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

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The concessions will close early next year
ScS is to end its partnership with House of Fraser and close all 27 of the concessions it operates within the department store chain with CEO David Knight saying the tie-up is "no longer beneficial."

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Global conglomerate Low & Bonar wants a piece of the mattress components market
One of the world's largest textiles companies is pushing into the mattress manufacturing sector by offering bed makers a new product it says is a viable and green alternative to foam.

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21-store Beales has changed hands
Andrew Perloff, owner of Airsprung and AHF, has sold the 21-shop Beales department store chain in a private equity backed management buyout led by chief executive Tony Brown, The Furnishing Report can reveal.

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Upholstery represents almost a third of Ercol's business
Ercol chairman Edward Tadros says new upholstery designs hit the spot last year, a period that saw the heritage furniture manufacturer make heavy investment on new machinery.

Zara Home, the dedicated homeware chain operated by the Spanish Inditex conglomerate, posted double-digit sales growth in the UK last year as it launched an ecommerce channel.

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Nasons furniture store and, inset, how the brand is expected to change as part of the AHF group
AHF, recently taken over by Airsprung owner Andrew Perloff, is to save the large Nasons furniture shop in Canterbury, making it the southernmost store under its management.

John Lewis & Partners recorded a seventh straight fall in home merchandise sales last week though the chain did see some big-ticket sub-categories make year-on-year gains.

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Never-seen-before levels of marketing are being spent across the entire UK mattress sector, says Mike Logue
Marketing spend in the beds sector has reached unprecedented levels according to Dreams CEO Mike Logue, who says there is definitely room for more consumer brands in the mattress category.

Vinyl floorcoverings supplier Karndean maintained sales momentum as it recorded a fifth straight year of double-digit growth in 2017, with profits topping £10 million.

But balance sheet transformed after property revaluation.

Kitchen, bathroom and DIY chain Wickes met with significant headwinds in the third quarter as competition prevented the recovery of higher input costs and demand faltered.

September retail sales roundup.

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Jarrold's retail interests include The Granary contemporary furniture store
Diversified retail and business services group Jarrold successfully refinanced more than £15 million of debt due 2019 in a year where its vast property assets appreciated in value, boosting paper profits.

Revenue declined in line with the upholstery market for Kidderminster sofa maker Wyvern Furniture last year with higher input costs also negatively impacting earnings.

House of Fraser's Manchester department store, located in the historic Kendal's building in the city centre, is to close in January, new owner Sports Direct International has confirmed.

First Furnishings, a Scotland based supplier of furniture, flooring and furnishings packages to housing associations and letting agents, has ceased trading with the loss of nearly 60 jobs.

Mattress maker Duflex Foam has become a member of the National Bed Federation (NBF) after passing the trade association's Code of Practice audit.

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Ben Burbidge, (left) Manufacturing Guild Mark chairman, presenting Nick Booth, marketing director at Silentnight Group, and Rob Livingstone, operations director at Silentnight Brands, with the 2018 Sustainability Award
Silentnight, Britain's biggest beds manufacturer, has won The Furniture Makers' Company's Sustainability Award for the second straight year.

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Chateau d"Ax sells through hundreds of monobrand franchised stores worldwide
Chateau d'Ax, the storied Italian sofa brand with a global footprint, is planning to restructure through an insolvency process that gives it time to reorganise its liabilities in agreement with creditors.

Sold stake in major Chinese operation at the turn of the year.

Furniture testing company FIRA International torched all past records on its way to its highest ever top and bottom lines in 2017, as commercial revenues escalated.

Retail sales climbed mid-single digits year-on-year in September according to official data from the Office for National Statistics.

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Furniture prices have been deflationary since April
Consumer furniture prices fell for the fourth month in five in the year to September and at their steepest rate since the autumn of 2016 as retailers defied rising product costs.

North West bedding giant Comfy Quilts recovered from the loss of its biggest customer to return to top line growth in the year to end January 2018.

Ian Topping, the former Steinhoff boss who was named chairman at The Cotswold Company earlier this summer, will simultaneously chair the home improvement chain Homebase.

The UK arm of European mattress and bedding brand Dormeo maintained top line momentum last year with another big bump in revenue.

Wayfair, the expanding ecommerce home furnishings giant, has launched a customer membership programme it hopes will encourage consumers to shop with it more often.

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There are nearly 1,000 Matratzen Concord stores across Europe
Matratzen Concord, one of the continent's largest mattress and bedding retailers with stores across central Europe, is closing 176 units by the end of 2018.

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The summer saw a decline in cabinet imports
Living, dining and bedroom cabinet imports tumbled in August as three of the big source nations—China, Poland and Vietnam—sent less to the UK.

Second quarter update from Studio parent Findel, whose websites generate more than £100 million a year in home goods sales.

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint regarding savings claims in email marketing from furniture-to-fashion retailer Laura Ashley.

Home sales fell last week at John Lewis & Partners, meaning the broad category has seen declines in each of the past six weeks and in 19 of the past 20.

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DFS said it expects suppliers to increase the near-shore supply of raw materials ahead of Brexit
British sofa makers are weighing whether to increase raw material inventories to avoid potential production delays when the UK leaves the European Union next March.

Design company Tom Dixon has appointed Alessandro Vergano, the former chief marketing officer at Swarovski, as its new chief executive. He replaces Jamie Mitchell.

Tempur Sealy International, the world's biggest bedding supplier, says it is working closely with Sears, a major stockist of its mattresses, as the troubled retailer plots a route out of bankruptcy.

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Bargain Crazy is part of the standalone Littlewoods Clearance business
Shop Direct says it plans to close its standalone Littlewoods Clearance business unit after concluding bulk disposal represents a better alternative for clearance stock.

BRC-Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor figures for October.

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Hayden Davies, second right, organised the charity cycling challenge
Eight members of The Furniture Makers’ Company, the industry charity and livery company, have raised nearly £14,000 after between them cycling all three routes of Mont Ventoux, Provence in a single day.

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Gallery Direct is headquartered at Sittingbourne
The Gallery Direct group recorded a loss last year as top and bottom line improvement at its core brand were countered by negative results from the Dreamworks business it bought in 2015.

Poland sent record levels of mattresses to Britain in August with full year imports from the country on target to increase by more than a quarter for the third straight year.

Northern Scotland furniture retailer Grampian Furnishers has closed its Lossiemouth store for the final time ahead of its relocation to a larger, purpose-built unit this coming weekend.

Longtime CEO to launch new business, but outside the upholstery sector.

Testing, testing. While the world's biggest furniture retailer tries new things, perhaps the answer lies in acquisitions?

A large drop-off in the value of sofas arriving from Poland was the main driver behind weak upholstery imports in August, new Government data reveals.

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Its Vietnamese plant will be more than double its existing size
Man Wah Holdings has begun constructing a huge extension at its newly-acquired Vietnamese upholstery subsidiary that will see recliner production snowball by the end of next year.

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The Frasers store in Glasgow; Photograph; House of Fraser
Sports Direct International, which bought House of Fraser out of administration this summer, has acquired the building housing the department store chain's Glasgow store.

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The design concept for Wayfair's holiday pop-up shops. Photograph: Business Wire
Ecommerce furniture and furnishings retailer Wayfair will this autumn experiment with pop-up stores in its domestic U.S market as it explores new ways to interact offline with customers.

August carpet import data encapsulated the year so far, with the value of arrivals into Britain falling in low single-digit percentages and Belgian products among the biggest casualties.

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Clarke & Clarke has diversified into furniture and other home categories
Entering the finished furniture sector boosted sales for Clarke & Clarke, best known for its furnishings fabrics and wallpapers, in the six months to end July.

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Airsprung is based at Trowbridge, Wiltshire
Sales fell double-digit for Airsprung in 2017–18, a period the Trowbridge upholstery and beds group described as one of its most challenging for some years, with it also battling input cost pressures.

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Online and offline sales advanced for Dunelm in its first quarter
First quarter revenue inched ahead for Dunelm Group, the national furniture and homeware retailer, as growth in its core dot com brand made up for the closure of its Worldstores website.

Home sales—ahead at the end of the first quarter—were down mid single-digits for N Brown Group by the half-year stage as market headwinds checked demand.

The conversion of preference shares into ordinary stock helped boost the net worth of department store chain Beales in 2017–18, a year that saw it make further cost savings as it transitions to profit.

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Experienced furniture agent Matthew Kutas is bringing the Releazz product line to the UK
Dutch motion chair supplier Releazz is launching into the British and Irish markets and has enlisted Matthew Kutas, well known across the trade, as head of sales.

Bed maker Harrison Spinks is putting the infrastructure in place ahead of launching its maiden TV advertising campaign this winter, relaunching its website to encompass all its brands.

Specialist bedroom home delivery company Keen & Able is moving to new, larger headquarters after a ten-fold rise in business in the past two years.

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Grantham-based QFC will close later this week
Lincolnshire sofa manufacturer QFC, which was placed into administration through KPMG earlier this summer, is to cease trading this week (Friday, October 12).

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Steve Hampton retires as CEO December 31, 2018
How big can Belfield—parent to Tetrad, Westbridge and a burgeoning mattress division—become? "How long is a piece of string," says group CEO Steve Hampton, who will step down at the end of 2018.

Walker Greenbank, the premium soft furnishings group, has begun the search for a new CEO after announcing that John Sach is stepping down following 15 years in the post.

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The Eve Sleep advert that caused offence to some
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has dismissed consumer complaints over an Eve Sleep TV advert that featured a woman pretending to be pregnant, saying it was unlikely to cause widespread offence.