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Furniture Link shares all the latest company developments from new faces, products, hitting the road, JFS and Brexit.

8th March 2019 ÂŁ3.75 l


Cabinet Maker goes behind the scenes at furniture manufacturer ercol and meets Harriet Speed.

first issue: 1st July 1880


Furniture To Go talks about its next day deliver service and why this is such a fundamental part of its success.

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Consumer confidence in February remained stable, according to the latest dataset from GfK. Ahead of the Brexit deadline this month, the news of a consistent shopper so far this year is positive, especially within the bigticket category. February’s Major Purchase Index increased by three points to +5, which is five points higher compared to last year, indicating that confidence in consumers wanting to buy big-ticket items, including furniture, remained positive for a second straight month of 2019.

sector must continue to work hard to maintain the levels of confidence in consumers. It is easier said than done but hopefully, come April, the self-imposed restrictions on committing to purchases will lift. If there is one thing that can inspire customers to part with their cash, it is a quality product that has a story from design and manufacture to the retail shop floor. Each week Cabinet Maker brings you the latest developments across the furniture industry and this week marks the start of a series of special features that explore the first concept of this story. Our new People Behind The Products initiative opens the door for the industry to get to know ‘the people’ who play such a fundamental part in their business. In this issue, you can Meet Harriet.

The Savings Index also experienced an increase — up by four points to +18 and six points higher against February 2018 — which further indicates that consumers are still being savvy with their cash and making informed purchases. With the start of the year generally being a ‘sale season’ across multiple industries, including our own, the uptick in confidence is welcome news that will hopefully ease some concerns going into the final straight of Brexit — if indeed an outcome is agreed by the end of the month.

This week’s editorial also includes the latest company insight from Furniture Link, with the business sharing its views on Brexit, JFS and welcoming some new faces. Furniture To Go talks about its next day delivery service and why this has become such an important aspect of the business, whilst Henning Stummel reveals his take on sofas with the launch of his debut furniture range.

When speaking to business leaders across the furniture industry, a similar analysis has been voiced in that the UK consumer is confidence led. Sharing a similarity with markets, consumers respond to certainty, which in most months throughout 2018 was in short supply. However, it is worth bearing in mind that many economic indicators (employment levels and wage growth) remain positive, which has served as a stabilising mechanism in recent months.

Back to Brexit, Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director at IMRG, takes the Last Word spot and shares his view of how retail sales are likely to be affected once B-Day passes. As the countdown continues, let’s try to remain confident, keep calm and carry on. Dan Squires Editor

It seems there is a calm before the storm ahead of Brexit and each furnishing industry

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TURE at furniture MANUFACgoes behind the scenes


latest shares all the Furniture Link from new faces, and Brexit. company developments the road, JFS products, hitting

Harriet Speed. Cabinet Maker ercol and meets manufacturer

first issue: 1


8th March 2019



July 1880

next day talks about its Furniture To Go is such a and why this deliver service part of its success. fundamental

British Furniture Manufacturers



British Furniture Manufacturers tion Augusta Collec

British Furniture Manufacturers


re Link | From Furnitu

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Furniture To Go talks about its next day deliver service and why that is such a fundamental part of their success.


Henning Stummel, architect and furniture designer, talks about the launch of the Nomad range.


Furniture To Go.



Cabinet Maker goes behind the scenes at furniture manufacturer ercol and meets Harriet Speed in the first of a new series of features.



Furniture Link shares all the latest company developments from new faces, products, hitting the road, JFS and Brexit.





Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director, IMRG, has the Last Word.







Market gain

The British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) has welcomed Wren Kitchens into the association as an ‘Approved Member’. Wren Kitchens operates from 77 showrooms nationwide and has supplied more than £1bn-worth of kitchens in the last three years. The kitchen retailer joins a line-up of prestigious British names among its 200-plus member companies.

Flooring group Victoria PLC has grown revenues in ‘difficult market conditions’ whilst gaining market share, which is expected to ‘materially enhance’ profits moving forward. According to its latest trading update, Victoria said that it estimates the market in the UK and Australia is down 6-8% and is flat in Europe. The group added that it expects pre-tax profits to be around 35-39% higher than 2018’s £40.8m.

TV partnership Dunelm has announced a year-long partnership with ITV’s flagship show, This Morning. The partnership, which comes into effect from 1st March, will include broadcast sponsorship, licensing, digital activity and branded content collaborations. As part of the deal, Dunelm will also become the headline sponsor of This Morning Live.

STORE RELOCATES Independent furniture retailer Direct Furniture has relocated from Osier Road to the Bartons Retail Park in Barton Road, Bury St Edmunds. The new shop will be at units 8 and 10. The official relaunch took place on 9th February. Direct Furniture said: “We can’t wait to share our new shop with you. Come support a local small business and let your friends know. We appreciate your support.”

Show success

Design shortlist

German kitchen furniture manufacturer Rotpunkt has revealed a successful LivingKitchen 2019 show. During the event, Rotpunkt displayed several debut collections with a focus on materials and ergonomic furniture solutions, including Umbra, Arabica and HPL, as well as introducing Zircon City, a collection of new drawer boxes, pull-outs and side panels.

The KLC School of Design has run a competition in partnership with Lombok. The competition, launched for on-site Foundation Degree students to enter, requires them to submit a sustainable design fit for production. The three designs include the Laos collection by Xenia Werle Design, the Bloom collection by Jemma Busby, and Shroom by Kristiana Koseva Furniture Design.

RETAIL Dunelm employees at a Macmillan coffee morning

New charity partnership Furniture and homewares retailer Dunelm has announced a twoyear fundraising partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support. There are currently 2.5 million people living with cancer in the UK, and this is set to grow to almost four million by 2030. Over the next two years Dunelm hopes to raise £1m for the charity, which could fund 18 Macmillan professionals for one year. As well as nurses, Macmillan’s professionals range from physiotherapists, psycologists, financial advisors, speech therapists and family support workers, who all work with people following a cancer diagnosis to help them live life as fully as they can. Dunelm’s colleagues will be taking part in local and national fundraising events, from record-breaking attempts and fancydress days, to braving the shave and sponsored runs. To maximise fundraising, Dunelm will be donating 5p to the charity from every cup of tea sold through its coffee shop brand, Pausa, as well as selling Macmillan fundraising merchandise in 170-plus stores. If staff members personally raise funds for another charity, Dunelm will help them through its match funding programme.



FABRIC PRODUCER ACQUIRES DYEING SPECIALIST Textile group Camira has announced the acquisition of family owned fabric dyeing firm Holmfirth Dyers Ltd. The deal, which remains undisclosed, will see Camira establish a business with almost £100m turnover with Holmfirth annual revenues of £7m adding to the group’s current sales of £87.4m. In a statement, Camira, which manufactures fabric for commercial interiors, said that the acquisition would further strengthen and extend its vertical supply chain into fabric dyeing and specialist finishing. The group said: “The acquisition extends our textile supply chain into fabric dyeing and specialist finishing, allowing us greater control of our end-to-end processes from yarn to fabric and everything in between. It strengthens our proposition and will help drive our ambition to expand our portfolio.”

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BED MANUFACTURER EXPANDS IRISH PRESENCE Sweet Dreams has announced the appointment of Declan McCarville (left) as its new sales agent for the Republic of Ireland. Officially taking on the new role from early March, Declan has had a varied career encompassing small independent retail operations, management in multi-million pound turnover furniture businesses, and self-employment as a sales agent. Declan is currently an agent for Home of Beds/Slumbernights and for Redtree Furniture. Commenting on his new role with Sweet Dreams, Declan said: “I would hope to add significant growth to Sweet Dreams’ business in Ireland. Sweet Dreams is a strong brand and has been getting traction with strong growth, and looking at where we are currently positioned, the future looks promising. “The current product range, from an extraordinary collection of mattress and bedding to upholstery, is as diverse as it is deep, while remaining super-commercial.” Declan lives in County Cavan with his wife, having made a decision to raise their two boys in the country. He enjoys swimming and family walks — especially as so many of his working hours are spent driving. Nick Williams, Sweet Dreams’ sales manager, added: “Declan is an experienced agent with excellent contacts, and we’re sure his hardworking, enthusiastic approach will be an asset to Sweet Dreams as we focus on expanding our retail offer in the Irish market.”



Furniture business owner retires Independent retailer Discount Beds and Furniture has closed. The business, which operated its store on Greyfriars Road, Doncaster, closed earlier this month after the owner, Tony Dawson, decided to retire. Tony, who led the business for 33 years, instructed auctioneers Eddisons CJM to sell its remaining products, which had a stock value of more than £100,000. The auction took place on 28th February with the business ceasing to trade as well as closing its website, Discount Beds and Furniture specialised in buying entire ends of lines from leading manufacturers as well as bankrupt stock when furnishing retailers around the country closed down. Stock that went under the hammer included brands such as Birlea, Lebus, Stuart Jones, Silentnight, and Julian Bowen.





New CEO appointment


N Brown Plc has announced the appointment of Steve Johnson as its new chief executive officer (CEO) with immediate effect.

Flat pack furniture and panel production specialist Aquapac Ltd has been recognised as one of the ‘most exceptional’ businesses in the UK.

Steve was appointed interim CEO in September 2018, having previously acted as CEO of financial services for the group. Matt Davies, chairman, commented: “Having conducted a thorough and extensive search process, the Board is delighted to appoint Steve as CEO. As interim CEO he has shown the strategic thinking, pace, energy and focus that demonstrates he is the best person to take the business forward. He brings a wealth of senior management experience across a number of large retail and financial services companies.” Steve added: “During the last six months I have had the opportunity to lead a passionate, talented and committed team. Together, we have made considerable operational and strategic progress, which we look forward to building on.”



TEXTILE COMPANY FINED AFTER WORKER INJURED Spectrum Yarns Ltd has pleaded guilty to breaching Health and Safety at Work regulations and been fined £80,000, with £989 costs, after a worker suffered serious injuries. Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 4th June, 2015, a worker suffered crush injuries to his left arm, requiring surgery and skin grafts, after having their arm pulled into machinery due to a new compact spinning device that had been added. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the machine had been modified in 2014 with the addition of the compact spinning device, but there was no emergency trip wire running the length of the line. It said the company failed to ensure the worker was made aware of the additional risks.



No takeover bid for furniture retailer The National Bed Federation (NBF) is calling on bed retailers and manufacturers to make the most of the National Bed Month campaign by using its free downloadable toolkit. The national awareness campaign, which has been running for nearly 30 years, promotes the health benefits to consumers of buying a new bed, particularly from an NBF approved member. Taking place throughout March, bed retailers are being encouraged to download, for free, the National Bed Month artwork from the NBF website. The toolkit includes a speciallydesigned logo, infographics, posters, animated web banners and a short informative video.

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Aquapac Ltd was named one of three finalists across the UK for the Growth award in the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards, funded by the Citi Foundation. The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards are the annual celebration of Britain’s microentrepreneurs who have accessed “responsible” business finance. The three Growth award finalists are in the running for a £7,500 cash prize. Stephen Connachan, of Aquapac, said: “I attribute our success to some key contributors that rose to the challenges placed on a small independent business, helping it grow when more traditional solutions were not available. The availability of alternative funding through DSL Business Finance Ltd has meant the difference in success or failure in our company’s growth, and the 32 jobs created over the past two decades.” Aquapac and DSL Business Finance must wait until 13th March when the winners of the awards will be announced at a ceremony in Liverpool.



Wren recognised with award Kitchen retailer Wren Kitchens has been awarded the Made In Britain marque in recognition of its commitment to manufacturing excellence. Wren makes all its kitchens at three state-of-the-art factories in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, using the latest production technologies. Around 2,000 kitchens a week are delivered fully-built, including all doors, drawers, wirework and baskets, and Wren has supplied kitchens worth more than £1bn in the last three years. The company is this year celebrating its 10th anniversary and, from a standing start, now operates from 77 showrooms nationwide — and plans to open 18 more in 2019. Made In Britain brings together the best manufacturers in the UK through the use of its registered collective mark. It guarantees that members’ products are made in Britain and comply to the highest standards. Mark Pullan, Wren’s managing director, said: “We are very proud of our British manufacturing heritage. All our kitchens are designed, developed and built in the UK to the highest standards. We are committed to manufacturing affordable luxury kitchens here in Britain and this makes us unique in the kitchen market. “We have created thousands of jobs (more than 4,000) in the UK and are delighted to have so many passionate, dedicated and exceptionally talented people working within the Wren family.”




Finnish business enters UK market Finnish furniture business Naava has expanded into the UK after securing a new partnership.

ISM specialise in

The innovative furniture living walls by the Finnish healthtech company Naava is now available in London following its February launch with London-based office furniture distribution company Office Blueprint.


Neil Jenkins, managing director of Office Blueprint, said: “Office Blueprint makes offices a healthy, stress-free and inspiring place to work. We are always on the lookout for the latest innovations, design trends and technology. That’s why we were eager to represent Naava in the UK,











Bed Repairs e.g. broken frames, replacing tufts and resewing damaged stitching, mattress settlement reporting, repairs to mechanisms that drive riser beds and repairs to the lifting mechanisms to TV beds.






In a statement, Laura Ashley said: “We strongly believe that the offer fails to reflect the value of the Laura Ashley brand and hence the fair value that shareholders deserve for their investment in the group. We also note that Flacks has indicated that the price of 2.748 pence per Ordinary Share is final and will not be increased or decreased.”

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The Board, having considered the offer with its advisers, believes that the terms of the offer ‘substantially undervalue’ the group and has encouraged all shareholders to take no action.





In response to the ‘unsolicited’ and ‘highly opportunistic’ indicative offer for Laura Ashley Holdings plc announced by Flacks Group LLC on 25th February, the Board of Laura Ashley has expressed its disappointment at the approach taken by Flacks, including its decision not to engage with the Board prior to the announcement.



Furniture and fashion retailer Laura Ashley has expressed its ‘disappointment’ at an approach taken by Flacks Group LLC.




Cabinet Repairs e.g. scratches, heat marks, water marks and structural repairs for solid wood, veneers, foil and laminated surfaces. CABINET


Laura Ashley slams ‘unsolicited’ approach




Naava was founded in 2012 in Finland and has more than 40 employees in the Nordics and the USA.



“As we spend most of our time indoors, reducing the amount of toxic air is a genuine, modern need here in London. Naava has created a green wall, combining the benefits of nature, future technology and Scandinavian design to help get the benefits of nature into our daily lives.”

Leather & Upholstered Furniture Repairs e.g. scratches, scuffs, tears, holes, seam issues, discolouration and colour loss, in home or workshop repair, replacement of broken arms, collapsed surfaces, recliner mechanisms, frames and replacement of full or partial covers.

• Very easy to use and navigate to ensure complete transparency • Craftsmen contact number and address details provided on every job submitted • Can be customised to meet your specific needs e.g. you can use your own fault codes, ISM fault codes or both • Allows you to upload images/specification documents for our craftsmen to access • Email notifications will update you as the status of each job progresses • System access 24/7

Andrew Khoo, chairman of Laura Ashley, added: “Since assuming the role of chairman recently, I would like to reiterate that I hold a long-term view of the group. “Opportunistic and unsolicited offers that are speculative in nature, and playing to a short-term market that creates unnecessary volatility to the share price, are not welcome. “However, we will not be distracted from our focus on the business fundamentals as we continue to transform the group into a true lifestyle brand.”


For further information please contact Stephen Black, Managing Director Mob: 07860 928017 Email:


Home improvement retailer restructures group as COO exits The parent business of home improvement retailer Wickes has confirmed a new group structure as its chief operating officer leaves. Travis Perkins PLC has divided the group into four key divisions, moving its Wickes business from Consumer to its new Retail category.


PARAGON INTERIORS ENTERS ADMINISTRATION Richard Pinder, Sean Williams and Alex Cadwallader, all from Leonard Curtis Business Rescue & Recovery, were appointed joint administrators of Midlands-based Paragon Interiors Group Plc on 27th February. It is understood that around 90 jobs are at risk as administrators seek a sale for the office furniture business.

Toolstation, the other business that was part of its former Consumer division, has its owned dedicated category, alongside a Merchant division that houses the Travis Perkins brand.

A joint statement said: “The joint administrators are seeking offers for the business to preserve jobs and maximise the return to creditors. It is understood the company employs in excess of 90 people.

Tile Giant joins Wickes in the Retail sector, with the division operating on a different model with fixed ranges, and a fixed, national price framework.

“Any parties with an interest in the company’s business or assets are instructed to contact the firm’s Manchester office as soon as possible.”

The group said: “The retail businesses primarily target retail consumers, both through traditional methods and increasingly by providing end-to-end Do-It-For-Me services, from design to installation, particularly in kitchens and bathrooms.” In December, the group announced its intention to divest the Plumbing & Heating (P&H) division during the course of 2019, and ‘significant work’ has been undertaken to separate the P&H businesses from the remainder of the group, with completion expected during Q2 2019. In light of this restructure, the group has confirmed it will no longer need a Board-level chief operating officer role, with Tony Buffin stepping down from the position with immediate effect. Tony joined Travis Perkins plc as group chief financial officer in April 2013, before being appointed group chief operating officer in 2017. Travis Perkins said he has made a ‘significant contribution to the success and evolution of the group’.




Creditors owed almost £800k Furniture importers Great Sense Limited have entered liquidation, owing creditors over £780,000. Hugh Jesseman, of Antony Batty & Company LLP, was appointed liquidator of Great Sense Limited, trading as OSeasons, on 23rd January. In newly-filed documents on Companies House, the business owes unsecured creditors £780,845, with trade and expense creditors owed £349,931 of that figure. The other large creditors are company directors Pengfei Zhao and Fanbo Ran, who are both owed a combined sum of £371,503.


BIG SHOTS TO CELEBRATE 25 YEARS IN 2019 Big Shots, The Furniture Makers’ Company’s annual clay pigeon shoot, is celebrating 25 years of raising money for the furnishing industry’s only dedicated charity in 2019 — and this year’s event is going to be bigger than ever before. For the first time in eight years, the fundraiser is returning to Holland and Holland, Middlesex, one of the UK’s premier shooting destinations, on Wednesday, 12th June 2019. Big Shots is once again being sponsored by Furniture Village and organised by Charlie Harrison, director of multichannel. In addition, guests can pay to shoot in Holland and Holland’s indoor rifle range, which uses the latest ‘Schiesskino’ cinematographic technology — a UK first and exclusive to Holland and Holland. There will be an auction, raffle, games and even a surprise or two. More information about the event is available at the web address below.

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The HMRC is owed £17,000, whilst employee claims totalled almost £35,000. It is expected creditors will suffer a shortfall of the entire amount. It is understood the company, which traded out of its warehouse on Factory Road in Poole, Dorset, has been acquired out of liquidation by a newco under common ownership. Xiaoxia Huang, a named director of Great Sense Limited, and Fanbo Ran are also directors of Ocean One Trading Limited, which was incorporated on 18th December. Great Sense Limited’s trading name OSeasons is still active online and stated through social media that it is currently holding a closing down sale until 11th March at its Poole warehouse. In the same announcement, the business stated that the warehouse is closing due to relocation to new premises in Stratford-upon-Avon, which is where the newco is understood to be based. According to Companies House, Ocean One Trading is registered to Campden Road on Meon Vale Business Park in Stratford-Upon-Avon.




Brexit continues to impact UK at French retailer The UK division of French high-end furniture retailer Roche Bobois continues to struggle because of uncertainty around Brexit. According to its latest update outlining 2018 performance, total group sales rose 4.8% to €257m compared to €248.5m in 2017. However, sales within the UK declined by 10.1% at constant exchange rates due to the ‘adverse impacts of Brexit’. Roche Bobois continued by stating that this impact ‘remains limited’ as the UK only contributes 6.5% to the group’s total revenues. Within its native market, France, sales rose 3.9% with the group ‘outperforming the French furniture market’. Elsewhere in Europe, sales increased by 10.2%, driven by store momentum in Germany, Switzerland and Italy. North American sales (USA/Canada) posted annual revenues of €68.9m, a sharp increase of 9.3%, thanks to the ‘ramp-up of the expansion of the owned store network’.



New business embraces technology A new furniture business that specialises in the integration of technology within products has opened in Ilkley. Designed For officially launched on 21st February and is situated on Church Street. Lee Teal has established the business with the aim of bringing something ‘unique’ to the town, offering furniture that integrates with today’s ‘modern technologies and ergonomic requirements’. To celebrate the showroom launch, the business invited the Mayor of Ilkley, Stephen Butler, to officially mark the opening. Commenting on a successful launch, Designed For said: “We would like to thank everybody who came to the opening of the new Designed For Showroom. It was such a great welcome to Ilkley.”



The business looks to continue expanding its store network, with plans to open more outlets in the US in Greenwich and New York, as well as stores in France and Germany.

Reduced stores see sales decline


Steinhoff International has reported a decline in UK sales as reduced store estate impacts performance.


HOWDENS DELIVERS GROWTH Kitchens group Howdens has reported sales and profit growth as it targets more than 800 outlets. According to its full year results for the 52 weeks to 29th December 2018, total group sales rose 7.7% to £1.5bn from £1.4bn, with Howden Joinery UK depot sales also up by 7.7% to £1.4bn from £1.3bn. Gross profit increased 4.9% to £932.2m from £888.4m, whilst pre-tax profit resulted at £238.5m, up by 2.7% compared to its profit of £232.2m recorded last year. During the year, Howdens opened 33 new depots in the UK, bringing its total estate to 694, whilst confirming plans to potential reach a number of 850 over the coming years with 40 earmarked for 2019. The business launched 18 new kitchen ranges and has implemented initiatives to improve business performance, focussing on a new depot format that utilises space more effectively, product range management, and development of its digital platform. Howden Joinery UK depots sales in the first two periods of the new financial year to 23rd February increased by 4%. The business remains cautious over Brexit and has purchased around £15m of inventory to ensure supply in the case of a ‘No-Deal’ exit from the EU.


According to its latest trading update for the three months ended 31st December 2018, UK household goods, which includes Bensons for Beds and Harveys, fell by 13% to €149m. Steinhoff said that this was ‘influenced in part by a reduced store base’, whilst adding that like-for-like revenue declined by 5%. Commenting on its UK division, the group said: “Although lower than in the same quarter in the previous year, revenue increased for the second quarter in a row, reflecting management initiatives implemented in 2018 that are continuing to gain traction.”



FURNITURE CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN GOES LIVE Hayche has officially announced the launch of its crowdfunding campaign as it looks to raise £125,000, with the funds to be used for its stock for its new designs. With the opportunity to own part of the company from as little as £10 or as much as £10K, investors are now invited to join the campaign. The campaign is running with SEEDRS, one of Europe’s leading equity crowdfunding platforms, and is eligible for the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS).

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NEW APPRENTICESHIP AWARDS ANNOUNCED The Apprenticeship Management Group has unveiled categories for its nationwide search for the best apprentices and employers.

Darren Jackson, left, and Ferenc Vacha

Tech firm expands lighting team Lighting business Sound Technology has expanded its team with a double appointment. Darren Jackson has joined the company as head of lighting sales, whilst Ferenc Vacha takes on the new role of architectural lighting application engineer. Darren has more than 20 years experience in the lighting industry, with positions at Global Design Solutions and Chauvet. Ferenc joins from Lightworks Architectural, where he worked on office, retail, art and culture, and leisure lighting projects, as a technical design engineer. He will provide pre-sales advice and application support for the architectural lighting product range.



BFM TO PROVIDE GUIDANCE ON BREXIT RUN IN The British Furniture Manufacturers has been named by the government as one of the trusted partners to disseminate No-Deal Brexit guides for UK businesses in the run up to 29th March. As a trusted trade association, BFM will have regular information regarding how the government will advise businesses to plan for the potential of a no-deal Brexit. There will be weekly meetings with BEIS (the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) along with weekly phone calls to discuss what and how the BFM should disseminate advice and give members feedback on the course of action being undertaken. The British Furniture Confederation, of which the BFM is a part, receives weekly updates through the Forum ‘EU Exit - Business Readiness Forum,’ which has been created to brief delegates on the guidance available to businesses when the UK leaves the EU, so that this information may be passed to member companies of those organisations. The forum is aimed primarily at representative organisations such as trade associations and professional bodies. It has three main objectives — to share the information UK businesses need to prepare for EU Exit, to provide materials to association bodies to cascade to members, and to respond to and gather feedback on existing and new materials circulated in readiness for the UK’s withdrawal. The BFM has opened a conversation between British businesses and the government to air concerns and disagreement over the decisions being made during the process of Brexit. If you want your voice heard, contact the British Furniture Manufacturers.

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The company, which looks after the apprenticeship training programmes and apprenticeship levy for the Builders Merchants Federation and FIESTA (Furniture and Interiors, Skills and Training Alliance), amongst many others, has launched its own awards initiative to find ‘the people that make a difference in the work place’. John Henry, managing director, explained: “We look after a number of federations and organisations but we want to open this competition to not just those. “We are looking for the best apprentices out there and want to recognise their personal achievements and contributions to their employer businesses. “National Apprenticeship Week is the perfect time to make this announcement. An apprenticeship can be a fast-track to a career in an array of industries, and we have many extremely talented individuals out there. This is our way of acknowledging them.” The categories are: Apprentice Champion of the Year, Employer of the Year, Advanced Apprentice of the Year, Intermediate Apprentice of the Year and Rising Star of the Year. To enter, email with your name, nomination, company and 200 words on why that person or business should win. A shortlist will be announced in May with the awards taking place in August. The Cirencester-based trade apprenticeship specialists not only manage training and apprentices but also provide advice and guidance, as well as management of apprenticeship levy funds.



Retailer invests in physical presence Online flooring retailer Connection Retail has earmarked future growth following an investment in one of its stores. The business, which operates brands including Flooring, Connection Flooring, Direct Wood Flooring and Grass Direct, has invested £20,000 in its Havant store, which now includes products from its Flooring Superstore brand. Following the investment, the 3,000sq ft site, situated on Solent Retail Park, has expanded its carpet and vinyl flooring offering, extending its existing Direct Wood Flooring and Grass Direct ranges. Connection Retail has forecast a spike in turnover at the store by around 30% over the next year as a result of the brand expansion. The company, which operates from nine other stores and its website, recently reported a growth in turnover of 24% to £23.1m for the year ended 31st March, 2018 ,and expects sales to reach £35m in the future.




Car maker invents new smart bed Business relocates after huge fire Independent carpet business Dave’s Carpet Warehouse has announced the opening of its new store (above) after suffering a huge fire that destroyed former premises. Six crews from the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service attended the fire at the business on Darnley Street, Old Trafford, on 8th February. The fire, which is not believed to be suspicious, saw around 45 people from nearby properties evacuated.

Car manufacturer Ford has invented a prototype bed (above) that automatically rolls ‘selfish sleepers’ back to their side of the mattress. Ford has adapted the lane-centring assist technology used to ensure drivers remain in the middle of their lane into a new concept called the ‘Lane-Keeping Bed’. The company said it is aimed to ensure that even the most selfish bed sleeper stays firmly ‘in their lane’ through the night. The technology uses pressure sensors to identify when someone has strayed from their side of the bed and gently returns them to where they should be with the help of an integrated conveyor belt.

An investigation into the cause is still under way. However, because of the extent of the damage, the property was demolished for safety reasons.

The project is in the prototype stage, which indicates there is no current plans to enter the concept to market. It is part of a series of Ford Interventions; applying automotive expertise to tackle everyday – or in this case, every night – problems.

Following the fire, the business has relocated to a new site on Talbot Road in Stretford, just two miles from its former location.


The new store opened on 15th February after business owner Dave Todd searched the area for a new site.


The business praised the public and fire service for their hard work and support. It said: “Just one week on we have an amazing new shop — with the help of everyone we have pulled together to get the new shop open and everyone back in work.”



Debut upholstery range Furniture business Vieva has introduced a new range of floor cushions called Humpties. Oxford-based Vieva, which officially launched in February 2018, has spent the past year developing fabrics and designs. The business has already attracted interest from a major retailer with department store John Lewis & Partners asking Vieva to develop an exclusive range for its stores across the UK. It is expected that the range, which includes fabrics and luxury Italian leathers, will enter John Lewis stores at the year end.

From left, John Peters, managing director at SWIG Finance; Jonathan Peabody, managing director at Peadidit; and John Acornley, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP Board member

LUXURY CABINET MAKERS SECURE FUNDING A Liskeard-based furniture manufacturer has secured support from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF).

Andy Bullock, Stuart Bottomley and Rachel Zivkovic founded the Vieva concept, with the latter two running another furniture business — Oxford Upholstery.

Peadidit, set up in 2018, has successfully secured £25,000 in funding, which will allow the company to increase production capabilities with the purchase of new equipment, and will also enable it to scale-up the team to meet a growing demand.


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F E A T U R E |F U R N I T U R E T O G O Angel Kids range

Paul Sheldon, director of sales and operations at Furniture To Go, talks to Cabinet Maker about its next day delivery service and why that is such a fundamental part of its continued success.

Stocked There has been plenty of talk over the past few years on how consumer shopping habits are changing. Some may say that online has taken over the high street, whereas others still prefer the traditional way of purchasing products. The furniture industry has most definitely seen a boom in online transactions across multiple product categories, but the physical retail store has maintained its stance — as well as embracing new technology — to remain a permanent fixture in shopping behaviour. From online-only retailers seeing the importance of having a physical space, to bricks-and-mortar stores equally sharing the growing need for an online presence, the ability to adapt and — more importantly — offer what the customer wants is king. With this in mind, one thing that remains a constant ingredient for customer satisfaction is the end game — delivery. Being able to 8th March 2019 | 14

consistently meet this requirement and bring the overall consumer journey to a positive end is the last piece in the puzzle that can either help a business grow or perhaps fail. This area is one of Furniture To Go’s key parts of the business and, with constant investments being made, it looks to be well ahead of the game. Paul Sheldon, director of sales and operations at Furniture To Go, takes immense pride in their products and prices, but most importantly, their service. “Our company selling point is the strapline ‘We do the hard work for you’ — and we firmly believe in our service,” he said. “Technology is changing the way consumers shop -— some still like to shop at a retail store on the high street — some want to shop from the comfort of their own home. We recognise this, and we want to do all we can


to help our customers sell our product. We set up our UK warehouse with this in mind, so we can work with any logistic solution that our customers may need. “E-commerce sales are growing and, to be honest, I can’t see them slowing down. In turn, customer expectation grows at the same rate. It’s the customers’ shopping experience that needs to be smooth. One of the biggest investments we have made is the focus on getting the product to the customer without damage. We have worked with various packaging companies to ensure that we have the right solution for the product,” Paul said. Furniture To Go boasts an impressive warehouse that stocks around 800 UK commercial lines, meaning they can be with the customer the next day if ordered by 3pm. Paul explained the benefits of offering their next day delivery service: “We invest in holding stock in our UK warehouse and making it available for next day delivery. We


can deliver to a retail store, we can dropship, and we can arrange full containers. In effect, we can do anything. With a 96% availability rate there is no need for our customers to be tying money up in stock unless, of course, they want to take advantage of our great tiered pricing structure.

concept it has recently doubled the capacity of its warehouse to meet demand, as well as incorporating an over-packing facility to match growing sales. The success has also seen the business forge a new partner, in the form of Tvilum, which has further increased its range of UK available commercial products.

“It is hard work but, once that standard is set, the expectation becomes the norm. It’s so important that we delivery what we say we will, as our customers rely on this for their customers. It’s also a fact that next day delivery drives conversion rates and, in turn, sales.”

Furniture To Go’s focus on the customer has seen continued success for the business and 2019 has started just as brightly. Paul revealed: “We have genuinely had a great start to the year but, like everyone else, now it’s hard to predict how the economy is feeling with Brexit. When I speak to customers, I get mixed feelings about trading conditions. It does feel though that it is tough out there, but we are prepared for this by investing in increased stock holding. This, in turn, benefits our customers because they do not need to invest in stock holding, as we have that part covered — we can simply deliver it next day for them.

The company is so dedicated to the

“Our focus is the customer, with home delivery especially. The customer finds this great product that they fall in love through the images. The shopping experience is great for them, and


Sales Support For the retailer: Great instore display discounts and a fantastic tiered pricing structure where they can mix orders of different products. No MOQ for next day delivery on single products. Unbranded POS and free roller banners for instore displays. For online: CSV files containing all products’ set-up data. Product images and USP images available to download. FTP access to stock figures that update every hour. End-to-end customer order tracking. In general: Friendly and reliable UK customer service team who will always try to go the extra mile. Order through the website and pay your invoice at anytime. ‘Live chat’ with the customer service team. quite often you read reports that they are let down on the final mile. A product can have so many delivery touchpoints, it’s key that it arrives undamaged.” And with all products stocked up waiting for next day delivery, the company firmly backs up its promise that has proved to be crucial to its ongoing success. It really is Furniture To Go.

w Above: Lyon oak Left: Florence white bedroom Below: Toronto living room



8th March 2019 | 15

F E A T U R E |F U R N I T U R E L I N K

Delivering Helsinki Corner Blue

Simon Gardiner, National Accounts and Sales Manager at Furniture Link, shares all the latest company developments from new faces, products, hitting the road, JFS and remaining bullish over Brexit. Only a few months in and 2019 has been a very busy year so far for Furniture Link. Following an overwhelmingly successful January Furniture Show, the business has expanded on a number of fronts, including new products, new personnel and new internal systems, as well as fuelling up the show van ready for its UK-wide tour. With so much going on at Furniture Link, the best place to start is a quick recap from JFS, as Simon Gardiner, National Accounts and Sales Manager, says: “We are delighted that this year’s January Furniture Show was Furniture Link’s most successful to date. We used the show as an opportunity to launch our new lines and they did not disappoint. “Velvet upholstery, mirrored surfaces and new and exciting finishes made us stand out from the competition. We had great interest from designers and buyers alike. Our new lines had something for everyone, with modular products, products for small homes as well as large and new fresh and exciting twists to existing lines.” The company has launched an impressive 116 8th March 2019 | 16


new products across 23 new ranges as well as extending five of its existing ranges. Simon continued: “We have increased our bedroom range, adding five new ranges of beds and three new ranges of mirrored bedroom furniture. The Suzie fabric bed has launched in a choice of grey or pink with four sizes, 5’, 4’ 6”, and a company first of 4’ and 3’. “We have expanded our popular Oslo sofa range to include a grey fabric version of the leather electric recliner at a lower price point. We have launched a range of occasional furniture, the Tate, which is a stained mango wood in the colour of the moment, grey. Pieces include a standard bookcase, low bookcase, console, end and coffee tables, and a two-door TV unit. “As well as being a durable hardwood akin to ash and oak, Mango has other environmental benefits. Mango trees reach maturity at around 15 years. At this point they start to produce less fruit, so Mango farmers need to replace them, planting new trees every seven

to 15 years. As Mango is such a popular fruit worldwide, there is no shortage of wood and it is a great way of utilising the tree when it no longer produces fruit, meaning there is no need for deforestation to produce this range. “We have also expanded our selection of SmarTop® tables, adding three new ranges of the popular heat and scratch resistant melamine products. In our concrete-effect finish Delta range we have added a bar table and sideboard. We have also introduced the Chicago table, which is the same tabletop but brushed metal legs instead of a pedestal. The Prado is a white version with pedestal and chrome base. Then there is the Soho, a shabby chic SmarTop® table with a distressed, blue-painted wood effect finish.” Alongside new products, Furniture Link has welcomed two new faces to the business. Nic Darwood has been appointed as its new area sales manager and will be responsible for the south of the country, whilst Jenny Hinks has joined as its new inside sales coordinator to develop new business and generate diverse sales leads to fuel further growth.


Delta Bar Table Seattle Stools Grey

“Nic has worked for more than 25 years in the furniture industry, working for a major design lead upholstery company and also for a company specialising in cabinet, as well as in various sectors of the furniture industry as a buyer, retailer and sales manager. He has a good understanding of the challenges facing retailers today,” Simon said, adding: “We also plan to expand our team of drivers, ensuring that we have a reliable and conscientious team to meet the demands of our regular nationwide delivery service. Furniture Link is also working with local colleges and universities to secure apprenticeship opportunities.” From fuelling further growth to gearing up the show van, Simon revealed that it is now back on the road until November, showcasing new ranges. “It has been with Nic for the last couple of weeks in The South and it is now with Andy in The Midlands for four weeks before going back down south for another four weeks with Nic. Further trips to The North, Scotland and Ireland will be scheduled later in the year.” Back at base, Furniture Link has invested in new IT and inhouse systems to ensure that customers have access to live stock information, whilst also revealing that plans are in place for new delivery vehicles and equipment at its distribution centre, making 2019 a year of all-round innovation.

Brook Accent Chair Ochre

“We are quietly confident following a great start to 2019. Our stock levels are now at 98% for our core lines, which makes our customers feel confident that we will be able to meet their needs promptly,” Simon says. “We have increased our area sales manager team, who have a full complement of customer account administrators to support them, so we are well equipped to provide excellent customer service.” As the business looks forward to what the year ahead may bring, Simon reaffirmed that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit isn’t to be taken lightly, but delivered a ‘keep calm and carry on’ attitude as he feels the business

Liberty six drawer chest


is more than well equipped to deal with any potential issues. In fact, Simon predicts consumers will continue to invest in home comforts. “Fortunately, for Furniture Link, sales are good and we have had real positive reactions to our new lines. We appreciate that there is a lot of uncertainty due to Brexit, however, people will always need furniture and often when uncertainty looms, people will go back to the stability of home and invest in home comforts,” he said. “We have seen a significant increase in the number of ecommerce businesses, but bricks and mortar retailers are still going strong. Companies that combine these routes to market are often very successful, because as great as it is to sit in the comfort of your home to shop, with furniture being such an investment, many customers want to physically see and feel the product they are purchasing. This aside, we are happy to help our customers by providing them with images to support the online nature of their business.” Despite being bullish about Brexit, Simon indicated that there is one main challenge that the business continues to face — transportation. “As an importer and wholesaler, bringing goods in from suppliers abroad can be a logistical nightmare due to a shortage of drivers, rising fuel costs and adverse weather conditions during the winter period. However, we plan our deliveries meticulously to ensure that products arrive on time and work very hard on our partnerships with suppliers and logistics teams in order to minimise any delays.” Having built the foundations for continued growth, Furniture Link stressed that the hard work of its team and customers remains paramount to future success. And with constant investment sweeping through the business, it is clear to see that the company shows no signs of running out of fuel. “Our area sales managers are continuing to get out to our customers and updating them about new lines and special offers, whilst our dedicated office and distribution team are focused on getting orders processed quickly and efficiently,” Simon concluded. “We feel at this point we have the perfect framework for success, and so we will continue to put our heads down and deliver.”


Suzie 3’ Bed Florentine two drawer chest 8th March 2019 | 17

F E A T U R E |P E O P L E B E H I N D T H E P R O D U C T S

Meet Harriet

8th March 2019 | 18

production, and giving feedback to students during educational projects/visits. In addition to this, I run THIS GIRL MAKES, a multi-dimensional project, which consists of a blog, online community and events programme. This ties a lot of my skills and interests together, like graphic design, illustration, journalism, teaching, event management, as well as designing and making things.







Can you describe your current job role and responsibilities? I work for ercol, where my responsibilities include: supporting the design team with the development of new furniture projects and ranges, designing layouts for retailers and exhibitions, communicating feedback on prototypes with partner manufacturers, designing jigs to assist with in-house production, creating digital 3D models of components and complete designs, as well as tooling, producing technical drawings for

B ple eh


In the first of a new series of features, Cabinet Maker goes behind the scenes at furniture manufacturer ercol and meets one of its furniture design engineers, Harriet Speed, as she shares an insight into her role.

eed Name... Harriet Sp e Design Engineer Job role... Furnitur Company... ercol

As I am new to my role with ercol, it is something I am very much in the process of establishing fully. I hope I can develop my skills and knowledge as much as possible during my time here. As well as designing and making, one of my personal interests is education and outreach (a huge part of THIS GIRL MAKES), so it would be a definite bonus if I was able to try to incorporate this into my work with ercol.


How long have you been in your current role? I graduated on 31 August 2018 and started my job with ercol on 3 September 2018.

aQO Hinny Reading Stools, 2017

What is the best thing about your role? I would say the best thing is working for a company that is steeped in history and one of the core pillars of the UK furniture industry, especially at such a young age and right at the beginning of my career. The opportunity to learn from everyone in the business, and a chance to be part of some amazing projects and opportunities, makes me feel very lucky. What is the most challenging? Although the transition from education into industry was made as smooth as possible by the amazing tutors at Rycotewood Furniture Centre in Oxford, with all the live projects and trips that they organised for the students, it doesn’t mean you’re ever 100% completely ready for the reality of working for a major business. I have already learnt some tough lessons about what’s involved in working for a commercial furniture company, and I’m sure there will be plenty more on the way. However, I feel I have learnt to have a thick enough skin to just keep going! Can you describe your typical working day? A lot of my day is CAD/computer-based, which is something I am quite new to, having come from a design and make background. However, it is a great skill to have, and something that is definitely aided by my time making. I like to think I am working in a virtual workshop! The best bits of my day are going down to the factory to speak to the other departments. As a designer maker, I particularly enjoy the back and forth of the whole production process, how one step influences Harriet’s Stool Making Course another, and considering all the details when resolving a design for manufacture. Can you give a brief background on yourself? I grew up in Northumberland, the youngest of three girls, and have always enjoyed keeping myself busy. My interest in creative projects was something that my family actively encouraged, which I know makes me very privileged. I decided to study product design for A-Level instead of art, as I was keen to gain practical skills and learn about materials and industrial/craft processes. There are very few makers in my family, so it was a whole new direction for me to explore as a career,

which has meant it has happened very organically and been very much individual to me.

Throughout my education, my motto was ‘do what you enjoy’, and good things have always seemed to come out of it. After A-Levels I studied an Art Foundation Diploma at Newcastle College, specialising in 3D Design. I found out about the BA Hons in Furniture Design and Make at Rycotewood Furniture Centre, after applying for a cabinet making apprenticeship, where I was advised to take my studies further. It was the most positive rejection letter ever!

What pulled you into wanting a career in the furniture industry? I have always wanted to be an artist of some kind, but one who was able to sustain a living. To me, furniture seemed the logical way of expressing my creativity, but in a relevant and useful application. People will always need furniture, so I figured it was a safe bet for a career pathway. Yes, the industry is changing, but learning and developing with it is what I hope will keep it exciting. Before studying at Rycotewood Furniture Centre, I had my hopes set on pursuing a career in film and media, but I found the people in the furniture industry were a lot more like-minded, and feeling part of a supportive community is something that is really important to me. »

8th March 2019 | 19

F E A T U R E |P E O P L E B E H I N D T H E P R O D U C T S

What are your favourite things in life? A quick list: Having a good catch up with friends. Visiting the farmers’ market on a Saturday. Watching a film at the Ultimate Picture Palace in Oxford. Going to gigs, and making art and music with friends from the Young Women’s Music Project. The view of bridges when the train crosses over the River Tyne, as it pulls into Newcastle central train station. A good game of squash. Starting a new notebook/sketchbook. Bonfire night. What are your future ambitions? Another quick list: To put together Volume 2 of THIS GIRL MAKES. To visit the workshops of other craftswomen in other countries around the world. To progress onto an MA programme for both my personal and professional development. To continue to learn and develop my role at ercol. To keep up my making skills by setting up a workshop or home studio. 8th March 2019 | 20

Do you have any furniture industry icons you admire? This was one of the reasons I founded THIS GIRL MAKES, as I had very few female role models whilst I was studying. Now there are so many to choose from! But honourable mentions are Dr Lynn Jones, Ray Eames, Alice Blogg, Heather Scott and Brogan Cox. Do you have any career highlights that spring to mind? The biggest highlight so far would have to be getting my first job with ercol. However, whilst studying, notable highlights were: Attending the 2017 LINLEY Summer School, Winning Best in Show at the 2018 Young Furniture Maker’s Exhibition, hosting the 2018 Rycotewood degree show at Heals in London, and setting up THIS GIRL MAKES. What is your favourite piece of furniture you own? And why? When I was growing up, my dad had a piece of furniture called ‘Corkey’s Cabinet’. It belonged to his Great Uncle ‘Corkey’, and he kept his comic book collection in it. I remember it having an amazing smell and having lots of secret compartments.

As a child, it was so exciting to rummage through it; you never knew what you might find! Unfortunately my parents sold it when they were having a clear-out, but it had such a lasting impact on me that it inspired the final piece that I made as part of my degree at Rycotewood Furniture Centre. I think the thing that attracted me to it was the fact that it had belonged to someone who wasn’t alive anymore; it was an object that carried a lot of stories and sentiment.

A hand-cut marquetry design inspired by THIS GIRL MAKES. (Photo credit: Mark Reeves)



Instead, I would opt for the word ‘movement’ because it is inherently political and, therefore, carries more purpose or meaning. I think the sustainable living and wellness movements are really important, because they are about promoting a healthier and happier planet through the objects we buy and use. Can you predict any future trends that may emerge? I think the amount of alternative materials we’ll be seeing will continue to increase. Finding alternatives to plastic is critical, and should offer consumers more exciting products. Did you know that Cabinet Maker has been established since 1880? How long have you been reading the magazine? I have been aware of the magazine since I started at Rycotewood Furniture Centre. There were always copies in our break room, which we could look through when we were waiting for the kettle to boil.

What do you love about the furniture industry? I love how approachable everyone is. Especially with the development of social media platforms, like Instagram, it is so much easier to reach out to other designers and makers, and feel part of a community.

If you weren’t working with furniture, what would you be doing? Probably off making a film somewhere… And finally, if you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be? This Girl Makes!

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If you would like to feature your staff members in our People Behind The Products features, email editor Dan Squires at or go to www. and follow the link at the bottom of the home page to fill in our questionnaire form.



What industry trends are you seeing at the moment? In all honesty, I hate the word ‘trend’, to me it implies disposability, shallow fashions and unconscious consumerism. I appreciate that following trends is necessary to stay relevant as a company and maintain consumer interest, but I believe design should respond to human needs and solve problems, making ‘following trends’ somewhat irrelevant.

Above: Corkey’s Cabinet, 2018. Harriet’s award-winning collector’s cabinet Left: Hexagon Stools made by participants on Harriet’s stool-making course Below: THIS GIRL MAKES A Table, made during the 2017 LINLEY Summer School


What could be improved to make the industry better in your opinion? It probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone that I would say having a better gender balance within furniture would make it a better industry. This is something I have tried to unpick through THIS GIRL MAKES. It is such a systemic issue affecting education, training and employment, but having a balanced industry would lead to a better variety of ideas and as furniture is such a historic industry, I think it would help bring it up-to-date and make it more attractive to young people.


8th March 2019 | 21

F E A T U R E |H E N N I N G S T U M M E L A R C H I T E C T S Henning Stummel

Cabinet Maker sits down with Henning Stummel, architect and furniture designer, to talk about the launch of the Nomad range.

PERFECT FIT Architectural and furniture design share many similarities in the concept from the first outlined sketch to the finished product. Whether it comes in the form of a building or something to furnish that building with, the art of a designer often thinks outside the box to create inspiring projects. One particular business that has married its own architectural background with furniture design innovation is Henning Stummel Architects, with the launch of its debut modular furniture range Nomad. The architecture practice, which has completed award-winning multiple housing projects, has now turned its attention to introduce its own take on manufacturing a sofa that features no glue, screws or tools. 8th March 2019 | 22

Cabinet Maker caught up with Henning at his celebrated ‘Tin House’ in Shepherd’s Bush, London, who shared his vision behind the Nomad concept. “The design owes a lot to Dieter Rams (inspirational German designer, formerly of products company Braun) and his 10 points of what constitutes good design, i.e. the appropriate use of material, efficiency, unpretentious, timeless etc,” said Henning. “The key idea is to use this new technology to manufacture an incredibly simple set of pieces that simply slot together with that thought in mind — as many people no longer

No glue, No screws, No tools, Nomad



Nomad range features a sofa, chair and table


have a toolbox, but they move to a new house nonetheless.” The Nomad Collection, which was officially unveiled during last year’s London Design Festival in September, includes a two-seater sofa, armchair and coffee table. Each piece is constructed of only five plywood components and can be easily assembled in seconds. The range is exclusively made in the UK and is manufactured by Gloucestershire-based sofa makers Uptec, which also supplies furniture retailers including Heals and Conran. So following its initial launch, how has the concept been received? Henning said: “The Nomad range and its design concept has been very well received. In particular, we’ve enjoyed incredibly positive press, both from design specific publications and from the general consumer press. The highlight was to see the sofa nominated as one of the seven most interesting designs of 2018 by a popular design and interiors magazine in New York. “The conceptual idea behind Nomad can be applied to all manner of things, across every room in the house. Alongside working on the design of new individual pieces, such as a Nomad sofa-bed and new armchair, we are also working on designs for a Nomad kitchen furniture range.” Looking to build on its success, Henning outlined they are ‘constantly busy developing new furniture ideas’ as they look to ‘simplify and reduce things further’. Adding to this notion, the business is determined to ‘build bridges’ in the wake of any potential uncertainty from Brexit. He said: “Whilst the political uncertainty has not been good for business in the UK for anyone, it gives space to think. I’ve been teaching in Germany and in London, and we’ve been developing ideas, including with

the furniture like Nomad, which we want to grow.

trends and shared his view of the current marketplace. “There is a trend for 50s modernism, but the designs are brutally halfhearted, lacking the vision and optimism that you would associate with genuine forwardlooking modernism. To be honest, it’s a bland and cautious nostalgia, and probably says a lot about where we are as a society.”

“Currently we’re selling Nomad through our website — but we’d be very open to establishing retail links; particularly with the level of consumer press the range has achieved in the UK.”

With that perception in mind, it served as a strong platform for the business to develop the Nomad range, which offers a new lease of life into modern day modular furniture design, all without the use of glue, screws and tools!

With UK expansion on the cards, the business also expressed plans to expose Nomad across the international scene and already has many invitations to showcase at overseas furniture fairs, including the ICFF in New York in May. As exhibition plans get finalised, Henning said that its ‘Made In The UK’ stamp is something that draws the appeal, alongside its sustainable practices.

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In fact — and significantly — each piece is made of just one sheet of ply or hide, which allows the business to maximise the efficiency of the Nomad range, ultimately eradicating production waste. “Sustainability is crucial across all of our designs, from buildings to furniture,” Henning said, continuing: “With regards to the Nomad range, one of the key principles is mainly to do with making efficient use of material and making a product that will last. “The environmental credentials could even be improved further if we found a plywood that uses biodegradable glue, something we are currently looking at.” Henning also keeps a close eye on emerging

Meet Henning

I trained to be an architect both in Germany and in Switzerland, before working with Sir Norman Foster – of which included the design of the award-winning Reichstag (New German Parliament) in Berlin. I then spent six years with Sir David Chipperfield, working for his architectural practice on projects mainly across Europe. Now I run my own small architectural practice in London (Henning Stummel Architects) and we work very hard to create exceptional projects. Culturally, I’m somehow on the boundary line between the middle-European, Bauhaus-inspired design ethos and the colourful vibrancy of London – it’s an interesting place to be. 8th March 2019 | 23


INTRODUCING OSLO A collection with real retro Scandinavian charm Light or dark, the choice is yours! The retro-styled Oslo collection comes finished in attractive white, with the option of either a light oak accent or a dark matte black for a truly dramatic look. Thoughtfully designed pieces for living, dining, home office, bedroom and more are all available now for next day delivery from Furniture to Go. Oslo by Tvilum! All easy to assemble and available for next day delivery.

w Visit

8th March 2019 | 24



IMPORTAS Senior Technologist Importas are a significant supplier of Asia sourced furniture to leading National Furniture Retailers in the UK. We are seeking a Senior Technologist to join our team. We require a self-motivated technologist to assume full responsibility for all internal and external functions of this important position. The role itself will be primarily be based at our Head Office in Teignmouth, Devon. The role will involve travel to customers across the UK. Also regular trips to our supply base in Asia when necessary. Job responsibilities will include: • Provide technical support to the whole business • Responsible for defining the technical requirements and agreeing the specifications for all products • Managing factory audit processes • Quality reporting • Driving customer satisfaction • Managing a technical team both in the UK and Asia Requirements: • The candidate will ideally have had experience in a similar role in the Furniture Industry • High level of computer literacy • Ability to meet strict deadlines • Excellent attention to detail and strong administrative skills • Ability to work with Design, Sales and Merchandise departments to meet company goals If you are interested in applying for this vacancy, please send your CV and an email to

Store Manager

Bradbeers Furniture Store – Hedge End, Hampshire, SO30 2QY Established in 1837, we are a family-owned successful independent retail business with four stores in Hampshire. We have an opportunity for an accomplished Manager to head our Hedge End Furniture Store, with its 45,000 ft² of retail space on our own Retail Park. Reporting directly to the Managing Director, the successful applicant will be responsible for all aspects of Store Management and Business Development. We shall be seeking an individual from a furniture store background with experience in senior positions and varying job roles. With a hands-on, dynamic and energetic style, the individual will demonstrate a wide skills profile. We would expect a proven track record and the ability to be able to demonstrate excellence in the following competencies: Leading and Developing Customer Service Team Work Communication Delivering Results Marketing Commercial Awareness Vision and Creativity Buying Project Management Managing Budgets Send your CV with covering letter by email to

The Furniture Makers’ Company the furnishing industry’s charity


Things don’t always follow the design


There may be times you need

have in mind

often throw some curve balls

We will always be there for

The Furniture Makers’ Company has been supporting the welfare of employees in the interiors and furnishing industry for more than 100 years. If you or someone you know is in need of financial support, let us help. Visit our website or contact 020 7256 5558

This advertising space was generously donated by Cabinet Maker magazine in support of The Furniture Makers’ Company’s welfare campaign. The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers’ Charitable Funds incorporating the Furnishing Trades Benevolent Association is a registered charity in England and Wales (no. 1015519) and a registered company (no. 02759359) in England and Wales

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+45 51502110

Boss Design Group

Dudley, DY2 8SZ

01384 455570


Bursa (Turkey) 8th March 2019 | 26

Midsomer Norton, BA3 4BS Rochdale, OL16 4NG Witney, OX29 0YN London, W1K 3QD

0116 287 5288 020 3058 2751 01706 374431 01993 775 767 020 8874 6484

Cookes Furniture

Birmingham, B23 5PN

0121 2505050

Daniel Stores

Windsor, SL4 1DP

01753 801000 01484 658341

Decorex International London

020 7921 8275

Design Guild Mark

London, EC2N 2HE

020 7562 8520


Doncaster, DN6 7NA

01302 573 200

Dickinsons Furnishers

Chorley, PR7 2ST

01257 262141


Mansfield, NG18 1HA

0800 652 5090

Dura Beds

Batley, WF17 6PB

01924 422 537


Gomersal, BD19 4HX

01274 877200


London, SE1 0SW

0345 675 9090

E London, EC1N 6TE


Aarhus (Denmark)

Leicester, LE3 1TH


Norfolk, NR17 1N3 Dewsbury, WF12 9AH

Matera (Italy)

Elland, HX5 9HF

Barkers Home

Mansfield, NG18 1HA

0330 333 3444

Decorative Panels

Baker Furniture

Ilkeston, DE7 5EP

Purfleet, RM19 1TT


Aydin Tekstil Ticaret

Bournemouth, BH1 1LJ


Ceramic Import and Manufacturing Company

Archers Sleepcentre

Glasgow, G52 4BN

(03) 8831 9777

01902 492937

Arc Lighting & Design

Swindon, SN1 3BH

Melbourne (Australia)

Calia Trade SPA

AMA Research

Cheltenham, GL50 1TY

01244 812628


01225 754411

Alstons Upholstery

Colchester, CO2 9JU

Connah’s Quay, CH5 4DP


Alpha Designs Upholstery Bilston, WV14 7HZ

01629 823680


01924 262525


Istanbul (Turkey)

905 873 8509


+90 224 241 69 00

020 7462 0440


Princes Risborough, HP27 9PX

01844 271800

Espoke Living

Chester, CH4 8BU

0333 344 2855

Eve Sleep

London, N5 1XL

0800 808 5766

A L P H A A D S |C O N N E C T I N G B U Y E R S A N D S E L L E R S E V E R Y W E E K F


Findel Education Ltd

Accrington, BB5 4EE 03451 203 603

01438 777 700

+48 29 64 42 222

01384 408844

020 3348 9829

Mirfield, WF14 9DQ

0800 035 0070

Furniture Link

Telford, TF1 7AD

01952 604960

Furniture Makers

London, EC2N 2HE

020 72565558

Furniture to Go

Portsmouth, PO3 5QD

02380 517067

Furniture Village

Slough, SL1 4DX

0800 804 8879

Furniture World

Newquay, TR7 2HS

01268 745421


069 7575-0

Heritage Furniture


Herman Miller

Melksham, SN12 6GN

0845 226 9776


Liversedge, WF15 6QA

01924 406600


Berlin (Germany)

+49 30 20 38 99 66

Housing Units

Failsworth, M35 9BA


0161 681 5678 01924 486902

Hydeline Furniture 01209 210080


Milton Keynes, MK12 6HS

01908 968228

Hyder Beds


Dundee, DD5 2AJ

01844 348200


Global Furniture Alliance Chepstow, NP16 6UN

01291 645080

Grampian Furnishers

Elgin, IV30 8QN

01343 813271

Greenwood Retail

Knutsford, WA16 6EN

01565 650101


Bolton, BL6 4SA

0333 7777 575


Iain James Furniture

London, W1T 7PJ Hammonds Harrison Spinks Leeds, LS11 5SB

0800 021 4363

0113 205 5200

Harry Corry

Belfast, BT17 9GX

028 9060 6801

Corby, NN17 4JN

01536 444960

Kingstown Furniture

Hull, HU7 0BZ

01482 701173

Kobe UK

Crowthorne, RG45 6LS

01344 771653

L La-Z-Boy

Maidenhead, SL6 1BU

01628 513810


Blackburn, BB1 2BX

01254 265883

Laura Ashley

Newtown, SY16 1DZ

03332 008 009

Lebus Upholstery

Scunthorpe, DN16 3RN

01724 281381


Bilston, WV14 8LB

0333 222 4120


0345 468 0697

London Design Fair

London, E1 6QR Long Eaton, NG10 4QD

020 7739 5561

Ilminster, TA19 9DN

Indus Valley Furniture Ltd

London, WC2H 0JG

Nottingham, NG2 4BN


Ikea International


ISM Networks Furniture

Maisons du Monde

Leigh, WN7 2RR

0300 030 9915

0808 234 21 72


Dudley, DY2 8NT

0116 4422363

020 7384 8211

Mathias Wiemann GmbH & Co KG

01603 660661



Germany Norfolk, NR14 8SQ

01706 877877


03300 883818



Hazel Grove, SK7 5BW

Mason and Pearl

Jarrold & Son

Bacup, OL13 0EA

+39 057451011

Wallsend, NE28 9NZ

J Norwich, NR2 1JF

01332 321827



London, SW6 3JW

0344 499 4686

353 404 80068

Kettle Interiors

London Fabric Show

January Furniture Show


01623 818808


01382 477281

01284 752804

Mansfield, NG19 8R

Telford, TF3 3BQ


Bury St Edmunds, IP33 3TU



Hypnos Sittingbourne, ME10 3RN 01795 439159

+353 45 484 300

Greengates, BD10 9TQ

Dewsbury, WF13 1EN Princes Risborough, HP27 9RS




Blackburn, BB1 1TJ

Furniture Choice


Kelston House

Rotherham, S66 9HU


London, E12 6SJ

01675 433000

Health Beds

Hockley, SS5 4AD


Kingswinford, DY6 7FF


Rotherham, S66 9HU

Forte Furniture


0344 372 1000

Birmingham, B46 1LW


Stevenage, SG1 2EW


Harvey Norman

Lancashire, BB4 5JT Dewsbury

49 5401 852-0 0333 577 5773 07891 506241 01924 458699

8th March 2019 | 27


A L P H A A D S |T O A D V E R T I S E O N T H E S E P A G E S C A L L 0 1 6 2 3 3 7 2 2 1 3 O R G O T O : W W W . C A B I N E T - M A K E R . C O . U K Recticel


Somercotes, DE55 4RD

Metro Wardrobes and Kitchens London, HA9 0LB

0203 4883347

Millbrook Beds

Totton, SO40 3XJ

023 8086 6111

Minerva Furnishers Guild

Corsham, SN13 0HN

01225 444204


Wincanton, BA9 9EQ

0345 460 3122

N Manchester, M60 6ES

0161 236 8256

Nathan Furniture Group

Wensley, DL8 4HS 01756 799 950


0039 080 8820488

NCF Furnishings

Guildford, GU1 3DU

01483 306 280

Neville Johnson

Stretford, M17 1RW

0161 873 8333

Nolte Möebel

Bury, BL9 8RN

0161 767 8244

O Oak Furniture Land Scunthorpe, DN15 6SU

Oliver & Sons

Oliver Bonas

Calne, SN11 9BN

01249 821 748

Royams Upholstery Lancashire, BB1 5JJ

01254 665228

0800 14 13 786

0800 440 2254 01724 281888 0800 083 0683 020 8974 3332

Aspatria, CA7 2AS

016973 20342


West Bromwich, B70 0TX


Dewsbury, WF13 3JY

0800 789 789

01924 439 898


Barnoldswick, BB18 6BJ

0115 951 9512

0333 123 0892

0121 389 4262

London, SW1E 6QT 0177 0512 7700

01623 441886 01509 235236

Pike Textiles

01945 461361

Sofahouse Imports

020 8731 0020





Highbridge, TA9 3AE Waverton, CH3 7PD


Stevenage, SG1 2AD

0333 241 3209

The Good Sleep Company

Banff, Aberdeenshire 01261 819984

The Great Chair Company

Cheltenham, GL52 6NZ

The Lounge Co

01225 792429

Timeless Chesterfields

Bolton, BL3 2NZ

01204 368413


Thirsk, YO7 4LX

01845 522770

U United Carpets

Mansfield Woodhouse, NG19 9AL

Vi Spring

01623 428481

Plymouth, PL5 2TT

01752 366311

Kidderminster, DY10 1JR

01562 749610

0808 159 9679

Vogue Beds

0345 400 2222 353 42 935 1950 01278 557755 01244 888658


Peterborough, PE2 6WQ

0333 200 1725

The Furniture Ombudsman (TFO)

01204 368413

Stellenbosch, (South Africa) 27218080700

0116 284 9063

Norwich, NR1 3PA


Steinhoff (International)

RJ Binnie

01772 792936

The Cotswold Company

0121 773 6669


Radium Foam


Preston, PR1 5PQ

VIDA Living

Sofa Workshop

353 42 935 1351

Tempur Sealy

45 87 54 55 00

Sofa by Saxon

Godalming, GU7 1EY

TCS Imports

Louth, BT35 8PX

Victoria Plc


Bolton, BL3 2NZ

01689 886888



Birmingham, B11 2NR

Orpington, BR6 0PH 0121 505 0270

Shire Beds


Pickworth Furnishings

Loughborough, LE11 3HB

0208 8384838

Sealy UK

Skovby Mobelfabrik A/S

Perfect Home

Huthwaite, NG17 2HW

London, NW10 6UD

Park Lane Bedding

Birmingham, B8 1AG

01536 410000


Simmons Bedding Group

Paragon Interiors

Nottingham, NG8 6PX

Satra Technology Centre Rothwell, NN16 8SD

T Tapi Carpets



Dewsbury, WF12 9AH

01282 830033

Lexington (USA)

Clayton, BD14 6LT 01274 882633


8th March 2019 | 28


Sherborne Upholstery

Oldrids and Downtown

Leicester, LE8 6LH

+32 87 59 59 59

Cwmtillery, Abertillery, NP13 1LZ 0115 943 8980

Skipton, BD23 1NL

London, NW2 1LJ

ROM Sofas


02393 873 170

Burnley, BB10 1SH

Wellington, TA21 8NN

Sassy Home

National Bed Federation

Wisbech, PE13 2RS


Hampshire, PO7 7XY

Sweet Dreams


N Brown Group


Swan Retail 017738 38800

01733 371727

Stockport, SK3 0XT

353 (0) 42 933 7044

London, W1U 3ED Barwell, LE9 8GZ


Walker Greenbank

Denham, UB9 4DX


01455 841257

0203 457 5862


Greenfield, CH8 7FF

01352 714131

Peterborough, PE2 7BW

01733 318400

Dorset, DT1 1HN

01305 262666

Willis and Gambier Woods Furniture

Take aim for fun and fundraising

Wednesday 12 June 2019 Holland and Holland shooting ground, Northwood, Middlesex

Book your place now! Contact: 020 7562 8526 Supported by



It’s time to give a good hard look at the elephant in the room: Brexit. Ever since Britain announced its intended departure from the EU in 2016, the British economy has exhibited whirlwind-like tendencies. The valuation of sterling has plummeted and rallied, the cross-border movement of goods has become a riddle that nobody can solve, and now Theresa May has yielded to her peers in allowing a vote to occur which, if agreed, would delay Brexit beyond March. It’s a mess of Titanic proportions. The likely effect of Brexit on sales IMRG has a direct view of the sales and activity of hundreds of online retailers in the UK. From this broad perspective, trends can be identified amongst both retailers and customers, and an estimation for the future can be given. This includes estimating the outcome of Brexit on retail.

than other sectors; while the housing and car markets are having a tough time, it does mean people are making less of the really high-expenditure purchases which, in theory, leaves more for the lower-cost, more regular purchases made on retail sites. A caveat to that would be if things get very volatile over the next few months, with currency fluctuations hiking up prices of certain products. But one factor that can never be overlooked in retail is the impact of the British weather. February has been exceptionally warm, which may be stimulating sales activity for fashion retailers selling new season products. If we get favourable weather in March / April, that may be a significant driver of sales growth — if it’s cold and our exit from the EU doesn’t go well, it could be a very tough time. And so, in stereotypical fashion, Britain is badgering on about its weather. Yet its effect on retail is seismic.

Retail is likely to be more protected from the effects of Brexit than other sectors. The macroeconomic climate — which must be linked to some extent to the looming Brexit deadline — does seem to have exerted some influence over online retail sales growth in recent months. That said, retail should be more protected against possible impacts



8th March 2019 | 30


NEW MAY & NOVA Two fantastic new collections from Furniture To Go The new May and Nova collections are the perfect way to broaden your furniture offering. Both ranges are styled in a modern, linear design which offers top-notch practicality and appeals to the masses. Available in an impressive selection of attractive, durable finishes including classic white and black options - all kept in stock ready for next day delivery!


All Nova cabinets and chests feature a modern handle-less drawer solution for a clean, linear design.


The sleek design of the May collection creates a perfect balance between and useful function to create a bold, uniform look.

Just call us: 02380 517067 and let’s see how we can support you.


ORDER 24/7




Furniture To Go, 3 Keel Close, Interchange Park, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO3 5QD - T: 02380 517067 E: -

Profile for Cabinet Maker

Cabinet Maker 8th March 2019  

Cabinet Maker 8th March 2019