JohnLewisCorporateDepartment store retailer John Lewis lifted weekly sales by 0.6 per cent to £70m year-on-year as it closed out its 2015–16 financial year and heralded a new era in sales data disclosure.

Bekaert Textiles is to acquire DesleeClama to create what the companies describe as the world’s leading mattress fabric supplier.

“We wanted to build a £100m national business,” says the owner of The Furniture Barn, the eight-store retailer placed into administration in December.

FurnitureBarnThurrockCase goods supplier Global Home was owed £4.65m by retailers Furniture Barn Ltd and Furniture of Market Harborough Ltd, which entered administration late last year.

Upholstery chain DFS says it has appointed Andy Vaughan-Jones as sole buying director following the departure of Gary Pitchford last month. It also said FD Bill Barnes is to retire.

ashwoodUpholstery manufacturer Ashwood Designs built sales momentum last year, with owners saying the firm had benefited from its investment in plant and people.

Direct container and wholesale supplier Kettle Interiors boosted output by over a quarter as the number of retailers stocking its goods jumped by nearly a third last year.

Gillies has paid tribute to its marketing director Mike Wells, who has decided to take early retirement after 17 years with the Scottish independent and 45 years in the furniture industry.

Five directors are to step down from the board of global bedding conglomerate Tempur Sealy International including the former director-general of the UK Conservative Party.

Sales climbed last year at the company behind beds retailer Dreams’ stores in Northern Ireland and its co-located upholstery format.

highStreeThe number of industry insolvencies dropped by almost a third in January, reflecting market tailwinds across the furniture, flooring and furnishings sectors.

nextUpholsteryProductionGeneral merchandise retailer Next will start manufacturing sofas in Yorkshire later this year and is currently recruiting for upholstery production management.

Cabinet furniture and accents supplier Besp-Oak will show overseas for the first time this year as it looks to build on revenue growth in 2014–15.

aramStoreExtModern furniture and lighting retailer Aram has remodelled part of its 20,000sqft Central London store with an eye on developing its business with the specifier market.

Electricals and Home Technology categories were up double-digit for department store mutual John Lewis as it entered the final week of its 2015–16 financial year.

The CEO of furniture supplier VIDA Living says uptake for its container programme has escalated after it added a new warehouse that takes worldwide stocks to over 325,000sqft.

tapiNewMaldenFloorcoverings retailer Tapi Carpets & Floors will pass 30 stores with openings in the next few weeks, and has named another 16 locations where it plans to open this year.

Lower distribution costs helped bedroom cabinet vertical Starplan Furniture shrug off falling sales in the year to end April. Profits climbed sharply.

UK households had more disposable income to spend in December compared to last year but the rate of growth slowed to its lowest level in over a year.

colefaxColefax Group PLC says the introduction of a 12 per cent stamp duty rate on high value homes is affecting demand for luxury furnishings.

Major floorcoverings contractor Designer Contracts says building distribution capacity has helped it meet rising demand, with revenues up 14 per cent in 2014–15.

Organisers of the IMM Cologne event held in Germany last week have reported rising attendance with early data from this week’s January Furniture Show also positive.

SpinkEdgarPremium mattress brand Spink & Edgar has launched into the United States after agreeing a licensing deal with bedding executives with experience across the US mattress supply chain.

Barker and Stonehouse has acquired brownfield land in Guildford and submitted a planning application to redevelop the site into a state-of-the-art store.

Floorcoverings retailer Carpetright grew like-for-like sales over the Christmas and January sale period. It also said it is selling a greater proportion of beds, impacting margin.

Litmus Furniture’s Simon Hewitt says he plans to build further momentum with independent and group customers after succeeding his father Peter Hewitt as managing director.

Home and leisure retailer The Range has fixed Bristol as the location for its new Southern Distribution Centre as it builds infrastructure to support its store expansion plan.

wyvernFurnitureKeith Willies has become managing director of volume sofa manufacturer Wyvern Furniture, succeeding Len Hughes who has decided to retire.

Furniture sales remained in the ascendancy in December but falls in other sectors meant the total year-on-year value of retail sales fell for the first time in over six years.

Kidderminster carpet producer Brockway invested heavily in 2014–15 with the company maintaining revenue and cutting its pre-tax deficit.

okaOMPremium furniture and homeware retailer OKA Direct is looking for a new chief executive after Octavia Morley left the business.

Online sales were up by almost by a third as John Lewis final week of Clearance saw growth across its product offer.

New Wade Upholstery and Cintique md Simon Wade talks to The Furnishing Report ahead of meeting customers for the first time at the NEC next week.

TasleemTasabSereneThe owner of Serene Furnishings says the West Midlands wholesaler can more than double sales by 2019 as it looks to build on a strong sell-in for its new Living programme.

MattressmanCorbyBeds retail chain Mattressman enjoyed top and bottom line growth in 2014–15 as it expanded its store base and grabbed a bigger share of online sales.

Deflation returned to the furniture retail sector in December after four consecutive year-on-year rises. Carpet prices were lower for the tenth month in a row.

The Foam Company has opened a new distribution centre that doubles its operating space and will quicken delivery times by allowing it hold stocks.

Chinese furniture importsRetailers headed into Christmas with fewer containers of cabinet furniture arriving at their warehouses as shipments from overseas declined.

Out-of-town shopping parks were the only retail destination to see more shoppers in December as footfall fell on high streets and shopping centres.

FurnitureBarnThurrockThe administrators of retail chain The Furniture Barn have granted a six month operating licence to a newco but say that three warehouses and two further stores will close.

Furniture brands Ercol, Tetrad and Somnus will be among those representing British industry at IMM Cologne, which opens in the German city this morning (18th Jan, 2016).

millbrookBedsBed manufacturing output at the Millbrook group reached eight figures for the first time since 2009 in the year to end June as the firm built on its first growth in a decade the previous year.

Wesfarmers says it plans to use the 265 store Homebase chain as the vehicle to introduce its Bunnings Warehouses brand to the UK consumer.

Stores and online delivered growth in a week of double-digit gains across the John Lewis business in the seven days to 9th January.

There are three plausible outcomes for Habitat following the confirmation that Homebase is close to being sold to Wesfarmers.

homebaseHome Retail Group is close to selling home improvement chain Homebase to Australian retail group Wesfarmers in a cash deal worth £340m.

veryVery and Littlewoods owner Shop Direct says it outperformed rivals as sales climbed in the seven weeks leading up to and including Christmas Day.

GaryPitchfordDFSBuying director Gary Pitchford has left the UK’s largest upholstery retailer DFS with immediate effect after 16 years with the business.

Bedroom and living room furniture producer Kingstown says the business will return to profit this year as it sees the benefit of its heavy investment in its manufacturing operation.

Upholstery and carpets retailer ScS has named Chris Muir as chief financial officer and executive board member, replacing Ron Turnbull whose departure was announced last year.

SteveHenningVispringPremium beds manufacturer Vispring has named Steve Henning as managing director, replacing Mike Meehan who is stepping down after 20 years in the role.

JDPShowroomRevenue last year reached record levels at the JDP Furniture Group, which has recruited the former design director at G Plan Upholstery as md of its Wade Upholstery division.

John Lewis said furniture, textiles and carpet revenue levels reached record weekly highs last week as total sales across the chain climbed by over a fifth.

Furniture and home décor supplier Origin Red Group is to close its UK distribution business and focus on faster growing international container sales.

MarksSpencerSteveRoweSteve Rowe, who formerly headed up Marks & Spencer’s furniture category, is to become chief executive after current incumbent Marc Bolland announced he plans to retire.

QFCUpholstery manufacturer QFC is donating sofas and chairs worth £45,000 to people in Cumbria who have lost all their furniture and belongings after their homes were flooded.

Floorcoverings retailer Topps Tiles grew sales by 4.4 per cent in the 13 weeks ended 2nd January, with revenue growth escalating in the past month.

AmazonHemelHempsteadAmazon has launched a customer credit offer for high-value purchases in a move that could help the Internet giant escalate furniture sales.

Britain’s online mattress market is among the most active in Europe with one in six consumers here having bought a bed online, according to new research.

argosCoHome Retail Group turned down a £1bn autumn takeover approach from J Sainsbury, the supermarket chain, saying it undervalued the business.

FurnitureBarnAccentsCase goods retailer Furniture Barn is to close one of its eight stores as administrators continue to pursue a going concern sale of the business.

General merchandise retailer Next says warm weather impacted trading in the final quarter. It also says it made mistakes with stock availability.

ashleyManorWest Midlands upholstery manufacturer Ashley Manor posted record sales in the year to end March. Sister companies AMX Design and Alexander & James also increased output.

sofaComMore than 40 per cent of the shares in Sofa.com remain in the hands of managers, employees and legacy stockholders following the investment by CBPE in February this year.

Ecommerce sales were up by a quarter as John Lewis total sales rose 2.3 per cent to £129.2m in the seven days to 26th December.

fryettsEarnings doubled at the group behind North West furnishing fabrics supplier Fryett’s in 2014–15, boosted by rising sales and higher margins.

floodingUpholstery manufacturer Vale Bridgecraft has called on its customers to carry on ordering despite suffering severe flooding at its Yorkshire factory.

furnitureQueueShoppers were out in force on Boxing Day with all types of retail destination seeing more people than the same day in 2014.

westwoodYarnsYorkshire carpet yarn spinner Westwood Yarns — sold by Victoria PLC earlier this autumn — has been placed into administration putting the jobs of 130 people at risk.

designersGuildPremium furniture and furnishings group Designers Guild says the UK market is improving despite overseas weakness impacting performance in 2014–15.

retailParkBritish shoppers’ predisposition towards spending big on home furnishings slipped in December, despite overall consumer confidence rising for the first time since the summer.

Heritage independent furniture retailer Macdonalds of York has announced plans to close the business next spring, with owner Martyn Macdonald to retire.

arighi bianchi coHeritage independent furniture and home retailer Arighi Bianchi built sales momentum in 2014–15 with profits more than doubling.

Output at UK furniture factories declined at the start of the final quarter of 2015, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics.



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