The latest industry news and analysis—across all categories—listed in chronological order, with the most recent articles first.

Mattress maker Duflex Foam has become a member of the National Bed Federation (NBF) after passing the trade association's Code of Practice audit.

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Ben Burbidge, (left) Manufacturing Guild Mark chairman, presenting Nick Booth, marketing director at Silentnight Group, and Rob Livingstone, operations director at Silentnight Brands, with the 2018 Sustainability Award
Silentnight, Britain's biggest beds manufacturer, has won The Furniture Makers' Company's Sustainability Award for the second straight year.

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Chateau d"Ax sells through hundreds of monobrand franchised stores worldwide
Chateau d'Ax, the storied Italian sofa brand with a global footprint, is planning to restructure through an insolvency process that gives it time to reorganise its liabilities in agreement with creditors.

Sold stake in major Chinese operation at the turn of the year.

Furniture testing company FIRA International torched all past records on its way to its highest ever top and bottom lines in 2017, as commercial revenues escalated.

Retail sales climbed mid-single digits year-on-year in September according to official data from the Office for National Statistics.

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Furniture prices have been deflationary since April
Consumer furniture prices fell for the fourth month in five in the year to September and at their steepest rate since the autumn of 2016 as retailers defied rising product costs.

North West bedding giant Comfy Quilts recovered from the loss of its biggest customer to return to top line growth in the year to end January 2018.

Ian Topping, the former Steinhoff boss who was named chairman at The Cotswold Company earlier this summer, will simultaneously chair the home improvement chain Homebase.

The UK arm of European mattress and bedding brand Dormeo maintained top line momentum last year with another big bump in revenue.

Wayfair, the expanding ecommerce home furnishings giant, has launched a customer membership programme it hopes will encourage consumers to shop with it more often.

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There are nearly 1,000 Matratzen Concord stores across Europe
Matratzen Concord, one of the continent's largest mattress and bedding retailers with stores across central Europe, is closing 176 units by the end of 2018.

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The summer saw a decline in cabinet imports
Living, dining and bedroom cabinet imports tumbled in August as three of the big source nations—China, Poland and Vietnam—sent less to the UK.

Second quarter update from Studio parent Findel, whose websites generate more than £100 million a year in home goods sales.

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint regarding savings claims in email marketing from furniture-to-fashion retailer Laura Ashley.

Home sales fell last week at John Lewis & Partners, meaning the broad category has seen declines in each of the past six weeks and in 19 of the past 20.

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DFS said it expects suppliers to increase the near-shore supply of raw materials ahead of Brexit
British sofa makers are weighing whether to increase raw material inventories to avoid potential production delays when the UK leaves the European Union next March.

Design company Tom Dixon has appointed Alessandro Vergano, the former chief marketing officer at Swarovski, as its new chief executive. He replaces Jamie Mitchell.

Tempur Sealy International, the world's biggest bedding supplier, says it is working closely with Sears, a major stockist of its mattresses, as the troubled retailer plots a route out of bankruptcy.

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Bargain Crazy is part of the standalone Littlewoods Clearance business
Shop Direct says it plans to close its standalone Littlewoods Clearance business unit after concluding bulk disposal represents a better alternative for clearance stock.

BRC-Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor figures for October.

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Hayden Davies, second right, organised the charity cycling challenge
Eight members of The Furniture Makers’ Company, the industry charity and livery company, have raised nearly £14,000 after between them cycling all three routes of Mont Ventoux, Provence in a single day.

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Gallery Direct is headquartered at Sittingbourne
The Gallery Direct group recorded a loss last year as top and bottom line improvement at its core brand were countered by negative results from the Dreamworks business it bought in 2015.

Poland sent record levels of mattresses to Britain in August with full year imports from the country on target to increase by more than a quarter for the third straight year.

Northern Scotland furniture retailer Grampian Furnishers has closed its Lossiemouth store for the final time ahead of its relocation to a larger, purpose-built unit this coming weekend.

Longtime CEO to launch new business, but outside the upholstery sector.

Testing, testing. While the world's biggest furniture retailer tries new things, perhaps the answer lies in acquisitions?

A large drop-off in the value of sofas arriving from Poland was the main driver behind weak upholstery imports in August, new Government data reveals.

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Its Vietnamese plant will be more than double its existing size
Man Wah Holdings has begun constructing a huge extension at its newly-acquired Vietnamese upholstery subsidiary that will see recliner production snowball by the end of next year.

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The Frasers store in Glasgow; Photograph; House of Fraser
Sports Direct International, which bought House of Fraser out of administration this summer, has acquired the building housing the department store chain's Glasgow store.

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The design concept for Wayfair's holiday pop-up shops. Photograph: Business Wire
Ecommerce furniture and furnishings retailer Wayfair will this autumn experiment with pop-up stores in its domestic U.S market as it explores new ways to interact offline with customers.

August carpet import data encapsulated the year so far, with the value of arrivals into Britain falling in low single-digit percentages and Belgian products among the biggest casualties.

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Clarke & Clarke has diversified into furniture and other home categories
Entering the finished furniture sector boosted sales for Clarke & Clarke, best known for its furnishings fabrics and wallpapers, in the six months to end July.

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Airsprung is based at Trowbridge, Wiltshire
Sales fell double-digit for Airsprung in 2017–18, a period the Trowbridge upholstery and beds group described as one of its most challenging for some years, with it also battling input cost pressures.

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Online and offline sales advanced for Dunelm in its first quarter
First quarter revenue inched ahead for Dunelm Group, the national furniture and homeware retailer, as growth in its core dot com brand made up for the closure of its Worldstores website.

Home sales—ahead at the end of the first quarter—were down mid single-digits for N Brown Group by the half-year stage as market headwinds checked demand.

The conversion of preference shares into ordinary stock helped boost the net worth of department store chain Beales in 2017–18, a year that saw it make further cost savings as it transitions to profit.

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Experienced furniture agent Matthew Kutas is bringing the Releazz product line to the UK
Dutch motion chair supplier Releazz is launching into the British and Irish markets and has enlisted Matthew Kutas, well known across the trade, as head of sales.

Bed maker Harrison Spinks is putting the infrastructure in place ahead of launching its maiden TV advertising campaign this winter, relaunching its website to encompass all its brands.

Specialist bedroom home delivery company Keen & Able is moving to new, larger headquarters after a ten-fold rise in business in the past two years.

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Grantham-based QFC will close later this week
Lincolnshire sofa manufacturer QFC, which was placed into administration through KPMG earlier this summer, is to cease trading this week (Friday, October 12).

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Steve Hampton retires as CEO December 31, 2018
How big can Belfield—parent to Tetrad, Westbridge and a burgeoning mattress division—become? "How long is a piece of string," says group CEO Steve Hampton, who will step down at the end of 2018.

Walker Greenbank, the premium soft furnishings group, has begun the search for a new CEO after announcing that John Sach is stepping down following 15 years in the post.

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The Eve Sleep advert that caused offence to some
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has dismissed consumer complaints over an Eve Sleep TV advert that featured a woman pretending to be pregnant, saying it was unlikely to cause widespread offence.

John Lewis & Partners said it saw more customers commit to future purchases of upholstery and beds last week, but still posted a fifth successive decline in sales across its home category.

Upholstery chain Sofology will this week open its 42nd store and its first in the South West of England as it continues its national expansion.

Almost 100 people from across the trade helped raise £8,500 for The Furniture Makers' Company, the furnishing industry's dedicated charity, at its National Golf Day last month.

Steve Hampton will stand down as chief executive of Belfield, the £200 million turnover upholstery and mattress group, at the end of 2018. His replacement is group commercial director Gary Lasham.

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Accounts are now due by the end of the year
Wesley Barrell, the high-end Oxfordshire sofa maker which trades from its own-brand stores nationwide, has shortened its year-end for the second straight year.

Sales and profits fell at HSL last year as the national specialist furniture maker and retailer adjusted its marketing strategy and encountered market headwinds.

Natuzzi says its House of Fraser concessions were its poorest-performing UK customer touch-points last year as its standalone brand stores here delivered high growth.

Retail sales inched forward last month according to the British Retail Consortium, but at the slowest rate in five months.

Hülsta Furniture owner to close component factories in move it says will strengthen operations at its German HQ.

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Tapi added 24 stores in 2017 but says its rapid rollout is coming to an end
Margins improved and sales almost doubled for expanding flooring retailer Tapi Carpets in 2017. Losses widened as it continued its store rollout programme.

Furniture retailer Made.com was cash generative for the first time in its history in 2017 while a tax credit meant it recorded its best net result on public record.

Former Furniture Village director Ian Gray has been installed as executive chairman at Canburg, owner of high-end kitchen brands Mark Wilkinson and Smallbone of Devizes.

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Mattress Firm plans to close up to 700 stores
Steinhoff International Holdings will relinquish almost half the equity in its U.S. bedding unit Mattress Firm to lenders as part of a Chapter 11 restructuring that could see as many as 700 stores close.

A balance sheet analysis of Britain's top bed companies would place Vispring relatively low in the list of Britain's most valuable mattress companies. How very misleading.

The BHS format is returning to British retail centres after its owner struck a deal with department store retailer Beales, the Financial Times reported.

Plans to build a full line large format IKEA store on the South Coast near Brighton have been approved, with developers penciling in early 2021 as a potential opening date.