Online sales were up by almost by a third as John Lewis final week of Clearance saw growth across its product offer.

New Wade Upholstery and Cintique md Simon Wade talks to The Furnishing Report ahead of meeting customers for the first time at the NEC next week.

TasleemTasabSereneThe owner of Serene Furnishings says the West Midlands wholesaler can more than double sales by 2019 as it looks to build on a strong sell-in for its new Living programme.

MattressmanCorbyBeds retail chain Mattressman enjoyed top and bottom line growth in 2014–15 as it expanded its store base and grabbed a bigger share of online sales.

Deflation returned to the furniture retail sector in December after four consecutive year-on-year rises. Carpet prices were lower for the tenth month in a row.

The Foam Company has opened a new distribution centre that doubles its operating space and will quicken delivery times by allowing it hold stocks.

Chinese furniture importsRetailers headed into Christmas with fewer containers of cabinet furniture arriving at their warehouses as shipments from overseas declined.

Out-of-town shopping parks were the only retail destination to see more shoppers in December as footfall fell on high streets and shopping centres.

FurnitureBarnThurrockThe administrators of retail chain The Furniture Barn have granted a six month operating licence to a newco but say that three warehouses and two further stores will close.

Furniture brands Ercol, Tetrad and Somnus will be among those representing British industry at IMM Cologne, which opens in the German city this morning (18th Jan, 2016).

millbrookBedsBed manufacturing output at the Millbrook group reached eight figures for the first time since 2009 in the year to end June as the firm built on its first growth in a decade the previous year.

Wesfarmers says it plans to use the 265 store Homebase chain as the vehicle to introduce its Bunnings Warehouses brand to the UK consumer.

Stores and online delivered growth in a week of double-digit gains across the John Lewis business in the seven days to 9th January.

There are three plausible outcomes for Habitat following the confirmation that Homebase is close to being sold to Wesfarmers.

homebaseHome Retail Group is close to selling home improvement chain Homebase to Australian retail group Wesfarmers in a cash deal worth £340m.

veryVery and Littlewoods owner Shop Direct says it outperformed rivals as sales climbed in the seven weeks leading up to and including Christmas Day.

GaryPitchfordDFSBuying director Gary Pitchford has left the UK’s largest upholstery retailer DFS with immediate effect after 16 years with the business.

Bedroom and living room furniture producer Kingstown says the business will return to profit this year as it sees the benefit of its heavy investment in its manufacturing operation.

Upholstery and carpets retailer ScS has named Chris Muir as chief financial officer and executive board member, replacing Ron Turnbull whose departure was announced last year.

SteveHenningVispringPremium beds manufacturer Vispring has named Steve Henning as managing director, replacing Mike Meehan who is stepping down after 20 years in the role.

JDPShowroomRevenue last year reached record levels at the JDP Furniture Group, which has recruited the former design director at G Plan Upholstery as md of its Wade Upholstery division.

John Lewis said furniture, textiles and carpet revenue levels reached record weekly highs last week as total sales across the chain climbed by over a fifth.

Furniture and home décor supplier Origin Red Group is to close its UK distribution business and focus on faster growing international container sales.

MarksSpencerSteveRoweSteve Rowe, who formerly headed up Marks & Spencer’s furniture category, is to become chief executive after current incumbent Marc Bolland announced he plans to retire.

QFCUpholstery manufacturer QFC is donating sofas and chairs worth £45,000 to people in Cumbria who have lost all their furniture and belongings after their homes were flooded.

Floorcoverings retailer Topps Tiles grew sales by 4.4 per cent in the 13 weeks ended 2nd January, with revenue growth escalating in the past month.

AmazonHemelHempsteadAmazon has launched a customer credit offer for high-value purchases in a move that could help the Internet giant escalate furniture sales.

Britain’s online mattress market is among the most active in Europe with one in six consumers here having bought a bed online, according to new research.

argosCoHome Retail Group turned down a £1bn autumn takeover approach from J Sainsbury, the supermarket chain, saying it undervalued the business.

FurnitureBarnAccentsCase goods retailer Furniture Barn is to close one of its eight stores as administrators continue to pursue a going concern sale of the business.

General merchandise retailer Next says warm weather impacted trading in the final quarter. It also says it made mistakes with stock availability.

ashleyManorWest Midlands upholstery manufacturer Ashley Manor posted record sales in the year to end March. Sister companies AMX Design and Alexander & James also increased output.

sofaComMore than 40 per cent of the shares in Sofa.com remain in the hands of managers, employees and legacy stockholders following the investment by CBPE in February this year.

Ecommerce sales were up by a quarter as John Lewis total sales rose 2.3 per cent to £129.2m in the seven days to 26th December.

fryettsEarnings doubled at the group behind North West furnishing fabrics supplier Fryett’s in 2014–15, boosted by rising sales and higher margins.

floodingUpholstery manufacturer Vale Bridgecraft has called on its customers to carry on ordering despite suffering severe flooding at its Yorkshire factory.

furnitureQueueShoppers were out in force on Boxing Day with all types of retail destination seeing more people than the same day in 2014.

westwoodYarnsYorkshire carpet yarn spinner Westwood Yarns — sold by Victoria PLC earlier this autumn — has been placed into administration putting the jobs of 130 people at risk.

designersGuildPremium furniture and furnishings group Designers Guild says the UK market is improving despite overseas weakness impacting performance in 2014–15.

retailParkBritish shoppers’ predisposition towards spending big on home furnishings slipped in December, despite overall consumer confidence rising for the first time since the summer.

Heritage independent furniture retailer Macdonalds of York has announced plans to close the business next spring, with owner Martyn Macdonald to retire.

arighi bianchi coHeritage independent furniture and home retailer Arighi Bianchi built sales momentum in 2014–15 with profits more than doubling.

Output at UK furniture factories declined at the start of the final quarter of 2015, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics.

furnitureRetailersGenericFurniture retailers clocked up an eighteenth consecutive month of year-on-year sales growth in November, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Upholstery vertical Natuzzi Italia is to open a dedicated brand store on the Lakeside Retail Park on Boxing Day.

Mattress sales became more important to Carpetright in the first six months of its 2015–16 financial year, despite the closure of a number of bed departments.

Out-of-town retail parks saw more shoppers year-on-year for a 23rd consecutive month in November, though total retail footfall still declined.

home24Online furniture retailer Home24 will smash through the €200m sales barrier in 2015 with nine month sales to end September already passing its full year total for 2014.

Furniture manufacturers’ prices climbed in November, rising 20 basis points to a level reached only once before in over two years.

Floorcoverings chain Carpetright grew its top and bottom lines in the six months to end October against a backdrop of downsizing its UK store portfolio.

Chinese furniture importsCabinet furniture shipments to the UK declined again at the start of the fourth quarter of 2015, with falls from key trading partners including China.

Furniture importer Flexiload Asia has expanded its China based sales operation and is offering FOB terms for customers for the first time.

Furniture and home goods retailer Worldstores has bought a larger slice of the members-only flash sales market with the acquisition of lifestyle retailer Achica.

wesleyBarrellGuildfordUpmarket furniture vertical Wesley Barrell slipped to a trading deficit in the year that saw it sold to an investment firm, despite a rise in output.

New research into flame retardant (FR) technologies used in the furniture and furnishings industry has been carried out by FIRA, the Furniture Industry Research Association.

sterling tillicoulty coMajor independent stores group Sterling deleveraged as it generated more cash and profit following a double-digit leap in sales in 2014–15.

The 2016 edition of London Fabric will feature an expanded offer for contract and hospitality buyers with a broader range of fabric suppliers participating.

Eight-store case goods chain The Furniture Barn is being marketed for sale following the appointment of administrators over the weekend.

Furniture and home categories excelled in what was an otherwise lacklustre November for retailers, according to the British Retail Consortium.

harry corry co fasciaBedding and soft furnishings chain Harry Corry says its realigned cost base after agreeing its CVA earlier this year has put it on track to return to profit in 2015–16.

The association of British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) is supporting a project designed to improve the furniture industry employment prospects for people with disabilities.

Margins strengthened at furnishings chain Ponden Home as the retailer grew profits despite a fall in output in the year to end February.



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