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

whitemeadow2019
Revenue climbed again for Whitemeadow.
Whitemeadow, the U.K.’s largest management-owned sofa maker, booked larger profits on higher sales in 2018 as it outperformed a declining wider market.

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Optimism among bed makers has fallen according to new data from the National Bed Federation.
Like-for-like bed sales fell 5 percent in the first quarter of 2019 according to the National Bed Federation's latest State of Trade report, though the volume fall was less severe.

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Shipments from China were a fifth higher.
Chinese, Malaysian and Vietnamese cabinet imports climbed sharply as the latest HMRC data dump annualised against issues with container ships arriving from Asia.

Flooring manufacturer and distributor Victoria is dusting off previously-jettisoned plans to launch a corporate bond, following through on comments made last week when it released its full year results.

John Lewis & Partners' sales advanced 1.3 percent last week on the back of high double-digit fashion revenue growth which countered weaker figures elsewhere.

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Imports of foam and sprung mattresses climbed in May, new figures show.
An upshift in the value of mattresses arriving from Denmark, home to Tempur's European manufacturing unit, helped power imports to their biggest growth since December last year.

Profits jumped at Preston based sofa covers business Plumbs as efforts going back to 2016 to prune the company's cost base continued to yield improvements.

Homewares manufacturer and distributor Portmeiron Group has agreed to buy U.S. company Nambé LLC for $12 million (£9.5m) in a cash deal that extends its reach into the North American market.

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Footfall was scarce in June.
Out-of-town retail parks, home to many of the U.K.'s largest furniture and floorcoverings retailers, saw fractionally more people last month against a wider backdrop of decline for physical store operators.

The release of full-year results from Sports Direct International, which had been due to be published this Thursday (July 18), has been delayed.

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Bensons maintained sales, but orders were down at Harveys.
Bensons for Beds continued to outgun its sister retailer Harveys as the U.K. household goods division of Steinhoff International Holdings narrowed losses in the six months to end March.

Belgian carpet imports declined in May for the first time since the beginning of the year. Overall arrivals were still up because of more goods shipped in from Turkey, China and India.

IKEA Industry, a manufacturing unit of the furniture retail conglomerate based out of the U.S. state of Virginia, is closing its factory there at the end of the year.

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Goods arriving from China are tracking well ahead of 2018.
May saw a big leap in the value of upholstery arriving from China as problems with containers arriving from the country a year ago continue to unwind.

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Euromillions: Steinhoff advisors received a bumper payout for work done in the first half of 2018–19.
Advisors to Steinhoff International Holdings were paid €82 million in fees in the six months to end March as the conglomerate continued "complex and technical work" to complete its financial restructuring and stabilise the group.

A one-off voluntary settlement with HM Revenue & Customs meant reported profits were lower at furniture and home accents wholesale giant Coach House in 2017–18. Its underlying performance continued to improve.

The failure of a customer and subdued demand weighed on sales for Scan-Thors (UK) in 2017–18, but the Yorkshire upholstery importer says it remains in a strong position to handle whatever the market throws at it.

Profits climbed at West Midlands motion furniture manufacturer Furmanac in 2017–18 after margin improvement from taking its fleet inhouse and a tax credit countered the impact of lower sales.

An aborted financing exercise that left Victoria's chairman angered by onlookers with "less than pure" motives cost the acquisitive floorcoverings group a high seven-figure sum in wasted fees.

harveysIdolCollection2019
The new Idol collection.
National furniture retailer Harveys has added a second collection in collaboration with celebrity Louise Redknapp, building on the launch of its Bold by Louise programme last September.

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M&S needs to move on at pace to address longstanding issues, CEO Steve Rowe said.
Jill McDonald, md of Clothing and Home at Marks and Spencer Group (M&S), is to leave the business, the retailer announced today.

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Baring its teeth: The NBF has been randomly purchasing and testing mattresses to expose and root out bad practice. This mattress didn't contain the advertised fillings.
16 of 49 mattresses, beds and headboards bought randomly and tested by the National Bed Federation (NBF) either failed flammability checks, or were borderline failures. Some didn't contain the fillings advertised.

Balta, the Belgian floorcoverings manufacturing group whose U.K. and Ireland sales number well over £100 million, has named the new head of its carpet production business.

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All DFS brands delivered like-for-like growth, the retailer said.
Sofa market leader DFS said underlying gross sales have climbed by 7 percent in the year to end June, but cautioned that its progress moving forward is partly dependent on factors outside its control.

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The Spinks Springs factory in Leeds.
The components arm of the Harrison Spinks mattress and bed technology group says its new spring system could redefine the beds sector in the same way bonnell springs and memory foam did years before.

The release of 2018 manufacturing data across U.K. industry by the Office for National Statistics leaves us with a complete picture of the key furniture and floorcoverings categories when combined with already-known import/export data.

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Fishpools' Waltham Cross store.
Independent retailer Fishpools built profits and cash and near-maintained sales in what it described as a 'rock solid' performance against a backdrop of trading headwinds for the retail sector.

Lieven Vandendriessche has been appointed CEO of Latexco Group, the family of Luc and Carole Maes and the board of directors have announced.

Follows transfer of stocks hitherto controlled by high-profile investment manager Neil Woodford.

Homeware retailer Dunelm Group said sales advanced in double-digits in the 13-week period to June 29 as it made the most of a weak comparative period and favourable weather.

John Lewis & Partners' sales advanced for the second straight week buoyed chiefly by higher fashion demand. Home goods also returned to growth, inching up 0.5 percent.

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Keith Wilson has been prompted to president, International at La-Z-Boy.
Former La-Z-Boy U.K. md Keith Wilson has been promoted for the second time in just over a year, becoming responsible for all non-U.S. business at the upholstery giant after being named president, International.

The independent retailer behind the MyHaus and Cult Furniture brands enjoyed bumper sales growth in 2017–18, new accounts reveal.

Consumers deferred non-essential purchases as June sales fell after annualising against strong comparatives according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

FurnitureVillage Thirty
The Thirty collection is available for customers to buy until December 2019.
National retailer Furniture Village has put together a limited-edition collection of upholstery, cabinet and beds in partnership with five suppliers to mark its 30th anniversary.

The Archwood home improvement group, owner of flooring business Atkinson & Kirby and other timber products businesses, incurred a further loss in 2017–18 after revenue fell and costs increased.

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The importer's home at Binbrook Technical Park, Lincolnshire.
Case goods distributor Classic Furniture narrowed its trading deficit in 2017–18 after efforts to address margin and strengthen its supply chain yielded improvements.

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BFM drills down into the issues affecting furniture manufacturers.
One in four furniture manufacturers have made redundancies and nearly one sixth introduced short-term working as producers grapple with some of the most challenging trading conditions in years, according to a survey by BFM.

Philip Dieperink, the former U.K. and now group chief financial officer at Steinhoff International Holdings, is to leave the conglomerate December 31, 2019.

No furniture or floorcoverings specialists are among Britain's very largest private companies but several with an interest in the home furnishings sector did maker this year's Top Track 100 list.

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U.K. ranks Number 1 out of over 50 markets.
Danish furniture conglomerate JYSK, which trades across more than 50 countries worldwide, says Britain is its number one market for online sales.

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Mattress production climbed though the overall bed market was impacted by divan production.
British furniture manufacturers' collective output declined last year with cabinet furniture producers and sofa makers among those seeing the biggest falls, new figures for 2018 reveal.

Oliver Bonas, the British retailer which carries occasional furniture among a comprehensive lifestyle product offer, enjoyed double-digit growth in 2018. Profits declined on cost headwinds.

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Conforama is one of Europe's largest furniture retailers.
Conforama, the French furniture and electricals chain which last year generated sales of €3.4 billion, is to downsize its store estate and cut staff headcount.

Heritage bedding and soft furnishings supplier Bedeck returned to profit in 2017–18 after it recorded lower operating charges and an increase in revenue.

Mattress brand Casper Sleep has added a third mattress to its U.K. offer, a hybrid combining comfort foam with innersprings.

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Barkers invested heavily improving its dedicated Home store.
The North Yorkshire company behind the Barkers Home furnishings superstore enjoyed a seventh straight year of top line growth in 2018–19.

French furniture and décor retailer Maisons du Monde, which sells in the U.K. online and through Debenhams concessions, has acquired a majority stake in a compatriot business that provides consumers with inexpensive interior design services.

Danzer, the €202 million turnover decorative hardwood supplier that lists manufacturers of floorcoverings and furniture among its clientele, is to close one of its European factories.

General merchandise revenue fell for Argos owner J Sainsbury in the 16 weeks to June 29 but the retail giant claimed it had secured a bigger slice of the overall pie for itself in a tough market.

Industry fundraisers in Yorkshire generated over £3,000 for The Furniture Makers’ Company at the fourth annual curry night, which took place June 13.

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The Three Sixty bed by Savoir has just gone into Harrods. The model pictured retails for £330,000.
Savoir, whose beds retail for an average of about £25,000 each, posted record sales and a high single-digit net margin in 2018 after it consolidated its presence in key international markets.

Floorcoverings wholesaler Valley Carpets built cash and sales in the year to September 30, 2018 as it capitalised on its enlarged warehousing capability. Profits declined.

Steinhoff International Holdings has launched legal action against two former senior executives in a bid to recover earnings they received before the group became embroiled in an accounting scandal.

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John Lewis & Partners' home sales declined.
For the second straight week, department store chain John Lewis & Partners racked up its highest grossing seven-day period in 2019. Home sales, however, failed to match year-earlier levels.

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New product design is already underway, Birlea said.
Birlea Furniture has confirmed the acquisition of the Willis & Gambier brand and intellectual property rights, saying the deal sparks the beginning of an exciting new chapter.

BigShots2019
From left: Charlie Harrison, director of multichannel at Big Shots supporter Furniture Village, former England rugby player Victor Ubogu, Dids Macdonald OBE and Jonny Westbrooke, master and CEO respectively of The Furniture Makers’ Company.
44 teams and nearly 200 people from across the furniture trade participated in the 25th edition of Big Shots, historically the biggest fundraiser in the annual calendar of The Furniture Makers' Company, the industry's dedicated charity.

cormarHemel
Cormar's new Hemel Hempstead distribution centre spans 130,000sqft.
Sales jumped in high single-digits for Bury carpet maker Cormar in 2017–18 with the company controlling costs to return to bottom line growth.

Revenue jumped by more than a fifth for North West soft furnishings supplier Cleland McIver in 2017–18 as the privately-owned company built on its investment in new warehousing.

R.A. Irwin & Company, which produces mattress ticking and window blind fabrics, recorded a bigger loss in 2017–18 but maintained sales and boosted cash.