dfsCo 2DFS acquired the Sofa Workshop and Dwell furniture businesses for not far off one tenth of its 2013–14 interest and finance expense. Both can be key growth drivers.

Britain imported a record amount of floorcoverings in 2014 with the total passing the landmark £800m figure.

Midlands distributor Serene Living will debut at the Manchester Furniture Show later this summer.

worldstoresAn affiliate of global finance giant Goldman Sachs has taken a share in the furniture and home retailer Worldstores after making an eight-figure investment.

Rampant housebuilding in the capital helped power growth for one of Britain’s largest privately owned kitchen manufacturers in the year to end September.

carpetShowroomFormer Carpetright development director Martin Harris — son of the chain’s founder Lord Harris — is planning to launch a floorcoverings retail chain of his own.

rocketInternetHQOne of the investors fuelling the rapid growth of furniture ecommerce firms Westwing and Home24 is targeting a €590m (£440m) fund raise through a rights issue.

Demand for big-ticket merchandise such as furniture helped out-of-town retail parks stay top of the footfall charts at the start of 2015.

National kitchens chain Magnet resumed its store opening programme in the final quarter of 2014 as underlying full year sales inched ahead for the group behind the brand.

johnLewisFusionDepartment store chain John Lewis says customers are taking to its new Fusion collection as Home sales lifted 6.6 per cent last week.

hslDewsburyYorkshire based furniture vertical HSL has taken its store total past 40 and hired a former partner at one of the world’s largest private equity groups to its board.

UK furniture manufacturers helped power growth for one of the world’s largest component, hardware and fittings firms in 2014.

irishUpholsteryManufacturingFurniture exports were up strongly in 2014 though Ireland — which represents UK producers' biggest market — proved an exception despite what was clearly a strong year for Irish furniture retail sales.

dunelmCoDunelm says expanding its furniture category is at the heart of ambitious plans to grow sales across the home furnishings chain.

British furniture makers grew export output by almost £68m through 2014 thanks to strong sales to markets near and far.

magnaParkJohn Lewis is to open a dedicated distribution centre for furniture, furnishings and electricals at its Magna Park logistics hub in Buckinghamshire.

Retail sales grew faster than the 12 month average in January as retailers beat strong comparatives for the same month a year ago.

Seven in every ten consumers are planning to make a purchase for their home this year, with floorcoverings top of the wish list.

Chinese furniture importsChinese furniture imports into Britain grew for a fourth consecutive year in 2014 with near double-digit growth seeing the total reach record levels.

sofaComPrivate equity company CBPE has acquired a majority stake in the multichannel upholstery retailer Sofa.com.

home24Revenue rocketed past €100m in the first nine months of 2014 for mainland Europe based online furniture retailer Home24.

dfsCo 2Sofa chain DFS has confirmed plans to return to the stock market in a move it hopes will raise cash to pay down debt.

Home sales were up 7 per cent at John Lewis as md Andy Street lauded high-ticket categories in the final few days of January.

hypnosBedSales at Hypnos grew by a fifth for a second successive year in 2014 as the bed manufacturer capitalised on growing demand in the retail sector.

FdbedShopUnsecured creditors of a multi-site high street South East beds and mattress retailer will receive a final dividend under 1p for every pound owed after rejecting modifications to a CVA.

buoyantUpholsteryThe double-digit growth trend at expanding sofa manufacturer Buoyant Upholstery continued in the first year since it was acquired in a private equity backed MBO.

carpetsWholesaleWholesale giant Headlam has added one the country’s largest remaining independent carpet distributors to its growing roster of businesses in a deal worth £2m.

sofaBrandsThe group behind sofa firms G Plan Upholstery, Parker Knoll and Duresta has been sold to its management and an investment firm headed by the former CEO of Bank of Scotland.

Furniture and accents retailer MADE this weekend opened a showroom space in the Soho area of London, its third in the capital and fourth overall.

The organiser of the January Furniture Show has expanded its team into double-figures with two key appointments.

A balance of four in every five furniture stores saw growth in early January trading, according to business group CBI.

Profits jumped strongly at London based rugs distributor Asiatic Carpets as sales output grew last year.

The co-founders of Dutch furniture and lighting firm Moooi have regained total control of the company after acquiring the stake held by Italian design brand B&B Italia.

Beds helped sales climb last week at John Lewis, though the chain was reliant on the web to make up for a 2.6 per cent decline across its stores.

JulianBowenA 130 basis point gross margin improvement helped profits rise at Midlands furniture wholesaler Julian Bowen in the year to end June.

The addition of a seventh store boosted sales by nearly a fifth at large regional non-food retailer Charlies in the year to end July.

General merchandise retailer Argos is to open small format digital stores in Sainsburys supermarkets, the two retailers have announced.

tescoHomeplusRetail giant Tesco’s decision to close 43 stores nationwide will have a major impact on physical store space devoted to furniture and other Home category lines.

Worldwide profits at IKEA were flat despite rising sales across many of the markets in which it operates, the retailer said.

Furniture retailers continued their 2014 growth run in December with stronger year-on-year trading than any other product category.

monoqiHome furnishings, design and lifestyle retailer Monoqi has acquired assets belonging to MyDeco, the heavily backed UK based Internet venture.

Upmarket retailer Feather & Black has hired a former senior Orla Kiely and Robert Dyas executive to the post of commercial and finance director.

Memory foam pioneer Tempur has launched mattresses featuring springs for the first time, but its UK md says there are no plans to launch the line here.

starplanFurnitureCoFalling gross margin dragged profits down by a quarter at eleven-store bedroom furniture vertical Starplan in the year to end April.

Premium bedroom and lifestyle retailer Feather & Black is launching the London Collection, a British themed beds range featuring what it describes as the UK’s highest spec mattress.

Third quarter sales lifted at national flooring chain Carpetright buoyed by promotional activity and the Boxing Day launch of interest free credit.

British furniture retailers ended 2014 on a high despite the four month run of double-digit growth coming to an end in December.

Independent furniture retailer Woodstock Interiors is expanding into the bedrooms sector with the opening of a second Surrey showroom.

philGreenBHSTakeover interest in furniture-to-fashion business BHS has prompted its owner Sir Philip Green to consider selling the retail chain, according to press reports.

scsOldSofa and carpets chain ScS has confirmed its return to the stock market in a move that values the retailer at around £70m.

New stores and online helped John Lewis creep past year-earlier figures as poor weather conditions impacted performance in the seven days to 17th January.

British independent flooring retailers ended 2014 on a high to help wholesale giant Headlam offset weakness abroad last year.

Sofa retailer DFS is close to a return to the stock market with its private equity owner Advent International hoping to achieve a valuation approaching £1bn.

Britain’s biggest online flooring retailer says it has invested heavily to negate the impact of a change in the way search giant Google ranks websites.

Privately owned Midlands furniture distributors Serene and Carlton have each made senior sales appointments in the past month.

jyskCONew stores and the launch of an ecommerce arm helped JYSK grow UK sales by more than half in the year to end August.

In-the-home window dressings specialist Hillarys is to roll out its carpets and flooring offer nationwide after a successful trial.

Furniture suppliers Bentley Designs, Henderson Russell and Gallery Direct were the winners of The Furniture Awards, held for the first time at this year’s January Furniture Show.

leeLonglandsDerbyLee Longlands enjoyed strong sales and earnings growth in the period that saw it launch its £1m superstore in Derby city centre.

Vitafoam’s Prima Foam division has been awarded FIRA Gold Certification for its Primalux seat and back cushion.

Duresta says it has enjoyed a bump in demand from export markets including Australia, Japan and the Middle East while external factors have caused others to wobble.

Diversification into new product areas helped West Yorkshire cabinet furniture and components group Decorative Panels put £10m more on its top line in the year to end March.

The organisers of the January Furniture Show — which took place at the NEC last week — say the inaugural show was beyond their wildest dreams.

British buyers spent less on tufted and woven carpets in November, with overall imports only keeping pace with previous years thanks to Far East sourced rugs.

Lower sales to the UK’s largest customer was behind a fall in furniture exports in November, according to new figures.

The introduction of direct home delivery has given online sales a lift, according to North West rugs distributor Flair Flooring.

This year marks the 175th anniversary of premium bed brand Somnus, with celebrations to kick off with two special edition launches today.

Shopper numbers at out-of-town retail parks maintained their 2014 growth run with a 1.3 per cent rise in December.

The group behind emerging mattress and bed base retailer Memory Foam Warehouse says it has re-engineered its product line and cost base to reverse 2013–14 trading losses.

Imports rose sharply towards the end of 2014 driven by demand for Chinese and Polish sofas and Vietnamese cabinet furniture.

Commentary: Shareholders in the Whitestone group of carpet distribution companies have much to gain from the sale of the business to Victoria.

Internet sales and new stores helped John Lewis grow revenue last week as 82 per cent of its shops open more than a year failed to match year-earlier trade.

International case goods manufacturer Jonathan Charles has launched JC Edited, a new brand and product line aimed at independent furniture stores.

AlanWardGroup profits jumped 56 per cent for Alan Ward despite a relatively stable year for its furniture and furnishings retail division.

Mohawk, the US headquartered flooring conglomerate, has added Belgium based IVC Group to its portfolio in a deal worth $1.2bn, around £790m.

A reduced level of promotional activity stymied sales growth at Argos in the run-up to Christmas and beyond but margins improved.

grangeWeak demand is continuing to hamper efforts to galvanise French furniture maker Grange, with its UK owner exploring options for the business.

Furniture producers face higher costs than other UK manufacturing sectors, but they were still able to recover margin last month.

Furniture retail price deflation narrowed in December suggesting firms were able hold off on major discounting until the post-Christmas sale period.

Furniture distributor TCS — The Complete Service — is launching into the carpets and flooring sector and has invested in machinery and product to enable fast delivery.

VictoriaWhitestoneCarpets and flooring manufacturer and distributor Victoria has agreed to buy the Whitestone Weavers group from its private shareholders in a deal worth up to £14m.

Retail giant IKEA said sales in the final four months of 2014 were up in double-digits with mattress sales a key growth driver.

brintonsCarpet giant Brintons said it has invested heavily in high definition technology though restructuring costs of nearly £4m hit profits.

Retailers squeezed an extra 1 per cent out of consumers in December compared to last year, according to the trade body representing the largest UK firms.

The owner of ScS is progressing plans to sell or float the UK’s second largest upholstery retailer with an IPO announcement possible within weeks.

Carpets and floorcoverings manufacturer and distributor Victoria has made its second share issue to retailers as part of its plan to encourage them to sell more of its goods.

jdpUpholstery group JDP — owner of the Celebrity, Cintique, Wade and Parker & Farr brands — posted strong sales and profits in the year to end September.

Underlay and flooring accessories giant Interfloor narrowed pre-tax losses as it benefitted from consolidation.

sherborneWest Yorkshire upholstery producer Sherborne has posted its first seven-figure profit in 13 years, with a 320 basis point swing in gross margin a contributing factor.

Trade kitchens supplier Howdens is planning to build a new 2.2 million sqft national distribution centre as it looks to build on growth that saw sales rocket past £1bn in 2014.

Investors have pumped another €25m into fast growing ecommerce retailer Westwing, the Germany based home and living website.

Current demand has put iconic sofa brand Tetrad on track to grow sales by more than £3m this year and even more the next with the company in line to return to profit.

Commentary: Mattress and beds have been among the best-selling furniture categories online since the ecommerce explosion.

dunelmCoRising furniture sales — up nearly two-thirds on the previous year — contributed to strong growth at national chain Dunelm in the 26 weeks to 27th December.

Seven-figure development work has completed at Snuggledown’s main factory plant in Lancashire with an official unveiling scheduled for this month.

mattressmanCoEastern counties beds specialist Mattressman is hoping an expansion programme will take its store portfolio past 20 shops by the end of 2015.

Chelsea Football Club’s Stamford Bridge stadium will host merged textiles exhibitions London Fabric and Sofitel next month.

furnitureVillageStephenMcPartlandStephen McPartland MP has strengthened his ties to the furniture industry after joining the board at national retailer Furniture Village.

vokinsHoveCoThe owner of one of Southern England’s largest independent furniture retailers says its 22,000sqft showroom will close some time next month.

Analysis: High class independent furniture store retailer Vokins is closing with the lack of a suitable replacement location among the reasons.

UK retailers are confident of higher sales through 2015, according to new research.

UK furniture manufacturing turnover climbed by almost £66m year-on-year at the start of the final quarter of 2014.



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