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

Furniture retailer The Cotswold Company is continuing to build out its bricks and mortar presence, stretching its footprint north and south with a Yorkshire unit to follow its just-opened Surrey showroom.

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Home sales advanced for John Lewis & Partners last week
Home sales climbed for John Lewis & Partners last week as the department store mutual booked its highest total sales figure for 2018 so far, passing £100 million for the first time this year.

Half-year profits at Marks and Spencer Group (M&S) advanced 6.1 percent with the food and general merchandise retailer continuing to transition more of its business from bricks to clicks.

Ena Shaw, the diversified North West soft furnishings business, says it has made significant progress turning its Montgomery unit around with restructuring work to complete by the end of 2018.

John Lewis of Hungerford, the upscale fitted furniture maker and retailer, says the success of its push into the bedroom category opens the door to the division developing a 'whole home' offer.

Like-for-like sales inched 0.1 percent ahead in October according to the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, a closely-watched retail survey.

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Casper is building a bigger business in Europe
Casper, the U.S headquartered bed-in-a-box company, provided more funds to expand its British and mainland European operations in 2017, new accounts suggest.

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Dunelm acquired the Fogarty IP in 2015, and struck a licensing deal with the legacy manufacturer
Dunelm's multi-million pound investment in the historic Fogarty brand is secure despite the collapse of the legacy Lincolnshire manufacturer that produced filled bedding under the label for the national retail chain.

Follows agreement with rival department store chain.

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Its Notting Hill showroom is based on its new Sleep Spa concept, which launched at Köping, Sweden this summer
Upscale Swedish bed maker Hästens opens its new Notting Hill showroom today (Nov. 6), the first of three new UK standalone stores opening by the end of the year.

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A handful of stores also carry other products, such as beds
Discount flooring chain Carpets 4 Less maintained network sales in the year to January 31, 2018, arresting a double-digit prior year slide.

Silentnight, the UK's largest bed manufacturer, is free of shareholder debt after paying down the last of its outstanding loans to an affiliate of HIG Capital, its longtime private equity owner.

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Profits were up by a quarter for the HIG Capital owned business
Wider margins helped boost profits at Silentnight in 2017–18 after Britain's biggest beds manufacturer adjusted its range to eliminate loss-making products. The move also impacted sales.

Profits fell at expanding home and leisure retailer The Range with the circa 150-store chain blaming the decline on the weakness of the pound against the dollar. New stores helped sales to climb.

Harrison Spinks is to hold a black tie Northern Winter Ball next year in aid of The Furniture Makers’ Company, the City of London livery company and furnishings industry charity.

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EBIA president and CEO Endre Varga, pictured left alongside his successor Frederik Lauwaert, who takes over in January, was speaking at its General Assembly in Athens
Europe's biggest mattress producers will not stand by and watch if soon-to-be-imposed tariffs result in Chinese made products being diverted away from the U.S, according to the head of the leading pan-continental beds trade body.

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Rodgers of York's new-look Monks Cross store
Independent furniture and furnishings retailer Rodgers of York has completed a three-year £2 million refurbishment project that has transformed its Monks Cross store inside and out.

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Stores represent the bulk of IKEA business but online is gaining traction
IKEA, the world's largest home furnishings retailer, says it grew UK sales in the year to August 31 driven by double-digit growth in its ecommerce business and new stores.

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A fifth of mattresses are currently diverted from landfill. The NBF wants that to become 75%. Image: NBF
The National Bed Federation is calling for more recycling but improved transparency after research revealed foam and spring units from the equivalent of up to one in every twenty used mattresses make their way back into the UK bed supply chain.

Tempur Sealy International, the world's biggest bedding company, has warned profits will be lower than forecast because of cost headwinds and other factors including underperformance in Europe and bad debt.

Losses widened for Internet home furnishings retailer Wayfair in the third quarter despite another big increase in sales, both in Europe and North America.

UK sales declined for Roche Bobois in the first six months of 2018 but the upscale French furniture business said the territory held up well overall because of high average shopping basket values.

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More than 90 pieces of furniture and lighting from GCSE and A Level students through to BA and MA graduates packed out the Dutch Church and Furniture Makers’ Hall in Austin Friars, London, for the Young Furniture Makers exhibition, 2018.

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Daniel of Ealing, one of two home furnishings stores for the retailer
Revenue inched forward for WJ Daniel & Company in 2017–18 with the three-store beds, furniture and department store retailer maintaining seven-figure profits thank to asset disposals and rental income from its investment property portfolio.

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Half-year results will be impacted by ongoing restructuring work
Flooring market leader Carpetright says its restructuring plan began in earnest in the second quarter as it closed 67 underperforming stores with half a dozen more to shut before the year is out.

The Branded Furniture Company — a collaboration between Britain's largest management-owned sofa maker and designers who have imagined furniture for the likes of Next and Argos — is bringing Orla Kiely furniture to market in January.

Tim Eagles, the longtime boss of mobility company Stannah, is to succeed David Judge as md at Cormar, the circa £120 million Bury carpet maker.

Consumer confidence declined last month with shoppers less enthusiastic about splashing out on high value items such as furniture and cars, according to new figures from GfK.

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Breasley has capitalised on growing demand in the bed-in-a-box segment
Attracting new customers helped revenue continue to climb for East Midlands mattress maker and foam converter Breasley in the year to April 30, 2018. Rising foam costs hampered margins.

Victoria, the floorcoverings supply group whose shares have fallen sharply in value this week, says negative sentiment expressed towards the company is wide of the mark.

John Lewis & Partners registered its biggest sales figure for 2018 last week with sales just above £99 million in the seven days to October 27. Home sales fell for the eighth week straight.

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Stores are down, online is up for Next
General merchandise retailer Next said full-price sales advanced in its third quarter though both its stores and ecommerce channels performed below year-to-date levels.

Pre-registration to attend the next edition of the January Furniture Show has climbed sharply in a sign buyers are eager to replenish their product offer, organisers have said.

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Business rates are one of the biggest costs for large retailers
The High Street can't be saved in its current form but there are measures that can ease the pain, Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond said yesterday as he announced a series of ideas designed to support the transition.

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House of Fraser tie-up is part of new concession journey, says Sofa.com
Upholstery vertical Sofa.com has fleshed out details regarding its concession partnership with House of Fraser, revealed by The Furnishing Report last week, and says sales across its network are beating expectations.

There may be a not-so-obvious impact on the furniture industry from the Government's planned Digital Services Tax.

Victoria, the acquisitive floorcoverings supplier, said yesterday that plans to grow its market share will hit profits, with margins to be below current expectations.

Italian sofa company Natuzzi has won an Innovation Award for new virtual reality technology that allows consumers to better-visualise how products will look in their homes.

Mohawk, the world's largest floorcoverings business, said sales were lower than expected in the third quarter as price increases had less impact than it had hoped.

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Dreams' Oldbury, West Midlands beds factory
Earlier this year and without fanfare, national beds specialist Dreams did something that went against the grain in the boxed beds product segment. For its Hyde & Sleep brand, it pivoted away from the near-ubiquitous 100-night trial.

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Dreams' Buckinghamshire head office
Bed specialist Dreams is expanding. Another four or five stores will open this year, with perhaps ten to follow in 2019. We've been here before. But the circumstances at Dreams are very different now, says CEO Mike Logue.

The group behind the direct-to-consumer beds brand Adjustamatic built on its return to growth in 2016 with another bump in sales last year.

Swedish kitchens conglomerate Nobia, owner of UK retail chain Magnet, says it will close an unspecified number of stores as part of a group-wide plan to save costs and protect profits.

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Sofa.com has opened concessions in House of Fraser stores
Upholstery retailer Sofa.com has opened concessions in a handful of House of Fraser stores as part of a plan to expand its retail footprint. Its arrival comes as ScS, which operates 27 HoF concessions, departs.

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Habitat will open a Brighton store next month
Retail giant J Sainsbury has signalled its confidence in its furniture and interiors retail business Habitat with an equity injection that transforms its balance sheet and eliminates a large chunk of debt.

The five-year partnership between the two businesses is coming to an end.

Amtico mirrored rival Karndean in posting high sales growth in the UK last year in a sign of the growing share of luxury vinyl in the wider floorcoverings market.

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50 as-yet-unspecified stores will close over the next five years. Its new store at Stevenage, pictured, is among the business' best-performing shops
Debenhams, the department store retailer, says it will close about a third of its circa 165-store estate over the next five years as it looks to adjust its business model to the rise of ecommerce.

What the takeover, revealed by The Furnishing Report yesterday, means for Beales' furniture business online.

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The retailer is part way through a £5m investment programme
Sales and profits were flat for Housing Units as the North West home furnishings independent completed the first phase of a major investment programme designed to position it for growth.

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The concessions will close early next year
ScS is to end its partnership with House of Fraser and close all 27 of the concessions it operates within the department store chain with CEO David Knight saying the tie-up is "no longer beneficial."

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Global conglomerate Low & Bonar wants a piece of the mattress components market
One of the world's largest textiles companies is pushing into the mattress manufacturing sector by offering bed makers a new product it says is a viable and green alternative to foam.

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21-store Beales has changed hands
Andrew Perloff, owner of Airsprung and AHF, has sold the 21-shop Beales department store chain in a private equity backed management buyout led by chief executive Tony Brown, The Furnishing Report can reveal.

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Upholstery represents almost a third of Ercol's business
Ercol chairman Edward Tadros says new upholstery designs hit the spot last year, a period that saw the heritage furniture manufacturer make heavy investment on new machinery.

Zara Home, the dedicated homeware chain operated by the Spanish Inditex conglomerate, posted double-digit sales growth in the UK last year as it launched an ecommerce channel.

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Nasons furniture store and, inset, how the brand is expected to change as part of the AHF group
AHF, recently taken over by Airsprung owner Andrew Perloff, is to save the large Nasons furniture shop in Canterbury, making it the southernmost store under its management.

John Lewis & Partners recorded a seventh straight fall in home merchandise sales last week though the chain did see some big-ticket sub-categories make year-on-year gains.

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Never-seen-before levels of marketing are being spent across the entire UK mattress sector, says Mike Logue
Marketing spend in the beds sector has reached unprecedented levels according to Dreams CEO Mike Logue, who says there is definitely room for more consumer brands in the mattress category.

Vinyl floorcoverings supplier Karndean maintained sales momentum as it recorded a fifth straight year of double-digit growth in 2017, with profits topping £10 million.