Department store retailer John Lewis said it was pleased with the early results of its new Oxford Street refurbishment as weekly sales across Home were propped up by furniture.

Luxury beds manufacturer Vispring grew profits by 16 per cent in 2014 on the back of higher sales and a 70 basis point improvement in gross margin.

UK furniture manufacturers’ prices continued to rise in the year to September despite deflationary conditions across all British industry.

jyskCODanish value furniture chain JYSK has outlined an ambitious plan to increase its UK store footprint by the end of its 2015–16 financial year.

The rate at which furniture prices rose against year-earlier levels was unchanged last month though remained well ahead of other consumer goods and services.

British furniture manufacturers enjoyed strong sales to France, Ireland and the Netherlands but it wasn’t enough to make up for weak demand further afield.

Retail sales bounced strongly in September, aided by the later than usual Bank Holiday period that lifted categories including furniture.

There was a surprise summer drop in the amount of furniture imported from Poland and Vietnam, two of the fastest growing sources of goods for UK buyers in recent years.

Chinese furniture importsFalling demand for living, dining and bedroom cabinet merchandise offset growth in upholstery imports at the height of the summer this year.

North West furniture and furnishings retailer Housing Units delivered strong growth in the year to end March with more to come in 2015–16.

andSoToBedStoreMarket conditions in the bed sector remained challenging in 2014, according to premium bedroom retailer and franchisor And So To Bed.

Two of Britain’s flooring superpowers—Amtico and Karndean—swept up a bigger share of the market in 2014 as consumer demand for luxury vinyl soared.

Department store mutual John Lewis is planning to open a full-line store in Cheltenham, plugging a geographical gap that stretches from Bristol to Solihull.

Independent home furnishings specialist Roomes Furniture and Interiors enjoyed strong growth in the year to end January.

fogartyPillowsDunelm said yesterday it was acquiring the rights to the Fogarty filled bedding brand. So where did that leave the £33m Lincolnshire manufacturer, its management and staff?

Furniture and homeware retailer West Elm has pledged that 40 per cent of its products will be Fair Trade certified within the next four years.

dfsCo 2Upholstery chain DFS delivered record sales in the year to 1st August as it launched new space in the UK and Ireland and prepared the ground for category expansion.

Home furnishings chain Dunelm has acquired the brand rights of filled bedding supplier Fogarty, one its key suppliers.

argosCoMattresses and flat-pack cabinet kits are among 20,000 product lines available for same-day order and delivery as part of a new initiative from general merchandise retailer Argos.

Members of the National Bed Federation and their guests raised more than £6,000 for industry charity The Furniture Makers’ Company at the NBF Gala Dinner.

wrenLivingFurniture vertical Wren Living grabbed a bigger share of the kitchens, bedrooms and living room market in 2014 with sales closing in on £200m.

Year-on-year price falls for non-food merchandise widened in September as retailers competed to offer consumers the keenest deals.

atkinsonsSheffieldUrban regeneration in the centre of Sheffield will bring benefits, according to heritage furniture and department store independent Atkinsons.

Industry leaders including DFS and FIRA are to speak at an event designed to address the potential skills shortage in the British furniture industry.

ahfStoreFrontFurniture chain AHF says its new and upgraded stores can help it build on improving 2014–15 sales and profits with another leap in performance this year.

The group behind the Habitat retail fascia outside the United Kingdom has refinanced and plans to use the cash to support its global expansion of the heritage British brand.

Upmarket furniture and interiors retailer OKA Direct plans to more than double store numbers over the next 36 months.

Fair-trade furniture and accessories retailer Myakka has top scored in the Good Shopping Guide, a consumer reference book compiled by the Ethical Company Organisation.

GardinerHaskinsBristolPrivately owned South West home department store retailer Gardiner Haskins returned strongly to growth in 2014 and boosted already high profit margins.

The new Consumer Rights Act — which came into effect yesterday — fundamentally affects the furniture retail sector’s relationship with its customers.

British consumer confidence declined in September but still remains well ahead of year-earlier levels, according to research group GfK.

Nottinghamshire upholstery producer Whitemeadow more than doubled profits on the back of rising sales and a 60 basis point swing in gross margin.

home24European consumers propelled Home24 and Westwing — two of the continents main home and living ecommerce retailers — to new heights in the first half of 2015.

The Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA) is funding a research project designed to address the 1bn kilograms of waste furniture and mattresses sent to landfill annually in the UK.

DickinsonsFurnishersPrivately owned retailer Dickinsons Furnishers has grown sales by more than £3m in three years and plans to maintain its sales momentum.

The Yorkshire based sales office of Belgian carpet manufacturer Associated Weavers posted its strongest sales in eight years in 2014.

The seventh South West Furniture Show will take place from 13th–15th September 2016, organisers have confirmed.

scsFasciaExpanding its store footprint boosted sales for upholstery chain ScS in the year to end July, though profits were down as a result of its spring sales blip and concession costs.

The CEO of upholstery and flooring chain ScS says he believes the retailer maintained market share during its “short, sharp dip” in spring trading momentum.

Major independent retailer Forrest Furnishings says it is trading ahead in high single-digits in the first three quarters of 2015 as it looks to build on strong growth last year.

westbridgeFactoryWestbridge put another £6.5m on its top line last year and will grow again in 2015 with its new factory supplying sofas to IKEA fully operational since the first quarter.

Demand in the UK and Italy was strong for Natuzzi in the first six months of 2015 as the upholstery producer made the most of more efficient production to narrow losses.

Clive Christian has sold his majority stake in his eponymous furnishings and fragrance company to a consortium of private investors.

conranSelfridgesModern furniture specialist bolsters its management team plus a look at The Conran Shop’s worldwide performance in the year to end March. Sign in for more.

John Lewis yesterday opened its new £35m Birmingham department store, which anchors the Grand Central retail development above New Street Station.

lebusFactoryRevenue growth escalated at Lebus Upholstery with the Lincolnshire sofa manufacturer posting a third successive double-digit sales climb.

Carpets group AIREA posted higher profits as sales climbed at home and abroad and in both contract and domestic markets in the year to end June.

International furniture brand BoConcept has revised its 2015–16 profit forecasts on the back of better-than-expected sales and order growth over the summer.

ercolEdwardRomanaHeritage furniture brand Ercol is to make a major investment in machinery at its Buckinghamshire factory as it looks to build on another year of strong growth.

Leeds mattress and bed technology manufacturer Harrison Spinks was last night named bed manufacturer of the year for 2015.

National retailer Furniture Village has retained its bed retailer of the year crown, with Newbridge Street Bedding Centre winning the independent category.

Four-store furniture and home furnishings retailer Alan Ward has opened a new floorcoverings and interiors department at its Shrewsbury store.

sofaBrandsSofa Brands International posted double-digit top and bottom line growth in the year to end June with its Parker Knoll brand among its stellar performers.

Diversified furnishings group Ena Shaw is forecasting growth of almost a fifth this year driven by market tailwinds and the full year contribution of its Montgomery brand.

Britain’s bed trade will descend on the Telford International Centre this morning as the National Bed Federation’s Bed Show throws open its doors.

Furniture retailer Made.com’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.

EBITDA will reach £18m at beds retailer Dreams in 2015 as it continues to benefit from internal self-help measures and strong customer demand.

retailParkFurniture retailers’ five month run of consecutive year-on-year double-digit sales rises came to an end in August but were still ahead of year-earlier levels.

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.

tapiUddingstonStore numbers at fledgling floorcoverings chain Tapi Carpets & Floors are approaching double figures with the firm opening its first store in Scotland.

There are two key takeaways from the performance of two of Britain’s leading ecommerce furniture retailers. Sign in for more.

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

West Yorkshire contract furniture group Thornton EME posted high top and bottom line growth in the year to end December 2014.

Hypnos has been named AIS Bed Supplier of the Year following a vote of its independent retail membership.

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

Year-on-year furniture retail prices were positive for the first time in seven months in August and up 280 basis points on the year to July.

polishUpholsteryPoland again usurped Italy as the prime EU upholstery source for UK importers at the start of the third quarter while Chinese sofa imports also climbed.

Kent furniture and interiors distributor Gallery Direct has added UK made mattresses to its product roster with the acquisition of Wiltshire manufacturer Dreamworks Beds.

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.

Retailers including IKEA and John Lewis have been praised by the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) in a new report highlighting the industry’s contribution to furniture re-use.

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.

The high street and shopping centre footfall malaise continued in August though the floors of UK retail parks were trodden in greater numbers than last year.

Softer demand for Belgian merchandise was behind a fall in carpet imports at the start of the third quarter.

Carpets and floorcoverings group Victoria has agreed to buy flooring accessories supplier Interfloor in a deal worth around £65m.

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.

Dunelm posted rising sales and profits in 2014–15 as it made the most of its existing and new stores and its burgeoning online business.

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.

The world’s biggest bed company Tempur Sealy International has a new leader following the high-profile ousting of former CEO Mark Sarvary earlier this year.

A major Malaysian furniture delegation has joined a raft of new and returning exhibitors to sign to the January Furniture Show, scheduled for 24th–27th January 2016.

Year-on-year retail prices were lower for a 28th consecutive month but unchanged in August, according to the British Retail Consortium.

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

Like-for-like retail sales dropped in August as retailers relied on new space to make up the shortfall, according to the British Retail Consortium.

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.

Premium sofa and chair manufacturer Spink & Edgar Upholstery and luxury fabrics supplier Swaffer have partnered for a new product line to be introduced this month.



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