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

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Imports ended a run going back to September.
Weaker March upholstery imports pared back earlier gains but the value of product arriving into Britain, particularly from China and Poland, remained ahead for the quarter overall.

Sales jumped double-digit at Yorkshire kitchen maker Symphony after the company said it benefitted from growth in the private developer market.

Carpet imports into Britain rose at their fastest rate in 17 months as Belgium's manufacturers got their mojo back to help put a miserable 2018 behind them.

Administrators have found a buyer for £12 million carpet equipment manufacturer Sellers Global Engineers after completing a deal with a consortium of investors to save the business.

"Early to bed, early to rise — work like hell and advertise," is a modern day business adaptation of a centuries old proverb originally intended to advocate the benefits of rest.

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Swoon posted high double-digit sales growth.
Furniture retailer Swoon said it continued to invest in marketing and technology in a year that saw sales climb sharply but the company book a larger deficit.

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Sales climbed for Sofa Workshop.
Upholstery retailer Sofa Workshop posted mid single-digit growth last year as it added new space following the closure of Multiyork, its upper midmarket rival. Higher costs impacted its bottom line.

Dwell, the modern furniture and homeware retailer, was close to break even before non-cash costs as the chain enjoyed a fourth straight year of growth under the ownership of DFS.

The finances of the U.K. arm of recliner and upholstery source La-Z-Boy have been bolstered thanks to a seven-figure rights issue.

Plans to close 22 Debenhams stores and secure rent cuts on 100 others were given the go-ahead after creditors backed its proposed company voluntary arrangement at a meeting in Central London yesterday.

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Vale Furnishers' store in Ash Vale; Image: Google
The first full public disclosure from Surrey independent Vale Furnishers for seven years reveals it remains one of Europe's most profitable and well capitalised privately-owned furniture retailers.

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BoConcept's Kingston store, one of eight run by the brand largest U.K. franchisee.
The size of the modern furniture specialist BoConcept's franchise network will grow in the U.K. with more stores planned by the brand owner's biggest partner in the British market.

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Brompton Cross showroom is first monobrand U.K. store for De Padova.
De Padova, one of Italy's most storied furniture design brands and part of the Boffi Group for the past four years, has opened a flagship retail showroom at Chelsea, London.

Online and catalogue retailer Studio looks to have expanded its share of the value furniture and homewares market after issuing a bullish trading statement following the close of its financial year.

John Lewis & Partners said home sales fell for the second straight week but were on the rise going into the bank holiday weekend.

British soft-seating manufacturer Bazaar Group has appointed Jen Hannant as business development manager to help grow its business-to-business (B2B) arm.

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Sleepeezee yesterday unveiled its new website, social media and marketing assets and formally launched its association with brand ambassador Dr Ranj Singh.
British bed maker Sleepeezee says it could launch standalone television advertising later this year after TV spots aired last week for the first time in partnership with a retail customer.

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Nest's new-look website and logo.
Privately-owned modern furniture and design retailer Nest has refashioned its corporate identity, website and showroom in a relaunch of the brand.

Carpet and flooring distributor Victoria says it is "well placed for organic and acquisition-led growth" after giving its finances and trading performance a clean bill of health.

Retail sales climbed in April though good weather over the bank holiday was a limiting factor in some categories, according to new figures from the British Retail Consortium.

Cabinet furniture maker and retailer John Lewis of Hungerford has issued a profits warning after blaming uncertainty for it failing to convert deposits into full orders.

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Skandium’s iconic store on Brompton Road, one of several locations the London retailer has traded from, closed in 2017.
London based furniture and design retailer Skandium has closed its retail stores and ecommerce channel with the company poised to enter administration.

Hampshire lighting company Elstead Group continued to build sales in a year that saw it acquire a British manufacturer and establish a bigger foothold overseas.

High-end bedding brand Tempur is trialling its first mattress-in-a-box offer in its domestic U.S. market.

rdmBlueBackgroundBY RICHARD DE MELIM


Sales are vanity, profit is sanity, cash is reality. You will, of course, have heard that before, probably many times.

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N Brown runs websites including JD Williams, Simply Be, Jacamo and House of Bath.
Home and gift product sales fell in high single-digit percentages for the home shopping group behind the JD Williams brand in the year to March 2 after a sharper decline over the past six months.

Visitors can now pre-register to attend the 2019 edition of The Bed Show, the tenth since the event was launched by the National Bed Federation a decade ago.

Designer Contracts, the national floorcoverings contractor, says it has near-doubled the size of its North East depot to accommodate an increase in volume.

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UK sales continue to rise for Wayfair. TV presenter Lorraine Kelly is a brand ambassador here.
Wayfair's top line focus continued in the first three months of 2019 with the company's chief financial officer citing an outsized growth rate in Britain and Germany.

Tempur Sealy International, the world's biggest bed company, is to extend the European distribution network of its Tempur brand after reaching a sales agreement with Beter Bed Holdings.

Likewise Group has made its first international move after acquiring H&V Carpets BVBA, a Belgium based supplier of full rolls of carpet to flooring retailers in the UK and Germany.

IKEA has appointed Peter Jelkeby as country retail manager for its UK and Ireland division, replacing Javier Quiñones who left to run its USA operation.

The directors of a privately-owned British furniture manufacturer say they are convinced a police investigation into alleged modern day slavery offences will absolve the company of any wrongdoing.

Privately-owned heritage furniture retailer Greens Furnishers & Bed Centre, which has been trading for over 100 years, is to close after the owners' decision to retire.

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Next is ramping up the number of trade and consumer brands available via its web marketplace.
General merchandise retail giant Next added big-name mattress brands to its marketplace offer in the past quarter as it listed another 40 new home brands in all.

West Yorkshire beds retailer Time4Sleep has invested £3.5 million on a Midlands warehouse that will enable it to deliver faster and hold greater quantities of stock.

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JYSK launched a new format last summer.
Value furniture and homewares chain JYSK has reported another seven-figure UK loss after weaker gross margin and higher costs countered the impact of a leap in sales.

Kitchen giant Howden Joinery Group said it grew revenue in the early weeks of 2019 after opening new depots and raising its prices back at the beginning of the year.

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Andrew Jackson, Richard Elsey, Tom, Liz and Alan Colleran — all from Duvalay — are pictured with presenter Josh Baterip of Vanilla Tech Solutions.
Duvalay was a winner at the 2019 Made in Yorkshire Awards earlier this spring and was shortlisted, along with another local bed maker, in another category.

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Heal's has been trading for over 200 years on Tottenham Court Road, London.
Designer furniture and home retailer Heal's will be profitable before non-cash costs and writedowns, numbers for 2017–18 are expected to show. It follows an outsized increase in revenue last year.

General merchandise sales were flat for J Sainsbury as the supermarket giant completed its integration of the Argos and Habitat businesses bought in 2016.

Consumer confidence for major purchases such as furniture and floorcoverings slipped to a negative score after a second straight monthly decline in April, according to a closely-followed survey.

John Lewis & Partners again cited the later fall of Easter as sales across the chain slipped as a result of a six-day week and low footfall on Bank Holiday Monday.

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All stores in the national bed specialist's estate will feature the Sleepmatch system.
Retailer Dreams is to install technology that helps consumers select the most appropriate mattress for their own personal characteristics across its entire UK store network after a pilot launched last autumn.

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The group behind the Mlily brand has an increasing presence in Europe.
Revenue jumped by nearly a third for the company behind the Mlily mattress brand as the conglomerate invested in Europe including buying a minority stake in a bed company in the North of England.

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Sofa chain ScS has strengthened its board.
National sofa specialist ScS Group has appointed the former chief executive of home shopping group N Brown and discount store chain Original Factory Shop to its board as a non-executive director.

Victoria, the Kidderminster headquartered manufacturer and distributor that has been buying up floorcoverings companies in recent years, says it has agreed new long-term debt finance.

Privately-owned retailer QLM has relaunched its Yorkshire business as a quality furniture specialist after years spent serving customers in Leeds with entry-level variety home goods.

South East furniture maker and retailer Spacemaker Group posted lower profits in 2017–18 after costs climbed and sales fell.

Expanding direct-to-consumer mattress and ancillary products business Simba Sleep has extended its already-completed financial year-end by three months.

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Maisons du Monde, the French furniture and home décor retailer, has Debenhams concessions.
Just one of the 22 Debenhams stores slated for closure by the chain as part of its company voluntary arrangement (CVA) is occupied by its principal furniture and homeware concession partners.

Floorcoverings retailer United Carpets & Beds has opened a new store with a unit at one of the North East's most significant home furnishings retail destinations.

Upholstery maker and retailer Sofa.com has opened at Oxford Street, London, the first of a series of new concessions to open in the stores of House of Fraser.

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Most of the stores to close will be in the south of England. Image is a Debenhams corporate photo, not depicting a threatened store.
Debenhams, the department store retailer, has confirmed plans to launch a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) that will see 22 of its shops close early next year and rent reductions secured elsewhere.

Debenhams has pinned part of a slowdown in sales in the past six months on weak furniture sales, saying its decision to exit own-bought lines impacted revenue online.

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Greiner wants to buy Recticel's Flexible Foams unit.
The owner of the Eurofoam business supplying comfort fillings to the Central and Eastern European markets wants to buy the Flexible Foams division of Recticel in a move that will prick the ears of many UK furniture makers.

The intellectual property (IP) of Allied Carpets and Floors-2-Go — the one-time market leaders in the carpets and wood flooring retail sectors respectively — is up for sale.

Laura Chiddey, who joined AHF in the newly-created head of commercial role last year, has been promoted to commercial director and appointed to the retailer's board.

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The retailer was loss-making in the first half of its financial year.
Furniture-to-fashion retailer Laura Ashley has revised down its profit forecast for 2018–19, saying it expects its results to "be significantly below market expectations."

In the words of CEO Wilf Walsh, it has been a "transitional year" for Carpetright, the UK's largest retailer of carpets and other floorcoverings.