rely on oil to fuel our lifestyles and the time when the negatives outweigh the positives is inevitably at hand….”

– Claire Payne, product manager at Dimplex

Industry-wide participation The voluntary greening of manufacturing doesn’t apply only to the MDA sector, of course, CE companies have taken giant steps forward in implementing environment policies. Panasonic recently announced that it had in fact exceeded its “eco ideas” targets set for Oct 08 to Mar 10. A statement from the company read: “The targets for each facet of Panasonic’s business are helping to achieve our aim to become the ‘number one’ green innovation company in the electronics industry by 2018.” By the end of FY 2009, Panasonic had reduced its CO2 emissions by 21.4 thousand tonnes (34%) in its European manufacturing operations, after setting out to achieve a target of 10% (6,000 tonnes). In 2007, digital radio maker PURE embarked upon a project to define criteria to significantly reduce the environmental impact of its products in terms of use, logistics, manufacture and development. Director of marketing Colin Crawford says: “At this point, digital radios were gaining a reputation for using a lot of energy, so PURE, as market leader, felt that the brand should lead the way in combating this.”


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THE GREEN ROOM

EcoPlus™ was devised by PURE as a green brand with a consistent look and feel that would be common to all products which conform to the project’s minimum standards. It also incorporated an overall marketing strategy to make retailers and consumers aware of the company’s commitment to environmental issues through as many channels as possible. “Currently, all PURE products can be said to be ‘EcoPlus’. They are designed to minimise environmental impact and manufactured in ethically approved facilities,” says Crawford. “They have reduced power consumption in operation and standby; use recycled packaging materials and have the least possible COLIN CRAWFORD packaging.” Components are also selected to lessen environmental damage. Leslie Burrage, Chief Executive at Roberts Radio, says his company is “constantly seeking” ways to address its carbon footprint. “Our eco disciplines are an integral part of meeting the standards required to ensure renewal of the Royal Warrants.” In addition to the brand’s wide range of ‘ecologic’ products, which Burrage maintains offer “unbeatable battery life”, the impact of packaging materials on the environment has been addressed: “Products are “Far from being a modish marketing tool, the green issue is here to stay and plays a major part in the consumer decision-making process. High-profile campaigns are generating record levels of awareness….”

– Les Wicks, Head of Product and Buying at Beko plc

packaged using cardboard produced from recycled waste paper. We also encourage our customers to recycle all packaging materials and old electrical goods via a LESLIE BURRAGE page on our website dedicated to explaining WEEE regulations. “Furthermore,” says Burrage, “when we design our products we endeavour to use as few materials as possible. We have also changed the configuration of our packaging so more products can fit into our delivery vans and, where required, use dissolvable polystyrene.” Roberts has also taken the initiative to adopt power-saving policies in its head office and warehouse.

Behind the scenes The extent to which manufacturers engage in environmental initiatives is not always known to the retail community, yet much goes on behind the scenes. Indesit Company, for example, recently joined with energy supplier npower and smart grid technology company RLtec in a UK trial of fridges fitted with gridbalancing technology. The ‘dynamic demand’ technology, developed by RLtec and Indesit research teams, helps to maintain the balance between supply and demand across the national electricity grid. Throughout 2010, up to 3,000 UK npower customers will be supplied with Indesit Company ‘dynamic demand’ cooling products in what will be world’s first residential test of the technology. Appliances fitted with this technology automatically modify their power consumption in response to second-by-second changes in the balance between supply and demand on the grid. This means that the amount of carbon used to maintain that balance can be dramatically reduced.

“Smeg continuously strives to design and develop products that offer the highest level of performance whilst minimising environmental impact. The company currently operates to ISO14001, which ensures that we maintain the highest quality standards whilst actively responding to all environmental issues relating to manufacture….”

– Joan Fraser, Product Development & Training Manager, Smeg UK

Whirlpool has also been involved in developing smart grid products. At the heart of its GreenKitchen 2.0 project is the Resource Assistant – an “energy dashboard” as the company describes it – which monitors data from appliances in the home and provides daily or weekly information on electricity usage. When the first Smart Grid System becomes available, the Whirlpool Resource Assistant will manage appliance load and time schedules based on signals received from the utilities. The system will give feedback so homeowners can maximise their energy and resource efficiencies; thus, helping homes live up to performance expectations and supporting the grid technology’s aim to increase the efficiency, safety and reliability of electricity distribution systems and that of the largescale integration of renewable energy sources.

Confidence Although this feature provides just a snapshot of the industry’s commitment to ongoing investment in building ecologically sound businesses and reducing the global carbon footprint, we hope it will go some way towards providing retailers with the confidence that the eco-friendly products they sell can be traced back to sustainable sources of production.

Smeg and Marc Newson: style and technology personified The essence of the Smeg philosophy, “technology with style”, is captured in Smeg’s Mark Newson line of cooking appliances, which combine this world renowned designer’s creative use of colour, soft flowing lines and exciting stainless steel and glass surfaces with Smeg’s proven expertise in outstanding cooking performance and userfriendly features. The range includes ovens and gas and induction hobs, all designed to deliver that important “statement” in the kitchen, together with energy-efficient performance and intuitive, “maximum clarity” controls. The ovens range, including the pyrolytic FP610, three designs of the multifunction thermoventilated F610, are available in a stunning

array of colours and finishes, intuitive electronic display with large, clear graphics and easyto-use commands. A nice extra touch for those who prefer a more traditional look and feel is the alternative choice of distinctive silver control knobs. Top-of-therange models have a generous 68 litre capacity, with 5 cooking levels and telescopic guide rails as standard.

THE FP610 PYROLYTIC OVEN IN BLUE

The gas hobs, all 75cm with 5 gas burners and cast iron pan stands, offer a choice of five colours in enamel, plus stainless steel and two special silky matte glass finishes in black or white. The positions of the elegant silver control knobs mirror the positions of the burners for instant, intuitive control, and the specially designed vertical flame burners offer 65% more effective performance, significant energy saving and faster cooking. The induction hob range includes 30 and 60 cm widths, plus a 90 cm 3-in-line version with a reduced depth of 35 cm. The positioning of the commands also mirrors the zone positions for intuitive use. This range delivers the superior safety, efficiency and performance characteristics

INTUITIVE, STYLISH AND HIGH PERFORMANCE GAS HOB

of induction cooking, together with Marc Newson’s outstanding talent to combine cutting-edge technology with user-friendliness and stunning design. Trade enquiries: Smeg (UK) Ltd on 0844 5570070. Or visit: www.smeguk.com


quality, innovation, design Haier in 2010: a year of change Did you know? Haier is the world’s No 1 white goods manufacturer in terms of retail volume market share per brand for refrigerators and washing machines (Euromonitor, 2009) We invested 60 million USD in R&D in 2009 and we have more than 9,000 technology patents We are listed in Bloomberg Businessweek’s annual ‘Top 50 Most Innovative Companies’ (published April 2010) We have won the prestigious Plus X and Red Dot Design awards for our refrigerators We have 26 years of global manufacturing experience Our white goods include refrigeration, laundry and dishwashing Our turnover in 2009 was 18.2 billion USD We have more than 60,000 employees worldwide We have a strong commitment to quality – every product goes through rigorous quality control checks before leaving our factories We have a TV assembly plant in Poland with a capacity of up to 2 million sets per year We offer a two-year guarantee on ALL products sold through Independents We are committed to growing the Haier brand within the UK

Haier’s R&D centres

Haier takes IFA 2010 by storm! The world’s first wireless TV! Famous for innovation with cutting edge technology that meets the needs of consumers, Haier has now introduced the world’s first fully wireless HDTV – wireless power (no cable required), wireless digital transfer and wireless internet.

Plus a spectacular range of dishwashers and fridges! A new dishwasher range with a mirror glass finish and high quality features including touch control. Available in glass black, white and red.

This stunning technology enables customers to forget about messy cables, and this product won the prestigious ‘Product of the Future’ award.

And a new mirror glass finish in our refrigeration range.

Haier products are distributed by: • Dimpco, Cloghan, CoDublin, Ireland, +353 18424277 • Inmans, Sheffield, 0114 254 2400 • Portway Domestic Appliances Limited, Andover, Hampshire, 01264 334596 • Westcoast, Theale, Reading, 0118 912 6000

Haier_advert_Sept2010_revised.indd 1

For more information, please contact: Haier Europe UK, First Floor The Mill, Abbey Mill Business Park, Lower Eashing, Godalming, Surrey, GU72QJ, 01483 411817

06/09/2010 11:15


THE KNOWLEDGE: SONY

sponsored by

Reading the future E-readers a “dynamic market”

T

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he e-reader market in the UK is taking off rapidly as manufacturers continue to refine their product offering with stylish, highly portable, easyto-read and user-friendly models, touch screens, sophisticated text highlighting and note-making features, and, crucially, access to a broadening range of content. Recent official GfK figures show e-readers as one of the fastest-growing IT product categories, with sales predicted to reach a quarter of a million units a year by 2012. Analysts report that growth rates have been more than 150% over the past year, and, importantly for all retailers, GfK spokesman Carl West says that the early dominance of mass merchandisers in the e-reader sector is being challenged by increasing interest from consumer electronics stores and specialist retail channels over the past 10 months, making the market “much more dynamic.”

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This burgeoning market will continue to deliver growing opportunities for retailers, provided they select the right brands – those with an established track-record of IT and CE development and a trusted reputation for quality– and do not commit entirely to the “price is king” philosophy that tends to force its way into highly competitive sectors such as this.

Sony: committed to development Sony’s credentials as a trusted global brand are second to none. The brand’s positioning in the e-reader market is based on addressing the essential elements: style is important in a modern portable device; ease of use and useful, relevant features are sought after; reliability and quality count for consumers in a competitive market, and the cheapest is not always the best choice either for retailers or their customers. Finally, and extremely importantly, devices such as these rely – as do, for example, MP3/4 players and Blu-ray equipment - on the availability, volume and variety of content. Getting involved with content providers, and demonstrating a commitment to the new world of eBooks with support for the entire content/device partnership, is paramount. Dealers who stock Sony e-readers will have the confidence of knowing that Sony, in introducing its new range revealed at IFA 2010 and introduced in the UK this month, has secured access to what is claimed to be more books than any other eBook reader on the market – some 600,000 titles – through a rental agreement with 50 British Libraries and access to Google’s vast archive of free eBooks. Sony UK is also sponsoring a new award category in this year’s renowned Dylan Thomas Prize. Support for young, new writers, and specific support for the e-reader genre (see boxed Sony Reader Award for Unpublished Writers information).

The new products The next generation products expected to be on the UK market this month are the Reader Pocket Edition™ (PRS350) and Reader Touch Edition™ (PRS650), both featuring Sony’s breakthrough touch screen with E Ink® Pearl electronic paper displays with high contrast technology, which delivers a paper-like display that is readable in direct sunlight and has very low power consumption. This new generation of Readers builds on the popularity of last year’s line, and for 2010 Sony has restyled both devices and reduced their size and weight Both models come with 2GB of onboard memory – capacity for up to 1,200 books.

The right touch Sony has equipped the entire line of new Readers with improved, optical touch screen technology designed specifically for reading on a digital screen. The new, first-to-market technology enhances easy and intuitive navigation of digital books, and increases reading clarity. Book lovers can now explore their favourite books, highlighting and annotating as they read with the swipe of a finger or stylus pen.


THE KNOWLEDGE: SONY

The new Reader Pocket Edition has a five-inch, full touch screen and, with its incredibly small, thin and lightweight design, it easily slips into a purse or jacket pocket for convenient, onthe-go reading. It is available in stylish pink or silver aluminium finish.

The Touch Edition The new Reader Touch Edition features a six-inch full touch screen for fast and intuitive navigation of books. In addition, the Touch Edition offers expansion slots for up to 32GB of additional memory, which translates into tens of thousands of eBooks, and the ability to play MP3 and AAC audio files. It will be available initially in black and silver aluminium finishes.

Additional new features New features on both Editions allow for easier reading of PDF or personal documents. Intuitive content zoom, adjustable contrast and brightness control and automatic multiple page creation will make documents designed for a standard sheet of paper easier to read on a smaller screen. Personalised standby screen options will allow users to use their favorite photos as a screen saver and collections functionality will allow them to group their favorite reads. The Reader Pocket and Touch Editions will be available with accessories such as AC adaptors, cases and covers with reading lights. Supporting multiple digital publishing formats, including the widely used EPUB format, the new generation of Sony Readers ensures readers have the freedom to buy, borrow or get eBooks for free from a wide range of places, including eBookstores.

Sony gets involved in supporting the Dylan Thomas Prize – the world’s largest literary awards for young writers Sony is sponsoring a new category in the 2010 Dylan Thomas Prize. The Sony Reader Award for Unpublished Writers has been created specifically to support unpublished British novel writers under the age of 30 using electronic book formats for the entire process, from submission of the entries through to judging and then publication. The winner will receive a cash prize of £5,000, and their book will be published in eBook format and made available for download from the Sony UK website in time for the Christmas season. The move from Sony demonstrates simultaneous support for the young writers who will be providing the next generation of E-reader content, and for the entire “cutting edge” process of electronic book creation, publication and reading. This forward-looking sponsorship will help to familiarize a wide range of book lovers with the eBooks experience, demonstrating that the “traditional” skills of the literary world can be extended, enhanced and enjoyed by new generations of readers. A powerful partnership between an age-old source of pleasure and knowledge, and today’s technology. A whole portable library available on the move in a device smaller and lighter than a single standard paperback volume. Omar Gurnah, Reader category marketing manager for Sony, said: “Being involved in the Dylan Thomas Prize this year is an ideal partnership for Reader.We wanted to take the Dylan Thomas Prize’s ethos of working with young authors a step further by creating a new category to offer Britain’s unpublished writers a unique platform on which to showcase their novel-writing talents.” Peter Stead, the Dylan Thomas Prize founder and judge, added: “At the Dylan Thomas Prize we were delighted to learn of Sony’s interest in promoting new writing by unpublished authors, and we are greatly honoured that we have been asked to play a part in organising the Sony Reader Award. Our commitment has always been to new writing, and this new prize forms a landmark for aspiring authors and marks an exciting departure for the Dylan Thomas Prize.” The winner of the award will be announced at the Dylan Thomas Prize Award Ceremony on 1st December 2010.

SEP 2010

The Pocket Edition

The Sony Reader Award for Unpublished Writers

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Users can look up words and phrases with the built-in New Oxford American and Oxford Dictionary of English eDictionaries, as well as 10 translation dictionaries to and from English in languages such as French, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch, and also create “word logs” to track the words they’ve looked up in both chronological and book order, while quickly switching between dictionaries. The screens offer a high contrast ratio with 16 levels of grayscale, ensuring that text and images are crisp and easy to read.

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FROM THE BENCH

E-mail: fromthebench@gcmagazine.co.uk

Buzzes and rattles

Some TVs can offend the ear, writes Alan Bennett

T

hinscreen TVs perform well, but

it’s generally also brightness-dependent,

some of them can get into trouble

but comes from the loudspeakers. The

with the spurious sounds they

root of this trouble is the highly-charged backlighting invertors, whose hash

soundtrack! Their intrusiveness depends

and radiation gets into the low-level

on several factors: the level of ambient

audio circuits. In many cases there is

and again manufacturers vary in their

sound at home; the viewer’s hearing ability;

a manufacturer’s modification for this,

attitude to this. In all cases of speaker

the setting of the volume control; and

typically involving separating the ground-

damage we recommend the use of some

the tolerance of the owner. In the worst

return paths for these two sections. With

kind of external speaker system, which has

cases some sets will come back to the

either type of screen bad electrolytic

lots of advantages beyond saving the lives

dealer in or out of guarantee or rental. My

capacitors can cause a buzz by failing to

of tiny internal speakers.

aim here is to offer advice, based on own

suppress ripple on power supply lines,

experience, when this happens.

while a kind of rushing roar may come

Disembodied sound

from cooling fans fitted to some thin TVs,

It was after replacing a pair of credit-card

amplifiers etc. Removal of all the dust in

sized speakers that we had a complaint

Plasma screens quite commonly emit a

the air path, and a drop of oil on the fan/

from the customer: the TV sound just

buzzing sound, not from the loudspeakers.

motor bearings minimises this. I believe that

‘wasn’t right’. Back in the workshop we

It generally arises from the large energy

Japanese people are much less sensitive

found we had reversed the connections

charge which is exchanged to and fro at

(fussy?) than we are in the West over fan

to one of the speakers so that the left and

very high speed between the pixel cavities

noise and the like....

right channels’ sounds were out of phase. It

Buzzes and roars

GET CONNECTED

SEP 2010

and their drive circuits. This also accounts

30

WHAT’S INSIDE CAN AFFECT WHAT YOU HEAR  SOME OF IT UNWANTED!

emit, not all associated with the actual

can happen, too, with big (Hi-Fi, separates,

for the relatively high running temperature

Rattles

and power consumption of plasma panels.

Resonances and rattles are far more

wiring and connections, and in both cases

Most manufacturers have a high tolerance

common, I’ve found, in thinscreen TVs than

the error shows up most in low-frequency

of this, claiming that it’s normal: it’s hard to

they were in the old glass sets, due to the

mono sounds like an image-central male

get them interested, under the guarantee,

large flat surfaces and tiny – and tinny –

voice. The air-pressure waves travel across

in anything but a really raucous buzz. The

speakers in the former. To alleviate them

the soundstage rather than being projected

glass screen assembly itself can buzz due

there are often scores of back panel-fitting

towards the listener, giving an eerie and

to resonances in the substrate, but more

screws, far more than needed to hold it in

disembodied effect which is hard to define

often the buzz comes from the components

place! Still there can be really bad tizzes

or describe. Higher frequency sound is less

in the driver (sometimes PSU) circuits,

to be tracked down, made very simple by

affected because it undergoes more phase

though new replacement panels can be

use of a variable-frequency audio oscillator

changes in the space between the speaker

just as bad. It’s worth checking that the

hooked into appropriate input sockets:

and the listener.

mountings and brackets of circuit boards

as the audible band is swept every little

and assemblies are fully tight, and enquiring

nasty thing is shown up, and can hopefully

Test card

of the setmaker’s technical service for any

be damped by the use of self-adhesive

On another subject altogether I’m grateful

modification which may help. In general the

strips and pads, by tightening of mounting

to reader Andrew Lamont for pointing me

lower the brightness and contrast settings

screws, or whatever. Often the loudspeakers

to an always-there test card (see July issue,

the quieter the buzz. Putting a felt pad under

themselves are to blame, having been half-

page 25), though as he writes it is of little

the TV’s foot prevents the table or stand

ruptured by a level of sound way beyond

use because it’s so rough. On a Freeview

from acting as a sounding-board and often

their ability to handle, propelled by a tiny

TV select channel 105, pause, press yellow,

provides a marked improvement, while a

class D (switch-mode) audio amplifier.

go to another channel (e.g. BBC2) then back

hard flat (reflective) wall surface behind the

These can punch way above their weight

to 105. Pause then press green and wait up

screen exacerbates the problem.

in terms of power output. Replacement

to 30 seconds for text ‘status screen’. Now

speakers will cure this problem until they

press green and wait up to 30 seconds.

suffer the same fate, as inevitably happens,

Try it.

LCD sets can also give off a buzzing sound for quite different reasons. Here

etc.) audio systems due to carelessness in


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FOCUS ON D&G

D&G: ENERGY, COMMITMENT AND DEALER SUPPORT D Over the past few months you can’t have failed to notice D&G’s vibrant new logo in the company’s Get Connected series of articles. In a swan song for the swan, GC looks at an exciting new era for the UK’s number one electrical warranty provider, and examines how the cutting edge will be maintained as we move into the second decade of the 21st century

THE NEW LOOK

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So why the new logo, when the swan had been with the company since its inception? Nigel Wilkinson, D&G’s Director of Retail and CE, comments: “Saying goodbye to the old swan was a bold decision, but one we felt was required to ensure our retail and manufacturing partners, as well as the consumers our warranties serve, understand that D&G is a cutting edge company at the forefront of warranty services. Our bold new colours really underpin the energy and commitment we have to the equally vibrant electricals market.”

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Over the past half century D&G has carved out a comprehensively leading position in this market, with competitors such as Allianz and Cardif Pinnacle having moved their focus away from the independent electrical retail sector. D&G’s business has expanded across Europe and, ironically, back to Australia. At the time of writing, there are approaching 11 million active D&G warranties in place on electrical goods worldwide. Significantly, almost one in five UK households contains a product protected by a D&G warranty.

omestic & General is actually close to 100 years old, having started as an insurance company in Australia at the beginning of the last century. Having moved its business to the UK in the 1950s and entered into the warranty sector, D&G has been providing breakdown protection on consumer electronics and domestic electrical products for well over fifty years. Today, more than 1400 High Street electrical retailers sell D&G warranties at point of sale; some 150 electrical brands use D&G to administer their own manufacturers’ warranties; and several banks and building societies are now offering D&G’s breakdown protection services as part of their premium accounts packages.

Established strengths Scratch below the surface of the new bright orange and blue logo, and D&G’s formidable business operation retains all its successful core practices and values. The company still operates two massive UK-based contact centres, has the UK’s largest electrical goods repair network and boasts postrepair customer satisfaction ratings that consistently achieve well over 90%. Clearly, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it! These solid statistics have meant that almost every white goods maker operating in the UK uses D&G to administer all of part of its warranty business, with many major CE makers heading the same way. The economies of scale as more manufacturers work with D&G, plus the company’s long standing expertise in driving revenue and customer data back to manufacturers, is proving ever more appealing to brown goods companies in these tough times. Lee Miller, now D&G’s Director of Sales (White Goods and Retail) and a familiar face to GC readers, is confident of D&G’s long-term appeal to its manufacturing and retail partners: “D&G’s key strength has always been its ability to manage the whole warranty proposition including data capture, underwriting, pricing, claims handling, repairs, administration LEE MILLER, DIRECTOR OF SALES and customer service. We WHITE GOODS & RETAIL build and improve on these areas year after year, with benefits that extend to both our manufacturing and retail partners, and keep the end user customers very loyal indeed. The key is to go on building on these established strengths, while still providing a personal, individual service to all our trade partners”


FOCUS ON D&G

POS

“RELAX, IT’S ALL COVERED”

Depth and breadth of expertise

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Still operating out of its Wimbledon, London head office, D&G appears to be going from strength to strength. Having won last year’s GC Special Award for its comprehensive trade communications, the company continues its support of retailers small and large, and administers warranties for well over half of the electrical manufactures in the industry. Over the last few years it has become a major player in the boiler and home emergency warranties market and now supplies warranty services to the likes of NatWest and Halifax. This kind of experience, size and strength in the UK warranties market is a powerful reason for retailers to tap into the proven benefits of a partnership with D&G. But, most importantly, D&G remains determined to keep its retail partners – from the biggest to the smallest – at the centre of its operations. The benefits of size and resources are always complemented by a personal, individual approach to support, training and – the ultimate object of the exercise – building profit in a hard world.

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D&G’s point of sale business has been a mainstay of many retailers’ profit margins for decades, with proponents such as Robert Hughes being vocal at industry conferences about the benefits of warranties to retailers. But according to National Accounts Director Jeff Griffiths, there is still plenty of room for retailers to improve conversions and further grow warranty profits. “The difference in warranty conversion rates between the best and worst performing retail stores is still huge,” says Griffiths. Showing GC figures that have never been previously revealed, Griffiths illustrates that some of the highest performing D&G retailers in this area turn up to 7% or even 8% of major appliance customers into warranty purchasers, whereas JEFF GRIFFITHS, NATIONAL those that don’t concentrate ACCOUNT DIRECTOR on warranties show less that 1% conversion. “The customers and products are not greatly different across the country,” adds Griffiths, “so the variance must be in the way the warranty is sold and how focused retail staff are on closing the warranty sale.” To support retailers in maximising the potential of warranty sales, D&G invests heavily in sales trainers on the road, pointof-sale materials (now in the company’s vibrant new colours) and training initiatives such as the interactive training DVD and USB stick program. But there is nothing like the judgment of your peers, so GC will be bringing you a feature on some of D&G’s most successful retailers in November. In fact, the company’s whole retailer training offering is currently being overhauled with a host of new initiatives to be unveiled in the New Year. Clearly, there is strong determination at D&G to ensure that retailers make the most of the profits and long-term customer loyalty of its warranty products.

CAREDFOR CUSTOMERS ARE LOYAL CUSTOMERS

33


BACKCHAT

” A penchant for the outdoor life with plenty of exercise, a hankering after unlimited super-powers, and a taste for something “delicate but still spicy.” That’s Les Wicks, head of product and buying at Beko plc. If he keeps in training for the next four years, he may even get to live his daydream in Brazil…. Provided England manages to qualify, that is! Why did you choose the electrical industry? I didn’t – I wanted to be a teacher.

If you were offered a leading role in a film what would it be?

I began life in a bank short-term. I had a great time, met some wonderful people but it wasn’t going to work out so I joined British Gas as a field salesman. After a relatively short time I decided I was more interested in the products and their marketing

Superman – the ability to maintain justice and right wrongs is very appealing

Who in the industry would you like to spend time with? I’m very happy with the group I work with today. The world is a big place and there are many fascinating people in every part. I think a day in the life of someone like Obama, or Sir Terence Leahy, would be an eye opener – people with a big vision and the drive to make it happen

Hobbies Most sports, particularly football, although I’m a little disenchanted after England’s performance at the World Cup

What is your greatest regret? Not starting a family earlier. There is no joy greater than seeing your own children grow physically and as individuals

How would you describe yourself? A team player, open minded and hardworking

How would others see you? Best you ask them

Any bad habits? Of course

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SEP 2010

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

34

I enjoy what I do. However, if it were a free choice, football coach: life outdoors, exercise, the humour that comes from working in groups and being paid to do something you love

If you ruled the world for a day what would be the first change you would make? Too big a question for a two minute interview! In the UK I would reinstate the old philosophy of education for all – the costs for students going into higher education are prohibitive and ultimately this will restrict the prospects for the country

The TV - the easiest way to relax, and my Blackberry – in touch everywhere

What motto do you live by? I have two – treat everyone as you would like to be treated, and the harder I work the luckier I get Life is … What you make it – and the best bit is being surrounded by friends and family enjoying a glass of good red wine!

Any particular phobias? Heights! No issue with being up high, but looking off the edge that’s a problem!

Who has been the greatest influence in your life? My parents – my Dad for his approach to life and my Mum for her calm and sense of what’s really important in life

What do you daydream about? Scoring the winning goal for England in the World Cup Final – perhaps I should have gone to South Africa. [Should have made the trip. The way things were you could probably have got a game! – Ed.]

Favourite holiday destination The next one. We have an unwritten rule to go somewhere new each year. I’ve been lucky to enjoy some fantastic holidays in Asia, South Africa, US and still get excited about the next destination. Best so far: South Africa

What surprises you?

What’s the worst thing that has ever happened to you?

The results that can be achieved by working together

The death of my Dad – he still had lots of things to do

Favourite food?

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? Playing a significant

I love food of all types – this is evidenced by my ever increasing waistline. I particularly like Thai food, delicate but still spicy

What’s your favourite bit of kit?

role in the further growth of the Beko Brand

Independent white goods retailer:

“I was interested to see on the Get Connected website this year’s discovery of the UK’s oldest working fridge/freezer in the AMDEA “Time to Change” competition. It cost £69.6s.8d fifty-six years ago in 1954, and I couldn’t help thinking how delighted that consumer must have been to have received an all-singing, all-dancing, technology-packed, energy efficient 21st century replacement. Unimaginably better for someone who’s not experienced the huge progress in white goods. It’s worth remembering, when your next customer comes in looking for a new fridge/freezer at a rock bottom price, that the equivalent retail price of that ancient machine in 2010, taking inflation into account, would be £1,105.00! Don’t ever let your customers forget that they’re getting outstanding value for money in their household appliances!”

Independent brown goods retailer:

“So now it’s all about 3D! Sometimes I wish manufacturers would focus on build quality, brand loyalty, spares availability and retailer support, instead of rushing at breakneck speed to the next ‘big thing’ because they’re so scared someone else will be out there before them. And as for prices and margins…..!”


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Get Connected: September 2010  

Get Connected: The Magazine of the Electrical Industry

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