britishBedStoresBritish Bed Stores — the online bedroom retailer run by the owners of the now defunct Bed Centre UK ecommerce store — has ceased trading.

Marketplace retailer NotOnTheHighStreet.com (NOTHS.com) has named Tesco executive Simon Belsham as its CEO.

Exhibition organisers say they only have space left in Halls 2 and 3 for next year’s January Furniture Show following strong supplier demand.

cfsStoreCoFurniture retailer CFS — which trades from a number of former Land of Leather stores and lists its ex-CEO among its directors — has been sold as a going concern.

Glasgow independent Forrest Furnishings is to add 10,000sqft in shop floorspace at its South Street showrooms after accepting an offer for its Cathedral Street property.

EchoLuHomebaseMDHome Retail Group has named former Tesco UK board member Echo Lu as managing director for its Homebase retail chain.

nextHomeMaidstoneCommentary: Next is committed to investing even more in its growing Home and furniture operation, though 2014–15 wasn’t without its challenges, including taking a hefty upholstery recall hit.

Management at Whitestone, Westex and Abingdon — the three companies acquired by Victoria PLC in the past 15 months — have increased their stake in in the group.

Profits more than doubled at Corby furniture wholesaler Kettle Interiors in 2013–14 as the firm made the most of higher sales, quicker delivery and lower costs.

JohnLewisCorporateStrong growth returned for John Lewis last week with all bar five of its stores up on last year and online rising by nearly a quarter.

Fashion-to-furnishings retailer Next says new Home space is performing ahead of plan as group profits jumped 12.5 per cent in the year to end January.

Expanding the number of retail touch-points through 2014 helped luxury Swedish brand Hästens Beds to high top line growth last year.

Beds retailer Dreams is to increase its presence in and around Birmingham with a new 8,650sqft store opening on Good Friday (3rd April).

millbrookBedsBed manufacturer Millbrook is back on the path to profit after work to restructure the business and find new customers paid off, its owners have said.

Internet orders helped keep Scottish non-food retail sales ahead of last year in February, according to the Scottish Retail Consortium.

Martin Allen is to retire as managing director of Airsprung Group’s headboard division at the end of this month.

sofaworksCOUpholstery retailer Sofaworks — whose IP court battle with DFS-owned Sofa Workshop is scheduled for next month — has sold a stake in the business to help fuel its growth.

Demand for big-ticket merchandise such as furniture drove footfall to a nine-month high in February, according to stores group the British Retail Consortium.

International floorcoverings conglomerate Forbo says switching its attention to the commercial market is paying off and making up for weakness elsewhere.

neptuneShowroomUpmarket furniture and home accents brand Neptune opened a dedicated Bournemouth showroom this weekend as the business’ UK and European expansion continues.

European beds and mattress retail group Beter Bed posted higher sales and profits in 2014 despite downsizing its store portfolio by nearly 50 stores.

Sofas and carpets retailer ScS supported Red Nose Day last Friday by donating cash for every sofa sold via its website.

Chinese furniture importsBritain went shopping in China in record numbers in January as retail buyer demand for furniture showed no sign of capsizing.

Carpet imports reached a seven year high in January, according to Government data.

John Lewis sales fell last week with only three of its 40 stores open more than a year managing to beat year-earlier trading levels.

bhsSir Philip Green’s Arcadia group has sold the fashion-to-furniture retail chain BHS to Retail Acquisitions for a nominal sum.

argosCoImproving margins at Argos — one of Britain’s largest furniture retailers — helped offset top line weakness in one of its most important product categories in early 2015 trading.

A bolt-on acquisition will support major flooring distribution group Carpet & Flooring’s expansion plans through 2015 after soft market conditions last year.

AISexhibitionThe furniture and flooring categories proved there is plenty of life left in the UK independents’ sector with strong trading through 2013–14.

Members of the Associated Independent Stores retail buying group shared an improved rebate last month with the total approaching record levels.

Higher fourth quarter sales helped catalogue and online retailer N Brown to flat full year sales, as it made strategic price investments.

natuzziFactoryThere will be fewer job cuts at Natuzzi’s Italian plants after the company finalised its restructuring plan in a binding agreement with local Government and unions.

The group behind carpet producers Ryalux and Burmatex said it enjoyed top and bottom line growth in the six months to end December.

Retail sales rose in February with shoppers keen on furniture and white goods, according to the British Retail Consortium.

dfsThumbCommentary: If you ignore the cost of servicing debt then DFS is unquestionably one of Britain’s most profitable furniture businesses.

The future of furniture-to-fashion retail chain BHS will be resolved sooner rather than later with owner Sir Philip Green close to finalising a deal.

Interfloor, the company behind the Duralay and Tredaire trade brands, has named John Cooper as its new managing director.

dfsCo 2Upholstery chain DFS has set its IPO price at 255 pence per share valuing the furniture retail group at £543.2m.

Upmarket cabinet furniture firm Grange has invested £1m rationalising its property portfolio and has tailored its product line to the young and wealthy.

Flooring wholesale group Headlam grew profits by 44 per cent in 2014 as sales climbed 5.3 per cent to £635.2m.

Online sales were up by more than a quarter at John Lewis last week supported by price-matching activity.

bensonForBedsSteinhoff says upping the quality of its British store portfolio is paying off with stronger trading densities and market share gains.

Industry furniture repair specialist FIRA Service Technicians is to expand its service to take bookings directly from consumers.

recticelBrandedRecticel said its Geltex Inside product line together with foam sales to British customers were bright spots as it narrowed FY 2014 losses.

Selling space reached around 700,000sqft at off-price furnishings retailer HomeSense in the year to end January as its store footprint increased.

bespOakVancouverFurniture supplier Besp-Oak posted strong 2013–14 earnings growth as it made the most of rising wholesale demand.

Luxury beds brand Somnus has promoted a key executive to the new position of European sales and marketing director as part of a series of moves that expands its sales force.

Cabinet furniture manufacturers invested heavily in 2014 as the world’s largest woodworking machinery manufacturer and supplier enjoyed double-digit growth.

SMDiLivPrivately owned fabrics and furnishings group SMD enjoyed strong growth in 2013–14 as its iLiv brand took on greater significance.

UK representation at the Paris furniture and home accents trade fair Maison et Objet increased in January with a 4 per cent year-on-year rise.

htlSofaLeather upholstery giant HTL made the most of strong trading in Europe and foreign exchange gains to double profits in 2014.

A return to top line growth and selling more higher margin oak furniture helped manufacturer and distributor Devonshire to its highest profits since 2008 in the year to end July.

A three-fold rise in the Outdoor Living category helped John Lewis to growth in its Home directorate in the seven days to 21st February.

furniture123The ecommerce group behind Furniture123 took sales past £100m as it grew its top line for a second successive year in 2013–14.

EBITDA climbed 50 per cent at luxury bed manufacturer Hypnos in the year to end June as the group made the most of rising demand.

Mail order and Internet furniture retailer Myakka will this weekend open its first dedicated retail showroom and says more could follow.

Kitchens group Howdens says it plans to return surplus cash to shareholders after a bumper 2014 that saw it post record sales.

franksFlooringStore25-store flooring and beds chain Franks posted record sales and maintained its near double-digit pre-tax margin as it traded strongly in 2013–14.

Sofa chain DFS says grabbing share from local independents is behind its plan to pilot sub-5k sqft showrooms in urban centres and small market towns.

Darren Shapland — who led flooring chain Carpetright for a brief spell two years ago — is returning to the industry as chairman at Topps Tiles.

healsTCRHeal’s says it will place greater emphasis on ecommerce in the future following a strategic review that sees it scale back its store portfolio and write-down its value.

Trading standards is backing UK bed manufacturers after it awarded the National Bed Federation’s Code of Practice Assured Advice status.

Upmarket furniture design brand Lema is to open its first UK showroom with a dedicated flagship store on London’s Kings Road.

Fewer than one in three British retailers managed to grow sales in the early weeks of February, according to business group the CBI.

retailParkThe new year kicked off with another leap in furniture retail sales but the UK’s official number crunchers have downgraded December’s figures.

Upholstery retailer DFS has announced the price range for its IPO ahead of shares beginning to trade on the London Stock Exchange on or around the 6th March.

Gainsborough Beds has open a second showroom with a permanent space in the Harrington Mills complex in Long Eaton.

The January Furniture Show will return to a Sunday start and four day format from 2016, the exhibition organiser has announced.

ukFurnitureManufacturingUK furniture production grew for a fourth successive year in 2014 but remained short of record pre-recession levels racked up in 2007.

Westex Carpets’ first numbers under the Victoria PLC group are as stellar as those that preceded them, with bumper sales and profits for the Yorkshire firm.

Mohawk Industries posted sales up 6 per cent to $7.8bn — or just under £5.1bn — in the 12 months to end December as the effects of higher demand and acquisitions kicked in.

JohnLewisMatMatching competitor activity helped big-ticket lines to strong sales at John Lewis last week with beds a healthy performer.

dunelmStoreFurniture represented only a small proportion of retail chain Dunelm’s revenue in the second half of 2014, but the pace of growth for the category highlighted its potential.

Vitra is to relaunch its shopfitting business as part of a plan to harmonise all its component parts — including its Furniture and Office divisions — in the UK.

stresslessAdUK demand for upholstery brand Stressless picked up through 2014 after a slow start, according to its Norwegian owner Ekornes.

Three months of falling furniture retail prices came to an end in January, according to official data.

Children’s furniture specialist Aspace says it won’t be profitable before next year after it made significant board changes and losses escalated in 2013–14.

Mattress and bedding giant Tempur Sealy has defended its record and management after coming under fire from an activist shareholder.

dfsCo 2DFS acquired the Sofa Workshop and Dwell furniture businesses for not far off one tenth of its 2013–14 interest and finance expense. Both can be key growth drivers.

Britain imported a record amount of floorcoverings in 2014 with the total passing the landmark £800m figure.

Midlands distributor Serene Living will debut at the Manchester Furniture Show later this summer.

worldstoresAn affiliate of global finance giant Goldman Sachs has taken a share in the furniture and home retailer Worldstores after making an eight-figure investment.

Rampant housebuilding in the capital helped power growth for one of Britain’s largest privately owned kitchen manufacturers in the year to end September.

carpetShowroomFormer Carpetright development director Martin Harris — son of the chain’s founder Lord Harris — is planning to launch a floorcoverings retail chain of his own.

rocketInternetHQOne of the investors fuelling the rapid growth of furniture ecommerce firms Westwing and Home24 is targeting a €590m (£440m) fund raise through a rights issue.

Demand for big-ticket merchandise such as furniture helped out-of-town retail parks stay top of the footfall charts at the start of 2015.

National kitchens chain Magnet resumed its store opening programme in the final quarter of 2014 as underlying full year sales inched ahead for the group behind the brand.

johnLewisFusionDepartment store chain John Lewis says customers are taking to its new Fusion collection as Home sales lifted 6.6 per cent last week.

hslDewsburyYorkshire based furniture vertical HSL has taken its store total past 40 and hired a former partner at one of the world’s largest private equity groups to its board.

UK furniture manufacturers helped power growth for one of the world’s largest component, hardware and fittings firms in 2014.

irishUpholsteryManufacturingFurniture exports were up strongly in 2014 though Ireland — which represents UK producers' biggest market — proved an exception despite what was clearly a strong year for Irish furniture retail sales.

dunelmCoDunelm says expanding its furniture category is at the heart of ambitious plans to grow sales across the home furnishings chain.

British furniture makers grew export output by almost £68m through 2014 thanks to strong sales to markets near and far.

magnaParkJohn Lewis is to open a dedicated distribution centre for furniture, furnishings and electricals at its Magna Park logistics hub in Buckinghamshire.

Retail sales grew faster than the 12 month average in January as retailers beat strong comparatives for the same month a year ago.



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