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

John Lewis & Partners said it saw more customers commit to future purchases of upholstery and beds last week, but still posted a fifth successive decline in sales across its home category.

Upholstery chain Sofology will this week open its 42nd store and its first in the South West of England as it continues its national expansion.

Almost 100 people from across the trade helped raise £8,500 for The Furniture Makers' Company, the furnishing industry's dedicated charity, at its National Golf Day last month.

Steve Hampton will stand down as chief executive of Belfield, the £200 million turnover upholstery and mattress group, at the end of 2018. His replacement is group commercial director Gary Lasham.

Accounts are now due by the end of the year
Wesley Barrell, the high-end Oxfordshire sofa maker which trades from its own-brand stores nationwide, has shortened its year-end for the second straight year.

Sales and profits fell at HSL last year as the national specialist furniture maker and retailer adjusted its marketing strategy and encountered market headwinds.

Natuzzi says its House of Fraser concessions were its poorest-performing UK customer touch-points last year as its standalone brand stores here delivered high growth.

Retail sales inched forward last month according to the British Retail Consortium, but at the slowest rate in five months.

Hülsta Furniture owner to close component factories in move it says will strengthen operations at its German HQ.

Tapi added 24 stores in 2017 but says its rapid rollout is coming to an end
Margins improved and sales almost doubled for expanding flooring retailer Tapi Carpets in 2017. Losses widened as it continued its store rollout programme.

Furniture retailer was cash generative for the first time in its history in 2017 while a tax credit meant it recorded its best net result on public record.

Former Furniture Village director Ian Gray has been installed as executive chairman at Canburg, owner of high-end kitchen brands Mark Wilkinson and Smallbone of Devizes.

Mattress Firm plans to close up to 700 stores
Steinhoff International Holdings will relinquish almost half the equity in its U.S. bedding unit Mattress Firm to lenders as part of a Chapter 11 restructuring that could see as many as 700 stores close.

A balance sheet analysis of Britain's top bed companies would place Vispring relatively low in the list of Britain's most valuable mattress companies. How very misleading.

The BHS format is returning to British retail centres after its owner struck a deal with department store retailer Beales, the Financial Times reported.

Plans to build a full line large format IKEA store on the South Coast near Brighton have been approved, with developers penciling in early 2021 as a potential opening date.

DFS plans to test the Sofology format inside core brand stores
DFS will install mezzanines in existing single-storey core-brand stores where it will trial the introduction of its Sofology format. It also plans new-build Sofology stores on land housing DFS units.

Profits fell at West Yorkshire bed maker Highgrove in 2017 as higher sales were counteracted by rising costs that narrowed margins. Cash generation improved, while debt was paid down.

Jason Tyldesley is leaving the business started by his family in the 1970s
Sofology CEO Jason Tyldesley is to leave the business less than a year after the sale of the upholstery chain to DFS. His replacement is former Pets at Home CEO Sally Hopson.

Likewise, the new group owned and run by former senior executives from flooring giant Headlam, has added a second company to its portfolio. More former Headlam managers will also soon join its ranks.

Rackhams is based at Highhams Park, London
Headlam Group, Europe's largest floorcoverings wholesaler, has agreed to buy East London distributor Rackhams in a deal that expands its presence in the capital.

Homesense shares a co-owner with TK Maxx
Furniture and interiors retailer Homesense put another £33 million on its top line in 2017–18 with new openings hauling it up the list of the UK's biggest home merchandise operators.

Ecommerce mattress retailer Otty Sleep is launching into the Dutch market, its second foray outside the UK having opened a dedicated German office and website earlier this year.

Profits fell at DFS in 2017–18
Profits dropped by half at sofa market leader DFS in 2017–18 with the retailer blaming worsening trading conditions including "exceptionally hot weather" in the fourth quarter.

The Nottinghamshire company has grown each year since 2012
Whitemeadow, the UK's largest management-owned sofa maker, maintained profits in 2017 as rising input costs were counter balanced by a fifth straight year of top line growth.

Home merchandise comparables continued to lag other categories for John Lewis & Partners last week, registering a 5.4 percent year-over-year sales decline.

Steinhoff's British subsidiaries have more time to file 2016–17 accounts with the UK Companies Registrar after altering their year-end, for a second time.

New UK market entrant Nectar Sleep says it sold three times as much as forecast in its first week of trading here as it looks to replicate rapid growth in its native U.S market.

Mattress Firm, the largest bedding retailer in the U.S, is considering filing for bankruptcy protection as soon as this week according to a report by Reuters, the news agency.

New stores and higher flooring sales boosted ScS revenue
Profits climbed at ScS in 2017–18 as growth in the sofa and carpets chain's core business helped negate weaker trading at its 27-store House of Fraser concession operation.

OKA Direct was sold back in January this year
The price paid by Italian buyout company Investindustrial to acquire British furniture retailer OKA Direct has been disclosed publicly for the first time. It is lower than has previously been reported.

ScS says it its talking to House of Fraser's new owner with a view to keeping as many of its 27 furniture concessions in the department store chain open as it can.

The next January Furniture Show takes place January 20–23, 2019
Over 85 percent of exhibitor space has been sold with more than three and a half months remaining before the January Furniture Show opens the doors to its 2019 event at the NEC.

Sales jumped for diversified foam giant Carpenter in 2017
Foam giant Carpenter posted lower profits on higher sales in 2017, mirroring the performance of one its largest UK rivals as rising raw material costs chipped away at earnings.

Bed industry trade association The National Bed Federation (NBF) and The Sleep Council, its consumer promotion arm, are official partners to Somnex — The Sleep Show, the UK's inaugural event dedicated to sleep health.

westbridgeFW 2018
Westbridge has doubled turnover since 2012
Westbridge, Britain's biggest sofa maker, posted a sixth straight year of growth in 2017 and has now doubled revenue in the past five years. Rising costs proved a drag on profits.

nick GarrattErcol
Nick Garratt joins as BFM md in November
Nick Garratt, whose planned departure as md at furniture maker Ercol was announced this spring, has been appointed to the same post at BFM, the association of British Furniture Manufacturers.

Duflex Foam, mattress maker and supplier to the likes of IKEA, Eve Sleep, Asda and Argos, posted higher profits as its top line expanded by more than a fifth for the second straight year.

After closing its French operation, Beter Bed is now exiting the Spanish market
Beter Bed Holding, the bedding retailer trading from nearly 1,200 stores across mainland Europe, has agreed to offload its Spanish retail business El Gigante del Colchón.

Consumer propensity to purchase high-value items such as furniture and white goods maintained its level in September, according to GfK's long-running monthly survey.

A look into the department store chain's big-ticket plans.

Hästens new Notting Hill store is based on its new retail concept, unveiled this summer in Sweden
High-end bed maker Hästens is ramping up its UK retail presence with three more standalone stores to open before the end of the year. It will also add a new studio with a retail partner in Dublin.

Clicks-to-bricks furniture and home accents retailer Swoon is adding another ten instore concessions in a major escalation of its tie-up with department store chain Debenhams.

New UK accounts for French furniture and home accents retailer Maisons du Monde put flesh on the bone regarding its claims Britain is among its fastest-growing markets.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld two complaints against a Northern Ireland specialist chair maker.

UK sales fell for Vispring, but it enjoyed growth elsewhere
UK sales fell double-digit at high-end Devon bed maker Vispring last year. Factory efficiencies and growth outside Britain meant profits, by most measures, still climbed.

OKA Direct, the mid-high end furniture and interiors retailer bought by an Italian investment company earlier this year, has appointed Emilio Foa as its new CEO.

Luxury beds retailer And So To Bed recorded a bigger loss in 2017 as muted demand and fierce competition meant it was forced to compete on price, placing pressure on margins.

Upholstery supplier La-Z-Boy UK has adopted a new packaging product that has enabled it to eliminate all plastic wrapping from goods arriving from the Far East.

The BFC trade alliance is concerned regarding guidance over rise and recline chairs
Guidance suggesting motorised furniture can bypass UK flammability regulations to be legally sold here should be reconsidered, according to the British Furniture Confederation (BFC), which has carried out tests to show the dangers.

Sales rose, profits fell in the UK for Ekornes
Bad debt and higher costs meant UK profits declined for upholstery supplier Ekornes last year despite top line growth including standout performances in the South East and Scotland.

In 24 months, Next's third-party homeware brand offer has increased four-fold
General retailer Next has added more than 100 new furniture and homeware brands to its product offer in the past 12 months as part of a major escalation of its third-party brand offer.

The value of mattress retail sales inched forward in August compared with last year as the category continued to outperform other bulky goods furniture lines.

CIFF 2018 Sep 1
The Hongqiao National Exhibition and Convention Center
The 42nd edition of the China International Furniture Fair in Shanghai (CIFF Shanghai) attracted record attendance across the four-day event, organisers have said.

Home sales fell for a third straight week at John Lewis
Sales of new iPhones and Apple Watches helped electricals to power John Lewis & Partners sales growth last week. Though home goods sales didn't crumble, they still fell for the third straight period.

Who owns what at Tapi Carpets
New equity issued through 2017–18 has diluted Lord Kirkham's stake in Tapi Carpets & Floors, meaning he is no longer the largest external shareholder in the circa 100-store chain.

A look at the upholstery category shows why these tariffs matter.

Stores represent a decreasing proportion of Next sales
Fashion-to-furnishings giant Next says it expects its stores to generate less than half of all sales and under a third of profits this year as its customers continue to migrate to the web.

Former BHS lighting shoppers consider home improvement giant B&Q their favourite alternative now that BHS is no longer trading, according to new research.

National beds specialist Dreams has become a member of trade association BFM, the association for British Furniture Manufacturers.