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

steinhoffUK Upholstery
Supplying Harveys is the primary focus of the sofa supply division, based here in South Wales. Image: Google.
Steinhoff UK Upholstery has a new name, brand and logo as the circa £95 million turnover supplier, whose main focus is and continues to be supplying Harveys, explores ways it can maximise its capacity.

Acquisitive floorcoverings distributor and manufacturer Victoria has added another U.K. company to its growing roster of subsidiaries with a low-key takeover of a £23 million turnover Yorkshire carpet maker.

Shoppers' propensity to spend money on high value items such as furniture improved for the first time in three months in May, according to the closely-followed Consumer Consumer Index.

West Elm, the American owned furniture retailer with an expanding U.K. business, enjoyed double-digit sales growth in the first quarter, parent Williams-Sonoma said last night.

A key European bedroom furniture supplier to the U.K. market has drastically reduced the number of planned job cuts at its factories after talks with unions and industrial action by employees.

The daughters of the founders of bedroom furniture manufacturer Harrison Brothers (Furniture) have completed a buyout that saves jobs and ensures the business survives.

IKEA opened two new U.K. full-line stores in 2017–18, but says a rising proportion of online sales impacted distribution costs.
The U.K. trading arm of home furnishings retail giant IKEA has posted its worst net result here in a quarter of a century despite it continuing to build out its market share.

Dreams' new Sleepmotion bed frame.
National bed specialist Dreams has introduced two remote and app-controlled adjustable bed frames across its 195-store U.K. network and online.

Bettzeit erweitert Managementteam
The Bettzeit management team has expanded to include Gastón Tourn, Christian Portz, Philipp Wagner and Vanessa Vollrath; Photograph: Hannes Keller
Bettzeit, the German company behind growing direct-to-consumer mattress brand Emma, says it will continue its recruitment drive as it looks to build on the appointment of a number of C-suite executives.

New md at southeast England kitchen maker has rich history with U.K. big-ticket retailing.

Home sales fell for a fifth straight week at department store retailer John Lewis & Partners but its performance in the upholstery category did offer some comfort.

Upholstery sales trended up in mid single-digits.
Rising upholstery and carpet revenue powered retail sales growth in April as retailers made the most of calendar differences to post higher revenues against the same month a year ago.

Oak Furnitureland has 100 stores in the U.K.
Hardwood furniture chain Oak Furnitureland, the largest retailer of its type in the country, continues to build its U.K. network with new stores in both the North and South of England.

Biggest development in near 50-year history says £8 million rugs distributor, which supplies products to retailers such as Argos.

Mattress Firm, still the largest U.S. beds retailer despite downsizing following a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganisation, has appointed John Eck as its new chief executive.

The Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough.
John Lewis & Partners is to refurbish its full-line store at the Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough, introducing new features and giving all departments a makeover.

Kingstown Furniture's circa 191,000sqft Hull premises.
Kingstown Furniture's Hull factory has been put up for sale with a £5 million asking price but trade suppliers to the collapsed trading arms of the manufacturing and supply divisions won't see a penny of it.

Revenue fell in high single digits in the first quarter at Natuzzi as weaker sales in the wholesale channel were countered by rising output from the Italian sofa giant's direct retail business.

Privately-owned furniture retailer Gillies of Broughty Ferry, which next year marks its 125th anniversary, built out sales for the second straight year in 2017–18, during which it invested in staff training and store refurbishment.

Industry concerns ranging from beds retailer Land of Beds to sofa maker Westbridge are among seven companies featured in the latest sector-specific Parliamentary Review documents.

The British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) is relocating from Long Eaton to Oxfordshire as part of a project to modernise the members' trade association.

FurnitureVillage Guildford May 2019
Furniture Village Guildford now hosts a Carpetright concession.
Carpetright and Furniture Village have agreed a concession pilot with the former opening a 1,500sqft concession inside the latter's Guildford store.

Against soft comps, Headlam made gains in early 2019 trading.
Flooring conglomerate Headlam Group said it made top line gains in the first four months of the year with customers spending more in both the residential and commercial sectors.

10-store independent retailer grows sales and clears external bank debt, but profits fall.

Proposals to build a new full line IKEA store in Lancing, West Sussex will not be squashed by Central Government intervention, local officials have been told.

Sherborne's Virginia three-seat sofa and standard recliner.
Motion furniture maker Sherborne Upholstery is among a slew of first-time companies to have signed to exhibit at the Manchester Furniture Show later this summer.

Discount store chain goes after bigger share of homewares market.

Easter was later in 2019, impacting inflation.
Furniture retail prices were below year-earlier levels in April according to new Government data as the later fall of Easter in 2019 prompted deflation in the category for the first time this year.

JYSK will focus on the North and Midlands. Its sole southern store to date, at Bournemouth, closed in 2018.
Danish value furniture chain JYSK has again reiterated plans to ramp up store openings with the aim of trebling its existing U.K. estate over the next half-decade.

Loaf currently has seven stores across England. Its Battersea showroom is pictured.
Expanding upholstery, cabinet and beds retailer Loaf is to continue its new store rollout with a first showroom in the South West of England.

Upscale Scandinavian furniture brand Hay has recruited the former chief executive at designer chair maker Varier Furniture to oversee its own international business.

Victoria, the U.K. headquartered floorcoverings manufacturer and distributor, has further strengthened its ties with the U.S. with its latest board appointment.

bensons skye
The entry-level Skye mattress retails* from £239.99 for a double.
National bed specialist Bensons for Beds has reimagined its own-brand compressed, rolled and folded mattress offer to include a simplified range, new-look and different merchandising.

Man Wah acquired the Vietnamese manufacturer behind the Sofa Square brand last year.
Core recliner sales across Europe climbed for upholstery giant Man Wah Holdings in 2018–19, a year that saw the Far East conglomerate integrate acquisitions, tackle tariff threats and confront staffing issues.

Retail stalwart Marks and Spencer Group (M&S) says it is taking steps "to bring back the voice of the stores" with it to decentralise decision-making and accountability as part of its ongoing transformation programme.

Ingka Investments, the venture capital arm of IKEA parent Ingka Group, has acquired a minority stake in Livspace, an India-based furniture and interiors startup.

Last week marked a fourth straight home sales decline
John Lewis & Partners narrowly missed ending a four-week run of falling home merchandise sales as the broad-brush category declined 0.3 percent in the seven days to May 18, 2019.

Jim Gerety, md at high end Devon bed maker Vispring, has been elected to the executive board of the National Bed Federation (NBF), the trade association whose members have a 70 percent U.K. market share.

Well-known Sterling Furniture buyer David Amery has become president of the Scottish Furniture Trades Benevolent Association (SFTBA), the industry charity.

The march of Chinese mattress maker Mlily continued at the start of 2019 with its parent company posting high first quarter revenue and profits growth.

Skandium's former store on Brompton Road.
The future of the Scandinavian design and furniture retail brand Skandium, whose stores closed earlier this month, could be resolved this week with administrators negotiating a sale of assets.

Revenue jumped more than a fifth for the Yorkshire company behind guest bed maker Jay-Be in 2017–18, a year where margins widened and profits doubled.

Knowsley furniture maker and wholesaler Dams posted double-digit profits growth on higher sales in 2017–18, a year that saw it start building a new upholstery facility.

An artist's impression of Ashgate Hospice's revamped patient bays.
Designer Contracts, the national floorcoverings contractor, is to donate £100,000 to support a hospice close to its Chesterfield, Derbyshire headquarters.

Emma Rackley has joined JB Global, which has in the past operated the standalone SofaStore brand alongside its core Oak Furnitureland fascia.
JB Global, the company behind the Oak Furnitureland chain, has bolstered its expanding product development team with the appointment of Emma Rackley, formerly of Shop Direct, Furniture Village and Leekes.

The chairman of the Furniture and Interiors Education, Skills and Training Alliance (FIESTA) says large furniture companies "need to wake up" or face a looming skills crisis.

Tudor Williams' New Malden store.
Department store retailer and bed shop owner Tudor Williams has begun the last throes at its historic New Malden store as it prepares to draw the curtain on over 100 years of trade. Its other stores are unaffected.

One of Malaysia's largest furniture suppliers says it has seen a surge in demand from U.S. companies seeking to avoid the impact of tariffs imposed on Chinese furniture. U.K. sales were down. Design has opened its first Scandinavian showroom as the build out of its international brand presence sees it push into Nordic markets for the first time.

The NBF Code of Practice will go beyond product compliance
Britain's leading bed manufacturers have voted unanimously to further tighten the National Bed Federation's (NBF) membership criteria to raise standards and put more distance between themselves and rogue operators.

healsTCR strap
Cost savings helped Heal's post positive EBITDA.
Designer furniture and homeware retailer Heal's has fleshed out details of its 2017–18 profits turnaround, which shows it found a number of cost savings in addition to posting higher sales.

Trade was weaker than previous years at prestige kitchen maker and retailer Harvey Jones in 2018 though the company enjoyed stronger cash generation.

Bedding conglomerate Tempur Sealy International bolstered its European manufacturing credentials with the acquisition of a circa €10 million manufacturer producing out of the Baltic region earlier this spring.

A Chinese supplier with longstanding U.K. supply links may bear the brunt of the creditor shortfall after a small privately-owned wholesaler and retailer was placed into liquidation last month.

TCM Corp acquired a majority stake in the company behind Alexander & James in 2016.
Upholstery profits almost doubled for the Thai owner of the Alstons, Ashley Manor and Alexander & James businesses in the first quarter of 2019 despite it booking lower combined sales.

The U.K. was one of the first two markets for the Made in Design business and has been selling here for more than a decade.
High-end designer furniture etailer Made in Design has been sold to French department store group Printemps, providing an exit for its private equity backer.

Higher revenue helped the British arm of Italian designer furniture group Poltrona Frau swing to profit in 2018.

The company behind the Kettering Bedding Centre has suffered a serious fire that has damaged its Regents Street premises in the Northamptonshire town.

Dids Macdonald
Dids Macdonald OBE, co-founder and CEO of Anti Copying In Design (ACID), has been installed as Master of The Furniture Makers' Company, the city livery company and industry charity.

Qumei acquired Ekornes, owner of the Stressless brand, last August.
The acquisition of Stressless brand owner Ekornes by Qumei Home Furnishings Group Co. has more than doubled the size of the China-based furniture maker, new figures reveal.