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

DreamsOlympics

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.

debenhamsCorporate
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.

Snow prompted the second lowest weekly sales total for John Lewis & Partners in more than two years with home revenue declining for the fourth straight week.

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Like-for-like sales remained negative, Carpetright said in a Q3 trading update
Carpetright, Britain's biggest flooring retailer, said it continued to trade below year-earlier levels in the period taking in pre-Christmas trading and the January sales.

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Sales were up 2.2 percent in January, said the British Retail Consortium.
Retailers enjoyed sales growth in January after flat sales the month before according to new figures out overnight from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Neil Page is to retire from full-time plc duties after ten years as chief financial officer at Carpetright, the retailer has announced. His replacement is Jeremy Simpson, who joins from outside the industry.

Briefly, the UK mattress industry had a new competitor.

Likewise Group has made its first move into the wall-to-wall floorcoverings category after completing the acquisition of South East London based distributor Lewis Abbott.

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The Potagerie Collection, part of a new line designed by Angel Strawbridge
Design Studio, the soft furnishings division of Belfield Group, has launched its first branded collection in partnership with designer and author Angel Strawbridge, star of TV series Escape to the Chateau.

Consumers and businesses will be able to lease, as well as buy, furniture under a new plan dreamed up by IKEA, the world's biggest furniture retailer.

Value furniture and homewares chain JYSK will take its UK store network to nearly 20 sites with new units primed to open in Yorkshire and Merseyside.

Administrators have been appointed to the North West company set up last year to acquire the business and assets of one-time £10 million home furnishings importer and distributor Global Textiles (UK).

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Glasswells' new-look carpet department at Bury St Edmunds.
Glasswells, one of Britain's largest independent home furnishings retailers, has opened its remodelled carpet department as it continues its Bury St Edmunds store refurbishment.

Wayfair, the fast-expanding home furnishings etailer, has launched its first major television advertising campaign in Germany as it looks to scale its business there.

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Sofa.com owner LGT European Capital has been looking for a buyer for the upholstery vertical.
Sports Direct International, parent to House of Fraser and a growing roster of retail brands, was left in prime position to acquire Sofa.com after rival bidder ScS Group exited the process.

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Fogarty Filled Products' Lincolnshire HQ
The legacy Lincolnshire manufacturer of Fogarty filled bedding owed creditors more than £10 million when it filed for insolvency and ceased trading last year, with HM Revenue & Customs and Far East suppliers among those owed most.

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Lars Larsen (inset), the eponymous owner of the group that owns retailers including JYSK and ILVA, two furniture chains with differing UK fortunes.
Lars Larsen Group, parent to Scandinavian furniture chains JYSK and ILVA, booked record profits of 3.6 billion Danish kroner (£421m) in 2017–18.

Clicks-to-bricks upholstery manufacturer and retailer Sofa.com will not become part of the ScS Group, the UK's second largest upholstery retailer said today.

Maisons du Monde, the French furniture and home accents retailer with a growing UK multichannel business, said sales continued to march late last year despite anti-Government protests hitting consumer expenditure.

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London Fabric takes place March 4–5, 2019 at Stamford Bridge
OAL (Occupation Awards) and LTS (Lancashire Testing Services) are among the new sponsors of this year's edition of London Fabric, which takes place later this spring.

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Big-ticket sentiment was unchanged in January
Consumer confidence was unchanged in January as fears over the economy were countered by improving sentiment regarding personal finances.

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Like-for-like order intake climbed in past six months
ScS said same-store orders at its core brand advanced in the past six months with the business primed to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

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Ena Shaw will launch its Tru Living brand at next month's Spring Fair event (Feb. 3–7, 2019)
Privately-owned window dressings manufacturer Ena Shaw will next month introduce Tru Living, a new home furnishings brand for its independent retail customers.

Dewsbury manufacturer Shire Beds has formed a headboard-making unit within its West Yorkshire factory after deciding to take production in house.

MattressOnline, one of Britain's largest online pureplays, says it is on track to return to growth in 2018–19 with its focus on margins and working smarter.

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ScS confirmed its interest in Sofa.com yesterday.
How much do you think Sofa.com is worth, someone once very close to ScS asked us at the January Furniture Show last week? In hindsight, that question was either extremely prescient or heavily-loaded.

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Home sales were down in eight of the past nine weeks.
John Lewis & Partners approached the end of its 2018–19 financial year with a third straight weekly home sales decline, with only fashion of its main product categories lifting against year-earlier trade.

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LGT is seeking a new owner for Sofa.com
ScS says it is in talks to acquire the business and assets of Sofa.com, the clicks-to-bricks upholstery vertical. It is reportedly competing with Mike Ashley's Sports Direct International.

The privately-owned UK distributor of Stompa, the heritage Scandinavian kids furniture brand, booked sizeable profits and cash gains in 2017–18.