EchoLuHomebaseMDHome Retail Group has named former Tesco UK board member Echo Lu as managing director for its Homebase retail chain.

nextHomeMaidstoneCommentary: Next is committed to investing even more in its growing Home and furniture operation, though 2014–15 wasn’t without its challenges, including taking a hefty upholstery recall hit.

Management at Whitestone, Westex and Abingdon — the three companies acquired by Victoria PLC in the past 15 months — have increased their stake in in the group.

Profits more than doubled at Corby furniture wholesaler Kettle Interiors in 2013–14 as the firm made the most of higher sales, quicker delivery and lower costs.

JohnLewisCorporateStrong growth returned for John Lewis last week with all bar five of its stores up on last year and online rising by nearly a quarter.

Fashion-to-furnishings retailer Next says new Home space is performing ahead of plan as group profits jumped 12.5 per cent in the year to end January.

Expanding the number of retail touch-points through 2014 helped luxury Swedish brand Hästens Beds to high top line growth last year.

Beds retailer Dreams is to increase its presence in and around Birmingham with a new 8,650sqft store opening on Good Friday (3rd April).

millbrookBedsBed manufacturer Millbrook is back on the path to profit after work to restructure the business and find new customers paid off, its owners have said.

Internet orders helped keep Scottish non-food retail sales ahead of last year in February, according to the Scottish Retail Consortium.

Martin Allen is to retire as managing director of Airsprung Group’s headboard division at the end of this month.

sofaworksCOUpholstery retailer Sofaworks — whose IP court battle with DFS-owned Sofa Workshop is scheduled for next month — has sold a stake in the business to help fuel its growth.

Demand for big-ticket merchandise such as furniture drove footfall to a nine-month high in February, according to stores group the British Retail Consortium.

International floorcoverings conglomerate Forbo says switching its attention to the commercial market is paying off and making up for weakness elsewhere.

neptuneShowroomUpmarket furniture and home accents brand Neptune opened a dedicated Bournemouth showroom this weekend as the business’ UK and European expansion continues.

European beds and mattress retail group Beter Bed posted higher sales and profits in 2014 despite downsizing its store portfolio by nearly 50 stores.

Sofas and carpets retailer ScS supported Red Nose Day last Friday by donating cash for every sofa sold via its website.

Chinese furniture importsBritain went shopping in China in record numbers in January as retail buyer demand for furniture showed no sign of capsizing.

Carpet imports reached a seven year high in January, according to Government data.

John Lewis sales fell last week with only three of its 40 stores open more than a year managing to beat year-earlier trading levels.

bhsSir Philip Green’s Arcadia group has sold the fashion-to-furniture retail chain BHS to Retail Acquisitions for a nominal sum.

argosCoImproving margins at Argos — one of Britain’s largest furniture retailers — helped offset top line weakness in one of its most important product categories in early 2015 trading.

A bolt-on acquisition will support major flooring distribution group Carpet & Flooring’s expansion plans through 2015 after soft market conditions last year.

AISexhibitionThe furniture and flooring categories proved there is plenty of life left in the UK independents’ sector with strong trading through 2013–14.

Members of the Associated Independent Stores retail buying group shared an improved rebate last month with the total approaching record levels.

Higher fourth quarter sales helped catalogue and online retailer N Brown to flat full year sales, as it made strategic price investments.