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.

Department store retailer John Lewis said sales climbed 4.8 per cent to £777m over the five weeks to 27th December, driven largely by growth in web orders.

ashleyManorThe independent upholstery group behind the Ashley Manor and Alexander & James brands posted record sales and profits last year though growth slowed.

Midlands wholesaler Serene has expanded its warehousing again ahead of the launch of its new Living programme later this month.

The company that paid £400k to acquire one of Britain’s largest rug wholesalers was placed into liquidation in the lead up to Christmas.

ahfFasciaCoHigher like-for-like sales and lower costs helped employee owned cooperative AHF grow underlying profits in the year to end March.

nextInteriorHigh demand from online and catalogue shoppers lifted fashion-to-furnishings retailer Next in the two months to Christmas Eve.

seconiqueFurniture importer and wholesaler Seconique ended five years of falling sales at its main trading subsidiary in the year to end June.

Lower costs and stronger gross margin helped Midlands kitchens manufacturer Mereway return to profit in the year to end March.

furnitureQueueYear-on-year shopper numbers fell sharply on Boxing Day as fewer consumers braved the cold to visit physical store locations.

Boxing Day sales were up by more than a quarter at Oak Furniture Land on a same-store basis, with new stores and its SofaStore rollout boosting total sales.

Case goods retailer Furniture Barn has opened a new store at an iconic Yorkshire site that had been derelict for more than five years.

Home achieved a record sales week in the seven days to 20th December at John Lewis, though overall revenues declined as Black Friday brought demand forward.

discounting-1The red sale tickets are ready as furniture and floorcoverings retailers look to see out 2014 in style and top the £4.6bn spent by consumers in the final quarter of last year.

dfs-co-1Sofa chain DFS has posted strong double-digit growth in the three months to 1st November with underlying profits up by more than half.

North East distributor Baker Furniture says it expects profits to return to 2010–12 levels after it booked more orders in the year to end March and beyond.

Sales momentum at kitchens and bedrooms specialist John Lewis of Hungerford was hit by the loss of key staff in the second quarter.

welcome-furnitureStronger margins and higher sales helped North Wales bedroom cabinet firm Welcome Furniture grow profits in the year to end March.

Flooring and beds franchise retailer United Carpets says its small format high street stores are performing well and it may open a few more in the next year.

Home improvement giant Kingfisher has sold a controlling stake in its B&Q China operation to one of Asia’s largest chain store retailers.

Berlin, GER — Shareholders have invested another €15.9m in the Internet furniture retailer Home24, which operates across multiple European markets.

sofastoreThe national rollout of SofaStore — sister brand to Oak Furniture Land — has begun with the fascia to be visible across the entire store estate by Boxing Day.

Furniture sales were up for a sixth successive month in November with the latest four months all seeing double-digit volume gains.

Commentary: First numbers since the Horatio Myer & Co beds business was sold to Steinhoff highlight how external retail customers have remained at the heart of its sales strategy.

Furniture Village will relaunch its enlarged Sussex store at Hove’s Old Shoreham Road on Boxing Day.

Demand for decorative papers from cabinet furniture firms helped gloss over weak sales of floorcoverings at industrial giant Egger in the six months to end October.

fryetts-genFurnishings fabrics supplier Fryett’s absorbed rising costs in the year to end February but still made more than 10 per cent at the pre-tax line.

The final quarter of 2014 got off to a strong start for Britain’s furniture exporters thanks to big orders from far off lands.

Upholstery producer Collins and Hayes has named Emma Hughes as sales team manager with responsibility for the South West, Midlands, Wales and Ireland.

Fashion was the top seller as Home category sales flatlined at department store chain John Lewis last week.

discounting-1Discounts were deeper in November as furniture and furnishings prices slipped further against year-earlier levels despite rising prices at the factory gate.

Profits grew 62 per cent at floorcoverings giant Abingdon before the business was sold to the Victoria carpets and flooring group this autumn.

Heritage Newark furniture retailer Holdens is to move to a purpose built out-of-town store next autumn and lease its existing town centre showrooms to one or more other retailers.

designers-guild-krProfits doubled at luxury home fashion brand Designers Guild ahead of its move into a new 80,000sqft West London DC this summer.

Heritage furniture and department store independent Randalls of Uxbridge is to close permanently after a clearance sale next month.

Flooring chain Carpetright is to roll out an interest free credit offer across its store portfolio following a successful trial.

arighi-bianchi-coIconic North West furniture independent Arighi Bianchi posted its highest earnings in seven years as sales climbed again in 2013–14.

Shoppers eschewed the high street in favour of online shopping and out-of-town retail parks in November, according to the British Retail Consortium.

Demand for goods made in the factories of Belgium and Holland — the two main overseas sources for carpet sold in the British market — slowed at the start of Q4.

Its new click and collect service is a focus for JYSK in the UK as sales worldwide jumped 10 per cent to €2.8bn in the year to end August.



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