John Lewis yesterday opened its new £35m Birmingham department store, which anchors the Grand Central retail development above New Street Station.

lebusFactoryRevenue growth escalated at Lebus Upholstery with the Lincolnshire sofa manufacturer posting a third successive double-digit sales climb.

Carpets group AIREA posted higher profits as sales climbed at home and abroad and in both contract and domestic markets in the year to end June.

International furniture brand BoConcept has revised its 2015–16 profit forecasts on the back of better-than-expected sales and order growth over the summer.

ercolEdwardRomanaHeritage furniture brand Ercol is to make a major investment in machinery at its Buckinghamshire factory as it looks to build on another year of strong growth.

Leeds mattress and bed technology manufacturer Harrison Spinks was last night named bed manufacturer of the year for 2015.

National retailer Furniture Village has retained its bed retailer of the year crown, with Newbridge Street Bedding Centre winning the independent category.

Four-store furniture and home furnishings retailer Alan Ward has opened a new floorcoverings and interiors department at its Shrewsbury store.

sofaBrandsSofa Brands International posted double-digit top and bottom line growth in the year to end June with its Parker Knoll brand among its stellar performers.

Diversified furnishings group Ena Shaw is forecasting growth of almost a fifth this year driven by market tailwinds and the full year contribution of its Montgomery brand.

Britain’s bed trade will descend on the Telford International Centre this morning as the National Bed Federation’s Bed Show throws open its doors.

Furniture retailer Made.com’s negative operating margin improved on the back of higher sales and stronger gross margin in 2014.

bensonsCargoSteinhoff is to phase out its Cargo Homeshop stores chain with a number of its shops to be used to expedite Bensons for Beds’ growth in the South East.

EBITDA will reach £18m at beds retailer Dreams in 2015 as it continues to benefit from internal self-help measures and strong customer demand.

retailParkFurniture retailers’ five month run of consecutive year-on-year double-digit sales rises came to an end in August but were still ahead of year-earlier levels.

Oak Furniture Land is lining up new stores in Scotland and a first in Northern Ireland as it continues to rollout across the UK.

Department store chain John Lewis built on its first weekly sales growth of the year with another strong week in the seven days to 12th September.

tapiUddingstonStore numbers at fledgling floorcoverings chain Tapi Carpets & Floors are approaching double figures with the firm opening its first store in Scotland.

There are two key takeaways from the performance of two of Britain’s leading ecommerce furniture retailers. Sign in for more.

Retail giant Matalan has expanded its home furnishings offer with a dedicated programme of mattresses, bedframes and bedroom furniture through its Matalan Direct arm.

West Yorkshire contract furniture group Thornton EME posted high top and bottom line growth in the year to end December 2014.

Hypnos has been named AIS Bed Supplier of the Year following a vote of its independent retail membership.

bettaLivingSales growth escalated at furniture chain Betta Living in 2013–14 as it made the most of new stores and concessions in partner retailers.

Year-on-year furniture retail prices were positive for the first time in seven months in August and up 280 basis points on the year to July.

polishUpholsteryPoland again usurped Italy as the prime EU upholstery source for UK importers at the start of the third quarter while Chinese sofa imports also climbed.

Kent furniture and interiors distributor Gallery Direct has added UK made mattresses to its product roster with the acquisition of Wiltshire manufacturer Dreamworks Beds.

Half of B&Q’s planned store downsizing programme — announced in the spring of this year — will be completed by the end of its 2015–16 trading period, owner Kingfisher says.

Retailers including IKEA and John Lewis have been praised by the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) in a new report highlighting the industry’s contribution to furniture re-use.

HeartofEnglandHomeLivingOne of the largest furniture retail divisions in the UK co-operative movement is to close with Heart of England Co-op’s decision to phase out its Home & Living stores.

Off-price furniture and accents retailer HomeSense is part way through a flurry of store openings that will take its national store portfolio to 38 shops.

The high street and shopping centre footfall malaise continued in August though the floors of UK retail parks were trodden in greater numbers than last year.

Softer demand for Belgian merchandise was behind a fall in carpet imports at the start of the third quarter.

Carpets and floorcoverings group Victoria has agreed to buy flooring accessories supplier Interfloor in a deal worth around £65m.

steinhoffUKmdsAnthony Joyce has assumed responsibility for Steinhoff UK Manufacturing following the long planned retirement of managing director Andy Murdoch.

General merchandise retailer Next says its new Home stores are trading way ahead of target and significantly stronger than new floorspace devoted to apparel.

Fast growth in economies including China and Russia helped IKEA global sales reach €32bn in 2014–15.

bensonForBedsBensons for Beds gleaned market share as Steinhoff’s UK retail interests traded ahead in high single digits during the year to end June.

Major furniture independent Stokers group deleveraged as it built sales and profits ahead of its late May acquisition of Aylesbury furniture retailer Lucas.

Dunelm posted rising sales and profits in 2014–15 as it made the most of its existing and new stores and its burgeoning online business.

Weak electricals demand hit sales at Argos in the second quarter while ongoing store closures hampered sister retailer Homebase despite improving like-for-likes.

lauraAshleyRetailer Laura Ashley enjoyed a double-digit spike in like-for-like furniture sales in the six months to 1st August though total revenue was impacted by net store closures.

The world’s biggest bed company Tempur Sealy International has a new leader following the high-profile ousting of former CEO Mark Sarvary earlier this year.

A major Malaysian furniture delegation has joined a raft of new and returning exhibitors to sign to the January Furniture Show, scheduled for 24th–27th January 2016.

Year-on-year retail prices were lower for a 28th consecutive month but unchanged in August, according to the British Retail Consortium.

sofaComVinceGunnUpholstery retailer Sofa.com has named Vince Gunn as its new chief executive following the earlier appointment of a new CFO.

Like-for-like retail sales dropped in August as retailers relied on new space to make up the shortfall, according to the British Retail Consortium.

A fall in sales in the third quarter proved a setback for the owner of the Habitat furniture retail brand outside the United Kingdom.

loafHomeLoaf says the launch of its new London store will have a transformational effect as it looks to build on profitable growth in 2014–15.

The pace of the rollout of the Habitat brand has been accelerated with the chain to reach its 2015–16 store target several months ahead of schedule.

The privately owned group behind the out-of-town Trago Mills shopping centres enjoyed a leap in profits in 2014 despite relatively flat sales.

conranSelfridgesFurniture and design retailer The Conran Shop is preparing to open its third UK store with a new concession inside Selfridges London.

westElmThumbWest Elm senior buyer Angus Whyte and vice president Kerri Ackermann tell The Furnishing Report about its new gallery in John Lewis.

Premium sofa and chair manufacturer Spink & Edgar Upholstery and luxury fabrics supplier Swaffer have partnered for a new product line to be introduced this month.

bentallsKingstonDepartment store retailer Bentalls has appointed the former head furniture buyer at rival retailer John Lewis for a newly created director of buying role.

Ponsford commercial director David Carter has left to launch his own brand management, distribution and sourcing business.

ulsterInternalMajor flooring manufacturer Ulster Carpets has unfurled the first phase of its £30m investment programme as it celebrates another year of record profits.

nickRadfordSmallThe acquisition of the Morris, Zone and Relaxateeze brands meets a strategic need, says Nathan Group chairman Nicholas Radford. He tells the Furnishing Report why.

Taking full control of the G Plan brand represents a powerful opportunity for the upholstery group Sofa Brands International.

Whirlpool has waded into the battle to acquire British premium stoves and furnishings group Aga Rangemaster, threatening to capsize a bid from one of its rivals.

hatfieldsColchesterSales growth escalated at large independent furniture retailer Hatfields of Colchester in the year to end March.

morrisFactoryThe Morris Furniture Group has sold its G Plan Cabinets brand to Sofa Brands International and its Zone, Relaxateeze and Morris brands to the newly formed Nathan Group.

ikeaAberdeenMockupThe second of IKEA’s smaller format store pilots is planned for the North East of Scotland with the retailer hoping to open in time for the key Christmas trading period.

Modern furniture specialist BoConcept enjoyed a strong first quarter in the UK, where its largest franchisee has taken control of all London stores.

Multi-fascia beds retail group Beter Bed said it made market share gains across Europe in the first half despite net store closures across its circa 1,100 store estate.

JohnLewisCorporateDepartment store mutual John Lewis’ slow start to the year continued as revenue within its Home category trended downwards for a third successive week.

Furniture Village opens its 41st store this August Bank Holiday weekend as part of its plan to open 20 new sites over the next five years.

furnitureVillageFasciaNational retailer Furniture Village grew 2014–15 profits by 43 per cent as orders increased and margins returned to historically high levels.

US furniture retailer West Elm is to open concession-style spaces in John Lewis stores starting with the department store chain’s big Oxford Street revamp, which officially opens next week.

East of England beds retailer Mattressman is raising cash for a new children’s hospice, by donating a percentage of the proceeds of its in-house produced Nook mattress.

The next edition of the IMM furniture fair in Cologne looks set to sell out with under a fifth of stand space remaining, according to organiser Koelnmesse.

wedoWebHomeOnline beds retailer Wedo Beds has ceased trading and will be placed into liquidation later today.

The company behind the SleepShaper mattress brand has developed a grading system for its memory foam programme and says others in the industry should follow its lead.

AshcraftFurnitureGloucsFlatpack bedroom supplier Ashcraft Furniture was saved through a pre-pack administration last month, new statutory filings reveal.

Adjustable furniture vertical HSL delivered profitable growth as it continued to invest in store expansion in the year to end December.

East of England mattress and bed base manufacturer Mansion House posted strong sales, profits and cash growth in the year to end March.

carpetShowroomThe boss of wholesale giant Headlam says momentum is building in the UK flooring sector as it claimed first half market share gains.

retailParkFurniture retailers made double-digit sales gains for a fifth consecutive time in July, with sales now trending upwards in each of the past 14 months.

Tough comps and changeable weather were blamed as John Lewis’ sales in the second week of its new financial year continued in the same vein as the first.

stresslessAdHalf year UK and Ireland revenue declined for Stressless brand owner Ekornes as lower sales in the second quarter eliminated gains made in the first.

IKEA says it will become the first major retailer in the world to offer a fully LED lighting range as part of a global investment that could reach €100m.

Furniture and home department store retailer Glasswells has paid tribute to its operations director Robert Hawkins, who died last week following a short illness. He was 72 years old.

Furniture trade association FIRA is to lay on additional EU Timber Regulation training courses, saying many in the trade are still stumped by how it relates directly to them.

inflationThumbFurniture prices slipped back into negative year-on-year territory in July to clock up a sixth successive month where category inflation has been flat or sub-zero.

Furniture and home retailer Sterling has invested more than £500,000 at its new-look Mill Café at its flagship Tillicoultry showroom.

IKEA has confirmed its long-awaited store along the M4 corridor will open in a year’s time in the summer of 2016.

retailParkThe number of people shopping out-of-town retail parks grew at its fastest rate in over a year in July, according to the British Retail Consortium.

highgroveExhibDivan and mattress maker Highgrove Beds has invested heavily through a mix of new debt and self-generated cash flows after posting record sales and profits.

The Benelux based carpet industry’s grip on the UK flooring market is weakening with British buyers looking to the East.

Home merchandise sales declined as John Lewis failed to match year-earlier trade in the first week of its new financial year.

sleepeezeeBedRising short term costs meeting supply deadlines pushed the Simmons Bedding Group into deficit in the year to end December, despite sales being ahead of plan.

A new resource for manufacturers looks at how to incorporate ergononics, health and well-being considerations into the design of home furniture.

Rising demand from core export partners in Europe drove a 9.8 per cent increase in furniture exports from the UK in the second quarter of 2015.



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