2014 is not over yeat, but we can say with confidence that this has been a year of many changes in the European kitchen industry. Big companies are making big moves at home and overseas, long time players are leaving the industry and new ones are entering the arena, instead. We have also lost some companies, to the ongoing recesion, in Europe.
Here are some of the major changes in the industry this year, not necassary in chronological order:
- The Siemens Group has pulled out of the industry this year. They will no longer be involved in producing appliances and their joint venture with Bosch is history. BSH (Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH, or Bosch and Siemens Household Appliances) has been the largest home appliance manufacturer in Europe and one of the largest in the world, since 1967, when Robert Bosch GmbH (Stuttgart) and Siemens AG (Munich) joined forces. In 2012, they posted 9.8 billion Euros in annual sales. Today, BSH operates 42 factories in 13 countries in Europe, the USA, Latin America and Asia. Together with a global network of sales and customer service firms, the BSH conglomerate today is made up of about 70 companies in 50 countries, with a total workforce of close to 47,000 people. In addition to the Bosch and Siemens brands, like are responsible for many other brands like Gaggenau, Neff, Constructa and others. In September 2014, Robert Bosch GmbH agreed to purchase Siemens’ 50% stake in the joint venture for 3 billion Euros. BSH to become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bosch Group and may continue to use the Siemens brand over the long term. The completion of the transaction is expected in first half of calendar year 2015.
Siemens – BSH no more…
- Alno made several news stories this year – in the beginning of the year, Alno have acquired AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG’s kitchen business which includes Swiss market leaders Piatti (kitchen producer and retailer in Witzerland) and Forster (Swiss Steel Kitchen). The acquisition means a major step forward in ALNO’s efforts to reduce its dependency from the German market that is dominated by purchasing associations, resulting in higher margins. Additionally, the acquisition offers substantial synergy potential with regard to production processes, purchasing and sales & distribution for the combined ALNO/AFG Kitchen group.
- Next, Alno was able to win the three and a half year old court cases against them, by their former president, Jörg Deisel. Alno is getting back 2.6 million Euro, plus a few hunderd thousands in legal fees, based on the German legal system. If lost, Alno would have paid, for both cases approx 6.5 million Euros(!)
- Lastly, Alno just announced a joint venture with PMF (Pervaya Mebel’naya Fabrica – First Furniture factory), in Russia – the two partners will invest €50 million in establishing in St. Petersburg the biggest factory in Russia for the production of kitchen furniture (1,000 units or 100-120 kitchens per day). It will be located on the existing site of PMF, expanded with the areas purchased this year. Until the end of the year, the company will deliver Piatti production line from Switzerland.
- RWK/Kuhlmann Küchen (R. & W. Kuhlmann GmbH), formed in 1923, was taken over this year by the Chinese company Boloni Home Decor, a minute before filing for bankrupcy. Boloni was founded in 1988, by Frank Chai, from Beijingunder the name Kebao. They were bringing European kitchens and built in appliances to China. In 2001 the created a joint venture with Brescia based, Italian company Boloni and adopted the name. Most of the Kuhlmann-kitchens employees are expected to keep their jobs and the “made in Germany” is now to be marketed to the high-end segment in China.
- Gatto Cucine, the Italian kitchen producer closed their doors in September. After 52 years in business, Gatto could not stay in business any longer. The compant announced that they are planning on continuing selling, outsourced products back in September, but that paln did not seem to come to fruition and the 114 employees were sent home.
EuroCucina is just around the corner and the excitment is building up by the day. Who’s in the show, who’s out this year and so much more, in the coming months. In the meantime, a new concept in salone, which is not just kitchens will be introduced this year -
A glimpse into how architects live at the 2014 Salone del Mobile
With just four months to go to the launch, the final touches are being put to the 53rd edition, which will be held from 8th to 13th April. The focus is on powerfully emphasising Milan’s centrality and its unique position in terms of the quality of its design and furnishing at global level.
“The Salone is a valuable resource for the Italian economy,” said Cosmit President Claudio Luti. “Not only does it need to be preserved, it also needs to be bolstered with innovational services and projects catering to international business and client demand, in order to make the Milan event more attractive than ever.”
Works in progress for the next edition include the exhibition to be held at the Fairgrounds ? a show that will tell the story of the domestic interiors conceived and inhabited by top contemporary architects from several different continents: Europe, North America, South America and Asia.
“Where Architects Live” is an original installation, inspired by leading contemporary architects’ own concepts of the domestic space. It will be virtual progression through the buildings in which the architects themselves live, illustrating just what is involved in designing homes for the most demanding people of all ? themselves ? with the freedom to experiment with visions and language.
The curator of the event/installation, Francesca Molteni – who curated “Design Dance” with Michela Marelli (2012) and “A Celestial Bathroom” (2010) – has been privy to the private homes of some of the greatest exponents of the architectural world greatest exponents of the architectural world, filming the exteriors and domestic spaces and recording an interview with each of them on the triggers, inspiration and choices that have shaped their design and professional careers. “The aim of the event”, continued Mr. Luti, “is to explore the art of living today, with a close look at the people who are changing the face of our cities, the configuration of the global landscape and the collective imagination, putting the spotlight on new ways of planning domestic environments from every possible aspect. This is the fundamental mission of the Salone del Mobile, cultural concepts that drive the sector.”
The Vipp story begins one spring Sunday in 1931 when 17-year-old Holger Nielsen wins a car in a lottery at the local football stadium. Holger loves cars but has no driving licence, and he therefore decides to sell the car and invest in a metal lathe. This marks the beginning of Holger’s metal factory where, a few years later, he creates the product that will make him famous around the world: the Vipp pedal bin.
Since then Vipp has grown into a large family offering a wide range of products. Today, the original bin is available in five sizes and has been joined by several new bathroom and kitchen products.
The kinship in the Vipp collection is unmistakable in both the choice of materials and style. The new products are manufactured using the characteristic Vipp materials, steel and rubber, enhancing Vipp’s more than 70-year-old tradition for excellent craftsmanship and durability.
Now, some 80+ years later, Vipp is launching one of its most sensational product-developments with a radical reinterpretation of the kitchen.
Since the creation of the bin in 1939, Vipp has become synonymous with quality products for the kitchen and bathroom.
“Vipp’s experience lies within product design focusing on solid materials, mechanics and function. As a consequence we have chosen to design the Vipp kitchen as a product or rather as a piece of furniture. The result is a range of kitchen modules where choices have already been made based on a thorough knowledge of materials combined with an aesthetic opinion on what constitutes good design.” – chief designer in Vipp, Morten Bo Jensen.
Vipp’s more than 70 years of experience within processing of steel makes stainless steel an evident choice of material in the development of the Vipp kitchen.
“Like with the Vipp bin, we bring the industrial look into the home with the new kitchen – a solid product, standing to be used day after day.” – Morten Bo Jensen.
A range of modules in different sizes can be combined and formed after individual needs. The complete Vipp kitchen concept unfolds in every detail – even fixtures, drawer pulls and inserts, as well as gas knobs are developed in respect to Vipp’s design DNA injecting a functional and visual cohesiveness into the kitchen.
The Vipp kitchen is sold in Vipp Flagship Store in Copenhagen.
Formed in 2009, by Miles Hartwell and Matt Withington and located just south of London, SplinterWorks is one of the best examples of ‘applied arts‘ I’ve seen in recent years. They have delivered projects all over the world, in the USA, UAE, Southern Ireland, Cyprus, France, Italy and even one in Australia.
SplinterWorks have a particular affinity with developing work that re-thinks how we prepare, cook and experience food. They bring the activities of the kitchenout of the grid shaped room at the back of the house and into the living areas creating works to be enjoyed socially, physically and visually.
The majority of their works are unique commissions where every element, from the intended location and practical elements, to striking a personal resonance with the commissioner, can be considered and accomplished.
you don‘t need much to do something right… and even less to do it wrong. paulBocuse
cunKitchen … take your kitchen to where you live
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joko is a family run company of industrial – handcraft manufacture in the south tyrolean alps in Italy
the team of Josi and franz Kosta, who have been supplying butcher blocks, cutting boards and working tables to the professional market, under the Joko brand, have brought their passion for the kitchen, to the domestic market, several years ago.