West Midlands sofa maker Ultra Furniture has been placed into administration through Duff & Phelps, putting 160 jobs at risk.

Ultra Furniture's factory in Kingswinford
Ultra Furniture says speculation the sofa maker has ceased trading is inaccurate. It is, however, examining its options after Tesco, Ultra's largest customer, said it plans to close its Direct business.

Follows departure of Alison Hill to Steinhoff-owned rivals.

Natuzzi's Tottenham Court Road, London showroom
Natuzzi said its British retail stores delivered first quarter growth and says it will add new stores here later this year.

Ekornes had UK sales of around £19m last year
Chinese furniture maker and retailer Qumei is to buy Norway's Ekornes — owner of the Stressless recliner brand — in a deal worth the equivalent of £472 million.

Management change at upholstery vertical Sofa.com
Change at the top at Sofa.com, the clicks-to-bricks upholstery specialist which recently saw debt holder take control.

Revenue jumped nearly a third at recliner maker Man Wah Holdings as the acquisition of sofa factories in the Baltic states masked soft trading at its underlying European business.

First quarter upholstery imports into Britain fell primarily because of weaker figures from China, the UK's main source of overseas product.

UK delivered sales advanced for Stressless in Q1, 2018
High demand late last year helped Ekornes, owner of the Stressless furniture brand, deliver double-digit revenue growth in the first three months of this year.

Keith Wilson has been promoted to managing director EMEA
Keith Wilson's brief as managing director for La-Z-Boy UK has been expanded to take in the rest of Europe as well as the Middle East and Africa.

House of Fraser will ask landlords to back a CVA
House of Fraser will close a number of stores if it can get landlords to support a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

Before it sold the La-Z-Boy UK and Ireland brand rights, Furnico was the largest wholly privately-owned upholstery distributor in the UK, and the fourth biggest overall.

Charles Wade: 1949–2018. Image courtesy of Mike Aramayo
Charles Wade, one of the best-known entrepreneurs in Britain's furniture industry, died last weekend following a short illness. He was 69.

The deal to reacquire the La-Z-Boy UK and Ireland brand rights could be worth more than previously disclosed, the U.S. furniture giant has revealed.

British retailers and importers bought less upholstery from overseas in February with China — the biggest source nation — behind much of the fall.

An IPO could boost the value and earnings of its British sofa businesses. Image: TCM Corp.
The Thai owner of sofa makers Ashley Manor, Alexander & James and Alstons is considering a UK stock market listing for its British upholstery division.

SofaCom Edin
Sofa.com has expanded its store network in places such as Edinburgh, above
The lender that helped finance the 2015 private equity takeover of Sofa.com has taken ownership of the clicks-to-bricks upholstery vertical, The Furnishing Report can reveal.

Natuzzi is investing heavily transforming itself "into a retail-oriented company"
A series of one-off items contributed to Natuzzi reporting a €29.3 million pretax loss for 2017. Its UK business, however, is expanding nicely.

Parker Knoll moved to its new factory in the spring of 2016
Efficiency gains from its new factory helped boost profits at heritage upholstery maker Parker Knoll in 2016–17.

sofology Fascia FW
Scope for more than 70 Sofology stores across Britain, says DFS
DFS says it sees the scope for another thirty Sofology stores across the country after it acquired its one-time rival last year. It also said it will likely close a number of legacy DFS stores this year.

Sofology FW
DFS' acquisition of Sofology could cost it up to £105m, dependent on performance
Sofology is not performing at a level that would be enough to trigger a further payment, DFS forecast today as it released half-year numbers for 2017–18.

DFS half-year profits were down 58%, though it expects full-year improvement
DFS interim profits fell 58 percent though CEO Ian Filby said improving metrics meant the UK's biggest sofa chain was confident of full-year earnings growth.

The company behind the Kuka brand is investing €65 million and will own 51 percent of the joint venture
Upholstery giant Natuzzi has formalised an earlier-announced deal that will see Kuka invest in a joint venture that expands the Italian brand in Greater China.

Export wins in Singapore should be worth £1m to Tetrad over the next year
Sofa maker Tetrad landed container orders from customers in more than half a dozen Far East countries as it exhibited in Singapore for the first time last week.

Late February snowfall hit orders at the UK's second largest sofa retailer
ScS half-year profits climbed on wider margins and a skinny sales uplift. The second half has started weaker because of the weather.

Chinese sofa imports into Britain were fractionally down in January
Upholstery shipments to the UK climbed at the start of 2018 driven by a rise in the value of imports from Poland.

The deal will support Rolf Benz in the Far East; Image: Rolf Benz
Chinese furniture group Kuka Home has agreed to buy Rolf Benz as it assembles a roster of high-value European brands to bolster its market share in the Far East.

The price of Kidderminster sofa maker Wyvern Furniture has been disclosed for the first time since it was sold at the back end of 2015.

The chairman of Ultra Furniture says its Midlands sofa factory is purring again after it hit rock bottom in 2016, with the company at one stage making fewer than 90 suites a week.

La-Z-Boy has agreed a new manufacturing tie-up in Eastern Europe. It says this will not impact its current UK sourcing arrangements.

J&S Upholstery produced John Sankey and Henderson Russell products under license
The family and management behind the John Sankey and Henderson Russell brands have taken steps to secure long term production after a supply relationship broke down.

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.

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

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

laZBoyTV 2018
A still from La-Z-Boy UK's new consumer TV ad campaign, which launches today (Feb. 1, 2018)
Upholstery source La-Z-Boy UK will launch its new consumer television advertising campaign today as part of its plan to build awareness and realign customers' perception of the brand.

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