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

furnitureVillageStephenMcPartlandStephen McPartland MP has strengthened his ties to the furniture industry after joining the board at national retailer Furniture Village.

vokinsHoveCoThe owner of one of Southern England’s largest independent furniture retailers says its 22,000sqft showroom will close some time next month.

Analysis: High class independent furniture store retailer Vokins is closing with the lack of a suitable replacement location among the reasons.

UK retailers are confident of higher sales through 2015, according to new research.

UK furniture manufacturing turnover climbed by almost £66m year-on-year at the start of the final quarter of 2014.

Department store retailer John Lewis said sales climbed 4.8 per cent to £777m over the five weeks to 27th December, driven largely by growth in web orders.

ashleyManorThe independent upholstery group behind the Ashley Manor and Alexander & James brands posted record sales and profits last year though growth slowed.

Midlands wholesaler Serene has expanded its warehousing again ahead of the launch of its new Living programme later this month.

The company that paid £400k to acquire one of Britain’s largest rug wholesalers was placed into liquidation in the lead up to Christmas.

ahfFasciaCoHigher like-for-like sales and lower costs helped employee owned cooperative AHF grow underlying profits in the year to end March.

nextInteriorHigh demand from online and catalogue shoppers lifted fashion-to-furnishings retailer Next in the two months to Christmas Eve.

seconiqueFurniture importer and wholesaler Seconique ended five years of falling sales at its main trading subsidiary in the year to end June.

Lower costs and stronger gross margin helped Midlands kitchens manufacturer Mereway return to profit in the year to end March.

furnitureQueueYear-on-year shopper numbers fell sharply on Boxing Day as fewer consumers braved the cold to visit physical store locations.

Boxing Day sales were up by more than a quarter at Oak Furniture Land on a same-store basis, with new stores and its SofaStore rollout boosting total sales.

Case goods retailer Furniture Barn has opened a new store at an iconic Yorkshire site that had been derelict for more than five years.

Home achieved a record sales week in the seven days to 20th December at John Lewis, though overall revenues declined as Black Friday brought demand forward.

discounting-1The red sale tickets are ready as furniture and floorcoverings retailers look to see out 2014 in style and top the £4.6bn spent by consumers in the final quarter of last year.

dfs-co-1Sofa chain DFS has posted strong double-digit growth in the three months to 1st November with underlying profits up by more than half.

North East distributor Baker Furniture says it expects profits to return to 2010–12 levels after it booked more orders in the year to end March and beyond.

Sales momentum at kitchens and bedrooms specialist John Lewis of Hungerford was hit by the loss of key staff in the second quarter.

welcome-furnitureStronger margins and higher sales helped North Wales bedroom cabinet firm Welcome Furniture grow profits in the year to end March.

Flooring and beds franchise retailer United Carpets says its small format high street stores are performing well and it may open a few more in the next year.

Home improvement giant Kingfisher has sold a controlling stake in its B&Q China operation to one of Asia’s largest chain store retailers.

Berlin, GER — Shareholders have invested another €15.9m in the Internet furniture retailer Home24, which operates across multiple European markets.

sofastoreThe national rollout of SofaStore — sister brand to Oak Furniture Land — has begun with the fascia to be visible across the entire store estate by Boxing Day.

Furniture sales were up for a sixth successive month in November with the latest four months all seeing double-digit volume gains.

Commentary: First numbers since the Horatio Myer & Co beds business was sold to Steinhoff highlight how external retail customers have remained at the heart of its sales strategy.

Furniture Village will relaunch its enlarged Sussex store at Hove’s Old Shoreham Road on Boxing Day.

Demand for decorative papers from cabinet furniture firms helped gloss over weak sales of floorcoverings at industrial giant Egger in the six months to end October.

fryetts-genFurnishings fabrics supplier Fryett’s absorbed rising costs in the year to end February but still made more than 10 per cent at the pre-tax line.

The final quarter of 2014 got off to a strong start for Britain’s furniture exporters thanks to big orders from far off lands.

Upholstery producer Collins and Hayes has named Emma Hughes as sales team manager with responsibility for the South West, Midlands, Wales and Ireland.

Fashion was the top seller as Home category sales flatlined at department store chain John Lewis last week.

discounting-1Discounts were deeper in November as furniture and furnishings prices slipped further against year-earlier levels despite rising prices at the factory gate.

Profits grew 62 per cent at floorcoverings giant Abingdon before the business was sold to the Victoria carpets and flooring group this autumn.

Heritage Newark furniture retailer Holdens is to move to a purpose built out-of-town store next autumn and lease its existing town centre showrooms to one or more other retailers.

designers-guild-krProfits doubled at luxury home fashion brand Designers Guild ahead of its move into a new 80,000sqft West London DC this summer.

Heritage furniture and department store independent Randalls of Uxbridge is to close permanently after a clearance sale next month.

Flooring chain Carpetright is to roll out an interest free credit offer across its store portfolio following a successful trial.

arighi-bianchi-coIconic North West furniture independent Arighi Bianchi posted its highest earnings in seven years as sales climbed again in 2013–14.

belProspects of a return for creditors of Belfast Furniture Mall are bleak with the company’s stock having been sold prior to administrators being appointed.