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

Insolvency event is the latest in series of appointments for officials connected to the manufacturer and retailer.

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Sales were up in the first quarter for B&Q.
First quarter sales climbed at B&Q as the retail giant made the most of favourable weather that encouraged shoppers to tackle home improvement projects.

Favourable furniture-buying weather wasn't enough to lift home sales at John Lewis & Partners last week though gains made in other categories saw the chain beat last year's overall total.

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The Gala Dinner takes place at the Telford International Centre.
TV and radio star Gyles Brandreth is returning to host the National Bed Federation's Gala Dinner and Awards ceremony, this year featuring live musical entertainment for the first time.

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Mike Ashley becomes one of U.K. furnishings sector's richest after buying into the industry via House of Fraser and Sofa.com.
The combined wealth of the U.K.'s wealthiest people and families with an interest past and present in the furnishings sector increased 9 percent in 2019.

Imports of foam and sprung mattresses into the U.K. declined year-on-year in March, the first annual drop across the category since May last year.

Recticel, one of the major foam suppliers to the U.K. upholstery and mattress markets, said comfort foam sales fell sharply in the first quarter on lower volumes and input price erosion.

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Malaysian furniture imports to Britain are growing.
Living, dining and bedroom furniture producers in Malaysia continued to build momentum in March as their U.K. shipments made the country the only riser among the top six source nations.

More people frequented retail parks in April in a sign big box furniture and floorcoverings retailers made the most of the Easter holiday period despite the hot and sunny weather.

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Maisons du Monde opened concessions in Debenhams last year.
Revenue climbed nearly 10 percent for Maisons du Monde in the first quarter with the French furniture and home décor retailer saying it expects to match that until the end of the year and deliver double-digit profit margins.

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Imports ended a run going back to September.
Weaker March upholstery imports pared back earlier gains but the value of product arriving into Britain, particularly from China and Poland, remained ahead for the quarter overall.

Sales jumped double-digit at Yorkshire kitchen maker Symphony after the company said it benefitted from growth in the private developer market.

Carpet imports into Britain rose at their fastest rate in 17 months as Belgium's manufacturers got their mojo back to help put a miserable 2018 behind them.

Administrators have found a buyer for £12 million carpet equipment manufacturer Sellers Global Engineers after completing a deal with a consortium of investors to save the business.

"Early to bed, early to rise — work like hell and advertise," is a modern day business adaptation of a centuries old proverb originally intended to advocate the benefits of rest.

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Swoon posted high double-digit sales growth.
Furniture retailer Swoon said it continued to invest in marketing and technology in a year that saw sales climb sharply but the company book a larger deficit.

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Sales climbed for Sofa Workshop.
Upholstery retailer Sofa Workshop posted mid single-digit growth last year as it added new space following the closure of Multiyork, its upper midmarket rival. Higher costs impacted its bottom line.

Dwell, the modern furniture and homeware retailer, was close to break even before non-cash costs as the chain enjoyed a fourth straight year of growth under the ownership of DFS.

The finances of the U.K. arm of recliner and upholstery source La-Z-Boy have been bolstered thanks to a seven-figure rights issue.

Plans to close 22 Debenhams stores and secure rent cuts on 100 others were given the go-ahead after creditors backed its proposed company voluntary arrangement at a meeting in Central London yesterday.

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Vale Furnishers' store in Ash Vale; Image: Google
The first full public disclosure from Surrey independent Vale Furnishers for seven years reveals it remains one of Europe's most profitable and well capitalised privately-owned furniture retailers.

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BoConcept's Kingston store, one of eight run by the brand largest U.K. franchisee.
The size of the modern furniture specialist BoConcept's franchise network will grow in the U.K. with more stores planned by the brand owner's biggest partner in the British market.

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Brompton Cross showroom is first monobrand U.K. store for De Padova.
De Padova, one of Italy's most storied furniture design brands and part of the Boffi Group for the past four years, has opened a flagship retail showroom at Chelsea, London.

Online and catalogue retailer Studio looks to have expanded its share of the value furniture and homewares market after issuing a bullish trading statement following the close of its financial year.

John Lewis & Partners said home sales fell for the second straight week but were on the rise going into the bank holiday weekend.

British soft-seating manufacturer Bazaar Group has appointed Jen Hannant as business development manager to help grow its business-to-business (B2B) arm.

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Sleepeezee yesterday unveiled its new website, social media and marketing assets and formally launched its association with brand ambassador Dr Ranj Singh.
British bed maker Sleepeezee says it could launch standalone television advertising later this year after TV spots aired last week for the first time in partnership with a retail customer.

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Nest's new-look website and logo.
Privately-owned modern furniture and design retailer Nest has refashioned its corporate identity, website and showroom in a relaunch of the brand.

Carpet and flooring distributor Victoria says it is "well placed for organic and acquisition-led growth" after giving its finances and trading performance a clean bill of health.

Retail sales climbed in April though good weather over the bank holiday was a limiting factor in some categories, according to new figures from the British Retail Consortium.

Cabinet furniture maker and retailer John Lewis of Hungerford has issued a profits warning after blaming uncertainty for it failing to convert deposits into full orders.

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Skandium’s iconic store on Brompton Road, one of several locations the London retailer has traded from, closed in 2017.
London based furniture and design retailer Skandium has closed its retail stores and ecommerce channel with the company poised to enter administration.

Hampshire lighting company Elstead Group continued to build sales in a year that saw it acquire a British manufacturer and establish a bigger foothold overseas.

High-end bedding brand Tempur is trialling its first mattress-in-a-box offer in its domestic U.S. market.

rdmBlueBackgroundBY RICHARD DE MELIM


Sales are vanity, profit is sanity, cash is reality. You will, of course, have heard that before, probably many times.

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N Brown runs websites including JD Williams, Simply Be, Jacamo and House of Bath.
Home and gift product sales fell in high single-digit percentages for the home shopping group behind the JD Williams brand in the year to March 2 after a sharper decline over the past six months.

Visitors can now pre-register to attend the 2019 edition of The Bed Show, the tenth since the event was launched by the National Bed Federation a decade ago.

Designer Contracts, the national floorcoverings contractor, says it has near-doubled the size of its North East depot to accommodate an increase in volume.

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UK sales continue to rise for Wayfair. TV presenter Lorraine Kelly is a brand ambassador here.
Wayfair's top line focus continued in the first three months of 2019 with the company's chief financial officer citing an outsized growth rate in Britain and Germany.

Tempur Sealy International, the world's biggest bed company, is to extend the European distribution network of its Tempur brand after reaching a sales agreement with Beter Bed Holdings.

Likewise Group has made its first international move after acquiring H&V Carpets BVBA, a Belgium based supplier of full rolls of carpet to flooring retailers in the UK and Germany.

IKEA has appointed Peter Jelkeby as country retail manager for its UK and Ireland division, replacing Javier Quiñones who left to run its USA operation.

The directors of a privately-owned British furniture manufacturer say they are convinced a police investigation into alleged modern day slavery offences will absolve the company of any wrongdoing.

Privately-owned heritage furniture retailer Greens Furnishers & Bed Centre, which has been trading for over 100 years, is to close after the owners' decision to retire.

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Next is ramping up the number of trade and consumer brands available via its web marketplace.
General merchandise retail giant Next added big-name mattress brands to its marketplace offer in the past quarter as it listed another 40 new home brands in all.

West Yorkshire beds retailer Time4Sleep has invested £3.5 million on a Midlands warehouse that will enable it to deliver faster and hold greater quantities of stock.

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JYSK launched a new format last summer.
Value furniture and homewares chain JYSK has reported another seven-figure UK loss after weaker gross margin and higher costs countered the impact of a leap in sales.

Kitchen giant Howden Joinery Group said it grew revenue in the early weeks of 2019 after opening new depots and raising its prices back at the beginning of the year.

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Andrew Jackson, Richard Elsey, Tom, Liz and Alan Colleran — all from Duvalay — are pictured with presenter Josh Baterip of Vanilla Tech Solutions.
Duvalay was a winner at the 2019 Made in Yorkshire Awards earlier this spring and was shortlisted, along with another local bed maker, in another category.

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Heal's has been trading for over 200 years on Tottenham Court Road, London.
Designer furniture and home retailer Heal's will be profitable before non-cash costs and writedowns, numbers for 2017–18 are expected to show. It follows an outsized increase in revenue last year.

General merchandise sales were flat for J Sainsbury as the supermarket giant completed its integration of the Argos and Habitat businesses bought in 2016.

Consumer confidence for major purchases such as furniture and floorcoverings slipped to a negative score after a second straight monthly decline in April, according to a closely-followed survey.

John Lewis & Partners again cited the later fall of Easter as sales across the chain slipped as a result of a six-day week and low footfall on Bank Holiday Monday.

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All stores in the national bed specialist's estate will feature the Sleepmatch system.
Retailer Dreams is to install technology that helps consumers select the most appropriate mattress for their own personal characteristics across its entire UK store network after a pilot launched last autumn.

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The group behind the Mlily brand has an increasing presence in Europe.
Revenue jumped by nearly a third for the company behind the Mlily mattress brand as the conglomerate invested in Europe including buying a minority stake in a bed company in the North of England.

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Sofa chain ScS has strengthened its board.
National sofa specialist ScS Group has appointed the former chief executive of home shopping group N Brown and discount store chain Original Factory Shop to its board as a non-executive director.

Victoria, the Kidderminster headquartered manufacturer and distributor that has been buying up floorcoverings companies in recent years, says it has agreed new long-term debt finance.

Privately-owned retailer QLM has relaunched its Yorkshire business as a quality furniture specialist after years spent serving customers in Leeds with entry-level variety home goods.

South East furniture maker and retailer Spacemaker Group posted lower profits in 2017–18 after costs climbed and sales fell.

Expanding direct-to-consumer mattress and ancillary products business Simba Sleep has extended its already-completed financial year-end by three months.