andersonsInverWeaker economic conditions in the North East oil and gas sector prompted a first fall in sales since 2009 for major independent home furnisher Andersons of Inverurie.

Lefton’s Furniture Group says it is planning to mark its 70th year of trading with a series of promotions and celebratory events through 2016.

sofologySales advanced 39.5 per cent for upholstery specialist Sofology in 2015 as the retailer made “great strides following a year of transition.”

Ultra Furniture has downsized after losing a major retail contract, but its md says safeguarding the sofa manufacturer’s remaining 120 staff is his number one priority.

Home retailer Dunelm says sales grew 5.9 per cent to £229m in the 13 weeks to 2nd April as it continues to open stores and leverage its online channel.

Incoming Marks & Spencer boss Steve Rowe says “turning around our Clothing and Home business” is his number one priority as he succeeds Marc Bolland as CEO.

The National Bed Federation has announced Marcus Brigstocke as host of its 2016 Bed Show Gala Dinner and Awards ceremony.

FurnitureBarnKiddFurniture retailer Lee Longlands has acquired four of the remaining Furniture Barn stores, which have been trading through administration since last year.

lombok75Lombok CEO Stuart Lewis says the furniture retailer is ready to expand its physical store footprint again and could open more than half a dozen new showrooms by 2020.

Floorcoverings contractor Designer Contracts has made three managerial appointments, including two external hires and a promotion.

Mattress and foam goods supplier The Foam Company has developed a waste management programme for recycling its leftover foam and packaging.

This year’s earlier Easter skewed trading comparisons at John Lewis with Home products particularly affected, the retailer said.

retailParkThe number of home industry insolvencies fell 6.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2016, though those that did fail left creditors owed in excess of £28m.

barkerStonehouseGuildBarker and Stonehouse will open its second store in southern England after planners granted permission for it to build on brownfield land in Guildford. The Furnishing Report speaks to md James Barker about the project.

natuzziThurrockItalian upholstery giant Natuzzi has invested more than £13 million into its UK retail arm via a rights issue as it looks to build on high growth here last year.

Heritage kitchen manufacturer and supplier Burbidge and Son has achieved FIRA Gold Product Certification for its kitchen frontals.

highStreeMore independent stores opened than closed in 2015 though the net opening rate threatens to turn negative for the first time since records began.

Consumer confidence for major purchases slipped in March but remains ahead of the same month last year, according to research consultancy GfK.

Electricals and Home Technology sales were up nearly a fifth at John Lewis last week with Home also trending up in high single digits.

nextHomeFasciaNext says it will take its total investment in its new furniture warehouse beyond £30m with another sizeable spend ahead of its planned opening this summer.

East of England furniture and home retailer Aldiss posted its highest sales in a decade in the year to 3rd October with profits rising three-fold.

Retail footfall declined over the Bank Holiday weekend but higher online sales made up the shortfall, according to retail consultancy Springboard.

willisGambierFull year profits declined by 68 per cent at Willis & Gambier owner Samson Holding in 2015 as foreign exchange translation negated the impact of rising output.

Furniture prices eased at both the factory gate and retail stores in February, according to inflation data from the Office for National Statistics.

bealesHorshDepartment store retailer Beales has won the backing of creditors who voted in favour of its Company Voluntary Arrangement. One store will still close this summer when its lease expires.

BoConceptBournemouthThe franchised Bournemouth BoConcept store has closed, less than two years since it agreed a Company Voluntary Arrangement with creditors.

NATUZZI FR VERSIONNatuzzi cut its pre-tax deficit in 2015 on production efficiencies, higher sales and a strong performance in the UK, its second largest market after the US.

Net space closure and a shorter trading period hit second half furniture sales at Laura Ashley, but not enough to prevent the retailer from beating its 2014–15 full year total across sofas, beds and cabinet.

Britain’s biggest home improvement and DIY retailer B&Q grew online sales by nearly a third in the year to end January and has built out the number of SKUs available for online reservation.

bhsCreditors of furniture-to-fashion retailer BHS have backed its CVA proposal, securing its near term future and cutting its rent bill across a number of stores.

dfsFascia150Revenue advanced 6.9 per cent to £355.8m at sofa chain DFS in the half to end January as the retailer announced its succession plan to replace longstanding finance director Bill Barnes.

Upholstery chain DFS is to expand its small-format trial. It says a second store with a smaller footprint will open in the South East next month.

Floorcoverings group Victoria PLC says profits will be “materially ahead of consensus market expectations” for its 2015–16 financial year as it made more of synergies from acquisitions.

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