Freight rates in the latter half of 2020 climbed at a frightening pace and leave two stakeholder groups at particular risk: the mid-sized furniture retailer, and the end consumer.

National bed specialist Bensons for Beds is increasing its capacity for virtual customer appointments after more of its stores were forced to close as a result of anti-Covid restrictions.

Kitchens, bedroom and bathroom furniture maker and retailer Avanti is to bolster its presence in the West Midlands with a ninth retail showroom as the company paves the way for a return to growth.

Business-to-business transactions supported by trade credit insurance will be guaranteed by the British state for another six months, the Government has announced.

Ekornes, the Norwegian recliner company behind the Stressless and IMG brands, recorded a loss at its U.K. and Ireland operation in 2019 during what was, it said, a year of consolidation.

Shareholders in furniture retailer OKA Direct provided millions of pounds of new funding this year amid a recapitalisation of the upmarket British company.

The company behind the multichannel U.S. furniture retailer Wisteria, bought by OKA Direct in 2018, is to be liquidated after its stores and website closed in the autumn.

The overwhelming majority of furniture and flooring stores in England will be closed from today (Dec. 31) after the Government announced new anti-Covid restrictions across the country.

The Incanto Group is planning a three-month show-van tour in the U.K. after a similar exercise by the sofa maker resulted in it picking up new accounts for its relaunched Digiò Leather Sofas by Sofitalia brand here this autumn.

Furniture retailer Made.com Design invested heavily in growth and distribution as both its top and bottom lines usurped historic records in 2019.

British furniture manufacturing output continued to accelerate deep into the autumn but total production levels remain well down on last year as a result of the pandemic.

Company behind U.K.'s number two carpet franchise network slips to loss on narrower margins, higher costs.

North West wholesaler recovers sales following a I.T. virus attack in the spring of 2019.

Sales grew for a fourth straight year at northeast distributor Baker Furniture despite the first lockdown clipping the final weeks of its financial year. Profits also climbed.

Italian sofa maker Nicoletti Home says U.K. sales will end 2020 up in mid-single digits after it successfully navigated raw material challenges to deliver its order book to customers on time and in full.

Sofas & Stuff has lined up a first showroom in Hertfordshire as the upholstery retailer continues to expand its national footprint.

North West sofa covers and soft furnishings business Plumbs booked flat underlying profits last year, saying it had been a period of consolidation following earlier restructuring.

More counties in southern and eastern England will be placed into furniture purgatory from Saturday, putting paid to many retailers hopes to a strong start to the Winter Sale.

British consumers and importers are on track to buy up more China-made mattresses than ever before in 2020 despite the pandemic holding back goods from almost all other countries.

The md of two-store independent furniture retailer Cookes says the business is trading ahead of plan despite the obstacles thrown at it through 2020.

Cabinet imports climbed at their fastest pace in 18 months as distributors and wholesalers rushed to build inventory according to the latest Government figures.

Häfele, the furniture fittings and hardware conglomerate, is to acquire Moebelplus, an ecommerce business majoring in white goods and small appliances.

Privately-owned furniture retailer Barker and Stonehouse returned to profit growth in the year to end March though delivered sales were lower as the end of its financial year coincided with the early weeks of the spring lockdown.

Upholstered furniture imports climbed at their fastest pace in over a year as global suppliers played catch-up in the wake of strong demand across U.K. retail stores and online.

Furniture and floorcoverings retailers in Scotland will be mandated to close from Boxing Day after the First Minister announced a tighter definition of non-essential retail for areas under the most severe anti-Covid restrictions.

Mansion House Bedding Group, the Suffolk based bed manufacturer, entered the pandemic with no bank debt after robust cashflow enabled it to deleverage.

Imports of carpets and rugs fell at their steepest rate since the summer on weaker growth figures from emerging partners. Arrivals from established source nations such as Belgium and the Netherlands remained feeble.

Market leader DFS said 2020–21 profits will likely be at the upper end of forecasts even though its business is being hit by continuing showroom closures, port disruption and a shortage of raw materials.

A temporary moratorium on shareholder payouts and M&A activity is over for upholstery giant DFS after it agreed new extended debt terms with lenders.

Revenue advanced in mid-single digits for Coventry based luxury vinyl tile (LVT) giant Amtico last year but margins were thinner as a result of higher costs.

The chief executive of Bensons for Beds says there is no discernible logic to the decision to treat all non-food retailers the same way as the bed specialist and many of its contemporaries grapple with enforced store closures.

Clarion Events has expanded and reorganised the management of its Retail portfolio, which includes its furniture shows at both the NEC, Birmingham and Manchester Central.

Retailers with stores in London and the South East of England have joined those in Wales and Northern Ireland facing the near total loss of Boxing Day and early Winter Sales revenue after new coronavirus restrictions were imposed.

Data compiled by The Furnishing Report reveals the expected near-term order impact of the new restrictions on furniture and flooring retailers in the immediate aftermath of Christmas.

The md of Savoir Beds, the ultra high-end manufacturer and retailer, says its dealers in the Far East delivered an improved performance this year but sales have fallen overall as footfall declined in the world's great metropolitan cities because of the pandemic.

High-end furniture and home retailer Amara says it has benefitted from the accelerated move by consumers to online shopping in 2020 after a period in which it recalibrated its business via debt refinancing and restructuring.

Whitemeadow, Britain's biggest owner-run upholstery producer, maintained its growth story last year as it reached what is likely to be a revenue peak ahead of the pandemic and Brexit transition.

The National Bed Federation (NBF), the body representing U.K. bed manufacturers, has launched The Suppliers Council, which will focus on the interests of the association's component supplier and support services membership.

Consumer confidence climbed in the U.K. in December on the back of the first Covid-19 vaccines being administered across the country.

The rebrand of the AHF estate to Fabb Furniture is gathering pace while the company has agreed a deal to take a former Harveys store on a retail park occupied by most of the U.K.'s major home goods chains.

The co-founders and majority shareholders of United Carpets and Beds have offered to buy out remaining stockholders in a deal that would see the flooring retail franchise delisted from the Alternative Investors Market (AIM) and return to private ownership.

Furniture retailers with stores in Wales and Northern Ireland face the loss of millions of pounds of income with more severe coronavirus restrictions to come into force ahead of Christmas.

Continuing deliveries and high demand meant furniture and lighting sales continued their year-on-year ascent in November, despite stores in England closing for most of the month.

Privately-owned Aberdare retailer Farrells Furniture has seen its large warehouse-style retail showroom destroyed by fire following a suspected arson attack.

Organisers of the Online Furniture Show are to allow exhibitors to the inaugural event to display their products for free when it goes live for the first time next month.

Mattress and pillow company Tempur is to sponsor women’s road cycling team DROPS Le Col for the 2021 season.

There will be no immediate end to foam supply issues for U.K. sofa and mattress makers, with rising prices and product allocation continuing to bedevil the industry. The credibility of of PU materials is at risk, according to a leading trade body.

The four-week lockdown in England skewed furniture price inflation last month with an easing in the November rate reflecting a greater proportion of data drawn from ecommerce.

The company behind the Nectar Sleep and DreamCloud direct-to-consumer (DTC) mattress brands is to diversify into bedding with a new brand and product launch planned here for next month.

SATRA, the testing and technical services provider, has appointed standards and testing expert Phil Reynolds to lead and expand its furniture and floorcoverings division.

Home and gift wholesaler Ancient Wisdom has agreed a ten-year lease on a recently refurbished distribution centre in Yorkshire.

Neil Robinson, the longtime Sealy U.K. sales and marketing director, has joined Emma - The Sleep Company with a brief to strengthen the mattress brand's store presence with third-party retailers.

Ashley Manor, the West Midlands sofa maker, was the biggest growth driver for the Thai-owned TCM Living upholstery group as two of its four major business units outperformed the U.K. market last year.

Another of the legacy Harveys furniture stores has been claimed with a predominantly Midlands based chain expanding and reconfiguring its network.

Carpet producers, distributors and retailers as well as their customers could see extended lead times after the insolvency of a major specialist haulier put product out of sync.

The group behind the rise and recline chair and adjustable beds brands Middletons and Oak Tree found top line growth and positive cashflow as it built out its retail footprint following earlier investment.

Blithfield, the long-established fabric and wallpaper company, has partnered Wicklewood, the high-end artisanal home décor business, to co-launch a debut flagship retail showroom.

Furniture retailer Made.com grew sales by more than a fifth last year and is tracking ahead again in 2020. The company has rewarded staff by handing out share options.

Millbrook Beds and Eclipse International have agreed a joint venture that will see products from the British company's brand rolled out across the U.S. as well as a new mattress programme sold in the U.K.

Upholstered furniture manufacturer Whitemeadow is to open up its Sutton-in-Ashfield HQ to showcase its new collections early next year.

Listed ecommerce furniture retailer Home24 has successfully raised €46.4 million from the issue and sale of new equity in the business in a move designed to bolster its balance sheet.

North West carpet and flooring wholesaler Rolfe Carpets has agreed a multi-million deal for a new distribution centre in Accrington, a short distance from its current base.

Bed retail group Beter Bed Holding has extended its distribution agreement with Emma - The Mattress Company for a further three years, agreeing continued in-store exclusivity across selected territories.

National bed specialist Bensons for Beds has helped raise more than £370,000 to support Mind, the mental health charity.

One of the largest house-builders in southern England bought the Park Furnishers site at Bristol in a property deal that completed in the spring. Leekes, owner of the furniture retailer, announced plans to relocate Park earlier this month.

Privately-owned retailer Archers Sleepcentre is to expand its store footprint with a new unit on "one of Scotland's leading retail parks" this Christmas.

Liquidators were appointed to the trading arm of foam mattress production company Icon Designs late last month.

South Coast furniture retailer Marriotts Furnishers has begun a stock clearance sale ahead of its planned, permanent closure next month.

Designer furniture retailer Heal's says ecommerce sales have doubled since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic as customers pivoted online with stores shut for long period.

The locations of the planned first U.K. retail galleries for RH, the luxury home furnishings retailer formerly known as Restoration Hardware, have been disclosed for the first time.

Britain's largest bed manufacturer Silentnight Group has given two of its directors an expanded brief following the departure of key executives.

Revenue climbed double-digit for a second straight year at ready-assembled cabinet maker Welcome Furniture in 2019–20. Profits declined on cost headwinds.

Brian Ahern is the new chair of the Furniture Industry Research Association. He is succeeding Charles Vernon, whose four-year tenure came to an end in September.

National bed specialist Bensons for Beds has begun a trial delivering goods with all-electric vehicles as it sets in motion more of its plan to become a net zero emissions retailer by 2040.

The moratorium preventing commercial landlords from evicting non-paying tenants has been extended until the end of March next year. It is not good news for all furniture retailers.

RH, the prestige U.S. home furnishings retailer formerly known as Restoration Hardware, has pushed back its eagerly anticipated first U.K. store, citing travel challenges.

Pete Walker, who co-founded Breasley Pillows and was instrumental in building it into one of the largest suppliers in the U.K. bedding industry, has died.

Large independent retailer says it found an extra £5.3 million of sales online to make up for 54 days of lost retail turnover earlier this year.

Furniture stores in parts of Scotland where Level 4 restrictions had been imposed will be able to reopen from Friday. Most had remained open anyway.

David Amery has joined five-store privately-owned furniture retailer Gillies of Broughty Ferry as bedroom category buyer.

Robust trading through the first wave of the pandemic helped furniture importer Seconique record sales growth and strong cash generation in 2019–20. Adjusted profits were also up on the previous year.

Imperilled retailers unable to pay their rent have been given more time after a moratorium on evictions was extended. The new deadline, however, will be final.

Ecommerce upholstery startup Swyft Homes is this week introducing a rapid turnaround next-day delivery service for customers.

Glasswells, one of the U.K.'s largest independent home furnishers, has completed the remodel of its atrium entrance at its Bury St. Edmunds store.

Listed ecommerce retailer Studio Retail Group (SRG) has launched a formal sale process as part of a planned comprehensive review of options to maximise value for shareholders.

This Friday (Dec. 11, 2020) is the last day to enter The Furniture Makers' Christmas Raffle. The industry charity is calling on companies to help spread the message and encourage entries.

U.K. furniture companies are being quoted sky high prices to ship containers while inbound product is being delayed. Data compiled by The Furnishing Report already shows the strain on upholstery and cabinet at ports such as Felixstowe.

The West Midlands upholstery brands that form the largest part of the Thai-owned TCM Living group look to have outperformed the U.K. sofa market last year, new data shows.

Company voluntary arrangement (CVA) at kitchen cabinet manufacturer, designer and installer.

Britain's bed makers have a big opportunity ahead of them in the rush to develop sustainable products but have been warned consumers will see through non-science based claims.

TCM Corp, the majority owner of U.K. upholstery group TCM Living, has promoted a new group chief executive from within the Thailand based organisation.

U.S. mattress industry veterans Mark Kinsley and Mark Quinn have launched a new book that offers strategies and principles to differentiate a brand, form lasting customer relationships, and drive foot traffic into stores.

Furniture, home department store and leisure group Leekes is to relocate its Park Furnishers business at Bedminster to a retail park site in Bristol early next year.

The Furniture Industry Research Association has published a guide to the new UKCA Mark ahead of it coming into force on January 1, 2021.

A Government minister says he will engage with the U.K. furniture industry as it grapples with the issue of foam shortages.

Beds market leader Dreams is closing in on 220 U.K. stores having just opened two new units and as many as five more to launch in the weeks ahead including one this Friday.

Emma The Sleep Company says it achieved sales of €23 million worldwide over its four-day Black Weekend promotion, a rise of 156 percent compared with the same period last year.

Upholstery market leader DFS has expanded its presence in the North West with its already-signposted Barrow-in-Furness unit pulling up the shutters for the first time this weekend.

Exports helped high-margin, premium-pitched bed maker Vispring posts its first top line growth in three years in 2019. And So To Bed, its co-owned sister business, also found growth.

Dreams, already the official sleep partner to the TeamGB Olympic team, has agreed an additional tie-up with ParalympicsGB ahead of the rescheduled Paralympic games next summer.

One of the secrets to selling is having both an offer and a deadline, someone who knows a lot about selling once told me.

Harry Corry Interiors, the U.K. and Ireland furniture and soft furnishings retail chain, is closing in on a sales landmark after growing its top line for the seventh straight year.

Earnings grew on higher sales last year for the Yorkshire rugs and soft furnishings manufacturer behind the Howler & Scratch and Rug Guru brands.

KPMG has made a distribution to unsecured creditors of the predecessor company behind the Swoon brand following the insolvent restructure of the furniture retailer this time last year.

It is all change no change at Danish furniture maker Carl Hansen & Søn with control of the majority of shares in the company passing to the next generation.

David Phillips, a major supplier of furniture to the U.K. residential property market, says it hopes to find cost savings after undertaking a strategic review. It follows a year when the pandemic clipped revenue below £40 million but profitability improved.

Designer Contracts, the national floorcoverings contractor, has sponsored a day's services of Childline for a fourth time, and the second time this year.

Rising ecommerce furniture retailer Danetti will open its previously-signposted first showroom this weekend as it takes its business from clicks to bricks for the first time. It follows important personnel hires for the company.

Direct-to-consumer company Eve Sleep said it sold a mattress every three minutes on Black Friday as trading momentum since the autumn continued at elevated levels.

Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) at sofas, sofabeds and upholstered beds retailer that previously featured in Fast Track 100 list of Britain’s fastest-growing private companies.

Privately-owned retailer targets Boxing Day launch for second new store this year.

Major economies will lead a return to growth in the worldwide furniture market next year, according to respected research body CSIL.

Italian upholstery vertical Natuzzi will expand its retail footprint in the U.K. this Christmas amid strong demand so far this year for its Natuzzi Editions brand.

Bed manufacturing conglomerate Hilding Anders has appointed Jason Forbes to lead a major direct-to-consumer push including the creation of an 80-strong ecommerce and digital team.

Department store chain Debenhams is to be placed into liquidation after FRP Advisory said efforts to find a buyer since it was appointed administrator back in the spring had failed to yield a positive outcome.

The British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) has stressed the need for business owners to have made their factories Covid-secure, not just to protect employees but also to prevent falling foul of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

The British arm of upholstery producer La-Z-Boy has gifted three high-end recliners to the staff wellbeing area at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

Upholstery retailer Sofology will take store numbers close to 50 with the opening of three more units this side of the New Year, starting tomorrow on the South Coast.

Sharps, the fitted furniture chain, recorded a 56 percent rise in underlying profits for the three months to end September and says performance should not be unduly impacted by the latest lockdown in England.

Business model adjustments have helped drive major efficiency improvements for Abingdon Flooring, one of the U.K.'s largest carpet makers, parent company Victoria said yesterday.

Orchid Furniture, a high-end interiors retailer specialised in oriental style products, has reorganised with fewer stores under a new owner-operated company.

The executive chairman of flooring conglomerate Victoria says he expects no let up in demand with the group to achieve meaningful organic growth into 2021 as consumers continue to invest in their homes.

Hypnos has co-developed a new eco-packaging solution and wants other companies across the furniture and bed industries to adopt it too.

Sales growth returned for Portadown furniture wholesaler Annaghmore Agencies in 2019 with profits before non-cash and finance costs rising by more than a third.

Diversified interior design brand Andrew Martin International returned to profit after sales in the U.K. jumped almost a quarter in the year to January 31, 2020.

Profits climbed for the U.K. operation of French furniture and home décor retailer Maisons du Monde last year despite its ill-fated Debenhams concessions costing the business 75 pence for every pound of sales.

U.K. competition watchdog opens investigation into lighting company, but says no view has yet been taken on how or whether to progress.

Revenue fell mid-single digits for Natuzzi in the third quarter but the Italian upholstery manufacturer and retailer said the order outlook is brighter.

Privately-owned furniture and department store retailer Bradbeers could open a new store in the former Debenhams branch in Salisbury, according to regional press reports.

Bed industry executive has spent the past decade in the industry, with Hypnos and Silentnight.

We are about to enter a key period for the U.K. furniture trade and anxiety levels are understandably high.

Organisers of the Salone del Mobile furniture exhibition in Milan have fixed the dates for the 2021 edition, moving the event to an autumn dateline for the first time.

Master David WoodwardThis time last year no one could have foreseen the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent disruption to life that we still find ourselves coping with, writes David Woodward, Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company, the industry charity and City of London livery company.

Revenue climbed 74 percent across the merged U.K. and Irish retail operation of value furniture and furnishings chain JYSK in 2019–20 as it added new stores and grew online.

The National Bed Federation (NBF) has named the seven winners of its 2020 Bed Industry Awards during a live-streamed YouTube ceremony earlier today (Nov. 26, 2020).

Profits advanced at North West destination home department store retailer Housing Units in 2019–20 despite sales being impacted by the pandemic and flooding.

Output soared as the Chinese mattress and foam conglomerate behind the Mlily brand near doubled sales in the three months to end September.

The mandated closure of furniture and bedding departments did little to quell demand across Harvey Norman's stores throughout the island of Ireland through the autumn.

Stanley Pauley, the longtime leader and majority shareholder of foam conglomerate Carpenter Co, has died aged 93, the company has announced.

The National Bed Federation (NBF), the trade association representing the interests of U.K. bed manufacturers, will later today announce the winners of its 2020–21 awards.

ScS, Britain's number two upholstery retailer, has recruited a former Home Retail Group executive as the successor to David Knight, its longstanding CEO.

Sofa and carpets retailer ScS said like-for-like order intake was up nearly a third going into the second lockdown in England earlier this month.

Molteni&C, the Italian designer furniture manufacturer whose products are sold through high-end retailers worldwide, has launched a first-ever ecommerce store.

Third quarter sales jumped for European ready-to-assemble cabinet furniture maker Forte but remain well down in the year so far, including the region taking in the U.K.

The National Bed Federation (NBF) is to direct consumers to their nearest NBF stockist through a new website providing advice about beds and mattresses.

Plans by Endless to invest in Silentnight back in 2011 were so far advanced that the turnaround firm had already drawn down funds, its managing partner has told a Disciplinary Tribunal investigating the conduct of advisors to the bed maker.

Headlam, Europe's largest floorcoverings distributor, says it thinks a small amount of data has been extracted following what it called a cyber security incident.

The head of the company behind furniture and home retailer West Elm says the business could look to a path well-trodden in the U.K. as part of its international expansion plans.

Catalogue and Internet retailer's new chief financial officer joins from home shopping competitor.

Emma says sales almost doubled in the U.K. and were up more than three-fold in Ireland after it enacted a new pricing strategy for its flagship mattress model, upped marketing investment and added new sizes.



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