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

Retail giant Wren Kitchens, which makes it own products out of vast factories across Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, has become an approved member of BFM, the British Furniture Manufacturers association.

A major Far East upholstered chair maker is planning its first foray into European production with a purpose-built plant in Romania.

One of Britain's largest independent carpet manufacturers was back in the black last year after it shrugged off a "challenging retail environment" and market uncertainty to post near double-digit growth.

The joint administrators of Wesley Barrell have outlined details of their past relationship with the owner of the prepacked upholstery maker and retailer, saying between them they worked on two previous insolvencies he was involved with.

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The owner of Wesley Barrell was also the largest creditor of the business.
The restructure of premium sofa maker and retailer Wesley Barrell involved a £20,000 upfront payment with the rest payable over time. Creditors face a shortfall of about £2.5 million.

The National Bed Federation's updated Code of Practice — its third iteration since it launched in 2013 — has been accepted as Assured Advice by trading standards, as the previous two versions were before it.

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Sales of furniture were down double-digit between July 1–December 31, 2018.
Furniture-to-fashion chain Laura Ashley attributed a double-digit slump in big-ticket upholstery, cabinet and bed sales for it sinking to a half-year loss in the 26 weeks to December 31, 2018.

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Upholstery sales were up more than a third, John Lewis said.
Upholstery sales were strong in an otherwise bleak week for John Lewis & Partners home category goods, with the department store mutual posting a sixth straight year-on-year fall.

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Dr Lindsay Browning is Sleep Ambassador for And So To Bed
Dr Lindsay Browning, author of troublesleeping.co.uk, has been appointed Sleep Ambassador at And So To Bed, the UK and international high-end bedding retailer.

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(Left–right) Longtime branch manager Gary King with Glasswells, Haverhill colleagues Linda Rogers, Janet Pead and Rachel Phillips.
Privately-owned home furnishings retailer Glasswells has paid tribute to Gary King, manager of its Haverhill store, with an award for his 40 years of service.

Contract and hotel furniture maker YTM Group has ceased trading after being placed into administration. All 117 employees have been made redundant.

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Wesley Barrell trades from showrooms across the UK
High-end sofa maker and retailer Wesley Barrell has completed its widely-anticipated restructure after the operating company was placed into the hands of administrators earlier this month.

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Headlam bought Rackhams and Garrod Bros last year.
Competitors and other interested parties have been invited to have their say on the takeover of two distributors bought by floorcoverings wholesale giant Headlam last year.

Interior furnishings group Walker Greenbank is to begin a cost saving exercise as it looks to mitigate the impact of weakening UK brand sales on the business.

Working capital increased for West Yorkshire upholstery fabrics supplier J Brown Fabrics in 2017–18 as it ended the period with more cash and inventory than the previous year.

Ashford County Council has paid upwards of £2 million to acquire a property currently housing a large superstore operated by HomePlus Furniture, a four-store independent retailer.

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Beaumont Beds trades from stores across London and southeast England.
Independent specialist retail chain Beaumont Beds has been placed into administration with office holders having already culled a number of its stores on appointment and hired agents to find a buyer for the business.

Victoria, the acquisitive floorcoverings conglomerate, says its South Wales carpet factory will produce higher volumes despite recent headcount reductions, with a new backing line now in full production.

Year-on-year UK sofa retail sales advanced in January, marking a first annual rise for the category in the past eighteen months, though the total was still lower on a two-year basis.

The diversified manufacturing and services group that lists heritage mattress maker Millbrook Beds among its subsidiaries wrote more business in 2017–18 but higher costs weighed on profits.

Pan-European ecommerce furniture retailer Home24 said revenue gains outstripped the markets in which it operates in 2018 with it continuing to move closer to profit.

Appointment completes senior management team, says Natuzzi.

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The sun set on the Fabb Sofas business last June.
PwC, the big-four consultancy firm overseeing the winding down of the now-defunct upholstery chain Fabb Sofas, says its fees might be higher than first anticipated.

Creditors of the heritage rise and recline chair maker AJ Way, which filed for insolvency last autumn, face a potential seven-figure shortfall according to a report by administrators.

Scottish based business posts seven-figure deficit in latest accounts.

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Shipments from Vietnam and China fell over the full year in 2018: Image: Maersk
Wood furniture imports into the UK declined 2.2 percent in December confirming a year-long trend for weaker trade with three of the four biggest source markets for British buyers.

Retailers and importers built mattress stocks at the close of 2018 with the value of foam and sprung units bought in from abroad up by a quarter year-on-year in December.

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Double Olympic gold medal winning rowers Helen Glover and Alex Gregory visited Dreams Buckinghamshire HQ to help launch the partnership.
Bed specialist Dreams will become the first-ever official sleep partner of the British Olympic team, agreeing a partnership for the run up and duration of the Tokyo 2020 games, which begin in July next year.

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Upholstery, particularly leather, was cited as impactful on January's inflation rise.
Retailers held their nerve last month as furniture retail price inflation climbed to a nine-month high in January, driven by shallower discounts.

Any lingering doubts over Sports Direct International's involvement with Sofa.com have been put to bed with details emerging of a credit line agreed between the two parties.

Carpet makers in Belgium — home to some of the world's largest manufacturers in the category — have endured a miserable year for exports to Britain, with December proving to be among the worst months of all.

Sales of home merchandise have fallen for the fifth straight week at John Lewis & Partners despite the department store retailer gaining from what it called the 'Marie Kondo effect.'

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Dunelm paid £8.4 million for WorldStores in a 2016 prepack deal
Dunelm Group grew sales and profits and slashed debt in the six months to end December, declaring the challenges that came with its takeover of WorldStores a thing of the past.

Tempur Sealy International has submitted a stalking horse bid for the assets of one of its biggest customers, a 142-store American mattress retailer that filed for bankruptcy protection last month.

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Italian sofa imports were up more than a fifth in December.
Upholstery imports into Britain advanced in December as double-digit growth in the value of goods trucked in from Italy and Poland countered the impact of a fall in Chinese-made goods arriving at British ports.

The National Bed Federation (NBF) has launched its free-to-download marketing toolkit for retailers to use ahead of National Bed Month, which runs throughout March.

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Amazon has launched two new home brands pitched at aspirational UK consumers
Amazon, the global retail giant, has taken two big steps into the UK furniture mid-market with the launch of dedicated brands selling a co-ordinated programme of upholstery and cabinet furniture.

Direct-to-consumer fitted and standalone bedroom furniture manufacturer and retailer Starplan grew profits in 2017–18, aided by an uptick in sales and lower distribution costs.

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New facility gives Debenhams greater "liquidity headroom"
Department store retailer Debenhams has agreed access to another £40 million of revolving credit with existing lenders which it says will buy it time to organise a more permanent refinancing of its business.

Profits declined in 2018 at Mohawk Industries, the world's largest floorcoverings business, as the diversified supply giant battled inflation and rising costs.

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Dunelm is to sponsor This Morning from March
National furniture and homewares chain Dunelm is to sponsor ITV's This Morning, one of the flagship programmes in the portfolio of Britain's largest commercial broadcaster.

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Sofa.com's Edinburgh showroom
The 'nominal sum' sale of upholstery maker and retailer Sofa.com might well have been for more than it first appears.

Sales advanced for Manchester based bedding and curtains business Rectella in 2017–18. Profits declined because of higher costs and narrower gross margin.

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Customer orders are shipped from the distribution centre to a store of their choice.
Danish furniture retailer JYSK has added a pick-up in-store option for Internet customers as it seeks to drive cross-channel business in the UK and improve its delivery offer.

Case goods manufacturer Forte Furniture says it expects to post lower profits for the second straight year, despite modest sales growth in 2018.

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Authentic Furniture, which has its own Long Eaton workshop and a showroom in the Peak District, Derbyshire, has added a second shop.
Derbyshire based furniture maker and retailer Authentic has opened its second retail showroom with a 3,000sqft space The Mailbox, Birmingham.

Aberdare upholstery producer Ashwood Designs has more than trebled its annual revenue since 2013 with the company posting a fifth straight rise in sales, just-filed accounts show.

The Swedish conglomerate behind UK kitchen retail chain Magnet says it has taken steps to insulate itself from the impact of a no-deal Brexit, but warned that political uncertainty is impacting demand.

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More furniture and homeware brands are now available via Next, the general merchandise retailer
General merchandise retailer Next has added a net 147 furniture and homeware brands to its online product roster in the past two and a half years, aiding its performance and visibility in the category.

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IKEA Greenwich is now open
IKEA Greenwich opened its doors for the first time earlier today (Feb. 7), concluding a six-year wait since local residents were first shown plans for the Millennium Way Retail Park concept.

Southern England independent retail chain Beds Are Uzzz is stocking a bed-in-a-box brand for the first time after agreeing a tie-up with Yorkshire based Otty Sleep.

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Wesley Barrell manufactures and retails premium upholstery
The owner of upmarket upholstery maker and retailer Wesley Barrell says he is not afraid to do "what needs to be done" in response to the economic climate and to ensure the business' survival.

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The fire at Adlington, Chorley. Image: Lancashire Fire & Rescue
Designer furniture retailer Heal's says it has been left shocked by a major fire that destroyed its newly-leased warehouse and the stock stored inside, but relieved that no-one was hurt.

Victoria, the acquisitive floorcoverings manufacturer and distributor, has landed a seven-figure windfall after selling off land that had not been used for more than 20 years.

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Sales have continued to grow for Made.com Design
Furniture and home accents retailer Made.com Design sustained double-digit growth at home and abroad in 2018 as it reaped the top line benefit of a £40 million influx last spring.

Organisers says attendance climbed and exhibitors booked more business at the January Furniture Show, which took place at the NEC last month.

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The changes affect employees at Shop Direct's Speke headquarters
The home shopping group behind the Very.co.uk and Littlewoods brands is realigning its retail team with proposals that will affect the makeup of its furniture buying and merchandising functions.

BrightHouse, the weekly payments furniture and electricals chain, is to close 30 of its stores. That represents around a tenth of its estate and means 350 jobs are at risk.

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How the planned Downtown at Home store will look
Oldrid & Co, the dual-format heritage furniture and department store retailer, yesterday (Feb. 5) won council backing for an ambitious Designer Outlet in Grantham incorporating a new Downtown at Home store.

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Silentnight's new South West London showroom
Silentnight, Britain's largest bed maker, has opened a third brand showroom and its second in the south of England.