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

westElmTCR May 2018
West Elm's Tottenham Court Road, London flagship.
Revenue advanced double-digit for West Elm in the second quarter with the U.K. outperforming other international markets for the Brooklyn, U.S. headquartered furniture and home accents retailer.

Kasen International Holdings, the one-time owner of a U.K. upholstery retail chain, recorded double-digit sales growth to Europe in the six months to end June.

The largest U.K. distribution arm of Mohawk Industries, the world's biggest floorcoverings company, booked higher profits after sales growth outgunned the impact of narrower margins.

Wellwishers and mourners have raised the equivalent of more than £72,000 for the Danish Cancer Society following the death of JYSK founder Lars Larsen earlier this month.

hushabyeEdj
Hush-a-Bye is becoming hushabye (new logo, inset). Its new edj mattress is pictured.
Bed business Hush-a-Bye is rebranding as hushabye with a refreshed identity that better reflects the brand's "tone of voice" according to Nick Gigg, md at the Airsprung Group owned manufacturer.

A variety of elements conspired to bring down the one-time 27-store soft furnishings and bedding chain Yorkshire Linen according to a new report by administrator BDO.

Mattress brand Emma is selling its products through John Lewis & Partners after agreeing a tie-up with the department store chain across selected shops and online.

Department store retailer John Lewis & Partners recorded weaker sales last week with all three of its main product directorates failing to match year-earlier trade.

designerContractslongService
Angie Cresswell has spent 20 years with Designer Contracts. She is pictured above receiving an engraved iPad Pro with md Peter Kelsey.
Designer Contracts, the 15-depot national floorcoverings contractor, has marked the long service of dozens of employees with special recognition awards.

Half-year sales advanced for Headlam Group but interim profits were broadly flat after the floorcoverings giant, the biggest company of its type in Europe, faced up to cost headwinds.

Shop prices fell at their fastest rate in more than a year this month on the back of retailers discounting non-food goods and clearing stock earlier than was the case this time last year.

MattressMakingHealthcare Europe
Sales continued to build for Mlily.
Output continued to ramp up for the company behind the Mlily mattress and pillow brand in the first half of 2019 despite growth slowing in the second three months of that period.

Croydon 01
Carpetright is the U.K.'s biggest floorcoverings retailer.
Carpetright shareholder Meditor Capital Management has agreed to acquire the retailer's revolving credit facility (RCF) direct from its current lending banks, NatWest and AIB.

BensonsHarveysPW Cr
A number of stores are on co-located sites.
U.K. beds and furniture retail chains Bensons for Beds and Harveys could have a new owner by the autumn, according to The Times.

lauraAshleyGen2018
Store numbers have been falling since 2013.
Fashion-to-furniture retailer Laura Ashley says it will close more stores this coming year as it continues a trend dating back to 2013, when it was trading from 57 more U.K. units than it is today.

ScS, the U.K.'s number two upholstery retailer, is expanding its customer service team at its North East headquarters.

HighStreetBarnsleyGoo
Barnsley Town Centre will benefit from the additional funding. Image: Google
An additional 50 English towns will benefit from the Future High Streets Fund with the U.K. Government upping the total investment into the initiative to £1 billion.

2019 Winner Photo HU Golf Day
Michael Boyle is presented with the Housing Units green jacket.
North West home department store retailer Housing Units raised more cash for Kidscan at its annual golf day, taking the total raised for the children's cancer charity to £50,000 in the past four years.

Glasswells FW BSE
Glasswells is one of Britain's largest independent retailers.
East of England retailer Glasswells, one of the U.K.'s biggest independent furniture store operators, booked lower sales and profits in 2018–19 because of lower demand and a weaker housing market. Cash generation was stronger.

durabedsBatley
Dura Beds' West Yorkshire factory.
Batley mattress maker Dura Beds returned to growth in 2017–18 and says investment at its West Yorkshire plant will result in a further build out in sales.

Customers of prestige British bed maker Savoir can buy certain products online from the company for the first time after it added transactional functionality to its website.

Lancashire manufacturer Burgess Beds appointed from within the bed trade when hiring its new managing director earlier this summer.

AndrewMitchellRobWalker
Andrew Mitchell (left) of the Long Eaton Guild and Artistic Upholstery alongside Orbital's Rob Walker.
The Long Eaton Guild of Furniture Manufacturers has a new website and the fee for the project has been donated to St. Michael's Hospice, in memory of longtime Guild chairman Matt O'Flynn.

lauraAshley605
The second half was better than the first for furniture sales at Laura Ashley.
The furniture sales trend improved for retailer Laura Ashley in the six months to end June though didn't prevent it recording a double-digit full-year decline, blaming weak consumer confidence for hitting products at higher price points.

The insolvency of the London based designer furniture retailer Skandium — whose IP and other assets were sold to an unrelated third party earlier this summer — left unsecured creditors facing substantial unpaid debts.

Britain's biggest bed maker Silentnight will today open a fourth retail brand showroom with a new unit at one of the biggest shopping destinations in the South West of England.

Ulster Carpets and Mourne Textiles have formed a joint venture called Mourne Weavers that will produce and supply furnishing fabrics to the hospitality industry.

NotOnTheHighStreet.com (Noths), the home and giftware company that indexes a substantial programme of furniture and bed products on its ecommerce marketplace, has a new chief executive.

sofologyOwenWilson2019
Sofology is working with Owen Wilson again. The first of the new series of ads airs this evening (Aug. 21).
Upholstery retailer Sofology — which tonight premieres a new television advert with film star Owen Wilson — says it will open five new stores by the spring of 2020 including a first in Northern Ireland.

Rival bed makers to Harrison Spinks, who might be a tad green with envy after watching TV Tuesday night, will not feel any better when they read the following story.

Keen & Able, the two-man home delivery company that specialises in beds, will this autumn add a fourth U.K. depot and a first in Scotland.

Swedish multinational Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) is to expand the geographical scope of its H&M Home store concept in the U.K. with the launch of a store in Birmingham.

Sales of home merchandise fell at John Lewis & Partners for the fourth straight week with the chain relying on growth in its electricals category to limit the impact on total revenue.

larsLarsenOfficial
Lars Larsen
Lars Larsen, founder of the eponymous group that he built into one of the biggest furniture businesses in the world with annual sales north of €4.2 billion, has died. He was 71 years old.

Underlying sales grew for Northamptonshire cabinet furniture retailer and wholesaler Kettle Interiors in 2017–18 despite a backdrop of trading headwinds.

Upholstery, cabinets and bed sales all ticked up year-on-year in July as retailers annualised weak comparatives following the heatwave and men's football World Cup last year.

Profits topped half a million pounds for emerging living, dining and bedroom cabinet furniture retailer in 2018–19.

shipContsShpfyFree
Companies are evaluating sourcing strategies in light of tariffs on Chinese goods.
Shifting furniture production away from China to other nations in Southeast Asia to avoid tariffs is a strategy laced with risk, according to a senior former U.S. Government official.

alexanderJames2018
Alexander & James is part of the DM Midlands group, ultimately owned by Thailand's TCM Corp.
There was an improving sales trend in the second quarter of 2019 for the Thai owner of British sofa makers Ashley Manor, Alexander & James and Alstons, negating weaker first quarter top-line figures.

Duff & Phelps says "progress has been made" in its bid to claw back cash from a foam supplier for the benefit of creditors of fallen upholstery chain Multiyork.

Department store retailer John Lewis & Partners has agreed to sell Casper products in its stores and online in the first U.K. retail partnership secured by the American mattress company.

The highest factory gate mattress inflation for nearly three years was the principal reason furniture producer price inflation ticked up in July, according to new Government figures.

Howard Sudall, store director at renowned Yorkshire furniture store Christopher Pratts, retired earlier this summer after nearly 50 years with the retailer.

ahfHomebasePly
Homebase has been building concession partnerships. AHF is among the latest.
Furniture chain AHF has extended its footprint into southwest England after opening its first two concessions inside home improvement retailer Homebase.

Houseology, the Glasgow-based etailer of prestige furniture and accents, has hired former Dobbies Garden Centres executive Laura Jamieson as chief financial officer.

Home furnishings retailer Wayfair has raised new capital through a private convertible note offering. It says it will use the funds for working capital, capex projects and possibly to fund acquisitions.

One of the U.K.'s biggest rug and floormat suppliers said the downsizing of home improvement chain Homebase had a negative impact on sales last year.

Melrose Interiors, one of the country's largest independent rug suppliers, closed out a seven-figure property sale this summer after earlier completing a "landmark relocation."

nextHomeOfficialFW
The factory supplies Next stores and its online operation.
General merchandise retail giant Next expanded the output of its Yorkshire sofa manufacturing plant in 2018–19 but cautioned that activity remained in the developmental phase.

Consumers paid considerably more to buy furniture in July after inflation in the category climbed to its highest level since February 2018.

shipContsShpfyFree
Rising shipments from Asia powered the increase.
Living, dining and bedroom cabinet imports to the U.K. have trended up in mid single-digits in the first half of 2019 driven by shipments from the Far East.

The Young Furniture Makers exhibition returns to the City of London this October, offering the industry opportunities to connect with a new generation of designer-makers looking to make an impact on the sector.

rdmBlueBackgroundBY RICHARD DE MELIM


Upholstery giant Natuzzi announced a new business plan is on the way to mitigate the impact of tariffs imposed on China-made goods arriving into the U.S.

natuzziFactoryFW
Natuzzi has vast manufacturing operations.
Italian sofa giant Natuzzi says it will sell non-strategic assets and revise its worldwide manufacturing configuration as part of plans to insulate itself from new tariffs.

Revenue and profit growth returned for Westex last year, as the West Yorkshire carpet maker — part of the flooring conglomerate Victoria for nearly six years — delivered a best-in-class performance.

mattressFilling
Weak end to the first half for mattress imports.
Mattress imports into the U.K. are barely above year-earlier levels at the half-year stage, threatening a first full year drop in the category for six years.

Customers spent less on home products at John Lewis & Partners for the third straight week as the chain relied on higher technology spend to deliver growth.

The new chief executive of Steinhoff International Holdings said its €9 billion debt pile is too high as he offered a vision of the future for the embattled conglomerate yesterday.

sofaWarehouse1
Sofa imports have climbed rapidly in the six months to June.
British buyers bought upholstery from overseas like never before in the first half of 2019 with arrivals from China and Poland leading the way.

One of the first direct-to-consumer sofa makers to allow shoppers to design their upholstery using an online configurator has agreed a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) with creditors.