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

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Dormeo sells direct to the consumer and through third-party retailers.
Sales jumped 58 percent for the U.K. arm of European mattress brand Dormeo in 2018 as the company shrugged off wider concerns over the economy.

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Online generated more than stores.
Half-year internet sales passed £1 billion for the first time as general merchandise retailer Next made top and bottom line gains in the six months to July 27.

Furniture and furnishings prices rose at a slower rate in the year to August and were a major factor in overall consumer price inflation narrowing to its shallowest level since 2016.

Sales and profits will climb in 2019 after East of England furniture company Warings secured new business last year, prompting it to hire and train new staff.

The British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) has expanded the scope of its commodity price tracker, a tool used by its members to support their buying negotiations with suppliers.

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Atlantic is among the largest retailers of dining furniture in Britain.
Tough comps and more challenging market conditions saw the top and bottom line fall for high-profit online dining furniture retailer Atlantic Shopping last year.

Dreams retained its Bed Retailer of the Year crown at the Bed Industry Awards last night with Internet retailer MattressOnline and independent Linthorpe Beds also claiming wins in the other retail categories.

Vispring's pitch to a younger customer base was rewarded with it winning the Bed of the Year category of the NBF's Bed Industry Awards last night. Harrison Spinks and Vitafoam also won supplier awards.

Mark Draper has been promoted to commercial director at upholstery distributor La-Z-Boy U.K. with the business also announcing new heads of both marketing and independent sales.

John Lewis & Partners posted lower sales across all three of its main product directorates last week including an eighth successive miss for its home category.

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Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is one of the industry's big growth markets.
The U.K. was a big growth market as luxury vinyl tile giant Amtico bolstered sales and underlying profits in the year to December 31, 2018.

Furniture retailers will be able to buy products direct from suppliers though their EPOS system after RetailSystem.com launched a dedicated trade buying portal.

piancaLondon
176 Blackfriars Road, London.
Pianca, the northeast Italian maker of products spanning premium made-to-measure bedrooms to modern upholstery, has acquired a Grade II listed Central London property.

Furniture makers from across Ireland will descend on Dublin next month to discuss and plan ways industry participants can collaborate to rebuild the sector.

Heritage carpet maker Axminster Carpets will streamline operations at its Devon factory after announcing voluntary redundancies.

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The Range trades from 175 stores.
Home, garden and leisure retailer The Range opened a dozen new stores on the way to returning to profit growth in 2018–19, with annual sales closing in on £1 billion.

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The two-seater Holly sofa.
Upholstery vertical Sofa.com is to enter the contract sector for the first time with a collection of products that also includes a tie-up with bed company Hypnos.

Antitrust regulators are examining the completed takeover of a £47 million carpet yarn spinner earlier this year to see if it contravenes U.K. competition rules.

The company behind the Stoke-on-Trent based furniture and home accents retailer Woodpecker Interiors has liquidated leaving a six-figure sum owed to creditors.

Ingka Group, owner of the bulk of IKEA's global store estate, has agreed to pay €136 million for an 80 percent stake in seven Romanian wind farms.

Evaluating store numbers is ever more challenging.

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Now and in the future: How the office block might look and (inset) FIRA's familiar entrance.
The FIRA building in Stevenage — one of the furniture industry's most recognisable landmarks — will be demolished if redevelopment plans put forward by the property owner go ahead.

Department store chain John Lewis & Partners said it is launching 3,000 new own-brand products this autumn as part of an overhaul of its home merchandise programme.

The London based company behind the Artisan Furniture brand has acquired selected assets of PD Global, the furniture importer and distributor which ceased trading earlier this summer.

Home shopping group N Brown says it has made an additional provision of up to £30 million after it received a torrent of late-in-the-day and unforeseen PPI claims, many from the Official Receiver.

The National Bed Federation (NBF) has suspended the membership of Dura Beds after the West Yorkshire manufacturer failed its Code of Practice audit. The company is appealing the decision.

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Dwell is closing in on 40 stores across the U.K.
Dwell, the modern furniture and home accents retailer, is expanding its store footprint with a first unit outside the U.K. mainland next month.

Upholstery giant offloads shareholding in Nick Scali — one of the largest furniture chains in the Southern Hemisphere — for the equivalent of about £41 million.

Furnishings-to-fashion retailer Laura Ashley has hired a licensing partner to build a bigger brand presence for its furniture and furnishings business in China and other nearby markets.

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All six new Homesense stores are co-located with sister fashion chain TK Maxx.
Homesense will open two new stores today amid six new openings over the next three weeks as the U.S. owned off-price furniture and home furnishings chain takes U.K. store numbers to nearly 80.

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At The Helm's Havana three-seater sofa.
Hydeline Furniture, the upholstery supplier behind the At The Helm brand launched earlier this year, has revealed new photography in a move that signals the direction of travel for the range's aesthetics.

stresslessWarehouse
Sales fell despite an improving trend in the first half.
Half year sales declined in the U.K. and Ireland for the company behind major European upholstery brand Stressless, though the second quarter improved on the first.

Containers of China-made mattresses led the way as bed imports into the U.K. returned to growth in July, according to new Government figures.

Furniture and home accents retailer Maisons du Monde has opened a first-ever business-to-business (B2B) showroom as it looks to build a larger customer base in the office and hospitality sectors.

John Lewis & Partners — already on its worst run of home comparatives since the turn of the year — recorded a seventh straight drop in sales across the category taking in furniture last week.

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Wood cabinet imports were up 10 percent. Image: Maersk
Imports of wood living, dining and bedroom cabinet advanced double-digit in July after rises from each of the three largest Far East case goods exporters.

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Upmarket British brand OKA has launched stateside.
Premium British furniture and interiors retailer OKA has launched into the U.S. market for the first time with a dedicated ecommerce store. Stores will follow.

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The second half began with a decline in sofa imports, driven by fewer containers arriving from China.
Upholstery imports into the U.K. declined year-on-year in July, bringing three straight months of high double-digit value growth to an end.

Imports of carpets into the U.K. rose in July on the back of advancing trade between British buyers and markets such as China, Turkey and India.

Out-of-town retail parks welcomed more shoppers in August compared to the same month last year amid weakening figures across other types of retail destination.

John Lewis Partnership, parent to department store chain John Lewis and supermarket retailer Waitrose, has appointed Dame Clare Tickell and Michael Herlihy as its first independent directors.

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Left–right: Managing director Simon Spinks and chairman Peter Spinks of Harrison Spinks with Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Ed Anderson.
Leeds bed maker Harrison Spinks hosted the Queen’s representative in West Yorkshire to its headquarters to receive the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development.

The Sleep Council — which raises awareness of the importance of sleep on behalf of the U.K. bed industry — has joined forces with Penguin Random House to develop a range of 10 ‘Sleep Tales’ that have been designed to help people relax before they go to bed.

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Scartop Pine's Heywood store. Image: Google
Furniture wholesaler PD Global and its co-owned retail fascia Scartop Pine recorded a seven-figure loss almost two years before its eventual closure, administrators have said in a new report.

Upholstery manufacturer and retailer Sofa.com could veer from its monobrand history for the first time according to weekend press reports.

High end furniture maker and retailer Linley recorded a bigger a loss in 2017–18 because of project delays and a strategy pivot but said the future remains bright for the company.

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The JYSK format continues to grow.
JYSK, the inexpensive Danish furniture and homewares retailer, will host an event for property owners in Dublin next week as it looks to accumulate a pipeline of prospective stores.

Westwing, the pan-European home and lifestyle retailer that specialises in short-term flash sales, said shifting its warehouse to Poland hit profitability in the first half of 2019.

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Home24 is one of the biggest online vendors of furniture in Europe.
Fast-growing ecommerce furniture and homewares retailer Home24 continued to gain top line traction in the first half of 2019 and said its year-end target of breaking even by one profit measure remains on track.

The National Bed Federation has named the finalists for its 2019 Bed Industry Awards across the retail and manufacturing categories with the winners to be named later this month.

Window dressings manufacturer Ena Shaw has introduced its first-ever collection of Montgomery branded ready made velvet curtains, designed and manufactured solely in the U.K.

Residential and commercial furniture manufacturer Style Matters is upsizing after agreeing to move to larger premises at a North West industrial park.

The ceremony for the Young Furniture Makers' Awards will this year be sponsored by the January Furniture Show for the first time.

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Tapi has well over 100 stores across the U.K.
Tapi Carpets and Floors, the circa 130-store retail chain built by a former executive of market leader Carpetright and backed by high-profile retail titans, has raised more funding from shareholders.

Associated Weavers, the Belgian carpet manufacturing giant, said it allocated significant funds to its entry into the luxury vinyl tile (LVT) sector in the U.K. market this year.

It is not just the new and emerging companies that established furniture retailers need to be following closely.

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Whitemeadow managing director Ian Oscroft is pictured with head of group human resources Karen Clarridge.
Nottinghamshire furniture manufacturer Whitemeadow has achieved Investors In People status, having met the requirement criteria and successfully passed an assessment for the people management standard.

dunelmCorp
Dunelm will use its stores as a showcase for some only-only products available for home delivery.
Home retailer Dunelm says it plans to add another 6,000 new lines to its online-only product roster as it looks to continue capturing market share beyond categories for which it was historically known.

National homeware retailer Dunelm Group has appointed Paula Vennells to its board as a non-executive director.

tempurFW
New product lines proved a winner for Tempur.
Memory foam pioneer Tempur outgunned the wider mattress market in the U.K. in 2018 after new products launched in the previous year gained traction with customers.