NEWS | Round-up VIEWPOINT Let’s make a noise

about compliance Bathroom Manufacturers Association CEO Tom Reynolds explains why the industry needs to change its approach to win the war on compliance

Charles Yorke to expand into the USA

BRITISH BESPOKE Furniture company Charles Yorke is expanding into the US with an exclusive deal.

LISTENING HAS taken up a lot of my time since I joined the BMA last year, and the one message that has come through loud and clear is that compliance is a very big issue for our industry. There are manufacturers that invest a lot of time, money and effort to ensure they meet regulations and standards. They are spending on labs, testing and certification, while other unscrupulous, negligent competitors spend nothing. Nobody seems to care about those that flout the rules and there are no mechanisms to call them to account. This allows them to bring cheaper products to market and achieve higher margins, creating a lot of frustration for those that do the right thing. Retailers have their part to play, as many are happy to sell non-compliant products in order to maximise profits. Yet, as a retailer or installer, your reputation is reliant

A retailer’s reputation is reliant on the quality of the products they specify

on the quality of the products you specify. If you are selling and installing low-quality products that fail much sooner than they should, then you’re going to suffer. Retailers have a unique opportunity to promote their service-based offering by providing the consumer with information on the difference between compliant and non- compliant products. There is a lack of awareness among consumers about compliant products. Our research found that almost three-quarters

(74%) of Brits are unaware that there are any legal requirements for bathroom products. The retailer is well placed to change this, but we have to change the language that we use.

Has anyone putting together a bathroom mood board

ever pinned up Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 or EN997? These things may be familiar to bathroom manufacturers, but

are meaningless to

consumers. If we are to educate them, we need to change how we talk about the problem of non-compliance.

The quality manufacturers have a story to tell that should clearly show them as the heroes. Consumers should be able to see which products will last and provide value for money. Retailers and installers need to take this on board, advising customers on the merits of compliant products. On the other hand, we have to illustrate

that there are the others – the poor

manufacturers, the villains. Their products are unpredictable and may be unreliable and untrustworthy. This may seem like an alien language to those more familiar with CE marking and British Standards numbers, but I think we need to start using different words. If we begin to talk about the compliance agenda in those stark, relatable terms, I believe that is when we will see consumers and policymakers take this agenda more seriously.


German Kitchen Center (GKC), which will soon be rebranded as Global Kitchen Concepts | Kathy Ireland, has agreed an exclusive collection with Charles Yorke. James Ellis, Charles Yorke sales director, said: “We are delighted to welcome Global Kitchen Concepts | Kathy Ireland as our exclusive retailer for the American market. “We have been looking for the right retail partner for some time now and believe we have found that with [GKC CEO] Mayan [Metzler], Kathy Ireland and both their teams. The partnership comes at a great time for Charles Yorke, as this year we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary and launching Volume Five of our Book of Furniture. We are excited about the collaboration and look forward to working together and building a fantastic relationship.”

GKC says that its USP is selling quality European kitchens to the American market. The company already sells a variety of German and Italian kitchens, including Leicht, Team 7, and Stosa Cucine. Mayan Metzler, chairman and chief executive of German Kitchen Center, said: “Charles Yorke is

the current market leader in the UK in the bespoke furniture category and we are pleased to announce that we are now the exclusive US retailer for this established and incredibly successful kitchen and furniture brand. “We’ve been very fortunate at GKC to have found all the leading manufacturers in the world in

every kitchen product category, and are extremely pleased to add Charles Yorke to this exclusive collection.”

GKC operates 18 show- rooms across the USA including sites in New York city (pictured), Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and Miami. Kathy Ireland, chairman, chief executive and chief designer of Kathy Ireland Worldwide, commented: “One of our goals was to bring bespoke English kitchens to our couture assortment, and Mayan and Michala Metzler found the very best.”

Samsung first Kitchen Circle Awards winners announced


announced the winners of its inaugural Kitchen Circle Awards to mark the end of the first year of its Samsung Kitchen Circle programme.

The nine awards, said Samsung, celebrated and recognised retailers across the country “with the highest levels of achievement within the domestic appliance arena”.

The awards ceremony was held on December 5 at the Principal Manchester Hotel

and was presented by Mark Seaman, head of domestic appliances for the UK and Ireland. The training award was also given out on the night to reward the retailer that had been most engaged with Samsung’s

Ambassador Training Programme. The winners were:

• Showroom Award (North) – The Kitchen Factory, Sheffield; • Showroom Award (East) – Crown Kitchens and Interiors, Dorking; • Showroom Award (South) – Kesseler Kitchens of Hove; • Showroom Award (West) – Elmore Kitchens, Bath; • The Connected Award – NBK Norwich Bathrooms and Kitchens, Norwich and Diss; • The Hero Award – Paul Turnham Kitchens, Hayes, Kent; • The Do What You Can’t Award (North) – Appliance and Kitchen People, Falmouth; • The Do What You Can’t Award (South) – CK Kitchens and Bathrooms, Mansfield; • Training – Simply Kitchens, Blaby, Leicester. The Samsung Kitchen Circle was started at the beginning of 2019 as a way for the company to support and educate its retailers.

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