The latest industry news and analysis—across all categories—listed in chronological order, with the most recent articles first.

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Heal's Tottenham Court Road store
Designer furniture and homeware retailer Heal's made sales gains in 2016–17, despite giving up trading space to concessions at its flagship London store.

Without fanfare, designer furniture retailer Heal's closed the doors to its Westbourne Grove store for the final time last month. It has since opened a new clearance shop just outside London.

Harrison Spinks, which grows the fillings and produces the springs used to make its mattresses, has invested £1.8 million in a new wire drawing facility in Lincolnshire.

Sales of home merchandise declined for a third straight week at John Lewis though by a shallower amount than the fortnight immediately prior.

Elphicks' new beds department at its flagship Farnham store follows the closure of two dedicated bed shops, one of which traded under the co-owned Tudor Williams fascia.

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Achica, part of the Worldstores business bought by Dunelm in 2016, has been sold
Home and furniture retailer Dunelm has sold the interiors flash sales business Achica to BrandAlley, the members-only designer discount website.

Steve Tressler, one of three directors behind the 2015 MBO at Lee Longlands, has become sales director at an agency representing a number of European furniture brands in the UK.

Mattressman posted record sales and underlying profits in 2016–17 ahead of its move to a new HQ last autumn. Statutory earnings declined because of startup costs at its new department store fascia.

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Dunelm is now trading from 169 stores
Dunelm made first half sales gains though margins narrowed as it continued to integrate the Worldstores business it bought in 2016. It also announced the resignation of CFO Keith Down.

Profits almost doubled as designer homeware company Joseph Joseph Group expanded in 2016–17 with higher sales both in the UK and overseas.

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Oak Furniture Land is closing in on 100 stores across Britain
Another four new openings lined up for the coming weeks will take case goods specialist Oak Furniture Land close to 100 stores nationwide.

Full year UK and Ireland sales gained 6.3 percent for Stressless brand owner Ekornes after it posted double-digit gains in the second half of 2017.

The owner of the IMG brand is investing heavily in production in Eastern Europe, but could offload its lossmaking beds business.

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Warren Evans' Camden store, one of 14 in the South East of England
Bedroom specialist Warren Evans, which entered administration ten days ago, has stopped taking new orders and told existing customers not to expect delivery.

Steinhoff International Holdings has appointed former KPMG global head of restructuring Richard Heis to the newly-created chief restructuring officer role.

Furniture retailer closes St. Helier store as business transfers to retail park units

East London cabinet maker One-Call Furniture says a major machinery investment has paid dividends with successive double-digit growth. It has further capital outlay planned.

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Exeter will be IKEA's 25th UK store, including its click-and-collect pilots
IKEA will open its new Exeter store on Tuesday May 1 the retailer has confirmed, with an official launch event in the week before the May Bank Holiday.

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The Cotswold Company's Norwich store; It has just opened a third unit, at Chelmsford
The first consolidated accounts of The Cotswold Company since the cabinet furniture retailer's sale to private equity give up some of the deal detail for the first time.

Launching into the independent retail market can have a transformative effect on Siren Furniture, according to the upholstery supplier's incoming sales director.

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Like-for-like furniture sales also declined, but at a lesser rate
Store closures and tough trading conditions hit Laura Ashley furniture sales in the six months to end December, with underlying performance also down compared with the previous year.

The chairman of Minerva says the addition of Leekes will boost the buying group's purchasing power and reputation. It has signed up nine new members in all, operating 13 stores.

Trade association British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) is to host a half-day seminar on the global demand for certified wood products.

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Photograph: Peter Betteridge
Leading figures from the beds industry have paid tribute to multiple-award winning independent retailer Peter Betteridge, who has died aged 71.

Furniture price inflation at the factory gate narrowed to its lowest level in more than a year last month as upholstery and wood furniture price pressures eased.

The owner of showwood upholstery maker Relax Seating says a restructure of the business has left "no customers or suppliers let down in any way."

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Despite home sales falling, total revenue advanced to £74.2 million for the week at John Lewis
Upholstery and bedroom furniture were standout categories as overall home sales declined for a seventh week in eight at John Lewis.

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BrightHouse bondholders agreed debt-for-equity swap as part of refinancing process
Rent-to-own furniture and electricals retailer BrightHouse has new owners after a refinancing exercise handed control to bondholders.

A late end-of-year slump wasn't enough to prevent double-digit growth in mattress imports through 2017 as UK retailers bought in more goods from the Far East and Eastern Europe.

Alibaba Group Holding is to invest 5.45 billion yuan (£623m) for a minority stake in China's second largest chain of furniture and home improvement shops.

Top and bottom line squeeze at Birmingham producer.

Bedroom furniture vertical Starplan built out its business in 2016–17, taking on higher debt as it expanded its asset base.

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Tvilum has been rescued by a consortium of investors
Embattled flatpack furniture maker Tvilum has been rescued in a deal that consolidates the ownership of Denmark's case goods manufacturing sector.

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Full sofa imports advanced 0.8% year-on-year in 2017
Sofa makers in Poland and China made most headway as upholstery imports into Britain inched upwards over the 2017 calendar year.

Retail park footfall increased 0.9 percent year-on-year in January, its strongest annual comparison since September last year.

An East Midlands upholstery retail business employing 40 people and trading under multiple names has been fined following a prosecution brought by Leicestershire County Council Trading Standards.

December carpet imports advanced 4.9 percent year-on-year as wholesalers and retailers built stock levels ahead of the Christmas trading period.

West Yorkshire bed maker and distributor Platinum Enterprise UK is among Britain's biggest 20 bed suppliers, the company's first full disclosure accounts reveal.

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Breasley is the UK's largest vacuum-packed mattress supplier; Image: Breasley
East Midlands mattress maker and foam converter Breasley posted higher profits as it built out sales by nearly a quarter in 2016–17.

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FindASofa.com is launching this month
An entrepreneur with experience working with DFS and Bensons has launched FindASofa.com, which aims to help consumers find and compare upholstery from all UK retailers on a single website.

The founding CEO of Jonathan Charles says he is "humbled" at Markor's interest in his business, after the Chinese giant acquired a 60 percent stake in the Vietnam based case goods resource.

Staff at the Danish factories of embattled flatpack furniture maker Tvilum will remain off work for a fortnight, according to the court-appointed lawyer trying to broker a rescue deal.

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BekaertDeslee's new R&D hub in Waragem, Belgium
BekaertDeslee, the mattress ticking and textiles conglomerate, will this year open a new Innovation and Design Centre (IDC) opposite its Belgian HQ.

Designer Contracts, which claims to be the UK's largest floorcoverings contractor, is building out its depot network and has also announced two senior promotions.

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DFS gross sales advanced 4.0%, but fell 3.5% excluding Sofology
DFS, the UK's largest upholstery retailer, said half-year sales declined excluding the Sofology chain it acquired at the end of November.

Sofa market leader's numbers suggest a difficult year ahead. But one clear winner has already emerged.

Eve Sleep, the listed beds and bedding company, is moving into new North London headquarters after agreeing terms on a new Camden office building.

South Coast sofa maker B&S Upholstery has agreed an unspecified funding arrangement through Pulse Cashflow Finance, Companies House filings reveal.

Profits fell for a third straight year at Sherborne Upholstery as the manufacturer bore higher input costs. Sales rose at their fastest rate in four years.

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The focus group and tour at Dreams' Oldbury factory
Bed specialist Dreams has agreed a strategic partnership with Mumsnet, the UK's biggest website for parents, to create a line of mattresses specially designed by and for parents.

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Warren Evans, headquartered at Camden (pictured), has been placed into administration
South East mattress and bedroom furniture retailer Warren Evans has been placed into administration as efforts to secure investment or a solvent sale proved fruitless.

John Lewis' return to year-on-year sales growth for home goods was short-lived, as it followed last week's rise with its weakest annual comparison since November.

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Bensons for Beds' Harper bedframe, designed by Sir Terence Conran
Bensons for Beds will this week begin selling a bedframe range designed by Sir Terence Conran as part of plans by the retailer to appeal to a wider customer base.

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20,000 attended the January Furniture Show
Visitors numbers at last month's January Furniture Show matched year-earlier attendance as the industry turned out in force for the four-day event.

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The new home of Seconique, one of the UK's largest furniture importers
Seconique, one of the largest furniture importers in the UK, will this spring move to new West Midlands headquarters after last year completing a multi-million pound property deal.

An inflation-driven rise in food sales masked decline in non-food goods including furniture in January according to the British Retail Consortium's closely-followed monthly retail sales survey.

North London rugs distributor Asiatic Carpets posted a fifth straight rise in sales and almost doubled profits in 2016–17.

The company behind the Bodyease brand has seen its membership of the National Bed Federation (NBF) suspended following its IP dispute with Birlea Furniture.

Walker Greenbank, the high-end interior furnishings supplier, said it expects to post an 18 percent rise in group sales to £108.9 million in 2017–18, driven by acquisitions, licensing and exports.