The release of 2018 manufacturing data across U.K. industry by the Office for National Statistics leaves us with a complete picture of the key furniture and floorcoverings categories when combined with already-known import/export data.

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Supporters believe the regs have saved many lives since their introduction in 1988.
Loved, loathed or tolerated, Britain's furniture fire regulations are some of the most stringent in the world. Introduced in 1988, they are also in need of a serious overhaul.

rdmBlueBackgroundBY RICHARD DE MELIM


The first time I met Steve Freeman, who is stepping down as group managing director at Silentnight, was in rather awkward circumstances.

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IKEA faces some of the same challenges as independent retailers.
On the surface, there is little in common between global conglomerate IKEA and Britain's best independent furniture retailers. But the home furnishings market leader does share one very important trait — a strength which is also a threat.

More on the fallout from the closure of Hull furniture maker Kingstown.

"Early to bed, early to rise — work like hell and advertise," is a modern day business adaptation of a centuries old proverb originally intended to advocate the benefits of rest.

rdmBlueBackgroundBY RICHARD DE MELIM


Sales are vanity, profit is sanity, cash is reality. You will, of course, have heard that before, probably many times.

In the words of CEO Wilf Walsh, it has been a "transitional year" for Carpetright, the UK's largest retailer of carpets and other floorcoverings.

James Sturrock, the boss of mattress vendor Eve Sleep since last September, said yesterday's appointment of Tim Parfitt as CFO completes the new management line-up.

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Independent retailers face the loss of an important competitive advantage over multiples.
Britain's elite independent furniture retailers hold many advantages that traders in other products sectors do not, partly explaining why so many of them have endured through the generations.

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New ranges launched at exhibitions in Europe will continue to benefit from the Unregistered Community Design in the 27 remaining EU member states, but will no longer have the equivalent protection in the UK.
Unless an agreement with the EU is reached to the contrary, after Brexit any design which was first marketed in the UK will no longer be protected by the EU-wide design right, writes Simon Clark, partner at law firm Bristows LLP.

Cashflow was perhaps the biggest of several success stories in ScS half-year results, which were released this morning.

Timing is everything when it comes to examining performance in the seasonally-affected furniture sector.

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The new Warrens Evans website.
Warren Evans, the southeast England beds brand that went under in February last year, is back, this time as an online retailer with no showrooms.

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Eve Sleep shares fell to a new low on Friday.
It is nearly two years since direct-to-consumer mattress and ancillary sleep products company Eve Sleep successfully raised £35 million in an IPO that valued the company at about £140 million.

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Sofa.com's Edinburgh showroom
The 'nominal sum' sale of upholstery maker and retailer Sofa.com might well have been for more than it first appears.

Briefly, the UK mattress industry had a new competitor.

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ScS confirmed its interest in Sofa.com yesterday.
How much do you think Sofa.com is worth, someone once very close to ScS asked us at the January Furniture Show last week? In hindsight, that question was either extremely prescient or heavily-loaded.

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Sofa.com's Polish upholstery factory
When Sofa.com debt-holder LGT European Capital took over the equity element of the upholstery vertical last year there was perhaps only ever one certainty.

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John Lewis Partnership is Britain's largest employee-owned business
Partners at the department store chain John Lewis face the possibility of a bonus-free year for the first time since the 1950s. But not paying might end up being more costly.

The winter sale period is well under way and the usual flurry of furniture-related adverts are promising benefits aplenty across British television screens. But something is different this year.

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The sale of the retailer's Dumfries property in November underlines the challenges facing the department store chain
Shares in Debenhams have fallen more than 85 percent in the past year with rarely a week passing without the department store retailer attracting negative headlines.

Deep pockets required to turn House of Fraser into the Harrods of the High Street.

Sofa.com's headline numbers for 2017–18 are less than impressive but there are mitigating factors and reasons to believe its new owner is not watering a dead plant.

James Pike on the future for Cookes and other multi-generational independent retailers.

Sales at department store retailer John Lewis & Partners topped £230 million last week, which included Black Friday, making it the highest grossing week in its 154-year history.

"From July, Nasons will have its own website," the independent retailer wrote in accounts filed 13 long years ago.

Cash runway shortens in past four months, as mattress brand reimagines its business and taps investors for more money.

There may be a not-so-obvious impact on the furniture industry from the Government's planned Digital Services Tax.

The five-year partnership between the two businesses is coming to an end.

Sold stake in major Chinese operation at the turn of the year.

Testing, testing. While the world's biggest furniture retailer tries new things, perhaps the answer lies in acquisitions?

A balance sheet analysis of Britain's top bed companies would place Vispring relatively low in the list of Britain's most valuable mattress companies. How very misleading.

A look into the department store chain's big-ticket plans.

A look at the upholstery category shows why these tariffs matter.

Unboxing the cash situation at the emerging direct-to-consumer and wholesale mattress brand?

It seems fitting that in the same month that WorldStores is phased out as a brand by Dunelm that Argos has been named Large Online Bed Retailer of the Year.

The Co-op was once one of the UK's largest retailers of furniture, running dedicated stores and large departments in multi-category shops.

Rising input costs have been a recurring theme over the past two years.

Taskers reported a seven-figure loss in 2017–18 but there are positive signs coming from the North West business, whose ongoing restructure will complete next year.



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