EUsofaManufacturingUpholstery shipments to the UK declined at the end of the third quarter with demand falling steepest from manufacturing partners in Europe.

Belgian and Dutch carpet imports fell sharply in September though there was a rise in the amount of accent flooring brought in from far-off markets.

simonSpinksHarrison Spinks md Simon Spinks says the beds, springs and upholstery group is committing £5.5m to capital projects over the next 12 months.

Retailers had their worst October in six years according to the British Retail Consortium, though the furniture category bucked the wider trend.

Global furniture retailer JYSK will this week unveil a new store design format which—if successful—is expected to be rolled out across the network.

bernardStitfallSofa Brands International will have a new group finance director from 1st December following the retirement after nearly four decades service of Bernard Stitfall.

Furniture retailer Dwell this weekend opened its eighth store and third in as many months as it continues to rebuild its store footprint.

QuickStepHQMohawk Industries posted record third quarter profits thanks to the successful integration of acquisitions and gains made by new product lines.

Floorcoverings contractor Designer Contracts has relocated to two larger depots serving three key regions.

Promotions across living and dining, bedroom and upholstery supported year-on-year furniture sales growth at John Lewis last week.

okaWebDemand from online customers boosted premium furniture and homeware retailer OKA Direct as 2014–15 ecommerce sales climbed by nearly a quarter.

Trade kitchens supplier Howdens has entered into a long term agreement to occupy a new-build distribution centre near Raunds.

blackOrchidConcessionEfforts to salvage high-end furniture and design brand Black Orchid Interiors remain ongoing, the administrator said yesterday.

General merchandise sales at Marks & Spencer declined 0.4 per cent in the six months to end September, though the retailer made gains in food and online.

The rate at which prices dropped in UK retail stores decelerated in October according to stores group the British Retail Consortium.

arnottsDepartment store operator Selfridges Group has acquired heritage Dublin retailer Arnotts from Fitzwilliam Finance Partners.

sereneAgentsMidlands beds and furniture distributor Serene has appointed Jim Sloan to build distribution for its Serene Living programme across the island of Ireland.

WarrenEvansChelmsfordLondon and South East beds and mattress retailer Warren Evans says a bumper sales performance in the early part of 2015 has put it in line to return to profit this year.

The new value-oriented Simply Magnet collection continued to drive top line improvement at kitchens chain Magnet in the third quarter.

Consumer confidence for big-ticket furniture spend has taken a knock over fears regarding the UK and wider global economy.

tempurThmbTempur’s introduction into the British market represented a paradigm shift for UK mattress manufacturers, distributors, retailers and end users.

Furniture sales grew 7.6 per cent at department store mutual John Lewis last week driven by orders taken from its online channel.

Privately owned manufacturer and distributor Gallery Direct is one of the fastest emerging furniture and home furnishings groups operating in the UK.

healsHMansA look at management and non-executive changes at premium furniture, design and homewares retailer Heal’s. Sign in for more.

Expanding furniture and homewares distributor Gallery Direct invested heavily in what was a transformational year to December 2014.

nextHomeMaidstoneGeneral merchandise retailer Next posted 7.3 per cent sales growth for its third quarter, driven by a near double-digit rise in Directory sales.

The Furnishing Report charts Carpetright’s progress in downsizing its UK store portfolio over the past four and a half years.

veryBedsHome shopping giant Shop Direct grew profits 78 per cent in the year to end June with CEO Alex Baldock hailing the online department store retailer’s disciplined approach.

natuzziCroydonHigh sales growth at key London stores helped sofa giant Natuzzi shrug off the impact of a number of department store concession closures last year.

Carpetright CEO Wilf Walsh says early trading at its new concept stores has been encouraging as the retailer delivered half year growth against a backdrop of space rationalisation.

HRH The Countess of Wessex officially opened luxury bed manufacturer Vispring’s new showroom at its Devon factory last week.

habitatTCRmapthumbFurniture retailer Habitat has completed the first phase of a major refurbishment of its flagship showroom on Tottenham Court Road.

Privately-owned furniture and department store retailer Collingwood Batchellor doubled profits in 2014–15 with strong growth enjoyed at its refurbished Worthing store.

Multi-brand kitchen manufacturing group Omega posted strong profits in the year to end December as group sales climbed 5.6 per cent to £39.9m.

Tempur Sealy International has settled a longstanding antitrust investigation alleging vertical price fixing at its German Tempur subsidiary.

tapiUddingstonTapi Carpets & Floors will take store numbers to 20 with the emerging floorcoverings retailer revealing its next eight locations, including a first in Wales.

September brought a sixteenth consecutive month of rising furniture sales, according to the Office for National Statistics.

dfsStoreOfficialAdvent International is to reduce its shareholding in DFS, the national furniture retailer which returned to the stock market earlier this year.

Luxury French furniture brand Roche Bobois enjoyed strong UK growth last year buoyed by an increase in underlying demand and the impact of its newest showroom.

DebenhamFurnitureJCDepartment store retailer Debenhams is to introduce interest free credit as part of a plan to galvanise furniture sales across its stores and online.

The Carpet Foundation is to simplify and focus its marketing message on its retail membership alone moving forward.

Production output at British furniture plants dipped at the height of the summer though remains well ahead of 2014 on a year-to-date basis.

argosHeartofHouseArgos is to build on last month’s Fast Track delivery rollout with an even greater emphasis on fulfilment of big-ticket ‘two-man’ goods such as furniture and large electricals.

Home improvement chain Homebase grew like-for-like sales by 5.6 per cent in the half to end August with furniture and kitchens key growth drivers.

Luxury furniture manufacturers spanning the mattress and upholstery sectors are targeting independent hoteliers at a key trade event this week.

jarroldsStoreDiversified department and furniture store business Jarrold posted strong profits and a huge leap in the value of its investment property portfolio in the year to 1st February.

Mattress and bed base brands Bodyease, Sareer Furniture and Highgate Beds have all signed to exhibit at next year’s January Furniture Show.

dreamsSolihullextCoBeds specialist Dreams has posted sales of £193.6m in the year to 24th December in accounts that confirm its strong profits turnaround.

Underlying profits climbed 17 per cent at furniture and department store retailer Banburys despite tough trading conditions in the year to end January.

Shoppers ventured out of town in greater numbers in September though the wider trend—for falling overall retail footfall—continued.

airsprungFactoryAirsprung’s mattresses and bed bases sold strongly in the year to end March as the Trowbridge group posted a five-fold profits uplift.

The transition to new owners hit Sofa.com’s bottom line in 2014–15 but the upholstery vertical maintained its sales momentum.

The Furniture Industry Research Association has produced a report into the impact of flame retardants as greater numbers of chemicals used in the upholstery sector fall under the remit of the EU Reach regulations.

Department store retailer John Lewis said it was pleased with the early results of its new Oxford Street refurbishment as weekly sales across Home were propped up by furniture.

Luxury beds manufacturer Vispring grew profits by 16 per cent in 2014 on the back of higher sales and a 70 basis point improvement in gross margin.

UK furniture manufacturers’ prices continued to rise in the year to September despite deflationary conditions across all British industry.

jyskCODanish value furniture chain JYSK has outlined an ambitious plan to increase its UK store footprint by the end of its 2015–16 financial year.

The rate at which furniture prices rose against year-earlier levels was unchanged last month though remained well ahead of other consumer goods and services.

British furniture manufacturers enjoyed strong sales to France, Ireland and the Netherlands but it wasn’t enough to make up for weak demand further afield.

Retail sales bounced strongly in September, aided by the later than usual Bank Holiday period that lifted categories including furniture.

There was a surprise summer drop in the amount of furniture imported from Poland and Vietnam, two of the fastest growing sources of goods for UK buyers in recent years.

Chinese furniture importsFalling demand for living, dining and bedroom cabinet merchandise offset growth in upholstery imports at the height of the summer this year.

North West furniture and furnishings retailer Housing Units delivered strong growth in the year to end March with more to come in 2015–16.

andSoToBedStoreMarket conditions in the bed sector remained challenging in 2014, according to premium bedroom retailer and franchisor And So To Bed.

Two of Britain’s flooring superpowers—Amtico and Karndean—swept up a bigger share of the market in 2014 as consumer demand for luxury vinyl soared.

Department store mutual John Lewis is planning to open a full-line store in Cheltenham, plugging a geographical gap that stretches from Bristol to Solihull.

Independent home furnishings specialist Roomes Furniture and Interiors enjoyed strong growth in the year to end January.

fogartyPillowsDunelm said yesterday it was acquiring the rights to the Fogarty filled bedding brand. So where did that leave the £33m Lincolnshire manufacturer, its management and staff?

Furniture and homeware retailer West Elm has pledged that 40 per cent of its products will be Fair Trade certified within the next four years.

dfsCo 2Upholstery chain DFS delivered record sales in the year to 1st August as it launched new space in the UK and Ireland and prepared the ground for category expansion.

Home furnishings chain Dunelm has acquired the brand rights of filled bedding supplier Fogarty, one its key suppliers.

argosCoMattresses and flat-pack cabinet kits are among 20,000 product lines available for same-day order and delivery as part of a new initiative from general merchandise retailer Argos.

Members of the National Bed Federation and their guests raised more than £6,000 for industry charity The Furniture Makers’ Company at the NBF Gala Dinner.

wrenLivingFurniture vertical Wren Living grabbed a bigger share of the kitchens, bedrooms and living room market in 2014 with sales closing in on £200m.

Year-on-year price falls for non-food merchandise widened in September as retailers competed to offer consumers the keenest deals.

atkinsonsSheffieldUrban regeneration in the centre of Sheffield will bring benefits, according to heritage furniture and department store independent Atkinsons.

Industry leaders including DFS and FIRA are to speak at an event designed to address the potential skills shortage in the British furniture industry.

ahfStoreFrontFurniture chain AHF says its new and upgraded stores can help it build on improving 2014–15 sales and profits with another leap in performance this year.

The group behind the Habitat retail fascia outside the United Kingdom has refinanced and plans to use the cash to support its global expansion of the heritage British brand.

Upmarket furniture and interiors retailer OKA Direct plans to more than double store numbers over the next 36 months.

Fair-trade furniture and accessories retailer Myakka has top scored in the Good Shopping Guide, a consumer reference book compiled by the Ethical Company Organisation.

GardinerHaskinsBristolPrivately owned South West home department store retailer Gardiner Haskins returned strongly to growth in 2014 and boosted already high profit margins.

The new Consumer Rights Act — which came into effect yesterday — fundamentally affects the furniture retail sector’s relationship with its customers.

British consumer confidence declined in September but still remains well ahead of year-earlier levels, according to research group GfK.

Nottinghamshire upholstery producer Whitemeadow more than doubled profits on the back of rising sales and a 60 basis point swing in gross margin.

home24European consumers propelled Home24 and Westwing — two of the continents main home and living ecommerce retailers — to new heights in the first half of 2015.



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