Political uncertainty has stymied demand for furniture but its impact has also been felt further back in the supply chain, according to new research by the British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM).

Eight level 2 manufacturing apprenticeship pathways are to be renewed in 2020, after campaigning by The Furniture and Interiors Education, Skills and Training Alliance (FIESTA) paid dividends.

Upholstery maker and retailer Sofa.com has moved into the third-party branded space, introducing upholstery from fashion label Jack Wills to its product roster.

The Advertising Standards Authority has told the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) to stop claiming to be the "U.K.'s leading professional organisation for interior designers" after the suggestion irked one of its rival trade associations.

Ulster Carpets maintained high profits and continued to invest in new manufacturing equipment as wider gross margin helped counter a slight fall in sales in the year to end March.

Furniture bucked the wider home goods trend at John Lewis & Partners last week, delivering a 53 percent climb on the same period a year ago.

Mike Gant has resigned as chief financial officer at luxury interior furnishings group Walker Greenbank, the company has announced.

Department store chain Beales could have a third owner within the space of little over a year after the 22-store business said it would consider offers for the company. It has opened a formal sales process amid a search for fresh investment.

Mears Flooring, one of the U.K.'s largest independent carpet and floorcoverings retailers, grew sales and profits in 2018–19 despite difficult trading conditions in the domestic market.

JYSK, the inexpensive Scandinavian furniture and homewares retailer, will kick-start its expansion programme across the U.K. with the opening of its 20th store next spring.

The timing of the BFM Fabric Show London has been brought forward a week because the earlier-announced dates clashed with Chelsea F.C.'s continuing participation in the Champion's League.

Sofa maker Whitemeadow reached 25 years in business last week and marked the occasion by unveiling its Wall of Fame — created to celebrate staff members reaching a quarter of a century of service.

Higher costs and narrower margins meant furniture retailer Habitat posted a bigger loss in 2018–19. Total sales fell because of changes in its store estate, but the underlying revenue picture was positive.

Floorcoverings distributor Likewise has fleshed out further details of its half-year performance as the emerging group continues to enact its buy-and-build strategy.

Floorcoverings retail market leader Carpetright has begun its previously-announced rollout of concessions in Furniture Village stores, opening at Leeds and Gateshead in the past week.

Glasswells, one of the U.K.'s largest independent furniture retailers, completed another four-figure fund raise at its annual quiz night, generating money this year for the My WiSH charity.

The company behind furniture retailer Swoon filed for insolvency last week with its business and assets instantly sold to a newco controlled by the brand's co-founders, giving it a new lease of life. Few competitors will have been celebrating.

Furniture retailer Swoon — sold to its co-founders in an insolvent buyout earlier this week — will continue to work with third-party retailers but says that its concession partnership with Debenhams is nearing its end.

U.K. mattress makers collectively grew exports for the first time in eight months in October despite continued weak trade with E.U. countries.

Black Friday mattress sales jumped 80 percent year-on-year for direct-to-consumer bed brand Emma, with the Frankfurt-headquartered company saying it made a sale every eight seconds during peak hours.

Living, dining and bedroom cabinet imports into the U.K. have returned to growth in 2019 and a large part of that is down to the rise in the value of goods shipped from Malaysia.

Pan-European mattress retailer and distributor Beter Bed Holding has a new chief financial officer after the current incumbent, Hugo van den Ochtend, was released from his duties and responsibilities.

Upholstery imports climbed at the beginning of the final quarter of 2019 on the back of double-digit climbs from Poland, China and Vietnam.

A third consecutive year of double-digit sales growth helped North East cabinet wholesaler Baker Furniture book higher profits in 2018–19 in spite of rising overheads.

Britain imported more carpets and rugs in October despite weaker numbers from Belgium and the Netherlands, the two source nations that together represent half of all imports.

Danspin, the Danish carpet yarn spinner that bought Lawton Yarns out of administration this summer, has offered to sell the business to avoid the U.K. competition regulator escalating its antitrust inquiry.

Mattress specialist Kaymed was a winner at the annual awards ceremony of major retailer Harvey Norman earlier this month, gaining success in two categories.

Privately-owned furniture retailer Barker and Stonehouse achieved a seventh straight year of revenue growth in the 12 months to end March, a period that saw it continue to upgrade its technology infrastructure.

Furniture and homewares retailer Swoon has been sold to its co-founders via a prepack administration deal that leaves prior backers of the business facing the loss of their investment, The Telegraph reported.

Furniture and flooring were bright spots in a week that saw overall home sales fall back for John Lewis & Partners, the department store chain.

Upmarket Scottish retailer Shapes Furniture, based just outside of Edinburgh, is clearing all stock ahead of its planned permanent closure.

The January Furniture Show will include a feature showcasing a selection of the winning designs from the Young Furniture Makers' Awards. It follows the show sponsoring the awards ceremony this October.

Former employees at the former Monomarket regional retail chain in the North East — which ran four prominent bed stores and the MrMattress online shop — have launched a new beds retail business.

Department store retailer Debenhams has appointed former Home Retail Group CEO John Walden as a non-executive director.

The textile designer and distributor behind the Portfolio Home brand has won what it described as a "bitterly-fought" copyright claim after an unspecified defendant agreed to settle on the morning of the trial.

Taskers, the major Liverpool based furniture and home improvement retailer, says the early signs of its restructured operations are encouraging. It follows the business narrowing its net loss in 2018–19.

French tableware and furniture hire conglomerate Options has acquired GreatHire, a London based company that has provided furniture for State visits in addition to weddings, corporate and PR events.

Off-price department store retailer The Original Factory Shop says its company voluntary arrangement (CVA) last year has transformed its balance sheet, cutting debt and ongoing store costs.

Footfall declined in November as heavy rain kept shoppers away from key retail destinations last month, according to a closely-followed survey.

London based designer furniture and homewares retailer Skandium has opened a pop-up store in the capital, marking a return to physical store retailing for the first time since its assets were sold in the summer.

Beter Bed Holding, the Dutch holding company that runs mattress retailers across Europe, has raised more cash to repay bank debt after completing another property sale-and-leaseback deal.

Many overseas furniture retailers have launched in the U.K. with big plans. Some have crashed and burned, others have stayed the course and for some, the jury is still out. Whatever the outcome for RH, the retailer formerly known as Restoration Hardware whose launch here inches closer, it seems certain to leave its mark.

Upholstery retailer Sofa.com has expanded its relationship with sister company House of Fraser, adding a further London instore concession.

RH, the U.S. furniture and home retail giant whose vast galleries generate tens of millions of dollars in sales, has disclosed upscaled U.K. property plans as part of its international launch.

Scottish fitted furniture vertical Ashley Ann said the tough consumer market impacted its retail business in 2018–19 but it enjoyed growth in its trade division and said the new period offered grounds for cautious optimism.

Visitors to the January Furniture Show (JFS) will be able to take advantage of smart technology to improve the buying experience and avoid getting weighed down by heavy literature.

Dewsbury manufacturer Shire Beds created and donated a Leeds Rhinos branded bed for The Big Sleep 2019, helping raise thousands for good causes.

Sofa and curtain fabrics supplier Fryett's said it worked hard to reduce admin and overhead expenses as it countered weaker gross margin that resulted from pre-Brexit stock building.

Dunelm says profits will be higher than previously forecast because of margin gains and after its transition to a new web platform completed without hiccups.

Australian furniture and electricals retailer Harvey Norman said it enjoyed a near double-digit climb in revenue on the island of Ireland at the start of its new financial year.

National soft furnishings chain Ponden Home returned to profit in the six months to March 2 on wider gross margin, lower costs and a pro-rata uplift in sales.

Kitchen giant Nobia, owner of U.K. retail chain Magnet, says it will build a new state-of-the-art factory in Sweden that will represent the largest single investment in its history.

John Lewis & Partners posted the highest single-week sales in its history last week as Black Friday offers helped the department store chain clear the quarter of a billion pounds barrier for the first time ever.

The company behind the Fields of Sidmouth and Goulds of Dorchester stores in southern England initiated a cost-saving exercise in 2018–19 amid tough trading conditions.

The closure this autumn of furniture retailer Richard Lefton Furnishings leaves creditors facing a combined six-figure shortfall according to statutory filings.

Mattress retailer and wholesaler Casper Sleep has made a number of senior hires including the appointment of a former Wayfair executive to the role of chief technology officer.

Flokk, the €300 million turnover Scandinavian furniture manufacturing group, has added U.S. supplier 9to5 Seating to its growing roster of office chair companies.

Sharps, the 77-store bedroom furniture retailer backed by the same private equity owner as Dreams, recorded high single-digit sales growth in the three months to end September amid challenging trading conditions.

Record sales and a higher international profile have spurred greater interest from potential suitors in Savoir, the high-end British bed maker whose products retail for an average of £25,000 each.

Retail sales climbed in November adjusted for the later timing of Black Friday this year, according to members group the British Retail Consortium (BRC).



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