The latest industry news and analysis—across all categories—listed in chronological order, with the most recent articles first.

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Boyes trades from stores largely located across Yorkshire, northeast England and the East Midlands.
Narrower gross margin and a property impairment charge offset the impact of higher sales at value department store chain Boyes in 2018–19.

Former chief executive at furniture and homeware retailer joins board of Steinhoff in CFO post.

Year-on-year imports of living, dining and bedroom wood furniture grew at their fastest rate since February 2018 at the beginning of the second quarter.

North West kitchen furniture maker, retailer and installer Earle & Ginger has completed a prepack restructure that secures the future of the brand, customer orders and jobs but leaves creditors facing a six-figure shortfall.

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Greenwood launched its 1,000th event last month, with independent retailer Jones & Tomlin.
Greenwood Retail, which organises and co-ordinates sales promotion events for leading U.K. independent retailers, last month held the 1,000th event in its history.

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Arrivals from China are one of the exceptions, rising compared with 2018.
Bed imports into the U.K. are tracking lower in 2019 after four reported months of the year with April seeing a biggest fall yet in the value of sprung and foam mattress arriving from overseas.

John Lewis & Partners is to create a single home improvement services division by integrating a company it bought in a prepack last year with its existing Home Solutions business.

Danish furniture retailer JYSK says it wants to break the £20 million sales barrier in the U.K. after targeting 30 percent revenue growth here this year.

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Brook + Wilde's Elite mattress.
Vacuum packed mattress pioneer Breasley has agreed to be the exclusive supplier of sleep startup Brook + Wilde's Elite mattress range for bricks and mortar retailers, it announced in a press release.

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John Lewis' Oxford Street store.
Home sales returned to growth at John Lewis & Partners last week as the department store mutual enjoyed strong seasonal sales in the run-up to Father's Day.

North West living, dining and bedroom furniture source Heritage Furniture has appointed experienced industry executive Tony Divito as sales agent.

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Sofa imports climbed on the back of higher arrivals from China. Image; Maersk.
Chinese sofa imports were up by almost half in April to drive a 27 percent overall year-on-year leap in the total value of upholstered furniture arriving on British shores for the month.

Privately-owned prestige furniture and lifestyle brand Neptune recorded higher sales again in 2017–18 but profits declined on narrower margins.

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Pritex is located alongside Relyon at Wellington, Somerset.
Steinhoff has sold its diversified acoustic insulation, foam and fibre business Pritex in Somerset to the French headquartered industrial conglomerate Saint-Gobain.

A British court has ruled that a Yorkshire bed maker that collapsed four years ago amid a human trafficking scandal be restored to the company register.

Carpet imports into Britain are on target to rise back above £900 million in 2019 after the latest data dump from U.K. authorities showed a fourth straight year-on-year rise.

20-year IKEA veteran Sara Del Fabbro has been named chief executive of the retail conglomerate's business for the South East Europe region.

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With one exception, furniture creditors backed Debenhams' CVA proposal.
Furniture industry creditors including one of the U.K.'s biggest independent retailers overwhelmingly backed Debenhams' company voluntary arrangement (CVA) last month with one predictable dissenting voice, new statutory filings disclose.

Retail footfall declined at its steepest monthly rate in six years last month but destinations most commonly housing furniture and flooring stores were among those to suffer the least, new figures show.

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Hafele U.K.'s Rugby premises. Image: Google
The British arm of furniture fittings and hardware company Hafele maintained profits just north of £11.1 million last year as price management and cost control helped counter challenging trading conditions.

Tim Powell has formally joined the board of Porta Romana, the circa £14 million supplier of luxury furniture and home accents to the interior design market.

rdmBlueBackgroundBY RICHARD DE MELIM


The first time I met Steve Freeman, who is stepping down as group managing director at Silentnight, was in rather awkward circumstances.

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The trial will launch at three of John Lewis' stores in southern and eastern England in late June.
Customers of John Lewis & Partners will be able to get an immersive pre-purchase experience of how new upholstery, cabinet or beds will look in their home with the chain to pilot virtual reality at three of its stores.

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Ponden Home Interiors has about 130 stores.
The company behind the Ponden Home Interiors chain of bedding, window dressings and soft furnishings stores slipped to a loss in 2017–18, new prolonged company accounts reveal.

Parisian bed maker unites with historic lighting business in private equity backed merger.

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Sharon White replaces Sir Charlie Mayfield.
Sharon White, chief executive of Ofcom and a former high-ranking civil servant, will be the next chairman at John Lewis Partnership, parent to department store retailer John Lewis and supermarket chain Waitrose.

Kitchen maker and retailer Wren is planning to make the biggest single investment in its decade-long history with a proposed additional factory at its Barton-upon-Humber base that could create 1,200 new jobs.

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The Skandium.com website is to be relaunched.
Skandium, the London based designer furniture retailer that earlier this year entered insolvency proceedings and ceased trading, is to be resurrected after the backers of a third-party Danish retailer stepped in to buy its IP.

Stollers, one of the largest independent furniture stores in the U.K., returned to growth in 2017–18 with the retailer recording its highest sales on public record.

Alexander Anton, one of the descendants of the original founder of carpet maker Victoria and a catalyst for the epochal change of the business into one of the industry's largest players, is leaving the board.

Independent home furnishings retailer Futters of Great Yarmouth is leaving The Conge area of the town after 70 years, but hopes to find new premises from which to continue trading.

Findel, the listed home shopping retailer and educational equipment provider, plans to rebrand its corporate name as Studio Retail Group, reflecting the name of its core ecommerce business.

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Silentnight's group HQ and (inset) Steve Freeman.
Steve Freeman is stepping down from day-to-day executive duties and leaving his post as managing director of Silentnight Group, Britain's biggest beds manufacturer.

The new managing director of the Silentnight Group joins from outside the beds industry but with years of high-level home sector experience at Farrow & Ball.

Direct-to-consumer mattress and ancillary products business Eve Sleep will announce new retail partnerships this summer.

Home sales declined for a sixth straight week at John Lewis & Partners but big-ticket furniture and flooring ranges were among the exceptions, delivering growth for the chain.

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An artist's impression of the new Loaf unit.
Loaf's planned Bristol showroom, the existence of which we revealed two weeks ago, will be at Cribbs Causeway, the furniture retailer has disclosed.

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IKEA faces some of the same challenges as independent retailers.
On the surface, there is little in common between global conglomerate IKEA and Britain's best independent furniture retailers. But the home furnishings market leader does share one very important trait — a strength which is also a threat.

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Bank holidays were a positive for home retailers as other categories suffered.
Retailers suffered in May as year-on-year sales fell 2.7 percent, the worst figure recorded by the British Retail Consortium since its records began more than 20 years ago.

A Midlands furniture wholesaler has written off a seven-figure sum due to it after three co-controlled recipients of loans were placed into liquidation, rendering the debt unrecoverable.

BFM, the trade association representing U.K. furniture manufacturers, says it can support British companies wanting to access funding to exhibit at next year's Milan furniture fair.

Stax Trade Centres, the multi-branch wholesaler of goods ranging from kitchens to garden furniture and homeware, grew sales and profits in the year to September 1, 2018.

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Home24 trades across mainland Europe as well as operating a furniture ecommerce business in Brazil.
Home24, the Germany based Internet furniture retailer that operates across mainland Europe, pinned a bigger first quarter deficit on investment in property including a major new warehouse and clearance store.

Independent valuers wrote down the worth of IKEA's U.K. property empire in 2017–18 though a nine-figure outlay by the retail giant acquiring more during the period meant its overall value still climbed.

Former Halo executive David Watts has joined sofa maker Alexander & James as global business director with a brief to drive international sales at the upholstery brand.

A home furnishings retail and wholesale business that sold goods through online deal websites has been placed into liquidation leaving creditors facing a seven-figure shortfall.

More on the fallout from the closure of Hull furniture maker Kingstown.

Former Parker Knoll and Gloster Furniture director Charles Vernon has become a non-executive director at Alexander Rose, the Burgess Hill based garden furniture business.

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Supplying Harveys is the primary focus of the sofa supply division, based here in South Wales. Image: Google.
Steinhoff UK Upholstery has a new name, brand and logo as the circa £95 million turnover supplier, whose main focus is and continues to be supplying Harveys, explores ways it can maximise its capacity.

Acquisitive floorcoverings distributor and manufacturer Victoria has added another U.K. company to its growing roster of subsidiaries with a low-key takeover of a £23 million turnover Yorkshire carpet maker.

Shoppers' propensity to spend money on high value items such as furniture improved for the first time in three months in May, according to the closely-followed Consumer Consumer Index.

West Elm, the American owned furniture retailer with an expanding U.K. business, enjoyed double-digit sales growth in the first quarter, parent Williams-Sonoma said last night.

A key European bedroom furniture supplier to the U.K. market has drastically reduced the number of planned job cuts at its factories after talks with unions and industrial action by employees.

The daughters of the founders of bedroom furniture manufacturer Harrison Brothers (Furniture) have completed a buyout that saves jobs and ensures the business survives.

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IKEA opened two new U.K. full-line stores in 2017–18, but says a rising proportion of online sales impacted distribution costs.
The U.K. trading arm of home furnishings retail giant IKEA has posted its worst net result here in a quarter of a century despite it continuing to build out its market share.

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Dreams' new Sleepmotion bed frame.
National bed specialist Dreams has introduced two remote and app-controlled adjustable bed frames across its 195-store U.K. network and online.

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The Bettzeit management team has expanded to include Gastón Tourn, Christian Portz, Philipp Wagner and Vanessa Vollrath; Photograph: Hannes Keller
Bettzeit, the German company behind growing direct-to-consumer mattress brand Emma, says it will continue its recruitment drive as it looks to build on the appointment of a number of C-suite executives.

New md at southeast England kitchen maker has rich history with U.K. big-ticket retailing.

Home sales fell for a fifth straight week at department store retailer John Lewis & Partners but its performance in the upholstery category did offer some comfort.

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Upholstery sales trended up in mid single-digits.
Rising upholstery and carpet revenue powered retail sales growth in April as retailers made the most of calendar differences to post higher revenues against the same month a year ago.