Furniture retailer’s negative operating margin improved on the back of higher sales and stronger gross margin in 2014.

bensonsCargoSteinhoff is to phase out its Cargo Homeshop stores chain with a number of its shops to be used to expedite Bensons for Beds’ growth in the South East.

Oak Furniture Land is lining up new stores in Scotland and a first in Northern Ireland as it continues to rollout across the UK.

Department store chain John Lewis built on its first weekly sales growth of the year with another strong week in the seven days to 12th September.

Retail giant Matalan has expanded its home furnishings offer with a dedicated programme of mattresses, bedframes and bedroom furniture through its Matalan Direct arm.

bettaLivingSales growth escalated at furniture chain Betta Living in 2013–14 as it made the most of new stores and concessions in partner retailers.

Half of B&Q’s planned store downsizing programme — announced in the spring of this year — will be completed by the end of its 2015–16 trading period, owner Kingfisher says.

HeartofEnglandHomeLivingOne of the largest furniture retail divisions in the UK co-operative movement is to close with Heart of England Co-op’s decision to phase out its Home & Living stores.

Off-price furniture and accents retailer HomeSense is part way through a flurry of store openings that will take its national store portfolio to 38 shops.

steinhoffUKmdsAnthony Joyce has assumed responsibility for Steinhoff UK Manufacturing following the long planned retirement of managing director Andy Murdoch.

General merchandise retailer Next says its new Home stores are trading way ahead of target and significantly stronger than new floorspace devoted to apparel.

Fast growth in economies including China and Russia helped IKEA global sales reach €32bn in 2014–15.

bensonForBedsBensons for Beds gleaned market share as Steinhoff’s UK retail interests traded ahead in high single digits during the year to end June.

Major furniture independent Stokers group deleveraged as it built sales and profits ahead of its late May acquisition of Aylesbury furniture retailer Lucas.

Weak electricals demand hit sales at Argos in the second quarter while ongoing store closures hampered sister retailer Homebase despite improving like-for-likes.

lauraAshleyRetailer Laura Ashley enjoyed a double-digit spike in like-for-like furniture sales in the six months to 1st August though total revenue was impacted by net store closures.

sofaComVinceGunnUpholstery retailer has named Vince Gunn as its new chief executive following the earlier appointment of a new CFO.

A fall in sales in the third quarter proved a setback for the owner of the Habitat furniture retail brand outside the United Kingdom.

loafHomeLoaf says the launch of its new London store will have a transformational effect as it looks to build on profitable growth in 2014–15.

The pace of the rollout of the Habitat brand has been accelerated with the chain to reach its 2015–16 store target several months ahead of schedule.

The privately owned group behind the out-of-town Trago Mills shopping centres enjoyed a leap in profits in 2014 despite relatively flat sales.

conranSelfridgesFurniture and design retailer The Conran Shop is preparing to open its third UK store with a new concession inside Selfridges London.

westElmThumbWest Elm senior buyer Angus Whyte and vice president Kerri Ackermann tell The Furnishing Report about its new gallery in John Lewis.

bentallsKingstonDepartment store retailer Bentalls has appointed the former head furniture buyer at rival retailer John Lewis for a newly created director of buying role.

Ponsford commercial director David Carter has left to launch his own brand management, distribution and sourcing business.

hatfieldsColchesterSales growth escalated at large independent furniture retailer Hatfields of Colchester in the year to end March.

ikeaAberdeenMockupThe second of IKEA’s smaller format store pilots is planned for the North East of Scotland with the retailer hoping to open in time for the key Christmas trading period.

Modern furniture specialist BoConcept enjoyed a strong first quarter in the UK, where its largest franchisee has taken control of all London stores.