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Western Sales Company Newsletter

February | 2020 Issue

Hello & Happy February! We hope your year is starting off swimmingly! (But don't go swimming – it's too cold. Brrr.)

Did you go to KBIS? KBIS is like a major holiday in our industry: exciting, stressful, and ridiculously busy. It comes up before you know it, and then goes by in the blink of an eye. If you didn't "get" to go and are experiencing a little retroactive FOMO, don't worry – we've got all the hot gossip from your favorite brands (ours, of course) in this issue of the newsletter.

Here are your "I don't have time for this" highlights:

  • KBIS Teasers from GROHE, American Standard & DXV
  • Product Updates from MTI
  • Product of the Month from Trim to the Trade
  • Geberit Case Studies
  • New Displays from Steamist

All this and more, below.

GROHE


KBIS Teaser | Hold on to your hats, because we have some seriously exciting news from the GROHE KBIS booth: GROHE China. Yes, you read that right. GROHE is about to release suite-matched toilets and lavatories in gorgeous European minimalist design to the US market. We are simply thrilled. If you saw these beautiful pieces in person, you'll know exactly what we're talking about. But if you didn't, here's what you can expect in the coming launch. GROHE will offer skirted two-piece single- and dual-flush siphonic (yes, siphonic!) toilets for the Eurocube and Essence collections. Additionally, two lavatories with dual-installation options will be offered for each collection: a vessel lav that can be wall-mounted and an under-counter lav that can be semi-recessed. Two bathroom suites by GROHE? We might be a tad biased, but if this isn't the most jaw-dropping thing coming out of KBIS, we don't know what is.

If all of that isn't exciting enough, GROHE also showed off a brand new pressure balance valve, the Grohsafe 3.0. This valve has a number of design improvements over the older platform that your installer customers will absolutely love, including a smaller body for tighter spaces, a flat back for quicker installation, a pre-installed test plug, and multiple connection options.

Lastly (and by no means least), GROHE has announced a stunning new kitchen faucet with a revolutionary new push-button control. Fans of the SmartControl valve will recognize the button design and will not be surprised to learn that this new faucet is called the SmartControl Kitchen Faucet (kismet!).

These products will be officially announced and released in the April launch (all except the dual-flush toilets, which are scheduled for September).

American Standard


KBIS Teaser | If you're a fan of the Studio S (and we know you are), you will be buzzing about the KBIS surprises for this gorgeous collection: new toilets, vanities, and a free-standing tub for a complete suite (sweet!) offering. The toilets include a two-piece skirted siphonic design and an eye-catching super low-profile 1.0 GPF toilet with a brand new flushing engine. Also announced is a stunning free-standing tub and a modular vanity collection with flexibility for every bathroom. With an official launch scheduled later this year, you simply must check out the anticipated new pieces here.

DXV


KBIS Teaser | OMG new collection alert! We're over the moon to share that DXV previewed a new collection from the Golden Era series: the gorgeous Belshire Collection. DXV is industry famous for their breathtaking collections, with design integrity throughout the product range – and Belshire is no exception (even more so, if possible). Immersed in luxury, glamor, and intricate details, Belshire offers a complete range including chinaware, bath and shower faucets, accessories, and even vanities. We'll have more details as the launch approaches, which is scheduled for August 2020. Stay tuned!

MTI


Basics Price Increase | MTI has announced a price increase on the Basics series products, effective February 26, 2020. (Yes, February 26.) Please note that MTI has restructured their shipping zones and your zone might have changed. We hope to have additional details and documents very soon.

Product Updates | MTI has announced some product design changes. You can read the details on these design changes in the product bulletins below:
Elise & Alissa product bulletin
> Basics product bulletin

Geberit


Solving Problems | No KBIS news, though we did hear a rumor that Geberit will release some products in the coming months – so stay tuned for that. If you're still looking for some Geberit inspiration in the meantime, you should take a look at some of their case studies. We always knew they were nifty, but you might be surprised about how many real solutions wall-hung carriers can bring to design challenges. Check them out here.

Steamist


New Displays for 2020 | If the newsletter's official theme is "KBIS," the unofficial theme is "brrr, it's cold this time of year." And that makes it a good time of year to sell steam! Steamist has some handy new displays that highlight all the important features and benefits of the Steamist Total Sense luxury in-home spa and steam system. Get in touch with your Western rep for details and check out the order form right here.

Amber's February Favorite


If you didn’t happen to make it over to Vegas for KBIS this year, good on ya, well shucks! But that’s okay because Lauren and I took one for the team (and also both came back with some nasty, nasty flu bug, but that’s neither here nor there). The LIXIL booth was in fine form this year - taking a detour from the usual KBIS-overwhelming-amount-of-products tactics, and instead only highlighted the new things to come for 2020. And friends, let me tell you: It. Is. So. Good.

As you read earlier, get ready for some amazing things down the road from Grohe (china fixtures, whaaaaa!?!?!), American Standard (did you see that Studio S furniture collection?) and DXV (trust me, you’ll be asking how you can get your hands on the Belshire collection). But if I had to pick a fav, then I want to focus on a category that we all know is near and dear to my heart: Wall-hung toilets.

When it comes to wall-hung toilets, often times we are saddled with mostly very modern styles, some that resemble something the size of a Buick, and anyone with a traditional or transitional bathroom look are forced to go back to a floor mount model or deal with the lack of options. But worry no more, dear ones, because DXV has included one helluva stunning traditional style wall-mount toilet that echoes the beautiful detailing found in the coming-soon Belshire collection. The flared edges that back up to the wall match the lines found in all of the faucetry and accompanying furniture. Not to mention, it's a standard elongated bowl with a narrow skirting on the sides and avoids that "Buick/behemoth" vibe. Get ready to start specifying the whole suite.

Trim to the Trade


Product of the Month: Grid Shower Drains | With that speciality finish that your customer fell in love with, it can be a challenge to complete the trim in the rest of the bathroom – as you know all too well. Luckily, Trim to the Trade can be quite the problem solver for those occasions and more. Just check out all these nifty finishes available for grid shower drains.

SmartConnect


New SmartConnect Order Form | Remember the ingenious little solution to all of your client's soap dispensing needs? The one that connects counter-mounted soap dispensers straight to the refill bottle, eliminating frustration and spills caused during the refill process? Yes, that one. Well, we have a new order form, for your convenience. Download here.

Tom's Tech Tip | GROHE Blue 2.0


I’ve always been a sparkling water guy. For years, I’d make the weekly trek to Trader Joe's to buy the case of Pelegrino water, carry it up three flights of stairs, and during the week, take the empty bottles down to the recycle bin. Fun times.

So you can imagine my delight when GROHE first introduced GROHE Blue Chilled & Sparkling. If you're familiar with this amazing faucet, you know it offers normal kitchen faucet functionality with tap  water for washing hands and dishes and additionally offers three choices of filtered and chilled drinking water: 1) still water, 2) medium sparkling water, and 3) full sparkling water.

I live in San Francisco and we have some of the best quality drinking water in the world – snow melt from the High Sierras – so the idea of drinking water shipped from Italy (however sparkly) was always a little awkward. I always felt guilty about the resources needed to get it to me...


Then in 2011, I was offered a Grohe Blue (version 1) "test model" for personal use. You know that I replied “Absolutely!” and installed it the day it showed up. It was the “German model,” with no English instructions or fittings for US piping, but I made it work. No more lugging cases of sparkling water for me!

Grohe Blue (version 1) wasn’t as “Grohe-like” as we expected. It occasionally needed more TLC than we’d hoped, more service, more babysitting. It was a new concept, after all. In my home, I’d have to occasionally unplug it to reset, and the bubbles weren’t always as "bubbly" as I liked. But it gave me 8 good years.

Anyway, as you know, Grohe Blue 2.0 was launched in September. It's now shipping and features many refinements over Version 1: more bubbles when you want them, much quieter, longer times between service and filter changes, a pull-out hose with magnetic docking, and improved, easy-to-use controls. In other words: more “Grohe-like." Back in October, I was again offered a test-model. Again, it was the “German model”, but this time has a 4-color digital panel in several languages (I’m partial to English) and set up was quick and easy.

It’s been as solid as a rock and it’s ready to be sold in showrooms. It's offered in Polished Chrome and Super Steel finishes in both a C and L-shapped spout. Oh, and the price has dropped by $1000 since I installed my Version 1...

Grohe Blue 2.0 is simple to operate and maintain, but requires a professional installation. We’ve worked with dozens of local plumbers on Grohe Blue over the years and can recommend somebody trained, if you need.

You can read more about the GROHE Blue 2.0 in the links below:
Thanks, Tom S

Question: According to the materials above, how do you select each type of drinking water (still, medium sparkling, full sparkling) on the new LED-touch button? 

Send the correct answer to lauren@western-sales.com by February 25, 2020, and receive a $5 Starbucks card.
Thanks for reading our newsletter!

Best regards,
Lauren

Lauren Slankard
Marketing
Western Sales Company
lauren@western-sales.com
408-353-9000
western-sales.com
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