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

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Last week marked a fourth straight home sales decline
John Lewis & Partners narrowly missed ending a four-week run of falling home merchandise sales as the broad-brush category declined 0.3 percent in the seven days to May 18, 2019.

Jim Gerety, md at high end Devon bed maker Vispring, has been elected to the executive board of the National Bed Federation (NBF), the trade association whose members have a 70 percent U.K. market share.

Well-known Sterling Furniture buyer David Amery has become president of the Scottish Furniture Trades Benevolent Association (SFTBA), the industry charity.

The march of Chinese mattress maker Mlily continued at the start of 2019 with its parent company posting high first quarter revenue and profits growth.

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Skandium's former store on Brompton Road.
The future of the Scandinavian design and furniture retail brand Skandium, whose stores closed earlier this month, could be resolved this week with administrators negotiating a sale of assets.

Revenue jumped more than a fifth for the Yorkshire company behind guest bed maker Jay-Be in 2017–18, a year where margins widened and profits doubled.

Knowsley furniture maker and wholesaler Dams posted double-digit profits growth on higher sales in 2017–18, a year that saw it start building a new upholstery facility.

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An artist's impression of Ashgate Hospice's revamped patient bays.
Designer Contracts, the national floorcoverings contractor, is to donate £100,000 to support a hospice close to its Chesterfield, Derbyshire headquarters.

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Emma Rackley has joined JB Global, which has in the past operated the standalone SofaStore brand alongside its core Oak Furnitureland fascia.
JB Global, the company behind the Oak Furnitureland chain, has bolstered its expanding product development team with the appointment of Emma Rackley, formerly of Shop Direct, Furniture Village and Leekes.

The chairman of the Furniture and Interiors Education, Skills and Training Alliance (FIESTA) says large furniture companies "need to wake up" or face a looming skills crisis.

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Tudor Williams' New Malden store.
Department store retailer and bed shop owner Tudor Williams has begun the last throes at its historic New Malden store as it prepares to draw the curtain on over 100 years of trade. Its other stores are unaffected.

One of Malaysia's largest furniture suppliers says it has seen a surge in demand from U.S. companies seeking to avoid the impact of tariffs imposed on Chinese furniture. U.K. sales were down.

Made.com Design has opened its first Scandinavian showroom as the build out of its international brand presence sees it push into Nordic markets for the first time.

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The NBF Code of Practice will go beyond product compliance
Britain's leading bed manufacturers have voted unanimously to further tighten the National Bed Federation's (NBF) membership criteria to raise standards and put more distance between themselves and rogue operators.

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Cost savings helped Heal's post positive EBITDA.
Designer furniture and homeware retailer Heal's has fleshed out details of its 2017–18 profits turnaround, which shows it found a number of cost savings in addition to posting higher sales.

Trade was weaker than previous years at prestige kitchen maker and retailer Harvey Jones in 2018 though the company enjoyed stronger cash generation.

Bedding conglomerate Tempur Sealy International bolstered its European manufacturing credentials with the acquisition of a circa €10 million manufacturer producing out of the Baltic region earlier this spring.

A Chinese supplier with longstanding U.K. supply links may bear the brunt of the creditor shortfall after a small privately-owned wholesaler and retailer was placed into liquidation last month.

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TCM Corp acquired a majority stake in the company behind Alexander & James in 2016.
Upholstery profits almost doubled for the Thai owner of the Alstons, Ashley Manor and Alexander & James businesses in the first quarter of 2019 despite it booking lower combined sales.

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The U.K. was one of the first two markets for the Made in Design business and has been selling here for more than a decade.
High-end designer furniture etailer Made in Design has been sold to French department store group Printemps, providing an exit for its private equity backer.

Higher revenue helped the British arm of Italian designer furniture group Poltrona Frau swing to profit in 2018.

The company behind the Kettering Bedding Centre has suffered a serious fire that has damaged its Regents Street premises in the Northamptonshire town.

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Dids Macdonald
Dids Macdonald OBE, co-founder and CEO of Anti Copying In Design (ACID), has been installed as Master of The Furniture Makers' Company, the city livery company and industry charity.

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Qumei acquired Ekornes, owner of the Stressless brand, last August.
The acquisition of Stressless brand owner Ekornes by Qumei Home Furnishings Group Co. has more than doubled the size of the China-based furniture maker, new figures reveal.

Insolvency event is the latest in series of appointments for officials connected to the manufacturer and retailer.

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Sales were up in the first quarter for B&Q.
First quarter sales climbed at B&Q as the retail giant made the most of favourable weather that encouraged shoppers to tackle home improvement projects.

Favourable furniture-buying weather wasn't enough to lift home sales at John Lewis & Partners last week though gains made in other categories saw the chain beat last year's overall total.

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The Gala Dinner takes place at the Telford International Centre.
TV and radio star Gyles Brandreth is returning to host the National Bed Federation's Gala Dinner and Awards ceremony, this year featuring live musical entertainment for the first time.

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Mike Ashley becomes one of U.K. furnishings sector's richest after buying into the industry via House of Fraser and Sofa.com.
The combined wealth of the U.K.'s wealthiest people and families with an interest past and present in the furnishings sector increased 9 percent in 2019.

Imports of foam and sprung mattresses into the U.K. declined year-on-year in March, the first annual drop across the category since May last year.

Recticel, one of the major foam suppliers to the U.K. upholstery and mattress markets, said comfort foam sales fell sharply in the first quarter on lower volumes and input price erosion.

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Malaysian furniture imports to Britain are growing.
Living, dining and bedroom furniture producers in Malaysia continued to build momentum in March as their U.K. shipments made the country the only riser among the top six source nations.

More people frequented retail parks in April in a sign big box furniture and floorcoverings retailers made the most of the Easter holiday period despite the hot and sunny weather.

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Maisons du Monde opened concessions in Debenhams last year.
Revenue climbed nearly 10 percent for Maisons du Monde in the first quarter with the French furniture and home décor retailer saying it expects to match that until the end of the year and deliver double-digit profit margins.

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Imports ended a run going back to September.
Weaker March upholstery imports pared back earlier gains but the value of product arriving into Britain, particularly from China and Poland, remained ahead for the quarter overall.

Sales jumped double-digit at Yorkshire kitchen maker Symphony after the company said it benefitted from growth in the private developer market.

Carpet imports into Britain rose at their fastest rate in 17 months as Belgium's manufacturers got their mojo back to help put a miserable 2018 behind them.

Administrators have found a buyer for £12 million carpet equipment manufacturer Sellers Global Engineers after completing a deal with a consortium of investors to save the business.

"Early to bed, early to rise — work like hell and advertise," is a modern day business adaptation of a centuries old proverb originally intended to advocate the benefits of rest.

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Swoon posted high double-digit sales growth.
Furniture retailer Swoon said it continued to invest in marketing and technology in a year that saw sales climb sharply but the company book a larger deficit.

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Sales climbed for Sofa Workshop.
Upholstery retailer Sofa Workshop posted mid single-digit growth last year as it added new space following the closure of Multiyork, its upper midmarket rival. Higher costs impacted its bottom line.

Dwell, the modern furniture and homeware retailer, was close to break even before non-cash costs as the chain enjoyed a fourth straight year of growth under the ownership of DFS.

The finances of the U.K. arm of recliner and upholstery source La-Z-Boy have been bolstered thanks to a seven-figure rights issue.

Plans to close 22 Debenhams stores and secure rent cuts on 100 others were given the go-ahead after creditors backed its proposed company voluntary arrangement at a meeting in Central London yesterday.

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Vale Furnishers' store in Ash Vale; Image: Google
The first full public disclosure from Surrey independent Vale Furnishers for seven years reveals it remains one of Europe's most profitable and well capitalised privately-owned furniture retailers.

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BoConcept's Kingston store, one of eight run by the brand largest U.K. franchisee.
The size of the modern furniture specialist BoConcept's franchise network will grow in the U.K. with more stores planned by the brand owner's biggest partner in the British market.

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Brompton Cross showroom is first monobrand U.K. store for De Padova.
De Padova, one of Italy's most storied furniture design brands and part of the Boffi Group for the past four years, has opened a flagship retail showroom at Chelsea, London.

Online and catalogue retailer Studio looks to have expanded its share of the value furniture and homewares market after issuing a bullish trading statement following the close of its financial year.

John Lewis & Partners said home sales fell for the second straight week but were on the rise going into the bank holiday weekend.

British soft-seating manufacturer Bazaar Group has appointed Jen Hannant as business development manager to help grow its business-to-business (B2B) arm.

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Sleepeezee yesterday unveiled its new website, social media and marketing assets and formally launched its association with brand ambassador Dr Ranj Singh.
British bed maker Sleepeezee says it could launch standalone television advertising later this year after TV spots aired last week for the first time in partnership with a retail customer.

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Nest's new-look website and logo.
Privately-owned modern furniture and design retailer Nest has refashioned its corporate identity, website and showroom in a relaunch of the brand.

Carpet and flooring distributor Victoria says it is "well placed for organic and acquisition-led growth" after giving its finances and trading performance a clean bill of health.

Retail sales climbed in April though good weather over the bank holiday was a limiting factor in some categories, according to new figures from the British Retail Consortium.

Cabinet furniture maker and retailer John Lewis of Hungerford has issued a profits warning after blaming uncertainty for it failing to convert deposits into full orders.

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Skandium’s iconic store on Brompton Road, one of several locations the London retailer has traded from, closed in 2017.
London based furniture and design retailer Skandium has closed its retail stores and ecommerce channel with the company poised to enter administration.

Hampshire lighting company Elstead Group continued to build sales in a year that saw it acquire a British manufacturer and establish a bigger foothold overseas.

High-end bedding brand Tempur is trialling its first mattress-in-a-box offer in its domestic U.S. market.

rdmBlueBackgroundBY RICHARD DE MELIM


Sales are vanity, profit is sanity, cash is reality. You will, of course, have heard that before, probably many times.

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N Brown runs websites including JD Williams, Simply Be, Jacamo and House of Bath.
Home and gift product sales fell in high single-digit percentages for the home shopping group behind the JD Williams brand in the year to March 2 after a sharper decline over the past six months.