Disruption from the pandemic ended a seven-year run of sales growth for upholstered furniture manufacturer Whitemeadow last year, but the decline looks likely to be short-lived.

Upholstery shipments jumped by half at the beginning of the second period of 2021 as the sofa sector continued to grab an outsized share of container availability.

BFM, the trade association for British furniture manufacturers, says the BFM Fabric Show London will return next year, taking place in the week commencing March 7.

Sofology opened a new store last weekend and will add two more this month as it presses forward with plans to expand. It is doing so under new leadership following CEO Sally Hopson’s decision to step down.

Mark Smith has decided to step away from executive duties at upholstery group TCM Living and will be succeeded as CEO by Jonathan Fearn, who is currently the chief financial officer.

First half revenue in the U.K. and Ireland passed 2020 levels for Stressless brand owner Ekornes as the resumption of trade and store reopenings boosted the upholstery conglomerate.

Phil Reynolds, technical development manager for furniture and furnishings at test house SATRA, is to lead a key British Standards Institute (BSI) technical committee that will likely influence the U.K.’s furniture fire safety regulations.

The parent company of Stressless brand owner Ekornes last month agreed a deal worth the equivalent of £61 million to buy out a minority shareholder.

Upholstery retailer Sofas & Stuff booked a big increase in profits in 2020 despite the pandemic, testament it said to the success of a turnaround plan that has been underway for three years.

Containers shipped and trucked into the U.K. from China and Poland led to the highest-ever recorded total of upholstered furniture arriving at U.K. ports in the first six months of 2021, new figures show.

The group behind the Alstons, Ashley Manor, Alexander & James and AMX Design sofa businesses saw strong second quarter revenue growth against comparatives heavily impacted by the U.K. lockdown last spring.

Upholstered furniture manufacturer Whitemeadow has acquired what it described as a significant stake in one of its key foam suppliers.

Dudley upholstered furniture manufacturer ACL has agreed new debt finance that will support its product development plans including the launch of a recliner line.

Full-year order intake at ScS almost matched 2019/20 trading as demand at the upholstery and flooring retailer oscillated with the opening and closing of its stores amid coronavirus restrictions.

New department store concessions have helped upholstery vertical Sofa.com expand its physical footprint despite the closures of standalone branches.

The collaboration with sofa market leader DFS continued to be the jewel in the crown of British lifestyle retailer Joules' licensing programme last year, with it also making inroads into home goods thanks to M&A activity.

West Yorkshire adjustable furniture and mobility aids manufacturer Drive DeVillbiss Healthcare reported lower sales last year as sales to the retail sector were adversely impacted by the pandemic.

Employees of Lebus, one of the largest sofa makers in the U.K., now own 100 percent of the Lincolnshire manufacturer after its shareholders decided to sell the business.

Sales and profits declined at Brighouse fabrics supplier Mobus last year but the company said it is well placed to prosper amid a changing landscape in the upholstery sector.

The debt repayment schedule agreed with creditors of Celebrity Motion Furniture is progressing as planned as the rise and recline chair maker continues to emerge from the problems of former associated companies.

Upholstery retailer Sofology will next weekend open its fourth new store this year as it accelerates its overall plan to launch double-digit store numbers across the entirety of 2021.

Upholstered furniture manufacturer Whitemeadow has hosted its first external Open Day as it looks to attract a new generation of home grown talent into the industry.

The CEO of Sofa Brands International (SBI) says the upholstery manufacturing group has seen a strong and sustained bounce back since the end of the first lockdown last year.

The growth in sofa shipments to the U.K. slowed in the spring as retailers came closer to unwinding late 2020 orders and were left with only digital sales channels to replenish them.

Lower operating costs helped West London upholstery manufacturer and retailer The Sofa & Chair Company narrow losses last year despite the pandemic impacting sales.

The southern Italian sofa manufacturer behind the Digiò Leather Sofas brand will launch a new upholstery programme here next week as it looks to build on rapid growth following its reintroduction to the U.K. market last year.

A showroom on Tottenham Court Road has doubled the number of Noble Souls stores in London as brand owner Timothy Oulton continues its worldwide expansion strategy.

International trade in upholstered furniture ticked up last year despite Covid-19 wreaking havoc through the supply chain, limiting the ability for manufacturers to produce and retailers to open stores.

Sofa fabrics supplier Mobus has paid tribute to md Ian Bostock following his decision to retire, saying he made a huge contribution and that it will look to build on his legacy.

Ships rammed front-to-back with upholstery landed on U.K. shores in the first four months of 2021 with imports up 43 percent year-on-year and 10 percent on a more comparable two-year basis.

The soft furnishings supplier behind the ILiv brand found margin expansion as it mitigated the impact of a double-digit pandemic-influenced fall in sales last year.

Pent up demand meant comparable orders almost doubled for DFS as the retailer emerged from lockdown, with online business remaining high but returning closer to pre-Covid levels.

Demand continues to be high despite supply chain constraints according to the md of Lebus Upholstery, one of the U.K.'s largest sofa manufacturers.

The U.K. represents a big market opportunity for European companies as producers in the Far East are grappling even tougher supply chain issues than are being experienced here, according to upholstery producer Nicoletti Home.

Employee numbers at a small-to-medium sized upholstery producer in the North East doubled in the period leading up to and including the early months of the pandemic.

Upholstery brand Arlo & Jacob has launched a new programme called the Ready Made collection as it looks to take advantage of a surging housing market part-fuelled by the stamp duty holiday.

Higher delivered sales, a disposal and judicious cost management helped Italian upholstery conglomerate Natuzzi return to profit in the first quarter of 2021.

Sofology, Britain's third largest upholstery specialist, has teamed a new A-List celebrity for its latest television advertising campaign, which aired for the first time Monday night.

Five of the existing leadership team have completed a management buyout at East Midlands sofa designer, importer and distributor Siren Furniture. They plan to expand the business' customer base.

The managing director of one of the country's largest sofa manufacturers says keeping everybody working through the latest lockdown has proven correct, with it unwinding its order book and demand surging since stores reopened.



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