• Software specialist Virtual Worlds has helped Ideal Bathrooms celebrate its 40th birthday by designing an interactive game for customers visiting its website to enjoy. This fun addition comes just as its Essentials catalogue goes live on the Virtual Worlds system.

• Whirlpool UK has set out a new diversity and inclusion strategy with the aim of encouraging more women to join engineering roles. The new campaign, called ‘I am all in’, sets out to make all employees feel welcomed, valued and respected.

• In collaboration with Plantics, Keller Kitchens and its parent group DKG are developing a new sustainable kitchen made with roadside grass and hemp. Plantics has made a new set of bio resins with a base of grass and hemp that Keller will use to create a kitchen made from ‘circular’ materials.

• Moores has been shortlisted for the Made in Yorkshire Manufacturer of the Year (over £25m) award. CEO Steve Parkin said: “At Moores, we have always been proud of our Yorkshire roots and are pleased to be included in an event that celebrates the brilliant businesses that are thriving in this part of the country.”

• Blum has funded 3,333 life- saving eye operations for young and elderly people by a donation of €99,990 to Light for the World. The fittings company made a charitable donation for every person who signed the guest book at the hybrid Blum Connects trade fair.

• The four-day exhibition Decorex is back for 2021 at Kensington’s Olympia London from October 10-13. For those who are not able to attend in person, Decorex Virtual will take place after and will showcase all the exhibitors from November 16-18.

• Plumbers merchant Graham’s ‘Your Perfect Bathroom’ showroom has reopened in Eastbourne, East Sussex, after an extensive renovation. The showroom features lifestyle displays and is open to the trade and the public.

• A team of five cyclists – which included Burbidge MD, Ben Burbidge, rode the 200 miles from Axminster to London to raise money for The Furniture Makers’ Company’s ‘Step 2 It’ campaign. The journey took three days to complete and raised almost £12,000 for the charity that aims to helps members of the industry in need of financial support.


Haier Group’s Chris Bennett passes away

HAIER EUROPE has reported the death of Chris Bennett, channel director for electrical specialists. Bennett was well-known, highly-respected and valued within the industry and as a member of the UK senior leadership team at Haier. He worked with the commercial and logistics teams during his time at Haier’s to deliver the best for its opperations. He joined Hoover more than 13 years ago and has made significant contributions to the business due. Starting out as an account director and was then being promoted to the position of channel director for electrical retail.

Before that, he was at Whirlpool for more than 11 years. David Meyerowitz, chief executive at Haier UK and RoI, said: “Chris will be greatly missed both personally and professionally by friends, colleagues and many in the industry. All of our thoughts and support are with Chris’s family at this extremely sad time, especially his wife and three young children.” After being unwell in 2019, Bennett returned to the business in November last year, but unfortunately and unexpectedly passed away peacefully on Sunday, July 4. Friends and colleagues can make donations in his memory to the Friends of Bristol Eye Hospital.

BMA sustainability awards will celebrate how the industry is getting greener

THE BMA is celebrating the industry’s progress on environmental issues with the launch of its new Sustainability Awards.

New tax service from KBSA could help retailers avoid penalties

A NEW tax service from the KBSA is designed to help its retail members avoid having to pay HMRC huge legal costs or hefty penalties in the event of an unexpected tax investigation. This latest addition to the KBSA’s business support package will make it possible for members to be defended by investigation specialists from Markel Tax in the event that they are selected for an inquiry, without worrying about penalties or legal costs.

KBSA national account manager Allister Reed said: “Tax investigations can happen to anyone, however good your records. Even if you have done nothing wrong, you can be selected. “Our new service provides total peace of mind as all communications with HMRC will be handled by Markel Tax. They will also prepare material and support members when attending any face-to-face meetings with the tax inspector and argue any complex or technical tax cases that are raised during the inquiry.”

The organisation said the launch of the awards – which will recognise the efforts being made by its members to reduce their impact on the environment – acknowledges the importance of sustainability as a priority topic within the bathroom industry. BMA chief executive Tom Reynolds said: “This is about giving a well-deserved boost and celebrating all those who are changing things for the better, transforming the bathroom sector’s environmental credentials. It’s the first time we have organised an awards like this and we’re really excited to establish it and grow it in future years as the bathroom industry breaks new ground in terms of sustainability.” The full list of categories is: Carbon Reduction Award,

Water Efficiency Award, Circular Economy Award, Workplace Initiative Award and Sustainability Champion. The awards are open to full BMA members and affiliates. Applicants can enter one or all of the categories and will need to complete a 400-word submission explaining their sustainability improvement, along with a short supporting video, which can be self-shot. Entries should be emailed to by no later than 5pm on August 27.

Entries will be judged by a panel of industry experts, which includes kbbreview managing director Andrew Davies, who will be looking for quality, impactful and inspirational examples of sustainability in action. “I’m absolutely delighted to play a part in highlighting the importance of a topic like sustainability. What better way to do that than by recognising the efforts and commitment of our own industry to drive change,” said Davies.

· August 2021

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