Big Furniture Group Magazine September 2023

Page 88

Tobin James, Managing Director of TEMPUR® UK THE BIG INTERVIEW Number 13, September 2023 RETAIL FOCUS Land of Beds SHOW TIME Bed Show; Long Point; Design Central; Flooring Show; Autumn Furniture Show INTERVIEW SPECIAL DUXIANA; Shire Beds; Kaymed; Sealy GALLERY DIRECT Newington Dining Table

Editorial Dan Squires

Managing Editor

07531 854718 | 01223 298489

Advertising Gary Hall

Sales Director

0207 096 1010

Publisher Stephen Smith

Production Juan Morante

GraphiC Design


Welcome to September’s Big Furniture Group Magazine ”

This month is another bumper edition packed with plenty of features from more Award Winners to the latest company developments from across the industry. The Big Furniture Awards, as voted by the industry, theme continues throughout where we spoke to another selection of winners.

In another feature special, and following on from our recap of the recent visit to Swedish bed and furniture manufacturer DUXIANA, we explore their staple product, The DUX Bed. Tobin James, Managing Director of TEMPUR® UK, returns once more, but this time it’s personal as he takes the BFG Big Interview hotseat and shares an insight into his furnishing industry career, who inspired him the most and why health and wellbeing are at the forefront of consumer shopping behaviour.

As for the other regular, Land of Beds talks about recent investments, the launch of its new website, a partnership with Bulky Bob and why sleep education needs to be put under the spotlight. In keeping with beds, we take a look at the NBF Bed Show, as well as the latest updates from Shire Beds, Kaymed, Vogue Beds, Protect-A-Bed, Sealy, Mammoth and more. Our Bed Expert, Vic Smith, is back for another insight into the beds industry, while our Green Retail sustainability-focused feature, concentrates on Bensons for Bed’s green credentials and their ‘Bensons Together’ initiative.


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Copyright © Big Furniture Group 2022

Issue No: 13

No part of this publication may be reproduced without the specific prior written consent of the publisher. Big Furniture Group Ltd accepts no responsibility for variations in colour reproduction and cannot be liable for the safe custody or return of any solicited or unsolicited material. We are committed to producing a true, factual, fair and unbiased publication through the editorial content within and takes appropriate measures to do so. Big Furniture Group Ltd reserves the right to edit any content other than advertisements, with the editor’s decision being final. All material submitted for inclusion in Big Furniture Group is done so entirely at the owner’s risk. Advertiser information is accepted in good faith and Big Furniture Group accepts no responsibility in in adverts appearing in the magazine, and do not necessarily reflect the publisher’s views. Contributors are advised to keep copies of all material submitted.

With sustainability in mind, we revisited the founder of Bye Bye Beds, Paul Beckett, a little over a year after first sitting down with him. He shared an update progress, new developments and a call for a ban on mattress recycler’s selling components to the industry without thorough due diligence.

We also spoke with Loom Loft, Algram and EZ Living Interiors on their respective and latest store launches, while Amy Wheeler, Managing Director at Kelcol, talks about joining the NBF after securing an A-rated audit and how this will boost business further. Our Cover Star this month, Gallery Direct, returns, where they talk about how they are now one of the largest furniture suppliers in the UK.

This month also sees the return of Design Central’s North West event, as well as Long Point, with special features from Siren and Couch & Co discussing the latter show and recent developments. The Flooring Show also takes place in Harrogate, while The Autumn Furniture Show kicks off in early October.

In other features, Rhenus Home Delivery reaffirms its dedication to customer satisfaction and Space Designer shares an insight into its advanced visualisation tool, which is proving to be popular in the furniture space.

To wrap things up, our Big Question this month is focused on something a little lighthearted and when a customer has left a retailer speechless – for a moment at least, while Furniture Sales Solutions talks about mastering the approach for better sales.

That’s enough from me, so enjoy our latest magazine. Oh, and if you have any news you want to shout about or if you’re keen to get involved in our Retail Focus and Big Interview features, drop me an email on We’d love to share your story.

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06 / 14

18. The Big Interview

22. Greenwood celebrates award win

24. Furniture First with Gallery Direct

26. The winning choice for flat packed furniture

28. More success for Annaghmore

32. Retail Focus with Land of Beds

42. West Yorkshire bed maker joins NBF

44. Kaymed enters new phase of innovation

46. The Bed Show

48. To DUX, or not to DUX?

52. More success for Sealy UK

56. KomfiMed enhances GNG’s offer

60. Feel Good and Do Good with Shire Beds

64. The Bed Expert

66. Protect-A-Bed talks Bed Show

68. Mammoth unveils next-gen Comfort

70. Vogue’s One Stop Shop

72. A look at EZ Living Interiors’ new store

74. Clarity and Clearance

76. Design Central’s North West event

80. Visualising the furniture retail space

84. Siren’s call to Open Showroom

86. Take a seat with Couch & Co

88. Long Point Preview

90. Reborn calls for action on mattress component fraud

94. Sustainability: Green Retail

96. Fresh concepts following £400k investment

98. Inside Loom Loft’s new store

100. The Big Question: Speechless?

102. Five reasons to attend The Flooring Show

104. New Products

108. Commitment to Next-Day Delivery Excellence

110. Last Word with Furniture Sales Solutions


Managing Director of TEMPUR® UK, shares an insight into his furnishing industry career, who has inspired him the most and why health and wellbeing are at the forefront of consumer shopping behaviour.

Land of Beds talks about recent investments, the launch of its new website, a partnership with Bulky Bob and why sleep education needs to be put under the spotlight.


ON THE COVER Gallery Direct Newington

Dining Table




Kevin Slade, Head of Next Gen at DUXIANA, shares a deeper look into the DUX Bed and why the components are second to none, as well as the inspiration behind Pascal.

16. Big on Social


Bed maker launches new sustainable focussed range

mattress offer is based on three bestselling springs system, 1000 and 2000 pocket and the 12.5gauge open coil.

“Eco-Friendly fillings include Platinum™, free from chemicals with sustainability at the forefront and 100% recyclable at the end of life. The mattresses will also feature a co-ordinated border manufactured from the same sustainable fabric as the bases affording the bed a luxurious look and feel.

“The Landmark base comes with a choice of six 100% GRS Certified 100% recycled base fabrics. The GRS standard applies to the full supply chain and addresses traceability, environmental principles, social requirements, chemical content and labelling.

from its showroom on Doughcloyne Industrial Estate in Wilton, Cork.

Commenting ahead of the launch, Horizon Furniture said: “To celebrate our new studio and in conjunction with Cork craft month, we are having an exhibition/sale of our award winning furniture.

“Some never before seen new pieces, display pieces, prototypes, discontinued items and display models will be on show at our new workshop.”

Register now for the 2023 Young Furniture Makers exhibition

Bed manufacturer Sweet Dreams has announced the launch of its new Landmark range.

New for the upcoming Bed Show, the components are responsibly sourced using many recycled elements making the product more recyclable at the end of its life with the aim to make beds better for the environment.

Following on from signing up to the NBF Pledge For Our Planet, Landmark puts Sweet Dreams on the path to the five pillars of the Pledge, which reaffirms its commitment to sustainability, reducing global warming impact and waste.

Nick Williams, Sales Manager at Sweet Dreams, said: “After signing the NBF pledge last September, this is our first launch of more sustainable, eco-friendly products. We are really excited about the impact Landmark will have at the NBF show – we’re on Stand G50.

“The Landmark range features six beds and includes foam free fillings, as well as sleep surfaces made from eco-friendly sustainable fabrics. The

“The benefit of GRS is that our Landmark base, border and headboard fabrics will feature 94% less water use, 59% less energy use and 32% less CO2 emissions in the production process. The Landmark base fabric is the first of its type available from Sweet Dreams.”

Continuing with the sustainable story, all Landmark bases and matching headboards feature FSC Certified wood. Landmark will be showcased during the NBF Bed Show in September along with its best-selling beds from its main catalogue and its range of Eden beds, the exclusive internet only range.

Irish furniture design business opens new Cork showroom

Irish furniture designer and manufacturer Horizon Furniture has announced plans to open a new showroom in Cork.

Situated on the Marina Commercial Park, Cork, the new showroom will be launched with an exhibition and open studio on 17 August and will run for a few days up to 19 August.

Horizon Furniture, founded by Fergal O’Leary back in 2008, also operates

The Young Furniture Makers exhibition, a special one-day event showcasing furniture, lighting and textile designs from emerging designer-makers to employers and key players in the furnishing industry, returns to the City of London this October.

The event, organised by The Furniture Makers’ Company, the City of London livery company and charity for the furnishing industry, will take place on Wednesday 11 October at Furniture Makers’ Hall and the Dutch Church in Austin Friars, London. More than 70 young designers from schools, colleges, universities and graduates from around the UK will be exhibiting designs at the event, which is principally sponsored by Tizo Limited and co-sponsored by Axminster Tools, Celtheath and NaughtOne.

Doors will open for the trade and guests to view at 1.00pm. Amanda Waring, Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company, will officially welcome guests from the furniture and design community at 6.30pm before the announcement of the winners of the 2023 Young Furniture Makers Awards. The exhibition will close at 8.30pm. To register for free, go to

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Innovate Recycle launches UK’s first carpet recycling facility

Innovate Recycle has opened the UK’s first carpet recycling facility in Northampton to transform the way the UK uses end-of-life carpets by recycling them into reusable materials.

The company also announces its new accreditation programme and £750,000 in fresh funding led by Active Partners, the consumer investors behind Soho House, Rapha and LEON. This takes its total investment to £7.6 million, including an investment of £2.35 million from the South East Midlands LEP, UK Government Getting Building Fund.

Only 2% of the 500,000 tonnes of end-of-life carpet produced in the UK each year is currently recycled. The rest goes into landfill or incineration, both of which are damaging to the environment and increasingly

expensive due to capacity restraints, taxes and governmental legislation. The environmental impact of producing carpet is also significant, with every kilogram of carpet manufactured using virgin polymer producing 2 kilograms of CO2 emission impact. Recycling and retrieving the polypropylene used in carpets reduce this impact considerably by 1.6 kg of CO2 per kilogram of carpet.

In tandem, there is a rapidly growing demand for recycled polypropylene products as government legislation and consumer awareness around the negative environmental impacts of virgin plastic drive demands for recycled alternatives. With the recycled polypropylene market expected to reach £10.5 billion in 2029, the potential for recycled plastic production is vast.

Innovate Recycle is on a mission to transform the carpeting world with its scalable and sustainable solution for end-of-life carpets. As

the first-of-its-kind facility in the UK, the Innovate Recycle team has developed a patented mechanical process which deconstructs polypropylene carpets, which make up 70% of the UK market. The process extracts the original polypropylene and calcium carbonate components, diverting carpets from landfill or incineration and reclaiming the component parts to be used to make a range of new products.

Innovate Recycle’s first facility is now fully operational and has already received strong demand from the carpet and waste handling industry, working with companies such as Designer Contracts, Biffa and Allwood Recycling Solutions. The new funding from Active Partners will be used to improve the quality of the component materials produced, secure buyers for the polypropylene and diversify the materials they can recycle. Over the next ten years the team plan to build a network of carpet recycling facilities across the UK.

Furniture manufacturer appoints new CEO and other strategic roles

Furniture manufacturer Shackletons Ltd has appointed Donna Bellingham as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Donna joins the business from her role as CEO of upholstery brands Parker Knoll, Collins & Hayes and Duresta, all part of the Sofa Brands International group.

She held this role for over six years, while prior to this, Donna was Commercial Director at Sofa Brands International, a position she was in for over 11 years.

During her time with the group, Donna was responsible for the successful launch and business development of the Parker Knoll brand and following acquisition of Parker Knoll’s IP by Sofa Brands International in 2005.

Her career in the furniture industry uniquely positions her for this new challenge. As CEO, Donna will report directly to Sir Anthony Ullmann, who acquired Shackletons in 2018. He will continue to serve as Executive Chairman, providing continuity, valuable oversight and guidance.

Donna stated: “I am delighted to be joining Shackletons and having the opportunity to work alongside talented people in all areas of the Group. The leadership team has already achieved remarkable success in revitalising the business since its acquisition five years ago, re-establishing this premium brand as a key player in the contract furniture for senior living sector.”

Sir Anthony Ullmann commented: “Donna’s arrival comes at an important stage in Shackletons growth. She brings with her a wealth of commercial insight which will be beneficial as she takes the leadership team forward.”

In conjunction with Donna Bellingham’s appointment, other strategic roles have been announced. Joseph Ullmann has

been appointed as Commercial Director as he continues to lead the sales and marketing departments. Finance Director, Mark Harrison will take on the additional role of Operations Director.

Shackletons continue to demonstrate commitment to UK manufacturing by appointing Chris Woods as Head of Manufacturing. Chris, previously the manufacturing manager with NaughtOne, joined Shackletons in June and has already significantly impacted the company’s strategy to invest in local manufacturing.

With these strategic appointments, Shackletons is poised to build upon its legacy of exceptional craftsmanship and unwavering commitment to its customers. The company looks forward to continued growth under Donna Bellingham’s leadership and the expertise of its executive team. Donna will also focus on mentoring the next generation of leadership at Shackletons.

Donna added: “As we move forward, my focus will be on leveraging our strengths, nurturing a culture of excellence, and exploring new avenues of expansion to further strengthen and grow the brand’s position in the market.”

Loaf sales reduce but remain over £90m

Furniture retailer Loaf has reported a slight decline in sales although revenues remained over £90m.

According to its latest filed accounts for the year ended 31 March 2023, total sales fell 2% to £92.2m from £93.9m in 2022. This was on the back of sales growth of 52% from £61.7m in 2021.

Pre-tax profit resulted at £11.3m, down from £12.7m recorded the previous year.

Stated within its report, the company said that despite the slight decline it was “very pleased” with the results and that it had “continued to outperform the UK furniture market”.

Loaf’s latest showroom, situated at Straiton Retail Park in Edinburgh, is currently trading “ahead of expectations”, while adding that it will open its 10th store at Redbrick Mill, near Leeds, in October 2023. This will be Loaf’s largest store format, which is being developed in a new concept design to house its growing range of products.

“Underlying profitability remained strong at 14% of turnover, which reflects the company’s continued investment in the brand and technology,” Loaf added.

“Since the end of the financial year, sales have remained steady but down on the prior year as the retail market remains challenging with consumers being cautious over discretionary spending. However, sales continue to be substantially up on the pre-Covid trading period and outperforming the UK furniture market overall.”

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Belfield Group restructures senior leadership team

Furnishings manufacturer, The Belfield Group, which includes the brands of Westbridge, Tetrad, Belfield Home & Leisure and Clinchplain, have announced a new customer-focussed strategy which puts the customer experience, product innovation and operational excellence at the heart of their business.

As part of the strategy, the group has made a number of structural and functional changes to support their next phase of growth and fulfil their promise to design and consistently deliver premium quality upholstery and soft furnishings to their extensive client base.

Announcing the changes, Rachael Nevins, CEO of The Belfield Group, said: “I’m delighted to have this new executive team around me with such

strength and depth in their fields. Not only do they bring extensive knowledge and ability but also the energy and enthusiasm to work jointly in partnership with our clients to deliver fabulous designs and highquality product to their customer base.”

Of the changes, most recently, Allan Rowan joined the group as Chief Commercial Officer in July. Allan has assumed responsibility for all Sales & Marketing activity across the group, working closely with both clients and the internal teams to create an improved customer experience whilst delivering growth closely aligned to their clients’ own strategic objectives.

Tom Prestwich, who joined the Group as Chief Operating Officer in April this year, has assumed responsibility for all operational sites to spearhead plans for operational excellence, including a continuous improvement culture towards 100% service delivery and quality.

Paul Myerscough, who was previously Managing Director of Westbridge, has taken on the new role of Group Technical Product Director, leading product development and innovation plans across all business units and working closely with both customers’ and internal teams to deliver innovative solutions to match customers’ requirements.

Steve Olds remains as Group Creative Director, continuing to deliver market-leading creativity and design to the group’s customers. As one of the pre-eminent designers within the upholstery industry, Steve remains front and centre of Belfield’s unique design offering and will be focused on creating a design centre of excellence within the group.

Rachael comments: “These changes place our customers at the forefront, ensuring we continue to deliver fabulous designs and great products, along with delivering exceptional levels of service.”

ScS reaches donation milestone to Shelter UK

Furniture and carpet retailer ScS has announced it has reached a milestone by donating in excess of £100,000 to Shelter UK.

Earlier this year, ScS announced its partnership with Shelter and gave £25,000 to support their services.

On top of monetary donations, ScS also donated furniture to Shelter’s own retail stores to support the raising of funds. Latest figures show that £56,000 of funds have been raised through the selling of stock.

ScS colleagues have played a vital role in this, helping to raise over £27,000 as part of its ‘Step up for Shelter’ campaign which saw over 300 of ScS colleagues take part. On top of the £27,000 donation, employees also raised £1,325 through a JustGiving page, all of which will help those impacted by homelessness.

Marie Liston, corporate services director at ScS, said: “It’s wonderful

to see our partnership with Shelter flourishing the way we’d hoped.

“The ScS team has been keen to get involved in showing their support for this amazing charity and all the work they do to end the housing emergency. We’re excited to continue supporting Shelter and get the team involved in more fundraising activities later in the year.”

Bed manufacturer appoints new sales agent

Bed manufacturer Vogue Beds has announced the appointment of James Howard as its new agent for the Home Counties along with North & East London and Oxfordshire.

James joins Vogue with an extensive knowledge of the furniture industry, having become an established agent with Buoyant Upholstery.

Commenting on his new appointment, James said: “After visiting the Vogue factories and meeting the experienced team, it

was a simple decision for me to want to take an agency with Vogue. The extensive range and comfort options, coupled with the clever HELIX system models, really makes Vogue a comprehensive and competitively priced product. Very much looking forward to supporting my customers with their bed requirements.”

Vogue’s MD Ebrahim Patel added: “I’m pleased to be able to welcome James to the Vogue Beds Group and look forward to working with him to drive our sales forward in this area.”

Bed retailer delivers sales and profit growtht

Beds and mattresses retailer Dreams has reported another growth in sales and profit as revenues climbed towards £400m.

According to the latest filed accounts ended 24 December 2022, total sales rose 8% to £387m from £358.4m in 2021, further adding to its growth of 18.6% from £302.1m in 2020.

Pre-tax profit resulted at £50m, up 3.3% from £48.4m recorded the previous year. Gross margin was at 52.6% and 0.9% points above the previous year’s 51.7%.

Stated within its report, Dreams said that it responded to inflation challenges by tightening discretionary spending, as well as being forced to increase retail pricing in the second half of the year, despite efforts to avoid this for its customers.

“Profit increased as a direct result of sales growth, however, growth fell behind sales growth due to the impact of the inflationary environment,” Dreams said.

At the year end, Dreams had 208 stores, opening two and closing one during the period.

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Clarion prepares for second Women in Furniture Network event

Clarion Retail, the organiser of trade events including the January Furniture Show, Manchester Furniture Show, Home Interiors Show, Top Drawer and Home & Gift, has announced its next Women in Furniture Network event.

Following the successful launch of its first Women in Furniture Network (WIFN) networking event, which took place at the Furniture Makers’ Hall in London on 29th June, the second event has been scheduled for 25th October in Birmingham, although the official location is yet to be revealed.

The event, which will run from 3-6pm, will have a ‘Mentorship’ theme and will also include another guest speaker talking about the benefits and importance of having a mentor within the furnishing industry.

The first WIFN event was hosted by Amanda Waring, the 61st master of The Furniture Makers’ Company, and featured guest speakers Dids Macdonald, OBE, chief executive of ACID and Donna Bellingham, CEO of Shackletons.

The event was tailored to support

women professionals from across the whole furniture industry, within a variety of roles from design, manufacturing, buying and more. Attendees were able to unite and meet industry leaders, forge new partnerships, discover a supportive community and grow their furniture network.

Bed retailer reopens Cardiff store and distribution hub

and tools to improve and ease their hiring and training processes. This user-friendly website will serve as a bridge between employers and talented individuals seeking to embark on exciting careers within the sector.

Former Dreams employee sentenced after fraud case

A former employee of beds and mattresses retailer Dreams has pleaded guilty to fraud after stealing over £50,000 from the company.

Following a Thames Valley Police investigation, Sunny Bhayani, aged 62 of Surrey, was sentenced at Aylesbury Crown Court to two years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, after he pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by abuse of position.

The newly renovated store on Penarth Road covers 12,500sqft and makes it Dreams’ flagship location in Wales.

Next door, the 31,000sqft renovated distribution centre, complete with upgraded colleague facilities, will enable Dreams to drive quicker deliveries for customers in the local area.

Commenting on the reopening, Dreams said: “Amongst 70 of our colleagues and partners, we celebrated the official reopening of our distribution centre and retail store in Cardiff.

“Following a welcoming speech from Dan Tomkinson, our colleagues marked the openings with ribbon cutting ceremonies whilst the team celebrated with lunch, cupcakes, entertainment and a raffle, raising an impressive £450 for Shelter Cymru.

“Well done to all our colleagues and partners involved in bringing such a significant investment to life.”

Industry charity to launch recruitment and training website

The Furniture Makers’ Company, the City of London livery company and charity for the furnishing industry, is launching an early careers website,, in a bid to help reduce the growing skills gap, that will offer businesses an invaluable tool in fulfilling vital recruitment and training needs.

Launching this autumn, will be aimed at young people (15-24 years old) who are still deciding on a career path, while signposting those looking for industry specific training and connect those seeking a job in the industry with employers.

Through, businesses in the furnishing industry will have access to a comprehensive range of resources, expert guidance,

He was also ordered to pay £565 in costs, £51,794.27 to be repaid at £1,075 a month, wear an electronic tag with a curfew for six months, a rehabilitation activity and to complete 250 hours’ unpaid work within 12 months.

Bhayani, who was working in Customer Services for Dreams Limited in High Wycombe, committed fraud in the region of £51,794. The offence took place between January 2017 and January 2018.

Bhayani created and carried out fraudulent refunds to customers, but actually refunded the money to cards owned and controlled by him.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Gemma Thompson said: “This has been an extraordinarily long and complex investigation that has taken over five years and involved a large number of officers.

“Mr Bhayani held a position of trust which he took advantage of and he neglected the financial interests of the company.

“I’m extremely pleased with this result and that he is required to repay all of the money he stole from his employer.”

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Teenager launches new furniture retail business

“Our goal is to provide our customers with high-quality furniture that is both stylish and comfortable, without breaking the bank,” Charlie said. “At Destiny Home Interiors, we believe that everyone deserves to have a beautiful home. That’s why we offer affordable prices on all of our furniture and accessories to help make your dream home a reality. We’re excited to be a part of the community and look forward to welcoming customers.”

to do is have complete transparency with your customers. I’ve always wanted to be my own boss and now is the right time as the market is saturated with people over charging on furniture that can be made in the UK at a fraction of the cost,” Charlie said.

A new furniture retail business has launched in North Wales by a teenager aiming to make a career in the furnishing industry.

Destiny Home Interiors officially launched on Friday 18 August and is situated on Victoria Road in Prestatyn.

Founded by 19-year-old Charlie Osbourne-Morris, the new business stocks a wide range of furniture

The new venture was born after Charlie, who has spent the last year and a half working at a furniture shop in Manchester, decided to give running his own business a go. A new website is currently being built too, which is expected to go live this month.

“From my time working for a furniture shop I’ve learnt that the main thing

“I was attracted to the furniture industry as I believe I saw an opportunity and a gap in the market. The journey so far has been a difficult one as I’ve been taking every opportunity to cut cost getting the shop right. I’ve done this by doing all major work myself along with help from my dad.

“I want to inspire other people and show them that there is more out there than just ‘nine to five’. Why not put your effort into something for yourself, to better your own future? I’m excited for this journey and the overall aim for the shop is to give people luxury bespoke furniture at budget prices.”

options, including sofas, chairs, tables and home decor accessories.

Dunelm sets Watford opening date

Home furnishings retailer Dunelm has announced a proposed opening date for its new store in Watford. Back in May this year, Dunelm confirmed plans to open in the former John Lewis store within Atria Watford, which will feature a retail space of 33,000sqft. Now, the retailer has revealed that the official opening date is set for 28 November 2023, although this is just a target date and could change depending on progress. Dunelm is currently refurbishing the site.

Harrods delivers strong growth

According to its latest filed accounts for the year ended 28 January 2023, total sales for high-end department store retailer Harrods rose 42.9% to £831.6m from £581.9m in 2022. Pre-tax profit resulted at £470.8m, significantly improving from £51m recorded the previous year. The majority of which was due to income from shares in group companies, valuing £290.3m. Removing this factor, profit stood at £158.4m.

BFM partners with Clarion Events

A new ‘Club BFM’ area, member discounts and a pavilion for first-time exhibitors will feature at the January Furniture Show (JFS) 2024. Club BFM will form part of the VIP suite at the show, while the pavilion will offer exhibition opportunities for new BFM members or smaller BFM members looking to exhibit at JFS for the first time. JFS takes place at the NEC Birmingham on January 21 to 24.

Independent to close imminently

Independent furniture retailer

Isherwoods Fine Furniture has confirmed it will close with the site set to be converted into flats. Isherwoods

Fine Furniture is based on Bolton Road in Ramsbottom and has been holding a closing down sale ahead of its “imminent closure”. Detailed in planning documents to Bury Council, applicant

Firsmount Ltd is seeking permission to change the of use of the upper floors from commercial to seven residential units and part of the ground floor to create a residential entrance.

Poor economy leads to closure

Family furniture retailer Warwick

Furnishers has closed bringing an end to 10 years of trade. Situated on West Street in Warwick, the business cited the “poor economy” as the main reason behind the closure, adding that rising costs and the cost-ofliving crisis impacting consumer demand also played a role in the decision to close.

Future of bed retail shop uncertain

Beds and mattress retailer Bensons for Beds has confirmed that it has no plans to vacate its store in Chippenham following the emergence of a planning application by the site’s owner. Aegon UK Property Fund, owners of the Hathaway Retail Park in Chippenham, has submitted planning documents to Wiltshire Council that aims to change the use of the building to mixed restaurant and takeaway use.

Oak Furnitureland appoints new creative agency

Furniture retailer Oak Furnitureland has appointed TMW Unlimited, part of UNLIMITED, to be its lead integrated creative and strategic agency. TMW Unlimited will be responsible for creating six major campaigns across all channels, including TV, radio, online video, website and POS. Work on the account will commence immediately, with a new campaign and brand platform due to launch later this year.

Call for National Golf Day entries

The National Charity Golf Day, a charity tournament organised in aid of The Furniture Makers’ Company, returns to the Northamptonshire County Golf Club on Wednesday 20 September. The event features an

18-hole Stableford competition with a shotgun start. For more information on the National Golf Day, go to NationalGolfDay2023.

Carpet Recycling UK joins the BFC

Carpet Recycling UK (CRUK) has joined other trade association in the furniture and furnishings sector as the latest member of the British Furniture Confederation (BFC), the consortium organisation which liaises with, and lobbies, government on the industry’s behalf.

Neptune appoints new chairman

Furnishings and homewares retail brand Neptune has announced the appointment of Will Kernan as its new chairman. Will joins the business after almost a year from leaving River Island where he held the position of CEO. He left the retailer in November 2022 after three years to pursue “personal projects”. Before River Island, Will served as CEO of Wiggle Chain Reaction Group and The White Company.

Sleepeezee launches new kids mattress brand

British bed and mattress brand Sleepeezee has announced the launch of its newest product range Little Bedz. Made and manufactured just for children, Little Bedz has been designed for the growing needs of kids, with the range offering support and comfort.

Designer Contracts relocates office

Flooring contractor Designer Contracts has moved and significantly expanded its Yorkshire office. Part of a network of regional offices around mainland UK, the company’s Yorkshire operation has now outgrown its current premises in Harehills, Leeds and is future proofing further growth with the move to newly refurbished offices in Riverside Place. This can accommodate more than 20 people as opposed to the four-desk capacity of the previous office.

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Homewares supplier invites customers to virtual showroom

Furnishings and homewares supplier Premier Housewares is inviting customers to visit its virtual showroom. Captured in high-definition 3D, the showrooms are fully interactive, making it easy and efficient to navigate.

“Browse at your leisure, zoom into products and, when something catches your eye, simply click to shop or view more details,” Premier Housewares said.

“Our talented stylist team have spent several months redesigning our 55,000 square foot showrooms with our newest collections of furniture and accessories.

“If you would like to book a virtual appointment, get in touch. We can talk you through our latest products, offer expert recommendations and discuss your business needs. You can book in with us to explore our Glasgow based showrooms on”

Premier Housewares is a family-run company, and has been one of the most trusted homewares suppliers since 1988. The company travels the world working with manufacturers to source and provide high-quality, design-led products.

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BIG SOCIAL September

A look at what’s been going on over social media channels. Share your news with us and email

Land of Beds

We’re celebrating another milestone today as Claire marks her 5th work anniversary at Land of Beds. As our incredible Customer Care Supervisor, Claire’s dedication to providing top-notch customer experiences is simply outstanding. Her caring nature and problem-solving skills have made a real difference to our customers. We’re so grateful to have you on board, Claire, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Tempur UK

We had a lot of fun at our annual TEMPUR Games team building days and we maintained our tradition of healthy competition from all the teams. The days started with the prime suspects being our MD and our Head of HR.

EZ Living Furniture

Continuing our 25th anniversary celebrations, we were delighted to have 2FM and the Jennifer Zamparelli show broadcasting live from our Blanchardstown Store today! Huge giveaways and in store celebrations were enjoyed by all! Thank you again to Jennifer and 2FM for being part of our 25th anniversary and congratulations to all the winners who each won €500 EZ Living Furniture vouchers! The celebrations will continue throughout the month in our 18 stores nationwide!

Pooky Lights

Announcing our latest collaboration with Ellen Merchant, a winner of our “Shades of Brilliance” competition last year. The new range combines one of her beautiful and intricate hand-blocks with a vibrant choice of colours - perfect for brightening up interior design. Ellen’s individual ‘block print’ style is the perfect complement with its delightful designs enriched with tiny details.

Laura James is super excited to welcome Willow, Aston, and Gloria to our business as our 1st ever-Laura James branded fleet! They are a great new addition to our future growth, allowing us to service our customers with indoor and garden furniture UK-wide. With our own drivers too, we are offering a personal touch, complete in LJ uniforms that offer an expert knowledge of products. In line with our branding- Gloria, Aston, and Willow come in 3 brilliant colours, sure to stand out in the crowd. Look out for them on the roads and give us a wave!.

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Laura James




Tobin James, Managing Director of TEMPUR® UK, shares an insight into his furnishing industry career, who has inspired him the most and why health and wellbeing are at the forefront of consumer shopping behaviour.

Let’s start with you. Can you share a bit about yourself?

In my professional life I have had the privilege to work for three iconic furniture brands, G Plan, Ercol and now Tempur and the furniture industry has been a massive part of my life. I have been married to my wife Nina for 28 years and we have two grown up children.

What is your current job role and key responsibilities?

I am Managing Director of Tempur UK and have been in this role since 2015. We are an omnichannel business with successful wholesale (selling to leading UK retailers), Ecommerce and Own store channels. We have a warehouse and our own transport team based in Hayes, West London and my role is to lead our talented team of 130 staff. I am also a member of the Tempur Sealy International Leadership team which means that I am involved in our International strategy which I hugely enjoy.

The recent launch event at the Science Museum was a fantastic evening and a huge success. It’s been eight years since our last major product launch, so we wanted to do something special.

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What do you love about your job?

Every day is different in my role which is hugely enjoyable and means I am always learning new things. I find this fulfilling and I appreciate how privileged I am to work for the world’s leading bedding company with many super talented people.

What time is your alarm clock set for?

Seven A.M. is my time of choice but I rarely have a nine to five day so the demands of the day will dictate. I like a lie in at the weekend in my Tempur bed of course.

Why did you choose to work in the furnishing industry?

I grew up near High Wycombe and the furniture industry still had a presence there at that time. I joined G Plan Furniture on a Marketing Apprenticeship at the age of 16 and have been in the industry ever since. My first role was in the exhibition

department, and I had to order the wallpaper and accessories for the display installations that were fitted in G Plan’s retailers. It was a great introduction into the workings of the industry at that time and I loved it.

Who do you most admire in the industry and why?

There are so many people I admire in the industry and it is very difficult to single out one person, but for me James Barker stands out as exemplary. He has led the evolution of Barker and Stonehouse from a regional independent furniture retailer to a design led, national furniture retailer with a unique identity. Their new store in Gateshead is amazing and very inspiring.

Have there been any special moments during your career?

I have achieved so much more than I ever dreamed of in my career and have had many fantastic experiences. After our Science Museum launch


event in July, I told the team that it had been the highlight of my career - they were fantastic and made me extremely proud.

What is your favourite item of furniture you own and why?

Having spent 12 very happy years working for Ercol Furniture I have to admit to being a bit of a super fan of their mid-century pieces. I have a 1950’s studio couch in my kitchen which I love. I also have a Nathan Yong sideboard which I purchased from Heal’s a few years ago. It’s a bit of a show off piece but definitely worth it.

What do you think is trending within the industry at present?

Consumers are becoming much more aware of the importance of sleep for their health and wellbeing, and this will mean that they will be prepared to invest more in products that actively help them sleep better.

What would you change in the industry?

I advocate for focusing on the consumer and their needs. The industry is competing with many

other consumer focused product categories and we need to offer aspirational products that demand the consumer’s attention and will improve their lives.

Can you share an insight into your future plans?

Leading Tempur UK and helping it reach its full potential, we are just getting started. The recent launch event at the Science Museum was a fantastic evening and a huge success. It’s been eight years since our last major product launch, so we wanted to do something special that celebrated both the new generation of Tempur products and also allowed us to look back at our achievements in partnership with our retail partners, which included us giving lifetime achievement awards to four of our early pioneering TEMPUR® UK retailers.

The new ranges will reach retailer’s floors in Spring 2024 so we have given ourselves a long lead in. This is important as every model in the extensive Tempur range will be replaced, and we want to make sure that the phase out of the old ranges and the phase in of the new is executed well. We know this is a

big task but we have a talented team and we are confident we can do this well. We are also planning to launch a new TV advertising campaign around Easter next year.

What do you enjoy most outside of work / free time?

I am a bit of a cycling nut and I have an allotment in the village where I live and love to spend time there.

What might someone not know about you?

My wife and I cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 2021. We took three weeks to complete the 1,200mile route and had a great time.

If you had a different career, what would it be?

I think I could have made it as a chef! Finally, if you were an item of furniture, what would it be and why?

That would have to be a Tempur mattress - just the best!

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Greenwood celebrates 21 years with award win

Sales promotion company, Greenwood Retail Ltd comes of age along with winning the Big Furniture ‘Best Sales Promotion Company 2023’ award, as voted by the furnishings industry.

Going from a one-man-band to become “the UK and Ireland’s leading firm in this specialist field,” according to founder and MD Bernard Eaton, has been an epic journey and a truly British success story. “This award means a lot and is received with grateful thanks,” said Bernard.

“It seems like yesterday when I launched our first Greenwood sale,” Bernard continued. “We held three sales back in 2002, our first year. Since then, at the time of writing, we have averaged around 50 sales a year and completed 1,100 Greenwood Sales for hundreds of quality retailers across the UK and Ireland! This a real homegrown success story and there are good reasons why no other company has held more of these sales promotions in the UK and Ireland than Greenwood.”

Greenwood’s clients can testify that their copyrighted sales promotion generated sales ranging from 25% to 100% of their annual turnover (depending on the nature of the event and other variable factors), with high margin maintained in just 17 days trading, even during economic downturns.

Jade Farthing, MD of furniture retailer Haskins in Shepton Mallet, commented on their recent Greenwood Sale, which was held in August 2023. “Never in a million years would I have believed that we would make so many sales in such a short time. We exceeded our sales target in the first five days of the three-week event! It’s been absolutely brilliant.”

Cy Fogel, MD of You’re Furnished in Essex, who held their own event earlier this year back in January 2023, added: “I’m shocked again! I have held 14 of these Greenwood Sales over 12 years. I had a figure in mind for the total of our five-week January 2023 Sale. We did it in the first five days! It works every time no matter what. War, pandemic,


unrest, strikes, falling house prices, inflation, it just keeps working. It’s well worth it financially too, plus, we always win loads of new customers, and my turnover keeps going up every year. So, what’s not to like?”

On the notion of thriving through any economic situation, Bernard said: “We have found that despite economic ups and downs, Greenwood Sales consistently generate the same extraordinary uplift in retail sales and that’s why most of our business comes from repeat and recommended retailers. We’ve been going for long enough to have clients who have held ten, twelve even fourteen consecutive annual Greenwood Sales in the same store and they absolutely would not keep coming back if the sales were anything other than consistently profitable and worthwhile for them.”

Greenwood Retail specialises in organising highprofile sales events, on behalf of quality independent retailers, all over the UK and Ireland. Many of their clients are members of AIS and Minerva. “We utilise the most effective marketing methods and channels from traditional to state-of-the-art, including the latest version of our extraordinarily effective Greenwood Digital Marketing Campaign to ensure your maximum return on budget,” says Bernard.

“After 21 years in the business and with 1,100 Greenwood sales events across the UK and Ireland completed, Greenwood has gained valuable experience of planning and organising retail sales in this marketplace, than any other sales company in the world. This means that no other sales promotion company in the world is better qualified to help independent UK and Irish retailers get the best out of their next big sales event.

“Your business could benefit from holding a Greenwood Sale. We can usually outline sales projections and costs from a brief discussion, either in person, or even over the phone. Contact us today on 07771 700247 or visit to find out more.”

We have found that despite economic ups and downs, Greenwood Sales consistently generate the same extraordinary uplift in retail sales and that’s why most of our business comes from repeat and recommended retailers.

Furniture First. Then Complete the Look

With their development over recent years, Gallery Direct are now one of the largest furniture suppliers in the UK. Their extensive furniture catalogue represents over 50% of their business and features 25 main ranges, plus a wide selection of smaller ranges and individual occasional pieces, including their extremely popular easy chairs.

The breadth of the offering from Gallery Direct ensures there is a variety of styles to suit different requirements, from contemporary to traditional, rustic to luxe, as Peter Delaney, Sales & Product Director, explains: “Our furniture development team, led by James Hudson, have done a fantastic job, broadening our catalogue in terms of designs and to cater for a range of price points, including some incredible value collections, as well as high quality luxury ones.

“We now feel we have got the balance right, with an amazing selection of furniture, and all the other product categories, made-to-order upholstery & mattresses, accessories, lighting, textiles, wall décor and outdoor living, to complement it, so customers can buy the complete look in one place.

“We’ve invested heavily in physical pallet space and stock across our categories,” continued Peter, “with over 36,000 pallets here in the UK and fresh stock continually arriving. We’re now in the final phase of the planned move to our purpose-built distribution centre just off junction 29A of the M1, near Chesterfield, so all stock will be in one location for quick and efficient delivery to customers.”

To complement the ‘ready to go’ furniture, Gallery’s catalogue features made-to-order upholstery, beds and mattresses, which are all handmade by the skilled team at their manufacturing unit in Wiltshire. They also offer a huge selection of accessories, textiles and wall décor, and they will work with customers to offer own-label exclusive ranges. Their wall décor offering has been recently strengthened with acquisition of Art Marketing.

Gallery’s stock lines come from trusted partners around the world, and Gallery have over 70 direct group employees in overseas offices, managing this supply chain. Having so many people “on the ground” full time enables Gallery to build excellent relationships with their suppliers, helping efficient and exciting product development, as well as effective quality control of products and monitoring of factories to ensure they consistently meet Gallery’s high standards.

The development teams have been working with their suppliers, designing and developing Gallery’s SS24 Collection. On the furniture side, this includes even more expansion with around 50% growth planned, featuring some exciting brand-new ranges, all designed ‘off the page’ which will launch at the January Furniture Show. James Hudson, Furniture Development Director, commented: “This is probably our most exciting and extensive furniture launch ever. Myself and the team look forward to showing you these magnificent collections in the New Year.”

To find out more about Gallery’s extensive furniture collection, and all their other products, visit them at Autumn Fair in Hall 20, Stand D20 - E21, or take a look at their website, / 01795 439159 /

Madrid Open Display Unit Milano Sideboard Inside Gallery’s Chesterfield DC

The winning choice for flat packed furniture

Stuart Wallace, Director of Core Products, talks about the journey the company has taken to become one of the country’s leading suppliers of flat packed furniture.

Award winners in both ‘Best Flat Packed Furniture Supplier’ and ‘Best Supplier for Delivery Service’ in the Big Furniture Awards, as voted by the furnishings industry, what does it mean to your business?

Everything! Everyone is so proud to have been recognised by the readers of Big Furniture Group magazine, it really does recognise everyone who contributes to making our family business successful.

What is the history of the company?

Core Products was founded in 1986 by my father, Duncan Wallace, and he still plays a very active role in the day-to-day business. There are now three generations of our family actively involved in all aspects of the business along with a longstanding team of colleagues in sales, administration and distribution.

Why choose to specialise in flat packed furniture?

From the outset, the aim of the business was to carry stocks to enable quick and efficient delivery of whatever we sold using carrier networks for speed, so products that fitted into easy-to-handle boxes are an obvious choice. Our original offer was shelving and storage products, which we still supply to the trade. We progressed into flat packed furniture about 20 years ago and never looked back.

What makes Core Products flat packed furniture stand out from the crowd?

We have never been afraid of innovation and investment where necessary. On many occasions over the years, we have taken unconventional ways of developing supply routes. Along with our trusted finish supplier we invested heavily in developing coloured wood wax finishes and were the first company in the world to use what has become a very popular choice on pine furniture.

Core are still the only company in the world making flat packed furniture with genuine dovetailed drawers. Our investment in developing specially designed CNC dovetailing machines which are specially calibrated for easy home assembly is what makes this possible. Innovation is not all about product. We were the first furniture supplier to

develop an online customer ordering website and introducing three dimensional product imagery on flat packed furniture, all before e-commerce became the norm.

Where do you look for new ideas?

Literally everywhere! We are regulars at trade shows throughout the world but also study the upcoming UK consumer trends in housing, styles, materials and finishes. The choice consumers have nowadays is bewildering but some things never change, we all need drawers for storage, rails to hang clothes and chairs to sit on. What we do with these key parameters is what drives the next product ideas.

You design many of your own products, is copying an issue? Imitation is considered the sincerest form of flattery but it has its limits and the problem has been getting far worse over the past years. Designs we have developed from the outset we do register with ACID as it creates a secure portal for our original product developments. Our ACID membership has proved invaluable with the need recently to successfully instigate several legal actions for breach of copyright.

What are your plans for the remainder of 2023?

The turmoil of the past few years is still affecting the trade, however in a more positive way for end customers as we see a stabilisation of supply availability and costs enabling us to now look to deliver even better value to our customers over the coming months with stronger availability and lower prices.

New ideas for next year?

Absolutely, all will be revealed at the January Furniture Show on our stand in Hall 4. Planning is well underway and once again we look forward to meeting everyone and introducing our new ideas.

Core Products aim for the remainder of 2023 is to deliver stronger availability and lower prices on proven quick selling products.

More success for Annaghmore

Cathal Curran, Marketing Manager at Annaghmore, shares an insight into the business and recent product developments, as well as celebrating a double award win.

Starting with the latter, Annaghmore, one of Ireland’s leading furniture importer and wholesalers, was recently named as ‘Best Overseas Furniture Supplier’ in the Big Furniture Awards, as voted by the furnishing industry, with more success to follow some short time later. The business also won the ‘Best Cabinet Collection’ award at the Irish Furniture & Homewares Show, which took place in Dublin during July, for its Carrington range.

“We are absolutely delighted to receive the award of Best Overseas Furniture Supplier,” Conor McKeown, Managing Director at Annaghmore, said. “A big Thank You to BFG for hosting the awards and a bigger Thank You to our Customers for voting for us. The whole team at Annaghmore work really hard to ensure that we deliver a positive customer experience in every way possible and it is fantastic for us all to receive recognition of our efforts through this award.”

Annaghmore were delighted to add a further award to their portfolio by winning the Best Cabinet Collection for their Carrington Oak Collection. “Exclusively designed for Annaghmore, Carrington offers exquisite craftsmanship and boasts a very modern, sleek design that has the durability to last the test of time,” said Cathal Curran, Marketing Manager at Annaghmore.

“Having worked and collaborated with one of the UK’s prominent furniture designers, we are delighted to have won this award knowing the quality of competition we were up against. To win two awards is a fantastic achievement and we’re really proud of everyone here at Annaghmore.”

Annaghmore are an Irish owned family company, established by Terence McKeown back in 1977, and distribute throughout Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. Based just outside Portadown, Co Armagh, Cathal says that their customer driven ethos consistently helps the company strive to deliver market leading products that are “innovative, creative and above all competitively priced”.

Now in their 46th year of business, and edging towards another milestone anniversary, Annaghmore, which sources products from leading furniture manufacturers across the world, carry an extensive product portfolio. These include dining, living and occasional furniture through to bedroom furniture. They

continue to stock over 2,000 product lines at its state of the art 200,000sqft purpose-built warehouse, enabling delivery within 15 working days or less throughout Ireland and the UK.

“We are fortunate to have a very loyal and supportive customer base both in Ireland and throughout the UK, and we understand that our customers look to us to offer innovate, high quality, great value for money product,” Cathal said.

Having come through a very turbulent period over the last few years with the Covid pandemic and understanding the current strain of cost-of-living crises, Annaghmore have recently embarked on an aggressive new product development campaign. Driven by the need to offer that little bit of a difference and combining both high quality products with very competitive price points, the buying team at Annaghmore have been working tirelessly to offer some new innovate designs right across their product portfolio of dining, occasional, upholstery and bedroom.

Such designs include the Carrington Oak Range, which was the winner of the Irish award as mentioned earlier. Other ranges include Soho Contemporary, Tribeca Contemporary, Evoque Lounge Chairs and the Lisbon Fireside Chair. “We are beginning to see the fruits of our labour as some of our new and exciting product launches begin to arrive into stock,” Cathal revealed. “We are very excited about introducing these to our valued customer base over the next few weeks and we look forward to seeing them being placed onto retail floors on the run up to the busy Christmas buying period.”

To win two awards is a fantastic achievement and we’re really proud of everyone here at Annaghmore.
Conor McKeown, Managing Director, Annaghmore accepts award for Best Cabinet Collection at the IFHS Awards 2023.

Lisbon Fireside Chair

Experience the perfect blend of timeless design and modern functionality. Our Lisbon fireside armchairs feature a sturdy frame, ensuring durability for years to come. The deep seat and high back provide exceptional support. In addition, with their compact size, they seamlessly fit into any space, whether it’s a cozy nook, a study corner, or a grand sitting area. Transform any room into your personal sanctuary.

Soho Contemporary Range

Experience the perfect fusion of contemporary design, sleek metals, seductive smoked glass, and the rich warmth of dark walnut with our exquisite Soho Furniture collection. Our exclusive range not only boasts exquisite design but also offers practical functionality. From sleek coffee tables and lamp tables to an elegant dining set, each piece is thoughtfully designed to enhance your everyday living experience. Embrace Soho with its captivating beauty of smoked glass and let it become the focal point of your home.

Evoque Lounge Chairs

Introducing the epitome of relaxation and style: Evoque Swivel Lounge Chairs with Dual Motor offer the ultimate in comfort. With independent controls for both the backrest and footrest, you have complete control over your seating arrangement. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, these lounge chairs exude luxury and sophistication. The plush cushioning provides exceptional support, while the premium upholstery adds a touch of elegance to any room. Available in three on-trend colours, Amber, Ocean Blue and Grey, with a 360-degree rotation.

Carrington Oak Range (Best Cabinet Range, IFHS Show, Dublin 2023)

Beauty, simplicity and functionality are the core values that our new Modern Oak collection, exclusively designed for Annaghmore can offer. Carrington offers exquisite craftsmanship and boasts a very modern, sleek design that has the durability to last the test of time. A 140cm butterfly extension dining table complemented by a 120cm fixed round and a 180cm fixed table, matched with beautifully designed dining chairs and carvers in a white clean oak finish. Carrington screams sleek modern luxury with a price point that won’t break the bank.

Tribeca Contemporary Range

Elevate your Living Spaces: Transform your home into a haven of contemporary elegance with our exquisite Sintered Stone and Metal Contemporary Furniture. Tribeca offers the perfect harmony of refined craftsmanship, sleek design and superior materials. The sintered stone surface offers exceptional resistance to scratches, stains and heat, while the metal provides strength and stability. A 160cm fixed dining table is matched beautifully with a unique collection of occasional furniture. Tribeca will withstand the test of time and retains its impeccable appearance for years to come.

Retail Focus with Land of Beds

Mike Murray, Managing Director at Land of Beds, talks about recent investments, the launch of its new website, a partnership with Bulky Bob and why sleep education needs to be put under the spotlight.

Meet Mike

My day-to-day responsibilities revolve around providing a strategic perspective for our operations. With over 15 years of experience growing the business from the ground up, I’ve had the privilege of immersing myself in every department, which has equipped me with a unique vantage point to contribute effectively across all facets of our organisation. My journey has been one of growth, both for the company and myself, and I’m excited to continue fostering success and innovation within Land of Beds.

Recent investments?

The company’s most significant investment over the last 12 months has been the creation of a new, user-friendly e-commerce website, set to launch this September (2023), just in time for our crucial trading period. The site has been meticulously crafted utilising our very own Land of Beds platform, developed by our dedicated in-house software team. Drawing from our 50-year history in the bedding and furniture industry, we’ve combined our deep industry expertise to shape this unique venture.

Our extensive effort over the past year has revolved around collaborating with user experience specialists and conducting thorough research to fashion a market-leading website. The aim is to empower our valued customers to find their perfect bedding and furniture selections swiftly and efficiently. By synergising cutting-edge technology with our vast consumer insights, we’ve created a platform that addresses the core needs of prospective buyers when deliberating their next purchase.

This accomplishment is the result of a comprehensive process that entailed gathering invaluable insights from both our in-store patrons and online shoppers. These insights have been seamlessly integrated into the website’s development, culminating in a purchasing experience that promises to be seamless and enriching for every customer.

Future plans?

Looking ahead, our upcoming plans are closely tied to the launch of our new e-commerce website, where we’re committed to providing exceptional, customer-focused


service. Once the website is up and running, we’ll be placing a strong emphasis on our strategic buying approach, ensuring that our product offerings stay attuned to the ever-evolving landscape.

Our commitment extends beyond business, as we’re enthusiastic supporters of local and wider communities through various charity events. We take pride in being sponsors of the Furniture Makers’ 60:60 campaign, which seeks to recognise and nurture 60 talented young individuals within the UK furniture industry. Additionally, our sponsorship of Warrington Youth Zone showcases our dedication to assisting families with essential resources, such as beds and counselling, to support their well-being. Our team, too, is actively engaged, participating in challenges like Tough Mudder to raise funds for the Claire House hospice.

What is your mission?

Our mission at Land of Beds is simple yet profound: we strive to improve the sleep quality of as many individuals as we can. This mission is our compass, steering every decision we make and guiding our strategic direction. If an idea resonates with our mission, we’re wholeheartedly dedicated to pursuing it. Embedded in our values is the belief that a ‘good night’s sleep begins with a great bed.’ This sentiment is at the core of our company motto, reminding us daily of the transformative power of restful sleep. Our commitment to this principle fuels our unwavering dedication to offering products and services that contribute to better sleep for everyone we serve.

On sustainability, what is your business doing on this topic?

We’re acutely aware of our vital role in safeguarding our planet, and we recognise the aspirations of customers who share our commitment to sustainability. Our efforts in this area are significant, as we offer a diverse range of fully recyclable products, including mattresses crafted from recycled materials. To address the challenge of mattress recycling, an issue that varies across different areas, we’ve taken proactive steps. We’re collaborating with the National Bed Federation (NBF), an organisation representing the UK’s bed industry, to advocate for a nationwide mattress recycling initiative.

When customers purchase a new bed from us, they can opt for our convenient mattress removal and recycling service. This service ensures that their old mattresses are responsibly disposed of, easing any environmental concerns.

Through our partnership with Bulky Bob’s, a third-party provider dedicated to ending furniture poverty, collected mattresses undergo a thorough assessment. If suitable, these mattresses are rejuvenated through Bob’s Ultraclean machine, a revolutionary technology that follows a rigorous sevenstep cleaning process. This meticulous cleaning approach guarantees that all mattresses are hygienic and ready for reuse. In cases where recycling is the only option, rest assured

that we handle this responsibly, prioritising our commitment to sustainability and contributing positively to our planet.

How has recent business been?

This year, we’ve noticed a trend: consumers are taking more time to decide on purchases. Our data shows they’re researching extensively to get the best value for their money, often called the ‘seek and save’ approach. This shift means they’re making smarter choices.

During this research phase, it’s important to be present across different platforms—in-store, print, online, and social media. In today’s market, where consumers are well-informed, it’s vital to offer more than just good service and value. As customers seek the best solution for their needs, we step in as trusted advisors. Our expertise helps them navigate choices and understand details. In this ‘messy middle’ phase, as we term it, we support customers in various ways, whether answering questions in-store, explaining online, or engaging on social media.

Moreover, the modern consumer expects more than just transactions. By giving insights, comparisons, and expert advice, we build trust and credibility. This enhances the buying experience and solidifies our reputation as a brand that cares about customers.

Our commitment to guidance doesn’t end at the sale; it’s about building lasting relationships based on understanding and support. Our enthusiasm revolves around acknowledging

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the enduring significance of every customer, forming the foundation of our entire approach.

What would you change in the industry?

We’d love to see a shift that puts the spotlight on educating people about the crucial role of sleep in maintaining both health and well-being. Sleep is like recharging your body’s batteries. It not only helps your body recover but also gives your immune system a boost while keeping your brain functioning at its best. A good night’s sleep leaves you feeling more alert, focused, and emotionally balanced. It’s like a secret recipe for a vibrant and joyful life.

We believe the furniture industry is the ideal vehicle for spreading the word about how essential sleep is for feeling your best and staying in top shape. We believe that investing in a high-quality bed should be aligned with the importance of regular exercise and a balanced diet. By championing the significance of sleep as a fundamental pillar of overall health, we can play a part in a comprehensive approach that empowers individuals to elevate their well-being.

What challenges do you currently face?

Like many others in the industry, we’re navigating some challenges, and we’re taking proactive steps to overcome them. With rising inflation affecting how people spend their money, we’re focused on educating consumers about the crucial considerations between sleep and well-being, emphasising the role of a quality bed in achieving a restful night’s sleep.

We believe the furniture industry is the ideal vehicle for spreading the word about how essential sleep is for feeling your best and staying in top shape.

We understand the diversity of consumer needs and budgets, and that’s why we offer a comprehensive range of products. Our omnichannel marketing approach ensures we connect with customers on their terms, making it easier for them to find what they need at the right price. Large purchases can sometimes trigger hesitation, so we’re providing multiple payment options to instill confidence in potential buyers. Our zero deposit, interest-free credit, and buy now, pay later choices enable more people to invest in a good night’s sleep without financial stress.

Considering the impact of a weakened housing market, we’re stepping up our marketing efforts to highlight the importance of upgrading mattresses in existing spaces. By reinforcing the need for new, quality mattresses, we’re helping consumers see the value of investing in their sleep comfort. Through these measures, we’re committed to overcoming challenges and ensuring that our customers receive the best sleep solutions for their well-being.

Do you have any staff you would like to pay special thanks or recognition to and why?

Our remarkable team consists of over 40 devoted members who contribute significantly to our operations. We’ve diligently fostered a tight-knit environment where every individual is united by our shared mission and a profound understanding of our best practices. Throughout the years, we’ve identified specific behaviours and qualities that radiate when we’re performing at our peak. As part of my role, I ensure these behaviours are consistently upheld across the organisation, enhancing our potential for present and future achievements.

Each staff member plays a crucial role in forming a cohesive puzzle where every piece matters. Our company, being familyrun, strongly embraces family values, which we consider the cornerstone of our identity. We see ourselves not just as colleagues but as a work family, embodying these values in everything we do. This sense of unity and shared purpose drives our collective success and sets the stage for even greater accomplishments ahead.

Why do you think customers choose your business?

Customers choose our business because we offer a unique blend of modern technology and 50 years of traditional retailing expertise. It’s like having the best of both worlds— the convenience of online shopping combined with the personal touch of experienced local retailers. Our advanced e-commerce platform, created by our skilled digital team, ensures we rank well in searches and provide a smooth shopping experience. But what sets us apart is the personal touch. Since day one, our mission has been to help people sleep better. Our friendly staff offers free, independent advice, expert knowledge, and genuine passion to help customers find their dream bed. We value relationships and prioritise customer satisfaction.

As one of the leading businesses in our industry we have the strength to work with top bed brands, coupled with our family business heritage we have a culture that cares deeply about each customer and supplier. Our products come with top guarantees and recommendations. Being a National Bed Federation (NBF) retail champion is another reason customers trust us. This trade association recognises our commitment to good business practises, product knowledge, and exceptional customer service.

We’re not just a business; we’re a family. For 50 years, the Murray family has been dedicated to providing outstanding service and a wide range of products. Our legacy of excellence and care is a testament to our commitment to our customers’ well-being. This enduring connection is why customers don’t simply see us as a one-time stop but rather as a place they choose to return to.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

We’re eagerly anticipating the celebration of our 50th anniversary next year, marking a remarkable half-century in the industry. With the upcoming launch of our customer-centric e-commerce platform and our distinguished award-winning customer service, combined with our strong partnerships with leading brands, we’re embarking on this milestone with excitement. Looking ahead to the next 50 years, we’re enthusiastic about the possibilities that lie ahead for Land of Beds. Our commitment remains steadfast: to deliver top-notch service and an exceptional product lineup. We’ll continue to prioritise our customers by actively listening and adapting to their needs. Keep an eye out for our upcoming birthday festivities; the best is yet to come!

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West Yorkshire bed maker joins NBF

Amy Wheeler, Managing Director at Kelcol, talks about joining the NBF after securing an A-rated audit and how this will boost business further.

West Yorkshire-based bed manufacturer Kelcol Bed Company Ltd has announced that it has joined the National Bed Federation (NBF) as a new member after successfully completing an audit process.

Back in June this year, Kelcol, which operates out of its production facility in Mirfield, underwent a “rigorous” audit where the business was graded with an ‘A’ rating.

Amy Wheeler, Managing Director at Kelcol, said: “The audit was rigorous and an all-day job. Mattresses were picked at random as they were going through production and were checked to make sure that they were exactly as listed on composition sheets, labels and fire tests etc.

“At one point, the auditors counted every single spring to make sure the amount specified was correct. We were delighted to be recognised with an A rating.”

The move to join the NBF has been on the cards since Amy took over the family business back in December 2021. She continued: “We are a family run business and have been established since 1979.

Having worked for the company for 13 years, my family and I purchased it in December 2021. We really wanted our customers to know that we do things the right way and give them the peace of mind that they are buying a quality product that we are proud to call a Kelcol Bed.

“We hope that becoming an NBF member will open doors for further business with retailers.”

In between taking over the company and joining the NBF, Amy also revealed that there has been lots going on behind the scenes, making significant investments across the business.

“Over the last 12 months we have put a lot back into the business premises. We have had LED lighting throughout (165 lights in total) and new heating systems. We have fully refurbished our meeting room and acquired three new vehicles, as well as upgrading our flood defences as we are at the side of the river Calder.

“Alongside further on-going maintenance, we’re also investing in a visitor car park project, which is developing well.”

Amy added that despite the cost-ofliving crisis, business has been steady. “Business has been fairly consistent for us this year. We expected to be much quieter mainly due to the ever-increasing interest rates and the continued cost-of-living crisis but we continue to stay busy… Touch wood!

“I think it helps that we have a niche market in the fact that we are fully bespoke when it comes to bed shapes and sizes and our lead times are usually no more than a couple of weeks. We are a normal family striving to build our future and our kids future doing something that we love.”

We hope that becoming an NBF member will open doors for further business with retailers.

Kaymed enters new phase of innovation

Terry Bridger, UK Sales Manager at bed innovator and manufacturer Kaymed, talks about their recent award recognition and the eagerly anticipated launch of their brand new ranges.

What’s it like to be a Big Furniture Awards winner?

We were delighted to have been recognised as the Best Bed Supplier (Mid Range) in the Big Furniture Awards.

What’s even more pleasing is that Big Furniture Group subscribers were free to vote for any company in all of the categories, rather than suppliers having to either send in entries (as per other awards platforms) or be selected onto a shortlist.

This means that these awards reflect the opinions of those who work on the frontline, and they are very aware of the brands that offer the most commercial products. They interact with consumers every day and want to show them products that have a real wow factor when laid on. I’m very happy they love our products as much as we do.

Congratulations are also due to our fantastic sales team, who are the faces of Kaymed out on the road, and frankly the reason why anyone out there voted for us in the first place. We would also like to extend our sincere thanks to everyone who voted for us and look forward to showing them our new range of even more exciting products at the upcoming AIS INDX and NBF Bed Show events.

How are the plans for the shows progressing?

We will have some new and exciting ranges being launched at both the INDX and NBF Bed Show, including the launch of Therma-phase Ultra – the third generation of this technology. To say we’re excited is an understatement!

How does Therma-phase work and what is it changing?

The current Therma-phase+ material contains the patented phase-change technology that is exclusive to Kaymed, combined with highly conductive copper.

When the mattress is laid on, it is both warmed and compacted by your body. The copper then acts as a thermal pathway to increase the speed of heat transfer into the phase change material, which then stores and releases the heat to regulate the surface temperature.

We are adding a new ingredient in the shape of highly conductive precious metal microbeads, that will make that transfer of heat from the surface happen even quicker. We have also tweaked the recipe slightly, to produce what we believe will be the best feeling visco-elastic/memory foam product in the market.

Did you develop the foam inhouse?

We did exactly that. We are fortunate to have enormous advantages over our competitors, because we are not only the exclusive suppliers of various patented technologies, but we manufacture our own foams at our site in Dublin. This allows us to develop our own foams, using inhouse expertise to create the exact product we want for the UK and Irish markets.

Are there new products that aren’t made with memory foam?

There will be two. I will start with The Silver Collection, which is a non visco gel foam with a twist. We have infused the foam with Silver Microbeads that help to disperse heat away from the surface, making the surface cool faster than other gel foams.

There will be four models in the collection, and they will be a great addition to any stockist’s floor.

Kaymed invites you to the show with some warnings

What prices will these models retail at?

They will sit below the Therma-phase Ultra models, as our starter technology range.

Can you share more about final range?

We are enormously excited about this one, and it is certainly a new direction for us to go in as a brand.

Regu-Latex is a new collection containing graphite infused latex. This means that we can now offer the consumer that incredible instant response feel with heat dispersing qualities.

We have combined the Regu-Latex material with pocket springs, to create a range of four incredible models. I really think that our stockists are going to love these products and we are expecting great things from them. We can’t wait to show them off.

Where will they sit in the collection?

These models will be our premium foam offering, sitting above the Therma-phase Ultra models by retail price point.

Are there any existing products getting an upgrade too?

Our Mighty Bed collection is based on the development work we do for the luxury hotel market, and they are the consumer equivalent of those products. So, there are changes being made that reflect the improvements we have made to our hotel collection over the last few years.

In addition, our K3 gel models are getting a facelift for 2024, and we can’t wait to hear the reactions to that change as well.

Is there anything else new that we need to know about?

It’s “all about the base”! As you know, divan bases have moved to become statement pieces since manufacturers started using upholstery fabrics. The divan set has seen an enormous growth in popularity and has effectively become a sofa that you sleep on in the eyes of the consumer.

We have some stunning fabrics that will blow your minds, and you might need to bring your sunglasses when you visit us at the NBF Bed Show. We can’t wait to see you.
We are adding a new ingredient in the shape of highly conductive precious metal microbeads, that will make that transfer of heat from the surface happen even quicker. We have also tweaked the recipe slightly, to produce what we believe will be the best feeling visco-elastic/memory foam product in the market.

The Bed Show

Excitement is building across the bed industry as the Bed Show prepares to open its doors to hundreds of bed buyers, specifiers and retailers for two days entirely dedicated to beds at Telford International Centre on 26-27 September.

The Bed Show, organised by the National Bed Federation (NBF), is regarded as the biggest and best event in the UK bed sector, having recently been crowned Best Furniture Trade Show in the Big Furniture Awards, as voted by the furnishings industry.

The NBF recognises that business is challenging for many across the trade and encourages those who are struggling to take the time to attend. With over 60 top industry brands gathering, the show celebrates the very best in British and Irish bed manufacturing and their component suppliers. It is an invaluable opportunity to source inspiration, innovation, new products and new marketing ideas to help boost business. Visitors can network and speak face-to-face with an unrivalled number of experts in the field of beds. The NBF’s executive director Tristine Hargreaves emphasises the importance of visiting the Bed Show, commenting: “When the industry

comes together, invaluable friendships are forged, and new opportunities are discovered.”

This year, some of the biggest names in beds and smaller niche players will reveal the latest products and innovations to a captive market ready for the autumn buying season. For 2023, visitors can see the likes of Breasley, GNG Group, Harrison Spinks, Highgrove Beds, Hypnos, Kaymed, Millbrook Beds, Sealy UK, Silentnight and Sleepeezee – to name a few!

The NBF’s stringent Code of Practice distinguishes the Bed Show from other furniture exhibitions. Every approved NBF member manufacturer has undergone rigorous independent auditing to certify that they comply with UK regulations on safety, cleanliness of fillings and trade descriptions. Essentially, visiting retailers can be assured that the beds they buy will be everything they say they are.


Online retail visitor Martin Seeley of MattressNextDay, praised the event: “A brilliant opportunity to connect with other industry leaders, the NBF Bed Show allows us to get closer to the newest technology and latest products. Experiencing the latest developments in the industry to this level helps us to continue to offer our customers the best products on the market.”

Representing Glasswells, which clinched 2022’s Large NBF Retail Champion of the Year award and Outstanding Bed Store of the Year award, Julie Valentine said: “The excellent selection of products on display at the Show provides a superb opportunity for us to plan our new ranges and there are always plenty of new innovations being launched to keep our Bed Department on top of current market trends.”

The Supplier Innovation Zone should be the first port of call for all purchasing managers of bed manufacturers and those who run mattress production units. The zone will host a selection of key component suppliers, including Apropa, Boyteks, CPS Group, Enkev, Handy Ltd, Kayfoam, John Cotton Nonwovens, Legget and Platt, Spinks, The Vita Group, Wolf Components and many more.

Guest exhibitors include waste management providers Circom and Bye Bye Beds, mattress protection specialist’s Protect-A-Bed and Staingard, as well as retail software provider RetailSystem, bedding products supplier Sleepsense, bedroom furniture manufacturer Wiemann and recycling specialist, The Furniture Recycling Group.

Once again, visitors will receive complimentary refreshment vouchers for the many on-site cafes. There is plenty of free on-site

parking, and entry to the Bed Show is free of charge too. Any visitors that need to bring young children into the halls with them are encouraged to do so on Wednesday, 27 September.

The Gala Dinner & Awards Ceremony returns in all its glory on the first evening of the show, Tuesday, 26 September. The coveted Bed Industry Awards shine a spotlight on all that is good about the UK and Ireland’s bed industry and provide the perfect opportunity for bed manufacturers, suppliers and retailers to highlight their achievements from the past year.

Top comedian compere Maisie Adam will welcome and entertain guests before presenting the awards, sponsored by The Vita Group. Despite only starting on the comedy circuit in 2016, her anecdotal material and self-deprecating charm have quickly won Maisie praise across the country, having recently appeared at the Royal Variety Performance and participated in the Women’s World Cup coverage.

Organisers invite guests to attend the drinks reception from 7pm, kindly sponsored by Hypnos, before a sit-down meal. To find out more about the Bed Show and awards, including how to register to attend the exhibition, please visit

When the industry comes together, invaluable friendships are forged, and new opportunities are discovered.

To DUX, or not to DUX?

Kevin Slade, Head of Next Gen at DUXIANA, shares a deeper look into the DUX Bed and why the components are second to none, as well as the inspiration behind Pascal.

Last month we shared an insight to our recent visit to Swedish bed and furniture manufacturer DUXIANA. We touched upon a number of areas from their three factories, the history of the business, the company ethos and a bit about products. This month, the focus will be on the latter and also on their sustainable practices. Having been on the production line, the DUX Bed is certainly a marvel.

So, where to start? Or as Kevin puts it, why you need a DUX bed. “To DUX, or not to DUX? That is the question. Research has shown that DUX beds perform better than ordinary beds. We offer you a healthy, comfortable sleep, with innovative technology and sustainable solutions. With DUX, you invest in experience and high quality.”

Now you may remember the phrase ‘the bed that breathes’ from the last article, and this is the foundation of DUX’s pitch. Essentially, the bed is hollow, but the spring system is built that way on purpose. This allows air flow to be generated by the user’s movements. The streaming air can not only shuttle body heat out of the mattress, but can also produce the level of ventilation necessary to help combat odours, bacteria and fungus.

The DUX Bed spring system, including its Pascal springs enhancement, is actually guaranteed against breakage for 20 years, but very often lasts beyond 30 years, which boosts their sustainable credentials being a renewable design. Kevin explained: “The idea behind the renewable design is that the DUX Bed may be the last bed you’ll ever need. Highest-quality materials coupled with over 90+ years of heritage of Swedish craftsmanship result in a bed made to last. Simply put, the longer it lasts, the fewer beds will end up in landfills.”

With the DUX Bed being comprised of customisable components, the star of the show is Pascal. Their patented Cassette System was named in honour of the French physicist and mathematician, Blaise Pascal. A “pascal” is an international unit of measure for pressure, and in DUX’s case, a measure of the precise pressure required by each spring to support a resting body of a particular size, shape and weight.

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“Our Pascal system of interchangeable spring cassettes allows you to customise your side of the bed individually. Our goal is to ensure the optimal support and comfort without comprises,” Kevin said. “The cassettes are designed to fit body types and body parts, so they do not only accommodate the difference in weight and height, but in shoulder width, hip density, and musculature. While you may need firmer bed support under your lower back, your partner may need more flexibility to achieve proper spinal alignment.”

The top layer of The DUX Bed can be unzipped to reveal the Pascal system, comprising of six interchangeable spring cassettes that come in various tensions and therefore firmness; three for each side, which can be arranged based on body size, shape and needs. These separate “support zones” cater from shoulders, back, hips and legs, as Kevin continued: “The DUX Bed separates support zones, giving you more comfort through the whole body. The shoulder cassette reduces pressure points that can inhibit circulation. The hip support cassette helps to keep your spine straight, loose and relaxed, while the leg support cassette slightly elevates your legs to align your spine and maintain circulation to your feet.”

The unique continuous-coil design of the springs, and the specific type of steel used to make them allows DUXIANIA to produce one of the smallest, thinnest and most dynamic springs on the market whilst being incredibly strong. Every spring is calibrated to provide a precise degree of lift to counteract a predetermined level of weight, while the DUX spring line machines are also made by the business to maintain their top-secret method of producing this truly unique spring, as well as full control. It’s certainly an art.

The innovation and design enhance wellbeing too. In the independent sleep study conducted by the Karolinska Institute of Sweden, sleep patterns were measured. The researchers studied individuals sleeping on various innerspring mattresses, using an EEG to record the electrical activity in the brain’s cerebral cortex. The study demonstrated that DUX users not only reached the Deep Sleep stage faster but remained there longer.

“Research shows that sleep is a very active state. We reposition our bodies throughout the night, which maintains good circulation. Our bodies release important hormones during sleep. The immune system reboots and the brain engages in a variety of critical housekeeping functions. Deep sleep is the only sleep stage during which the body can repair and regenerate tissues, build bones and muscles, and at the same time, strengthening the immune system. Our DUX Bed can give the potential of 10% more deep sleep each night, whilst also being a truly comfortable place to be,” Kevin revealed.

and planet, the DUX Bed base is constructed with wood harvested from Northern Sweden, where bitter cold winters produce a slow growth pine that is “unmatched in strength”. Natural latex is also used in DUX beds, harvested from the hevea or “rubber” tree. The latex in its top pads improves longevity and provides contouring support. The beds are covered in high thread-count cotton, with the result being a ticking that is not only extremely soft but exceptionally durable.

Furthermore, DUXIANA is also a recipient of the Oeko-Tex 100 Certificate. The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 is an independent testing and certification system for textile raw materials, intermediate and end products at all production stages. “This certificate confirms that our beds meet strict humanecological requirements, being completely free of unhealthy or harmful chemicals,” Kevin said.

“As a fourth generation, family run company, our only responsibilities are to our customers, the quality and longevity of our products and to the health of the planet. It’s in our nature.”

So, the question remains, to DUX, or not to DUX?

From a person’s wellbeing to sustainability for the product

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Our DUX Bed can give the potential of 10% more deep sleep each night.

More success for Sealy UK

On the back of last month’s awards recap from bed manufacturer Sealy UK, Mark Tuley, Chief Commercial Officer, discusses more awards delight after the company was named ‘Best Mattress Supplier’ in the Big Furniture Awards, as voted by the furnishings industry. He shares some of the ‘secrets’ behind the brand’s recent success, and a few of the new activities in the pipeline.

What is your background?

I have been in the bed industry for a large part of my career, I was previously part of the Silent Night team but transferred to Sealy when the brand was acquired by new ownership. In November 2020, I joined the Sealy UK management team as Sales Director and was recently appointed Chief Commercial Officer. I am now more involved in the wider remit in Sealy UK development and growth, and I work closely with our colleagues in Australia too.

Over the past few years, I have been involved in the ‘re-birth’ of the business, which has been an amazing journey. It certainly is an exciting time for the brand and the team here.

Tell us about the award

It goes without saying the latest award win fills us with immense pride and a lot of gratitude, we are absolutely delighted. This award is extra special as it is voted for by our

customers, whose opinions matter to us very much, so it feels like recognition to our ongoing commitment.

We’re all proud of each other – it’s a great feeling and a great environment to work in. In an industry with so many other offerings, it is truly humbling to see receive this award and to be named the ‘Best Mattress Supplier’. At Sealy UK, we champion innovation – not just keeping with the times but always being one step ahead, whilst also keeping our values of quality and service at the core of everything we do.

The ‘Best Mattress Supplier’ Award isn’t just a reflection on our product offering, it is testament to the entire Sealy UK team. That’s all the people, based in both the UK and Australia, who have been instrumental in the rejuvenation of Sealy UK over the last two and a half years. And of course, the team in Aspatria that look after the entire process from development, manufacturing and supplying the final product to our customers.


Is there a secret to your ongoing success?

There is no secret at all; it’s actually really simple. Our technology and products are at the heart of what we do, and I believe this is the key to our success. Sealy is constantly innovating, which is what lies at the heart of being a leading brand. We develop, design and test products all of our products through the Research and Development team, combined with research from The Orthopaedic Advisory Board, so all our mattresses are developed by the very best. Our R and D process has helped us succeed to date, and will help us to succeed in the future as we expand.

We are one big team here at Sealy UK and part of a global family. Our new owners have been incredibly supportive, which should never be underestimated. The internationally proven combination of unique technology, premium product, organisational strategy, and unwavering determination is the reason for our success!

I am excited to announce that we are launching more innovative products at the NBF show! The whole team is looking forward to revealing this to our customers.

Plans for the future?

Sealy UK has made tremendous progress over the last couple of years and it is impressive what has been achieved since the takeover.

I am excited to announce that we are launching more innovative products at the NBF show! The whole team is looking forward to revealing this to our customers. I’m a product person at heart, and the opportunity to showcase our new ideas to our customers is exciting. Creating mattresses is not just a craft, it is a science, so this is a great opportunity to show Sealy UK as the experts we are. Coming together to develop great products is at the foundation of what we do. It makes absolute sense for us to continue this tradition. We can’t wait! to see all the latest innovations and technology, or follow Sealy UK on Sealy UK @sealyuk_

KomfiMed enhances GNG’s offer

One of the most innovative mattress manufacturers in the UK, GNG Group, has further enhanced its diverse range of products.

Offering correct posture support and ultimate comfort, our entire Sonlevo range is recommended to its members by the Football Medicine and Performance Association as these mattresses help achieve the best sleep and, consequently, the best performance.

GNG also represents Nectar Sleep. With a focus on exceptional comfort, combined with a 365-night trial and lifetime warranty, Nectar Sleep mattresses are designed to meet the demands of modern living.

Using its experience as an approved supplier to the NHS, GNG has developed its brand new KomfiMed range, an industry-first which combines medically-proven foam with TrueGel technology, plus the environmental benefits of Ecofoam. “This product delivers excellent pressure relief while minimising motion transfer and regulating temperature to provide a peaceful night’s sleep,” says Richard Gretton, commercial director of GNG.

Specifically engineered for enhanced support, the range gives excellent spinal alignment and relieves stress on joints. A highly advanced material known for its exceptional comfort and therapeutic benefits, medically-proven foam is crafted with precision and adherence to strict quality standards. It offers a supportive sleep surface while conforming to the body’s contours. The range is available in soft, medium and firm options.

“The Komfi collections include the vacuum-packed Unity range, launched last year, which provides an affordably priced mattress and is proving very popular. Offering excellent value as well as quality and comfort, Unity also delivers the benefits of Ecofoam which is made from 100% recycled and re-engineered foam, and is able to be entirely recycled when it reaches the end of its natural life,” Richard said.

All products in the Komfi Unity range have recently achieved Crib 5 (Ignition Source 5) accreditation, making them suitable for the contract market. Following rigorous testing, these models have passed UK Fire Regulations 1988 and are now categorised as being Crib 5 Medium Hazard in line with BS7177.

The Komfi range is ideal for the rental market, student accommodation, hotels, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday parks and boarding schools.

The luxury Sonlevo brand is also available from GNG. Complete with unique TrueGel grid system technology, the range gives maximum support while minimising pressure and regulating temperature.

Richard added: “Our in-house team here at GNG are constantly looking for ways of improving our products while retaining great price points for our customers across all of our ranges, from the popular vacuum-packed Komfi models to our premium Sonlevo brand. We offer stock discounts and quick lead times, and do everything we can to support retailers and enable them to offer their customers an affordable, quality product which is more important than ever in the current challenging economy.”

With purpose-built 40,000sq ft manufacturing facilities in West Yorkshire, GNG is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of rolled mattresses in the UK and has been accredited as a carbon neutral company.

See the complete Komfi and KomfiMed range, along with Sonlevo and Nectar Sleep, on Stand D40 at the Bed Show.

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Feel Good and Do Good with a Shire Bed

Fara Butt, Director at Shire Beds, reflects on being named ‘Best Bed Supplier (Value Range)’ in the recent Big Furniture Awards, while sharing an insight into new product innovations and the appointment of its new COO.

Multi award winning bed manufacturer Shire Beds’ strength comes from its ability to respond with agility in ensuring it puts the retailer and their customer at the forefront of everything it does.

The appointment of Stuart Hibbert to the role of Chief Operating Officer in these circumstances demonstrates the ambition the company has to ensure it continues on its growth trajectory.

Stuart Hibbert, experienced in the industry, has hit the ground running. Working closely with Sajid Butt (MD), they initially rationalised then developed the range. The New Shire Beds ‘Generators’ products are proving hugely popular.

“The Ravello and Capri ranges are hand side stitched, tufted, pocket sprung ranges,” Fara said, continuing: “With the option of personalising with own brand labelling and point of sale, it has seen huge take up.

“The best-selling Artisan Range, particularly The Picasso - a cool blue gel encapsulated product, continues to lead the market in the encapsulated sector.

“The NBF Product of the Year Signature Collection of luxury high count pocket spring mattresses maintains good sales as an award winning product.”

Whilst most products have eco design principles at the heart of the product, Shire Beds’ EverLife range goes further, being made from recycled products and it is also recyclable at the end of its life.

“EverLife by Shire Beds offers comfort that Feels Good and Does Good. Launched in January 2023 it has seen significant interest and good sales,” Fara revealed. “Often sustainable products are at significantly higher price point. Shire Beds understands in challenging economic circumstances doing good should not be at a price.”

As a leading responsible and experienced manufacturer, Shire Beds believes in the circular economy model as a vital element to protecting the planet. Shire Beds employs ethical and sustainable practises and processes in its


manufacturing. In line with this, Shire Beds has attained FSC certification as a company, and signed the NBF Pledge for the Planet to further its sustainability journey.

“Shire Beds’ EverLife sustainable range saves bottles from going to landfill and polluting the earth’s oceans. The range combines comfort and sustainability to give a restful night’s sleep. The EverLife soft touch sustainable fabric is made of 76% upcycled plastic bottles and is 95% recyclable at the

end of the life of the mattress. It also uses eco clean chemical free FR,” Fara said.

“EverLife complements our biodegradable Heaven 7 range too. EverLife is available in 1,000, 2,000 and 3,000 pocket spring models. The comfort layers as well as the insulator pads are also made of recycled materials and are recyclable or reusable at the end of life. Overall, it is one of the most sustainable mattresses on the market. With high specification

and attractive pricing, it is gaining floor space quickly with retailers.

“We at Shire Beds are becoming a strong must have desirable brand in furniture retail that offers the retailer excellent sales opportunities. The quality offering in line with eco design principles has elevated The Shire Beds brand with a wider range of retailers.

“With the sustainable EverLife range, Shire Beds now has a growing range of sustainable products in our journey of carbon reduction and Net Zero. Join the Shire Beds Feel Good and Do Good movement.”

Shire Beds is becoming a strong must have desirable brand in furniture retail that offers the retailer excellent sales opportunities.

The Bed Expert

Vic Smith, owner of independent beds retailer

Vic Smith Beds, talks about the relationship between retailer and suppliers, and when to know if a relationship has turned sour.

need to have a good relationship with your suppliers or manufacturers. If your suppliers and manufacturers do not work with you, then you need to knock them on the head and find someone else - in my case, that’s beds.

If manufacturers keep letting you down with a bad drawer or forgetting to put the casters in the bed, don’t get funny or throw your toys out the pram. The first time this happens, and it does happen - it’s the real world, you should aim be ahead of this and have some spares, so if a caster breaks or a customer misplaces it when they move house you can give them a spare one. Problem solved = happy customer and they will remember you when they’re buying another bed or product.

Admittedly, in my field you might have to wait 10 years but what we do if a customer needs a replacement part, we will get them to email us a picture then this reaffirms that we have their email and that they have bought goods from us and they have opened up a dialogue with us. Of course, we will email them to come and collect the castor - the castors are all well and good but we will also email other offers too.

What do we do if a manufacturer gets funny or awkward and we’ve all definitely come across this in our industry where you have a manufacturer with a broom up their rear end and gets petty. Well, my answer is you give them two chances. After the second, if it’s not sorted out, then you should drop them like a hot cake and you don’t give them a third chance. Meanwhile, you look at who else can supply you the same goods at the same price and the same delivery times. Do your homework and remember you work for your company not theirs and that you sell their goods to your customers backed by you!

Without naming names, let me give you a great example. We sell a certain bed from a certain company that has recently been bought out and has new management. I’ve been dealing with them for so many years I’ve lost count but now the finance person has the same finesse as a pit bull being stung by a bee and when you pay a bill out of sync, they are so aggressive, which is unnecessary.

We sell beds, but in this instance, it really doesn’t matter if it’s beds, furniture, carpets or washing machines. What I’m going to talk about this month is to any shop or retailer.

To set the scene, you’re selling a product to a customer in one of your stores and for this to work well you

Now, you have to remember they represent their company and if they are overstepping, you need to politely tell them, and then once you have someone else’s product in place, drop them. But be sure to tell them why you have dropped them. Not because you’re getting revenge, not because it will make you feel better with a big smile while drinking an extra cup of coffee. Tell them why are you dropping them so that hopefully they will learn a valuable lesson because if all the customers do the same, they have no business - nothing, and that may be a little bit unfair on the rep or agent and definitely the staff that have been there for years. My old boss used to tell me to ring round other people in the industry that sold their goods. I think that’s a little bit underhand and unnecessary. You just need to focus on your business and that your suppliers are treating you the right way - it is a two-way street. They are not God and neither are you. Every retailer needs suppliers but every supplier needs retailers so when they get it right, thank them because they’re helping your business if they do their job properly. If they’re not, then you are actually hampering your own business.

Remember, it’s a two-way street – so at Christmas we very often send chocolates to all of our suppliers and personalise it to the person on the work bench making our goods, from sales, right down to grass roots level. It doesn’t go unnoticed either and goes a long way to strengthening relationships too.

What are your supplier relationships like?

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Protect-A-Bed talks Bed Show

Gowsh Shan, National Sales Manager at global mattress protection specialist Protect-A-Bed, talks about what’s on show at this month’s NBF Bed Show.

This September, Protect-A-Bed will be showing at the NBF Bed Show in the Telford International Centre. Situated on Stand D28, Protect-A-Bed will be aiming to reinforce its message of why their Platinum Club rewards programme has been very positive and why retailers need to be involved.

“The Platinum Club has been designed to build, recognise and reward success with unique promotional and discount opportunities, sponsored incentives, tailored POS solutions as well as membership rewards,” said Gowsh.

“The Platinum Club has been extremely successful since its creation. We continuously build frameworks that are simple for retailers to implement in order to achieve extremely high sales within the category. We create energy and excitement in a category often overlooked and our ability to turn this into sales growth is phenomenal.”

The Platinum Club is an exclusive bespoke reward system that offers Protect-ABed customers an extra level of support, which is geared to help retailers deliver results. Alongside this, Protect-A-Bed offers a powerful philosophy with regards to customer satisfaction, training and hygiene.

Gowsh continued: “The Platinum Club is only one element of what we do. There are some significant differences between Protect-A-Bed and other inferior mattress protectors. For example, every Protect-A-Bed protector also includes a 10-15 year product guarantee and when bought with a mattress, a 10-15 year anti-stain guarantee.

“Protect-A-Bed will have the mattress professionally cleaned to the customer’s satisfaction or buy the customer a new one if it fails and the mattress was bought with the protector. This promise is significantly powerful and is at the core of our philosophy.

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“It’s in both the store’s and the customer’s interest to purchase Protect-A-Bed mattress protectors. Our specialty is driving in-store performance, so linked mattress and mattress protector sales are extremely high. The customer benefits from a healthy and hygienic sleep zone while the store benefits from increased sales revenue. Every customer who walks through the door, if buying a mattress, needs to buy a mattress protector. It’s in their interest to do so for many reasons.”

As highlighted, hygiene is one of those important reasons. Did you know that the average person sweats up to a pint of fluid a night? With mattress fillings being highly absorbent, a mattress, if unprotected, will absorb “hundreds of pints of sweat” in its first year of use alone. “All of our mattress protectors use a Miracle Membrane, which is waterproof yet breathable and allows body heat to easily pass through, whilst preventing any sweat to enter the mattress,” Gowsh revealed. “The protectors are machine washable, meaning you can keep your sleep zone healthy and hygienic.”

Another key benefit of Protect-A-Bed’s offer is its ability to upskill a team and increase sales revenue by maximising every sales opportunity. In fact, the focus has never been more important on each customer who walks through the shop door, with every sale vital. “With lower footfall in stores, increasing the average order value has never been so important,” says Gowsh. “We have continuously demonstrated in our well-documented achievements in helping retail partners significantly grow sales and we’re keen to reinforce this message at the Bed Show.

“We’re extremely excited to be returning once again this year. As a business we are constantly looking to help drive sales for all of our retail partners and The Bed Show allows a perfect opportunity to discuss how we can significantly grow sales in their Bed’s department. Product innovation is one small element of how we unlock greater sales for our partners.

“The Therapeutics ranges featuring Copper, Graphene and Charcoal mattress protectors have already been a great success. Supporting our innovative mattress protectors is our specialist sales training, which is vital to unlock the sales potential. Our Protect-A-Bed team are incredibly adaptive to support this in any retail environment driving attachment rates to over 70%.

“We can manage every step of the process for you and build a reward scheme through our Protect-A-Bed Platinum Club. Visit our stand at the Bed Show to see our advanced therapeutics range, TV display bays and find out how we can significantly grow sales for your store.”

Protect-A-Bed will be situated at Stand D28.

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The Platinum Club is only one element of what we do. There are some significant differences between Protect-A-Bed and other inferior mattress protectors.

Mammoth unveils next-gen Comfort


the NBF Bed Show.

Another new feature to launch at the Bed Show is AirSpace – a crosssectional air channel that sits between the comfort layers of the mattress on Mammoth’s first-ever pillow-top offering, the Altitude mattress.

Finally, Mammoth will debut it’s all-new Latex HyBlend mattress at the Bed Show. Combining Medical Grade™ foam, pocket springs and a newly created Medical Grade™ latex layer, the HyBlend is a “sumptuous, breathable and pressure-relieving mattress that needs to be experienced to be believed,” as Mike says.

“Mammoth made its name in bringing new ideas, new materials and a new approach to the sleep space. And we’ve continued to stay ahead of the curve by carrying out more research, testing and prototyping as we explore the science of comfort.

For the last decade Mammoth has built a reputation as a leader in health and wellbeing and the brand that brought Medical Grade™ foam and PostureCells® to the mattress market. Scientific testing, health award wins and an exclusive partnership with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy have helped to demonstrate Mammoth’s commitment to innovation and pursuit of excellence.

“Mammoth isn’t a brand that rests on its laurels,” Mike said. “Instead, the team at Mammoth have continued to innovate and develop new technologies, which are ready to bring to the market for the first time this September at the Bed Show.”

In an all-new Comfort collection, Mammoth will showcase a product portfolio that builds on its market-leading technologies by adding a number of “exciting” new features and materials designed to enhance comfort and hygiene.

Among the headline features now available is the brand’s new IceClass™ cool-touch fabric – a thermoregulating textile designed to optimise temperature and keep the skin comfortable through the night. “IceClass™ fabric utilises a Dual Moisture Management system that equalises the hydration balance of the skin, preventing clamminess and ensuring that sleepers never feel too hot or cold,” Mike explained.

“I’m massively excited to be revealing the all-new Comfort collection this September at the Bed Show because I know we have put together a product range that will genuinely make a difference to people’s sleep – helping them live healthier, happier lives.”

The Bed Show will also feature Mammoth’s recently launched Active mattress and a new online-only collection, Mammoth Essentials, which is designed to make Mammoth’s health technologies accessible to all.

Visit Stand A20 at the Bed Show or for stockist information contact

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Hobson, Managing Director at Mammoth, shares an insight into its next generation Comfort collection take will be unveiled during
I’m massively excited to be revealing the all-new Comfort collection this September at the Bed Show because I know we have put together a product range that will genuinely make a difference to people’s sleep.

Vogue’s One Stop Shop

Bilkis Patel, Director at beds and mattress manufacturer Vogue Beds, talks about the evolution of the company, providing a one stop shop for its customers.

“We wanted to introduce imported frames and like everything else we release; we wanted to add a twist and make it ‘Vogue’ which is how the idea of upholstered head end boards came about – even making our imported wooden bedframes unique.”

Predominantly Vogue manufactures mattresses, but the business are also opportunists, and Bilkis says this is great opportunity to target a new audience while adding to its own profile of products.

“Our new frames are a fantastic addition to our current range that we already offer to customers, who can continue to buy our mattresses, while having the option to purchase headboards, divans, and bedframes from us too,” Bilkis said. “Like always we are striving to be a ‘one stop shop’ and give our customer base what they want.

“We like to think we have done a lot in the last 30 years, but most importantly, we’ve helped over a million people get a good night’s sleep.”

The Vogue Beds Group operates from its head office and factory in Barwell just outside of Leicester. The factory itself was previously one of George Wards shoe factories, one of the UK’s largest shoe and boot manufacturers. Some of G Ward’s Companies Ledgers books from the 1920’s can still be viewed in the factory today.

The Vogue Beds Group started to repurpose the factory in 1993 and have continuously improved and worked on the site for it to become the 60,000sqft centre of manufacturing excellence it is today. The factory now also features its own photography studio, research and development area and Factory Direct shop.

The founder of the Vogue Bed Group Ebrahim Patel has spent all his working life in the bed and mattress industry. He became president of the National Bed Federation (NBF) in 2015. The group is still very family orientated with other members of Ebrahim’s family working within the business, including his daughter Bilkis, along with many members of the manufacturing team, which have worked for The Vogue Beds Group of over 20 years.

“We have been constantly innovating with different products and ideas ever since the inception of Vogue and have been determined to provide our customers with a place they can buy mattresses and all types of bases and headboards,” explains Bilkis.

“We wanted to create a one stop for our customers, giving them the opportunity to have a variety of mattress ranges from your traditional mattress to an eco-friendly sustainable range. We also manufacture our own bedsteads and bedframes here in our factory but have recently started a new venture, Vogue Imports however again not without adding our own twist to the product.

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We like to think we have done a lot in the last 30 years, but most importantly, we’ve helped over a million people get a good night’s sleep.

Inside EZ Living Interiors’ new Coleraine store

Furniture and home accessories retailer EZ Living Interiors has announced the grand opening of their 18th store, located in Coleraine, Londonderry.

The new EZ Living Interiors store marks a significant milestone for the company as it proudly extends its reach further north than ever before, while creating eight new jobs locally.

Situated in Riverside Retail Park, the new store boasts two floors showcasing a wide array of furniture collections from sofas and dining sets to mattresses, bedroom and living room furniture, as well as garden furniture and home accessories.

“We are excited to bring our unique offerings to the Coleraine community and beyond. Our 18th store, the northernmost yet, reflects our dedication to continuously expanding and adapting to the changing needs and preferences of our customers,” said Gavin White, Director at EZ Living Interiors.

As EZ Living Interiors continues to evolve and grow, the company remains

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committed to staying at the forefront of changing trends, whilst keeping the customer experience at the fore of everything they do.

As a family-owned company, now celebrating 35 years in business, EZ Living Interiors strive to create a comfortable, welcoming environment in store.

“From sales to delivery and after-care, we aim to go above and beyond and exceed customer expectations every time,” Gavin added. “This dedication to customer service sets us apart, and has allowed us to grow a large base of loyal customers.

“The new store has been very well received and we couldn’t be happier to open the doors. To everyone who came along, we loved having you instore. There were

lots of fun, giveaways and summer savings to be had.”

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Our 18th store, the northernmost yet, reflects our dedication to continuously expanding and adapting to the changing needs and preferences of our customers.


Clarity and Clearance

Gareth Price, UK Divisional Manager at Lynch Sales Company, talks about how using their service can be an effective way in generating extra revenue on redundant products and why it’s better than a typical ‘clearance’ event.

“Some retailers mount warehouse sales, unfortunately these also show perfectly good products in a poor light. Running an offsite sale requires marketing spend, disruption to services and a division of resources, so why run it there?”

Anyone experiencing an increase in costs inevitably looks at ways to cut back on unnecessary spending. This is all very sensible so long as this doesn’t also negatively impact income. Making the right decision about what is necessary while under pressure is tough.

“I was lucky enough to work in companies that had borrowings, experienced cash flow challenges, rented expensive space, had too many buyers and frequently inadequate logistics,” Gareth explains. “It concentrated the mind. It made us constantly check warehouses, push out deliveries and identify items that had become stagnant.

“This discipline is also extended to the sales floor. Why is that product in the range? What are the sales? Is it any good? How is it serviced? Am I proud of it? If I had a choice, would I buy it again? It made me unpopular with buyers and suppliers, but my stock was pretty clean, sales were above company average and margins better than most.”

Gareth says that furniture retailers should also take a critical look at the stock in their business. What is an asset and what is a liability? “Every retailer has valid reasons to refresh their ranges, try something new and flush out deranged products,” he said. “Every piece of stock has history and clearance will always be part of our story.

“Redundant stock blocks the arteries of a business, creating physical clutter and undermines presentation,” Gareth continued. “Identifying what is surplus is the first stage in getting clean. Shifting it is the next. Many retailers create clearance areas, either within the store or online. Unfortunately, these products are usually stored in low footfall areas or the final button on their website. Out of context, unloved.

Gareth added that a Lynch Sale brings “customers to your store so they can see your full range, stock for immediate sale and items available to order”. Incorporating a Lynch Sale, the showroom will have higher density but won’t be turned into a warehouse, with sold items aimed be moved off quickly, allowing replenishment and remerchandising.

“There should always be a price differential between a new order and something that may have been on display for a while, but it doesn’t have to be “slash & burn” if it’s presented and promoted properly,” Gareth revealed. “Sometimes a product needs a dozen people to see it, sometimes hundreds before you find the customer that loves it. Margin misery is mitigated by a good percentage of orders at sale prices. It’s all in the mix.

“A Lynch Sale will bring new customers to your store, clear out unwanted stock, improve your cash flow, create a buzz in your business and set the stage for new, exciting developments.”

For more information call Gareth Price 07974 209761.

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A Lynch Sale will bring new customers to your store, clear out unwanted stock, improve your cash flow, create a buzz in your business and set the stage for new, exciting developments.

Design Central prepares for North West event

Cath McCubbin, Design Central’s Managing Director, shares an insight into the upcoming North West event as well as the launch of its new show app.

Cath continued: “We’re delighted to introduce our new app, which has been designed to be a companion for the show. The Design Central App is all you need for visiting this month’s show and beyond.

“Lots of time and investment has gone into the app to enhance our visiting experience. There’s no other industry event that has an app, so we’re proud to be pioneering this technology.

“The app can be downloaded on both Android and Apple. We can’t wait to hear the feedback when visitors attend Design Central North West.”

Organisers of the Design Central North West interiors event are anticipating a busy two days in Cheshire.

Taking place from 26-27 September 2023 at Capesthorne Hall on Congleton Road in Siddington, Macclesfield, the event is free to attend for visitors and offers free parking.

The show will feature a variety of exhibitors across the furnishing and interiors industry, showcasing the latest products and design trend, as well as new launches and collections.

Furthermore, a number of talks with special industry guests will be on show, with topics including how to successfully market an interior design business, home automation and interior coordination.

Cath McCubbin, Design Central’s Managing Director, said: “We are counting down to our interiors event, Design Central North West

at Capesthorne Hall on 26th & 27th September.

“Interior professionals are welcome to join us and experience a truly inspirational event and view stunning collections of fabrics, wallcoverings, furniture, flooring, lighting, furnishings, accessories and so much more.

“We have a selection of daily industry talks and masterclass sessions for our North West show - you can view our amazing line up of guests on our website now.

“Design Central events are well established and are recognised by The British Institute of Interior Design. It is our philosophy that trade events like these should have a great selection of exhibitors, be inspiring, educational and free to attend.”

Furthermore, Design Central has announced the launch of its new app, a first for a furnishing industry trade show, which went live at the start of September.


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We’re delighted to introduce our new app, which has been designed to be a companion for the

Visualising the furniture retail space

Navigating the competitive labyrinth of the 21st-century retail landscape is no easy task. Yet, one key element has shown its transformative power in setting businesses apart from the crowd— personalisation.

As consumers evolve and their demands for unique, personalised connections with brands increase, personalisation has become a driving force that spurs customer loyalty and satisfaction. In a world where data reigns supreme, retailers are capitalising on the rich information customers provide to tailor unique shopping experiences that create an indelible impression on the minds of customers.

This article delves into the importance of personalisation in retail, exploring the ways in which retailers can employ customer engagement strategies, marketing tactics, and innovative tools like Space Designer to construct a shopping journey that doesn’t merely end at a purchase, but continues to enhance the customer experience and bolster brand loyalty.

One of the most potent tools in a retailer’s arsenal for personalising the shopping experience is through product recommendations. By harnessing machine learning algorithms and data analytics, retailers can suggest products that seamlessly align with each customer’s unique interests, preferences, and past purchasing behaviour. By integrating trailblazing tools like Space Designer into their platforms, retailers can empower customers to virtually visualise products in their spaces, or their envisioned future spaces.

This virtual visualisation is not a mere add-on but a decision-making tool, allowing customers to see how a product would fit into their space before purchasing, especially within the furniture and furnishings industry.

“Space Designer is an advanced visualisation SaaS platform designed to make 2D and 3D space planning and product visualisation accessible,” says Leah. “Our platform is particularly popular in the furniture industry, allowing both businesses and consumers to visualise products in real-time within a space.

“Retailers can provide a design service for their clients and also integrate the software onto their website, acting as a lead generation tool and for their customers to design

Leah Fayal, International Business Developer at Space Designer, shares an insight into its advanced visualisation tool, which is proving to be popular in the furniture space.

their spaces with their products. This leads to an increase in sales, an improvement of marketing workflows, and an enhanced customer journey.”

Currently, Space Designer has formed partnerships with a range of furniture brands, including OLG Office, FurnLink by Trendline and My Outdoor Kitchen, to name but a few. Looking to build on these partnerships, Leah shares just what to expect. “When retailers collaborate with us, they’re equipped with a suite of tools that can elevate their online and offline customer experience. Features like AR, 3D product visualisation, and custom catalogs enable retailers to offer immersive shopping experiences. With the backend admin access, retailers can manage user accounts, their 3D product catalog, and more. Our platform seamlessly integrates with retail websites, ensuring a streamlined process from design visualisation to checkout.”

This year has been quite positive for Space Designer as more retailers are seeing the value in providing customers with interactive design and visualisation tools, which has seen a surge in their platform adoption. “Month-on-month, we’ve seen a consistent increase in new partnerships and users,” Leah revealed. “For the remainder of the year, we’re focused on enhancing the user experience and adding more features based on feedback from our partners. We’re also in discussions with several other furniture brands and hope to announce new partnerships soon. Additionally, our R&D team is exploring ways to integrate more augmented reality features to make the shopping journey even more immersive.”

Through their collaborations with furniture industry businesses, Leah says they’ve observed a growing interest in integrating AR and VR technologies into the furniture shopping

experience. She continued: “Consumers are seeking more interactive and realistic ways to visualise their potential purchases. Additionally, with the rise of remote work and home office setups, there’s been a surge in demand for office furniture visualisation and planning.

“We believe that the future of furniture retail lies in the perfect blend of creativity and technology. Our mission at Space Designer is to continually push the boundaries of what’s possible, ensuring that both businesses and consumers have the best tools at their disposal to visualise, design and shop.”

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Consumers are seeking more interactive and realistic ways to visualise their potential purchases.

Siren’s call to Open Showroom

Andrew Kerr, Director at Siren Furniture, talks about new product development as the business prepares to host an open showroom at its Long Eaton premises.

“We are pleased to announce that we will take our place alongside renowned brands at the Autumn Long Point Furniture Exhibition,” said Andrew. “Housed in the Mill, we specialise in innovative design and development, with our talented team committed to crafting products with comfort as standard and luxury to last.”

“In a conscious effort to reduce our environmental impact, we prioritise responsible sourcing of timber from responsibly managed forests, recycled material, and other controlled sources.”

As an FSC® certified designer and manufacturer of made-to-order upholstered furniture, Siren prides itself on delivering “superior quality products, with conscious strides towards sustainability and high customer service standards”. This has led the brand to be recognised as a trusted supplier amongst reputable retailers, including John Lewis and Swoon, as well as the independent furniture retail sector.

“All our sofas undergo strict performance testing, and components and fabrics are tested to ensure the best value for customers and the end consumer,” Andrew revealed. “Every design comes with a 10-year frame guarantee, reinforcing Siren’s dedication to durability and customer satisfaction.

Based in the iconic Harrington Mill in Long Eaton, the traditional heartland of the UK upholstery industry, Siren Furniture was established in 2000 as a designer and sourcing manufacturer of quality upholstered furniture.

This month, Siren is inviting both new and existing customers to their location for its Open Showroom event during Long Point. Taking place from 18th - 20th September 2023, the open event will showcase recent upholstery furniture designs in the latest textile covers, plus much more.

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Amy Alice

“Our open showroom will unveil our recently launched Alice and Amy sofas, which have been upholstered in new variations. Visitors to the event can expect to see new and exclusive sofa designs showcased in new covers alongside our diverse range of sofas, armchairs and sofa beds.

“Our team of experts are also on hand to discuss the recent introduction of responsibly sourced materials in our determination to adopt more sustainable innovations. This is part of our efforts to reduce waste and its impact on the environment but without compromising our steadfast dedication to quality and comfort. One notable step-change is the greater use of recycled and repurposed fillings.”

Siren’s proactive approach to implementing supply chain innovations and working with sustainable suppliers has seen the brand sustain growth in an industry environment that continues to be impacted by global challenges. Siren has continued to develop its own range of made-to-order collections, alongside building partnerships and collaborations with retailers to create and manufacture exclusive designs.

Long Point is hosted in Autumn and Spring by the Long Eaton Guild of Furniture Manufacturers – a collective of furniture makers in the historical town of Long Eaton who work together to uphold a reputation as the UK Centre of Upholstery.

“As a member of the Guild, Siren will host an open showroom along with other leading UK and International brands, demonstrating the collective of talented designers, artisans and suppliers in the area - the majority of which, including Siren, are housed within the once working mills,” Andrew said.

“This makes for a highly appealing location that is steeped in traditional British textile and manufacturing heritage, but ultimately provides utmost convenience for retailers to easily access and connect with multiple exhibitors. We look forward to welcoming our guests during the open event.”

Our open showroom will unveil our recently launched Alice and Amy sofas, which have been upholstered in new variations.

New Product Highlights


The luxurious Amy oozes sophistication. Curvaceous and comfortable, its curved lines give way to a supportive wrap-around back, inviting you to sink into it at the end of a long day. An ideal choice for open living spaces, this statement piece comes with plump feather and foam cushions.


The Alice range provides sumptuous comfort and relaxed elegance, combining quality craftsmanship and materials to deliver a modern interpretation on a classic high-back design.


Siren’s most comfortable sofa ever. Unrivalled comfort is often heard from those who have experienced Freya. A modular range, Freya is easily configured to suit any shape and size of room and is offered with a wide range of fabrics to suit every taste. Freya has recently been redeveloped to introduce recyled fillings and components sourced with a keen eye on sustainability - without sacrificing its supreme comfort and quality.

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Take a seat with Couch & Co

John Wilson, Director at Couch & Co, talks about how their first year has been so far while sharing an insight ahead of the upcoming Long Point show.

Officially launched in January this year at its showroom in West End Mills, Long Eaton, Couch & Co has been busy implementing its vision and products into the market. Getting to know the brand, John explained a bit more about the upholstered furniture manufacturer. “We chose Long Eaton for its heritage of quality furniture and the architecture of the buildings, that not only provide a fabulous backdrop for our sofas, but also suit the style and mood we wanted to create.

“We are small, but passionate, close-knit bunch, that have over 150 years’ experience in the UK furniture industry, and we have pooled our knowledge and experience together, as well as our established networks across the industry, to produce our exciting new ranges of furniture, which are created with style and comfort at their core.”

Couch & Co’s dedicated team is made up of partners John Wilson and John Collinson, with Dee Birch taking care of all things sales and service related, while Kristina Storrar has been appointed in the role of Product Merchandiser, where she looks after customers through direct store visits and retail training support.

“Our whole team, throughout our careers are united and dedicated in our vision to supply high quality, commercial furniture for our retail partners, with focus on the detail throughout the whole process,” John revealed. “We work with the most talented designers, fabric mills, tanneries, production and distribution teams, in conjunction with our global connections, to find the right manufacturing partners for the different designs and comfort levels that the style-conscious consumer looks for in their furniture for home.”

Following the successful launch, it soon became apparent that more space was required to show its ranges to their best advantage, and they were “lucky enough” to be able to acquire further space for a second showroom next door to its existing space. In April of this year, the business implemented an extensive refurbishment programme with the aim to swing open the doors in line for Spring’s Long Point event.

“Our showroom refurb project was completed in time for our first Spring Long Point exhibition, where we premiered our fabulous new Scandinavian collection, which was incredibly

well received, right across the board,” John said. “This range offers some of the most comfortable, multi-function recliner chairs and sofas, produced using unique space age technology with high density cold-cure moulded foam cushioning and with added heat and massage available, there’s something to suit everyone’s comfort requirements.

“In addition, our zero gravity ergonomically designed recliner chairs provide the ultimate in physical wellness with their ideal weight distribution which reduces stress on different parts of the body, improving blood circulation, reduced joint inflammation, back pain and spinal cord compression.

“Our static furniture collection goes from strength to strength, and we will be showcasing some stunning new designs at this Autumn’s show, integrated within both of our different showrooms. Our collections are available in a range of beautiful boucle’s, super soft chenille’s and some of the finest top grain leathers from around the world, coupled with our stunning range of accent cushions.”

John added that whilst the team is excited to be launching new models at this Autumn’s Long Point, the business has another announcement too. John revealed: “We’re thrilled to announce we will be launching our website at the show, which will see computer generated 3D imagery of each of our models in their best-selling leathers and fabrics, all in the most stunning room settings.

“If you are unable to attend the Long Point exhibition from the 18th to the 20th of September, our showrooms are open by appointment all year round and for your very own personal viewing experience simply email me at or Kristina at”


Long Point Preview

The Long Eaton Guild’s Long Point Exhibition takes place from 18 – 20 September and will showcase an array of designs covering a wide selection of upholstery, cabinets, bedroom furniture and accessories. We take a look at what’s on show.

The Long Eaton Guild have held trade exhibitions here in the East Midlands for over 50 years. Originally known as ‘Long Eaton Week’, it was often held in May with strawberries and cream, and, at some locations stilton!

Long Eaton has become a hub for quality furniture and since the 1980’s, the show was changed to Long Point to resemble that of the United States largest furniture exhibition located in High Point, North Carolina.

The exhibition continues to get stronger year-on-year and with 2023’s edition upon us, exhibitors include Artistic Upholstery, Iain James Furniture, Alexander & James, Alpha Designs, Ashley Manor, Baker Furniture, Carlton Furniture, Contrast Upholstery, Collins & Hayes, Couch & Co, G Plan, David Gundry, Parker Knoll, ercol, Siren Furniture, Wiemann, Bluebone, Spink & Edgar, Tetrad, Westbridge, Tamarisk, Warwick Fabrics, Kesterport, Libra, Ashwood Designs, Steed Upholstery, Gascoigne Designs, Violino and Duresta.

Andrew J Mitchell, Chairman of the Long Eaton Guild, comments: “Long Point continues to be the UK’s most enjoyable and relaxed Furniture Exhibition. Our Autumn show is the perfect event for retailers, manufacturers and suppliers to meet and discuss new collections.

“If you haven’t visited us before, then I invite you to take a day or two of your time to come and see why we are known as the most enjoyable and relaxed quality furniture show in the UK. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.”

Denver by Wiemann Harvard by Duresta Bluebone York by Parker Knoll

Reborn calls for action on mattress component fraud

Paul Beckett, founder of Bye Bye Beds and creator of Reborn, shares an update its progress, new developments and a call for a ban on mattress recycler’s selling components to the industry without thorough due diligence.

Since its inception back in 2019, Bye Bye Beds and its Reborn brand has been making waves within the mattress recycling sector – an area which sees around seven million mattresses currently in landfill. In May 2022, we first spoke to its founder, Paul Beckett, on the future of mattress recycling, why its brand was going to be an industry game-changer and his ambitions for the future.

Over a year or so on, we caught up with Paul to find out just how the business has developed. He said: “The last year has been exciting, very challenging but also very rewarding as we start to see the benefits of our continued commitment and dedication in offering both the environment and the industry a long overdue solution for post-consumer mattresses.

“We stay strongly assured that our Reborn business model is the only viable and scalable solution to tackle the route cause issues of this historical problem. We still have a long, long

way to go to perfect our operation but I am convinced that the imminent re-location of our Reborn brand into much larger premises, is pivotal in the showcasing of its growth potential.

“Yes, it is disappointing that many mattress recyclers cannot see, or, choose not to see, the overall benefits, but we are adamant that we will not simply allow the traditional mattress recycling gate fee to be increased as the separated mattress component values and the demand for it reduces.

“It’s very simple that unless we raise the value of the separated components, mattress recyclers will be forced to landfill/divert to EfW these materials. It’s also very simple that the traditional and historical bad practice of selling components such as foam blocks and springs back out into the industry is not a long term, viable solution, both of which will no doubt result in the cost to dispose of a mattress increasing.

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“As harsh as it may sound Bye Bye Bed Ltd are not willing to put profits before principle, without doing our very best to help the industry. I am confident that one day, our commitment to doing what is right will pay dividends. Maybe, just maybe, an organisation also looking at the bigger picture and wondering where to dispose of their EoL mattresses will see our four-year dedication and continued drive to implement change, and they will choose Bye Bye Bed Ltd as their recycling facility for the future.

“We have incredible sales volume and financial growth, currently running at 892%, which has allowed us to reinvest into the business, increasing our scope and capability, allowing us to develop new and additional product variants. We will continue to do so until we have perfected our product range and clearly set benchmarks against legal compliance, eco design and integrity.”

As you can tell, it’s been a busy year since we last spoke. To celebrate its efforts to date, the business has received a number of accolades from various bodies recognising its achievements. These include recently receiving the ‘Global Good Award –GOLD’ in the ‘CIRCULAR ECONOMY’ category, with judges endorsing its business model as ‘ethically and socially responsible’. Furthermore, the team at Bye Bye Beds has grown too, rising by 35%, which is due to increase further with the move to the new larger Reborn premises.

The successes haven’t come without challenges though, as Paul continued: “Sourcing raw materials has proved challenging, with our demand currently outstripping in-house available raw materials, despite there being an abundance of suitable materials in mattresses that are disposed of through landfill, and despite approaching traditional recyclers to purchase their reclaimed materials. With nearly seven million end-of-life mattresses being disposed of yearly, this is the one thing I wouldn’t have thought we would struggle to get.”


Another area Paul highlighted before was seeking investment to take the model to the next level. However, with business booming, the need for external investors has not been a limiting factor on its growth. “Reborn has performed way in excess of our planned volume figures and EBITDA. This success is one of the drivers creating demand for additional raw materials, unit sales are pushing production to its maximum capability, due to constraints on space, which is soon to be addressed by our new premises. Part of this success is the addition of new product variations to increase customer choice.

“Being purely still self-funded to date, our profits are ploughed back in to strategically help our growth. As much as an investment would fast track our plans, we have to ensure that any investor would be in it for the right reasons. We stand firm that our principles come before profits and that profits will follow by doing what is right; for the right reasons. I’ve been cautious on this front, aware that the realistic value of our business is much greater than you could justify on paper. I liken it to ‘Dragons Den’ and the valuations some of the entrepreneurs’ place on their new businesses, with the Dragon’s asking the dreaded question ‘how have you arrived at that?’. I know from the previous few years of volume and demand increases we’re getting, that the next five years will see incredible growth, hugely increasing our EBITDA value, and though it may be a little tougher in the short term, in the longer term this decision will pay dividends.”

As Paul mentioned, the new larger premises will be a catalyst for future growth where it can manufacture the new Reborn ranges. Paul also added that there are some “very exciting projects” on the horizon inside and outside the mattress industry. There are plans for six new Sigma manufacturing lines, offering new capabilities and products, which has already created customer interest and demand, and will further enhance its material use, getting the business closer to 100% reused and recycled materials. The company is currently developing a brand-new mobile application to streamline its goods inward and outward, which will tie into its CRM system to enhance the overall customer experience, making it more efficient and responsive.

Aside from the internal company investments and developments, Paul also highlighted an issue that needs addressing, while calling for a ban on mattress recycler’s selling components to the industry without thorough due diligence on its intended use. It’s understood that when using current estimates, if the additional 4.8million mattresses currently sent to landfill were ‘recycled’ in the traditional manner, mattress fraud could potentially hit £240m. Paul asks the blunt question, “how would that impact your business?”

“From the 6.8million mattresses disposed of in the UK each year, surely as an industry we should utilise our skills and take advantage of this great opportunity to ethically and transparently re-manufacture a plethora of sustainably manufactured products, which not only offers the only scalable

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and financially viable solution to the landfill crisis, but naturally puts an end to the mattress fraud that the bedding industry have been looking to resolve for over a decade. Not only that, it offers the consumer a choice never seen before.

“There is reportedly a £100m a year mattress fraud, with rogue manufacturers making mattresses from reclaimed materials, or worse, simply putting a new outer cover on an old, dirty, used mattress – no cleaning, no fire testing, certification, sanitisation or mattress integrity. We have actually purchased these products, cut them open and inspected them ourselves, and seen these products in our recycling facility. Traditional recyclers are selling harvested materials from old mattresses, or, complete mattresses to rogue manufacturers, borne out of the fact there is no money in simply recycling mattresses, as the recycling gate fees need to be competitive with landfill charges, traditional recyclers see the only profitable route being to sell components to rogue manufacturers.

“The downside of this practice impacts negatively on the mattress industry, with sellers advertising unrealistic prices all over social media and online, with prices for complete products less than the actual raw material cost. Reputable manufacturers and retailers are forced to cut their margins to compete as consumers have an expectation of what prices they should pay for their new mattresses. In comparison, the Bye Bye/Reborn proposition to recyclers should minimise and eventually eliminate the rogue element from mattress manufacturing and retailing.

“Bye Bye Bed Ltd. will buy their reclaimed materials at the same price they are currently selling out to rogue manufacturers, cutting off, or minimising the supply of raw materials to rogue manufacturers, eliminating any negative financial impact on the recyclers themselves. Materials sold to Bye Bye Bed Ltd, are then traceable, auditable, and the materials are used in ethical, environmentally friendly, sustainable, responsible manufacturing of legally compliant products, fire tested and sanitised to new levels of cleanliness, with planned recycling and reuse at the product end-of-life, contributing to a genuine circular economy.

“These products are then sold and clearly identified as made from recycled materials and components, giving the end consumer a choice between a new product made from virgin raw materials, or a Reborn product manufactured from recycled materials, at a recycled product price. Not everyone can afford the price tag of a luxuriously manufactured product but that doesn’t mean that they should not be offered the same comfort and quality level that fits within their budget.”

This also plays into consumer education too, which remains a key element of Paul’s model. “Crucially, there isn’t anyone else manufacturing recycled products in the way we do, and consumers are surprised, but incredibly positive when they are exposed to our model and products. It’s a slow process to

increase consumer awareness without throwing a huge amount of money at marketing – which means adding to our prices, unrealistically inflating them.

“There is so much going on at the moment, it is genuinely very exciting. Every day seems to bring new opportunities or potential, our manufacturing is getting stronger, orders are increasing and with the larger space, it will open up the opportunity for more clients to get involved and take advantage of our ethical recycling route. We welcome these potential clients to get in touch now or at the Bed Show (on stand D20) to discuss their requirements in detail.”

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There isn’t anyone else manufacturing recycled products in the way we do, and consumers are surprised, but incredibly positive when they are exposed to our model and products.

Green Retail

In the next part of our ongoing sustainable series, we take a deeper look at beds retailer Bensons for Beds and what they are doing in terms of sustainability.

The topic of sustainability continues to be of great importance. From product innovations such as bottlefilled mattresses to greener practices and initiatives, businesses are also adapting new ways of working to make their operations more sustainable. In the next instalment of our series, we explore more of Bensons for Beds’ green credentials.

Bensons for Beds

As part of Bensons’ commitment to sustainability, the business has developed its own initiative, named ‘Bensons Together’, alongside a wider goal of 2040 targets. Detailed in the ‘Bensons Together’ strategy, it highlights current achievements and future plans. Such wins include energy efficiency progress, with all new stores being fitted with LED lighting, while also having generally smaller footprint. LED lighting installation also commenced at its manufacturing facility.

Bensons has also expanded its Sustainability & ESG team, leading to increased monitoring and scrutinization of energy data, while launching a mandatory climate change training for all employees, which includes several campaigns, such as Every Saving Week - a campaign in April that targets behaviour change in the workplace and at home through various in-house communication channels.

“Our Sustainability Focus Group (SFG), a group collaborating across all

business departments, have together created the Group’s first sustainability strategy. This has been led by a dedicated team. Bensons Together is an appropriate name, as our people have used the opportunity to contribute and bring alive the sustainability strategy within the business,” Bensons said.

“The strategy reflects the holistic nature of sustainability and goes beyond improving the impact on the environment. Improving Bensons impact in a sustainable way on our customers, our suppliers, our planet, our people and our community is central to Bensons Together. These stakeholders make up the five pillars to the framework that sits behind the strategy. Each pillar has a high-level objective which defines where Bensons want to be as a business and our specific targets sits under these objectives.

“Bensons are committed to transparency in how we develop our targets and how we are progressing in meeting them. We have created a roadmap so we can start to ramp up focus on improving our impact on our key stakeholders. To ensure it is kept relevant we will be reviewing our strategy each year.”

In the new financial period, Bensons said it is working on defining its sciencebased targets which will feature in the next version of the Bensons Together report. Furthermore, and alongside Bensons Together, the company has been busy with several other initiatives that link into its overall strategy. These include signing the British Retail Consortium’s Diversity & Inclusion charter, supporting Absolute Radio’s Cash for Kids campaign by donating 100 mattresses, bedframes and pillows to children living in bed poverty, the introduction of a cycle to work scheme and gym


discount, as well as improving its mattress recycling proposition with customers old mattresses being recovered as energy from waste, and zero going to landfill.

BensonsForBedsManufacturing Limited, the manufacturing division of the business, has also signed up to the National Bed Federations (NBF) Pledge for our Planet. “We understand that unless we take the whole industry with us on this journey, we will face even more barriers. That’s why we are involved in BRC groups, NBF committees and several forums sharing best practice,” Bensons said.

“We continued to partner with The British Heart Foundation during the period. In particular, we are proud that partnering with The British Heart Foundation helps to find new homes for beds that might otherwise have been sent to landfill.”

Taking a closer look at Bensons’ targets moving forward, in 2024, the business aims to be a zero to landfill company, have a complete supply chain map, provide a softs recycling scheme and to also provide a bedframe and bedroom furniture recycling scheme. Roll on a year, key targets include to recycle 30% of its customers old mattresses, that all flexible plastic packaging to contain >30% recycled plastic, that 100% of tier 1 suppliers to have set a Net Zero target and to also provide 300 cumulative hours of sleep education.

Looking further ahead, by 2027 Bensons will operate a 100% electric company car fleet and have a sustainability ranking on every product, while seeing a 50% reduction in recovered waste. The following year in 2028 Bensons will have 100% LED lighting across its entire estate, while recycling 75% of its customers old mattresses.

By 2030 Bensons hopes to achieve Net Zero (Scope 2 (Electricity) Emissions) status and that 100% responsibly sourced timber materials are used in its products, while

also recycling 75% of its customers old bedframes, divans and bedroom furniture. The business aims to be 100% supplied by renewable electricity and to achieve 100% recyclable packaging. By 2034 Bensons aims to remove natural gas from its estate and in 2035, operate a 100% low carbon delivery fleet with 100% of customer deliveries made via low carbon vehicles. Then by 2040, the ultimate aim reaching Net Zero (Scope 3 (indirect) Emissions) status.

“We’re adopting the National Bed Federation’s (NBF) 2028 industry goal to recycle 75% of mattresses. So, by 2028 we want to ensure that for every mattress sold, we’re recycling the equivalent of 75% of that quantity,” Bensons said. “However, we have a long way to go to get to our 2028 target, which is why we’ve also included an interim target for 2025. We don’t just sell mattresses, so we want to recycle 75% of our customers old bedframes, divans and bedroom furniture by 2030 too.

“Currently only a small percentage of our waste gets sent to landfill. We want to reduce that to zero by 2024. We also want to reduce the amount of waste we send to be recovered at energy-fromwaste facilities. So, we’ve set ourselves a further target to reduce this by 50% by 2027.

“All of our own brand products made here in the UK under our Slumberland, Staples & Co and Simply by Bensons ranges contain only responsibly sourced timber components. We want to increase this to 100% across all of the products we sell that contain timber-related components by 2030.” sustainability

Big Furniture Magazine #13
We understand that unless we take the whole industry with us on this journey, we will face even more barriers.

Fresh concepts following £400k investment

Northern Ireland’s leading destination for contemporary European furniture Algram Modern Living has announced the opening of its store following a major refurbishment, designed to reinforce its reputation as a showcase for excellence in interiors.

Launching the showroom, Company Director Darius Graham said: “Customers look to us to present them with fresh concepts in furniture by introducing them to bold new brands and by showcasing key pieces which blend enduring style with the highest quality. That ethos demands an ambitious and appropriate setting which is exactly what this latest investment delivers. The refurbished showroom provides the perfect backdrop for a curation of fabulous furniture which is totally unrivalled in this region.

“Since it was established in 1958 Algram has been at the bustling heart of Ballymena and, throughout Northern Ireland, our business has long been a byword for quality

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Algram Modern Living has transformed its purpose-built premises at Bridgewater House in the heart of Ballymena, County Antrim, completed a three phase £400,000 investment in fitout and presentation, creating a unique and high end showroom unlike anything on the island.
Customers look to us to present them with fresh concepts in furniture by introducing them to bold new brands and by showcasing key pieces which blend enduring style with the highest quality.

products and outstanding service. As we became increasingly recognised for our specialism in sophisticated high end contemporary design not readily available elsewhere, that reputation grew across this island of Ireland. Today we are resolutely focussed on modern design, but the original heritage values which were the foundation of our success continue to be reflected in how we operate and, indeed, in the suppliers with whom we partner.”

Amongst those internationally acclaimed partners are many of the big-hitters in contemporary furniture design, notably Bonaldo, Cattelan, Koinor, Ligne Roset, Incanto and ROM, with others set to follow.

At Algram Modern Living 20,000 square feet of showroom space provides the perfect opportunity to display a vast range of furniture to advantage, encouraging customers to admire at leisure.

“The internet has its place in this sector as in any other but, at the upper end of the market, customers still want to connect with the furniture; to see and touch it for themselves. They choose to take time over their purchases because these are investment pieces which will grace their homes for many years to come; which is why we have created an engaging environment in which to explore emerging trends, browse and buy, with expert service on hand to support their choices,” the business said.

“The reimagining of the Algram Modern Living concept has raised the bar in terms of presentation and design to a level never before seen in Northern Ireland. The move equips us to serve our customers for years to come and reinforces our determination to be the go-to all-island destination for those who want the very best of contemporary European design for their homes.”


Inside Loom Loft’s new store

us round their new store in Bolton.

Loom Loft Furniture and Interiors recently announced the opening of its new store in Bolton. Situated in Astley Bridge, the new store, formerly the Global Interiors premises, has undergone an extensive refurbishment and becomes the company’s third location.

The family-owned business, which opened their first flagship store and The Loft bistro in 2019 at Barrow Brook, Clitheroe, Lancashire, followed by a second ‘Select’ store at The Mill Batley, West Yorkshire in 2021, opened the new store on 12th August.

“We are proud to announce our new Loom Loft ‘Select’ Furniture & Interiors store is now open at Astley Bridge,” Boyd said. “The concept store showcases a hand-picked selection of products from our flagship familyowned store located at Barrow. Our business has a strong ethos of working with bespoke and independent UK manufacturers and suppliers.”

Loom Loft Furniture, which operates its main head office, warehousing and 40,000sqft logistics hub from Junction 7 business park in Clayton Le Moors, has seen an instant impact since opening, with customers enjoying the new store.

“We were very pleased to get the doors open after a huge effort with the building renovation programme over

the last two months. We can’t thank all our contractors’ teams enough,” Boyd said. “We have a fantastic team of employees who have all been greatly involved. It took a great team effort with all hands on deck to get the store prepped and ready.

“There is always a risk as a business owner when taking on new projects with significant financial outlay but we couldn’t be more pleased with the feedback, orders and enquiries on the opening weekend from the Bolton store customers. What was also pleasing was the distance many people had travelled to come and see the store.

“Hopefully it’s hitting the spot with something different in the marketplace with the Loom Loft brand. We are really happy with the new starters who have made an immediate impact working alongside our existing senior

management team. We will continue to train and up-skill the team and we have a really interesting selection of furniture and interiors to be added over the coming months.”

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This month we’re asking retailers, what has a customer said that has momentarily left you speechless?

We received some of the early samples from the DFS Vegan range - which are made out of pineapple. When a customer was enquiring about the sofas in store, they asked ‘when is the sell by date?’. No, they weren’t joking.

The one that left me speechless was the lady who complained to me that the smell of food from our popular instore café was affecting her ability to purchase a sofa. We have never had any complaints before or since regarding this!

I once got offered to go home and ‘test’ the new mattress out with the customer!

MO - Hello. How may I help you?

Customer - Hi MO, how are you?

MO - Not bad thank you, what about you?

True story - we did have a lady manager of a Massage Parlour in Grimsby call in looking for two bedframes, being very open and honest that the bed frames had to “take some hammer”. We treated her like any other customer obviously and she did buy two very nice strong glitzy bedframes from us. I must admit, I was momentarily speechless at first though. I’ve often wondered how much “hammer” they got.

Customer - Good thanks :-) x we’re looking for a new bed frame but had some questions if that’s ok please? :-)

MO - Yes, of course

Customer - I was too shy to call up… hubby and I sometimes have company with us and I wanted to see if there were any weight restrictions on any of the frameswe were after a metal frame really

Customer - (don’t judge) lol

Had a shop full of customers, typically everyone else had gone to lunch! An older lady walked in, pointed to one of our cheaper options and asked how long it should last. I told her that if it was looked after, around 8-10 years. She shouted “liar - mine has lasted 18 years!” Funny thing was, everyone else in the shop bought after that!

MO - Have a look here - https://www.mattressonline. W5kIjpbeyJDYXRlZ29yeSI6eyIkZXEiOiI1MjUifX0seyJiZW QtdHlwZSI6eyIkZXEiOiJNZXRhbCtCZWQrRnJhbWUifX1 dfQ%3D%3D

MO - These should all be metal

Customer - great thank you

MO - No problem, just let me know if there is anything else that I can help with.

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Joseph Shenton - Joseph James Furniture Outlet LLP Huw Williams - Toons Vic Smith – Vic Smith Beds Grant Berry – Home World George Sinclair - Nimbus Beds Mattress Online - Via Live Chat

Five reasons to attend The Flooring Show

The Flooring Show is back at the Harrogate Convention Centre this month. We take a look at the top five reasons why a visit should be pencilled in the calendar.

1 - All your suppliers in one place

The Flooring Show is the UK’s only trade event for the flooring industry and with over 400 brands exhibiting, offering everything from carpets to LVT and tools to underlay, the Harrogate Convention Centre is the prime destination to strike the best deals for your business. Big names exhibiting this September include: Abingdon Flooring Ltd, Adam Carpets Ltd, All-In-All Flooring Accessories, Ball and Young Ltd, Balta Carpets, Betap, Bostik Limited, Coretec Floors International, Cormar Carpet Company, F. Ball & Co. Ltd, Floors n Carpets Ltd, Hugh Mackay, Interfloor Limited, Kellars, Lamett Europe, Lifestyle Floors, Likewise Floors, Moduleo, One Flor UK, Packexe Ltd, Penthouse Carpets Ltd, Tarkett UK & Ireland, Tover, Tramex, Tremco CPG UK Limited, Ulster Carpets Ltd and Westex Carpets, plus many more. You can view the full brands list at

The Flooring Show is the UK’s only trade event for the flooring industry and with over 400 brands exhibiting, offering everything from carpets to LVT and tools to underlay, the Harrogate Convention Centre is the prime destination to strike the best deals for your business.

Sunday 17th

10:00 - 10:30 - Carpet Underlay Installation

10:30 - 11:30 - Stretch Fit Carpet Installation - Including Power Stretching

11:30 - 12:00 - Carpet Seaming

12:00 - 13:00 - Hand Sewn Bullnose and Stairs Overview

13:30 - 14:00 - Subfloor Moisture Solutions

14:00 - 15:00 - Smoothing Compounds

15:30 - 16:00 - Floating Floor Systems Installation

16:00 - 16:30 - Engineered Wood Floor Installation

Monday 18th

10:00 - 10:30 - Subfloor Moisture Solutions

10:30 - 11:30 - Smoothing Compounds

Learn from the best

The Demo Zone in Hall B is the place to discover new floor laying techniques and insights into working with the industry’s latest products. Run by the Flooring Industry Training Association (FITA) and supported by the Contract Flooring Association (CFA) and National Institute of Carpet & Floorlayers (NICF), you can discover all you need to know to take your business to the next level. Take a look at the timetable below to plan your visit.

12:00 - 13:00 - Fabricated and Acoustic Underlays

13:15 - 14:45 - Luxury Vinyl Tile Installation

15:00 - 15:30 - Domestic Vinyl Installation

15:45 - 16:45 - Commercial Sheet Vinyl and Linoleum Installation

Tuesday 19th

10:00 - 12:30 - Open Forum/Requested Demonstrations


3 - Innovation

The Wool Trends Centre will once again be returning to The Flooring Show in Hall C. The Campaign for Wool and the Wool Carpet Focus Group will be delivering the theme ‘Keep Warm with Wool’. Visitors will be able to walk through this creative showcase of hanging wool carpets, where leading carpet suppliers will be showcasing new shades, design constructions, types and qualities. Key trends include: Warmth, comfort, nature, aqua and texture.

This year’s show also has a brand new feature which can be found in Hall C. The LVT Pavilion is your one-stop-shop to finding the latest and greatest LVT products in one place. An exciting selection of brands will be showcasing their most innovative products, whilst highlighting this durable and versatile flooring solution.

4 - Networking

The Flooring Show attracts a specialist trade-only audience made up of key buyers, decision-makers, retailers, and specifiers from across the globe. This unmissable event creates endless networking opportunities with industry peers. Meet with old friends or form new relationships with a range of visitors. This is a networking opportunity not to be missed.

Meet the finalists:

Dean Dickinson - Marston Moretaine, Bedford

Mathew Parkinson - Bolton, Lancashire

Wesley Brocklesby - Ossett, West Yorkshire

Daniel Jones - Thame, Oxfordshire

Darrel Emery - Reading, Berkshire

Taking part in the King’s Suite Conservatory across all three days of the show, don’t miss the chance to take home an amazing prize at the Tombola. You could win a free bar tab, hotel accommodation, plus a selection of other prizes worth up to £6,000.

5 - Competition

The highly anticipated final of the NICF’s Fitter of the Year 2023 competition will take place in the King’s Suite across Sunday 17th and Monday 18th. Five finalists will go headto-head, focusing on LVT installation. The lucky winner will take home a cheque for £2,000, a winner’s trophy and some great prizes including a selection of tools, and one year’s free NICF Master Fitter membership.


Registration for the show is completely free and you can secure passes for you and your team by heading to www. and completing the short form. This pass will give you fast track access to the show and let you skip the queue on arrival.

Show Essentials:

Dates: Sunday 17 – Tuesday 19 September 2023

Opening hours: Sunday 9:30-17:30 | Monday 9:30-17:30 | Tuesday 9:30-15:00

Venue: Harrogate Convention Centre, King’s Rd, Harrogate, HG1 5LA

Entry: The Flooring Show is a trade-only event and is free for industry professionals.

Register via the show website

Sherborne Upholstery

The Cartmel Electric Riser Recliner range has been a huge success since its recent introduction. Available in four sizes, and with a choice of scroll arms, or light oak or dark beech wood knuckles, it has been especially designed for optimum comfort and support, with lateral support cushions in the back in addition to a supportive headroll. Express delivery is offered on over 200 soft cover options, including dual or single motor control and optional lumbar adjustment.

Gallery Direct

The Newington dining tables and benches from Gallery Direct offer a sleek contemporary twist on a timeless look which make a beautiful addition to a wide range of living spaces. The stunning design features solid wood tops paired with elegant and clean angular metal legs. The tables and benches are offered in two sizes, and all are available in two colours, a warm natural finish with black finished legs, and a black stained top with soft silver finished legs. The tables also look great paired with some of Gallery’s dining chairs, such as the Manford or Edington.


Devonshire have introduced a stylish and modern corner dining bench into their ever-growing product portfolio. The Ashbury bench is encased in super soft velvet fabric in an on-trend grey with beautiful stitch detail and natural oak legs. The set can be configured left or right, making this a super flexible unit to stock. Matching with our other seating options in the Ashbury Collection, including dining chairs and standard benches, creating the perfect dining area. For more information contact the Sales office on enquiries@devonshireliving. or 01237 471872.

104 Big Furniture Magazine #13 New Products

Couch & Co

From our static collection, we have Ollie, a curvaceous, sumptuous sofa with pinch quilting detail and luxurious padded inside arms and cushions, sitting with our Wing Recliner offering unparalleled support and height adjustable headrest.

Sweet Dreams

The Landmark range, consisting of six beds and includes foam free fillings, as well as sleep surfaces made from eco-friendly sustainable fabrics, features components that are responsibly sourced using many recycled elements. The mattress offer is based on three best-selling springs system, 1000 and 2000 pocket and the 12.5gauge open coil. The Landmark base comes with a choice of six 100% GRS Certified, 100% recycled base fabrics. The benefit of GRS is that our Landmark base, border and headboard fabrics will feature 94% less water use, 59% less energy use and 32% less CO2 emissions in the production process.

Siren Furniture

Based in the iconic Harrington Mill in Long Eaton, the traditional heartland of the UK upholstery industry, Siren Furniture was established in 2000 as a designer and sourcing manufacturer of quality upholstered furniture. The Alice range provides sumptuous comfort and relaxed elegance, combining quality craftsmanship and materials to deliver a modern interpretation on a classic high-back design.

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Commitment to Next-Day Delivery Excellence

Rhenus Home Delivery is unwavering in its dedication to customer satisfaction, solidifying this pledge through an expansive next-day delivery service covering over 95% of the UK.

Boasting an impressive 18-year legacy in premium UK delivery services, Rhenus Home Delivery UK stands as an industry leader in the two-person, last-mile delivery sector. Its sterling reputation rests on a foundation of excellent service quality and a profound grasp of the intricacies inherent in the final stages of the supply chain. Operating across eleven nations and three national partner networks, Rhenus Home Delivery commands a preeminent position as the European market leader for the delivery of home and lifestyle goods across the last mile.

The latest stride in Rhenus Home Delivery UK’s journey is the launch of a nationwide next-day, two-person home delivery and collection service, blanketing an astonishing 95% of the populace. This comprehensive offering also includes a suite of services such as order processing, secure storage, expert assembly, disconnection and installation services (covering both wet connections and “green button test”), comprehensive in-house training, returns management featuring inspection reporting, and the ecoconscious recycling of packaging materials and end-of-life products.

A monumental turning point occurred in late 2022 when Rhenus Home Delivery proudly unveiled its 260,000 sq. ft.

We are pleased to announce the addition of next-day delivery to our already outstanding delivery service. Additionally, it allows us to expand into new markets by diversifying our delivery network.

facility within Magna Park, Lutterworth. This cutting-edge establishment functions as the national distribution centre, facilitating the seamless transition to a Hub-andSpoke operational model. This strategic pivot facilitated Rhenus Home Delivery’s overarching vision to deliver next-day services.

Commanding an immense storage expanse comprising 32,000 pallet spaces, with 13,000 readily accessible slots, and supported by an impressive 126 loading doors, as well as an expansive 30,000 sq. ft. bulk storage domain, Rhenus Home Delivery is well-equipped to rapidly disseminate an array of products – from the bulky to the delicate. Daily dispatches flow seamlessly from their three strategic UK depots.

With the meteoric rise of e-commerce, the competition within the delivery service sector has grown fiercer than ever. Emerging as a beacon of speed and efficiency, next-day delivery has become a pivotal factor in consumers’ purchasing decisions. Recognising this pivotal shift, Rhenus Home Delivery, which had previously specialised in high-value, deliberate purchases, has extended its reach into diverse markets, encompassing TV & Electrical, White Goods, and Mobility solutions. This strategic expansion underscores Rhenus Home Delivery’s commitment to providing customers with swift next-day delivery options that cater to their needs.

Vinny Riley, the Managing Director, articulates the significance of this milestone, stating: “We are pleased to announce the addition of next-day delivery to our already outstanding delivery service. Additionally, it allows us to expand into new markets by diversifying our delivery network.”


Last Word with Furniture Sales Solutions

talks about mastering the approach for

better sales.

Beyond Faster Horses

In the world of furniture retail, not many questions are quite as polarising as if, when and how we should approach customers. This debate mirrors an age-old quandary faced by businesses, famously summarised by Henry Ford; “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Striking the right balance between proactive assistance and customer autonomy is the key to successful furniture sales.

A Shift in Perspective

A few years ago, a major car manufacturer made waves by adopting a hands-off approach, allowing customers to explore without salespeople’s interference. Curious about this strategy, I polled furniture retailers, managers, and salespeople. Surprisingly, only 1% favoured a complete hands-off policy. The overwhelming majority, 99%, believed in an approach, and more importantly, the right kind of approach.

These results made us think more about the car manufacturer’s decision. It became apparent that customer feedback had shaped their approach. However, this situation echoed Ford’s sentiment – the customers were likely rallying against the pushy salesperson stereotype and not the genuine, friendly, and knowledgeable salesperson that helps them to find their dream sofa, bed, wardrobe, etc.

A Delicate Balance

Advantages of letting customers browse on their own include giving them autonomy and alleviating pressure. Yet, this approach has downsides. Salespeople don’t have the opportunity to provide valuable, tailored insights and showcase the full product range, guiding the customer towards their ideal product. I would argue that a good salesperson should be able to provide the same supposed benefits of leaving the customer alone, as well as the countless other benefits that come from a thoughtful interaction. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The key question here then is not whether or not we should be approaching the customer, but how should be approaching them.

Crafting a Winning Approach

Pre-Approach Techniques: Engage in non-threatening activities near the entrance. Cleaning, arranging, or checking swatches while keeping an eye on customers, rather than waiting at the door ready to pounce. This helps to create a more inviting atmosphere.

First Approach: Warmly greet customers with a genuine smile. Pose open questions like “What brings you in today?” and provide them with some helpful information to help them navigate the store and begin their buying journey. Always leaving yourself an opening to approach them again with “I’ll catch up with you in a couple of minutes…”.

Addressing Objections: If you’re met with “We’re just looking” try using the phrase “Of course…” then let them know that looking around is a perfect place to start. Then, as above, we can give them some information on the store to help them begin looking and follow-up with something like “What room are you looking for?”. The Closing Starts at the Start: Nail down smaller decisions by confirming them along the way. For example, if the customer decides that they definitely want a leather sofa, this allows us to dismiss any fabric options. Every decision we can nail-down along the buying journey paves the way for an easier final close.

Second Approach: Observe buying signals and make a well-timed second approach. Give your customer a ‘gift’ with phrases like “Just to let you know…”, offering valuable information on their product of interest, followed with a related question. We call this ping-pong and it helps us to uncover more of the customers preferences.

Introducing Easy Payments: Introducing easy payment options early on, if your store offers them, is a great way to expand the range of products that the customer is comfortable browsing for. Otherwise, they genuinely may not realise that these options are available and likely won’t bring it up themselves for fear of seeming miserly. The Power of Silence: A powerful technique during your interaction with your customer is to sit back and shut up. This allows the customer space to fill the silence and often ask questions that are definite buying signals (e.g., What’s the delivery time?), which in our minds we can add “…because I want to buy one” to.

A Lasting Impression

Effective approach strategies revolve around genuine interactions, strategically timed interventions, and attentive listening. By finding the right balance between proactive guidance and customer autonomy, you can help guide your customer towards finding their dream product. Remember, your approach is not just transactional; it’s an art that empowers customers to see beyond their immediate desires. Much like Henry Ford’s innovation, the perfect piece of furniture may not be what they expected, but it’s up to you to unveil the possibilities and guide them toward making the right choice. Mastering a skilled approach is good for you, your customer, and ultimately your business.

110 Big Furniture Magazine

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