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

Figures weaken at two-store retailer.

The value of retail sales contracted in September as uncertainty weighed on consumer demand, according to a closely-followed retail survey.

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Sebastian Mertes, Emma's new CFO. Photograph: www.tw-klein.com.
The German company behind the Emma mattress brand has appointed a former investment professional at British private equity company Permira as its new chief financial officer.

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Tapi is now trading from nearly 130 stores.
Tapi Carpets & Floors, the expanding flooring chain run primarily by former Carpetright executives, posted a bigger loss in 2018 after costs increased and gross margin narrowed.

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Beales was founded in Bournemouth nearly 140 years ago.
Storied department store chain Beales has vowed to trim costs further over the next two years after it recorded a wider deficit for 2018–19, partly impacted by one-off costs following its MBO last autumn.

There were separate transactions for the business and assets of Palmers as well as its two freehold properties.

Biggest shareholder in Tapi now owns nearly a quarter of the company while others, such as DFS founder Lord Kirkham, have seen their stake diluted.

Natuzzi has named Jason Camp as president of Natuzzi Americas, making him its most senior company official in the territory.

Hatfields of Colchester will today (Oct. 5) officially relaunch its Peartree Road showrooms, unveiling the new-look façade it has been working on since the beginning of the year.

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The London Fabric Show has become BFM Fabric Show London ahead of its 2020 edition in a move that opens the door to possible expansion around the U.K.

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Shareholders have backed OKA with eight-figure investment for 2019.
The financial terms of OKA Direct's takeover of U.S. retailer Wisteria — a precursor to the British furniture brand's own expansion into the country — have been disclosed for the first time.

Roche Bobois, the high-end French furniture brand with stores in London, South East England and the North West, enjoyed a performance uplift in the U.K. in the first half of 2019.

An increase in ecommerce sales helped upmarket furniture and home retailer OKA Direct maintain revenues in 2018, despite weaker store sales.

Brintons, the private equity backed Worcestershire carpet maker, is to scale down its yarn-spinning operation ahead of the facility's planned closure next spring.

Wincanton, one of the leading providers of warehousing and delivery services to the U.K. furniture industry, has renewed two major contracts with companies in the sector.

Organisers of the January Furniture Show have opened pre-registration ahead of the next iteration of the U.K. furniture industry's largest trade-only event.

Broadcasters and national newspapers carried coverage of Sleeptember, the annual Sleep Council campaign to raise the profile of sleep among consumers to the benefit of the bed industry.

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HSL is headquartered at Batley, West Yorkshire, and trades from stores nationwide.
Sales climbed at the 59-store specialist furniture retailer HSL in 2018 with the company's West Yorkshire factory powering much of the uplift.

Buyout of North Carolina manufacturer supports existing wholesale infrastructure in the U.S. for Far East conglomerate, while since-divested U.K. case goods arm saw double-digit decline in 2018.

Britain's bed makers sold as many products in the second quarter of 2019 as they had the previous year but the value of those sales declined, according to the National Bed Federation (NBF).

Fitted furniture maker and retailer bolstered balance sheet in more challenging trading year.

Takes former Mothercare unit at Newtownabbey retail park.

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Sofa.com has its own factory in Poland.
ScS would have utilised Sofa.com's Eastern European manufacturing base to serve other parts of its business if it had successfully bought the company, its chairman said yesterday.

John Lewis Partnership (JLP) is merging the management of its John Lewis & Partners department store and Waitrose & Partners supermarket divisions in a move it says will save £100 million over time.

Wider margins helped counter the impact of lower sales at Portadown furniture wholesaler Annaghmore Agencies in the year to December 31.

ScS has refitted flooring departments across its estate as the sofas and carpets specialist looks to reverse sliding sales in the category amid intense competition from warring rivals.

Department store chain John Lewis & Partners ended nine straight home sales declines with a big double-digit gain last week, driven by strong furniture sales and the start of a 20 percent off promotional Home event.

John Rogers, CEO at Sainsbury's Argos, is to leave the company October 31 to become chief financial officer at WPP, the advertising and public relations company.

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Lebus' Lincolnshire factory.
The Dutch majority owner of Lebus Upholstery has reduced its stake in a long-planned transaction that hands control of the Lincolnshire sofa manufacturer to its U.K. board.

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Trade has weakened for ScS as it embarks on bid to build on growth last year.
Consumer demand has weakened since the height of the summer amid a more challenging trading backdrop according to ScS, Britain's number two upholstery specialist.

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How the store will look from the nearby Aylesbury Vale Parkway Railway Station.
Stokers' plans to "future proof" the Lucas of Aylesbury business it acquired four years ago have stepped up after it began work on its new 75,000sqft store in the Buckinghamshire town.

Warren Evans has opened its first showroom since the brand was resurrected as an ecommerce business by its eponymous founder earlier this year.

Hatfields Furnishers will this weekend relaunch its new-look Colchester showrooms after an extensive refurbishment project that saw it overhaul the store facade.

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Westbridge's Coach House collection.
The revenue trend at Westbridge, Britain's largest non retailer-owned sofa maker, reflected the wider U.K. upholstery market last year.

Preston upholstery producer Tetrad continued to gain momentum in 2018, with double-digit pro-rata sales growth helping it glean a bigger share of a declining upholstery market.

Mattress maker Duflex, supplier to retailers such as IKEA, Eve, Asda and Argos, posted lower sales for the first time on public record last year. Group bed sales still advanced after parent Belfield opened a second factory.

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Natuzzi Editions new store in the North West.
Natuzzi added a fifth U.K. store for its Editions brand on Saturday, a day after the Italian upholstery giant released second quarter figures that reflected myriad challenges across the globe.

For the sixth straight month, the major purchases measure of GfK's closely-followed Consumer Confidence Index moved in the opposite direction to the previous change.

Gardiner Haskins, the heritage home improvement retail brand based in the South West of England, restructured its business last year with the closure of its large Bristol shop based in the iconic Grade II listed Soapworks building.

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The company claimed the Bed of the Year award at the Bed Show 2019 for its new J. Marshall by Vispring range, which pitches the brand to a younger clientele.
Manufacturing efficiencies and exports helped offset weaker domestic U.K. sales last year at Vispring, the luxury Devon bed manufacturer.

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A change in the retailer's accounting reference date was a contributing factor in rising net debt at its latest balance sheet dateline.
Upholstery market leader DFS has this month increased the size of its revolving credit facility by £20 million "to reflect the increased scale of the group's operating activities."

Losses persisted during what remained a turnaround phase for And So To Bed, the premium beds and bedroom furniture retailer, in 2018.

Catalogue and Internet retailer Shop Direct has launched products from furniture company Swoon in dedicated sections of the websites of both its Very.co.uk and Littlewoods brands.

Moda Furnishings, the outdoor and conservatory furniture retailer, has been sold to private equity investor Endless. Terms were not disclosed.

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DFS is the U.K. market leader in upholstery.
Sales and adjusted profits advanced for DFS in the year to end June while the group — owner of Sofology, Dwell and Sofa Workshop — says it will exit a number of 'poorly performing' suppliers.

Long-established southern furniture and home retailer discloses value of property deal following decision to restructure operations and relocate.

Direct-to-consumer mattress and ancillary products brand Eve Sleep narrowed losses in the first half of 2019 after cutting the amount of money it spent on marketing. Sales declined.

Upholstery producer Ekornes, owner of the Stressless recliner brand, says it maintained U.K. profits last year despite the negative impact of a legacy group logistics contract.

IKEA, the world's biggest furniture and homewares retailer, said global revenue advanced 6 percent to €41.3 billion in the year to August 31, 2019.

High-end bed maker Hypnos has bolstered its ethical credentials by partnering Red Tractor Food and Farming Standards, an industry-first for the mattress sector.

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15 years ago, Highgrove sales were under £1m. Today it is one of the U.K.'s largest bed manufacturers.
West Yorkshire bed maker Highgrove posted a 15th straight top line rise in 2018 despite tough trading conditions. Underlying profits also climbed with statutory earnings down because of one-off expenses.

Home sales fell 13.4 percent at John Lewis & Partners last week, a ninth straight year-on-year fall and the retailer's worst run since the end of August last year.

General merchandise sales fell for J Sainsbury, owner of the Argos and Habitat businesses, in the retailer's second quarter, but at a shallower rate than in the first.

Net income advanced beyond £3 million for the manufacturer behind brands including Rug Guru and The Origin Rug Collection last year after a big leap in sales.

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JYSK Nordic is the largest division in the group's worldwide structure.
The biggest retail division in the JYSK worldwide ecosystem booked 9 percent revenue growth in 2018–19, and says online is becoming a bigger part of its business.

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The company is a bellwether for the U.K. sofa industry.
Revenue fell and margins narrowed in 2018–19 for Flameproofings, the U.K. market leader in the flame retardant coating of fabrics for the upholstery and household textile markets.

Hatters Fine Furnishings, one of the U.K.'s largest single-store furniture retailers, is close to completing a six-figure extension project at its South East England store.

Rising sales of domestic floorcoverings helped one of the sector's largest privately-owned wholesalers return to the black in 2018.

The Senator Group, one of Britain's biggest furniture manufacturers, posted mid single-digit revenue growth in 2018 after selling more to customers in overseas markets.

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The W.S. Dennison family, from left to right: James, Nikki, Maureen, William and Pamela showing off the new 40th anniversary logo that has been added to some of the fleet.
W.S. Dennison, the Antrim based furniture logistics company, has celebrated 40 years in business with an event attended by 150 of its friends, family and other associates.