ikeaAberdeenMockupIKEA says it will build a new web platform for its UK business as it looks to capitalise on high sales and profits growth here last year.

Leeds mattress and bed technology firm Harrison Spinks has appointed Michael Dingwall as manufacturing director.

Participation in The London Fabric Show ramped up this year underscoring positive sentiment in Britain’s upholstery industry.

AnthonyJoyceSlumberlandSteinhoff plans to expand its Wellington and Huntingdon bed factories as it builds capacity following high demand for its relaunched Slumberland and Dunlopillo brands.

Flooring giant Headlam said its UK operation outperformed the market in 2015 as profits jumped by almost a fifth.

mattressGenThe md of Sleepeezee owner Simmons Bedding Group says it is business as usual for the manufacturer despite financial problems at its French parent company.

Furniture was the top performer within John Lewis’ Home directorate last week, rising 11.2 per cent on the same week a year ago.

bensonsCOBensons for Beds expanded its retail footprint to 268 stores as Steinhoff’s UK retail business grew sales by 11 per cent in the six months to end December.

Furniture and lighting sales trended up in high single-digits for Irish retailers in January as the new year continued along the same vein as 2015.

wayfairFurniture and home goods retailer Wayfair is ramping up UK advertising spend as it looks to build on its prior investment in job creation here and across Europe.

The number of people working in retail will drop by almost 1 million over the next decade as stores close and new technologies displace many existing roles.

Consumer confidence took a knock in February as stock market turbulence prompted fears the economy could take a hit.

furmanacAdjustable beds and upholstery manufacturer Furmanac grew sales 15.9 per cent last year with its turnover having more than doubled in under five years.

Sharps has relaunched its flagship London showroom with a new store format described as a ”huge jump forward” by the national furniture chain’s marketing director Tim Moore.

AISexhibitionBig-ticket furniture sales trended up in high single-digits for members of buying group Associated Independent Stores in 2014–15, building on 4.2 per cent growth the year before.

More furniture and flooring retailers saw falling sales in February compared to those reporting rises, according to the first of the monthly retail monitors.

Foreign buyers attended in greater numbers at the Stockholm Furniture & Light exhibition, which took place in the Swedish capital earlier this month (9–13 Feb.2016).

simbaMattressBoxMattress brand Simba has launched into the ecommerce beds market and announced a partnership with department store retailer John Lewis.

hypnosBedLuxury bed maker Hypnos expanded its international dealer network as it grew its top line by almost a third in the year to end June.

Sainsbury’s has been given an extension to decide whether or not to make a firm bid for Home Retail Group, owner of Argos, after Steinhoff made an approach Friday.

H.Dawson Sons & Company, a wool supplier based in Yorkshire, has acquired a majority stake in Axminster Carpets, the Devon manufacturer rescued from administration in 2013.

Harveys and Bensons for Beds owner Steinhoff has approached Home Retail Group with a possible cash offer that threatens to scupper Sainsbury’s takeover bid for the Argos owner.

JasonTSofologyUpholstery specialist Sofaworks completed the last of its 33 store branding changes last week as it transitions to its new Sofology name.

Upholstery retailer Sofology is planning to open six new stores this year, bringing the chain to almost 40 shops by the end of 2016.

Italian furniture and design brand Kartell has opened its first UK monobrand showroom with a store in the Knightsbridge area of London.

achicaEcommerce group Worldstores is to merge its flash sales businesses under the Achica brand with the Casafina label to be dropped and customers migrated over.

Furniture logistics specialist Andrew Porter has announced two new management hires as part of a restructure designed to make the business more customer focused.

retailParkStoresPrice inflation returned to the furniture retail sector in January as rate rises at the factory gate remained at a two-year high.

Big-ticket furniture lines made the most year-on-year sales headway within the Home directorate at department store chain John Lewis last week.

hslBurnleyAdjustable furniture vertical HSL will take nationwide showroom numbers to 57 with the opening of further stores in the next fortnight.

Shopper numbers increased sharply in January with rises across both types of destination most popular with furniture and floorcoverings retailers.

vietnamImportsCabinet furniture imports into Britain dropped 3 per cent in December on lower demand for living and dining categories as well as goods manufactured in Europe.

MEPs claim furniture retailer IKEA has avoided €1bn in taxes over the past six years and €11.6m in the UK alone in its latest reported year.

kozeeRafiqMohammed Rafiq, the md and owner of the defunct bed manufacturer Hick Lane Bedding, has been sentenced to 27 months in prison after being found guilty of human trafficking.

Chinese furniture importsUpholstery imports climbed double-digits in December, propelled by a large increase in Chinese sofa shipments to British retailers and wholesalers.

Carpet imports rose 8.6 per cent in December driven by higher demand for goods made in Belgium, UK customers’ largest supplier.

dfsCo 2Upholstery retailer DFS is lining up another three stores in locations across the Midlands and South as it takes its total UK estate well beyond 100 units.

The Furniture Industry Research Association has named Charles Vernon as chairman. He takes over from Michael Powell, who is stepping down after five years in the role.

oneCallBedroom producer One Call says it can offer retailers a wider range of furniture on quick lead times after investing £2.5m on machinery and doubling production capacity.

camerichFasciaModern upholstery specialist Camerich has opened the first of several planned stores for 2016 with a new unit in North London.

Home goods retailer Dunelm is looking to expand its store footprint in the capital as it builds on double-digit revenue growth in the six months to 2nd January.

Quieter furniture demand contributed to a dip in Home category goods sales at John Lewis last week. Total sales still climbed 2.5 per cent to £70.6m.

foamLawyers working on behalf of the estate of one of Britain’s largest beds manufacturers have agreed a seven-figure settlement with foam suppliers following a damages claim.

Big-ticket furniture lines were the headline act in January as retailers enjoyed their strongest month since September according to the British Retail Consortium.

Northallerton retailer Barkers will cut the ribbon on its expanded home furnishings store before Easter and will rename it as Barkers Home.

Sales climbed for wood based panels supplier Egger in the UK last year, reflecting improving conditions in the British cabinet furniture sector. Profits also rose sharply.

tempurFlexThe UK md of memory foam pioneer Tempur says its new hybrid mattress programme will be available to UK retailers later this year.

Furniture and lighting retail sales in Ireland climbed double-digit for a fifth consecutive month in December as traders ended 2015 in positive fashion.

The dates for the spring edition of the China International Furniture Fair have been fixed for 18th–21st March in Guangzhou.

aspaceAspace’s former owner was among the only dissenters in the kids furniture retailer agreeing its CVA with creditors last month.

JohnLewisCorporateDepartment store retailer John Lewis lifted weekly sales by 0.6 per cent to £70m year-on-year as it closed out its 2015–16 financial year and heralded a new era in sales data disclosure.

Bekaert Textiles is to acquire DesleeClama to create what the companies describe as the world’s leading mattress fabric supplier.

“We wanted to build a £100m national business,” says the owner of The Furniture Barn, the eight-store retailer placed into administration in December.

FurnitureBarnThurrockCase goods supplier Global Home was owed £4.65m by retailers Furniture Barn Ltd and Furniture of Market Harborough Ltd, which entered administration late last year.

Upholstery chain DFS says it has appointed Andy Vaughan-Jones as sole buying director following the departure of Gary Pitchford last month. It also said FD Bill Barnes is to retire.

ashwoodUpholstery manufacturer Ashwood Designs built sales momentum last year, with owners saying the firm had benefited from its investment in plant and people.

Direct container and wholesale supplier Kettle Interiors boosted output by over a quarter as the number of retailers stocking its goods jumped by nearly a third last year.

Gillies has paid tribute to its marketing director Mike Wells, who has decided to take early retirement after 17 years with the Scottish independent and 45 years in the furniture industry.

Five directors are to step down from the board of global bedding conglomerate Tempur Sealy International including the former director-general of the UK Conservative Party.

Sales climbed last year at the company behind beds retailer Dreams’ stores in Northern Ireland and its co-located upholstery format.

highStreeThe number of industry insolvencies dropped by almost a third in January, reflecting market tailwinds across the furniture, flooring and furnishings sectors.

nextUpholsteryProductionGeneral merchandise retailer Next will start manufacturing sofas in Yorkshire later this year and is currently recruiting for upholstery production management.

Cabinet furniture and accents supplier Besp-Oak will show overseas for the first time this year as it looks to build on revenue growth in 2014–15.

aramStoreExtModern furniture and lighting retailer Aram has remodelled part of its 20,000sqft Central London store with an eye on developing its business with the specifier market.

Electricals and Home Technology categories were up double-digit for department store mutual John Lewis as it entered the final week of its 2015–16 financial year.

The CEO of furniture supplier VIDA Living says uptake for its container programme has escalated after it added a new warehouse that takes worldwide stocks to over 325,000sqft.

tapiNewMaldenFloorcoverings retailer Tapi Carpets & Floors will pass 30 stores with openings in the next few weeks, and has named another 16 locations where it plans to open this year.

Lower distribution costs helped bedroom cabinet vertical Starplan Furniture shrug off falling sales in the year to end April. Profits climbed sharply.

UK households had more disposable income to spend in December compared to last year but the rate of growth slowed to its lowest level in over a year.

colefaxColefax Group PLC says the introduction of a 12 per cent stamp duty rate on high value homes is affecting demand for luxury furnishings.

Major floorcoverings contractor Designer Contracts says building distribution capacity has helped it meet rising demand, with revenues up 14 per cent in 2014–15.

Organisers of the IMM Cologne event held in Germany last week have reported rising attendance with early data from this week’s January Furniture Show also positive.

SpinkEdgarPremium mattress brand Spink & Edgar has launched into the United States after agreeing a licensing deal with bedding executives with experience across the US mattress supply chain.

Barker and Stonehouse has acquired brownfield land in Guildford and submitted a planning application to redevelop the site into a state-of-the-art store.

Floorcoverings retailer Carpetright grew like-for-like sales over the Christmas and January sale period. It also said it is selling a greater proportion of beds, impacting margin.

Litmus Furniture’s Simon Hewitt says he plans to build further momentum with independent and group customers after succeeding his father Peter Hewitt as managing director.

Home and leisure retailer The Range has fixed Bristol as the location for its new Southern Distribution Centre as it builds infrastructure to support its store expansion plan.

wyvernFurnitureKeith Willies has become managing director of volume sofa manufacturer Wyvern Furniture, succeeding Len Hughes who has decided to retire.

Furniture sales remained in the ascendancy in December but falls in other sectors meant the total year-on-year value of retail sales fell for the first time in over six years.

Kidderminster carpet producer Brockway invested heavily in 2014–15 with the company maintaining revenue and cutting its pre-tax deficit.

okaOMPremium furniture and homeware retailer OKA Direct is looking for a new chief executive after Octavia Morley left the business.



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