INFORMING INDUSTRY, BUILDING BUSINESS
#370 January 2020 www.furniturenews.net
At your service The UK Agencyâ€™s NEC takeover
RETAIL IN REVIEW The trends and trials of 2019/20 OWN-BRAND ASCENDANT UPHOLSTERY DISRUPTED
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FOR EVERY FAILURE, THERE WAS A SUCCESS STORY THE TABLOIDS DIDN’T BOTHER TO TELL “It wasn’t clear what to prepare for, or when to prepare for it.” I’m sure you have your own version of this refrain (expressed by JYSK’s David Ashton in our annual retailer-led review, commencing on p201), which sums up why the post-referendum impasse has been so painful for us all. Our new Prime Minister described Parliament as “paralysed, blocked, generally as incapable of digestive function as an anaconda that has swallowed a tapir, neither moving one way or the other”. But last month’s Conservative victory promises to end that indigestion, paving the way for the next stage of our nation’s journey, some much-needed clarity of purpose and a rallying of consumer confidence. David Ashton is just one of 10 retailers taking part in this year’s big review, which tackles such diverse topics as Amazon’s looming shadow, business rates and John Lewis Partnership’s management integration, and presents the panel’s thoughts on the year gone by – and what’s to come. Unsurprisingly, the lack of certainty we’ve endured is cited by the majority of them as 2019’s biggest villain. Unfavourable exchange rates, hardpressed suppliers and erratic buying patterns were just a few of the symptoms of another year of Brexit back-and-forth. But while the future appeared opaque, it didn’t stop companies trying. Tales of
woe may have darkened the headlines, but for every failure there was a success story the tabloids didn’t bother to tell. Just look at the innovation and creativity demonstrated by this month’s lead interviewees. Having noted the missteps of the bed-in-a-box pioneers, Robert Bridgman is hoping his boxed sofa concept makes a more lasting impression (p12) – while Ryan McNeish explains why even commercial furniture designers must stay true to themselves (p18). Or read about why retailers are maximising both reach and margins by implementing own-brand strategies (p222), and how countless suppliers, associations and service providers intend to drive business in 2020 and beyond. You’ll have a chance to engage many of these in person at the January Furniture Show (our 100-page preview starts on p53) and the other exhibitions taking place this season. It all goes to show just how much can be accomplished by skilled, inventive and industrious operators. On a national level, the hard work may be only just beginning, but there’s a bright future for those willing to pursue it. Like Boris’ “One Nation” Government, success will only be achieved through co-operation – and if you’re looking for your next business partner, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to a new year, decade, and era.
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been absent from our pages for a variety of reasons – mainly because I have felt that it is our job to report on the industry, rather than the broader issues emanating from Westminster. However, it would be wrong not express a huge sigh of relief that there is light at the end of the tunnel in regard to Brexit, and the removal of the very real threat of an extreme left government and all of its implications. Our industry is often very susceptible to the vagaries of domestic economic pressure – when compared to others which are more oriented around national infrastructure, commodities and niche areas of leisure (and sometimes retail). Hopefully now, the shackles on investment, expenditure and marketing will slowly be removed, and companies within our marketplace will feel confident enough to go forward in a full and positive way again. This, of course, will be more than likely when consumers develop their own confidence in a stable economy and a revitalised housing market, which is nearly always the case in the UK. December 12th should be a date to celebrate, and marked as the launchpad for a brighter long-term future and a vastly improved 2020 – certainly in basic trading terms. Don’t forget that the depression (not recession) of 2008-12 was eventually left behind by a disgruntled public who were determined to turn their back on continued bad news. In many ways, the past three-and-a-half years have felt the same, and the people have now turned to an option that will lead them (and therefore us) out of the doldrums. Let’s once again do business. We are here to work with you and help take you forward.
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INFORMING INDUSTRY, BUILDING BUSINESS
#370 January 2020 www.furniturenews.net
At your service The UK Agency’s NEC takeover
INSIGHT 12 Snug Shack / 16 Linthorpe Beds / 18 Ryan McNeish 20 Breasley / 22 Retail Barometer / 28 Rose & Grey
RETAIL IN REVIEW The trends and trials of 2019/20 BALANCING BRANDS UPHOLSTERY DISRUPTED
JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW AIS FURNITURE SHOW / IMM COLOGNE DINING / BUYING GROUPS & ASSOCIATIONS BEDROOM / BED IN A BOX / TRADE SERVICES
86 KRISTENSEN KRISTENSEN, THE UK AGENCY (COVER FEATURE)
EVENTS 32 UK Event Guide / 34 BFM Fabric Show London 34 Heimtextil / 34 VIFA / 35 imm cologne 40 The AIS Furniture Show / 44 Spring Fair 46 MIFF / 48 IFEX / 50 CIFF
JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW 54 The Furniture Awards / 60 Hall 1 68 Hall 2 / 76 Hall 3 / 86 Hall 4 / 108 Hall 5
154 PRODUCTS Jan Turner, director, AKA PR, working with the National Bed Federation (NBF)
Dids Macdonald OBE, master, The Furniture Makers’ Company, and CEO, ACID
156 Bedroom / 168 Bed in a Box / 172 Dining 174 Buying Groups & Associations 182 Trade Services
201 OPINION 201 Retailer Review / 222 Own-brand 225 The Furniture Makers’ Company 226 Feedback 12
THIS IS THE START OF A NEW CATEGORY IN FURNITURE
Jerry Cheshire, director, Surrey Beds – just one of the retailers taking part in our Retailer Review feature
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HABITAT MD CLARE ASKEM is leaving the business. Replacing her is James Brown, commercial director of general merchandise and clothing
MARKS & SPENCER has appointed Richard Price, currently CEO of F&F Clothing at Tesco, as its MD, Clothing & Home. Richard previously worked as MD of BHS, head of merchandise and menswear trading director at M&S, and in merchandising roles with Next
THE CHILDREN’S FURNITURE COMPANY (TCFC) has appointed Gareth Williams, the former boss of retailer Sofa.com, as its chairman
HEAL’S HAS OPENED a 2080ft2 outlet store on Chiswick high street, West London. The store will offer bestsellers plus a selection of cancelled, returned and overstocked pieces at reduced prices
RECLINER SPECIALIST STRESSLESS has committed through Trees for Cities to plant a tree for every seat sold across the UK and Ireland during the winter sale period, as well as planting 6000 trees in the UK in March
LIBRA HAS LAUNCHED a trade website that boasts improved functionality and streamlined order processing, and has hired Charlie Ruigrok, previously a digital trade adviser at the Department of International Trade (DIT), as head of digital READ MORE ONLINE AT FURNITURENEWS.NET
JYSK AIMS HIGH After recording EBIT of €474m in 2018, Danish retail giant JYSK’s profits fell to €436m in its last financial year, due to rising costs and significant investments. At the same time, turnover grew to €3.794b (up +6.3% YoY), buoyed by the opening of 175 new stores. The year also saw JYSK celebrate its 40th anniversary, open its first store in Ireland, merge its JYSK Nordic and Dänisches Bettenlager business units, and mourn the passing of its founder, Lars Larsen. “Looking back at the 2018/19 financial year, I can certainly say that it has been one of the most eventful years in JYSK’s history, both for the good and for the worse,” says president and CEO, Jan Bøgh. “It was
expected that the result would be slightly lower than [2018’s]. This is due to, among other things, very large salary increases in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as significantly higher distribution costs, both in relation to transport from warehouse to store and direct distribution to customers. “At the same time, we have made very large investments. Both in terms of IT to ensure that JYSK is among the best when it comes to online shopping opportunities, and in the form of opening a new distribution centre in Bozhurishte in Bulgaria, the establishment of a record number of new stores and the opening of JYSK in Ireland. “Unfortunately, the opening
in Ireland also became the last country opening for our founder, whom we lost in August.” UK country manager, David Ashton, plans to climb Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro next month, in support of men’s mental health charity, CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). “To climb Kilimanjaro has been a challenge I’ve wanted to undertake for many years,” he says. “I’m sure that it will be both physically and mentally tough, but incredible. At the same time, I wanted to use the opportunity to support CALM. It is absolutely devastating that the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK is suicide.” Donate at www.justgiving.com/ ashton-kilimanjaro.
HOMEWARES DRIVE GROWTH AT B&M
SHIRE COMMITS TO QUALITY AND CHARITY
B&M’s UK stores delivered LFL sales growth of +3.7% in the HY to 28th September 2019, driven significantly by homewares. The retailer says the category is now “back on track” following additional investment in buying and design resources, the launch of new ranges and implementation of new visual merchandising. It also attributes the good performance to the narrowing gap between discount stores and category specialists – a survey carried out by B&M found that shoppers are using discount stores more often (particularly women, those aged 55-64 and those with children at home aged 19 and over). B&M reports growth in customer numbers and average transaction values, with both town centre and out-of-town locations delivering growth. As of September, B&M operated from 645 UK stores (a net of 25 opened during the period). Supporting the business at the back end, a new warehouse will become operational this month.
As part of its drive to improve standards by establishing a quality management system (QMS), Dewsbury’s Shire Beds has achieved ISO 9001:2015. The investement began with plant and machinery to build capacity, and the bedmaker’s focus on systems and practices enabled the company to achieve this certification, which recognises consistency in operations and processes. Shire also reinforced its commitment to local causes last month by donating a branded bed to The Big Sleep, a fundraising event which saw Leeds businesspeople, residents and sportspeople spend a night on the terraces at Emerald Headingley Stadium, home of Leeds Rhinos Rugby Club, to raise money for the city’s vulnerable communities. The chance to spend the night in the Rhinosbranded bed was auctioned for £3000, and the total raised – nearly £50,000 – will be shared by Leeds Rhinos Foundation, St George’s Crypt and St Gemma’s Hospice.
READ MORE AT WWW.FURNITURENEWS.NET
RIP KEITH FITZ-HUGH, 1947-2019 It is with profound regret that Furniture News announces the passing of its long-term proofreader, Keith Fitz-Hugh. A print compositor by trade, Keith started working as the subeditor/proofreader at Gearing Media Group (then Nigel Gearing Ltd) on January 4th, 1994. He went on to work there for almost 25 years, maintaining its magazines’ house style and high standards of accuracy. “Keith’s death was a real blow,” says Gearing Media Group’s editor-in-chief, Paul Farley. “As well as a fierce champion of grammatical detail, he was
an extremely warm, funny and industrious individual. Keith worked from home, so he was very much an invisible member of the editorial team – but his input permeated every issue that went to print. “Our condolences go out to his family and friends. Here at Gearing Media Group, his busy red pen will be missed by all.” Keith passed away on 23rd November at the age of 72, and his funeral took place at Hastings Crematorium on 13th December. A true fan of Liverpool FC, Keith was played out to Gerry and the Pacemakers’ You’ll Never Walk Alone.
BEDECK UNVEILS NEW SHOWROOM Homewares specialist Bedeck has unveiled its new flagship Northern Ireland store in Belfast, and its new trade showroom at its headquarters in Magheralin, County Down. Both were officially opened by architect, television presenter and writer George Clarke, who cut the ribbon with Bedeck’s joint MDs Gary and Andrew Irwin, grandsons of the company’s founder, Alexander Irwin. Representing the final stage of an 18-month investment programme, the 5000ft2 custom-built store was designed to meet growing demand for more space, and features a dedicated presentation area for 25 beds in which to display new seasonal collections. In addition, Bedeck’s flagship store on Lisburn Road in Belfast has undergone a thorough refit. Gary Irwin says: “We are thrilled to be opening the new showroom on the same plot where our grandfather started the business 68 years ago. The business has organically evolved from selling
handkerchiefs to become a global home textiles expert, and this new space marks a new chapter in the history of the company.” Andrew Irwin adds: “The investment across our retail stores comes out of the need to continue to inspire our customers. We want to create a friendly and pleasant environment for both staff and customers and ensure they have a positive shopping experience. As a business we feel it is important to constantly evolve and refine our stores to stay relevant within the current pressurised retail environment.” Pictured from left are Gary Irwin, George Clarke and Andrew Irwin.
SWOON RESCUED IN PRE-PACK DEAL Online furniture brand Swoon was placed into administration last month before being sold to Swoon Editions Ltd, a new company majority-owned and managed by Swoon’s founders. Will Wright and Steve Absolom of KPMG were appointed joint administrators of Sourceable Ltd on 10th December. Immediately following their appointment, they completed an agreement to sell the business and assets to Swoon Editions, in a transaction which saw all 21 employees transferred. Swoon Editions states
that it intends to complete all outstanding customer orders. Nick Holloway, a director at KPMG, comments: “We are pleased to have been able to execute a deal that preserves the business and employees, especially in the context of the current UK retail climate, when the only alternative would have been a shutdown. The sale will ensure continuity of the Swoon brand, including their in-house design team, as well as ensuring the fulfilment of outstanding customer orders.”
US LUXURY HOMEWARES RETAILER RH (formerly Restoration Hardware) intends to establish an international presence from 2021/22, starting with 5-7 European showrooms, with an initial launch in London DEBENHAMS GROUP has appointed former Home Retail Group CEO John Walden and Conroy Media founder Kevin Conroy as non-executive directors of its parent company, Celine Jersey Topco HARVEY NORMAN named mattress specialist Kaymed its Homewares and Linen Product of the Year 2019, for its innovative Sleep Studio Pillows. Kaymed was also awarded Sleep Surface Supplier of the Year THIS YEAR’S BFM FABRIC SHOW LONDON will take place on Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th February, a week earlier than previously announced, due to a fixture clash at its Chelsea FC (Stamford Bridge) venue SOFAMAKER WHITEMEADOW celebrated its 25th anniversary in December. Staff across all six of the company’s manufacturing sites were treated to cupcakes and a prize draw, while those who have worked there for the duration were added to a new Wall of Fame FOUR-STORE RETAILER GLASSWELLS held a charity quiz night last month, and raised £1140 for the My WiSH Charity to provide festive decorations for the children’s Rainbow Ward at West Suffolk Hospital READ MORE ONLINE AT FURNITURENEWS.NET
18th & 19th February 2020
The Exclusive UK Fabric Trade Show Housing the worldâ€™s premier fabric suppliers under one intimate roof.
Opening Times 9.30am - 6.00pm on Tuesday 9.00am - 4.00pm on Wednesday
Chelsea Football Club, Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, SW6 1HS
For more information and to register your attendance please visit
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When the bed-in-a-box concept introduced shoppers to a new level of convenience and clarity (wrapped up with a glossy, digital bow), the mattress sector was left reeling. In time, the business model’s flaws became clear – but not before the disruptors had seized some serious market share, writes Paul Farley. Today, a new boxed sofa concept promises to equally unseat the upholstery sector – but it’s no use being ahead of the curve if you’re not built to last, says Robert Bridgman … www.snugshack.co.uk
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13 Nature abhors a vacuum. When the digital disruptors identified a gap in the furniture market for clear, convenient fulfilment, their offer resounded with those tech-savvy, time-poor consumers that had become disillusioned with traditional retail. Now the industry faces a new wave of disruption, and at its crest is Snug Shack, the UK’s first sofa-in-a-box brand. Principally a digital brand, Snug Shack has traditional foundations. Founder and ‘chief rebel’ Robert Bridgman also manages the family business, a supplier of premium garden furniture. Like many of the upstarts that came before it, Snug Shack was born out of frustration, says Robert. “I was moving house two years ago, and wanted a good sofa. I quickly discovered I’d have to wait for it – most of the premium players offered 6-8 week delivery. As it happened, my order should’ve taken six weeks but took nine, and there was no communication at all from the supplier. When it finally arrived, it didn’t fit through the door, and because I’d had it made to order, I couldn’t send it back. What should have been an exciting experience was really stressful.” Robert’s dissatisfaction was both personal and professional. The family business had long kept goods in stock for rapid delivery, creating different expectations around fulfilment. “In the upholstery industry it seems that payment is generally taken up front, which then funds production. At Bridgman, we’d already evolved away from that model. With garden furniture, you can’t do JIT production – as soon as the sun comes out, people want it the next day.” Robert knew there had to be an easier way from a consumer POV – but that it would be expensive, require commitment, and mean maximising the online opportunity. “Ten years ago, with the dot-com boom (and bust), the furniture industry really started to pay attention to ecommerce,” he recalls. “At Bridgman, we recognised the need to do things differently, and set up a website to clear wholesale stock. That’s when we really saw the power of the Internet – we were shocked that anyone would spend thousands online without seeing the product in person.
“Since then, you’ve had Made, Swoon, all those bed-in-a-box players popping up … I knew, whatever, we had to put the consumer first.” Recipe for success Robert saw a sector ripe for reinvention – but first, he needed a product. “At Bridgman, our focus is innovation,” he explains. “We’ve got over 40 years’ product and manufacturing experience in-house. In short, we wanted a premium product at a mid-market price point, and we knew the only way to achieve this was by designing and selling our own product. “Our research told us that a barrier goes up in people’s minds when an item costs over £1000, so we knew we had to keep it under that.”
Robert discusses the expanded range at October’s launch event
WHATEVER WE DID HAD TO PUT THE CONSUMER FIRST
THIS IS THE START OF A NEW CATEGORY IN FURNITURE
Robert’s concept was a sofa-in-a-box – a convenient, high-quality RTA model that could be marketed and supplied in a similar manner to the bed-in-a-box, but, thanks to its modular construction, would offer the possibility of progression following the initial purchase. “We basically reverse-engineered the sofa to come apart,” says Robert. “We could bake every issue into the design, with better quality and comfort than you’d expect from an RTA or flat-pack product.” His models would promise comfort (“I’ve owned several sofas that are too deep, and you shouldn’t need scatter cushions to prop you up”), built-in stain resistance, and high-quality finishes and fabrics. “Being a British manufacturer ourselves, we really wanted this to be made in the UK,” says Robert, “but despite going to great lengths to find a partner, we hit a brick wall. Fortuitously, I then bumped into an old contact in Europe, and, right away, we had a prototype. We wanted to be first to
market with this concept in the UK, so it was a relief to find a partner with that level of dynamism.” Convenience story Quick turnaround was always going to be pivotal to Snug Shack’s offer, which meant holding stock in the UK. Achieving a three-day turnaround was one of the most challenging aspects of last spring’s launch, says Robert: “Customers are very busy, so communication is key – but we’ve found that logistics partners’ technology is often outdated and doesn’t link into modern systems.” But it’s been worth it. Snug Shack can now steal a march on those made-toorder suppliers who are forced to close their order books early – particularly at times like the run-up to Christmas. “I feel the industry has been a bit complacent,” says Robert. “I’m used to shopping on my phone, getting what I’ve ordered quickly, and solving any issues pretty much instantly. It’s not rocket science – it’s just about understanding
INFORMING INDUSTRY, BUILDING BUSINESS 15 businesses are forced to go public, sell, or worse. “Business needs to be sustainable. In just seven years, the bed-in-a-box market has become saturated – there’s something like 170 bed-in-a-box companies in the US. But look at Tuft & Needle, which isn’t investor-funded, and is doing very well – it proves there’s other ways of doing it. “What we’re doing is going to look different. The funding won’t be as readily available, but we want to build a company that’s going to be around for decades, not years. You can go for growth, but not growth at all costs.”
Models can be assembled by one person in less than three minutes
the way consumers think, and tapping into what they want.” For Robert, convenience is king, and this mantra doesn’t stop upon delivery (which is free, “comfortably” within three days, and in a box that’s small enough to transport “in the back of an UberXL”). “A lot of our customers are time-poor and live in cities and towns, often in converted properties with poor access,” he explains, “and, in these situations (and speaking from experience!), a boxed solution is invaluable.” Upon unboxing, sofas can be assembled in less than three minutes, with no tools or extra hands required. Like its boxed mattress counterparts, Snug Shack offers a no-strings returns period (30 days). And, if the buyer decides to send it back, or is moving home, they can take the sofa apart as quickly and cleanly as they assembled it, without damaging it. In October, five months after launch, Snug Shack revealed the next stage of its concept – add-on modularity. With the introduction of extra parts, a threeseater sofa can be turned into a corner unit, or vice versa, while new leg and arm options incoming will enable buyers to update the look and feel of their existing models. “We designed it so it can grow with you as you move,” says Robert. “We wanted to be first to market with the sofa-in-a-box concept, so we launched our core product last spring, knowing
that we’d expand it very quickly. It’s made the creation of new collections much easier.” History lessons “The mattress sector, which has been so heavily disrupted, is worth £750m,” says Robert, “but, at £3b, the stakes are much higher in the upholstery market – the opportunity for disruption is huge.” Yet he’s careful not to draw too many comparisons with that previous movement, in which marketing overspend and a lack of physical presence hamstrung many of the leading brands. “There’s so many good things to take from their example,” he says. “They’re vertically aligned, and designed around what the customer wants. I personally think that’s a stronger model than going from manufacturer to retail to consumer – but you have to fund it. “Too much reliance on quick wins, paid advertising (Google and social media) and international expansion – and, clearly, far too much money spent on marketing – means they’ve come unstuck in almost every area. “Investor funding was integral to their model, and our international sofa-in-abox counterparts in Canada, Australia and the US have already gone down that route. “But the whole model is like a house of cards. Venture capital has poor odds – they want 10 x return in 5-7 years, so
Built to last The benefit of hindsight also allows Snug Shack to refine its sales channels from the outset. Many of the digital disruptors failed to appreciate the limitations of an online-only model early on, and were increasingly forced to partner with bricks-and-mortar retailers in a bid to grow their audiences. Utilising Bridgman’s existing UK showrooms, Snug Shack was multichannel from the start, and Robert is keen to expand that physical presence. “Even if your product is different, in demand, and you’ve removed the barriers to purchase as much as possible,” he explains, “a sofa still costs a considerable sum of money, so some people will always want to sit on it before they buy it. We’re more than open to the idea of building our network.” Conversely, perhaps more stores will be receptive to new ideas this time around, suggests Robert: “It’ll be interesting to see who jumps in head first, having missed the first round! “Either way, I’m confident this is the start of a new category in furniture, and I genuinely think we’re the first movers in what’s going to be quite a disruptive force in the industry.” It’s not going to take long for others to catch on, he says – indeed, they’re only likely to “help spread the word” – but Snug Shack will not be rushed. “There will always be fads and flashes in the pan,” concludes Robert, “but we want to do this properly, and be around for many, many years, so if any customer has issues in five – or 10 – years’ time, we can help resolve them, and keep expanding. We’re building a sustainable brand.” Boxing clever, you might say …
A WINNING FORMULA Name: Keith Humble Position: MD Business: Linthorpe Beds, which was named Independent Retailer of the Year in the NBF Bed Industry Awards 2019, has been trading for over 25 years. Starting out on Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, the retailer has steadily extended its reach, and now operates from three showrooms – in Darlington, Stockton-on-Tees, and Bishop Auckland – plus a website. www.linthorpebeds.co.uk
Three words that describe your business Progressive, fair, caring. The last trade show you visited The Bed Show in Telford. It turned out rather well! Your most praiseworthy supplier We have a raft of great suppliers, so that’s a tough one. However, I have to say that at the moment Sleepeezee are truly going the extra mile when it comes to promotional support and staff training on new and existing products. They really go out of their way to see things from our perspective, which not many brands would bother doing. Your best-performing product I prefer to judge this by value rather than quantity, and I think that the Sleepeezee Poise is the perfect all-rounder. It’s a great seller as both a divan set and as a mattress only. Your personal favourite My personal favourite would have to be the Millbrook Splendour 7000. It’s excellent value for money, but, more than that, it’s made from natural materials, which I love. Plus, it’s really supportive and it’s made by a great British company. We love to support homegrown suppliers, so we source products that are manufactured in the UK wherever we can. Your approach to staff training Really thorough staff training is just
so important. We’ve found that using external sources such as The Sleep Council training module can be a great help – it’s very clear and informative, which has really helped our staff to realise the errors creeping into their sales technique. However, the most important aspect of our training is continually examining new products as a group as soon as they arrive onto our shopfloors, and continuing to bang on about them even when the staff are bored! The most significant change you’ve made in your business recently We’ve taken on a few extra staff members. This has freed up a lot of time for myself and my partner and co-founder Sandra, and we don’t need to micro-manage and take charge of every aspect of the business. As a result, we’ve had more time to work on a positive strategy to move the business forward. It has also given the managers greater freedom to provide their own input, which is more fulfilling for them. The tastes that best reflect your audience We draw from such a wide demographic that it’s hard to say. We do try and cater to a wide preference, but I would say it’s not necessarily a very glitzy or glam taste – it’s more about comfort, practicality and quality. I think our customers tend, for the most part, to keep things practical, and don’t mind paying as long as the quality is great! The technology you’ve introduced most recently We’ve just started to work with a digital marketing agency, Glass Digital, to enhance our website. We’re planning a huge number of improvements such as link building, competitor analysis, search visibility and page rankings, as well as a whole host of other areas that are going to drive traffic to our site and improve online sales. Your number-one selling tip It sounds so obvious, but hire people that know what they’re doing! Seriously, it makes all the difference
We value the people, animals and places behind our new sustainable and ethical bed range.
Expertly handcrafted mattresses with 100% British Wool from Red Tractor assured farms. hypnosbeds.com Hypnos is proud to be Carbon Neutral
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Handmade in Britain and 100% recyclable
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LIFE OF RYAN Ryan McNeish is one of the industry’s most prolific designers. Boasting creative credits for the likes of Halo, Tetrad and At The Helm, plus numerous retail lines, Ryan now heads up Gregor Ryan Design, a full-service studio and consultancy. www.gregorryan.com
THERE’S MORE TO LEARN FROM OUR FAILURES THAN OUR SUCCESSES
Montana office chest, Halo
Where did you study? Heriot-Watt School of Textiles and Design, Edinburgh. What was the most valuable part of your education? Leaving home at 17 for university, as it taught me to manage myself and my decisions early in life. At textile college, I was lucky enough to meet some amazingly experienced technicians who influenced how I worked, and showed me what was important in the industry. I met two amazing ladies who, through their own careers, continue to influence how I approach my work, even now. Without meeting them, I may have taken a very different path. I love learning from people with lots of history and experiences behind them. What was your first design job? A local theatre project in my hometown of Fife. I designed the outside advert for a production of Oliver! at 13 years old. Back in the late 1980s, I was paid with free tickets to shows! Where might I have heard your name before? I worked for eight years with Halo Creative & Design. I also worked as a furniture and home accessory buyer for Vogue House Furnishers and Sterling Furniture (Scotland).
A blank sheet of paper can be daunting – what inspires you to fill it? A blank piece of paper excites me! It means something new can be discussed and created. I only ask it’s not A4 or smaller – that makes me anxious, as I feel I don’t have enough space! I prefer to create new ideas with large pieces of paper.
Designs are often compromised by their commerciality – how do you maintain integrity despite such pressures? In any market, each design approach should always consider commercial value. If we don’t create products that sell, all we have is something aesthetically beautiful, yet unrelatable. That’s great for an art gallery, but not so much when working with clients who need margin and sales in a commercial market. I try to approach the brief by keeping
Berkeley (featuring Mulberry Home fabrics), Tetrad
What are you working on right now? We have exhibitions at imm cologne, Maison&Objet and January Furniture Show coming up. Claire [Nutall, project manager] and I are working on six stand designs and project management programmes for each, alongside some product design and developments with a new client for March. Personally, I’m working on a new product collection with Tetrad for the January Furniture Show, alongside some accent items for At the Helm’s new lines. I’m also looking to create an own-brand collection this year, which I’m very excited about!
the best approach in today’s working environment – make the most of your time, and always be prepared to help wherever necessary.
How do you mentally prepare yourself for work each day? I’m lucky enough to love doing what I do with the clients I have. It’s all about preparation and flexibility, as things can change daily. Accepting change is
INSIGHT Crawford chairs, Spink & Edgar
Charterhouse, At The Helm
A RETURN TO INVESTING IN STATEMENT PIECES THAT WEAR IN – NOT OUT – IS BECOMING MORE IMPORTANT
in mind who it’s for, what they require, and how they will use it. Each client has a different set of values and market position around sales and margin expectations – I always ask questions about intent, and how it relates to the end consumer, then the quality of the design reflects its intention thereafter. Which area of your work do you enjoy most – and least? I have a multi-disciplinary background and I get bored easily, so I like days when I move from creative to analytical projects.
I enjoy pricing, visualising, business strategy and computer-based design – but nothing’s better than creating ideas in your head and trying to get them onto paper. Decisionmaking (or lack thereof) is what frustrates me most. I prefer to say I tried and failed than didn’t try at all! There’s more to learn from our failures than our successes, and we all fail more than once across our career. What are your favourite designs? In essence, my two choices are from different design approaches. The Timothy Oulton Saddle chair, which I designed, was my most interesting creative project. For me, it was a high-risk approach to design. Designing something unique is tough today – I approached this with the intention to do something that represented the brand, yet could be appealing to a global market. As the registered inventor of the chair, it’s something I’m particularly proud of. This was at the time that Timothy Oulton established their brand. It was a real pleasure to work in China and create something unique for them, and it continues to be a bestseller in branded retail spaces across the world. Lots of other designs/drawings were created during this process, but I have a personal affinity with this one. Next is the Halo Montana office chest. This piece was based entirely around creating a commercial, compact,
WWW.FURNITURENEWS.NET 21 multifunctional space-saving workspace and storage solution, that could be used in a variety of rooms. As homes get smaller and more people work from home in flexible environments, the piece was designed within the look of the brand, but was considered a very commercial approach. It became the bestselling piece for the UK market, and retailers ordered full containers of this model alone. I personally have an updated leather-clad version which was sold internationally for the group.
What’s the last design that caught your eye? I like most things from Lee Broom. He has an eye for contemporary reinterpretation. I also like Paola Navone – she’s had some iconic designs over the years. However, I tend not to follow interior or product designers, as I believe you follow your own interests, and doing so
provides inspiration that represents you. Be aware of trends, but always set your own style values. What’s the future of furniture design? As Millennials continue to enter the market with different design expectations, I think aesthetics, functionality, ecological influences and technology will play a large part in how we design furniture. We need to constantly consider this. I think product sizes and styles will
Yale (featuring Ralph Lauren fabrics), Tetrad
What’s your favourite designer retailer? The Timothy Oulton store on the King’s Road, London, is currently my favourite designer home lifestyle retailer in the UK. It encompasses every aspect of great retailing – with great product, great theatre, fantastic service and a unique hosting approach to retailing, it’s a perfect combination.
we do with them ourselves that creates valuable talent.
Pick three words that sum up UK domestic furniture design today Challenging, predictable, and focused. What aspects of it make you despair? We are not creative enough with our home lifestyle decisions. … and hopeful? More colour. Grey has replaced brown from the Noughties! I’m hopeful that a new decade will see a new consumer buying colour and the mixing of more interesting pieces, without following the obvious current trend of grey and high gloss. Do you feel the industry adequately supports designers? Our industry has evolved recently, and we have new, younger designers entering the marketplace. But I think we can do more to encourage new design talent. I’d love to teach new talent, based on my experiences. I think sharing information is most important, and something some manufacturers are working towards, which is a positive step. Design talent can come from lots of places. I like to find people with great attitudes who are positive and adaptable. The principles we learn in education form a basis, but it’s what
Saddle chair, Timothy Oulton
international background for showcasing my talent, for which I will always be grateful. What design website do you visit most often? I mostly use social media for inspiration, or to research ideas and themes. I don’t have a go-to website. I also think if you look too hard at others you become like them, so I try to shop on the high street and pick up ideas, or visit interesting places when I can and absorb the influences. I live in Ibiza town in the summer, where the people, restaurants, clubs and music inspire my ideas.
BE AWARE OF TRENDS, BUT ALWAYS SET YOUR OWN STYLE VALUES
RYAN’S HEIRS Ryan’s career spans an impressive range of supply and retail clients, and the notable designs created for them. Having worked for the likes of Halo, And So to Bed, Fabb Sofas and Lee Longlands, Ryan’s current clients are Tetrad, Westbridge, At the Helm, Harris Tweed, Furmanac, Housing Units and Gillies. Ryan’s work has earned him several accolades, including: Best Stand, IFFS Singapore 2018 (Tetrad); Best in Category, IFFS Singapore 2019 (Tetrad); and Winner, Living Category, The Furniture Awards 2017 (Tetrad again, with Gatsby).
change as homes become increasingly multifunctional – designers will be required to make products and interiors for different uses within their market. I’m hopeful that more interesting design styles will flood the market, and I can see some of this with the dotcom retailers, and their approaches to commercial style. However, I’m also hopeful that disposable styles at low prices will not be the main focus for Millennials, and that a return to investing in statement pieces that wear in – not out – is becoming more important. INSIGHTS TO INSPIRE Which industry event or platform gives designers the best step up? I don’t believe there is a specific one. It’s tough to establish yourself, especially if you come from a working-class background. I didn’t come through the usual channel. I studied design, but ultimately worked in retail to gain experience, and tried to establish myself through wordof-mouth recommendations. I didn’t exhibit at New Designers or Milan, as I simply didn’t have the funds to support it. I had to work hard and find my own way. Halo certainly gave me an
What’s the biggest challenge you face? Being relevant is always a design challenge. Adaptability is key to continuing to grow and confront all challenges. Today, I’m lucky to have opportunities – but that can change overnight, so I try to ensure we create great value for clients in business, embrace change, and provide excellent advice on design strategy. As a consultancy service, I believe in working closely with key clients to help the evolution of their business. How do you think the industry views designers? I think it depends on a business’ market position, and what design means to them – there are numerous approaches to product and exhibition design. Businesses that are commercially competitive would involve the designer approaching a project with a value-formoney focus, so materials, simplicity of construction and material specification are key to the process. Other designers are more aesthetically design-based and comfortfocused. Their market position is different, so the approach to design has a different set of values. However, I do think design has more importance in the industry than it used to. What advice would you give to young designers starting out in the industry? Work hard, and don’t follow anyone else. Understand other aspects of business. Don’t be overconfident. Be respectful and establish long-lasting relationships. Most of all, my parents always taught me that nothing great happens without hard work and sacrifice
VIRTUAL FURNITURE UNLIMITED REALITY
White Crow Studios is a visualisation agency that specialises in digitising furniture products and flooring for use in sales and marketing campaigns, websites and social media platforms. Combining 3D modelling techniques and using the latest 3D scanning equipment our expert UK based team of artists produce photorealistic imagery without the requirement of photoshoots and in some cases before products are manufactured.
CONTACT US +44 1543 258357 email@example.com www.whitecrowstudios.co.uk The Nest, 7a Bore Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS13 6LZ
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BUYING A BED IS QUITE A TACTILE EXPERIENCE, EVEN THOUGH MANY PRODUCTS ARE PURCHASED ONLINE NOWADAYS
INFORMING INDUSTRY, BUILDING BUSINESS 25
www.breasley.co.uk Bed manufacturer and foam converter Breasley is one of the most innovative players in its field. A specialist in vacuumpacked mattresses and unique fillings, best known for its Salus and Uno collections, the business is never short on stories – explains Breasley’s head of marketing, Clare Taylor …
BRIGHT AND BREASLEY What are you working on right now? The January Furniture Show is our current focus, where we will showcase a revised Uno range with some great new entry-level value models. We’re about to take these into the photography studio for a small shoot. Putting the finishing touches to our marketing strategy for 2020 is another important priority.
product developments here at Breasley.
What have you achieved since joining Breasley? I’ve only been here since February 2019, and it’s been an action-packed 11 months! We have rebranded and relaunched our premium Salus mattress collection, along with full marketing collateral and a promotional campaign. We’ve also implemented a comprehensive PR, communications and social media campaign, and delivered three exhibitions. The work is varied, and there’s always lots to do.
Does Breasley’s marketing prioritise lifestyle benefits over technical specs? I think you need a balance between both. Buying a bed is quite a tactile experience, even though many products are purchased online nowadays. You still need to entice the consumer with look and feel first, and then satisfy their appetite for information. The retailer wants something that looks great in-store, but they need to be armed with more technical detail to answer any questions thrown at them by the consumer. That’s why for the new Salus range, for example, we have varied the PoS package we provide, giving different levels of information for both the consumer and the retailer.
How is your previous experience benefiting the business? My degree is in International Management and German, with a specialism in strategic marketing. I worked across several industries including pharmaceuticals and railways, before entering the bed industry four years ago. I hope my experiences are benefiting the company in terms of bringing in techniques used in other sectors, strategy and planning, plus brandbuilding for the business as a whole.
How have you adapted the PoS to suit Salus’ new look? We really went back to the drawing board and started afresh with the rebrand. Breasley has always been generous with its support for retailers in terms of PoS. We invested in some great new photography, which really helped bring the brand to life, and is essential to support internet-based sales. We also provided additional information for retailers in terms of specification and training material.
As a marketeer, what’s your number one rule? The main one would be – make sure you have a plan, and implement it!
Are there any other ways you’re helping retailers convey Breasley’s story? We are using social media as a way to build and share the Breasley story, and asking our retailers to help engage with our content so they can share and interact with it to help spread the story of the brand to their customer bases.
Can you highlight any marketing campaigns you particularly admire? I have always liked the M&S Plan A because there is no Plan B campaign. This has been around for a while now (since 2007 I believe) but is ongoing. I think it is a bold and memorable campaign which highlights their eco and ethical programme to tackle sustainable retail challenges. Which themes are dominating the bed sector, and how is Breasley responding? Obviously sustainability and the environment are two of the main themes, along with sleep and wellbeing. We are trying to address these themes through our innovative product development initiatives, bringing them to the core of all future
What can visitors to the January Furniture Show expect to see from Breasley? We will be showcasing a revised Uno range [on stand 5-D80], with the introduction of four new entry-level rolled mattresses offering great value. The new Salus collection will also be on display, giving retailers another opportunity to view the new brand and updated collection. How will Breasley’s identity evolve this year? You will see more from Breasley in terms of building a consumer-facing brand
What’s selling, and where? Each month, Furniture News’ marketing team surveys a sample of our retailer readership to see how product categories are performing from month to month. Here, we look at how December’s trading shaped up against November’s.
A FURNITURE NEWS EXCLUSIVE
BLACK FRIDAY AND THE LEAD-UP TO CHRISTMAS HAVE BEEN HELPING SALES
STABLE 42% DOWN 38%
50% IN SCOTLAND AND NORTHERN IRELAND REPORTED BETTER TRADE, WHILE 57% OF SOUTHERN TRADERS EXPRESSED A NEGATIVE OUTLOOK
L BUSIN L A R E
Brexit fears and online competition continued to squeeze bricksand-mortar retailers towards the end of 2019, with poor weather putting further strain on businesses in the north of England in particular – one retailer surveyed had been closed for a month due to flooding. Some positivity came from pre-Brexit sales and Black Friday purchases, as well as the usual run on accessories and soft furnishings as shoppers prepared their homes for Christmas – but December ultimately concluded a year in which retailers had to work harder than ever to achieve their sales targets
20% 25% 26% 55%
12% 40% 26% 48%
27% 37% 26% 37%
LIVING ROOM CABINET
18% 38% 26% 44%
21% 33% 26% 47%
20% 50% 26% 30%
38% 36% 26%
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INSIGHT Lyndsey runs the business with her husband, Guy
IMITATE WHAT YOU’D LIKE TO BE AS CLOSELY AS YOU CAN
THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS Name: Lyndsey Goodger Position: Founder and owner Business: Rose & Grey sells everything from sofas to wall art, with a predominantly online customer base alongside a flagship showroom in Altrincham, south of Manchester. The company was founded by Lyndsey in 2008, and today she runs it with her husband, Guy. Its newlyrelaunched website offers 3000 SKUs and receives approximately 60,000 unique visitors every month. The business enjoyed YoY growth of +8% in 2018-19 (+50%). www.roseandgrey.co.uk
Why visit your website? The newly launched ecommerce site offers easy-to-shop homeware, including our revenue-driving, madeto-order collections, which are styled to stand out from the crowd. Our informative blog and homepage Instagram highlights give visitors inspiration and reassurance, and as part of the updated site we’ve added a wishlist function to help customers with those higher price point items that aren’t impulse purchases. How did you enter the industry? My background is in media, but after a relocation from London to the Northwest I became frustrated when trying to find well-made but stylish pieces for our new home, and spotted a gap in the market for quality, chic homewares. I began sourcing my first collection from my dining room, and the company has grown organically. Eleven years on, we
have a thriving online business and showroom. Who is your ecommerce hero? For fashion it would definitely be NetA-Porter. They have invested in the logistical side of the business to ensure ordering, delivery and returns are seamless and hassle-free for customers – you’re able to buy at the click of a button and have returns collected from your door. I also enjoy how they use content and Instagram to engage with customers, and their tailored newsletters are a brilliant way of making customers feel unique. It is something we will be working on at Rose & Grey as we continue to grow.
C • F H • • M
Describe a typical working day I am in the office for 8am each morning and it’s usually the most productive hour of my day, as I can get things ticked off
T & e l t
FEEL THE WARMTH IN 2020
WITH OUR NEW SHOW DATES
26th - 28th April 2020
Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, Edinburgh www.northpointshow.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
THE FURNITURE AND INTERIORS EXHIBITION FOR NORTHERN UK
COMPANIES ALREADY CONFIRMED AS AT 5th DECEMBER - Ashwood Designs • Buoyant Upholstery • Bedmaster • Carter & Lewis • Silentnight Beds • Celebrity Motion Furniture • Cintique • Deluxe Beds • Dura Beds • Furniture Repair Distribution • GLC(UK) Bedroom Furniture • Alpha Designs Upholstery • Global Furniture Alliance • Gradi Living Upholstery • Breasley Mattresses • Highgate Beds • Highgrove Beds • Honey B Limited • Kayflex • M A Living • Maysons Bedroom Furniture • Millbrook Beds • Mini Divani • Protect-a-Bed • Rest Assured • Salus Beds • Sherborne Upholstery • Sofa Factory • Spring Craft • Sweet Dreams • Value Mark Furniture • Wiemann • Harrison Spinks • GIE • Taylors of Scotland • Lano Carpets • Asiatic Rugs • Sealy • Deepsleep Beds • Gilt Edge Beds • Postureflex Mattresses • Royams Upholstery • Coilsprung Beds • Sleeplux Beds • Siesta Beds • Wheatcroft Beds • Call Salotti s.r.l • Lebus Upholstery To further enhance your experience at Northpoint we have chosen the prestigious Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club as our exciting new venue for the 2020 SFRA Presidents dinner on the Monday evening. Entertainment on the night is provided by after dinner speaker Eric Davidson. Set in a rural location, Dalmahoy is a mere 5 miles from the Royal Highland centre and easily accessible from the Northpoint show.
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my list before the rest of the team begin to arrive from 9am. Each day is varied, but I usually dedicate the morning to buying and merchandising – depending on where we are in the cycle of collections. I can be working on anything from making decisions on new suppliers and planning visits to trade shows in the UK or abroad, or monitoring how new lines are performing. I check in with the customer service team at around 11am each day to help with any issues they may be facing and keep things running smoothly. I try to keep the afternoon free for the more creative aspects of my role – we will either have a shoot ongoing in our showroom, or we will be planning the next one, whether it be in-house or on location. I also dedicate time to working on marketing, and liaise with the team on creative ideas and forward planning. My husband Guy and I stagger our days so he can do the school drop-off, while I’m in charge of pick-up, so I ensure I’m out of the office for 3.30pm – but I usually fit in another hour of emails before dinner. What part of your job would you prefer to avoid? Anything too admin-heavy, such as HR and accounting, isn’t my natural habitat, so we tend to outsource these activities to trusted partners. What has been your greatest challenge to date? When the business was around five years old Google reworked their algorithm and we dropped significantly in their rankings. We quickly recovered, but it highlighted how precarious these things can be for an ecommerce business. We had been mulling over the idea of opening a showroom, and it was the push we needed to make it happen.
What’s your take on how the relationship between online and physical retail might develop? I believe the relationship between online and physical retail will become even stronger over time. We see customers in our showroom every day who have heard about us via Instagram, visiting us to try sofas and see dimensions of various pieces and then later ordering their items online from the comfort of their home. As the market continues to grow it becomes more important to provide customers with touchpoints to access products and content in the way most convenient to them. Do you have any plans to grow your business? Since the day we started the business we’ve been constantly working on the next steps to continue to grow. Last year we extended our premises and showroom, this year we’ve reworked the website and launched the first catalogue, and next year we will introduce a series of exclusive collections, including our first ownbranded collection. There’s no standing still in this industry! What advice would you offer an aspiring etailer? Imitate what you’d like to be as closely as you can – no matter the size of the business or your budget, set up your branding and styling as closely as you can to your vision so that as budget begins to grow, it’s a natural evolution
GOOGLE REWORKED THEIR ALGORITHM AND WE DROPPED SIGNIFICANTLY IN THEIR RANKINGS
How much do you invest in making your site more visible? We recently reinvested £50,000 to create a new website which links to the brand’s social media channels. We also spend around £20,000 per month to drive traffic to the website through our digital marketing agency and in-house content creation.
Invites you to THE JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW AT THE NEC BIRMINGHAM.
19-22 January 2020, Hall 1 Stand D80
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OUT AND ABOUT From one-stop shops to intimate affairs, the UK is bursting with furniture trade exhibitions this year, giving buyers the opportunity to engage with sellers and experience those all-important tactile qualities of new product. Here’s a helpful summary of the nation’s busy event calendar … www.furniturenews.net/events
JANUARY Top Drawer starts the proceedings when it returns to London’s Olympia from 12-14th, promising “the best selection of over 1500 leading brands and new names” across 11 sectors, Home among them. Buying group AIS invites its members to attend a private show at Cranmore Park Exhibition Centre in Shirley from 17-18th, before opening to the general trade on 19-20th. This year’s AIS Furniture Show will feature more than 40 suppliers (including eight exclusive debut appearances) from the UK and overseas. The event overlaps the sector’s principal exhibition, the nearby January Furniture Show. Occupying halls 1-5 of the Birmingham NEC from 19th22nd, the fair is set to feature a huge number of exhibitors, arranged across sectors dedicated to Premium Design, Interior Accessories and Living & Dining, plus a significant complement of beds and lighting. Each year, the show sees the launch of more than 50,000 new products, making it an essential destination for buyers. FEBRUARY One-stop shop Spring Fair will dominate Birmingham’s NEC from 2nd6th, with the Everyday sector opening one day earlier. In 2020, Spring Fair’s Home & Living offer will combine Living Accents & Décor, Floral, Cook & Dine
and The Summerhouse, as part of a layout revision spanning halls 6, 19 and 20, providing visitors with “the largest continuous collection of Home & Living across Europe”. Later in the month, the BFM Fabric Show London takes place at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge stadium on 18-19th, bringing suppliers exclusive upholstery and soft furnishing fabrics and treatments from more than 35 brands, while The Linens Show (exclusively for AIS members) returns to Cranmore Park Exhibition Centre in Shirley on 25-26th. MARCH Fabrics remain in focus at the Irish Interiors Showcase, taking place from 4-5th at the Stormont Hotel, Belfast (a companion event takes place in Dublin from 4-5th), while London Design Week’s luxury goods occupy Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour from 8-13th. APRIL Traditionally held each January, North Point returns to Edinburgh’s Royal Highland Centre from 2628th. Here, a large number of supplier representatives will present opportunities for buyers in Scotland and the north of England. MAY Spring Long Point returns to its traditional slot this year, running from
WWW.FURNITURENEWS.NET 33 4-6th May across various permanent and temporary showrooms in the Derbyshire town of Long Eaton, and enabling visitors to engage with some of the UK’s finest upholstery and cabinet manufacturers. Meanwhile, the regional South West Bed Show is set to return to Sedgemoor Auction Centre in Somerset from 12-13th. Later in the month, Clerkenwell Design Week will enliven London’s design district from 19th-21st, and the Minerva Furniture Group’s members are invited to attend the buying group’s annual private show at Stoneleigh Park Exhibition Centre from 19-20th. From 28-29th, meanwhile, AIS members will return to Cranmore Park Exhibition Centre for the private AIS Bed and Bedroom Show. JUNE AIS opens Cranmore Park Exhibition Centre again for another private members’ show, this time dedicated to furniture – the private AIS Furniture Show runs from 23-24th. JULY The first phase of New Designers, a lively showcase which serves as an industry launchpad, arrives at Islington’s Business Design Centre from 1st4th, and Phase 2 (which incorporates furniture) follows on 8-11th. Concurrently, SOLEX, the show run by the Leisure & Outdoor Furniture Association’s (LOFA), returns to the Birmingham NEC from 7-9th with a complement of garden furniture and barbecues, while the Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival brings interior products, giftware and fashion goods to Harrogate Convention Centre from 19th-22nd. The UK’s second-largest dedicated furniture event, the Manchester Furniture Show (featuring MidPoint), is back at Manchester Central from 19th-21st. Organised by the team behind the January Furniture Show, this is the
summer’s key trade event, giving buyers the chance to source new and updated products in a relaxed city-centre setting. AUGUST It may be just outside the UK, but the Irish Furniture & Homewares Show (IFHS) is a notable fixture, and is set to return to Dublin’s National Show Centre from 22nd-25th. SEPTEMBER In anticipation of peak sales season, September is a busy month for exhibitions. The private AIS Bed Show is back at Cranmore Park Exhibition Centre, Shirley on 2nd-3rd, while Autumn Fair, Spring Fair’s sister show, returns to the Birmingham NEC from 6-9th, with a new zone dedicated to large-scale interiors products, The Furniture Collection, running alongside its established gifts, homewares and decor offering. From 8-10th the South West Furniture Show, an enduring, agentrun event, will take place at Sedgemoor Auction Centre, Somerset, while the year’s second Top Drawer show returns to London’s Olympia from 13-15th, and outdoor exhibition Glee is back at the Birmingham NEC from 15-17th. The focus shifts to the design-led as London Design Festival hits the capital from 12-20th, featuring a host of creative events that reinforce the UK’s global significance as a design hub. This gathering comprises events including Design London (previously 100% Design), London Design Fair (at Truman Brewery from 1720th), and designjunction. Autumn Long Point will see Long Eaton’s finest open their showrooms once again following the spring event, from 21st-23rd. This week also features the
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UK’s key bed industry event, the Bed Show, which runs from 22nd-23rd at The International Centre, Telford. This popular exhibition features beds, bedmaking machinery and components from National Bed Federation (NBF) members. OCTOBER The Autumn Furniture Show, organised by the Minerva Furniture Group but open to the general trade, takes place at the National Agriculture & Exhibition Centre, Stoneleigh Park, from 6-7th, promising plentiful buying opportunities. The Furniture Makers Company’s Young Furniture Makers Exhibition, a celebration of student craft, held at the Dutch Church and Furniture Makers’ Hall in Austin Friars, London, will take place on 7th, while high-end showcase Decorex International is back at London’s Olympia from 11-14th, concluding a busy sourcing calendar for domestic furniture and furnishings. Given the market’s uncertainties and changing plans, anyone interested in visiting any of these shows should check the official websites before attending, and pre-register when possible. A full calendar of national and international exhibitions can be found on the Furniture News website
January Furniture Show
BFM FABRIC SHOW LONDON www.bfmfabricshow.uk The popular BFM Fabric Show London returns to Chelsea FC, Stamford Bridge, London on Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th February. Familiar and new premier suppliers from the UK and Europe are gearing up to show off their latest designs and fabric treatments. A must for upholstery manufacturers, this small event delivers attractive, original and superior fabrics. Attendance is free, and registration is now live.
VIFA-EXPO www.vifafair.com Vietnam International Furniture & Home Accessories Fair (VIFAEXPO) is the biggest international furniture exhibition in Vietnam, and one of the largest furniture fairs in south-east Asia. Taking place from 11-14th March at Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center (SECC) in Ho Chi Minh City, the event will feature furniture, home decor, furnishings, handicrafts and accessories, and seeks to reinforce Vietnam’s position as one of the world’s principal furniture factories.
www.heimtextil.messefrankfurt.com Frankfurt trade fair Heimtextil, taking place from 7-10th January 2020 at Messe Frankfurt, promises to be the most spectacular yet, presenting the latest design trends in hall 3.0 with a themed presentation, Where I Belong. This impressive international event not only offers an array of inspiring new products, but also provides a forum for knowledge transfer, alongside opportunities to interact and build positive connections – the very fabric of sustainable business development.
Image courtesy Messe Frankfurt GmbH/Jens Liebchen
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EVENTS IMM COLOGNE
FUTURE VISION International furniture and interiors fair imm cologne, taking place at Koelnmesse from 13-19th this month, is one of the most important dates on the furniture-buying calendar, presenting product launches from across the globe, plus engaging special features.
rdo Villalón Edua nd a ez ch án
MUT ’s A lbe rto
For one week this month, and taking place in close association with a programme of events across the city, imm cologne will become the epicentre of the international furnishing and design world. As well as welcoming a multitude of leading international furniture brands, this edition will see Spanish design duo Alberto Sánchez and Eduardo Villalón (MUT) curate the Das Haus centrepiece installation. Das Haus aims to present a suggestion of how people might live in the future. Constructed from scratch and visited by thousands, the simulated interior combines architecture, interior design and furnishings, and gives a different designer or design team the opportunity to make their own personal statement on contemporary living each year. Koelnmesse has nominated young Spanish design team MUT as its guest of honour for the ninth edition of Das Haus. “A project like Das Haus gives a
designer a unique opportunity to create something that’s totally independent of production and market conditions while simultaneously understanding and rediscovering their designs in terms of how they impact the space,” comments MUT. “In our design, we want to go one step further and explore the potential architecture and interior design have for opening the space up to the outdoors.” As a result, the architectural dimension of Das Haus is particularly significant this time around. “Mediterranean life is synonymous with outdoor living,” states MUT of the inspiration the team draws from its traditional culture. “Our houses have always integrated a little bit of nature into their interiors.” With MUT, Das Haus is deliberately remaining within the sphere of European design, while selecting a decidedly progressive team with a contemporary profile. Visitors to imm cologne 2020 will find Das Haus in the Pure Editions area in hall 3.1
EVENTS IMM COLOGNE
This month, Steens returns to imm cologne at the start of what should prove to be one of the most exciting years in its long history … www.steensgroup.com
On the back of a solid performance in 2019, which saw continued expansion despite challenging market conditions, a raft of internationally focused ranges will be launched in Cologne this month. One of the challenges the business faces is to manage product complexity as it expands into new territories, while at the same time continuing to support its largest customers with their ownlabel ranges. Without careful control, these activities could lead to rampant range proliferation and all the complex challenges this would present to the business. Needless to say, Steens is embracing this challenge head-on, and is setting itself ambitious targets regarding the proportion of future growth which should be driven by internationally inspired designs, created to be sold across all 22 of its geographical markets. The company’s aim is that 50% of all future growth should be
Designer Morten Georgsen has created Soma with Steens
SOMA LOVING AT IMM
derived from this approach, and Steens has already implemented a strategy to support this direction. This year’s imm cologne will see the launch of the Soma range, a collaboration between Steens and renowned Danish furniture designer Morton Georgsen. Making use of Steens’ core competencies in working with FSCcertified Scandinavian pine and MDF, Soma is an interpretation of the popular industrial look, and sets these materials against a sleek, matt black metal frame. In addition to its impressive styling, Soma is packed with enhanced specifications including a structured pine surface finish, textured paint finish for the MDF body, hidden soft-close drawer runners and soft-close door hinges. It is available with the option of mixed dark and light colour options between the carcass and fronts. Catering to the bedroom, living and dining areas, Soma will undoubtedly be
37 a focus for the exhibition, states Steens. Soma is set to attract positive reviews, and, based on pre-launch reactions, is likely to be “a huge success”. In addition to Soma, imm cologne will see several new children’s ranges launched. Indeed, Steens sees this market segment as a key focus for achieving its ambitions for common international ranges. Building on the international success of current ranges Steens For Kids and Alba, two new complete bedroom ranges and a new bed selection will be on display. Like Soma, these new ranges have already received significant interest, and the first shipments are lined up for deployment. While the German exhibition is clearly a product-led event with an emphasis on design, specification and value, Steens is also working hard to address global concerns around environmental impact. At the show, Steens will share its initiatives for achieving a carbon footprint of zero, plus plans for 100% recyclable packaging. According to the manufacturer, plans are already being actioned, and impressive progress is being made. In addition to product launches and environmental initiatives, Steens is pressing ahead with developing a more detailed strategy for packaging, as it forecasts exponential growth in online sales across most of its key markets. While the UK has long been exposed to the growth of this distribution channel, it is now rapidly gathering pace throughout Europe. Up to this point, Steens’ packaging solutions have evolved as and when required, but the company is now looking to the future, basing its framework around the internationally recognised ISTA standards, and has invested in its own packaging laboratory to implement and provide ongoing testing of packaging solutions. As far as the business is aware, this makes Steens unique in European furniture manufacturing. To conclude, a visit to Steens at imm cologne will not only enable existing and prospective stockists to explore various product launches, but will allow them to learn more about the company’s plans for tackling carbon emissions, improving recycling and implementing classleading packaging solutions. Find Steens in hall 7.1, stand B060 at imm cologne
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EVENTS AIS FURNITURE SHOW V-Sofa – alongside a brand relaunch from cabinet supplier Willis & Gambier, garden furniture from Signature Weave and accessories from Fuhrhome. We have a strong following from members and non-members – last year the show attracted approximately 850 visitors, and we’re anticipating a higher footfall this time around, so we’re preparing ourselves for a busy show!
BUYING TIME The AIS Furniture Show returns to Shirley, Solihull this month, presenting AIS members (17-18th) and the general trade (19-20th) with new and exclusive product from over 40 suppliers – many of which are new to the exhibition. Julian Cox, director of furniture at AIS, explains why the show is a valuable – and convenient – sourcing opportunity for independent retailers … www.thefurniture-show.co.uk
Based at Cranmore Park Exhibition Centre in Shirley, the show starts with two days of private trading for AIS members, before welcoming the wider trade for a further two. Each year, the buying group strives to make attendance as hassle-free as possible – visitors enjoy a host of benefits free of charge, including entry, on-site parking, lunch, refreshments, and an exhibition guide. But the show’s principal draw is the exhibitors, says Julian … More than 40 suppliers are exhibiting this year, appealing to a wide variety of independent retailers. They’ll bring their existing bestsellers in new fabrics, finishes and designs, along with innovative new products. Successful AIS brand exclusives will be exhibiting in the Diamond Suite – Duresta, Parker Knoll, G Plan, Alstons, Collins & Hayes, Ashwood, Stag, Ducal and Classic. The latter will also be in the Platinum Suite, along with La-Z-Boy. Unique will be upstairs in the Cranmore Suite. In addition, the show will exclusively launch five new upholstery suppliers – Corium, Stella, Kebe, Easy Sofa and
January is historically a key trading period in which retailers set out their buying programme for the year – this makes it is the perfect time to hold our event. We have a broad spectrum of products available to members and the wider audience, so we would urge retailers to take the opportunity to visit (plus, with free registration, there’s no reason not to!). The show overlaps the NEC January Furniture Show, allowing retailers to easily visit both locations (they’re only eight miles apart), and at AIS we have a free car park right outside. The show is continually evolving, with increasingly greater emphasis on presentation. This year is no exception – we have a number of suppliers that are producing more visually inspiring stand designs to increase sales and inspire retailers with their own store layouts. With something for every buyer, visitors can expect to see products in a variety of styles and price points, from categories such as upholstery, cabinet, garden and accessories. Garden furniture is being introduced this year, due to the fact that outdoor living is becoming more popular and the desire for stylish but practical garden furniture is becoming more apparent in modern households. In terms of trends, we’re expecting 2019’s Scandinavian look to stick around, alongside a focus on stripped-back style, and geometric shapes with a sprinkling of metallic touches such as copper and bronze popping up within collections. Popular colours this year are warm, earthy tones such as terracotta and burnt orange – particularly in velvet fabrics to add texture. Although warm neutrals are on-trend, cooler tones such as grey and teal continue to be core colours with both members and suppliers, across all categories
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EVENTS AIS FURNITURE SHOW Eleganza Meteor, from the Azure Collection
BLUEPRINT FOR SUCCESS Eighteen months in the making, himolla’s new Azure Collection will be available to order at The AIS Furniture Show.
Described by the German recliner specialist as “an entirely new visual approach”, and “a bold new vision for 2020”, Azure was created by himolla’s new chief designer and art director, Tamara Haerty, together with her talented design team. “It took a year and a half of inspiration (and perspiration!) to create this sensational new collection for the famous Cumuly range of recliners and sofas,” says himolla’s UK agent, Rob Davies. “The hard work and meticulous attention to detail has all been worth it – the new Azure Collection will impact the market like a bolt from the blue. “Tamara’s vision was to take himolla’s core values – the very qualities that have made the company one of Europe’s leading furniture manufacturers – and add her own sophisticated style. The result is deep, sumptuous-looking seats, juxtaposed with delicate curves
and slender lines, plus tall backs and luxurious finishes. The overall effect is supreme comfort with a light, bulk-free look. “This latest incarnation of the bestselling Cumuly range retains the value, functionality and quality that made models like the Rhine, Chester and Themse so popular. Features like independently adjustable neck-, backand footrests and, of course, himolla’s unrivalled choice of leather and material finishes, are all available. Options include wall-huggers and powered headrests. “Azure chairs offer manual, electric and lift-and-rise alternatives, while the sofas are two-, two-and-a-half or threeseaters, with an added chaise element for extra style. “The vision is a reality. The Azure Collection will be available to order at the AIS show this month”
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RETAIL THEATRE This year’s Spring Fair – taking place from 2nd-6th February – will see the Living Accents & Décor, Floral, Cook & Dine and The Summerhouse sectors combined to create a Home & Living offering that spans halls 6, 19 and 20 of the Birmingham NEC, making it “the largest continuous collection of Home & Living across Europe”. www.springfair.com
The new layout reflects the increasing importance retail buyers are putting on furniture in order to deliver sales and profits, states organiser Hyve Group, which promises to present the latest home decor, furniture, textiles and soft furnishings, including new ranges and staples from the likes of Light & Living, One World, Pharmore and Minster Furniture, plus favourites Coach House, Hill Interiors, Libra and Parlane. The show will also introduce a new theatre line-up, curated to help visitors identify opportunities to invigorate their retail business and fuel greater sales and profits. The Inspiring Retail Stage, located in hall 6, will host seminars, celebrity Q&As and panel discussions covering topics such as sustainability, customer experience and the move towards hybrid retailing. Alongside major industry keynotes, John Lewis, Selfridges, Google, PwC and Mintel, plus show trend partner Colour Hive, will join the stage alongside industry commentators and independent retailers to share their successes.
The Design and Source Stage, meanwhile, will feature as part of the show’s new Sourcing area in hall 18. Speakers will provide talks on how to get ahead of market rivals by looking beyond the UK’s borders, while addressing the latest design practices and practical issues such as product lifecycle management and sourcing techniques. Among the stage’s speakers will be brands including Oliver Bonas, Harrods, JML, West Elm and Penguin Random House, alongside interior designers and international sourcing experts. Covering best practice in retail, the popular Retail Skills Theatre will return to hall 2 with practical insights from management coaches, HR experts, digital consultants and PR strategists. Charlie Cracknell, Spring Fair portfolio director, says: “The climate that retailers operate in is in a state of transformation. Whilst many businesses are making it work, business models are being challenged – at Spring Fair, we want to give ambitious retailers the knowledge and assurance that embracing real change and transformation opens the door to opportunity. Those that have that fresh thinking in their approach and put their customers at the centre of their business are those that will thrive”
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EVENTS Best-Beteck Furniture
www.miff.com.my Furniture design evolves rapidly with changing lifestyle trends, creating a plethora of choices, from maximalist to minimalist, modern to classic, and even avant garde. The Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF), which returns to Kuala Lumpur’s Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre (MITEC) and Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) from 6-9th March, promises to deliver the complete range of product for global buyers.
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The largest furniture fair in southeast Asia, and consistently ranked among the top 10 worldwide, MIFF has spearheaded the furniture exhibition scene since its inception in 1995. A dynamic platform that brings together renowned exhibitors, brands and buyers, it is a top global destination for the latest in furniture trends and designs, plus business networking. MIFF is the world’s largest marketplace for top-quality Malaysian hardwood furniture. MIFF also provides a direct route to Muar, Malaysia’s
furniture city – with some 200 Muarbased manufacturers present, many of them within the fair’s Muar Hall, which is managed by the Muar Furniture Association, a strategic partner of the show since 2013. High quality, dependable, creative, aesthetic and trustworthy – these are just some of the terms international buyers use when describing Malaysian manufacturers. At MIFF, visitors will discover world-class design in office furniture, home furniture, wooden furniture, fittings and furnishing materials from over 600 manufacturers and exporters from Malaysia and its neighbours – including China, Indonesia, Japan and Korea, plus New Zealand, Portugal, Sri Lanka and Turkey. Other highlights include MIFF Office, which offers a range of solutions for today’s workspaces and home offices, and MIFF Timbermart, which caters to those seeking wood and wood-related materials. Then there is Millennials@Design (MAD), a curated space featuring cutting-edge designs and futuristic ideas from 30 award-winning young Malaysian designers. The show’s organiser expects some 20,000 visitors – including 6000 international buyers – to attend MIFF 2020, which kicks off the Asian show season, meaning buyers will be among the first to source the newest products
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www.ifexindonesia.com Discover a wide range of products from more than 500 exhibitors at this year’s Indonesia International Furniture Expo (IFEX), including rattan, wooden furniture, outdoor furniture and unique home decor, arrayed across a 60,000m2 showfloor.
IFEX AIMS TO INSPIRE The success of last year’s edition – which reported some 12,000 buyers from 112 countries and regions – has paved the way for an even bigger show in 2020. IFEX, taking place from 12-15th March at Jakarta International Expo, is set to further confirm the popularity of Indonesian furniture on the global stage, presenting an array of furniture and handicrafts as part of a valuable stop on the Asian furniture show circuit.
As a flagship event for Indonesia’s furniture industry, IFEX is strongly supported by the country’s industry and government, and aims to facilitate global trade, connecting Indonesia’s manufacturers and exporters to buyers around the world. This year’s offering promises to blend innovative design and fine craftsmanship, inspired by Indonesia’s rich natural resources, in one colourful venue
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www.ciff.furniture “Innovation Driven, Design Inspired” – the strategy behind CIFF Guangzhou’s 45th edition has been developed in collaboration with a team of curators, with the aim of attracting more creative, innovative and designoriented exhibitors.
As usual, the 2020 China International Furniture Fair (CIFF) Guangzhou will be held across two phases, organised by product sector: the first, from 18th21st March, will be dedicated to home furniture, decor and textiles, plus outdoor and leisure furniture; with the second, taking place from 28th-31st March, comprising office, commercial and hotel furniture, plus furniture machinery, components and raw materials. In addition to being one of the world’s largest furniture exhibitions, and a vital business platform for furniture businesses from China and further afield, CIFF will offer a wider complement of high-level international brands at this edition, in order to introduce more innovative content, quality and design to the Chinese market, in turn helping confirm its status as a trading hub for China and the rest of the world, as well as a leading gateway to the increasingly wealthy Chinese consumer market. A new emphasis on Design in China and Made in China will begin at the
next edition, with further biennial developments scheduled for 2021, 2023 and 2025. The first step will see the construction of a 50,000m2 space dedicated to original Chinese home furniture design, and the designation of a pavilion in the Office Show devoted to the latest trends. In addition, more space will be reserved for international brands, with the goal of engaging greater innovation and global trends. The curation team, comprising Wen Hao, Hou Zhengguang, Song Tao and Frank Chou, will identify companies that invest in design and creativity, with the aim of making CIFF Guangzhou a leading player in this regard. During the first phase, the curators will invite design-led companies to participate in the Contemporary Chinese Furniture Design Fair in pavilion 3.2, alongside a plethora of on-trend content which touches on technical and innovative aspects without neglecting commercial and ethical issues such as environmental sustainability. The optimisation of the exhibition’s layout, organisation of content-rich design events (including CIFF Designer Workshop, Parallel Space Exhibition, Design Dream Show, Children’s Space by Daddy Designers, Office Theme Pavilion, China Interiors & Decorations Conference and Global Garden Lifestyle Festival), the continuous improvement of the information and catering services within the exhibition complex, and a range of hotels and the transport services, all come together to make CIFF a valuable sourcing opportunity for the worldwide furniture and furnishings industry
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Pleasecome comeand andsee seeus usatatthe theJanuary January Furniture Furniture Show, Please Show, NEC NECBirmingham, Birmingham,Hall Hall44Stand StandA26 A26 Please come and see us at the January Furniture Show, NEC Birmingham, Hall 4 Stand A26 We will be showcasing our new products and our new brochure for 2020! will be showcasing our newFurniture products and our NEC new brochure for 2020! Please Please come come andWe see and us see atus the atJanuary the January Furniture Show, Show, NEC Birmingham, Birmingham, Hall 4 Hall Stand 4 Stand A26 A26 We will be showcasing our new products and our new brochure for 2020! We will Webe will showcasing be showcasing our new our products new products and our andnew our brochure new brochure for 2020! for 2020!
LPD Furniture,Leeds, Leeds, LS102RJ 2RJ LPD Furniture, LPD Furniture, Leeds,LS10 LS10 2RJ Sales Line 0113 271 5151 LPD LPD Furniture, Furniture, Leeds, Leeds, LS10 LS10 2RJ 2RJ Sales Line - -0113 271 Sales Line - 0113 2715151 5151 Fax 0113 272 3944 Sales Sales Line -0113 0113 -272 0113 271 5151 271 5151 Fax -Line 3944 Fax - 0113 272 3944 email@example.com Fax -Fax 0113 - 0113 272 3944 272 3944 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com www.lpdfurniture.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com www.lpdfurniture.co.uk www.lpdfurniture.co.uk www.lpdfurniture.co.uk www.lpdfurniture.co.uk
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW
A quick look at the selection of new furniture and furnishings featured over the following 100 pages will reveal the sheer scope of the UK industry’s main event – from mainstream to high-end products across every market segment, the January Furniture Show is an essential sourcing opportunity, which promises some 500 exhibitors this year. Both established and emerging UK and international brands, representing the entirety of the UK furniture marketplace, will present their newest lines and services across five halls: Premium Design in halls 1 and 2; Interior Accessories and LIGHT in hall 3; Living, Dining and Bedroom in hall 4; and Furniture, Upholstery and BEDS in hall 5. “Whether you are buying for retail, contract or interior design, this show
www.januaryfurnitureshow.com January is a busy month for the furniture trade, and on the B2B side of the fence nothing reflects this better than the four-day January Furniture Show, which returns to the NEC, Birmingham from 19th-22nd this month. True to form, Furniture News presents the definitive preview of this unmissable event … encompasses the full radius of product styles and price points – from traditional to contemporary and from volume to high-end, January Furniture Show delivers products your customers will love,” says event director Cleere Scamell. As well as a busy trading floor, the show will offer features including The Furniture Awards 2020 (more on that overleaf), a display of Young Furniture Makers’ Awards winners in the entrance to hall 1, and live demonstrations of 3D modelling. According to organiser Clarion, the show is set to attract some 22,000 visitors – and Furniture News urges every reader to be among them. Read on to discover a hall-by-hall breakdown of our pick of this year’s stand-out exhibitors …
JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW
BEST OF THE BEST AWARDS 2020
The Furniture Awards are returning to the January Furniture Show to recognise the champion suppliers of 2020.
Wiemann UK, winner of the Bedroom Cabinet category in 2019
Launched in January 2015 by Furniture News in partnership with the event’s organiser, The Furniture Awards are an integral part of the exhibition, celebrating the suppliers of the best furniture and furnishings launched there each year. The Furniture Awards highlight quality and commercial output across the following categories: Living & Dining Cabinet; Bedroom Cabinet; Upholstery; Accents; and Mattresses & Divans. The 2020 awards are again sponsored by trade association BFM and digital agency Orbital, plus software, cutting equipment, data and services specialist Lectra. This year’s winners will enjoy a comprehensive prize package, including: 10m2 free space at the 2021 event; £2000 credit with Orbital; and an editorial feature in the March issue of Furniture News. Highly-commended entrants will enjoy 5m2 free space at the 2021 event and an editorial spot in Furniture News. The entries for the 2020 awards
will be judged by: Dids Macdonald, ACID (Anti Copying In Design) and The Furniture Makers’ Company; Malcolm Walker, FIRST (Furniture Industry Retail Sourcing Today) MW; Royce Clark, Grampian Furnishers; and Mike Murray, Land of Beds. The most promising entries have been shortlisted for on-site inspection, and the winners will be announced on the show’s opening day, whereupon they will join a prestigious roster which includes the winners of the 2019 awards – ALF, Wiemann UK, Parker Knoll, Hartman UK and Sealy UK. The panel will again be chaired by awards co-ordinator, Furniture News’ Paul Farley. “This year’s awards give exhibitors an opportunity to stand out and win some great rewards,” he says. Event director Cleere Scamell comments: “We are delighted to be supporting The Furniture Awards. With added incentives at this year’s show, I’m sure that competition will be tougher than ever.” Parker Knoll, winner of the Upholstery category in 2019
55 Gallery Direct
THE SHORTLIST LIVING & DINING CABINET Qualita (Korgen Dining Table) – stand 1-C32 Bentley Designs (Vintage) – stand 1-A40 Furniture To Go (Cordoba) – stand 5-G10
Gallery Direct (Madrid Walnut) – stand 3-L20 BEDROOM CABINET
Fortune Woods (CM) – stand 2-D10
Rauch Möbelwerke (20up) – stand 4-D30 Wiemann UK (Glasgow) – stand 4-C50 Arte-N Furniture (Bed Concept) – stand 4-E50 UPHOLSTERY
Cintique (Highbury) – stand 5-D40
Tetrad (Montana) – stand 1-F85
Collins & Hayes (Bailey & Banks) – stand 1-C20 Calia Trade (Mater Familias) – stand 2-F30 ACCENTS Hartman UK (Julia Velvet Collection) – stand 2-B25 Calia Trade
The Garden Furniture Centre (Luxor Meteor Swivel Chair) – stand 4-E100 Gingko Electronics (Octagon One Desk Light) – stand 3-C40 MATTRESSES & DIVANS Silentnight Group (Yours&Mine) – stand 5-G80 Highgate Beds (Healthopaedic Zero Gravity) – stand 5-H70 Vogue Beds (The Bedstead Collection) – stand 5-F72
JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW
Keep an eye on the Furniture News and January Furniture Show websites on 19th January for news of this year’s winners. www.januaryfurnitureshow.com/page/the-furniture-awards
DIDS MACDONALD CEO, ACID (Anti Copying In Design) and master, The Furniture Makers’ Company Dids, an OBE, has over 30 years’ experience in the design industry. She co-founded ACID because her products were often copied – today, ACID represents thousands of designers within the creative industries. Design reform has been high on ACID’s campaigning priorities. Dids is currently leading a campaign to recognise the intentional infringement of an unregistered design as a crime, as well as improving access to cost and time enforcement through the courts. Dids is also the master of The Furniture Makers’ Company, the City of London livery and charity for the furniture and furnishings industry. Her One Step at a Time campaign aims to enlist One Step Champions from across the trade to convey the charity’s welfare provision to their employees.
MALCOLM WALKER Owner, FIRST MW For 47 years, panel regular Malcolm’s career has revolved around retail, chiefly in the home furnishing market. Having been director of product for Furniture Village for many years, Malcolm now runs his own consultancy business, FIRST (Furniture Industry Retail Scourcing Today!) MW, working with the likes of Furniture Village, Sterling and leading industry suppliers on product design, development, and concept realisation. “It’s my job to bring products to life,” says Malcolm, “and, in my opinion, it’s one of the best jobs in the industry. It plays to my commercial instincts, retailing strengths and my creative ability.” Prior to his time at Furniture Village, he spent over 20 years with the Maple, Waring & Gillow group, moving into buying when the business was acquired by Asda/Allied Carpets.
MIKE MURRAY MD, Land of Beds Mike studied psychology and marketing at university, before going on to transform his family business into one of the UK’s leading bed retailers. He was awarded the Shell LiveWire Young Entrepreneur of the Year award early in his career, and under his leadership the business has won many awards including the High Sheriff Award for Enterprise, NBF Independent Retailer of the Year, and the National Family Retail Business of the Year. Mike has featured in business reviews including the Parliamentary Review, and is a member of Chester Business School’s Family Business Research group. “I’m really excited to see the latest innovations coming out of an industry I’m extremely proud to be part of,” he says. “I look forward to talking and listening to the people who are striving to improve people’s lives through good design and manufacturing.”
ROYCE CLARK MD, Grampian Furnishers Royce started working in the family business, a furniture store in Elgin in north-east Scotland, at the age of 15. After studying business administration, he returned to the business at 19, and at the age of 22 took over upon his father’s retirement. Grampian Furnishers was founded in 1975, and moved to its current 30,000ft2 purpose-built premises in 2018. “Furniture is in my blood, and I love my job,” says Royce. “This furniture show will be my 22nd in a row, which sounds a lot, but the experience has certainly helped me become more knowledgeable and aware of all the trends over the years. “It really is the must-attend event in the furniture calendar, and I’m honoured to be selected as a judge for a second time. It’s great to be able to promote the work of the numerous exciting companies and designers present – many of whom go unnoticed.”
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW JANUARY FURNITURE 19-22 JANUARYSHOW 19-2201JANUARY HALL E40/F40 HALL 01 E40/F40 WWW.WHITEMEADOW.COM WWW.WHITEMEADOW.COM FN370_Pages_A.indd Full page USE.indd 1 57
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JFS FN DPS Advert Jan 20 Issue
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H1
WHITEMEADOW Stands 1-E40/F40 www.whitemeadow.com Whitemeadow invites the industry to join it in celebrating 25 years of business with the unveiling of a new stand layout, which has been in planning for months. Whitemeadow is renowned for its upholstery, but will also exhib several new bed frames inspired by today’s lifestyles. Marketing manager Zehra Gezer says: “We’ve put a lot of work into our stand this year and we can’t wait to unveil it to the industry. Refreshing colour palettes and inspiring upholstery will bring the new-look stand to life for 2020. And, as usual, we will be unveiling a plethora of new designs that we hope will become a part of consumers’ homes for years to come.” Whitemeadow is the largest independently owned British upholstery manufacturer. It has become one of the most trusted and well-respected companies in its industry, and is a key supplier to some of the UK’s bestknown blue-chip and independent furniture retailers.
BELL & STOCCHERO Stand 1-A65 www.bellstocchero.com
A family-run business based in West Yorkshire, Bell & Stocchero designs and manufactures living, dining, bedroom and occasional furniture, ensuring its products are sourced sustainably and made with the utmost care and attention. The business provides both direct containers and an ever-expanding wholesale service to the UK market,
and prides itself on its customer service and flexible trading terms – all delivered with a view to making its customers’ lives as simple as possible. Interested parties can visit Bell & Stocchero at the January Furniture Show, find out more via its website, or make an appointment to visit its showroom in West Yorkshire or arrange a showvan visit.
ALPHA D E S I G N S
Cerchio Visit us at the January Furniture Show Hall 1 Stand E85
ALPHA DESIGNS UPHOLSTERY LIMITED T: 01902 492937 F: 01902 493700 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Unit 1, Stag Industrial Estate, Oxford Street, Bilston, Wolverhampton WV14 7HZ
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H1 Carmen
ROWICO TAKES THE FLOOR Renowed for its trend-setting designs, the award-winning Rowico UK has not only doubled the size of its stand, but is confident that its portfolio – including new ranges of traditional Scandinavian furniture – is better than ever … Stands 1-C52/C40 www.rowico.co.uk
As an advocate of unique design with a 50-year heritage, Rowico is always eager to launch new products at the UK’s leading lifestyle events, and the January Furniture Show is no exception. Exhibiting at its customary location in hall 1, Rowico’s quirky stand will again be the launchpad for much-anticipated new lines, expansions to firm favourites and the exclusive unveiling of 14 aspirational Scandi-style collections, making it the company’s largest show offer to date. Expanding its stand to twice the size has provided Rowico with the floorspace to display 56 pieces of Scandinavian design. MD Caroline Henchcliffe, who is excited to announce this pivotal launch, says: “We truly believe 2020 will emerge as our strongest year to date. We have trebled in size in the UK over the past three years, and are aiming to further enhance that growth during the coming months with the launch of these beautiful Nordic-inspired products. “We’ve always been known as one of the key innovators of time-worn furniture, but these new designs – along with the addition of even more
rustic pieces, and with the continued co-operation of our Swedish parent company – will offer us huge new opportunities to further expand whilst preserving the ‘uniquely Rowico’ ethos. “In an era where the look and feel of contemporary furniture identifies as an ever-movable feast, lifestyle preferences and the pace at which people live their lives continue to influence the functionality of the modern home and the surroundings in which we enjoy time together. “The advent of open-plan and casual social spaces means formal living and dining is no longer á la mode. Instead, more simplified and relaxed designs in natural timbers and muted tones have fast become the next big movement in modern home furnishing – a synergy that marks the evolution of developing trends and the subsequent arrival of our latest collections. “We believe a new genre has begun, and that it’s time to unlike the ordinary, say goodbye to conventional and live in the now – Rowico style!” Visitors should remember to pick up a copy of Rowico’s current brochure, alongside information about the company’s exclusive new product lines
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H A L L 1 S TA ND A6 5
LI V I N G
D I N I NG
B ED RO O M
O C C A S IO NA L
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H1
STEVE BRISTOW FURNITURE Stand 1-C72 www.stevebristowfurniture.co.uk Steve Bristow Furniture specialises in the design, development and manufacture of furniture in quartz and natural materials. New technology allows the company to bend and shape quartz to create stylish pieces for all design projects. Founder Steve Bristow says: â€œWe continue to invest in developing new products and marketing initiatives, including a new interactive website which allows customers to build their own product at the touch of a button. We are very proud to manufacture in the UK and look forward to increasing our market presence.â€?
ALPHA DESIGNS UPHOLSTERY Stand 1-E85 01902 492937 Alpha Designs Upholstery is a UK manufacturer of contemporary fabric upholstery, and will be exhibiting numerous new ranges to enhance its offering of design-led sofas. A family company with a can-do attitude and a passion for fabric, Alpha looks forward to immersing visitors in the comfort and creativity of its upholstery.
CONTENT BY TERENCE CONRAN Stand 1-G40 www.contentbyterenceconran.com With an emphasis on all things new, Content by Terence Conran will launch a slew of fresh models at the show. Following a successful summer launch, the company will present additions to its well-received Groove collection, as well as launching an occasional range and unveiling new models in its popular Fera collection. Building on the success of its partnership with Whitemeadow, Content by Terence Conran will also add several new models to its upholstery collection, as well as new fabric stories for 2020.
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H1 CGI by Orbital Vision
Orbital Vision is a creative agency based in the heart of the upholstery industry, in Long Eaton – but the business works with national and international manufacturers and retailers, delivering design, branding and websites, and specialising in photorealistic CGI for the interiors industry.
CGI by Orbital Vision
Stand 1-G80 www.orbital.vision
Orbital is planning to impress visitors and exhibitors alike, with demonstrations of its skills taking place throughout the event on its stand in hall 1. Since aligning its business to focus solely on perfecting imagery for the interiors industry two years ago, Orbital Vision has enjoyed growth at an overwhelming rate, thanks to its advanced R&D work in CGI. The agency’s team realised that although a number of businesses were creating 3D imagery in and around the industry, there was one downfall in every image – making photorealistic textures, and ensuring 3D fabrics are indistinguishable from the real thing. This is where Orbital has been focusing its energy, and since exhibiting at last year’s show, the difference is marked.Using new technology, Orbital can convert a physical fabric swatch to an upholstered 3D product, on screen, flawlessly, in minutes – and this year Orbital will demonstrate this process live on its stand. The agency is deeply immersed in the industry – not only will it demonstrate
its CGI expertise at the show, but it is sponsoring The Furniture Awards for a second year. The five winning companies will be in for an “unreal” prize, states Orbital, which is offering a CGI project worth £2000 to each winner. The company will present these as giant cheques, providing winning companies with a real photo opportunity – winners should make sure to collect their prize. Winners can have a product and roomset of their choice built in 3D, providing opportunities to present their product digitally in a limitless number of fabrics, without the hassles associated with traditional photography and physical prototypes. Orbital Vision is made up of a team of talented and experienced designers, web developers and CGI artists, which the company describes as its ‘unreal creatives’, all of whom are working hard to transform the marketing processes of some of the biggest names in the industry. Visit Orbital’s stand this month to see how far its virtual photography has come
to be British”
The Hepburn collection Originally designed in the UK in the 1950’s the Hepburn is a timeless classic which is bought back to life in an offering of house fabrics or customers own materials. They say what goes around comes around, which is only too true of this shape which is very on trend currently with its close resemblance to the Scandinavian upsurge which has been seen recently.
Visit our stand at the January Furniture Show, we’re located in Hall 1, just beside the stairs up to Hall 2 on Stand G20
www.paulusandbrown.com Wade Mills, Bridge Street, Sandiacre. NG10 5BA email@example.com 01159 430305
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H2 Buckingham
Stand 2-D30 www.atthehelm.com “Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World,” wrote Christopher Columbus – for At The Helm, a new decade requires a new direction, hence the launch of a fresh voyage of discovery this month …
In 2020, sofa visionary At The Helm is broadening the horizons of commercial design through a wealth of creative new models, available in hand-crafted leathers with pleasant textures, and alluring fabric cover options in ontrend hues. The new-look, studio-style stands at the forthcoming imm cologne and January Furniture Show will herald this new direction. Visitors to either will be among the first to enjoy At The Helm’s attractive new comfort-focused sofas and signature chairs, designed inhouse by the company’s international design team with a focus on details and a contemporary approach, and reinterpreting classic style for modernday living
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Find us at HALL 2 STAND F22
#27 dining table I #52 dining chair I #452 cabinet I #404 sideboard
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AMBASSADOR TEXTILES Stand 2-G2 www.ambassador-textiles.co.uk Ambassador Textiles is a wholesale textile merchant and importer with over 45 years’ experience. Established in 1972, the company has developed from humble beginnings into the busy textile merchant it is today, supplying a comprehensive range of fabrics to the wholesale, retail, manufacturing and upholstery industries. Sharing the stand at the January Furniture Show will be Ambassador’s luxury soft furnishings brand, Katrina Hampton, a trade supplier of highquality faux-fur throws, cushions and accessories. Also on show will be the company’s Sublimation print fabrics, wool collection, and the popular Boutique velvet – all of which will sit alongside the soft furnishings and accessories manufactured from stock fabrics.
INFORMING INDUSTRY BUILDING BUSINESS
INFORMING INDUSTRY, BUILDING BUSINESS
JYSK’S NEW DAWN David Ashton’s five-year plan WILLIS & GAMBIER RETURNS
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INFORMING INDUSTRY, BUILDING BUSINESS 71
Sell the Room Everything you need: LIVING | DINING
UPHOLSTERY | CABINET | BEDS | INTERIOR ACCESSORIES LIGHTING | FLOORING | FABRICS | SOFT FURNISHINGS
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Stand 2-G30 www.thinkrugs.co.uk Think Rugs designs, imports and distributes a vast selection of handmade contemporary, modern and traditional rugs in both wool and acrylic from India and China, plus a varied collection of machine-made polypropylene ranges from Europe – and is returning to the show with its biggest selection to date.
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This year, Think Rugs plans to introduce more than 100 new products across 15 ranges, in a huge selection of sizes. In addition, 2020 sees the launch of 12 unique ranges, plus plenty of new additions to the company’s most successful collections. The new ranges include: Craft, which incorporates metallic, abstract and marble trends to create a unique deluxe style; Aurora, an ultra-high-quality, machine-made range created from a demure, on-trend colour palette; Vancouver, a high-quality, stylish, modern geometric design; and Mosaic, a bright and fun addition, styled on mosaic tiles. On top of this, Think Rugs is also launching new colour options and designs in its most popular ranges – Matrix, Royal Nomadic and Sunrise
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Discover a bolder world of style and comfort PROUD TO SHOWCASE AT BOTH
imm Cologne 13th - 19th January 2020 Hall 10.1 - Stand A61
January Furniture Show NEC Birmingham 19th - 22nd January 2020 HALL 2 - Stand D30
HOME | EXPLORE| LIVE | MAKE
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H3
NATIVE HOME & LIFESTYLE
Stand 3-P62 www.nativelifestyle.co.uk
Stand 3-E20 www.cimchome.com
Native Home & Lifestyle is a contemporary furniture, home decor and lifestyle accessories brand. The company will display a new collection this month, with more than 50 new pieces launching at the January Furniture Show.
When it comes to unique, design-led furniture, CIMC Home is renowned for translating the latest style trends into fashionable furniture. Its design team works around the clock, creating high-quality products that keep up with interior market trends, and enabling CIMC’s customers to gain maximum margins and repeat business from its products.
SCATTER BOX Stand 3-K10 www.scatterbox.ie Scatter Box is a longestablished, family-run B2B wholesaler of designer furnishings. Its Irish-made and designed luxury collections are created with the style-loving, trendconscious customer in mind, and the company’s passion for colour, design expertise, competitive pricing and dedication to innovation and quality has made it a market leader in Ireland. Scatter Box manufactures and supplies luxurious cushions, handmade from exclusive European fabric mills, and is known for its impressive digitally printed cushions, which are produced from its own original handpainted designs. Alongside an extensive range of cushions, the company stocks a
wide range of velvet furniture, original handpainted art, curtains, bedding and throws.
Contact Scatter Box to request its latest lookbook, or download it from the company’s website.
INFORMING INDUSTRY, BUILDING BUSINESS 77
Welcome to CIMC Home. With over 30 years’ experience, we are one of the largest suppliers of Furniture, Lighting and Home décor in the UK and European Market. We pride ourselves on offering glamorous, modern and practical designs for the home. With over 5000 unique, design-led items, our product selection is perfect for online retailers, interior designers, furniture stores and hotels.
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H3
Stands 3-M10/M20 www.bluebone.co.uk Bluebone has always played up to the inherent beauty of solid wood – and its 2020 trends again positively embrace all things reclaimed, raw and natural.
RAISING THE BAR Bluebone’s mission to ‘bring the outside in’ is present throughout the supplier’s spring 2020 collections, with new ranges focused on layering organic textures and surfaces. Imperfection is key, in a collection which aims to create effortless, informal style. Show visitors will find metals, woven rattan and raffia, chenille and moleskin, alongside solid timber and vegan leather models. Ecru Rattan is a collection of living room pieces which marries simple rattan panels with natural mango. It has a Scandi vibe, yet also emanates East Coast Australian style – think Byron Bay boutique homestay, says Bluebone. Also new for 2020 is Aspect, which features a round dining table with a
chunky oxidised metal top. This is a clear statement piece, and when paired with Bluebone’s new dining chairs in pale oyster moleskin, is “simply sublime”, states the supplier. Bluebone will also launch its new Mantis, Buick and Shelby occasional chairs, alongside the Pinto footstool, and three new dining chair and bar stool styles. The supplier will present a new mirror gallery, artwork and home decor to complete the look, with the recurring theme of ‘Naturally Bluebone’ prevailing throughout. This year, Bluebone’s stand has been designed around a carefully curated collection of vignettes – short scenes or descriptions that capture the characteristics of a bigger story – offering a shop-ready display that does exactly that. “Whether you have space for a full Bluebone Gallery, or just a few metres, we aim to make our story clear and our furniture look its very best,” says sales manager Elaine Anderson. “As last year, we will again create a Bar Bluebone area on our second stand across the aisle at the front of hall 3 [3-M10]. We invite you to come and stay a while – in fact, why not arrange to meet a colleague there? We loved the relaxed feel it had last year – it’s just what’s required after you’ve ticked off a few halls!”
INFORMING INDUSTRY, BUILDING BUSINESS 79
HALL 3 M10, M20
HALL 19 C30
Our 2020 collections embrace natural beauty, focussing on organic textures, surfaces and timbers … … Bringing the outside in
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BRITANNIA MIRRORS Stand 3-P70 www.britanniamirrorsltd.com Arco
The family-run Britannia Mirrors has been established for over 30 years, and over that time has acquired a reputation in the trade for quality products and customer service. Britannia Mirrors offers one of the most comprehensive ranges of quality framed and unframed mirrors in the industry. Its collection comprises traditional and decorative gilt and silverframed mirrors, over mantles, oval mirrors, shaped mirrors, minimalist, contemporary and modern designer mirrors, solid wood mirrors, and freestanding floor and tabletop mirrors.
See us at :
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19-22 JAN 2020 HALL 3 STAND P70
Manufacturers and Wholesalers of Quality Framed Mirrors
Britannia Mirrors Ltd Unit 5, 87 Lockfield Avenue, Enfield, Middlesex EN3 7PY Tel: 020 8804 0392 Email: email@example.com
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H3
COVERED Gallery Direct will launch its SS20 Collection from its landmark doubledecker stand at the entrance to hall 3 – as well as a new stand in the BEDS@ JFS section of hall 5. Stands 3-L20, 5-G60 www.gallerydirect.co.uk
Gallery’s sales and business development director, James Hudson, says: “We’ve developed over 400 new lines for our SS20 collection, including a fantastic selection of furniture, designed to suit different interiors. “Our determination to lead the way with exciting new products has led us to use a varied range of materials, from Indian marble to reclaimed wood, and from hand-carved acacia to beautiful granite. For each range, we’ve carefully selected the materials to give the
desired look. But as well as considering the appearance of the new products, we ensure they offer quality, practicality and value for money.” Gallery’s stand in hall 3 will feature a ‘light room’, displaying a wide selection of lighting to great effect. Furniture, including sofas and chairs – as well as wall decor, soft furnishings and accessories – will also feature. On the furniture side, there are several new ranges in the SS20 collection: Aztek, which offers a selection of occasional pieces featuring hand-carved acacia; Roma and Isla, which feature brushed silver or bronze frames, paired with Indian granite for an industrial-meets-luxe look; and Orchard, a ‘potting shed’ capsule range made from reclaimed pine. There are also extensions to some of Gallery’s current ranges, including the popular Madrid. This collection features a strong, elegant design which captures the spirit of mid-century style. A classy display unit with open shelves and cupboard storage has been introduced, and the whole range has been developed in walnut with a mellow finish. New occasional chairs and sofas are also being launched. Gallery’s mirror collection will see new shapes and colour options added, and there will be a varied selection of new artwork – while cushions and throws made from recycled plastic bottles are among the new lines added to the soft furnishings catalogue. Gallery’s bed offering will be displayed on its stand in hall 5. The SS20 collection includes a new line-up of sofabeds, six mattress collections, and upholstered beds and headboards, including a floating bed with a choice of three headboards. All the Wiltshire-made upholstery is offered in 58 fabrics, and is manufactured by a team of skilled craftsmen. The divans and headboards – and MTO sofas, sofabeds and bedsteads – can all be manufactured to Crib 5 standard if required, and the mattress collections include a varied selection suitable for contract use. “We are really looking forward to launching our new collection at the January Furniture Show,” James concludes. “Please come along to see us on our stands, where the team will be delighted to show you all the new products”
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INTRODUCING AZTEK Made with Indian Acacia wood in a washed grey finish, our Aztek range features hand carved detailing giving it an ethnic fusion aesthetic. With a matte black metal frame which not only supports the cabinet and drawers but acts as a statement structural feature, this collection gives a cutting edge, apartment living vibe.
HIGGINS ROUND MIRROR BLACK W600 H20 H600mm 5059413256660
AZTEK 2 DRAWER CONSOLE TABLE W1100 D380 H800mm 5059413039812
19 - 22 January 2020 Stand 3-L20 & 5-G60 www.gallerydirect.co.uk | 01795 439159
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H3
DUTCH IMPORTS & DAUGHTERS Stand 3-H30 www.dutchimports.co.uk A family-run wholesale company based in the East Riding of Yorkshire, Dutch Imports & Daughters is currently celebrating 30 years of business. The company is dedicated to importing stylish, on-trend and affordable pieces that can be added to retail portfolios, and looks forward to welcoming customers old and new to this yearâ€™s show, where it will present hundreds of new lines for 2020.
CAMELOT PICTURES Stand 3-M50 www.camelotpictures.com Camelot Pictures will again be launching its new range at the January Furniture Show. As an industry leader with over 40 yearsâ€™ experience, the supplier is confident that its products, all of which are manufactured in the UK, offer unrivalled quality and value for money, and are suitable for both retail and contract clients.
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H4
Agent supremo Brendan Brett brought five brands to last year’s show under the auspices of The UK Agency – this year, Furniture News’ cover star has gone much further, co-ordinating displays from a multitude of national and international furniture brands.
Stands 4-E10/E25/E27 www.theukagency.co.uk
The show will see The UK Agency present solutions for every part of the home, enabling would-be stockists to completely ‘sell the room’ from just one source. Prospective sofa buyers will find: a completely fresh, competitively priced offer from Lithuania’s Grafu; a new range of “very commercially priced” fabric models from experienced Portuguese leather specialist Suffa, created by UK and German designers specifically for the UK market, and featuring exclusive fabrics by Cristina Marrone – the brand promises “topquality, long-lasting products”;
FIRST FOR CHOICE
affordable fabric-upholstered corner groups, sofas and a complementary range of accent chairs from Turkey’s Sardunya, which adds a sumptuous modern edge to contemporary styles; affordable Turkish upholstery with both looks and value, plus a complementary range of accent chairs from TKY Agency; and Çaglayan, another Turkish manufacturer, which specialises in sleek, contemporary, Italian-style models, and will present a range of designs that “are really in a different league” for the first time in the UK. Buyers seeking dining chairs and tables will appreciate the choices on offer: Kristensen Kristensen returns with more handcrafted and finished Danish designs from a family-owned company which creates high-quality furniture with great flexibility in colour and design from its own sawmill and drying ovens; from mainstream to statement chairs, and dining to occasional needs, Portugal’s X8 Chairs will bring an array of design-driven, made-to-order models for domestic and commercial settings, featuring solid ash frames, PU covers, additional fabrics by Cristina Marrone and a wide selection of leg stains; and Turkish upholstered dining chair manufacturer Iskemle, which will offer a competitive container programme of wooden and upholstered models, in partnership with TKY – ideal for helping
placed than ever to serve its retail customers. “Our key principles are service and exclusivity,” says Brendan. “We promise our customers continuity of supply, even if the staff associated with a company change. “We anticipate potential interruptions rather than reacting to them, so both parties can proceed with peace of mind. And, rather than supplying our stockists’ competitors down the road, we make sure our customers are given the opportunity to engage with our entire portfolio from the outset. “We’ve got our stockists’ backs, 110%,” Brendan concludes. “And you’re personally invited to enjoy our free refreshments and hospitality at the show, while viewing the most extensive range of design-led furniture on the floor”
replace “the cheap brown imports you’ve had to buy to fill that gap”. Offering a broader cabinet proposition will be: Portuguese contemporary dining specialist Arc, which boasts a versatile programme of non-scratch, ceramic, real wood and veneered dining tables, available in incremental sizes and a wide range of stains (“these have already proved successful in Germany, but we’ve employed a UK designer to tailor the programme to our market, and to integrate other living/dining cabinet pieces,” states Brendan); and Ronfe, a Portuguese company offering high-value reproductions of classic French furniture, crafted in MDF with veneers and solids, and in a huge collection of colours – “in the style of Grange, but at keener prices”, explains Brendan, who also points out that the company welcomes bespoke and contract business. For bedroom buyers, UK supplier Midnight Flowers will present an exclusive new range of high-spec upholstered bedsteads. The fabrics employed across the line will mirror the new lampshades appearing across The UK Agency’s Danalight portfolio (“no-one else is presenting anything that ties in so closely,” says Brendan, “it’s going to be truly complementary”). The range offers a choice of over 200 Christina Marrone fabrics, and is manufactured by Christiansen Taylor in the UK, with fast lead times and a versatile sizing programme. Complementary items include accent chairs, mirrors, storage blanket boxes and table lamps to match. Meanwhile, accessory hunters will also find RH45, a UK picture company offering registered prints and original images from UK artists – “we’re working with the likes of Nottingham-based artist Buster Fisher, and supplying a great range of attractive frames,” states Brendan. “Applying both crystals and paint to finish the look, we add a beautiful deep frame which is available in several colours.” Long-time exhibitor Danalight will launch as a UK version of the old Danish company, offering more fabric shades to match those featured on The UK Agency’s sofas and accent chairs. Indeed, having acquired the UK business for Danalight, RH45 and TKY this year, The UK Agency is better
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H4
SECONIQUE FURNITURE Stand 4-C20 www.seconique.co.uk The Shannon bed is one of many new lines visitors to Seconique’s stand will be able to see. The bed features sprung slats for extra comfort, an attractive high padded headboard with honeycomb quilted, velvet-feel grey fabric, and contrasting velvet side rail and footboard. Also launching is the popular Nevada bedroom collection in a new sonoma oak finish. The Nevada range also sees the introduction of a five-drawer, onedoor low wardrobe in all four colours, and beds in oyster gloss or grey gloss. The range offers a high-quality look at a competitive price point, without compromising on quality.
SATRA TECHNOLOGY Stand 4-A66 www.satra.com
KETTLE INTERIORS Stand 4-C24 www.kettleinteriorsagencies.com
IB drinks cabinet
SATRA is an international centre of excellence for product testing, training, consultancy and innovation. Testing with SATRA not only gives clients peace of mind that their products are fit for purpose and comply with national and European requirements, but that the experts at SATRA will go beyond the test results to provide a high degree of customer care with prompt feedback. Visit SATRA at the show to find out more.
The new Signature by Kettle Interiors brand will launch at this year’s show, representing the final step of a journey that has seen the supplier transform its furniture portfolio. With the unveiling of the striking IB collection, as well as the existing MN Bedroom and MN Dining ranges, Signature by Kettle Interiors is the supplier’s premium offering. Style-led statement pieces, paired with high build quality and finishing touches, ensure that furniture from Signature by Kettle Interiors will create displays to stop customers in their tracks, states the supplier.
HALL 4 STAND E29
we make your life easy • Sustainably sourced materials • Bespoke in-house design tailored to your individual requirements • Highest quality products with latest certification • Engineered to current standards & building regulations • Designed within permitted development rights, so planning not required • Structurally guaranteed • Unique hand-crafted garden furniture • Nationwide delivery 01302 247943 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.easy-pods.co.uk Boston Park Industrial Estate, Bawtry Road, Doncaster DN7 6DS
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H4 Blanco table and Kari chairs
Stand 4-E20 www.julian-bowen.co.uk Julian Bowen intends to make an even bigger impact at this year’s show, committing to significant investment in new corporate branding and a new exhibition stand designed to display a diverse range of new furniture from the company’s design team.
LEVEL UP Hockley
Julian Bowen’s 2020 display will build on the supplier’s established strengths in bedroom furniture, and will introduce the fully assembled, whitepainted Clermont range. Meanwhile, the Cotswold fully assembled oak bedroom and dining collection has been created with refined detailing, and is set to be a timeless classic. The supplier has also created an extensive selection of occasional ranges and bar sets – the on-trend Dalston, Rockford and Spitfire boast an edgy, contemporary-industrial look, sensitively combining metal, wood and fabric. The successful mirror range will also be bolstered through the launch of an extensive new collection, which promises to offer impressive value for money. Julian Bowen is a clearly acknowledged leader in children’s furniture, and this remains a key focus for the supplier, which will introduce some innovative and highly functional new designs, including: the Aurora high-sleeper, which combines multiple storage options with a desk, mirror and
hanging space; the Eclipse, a clever contemporary bunk with a pull-out desk; and the Trio, a highly specified triple-height bunk in an immaculate lacquered finish. At the same time, Julian Bowen’s accomplished upholstery offering continues to grow. The stylish new Hayward sofa range exudes quality, combining quality craftsmanship with a timeless design in a soft, tactile grey velvet, while the Mila accent chair hits a smart contemporary note, combining a refined metal frame with a sleek modern shape, presented in a choice of velvets in classic grey or teal. MD Emmett Lenaghan comments: “Our customers have never faced such a combination of challenges, both cyclical and structural. We know how difficult it can be to navigate such an environment and feel that it is our job to be totally supportive, making it as easy as possible for them to maximise their businesses while working with the team at Julian Bowen in an enjoyable and efficient way. “We are both grateful and proud that our customers continue to show such confidence in Julian Bowen, and we are working hard constantly to improve all aspects of the proposition that we offer.” To that end, Julian Bowen has appointed Chris Atkinson – formerly sales director at The Great Chair Company and national sales manager with VIDA Living – as its commercial manager, tasked with helping take the business to the next level
JB 09 Full p
New Eclipse Bunk Bed Visit Julian Bowen at The Furniture Show Hall 4 Stand E20 Bentinck House, Park Lane Business Park, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Notts NG17 9LE tel: (01623) 727374 fax: (01623) 754555 email: email@example.com web: www.julian-bowen.co.uk
All Products are available for Direct Home Delivery
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H4 GAO Bedroom, Essentials
THE POWER OF THREE Kettle Interiors will mark the start of a new decade with its biggest-ever appearance at the January Furniture Show. With three stands in hall 4, Kettle plans to underline its status as one of the UK’s foremost cabinet furniture suppliers. Stands 4-C35/D20/C24 www.kettleinteriorsagencies.com
“We’ve always used the January Furniture Show as a springboard for major range launches, but this year is something special,” explains sales director Simon Ainge. “It represents a significant milestone for the company, as we will be revealing the culmination of intense work behind the scenes to make sure we are in a great position for the 2020s.” The introduction of the Essentials by Kettle Interiors brand last year marked the journey’s start. Offering impressive value through oak-finish and painted ranges designed for modern and starter homes, Essentials by Kettle Interiors is focused on commercially aware designs that have wide appeal. Collections such as GAO and RA are already attracting attention from consumers looking for budget-friendly choices, and are becoming popular among retailers for their ability to lead in-store promotions. “Kettle Interiors has always stood for value, but we knew that to give
independent retailers the chance to compete with the big retail brands we needed to make some significant changes to our portfolio, and that tweaks to existing ranges wouldn’t be enough,” explains Simon. “We set about developing collections for Essentials by Kettle Interiors with the single aim of making them as competitive as possible. As a result, the furniture is ideal for retailers looking for headline-grabbing promotions, or simply wishing to deliver their customers the very best in everyday value.” This strategy has also enabled the supplier to maintain the position of its tried-and-trusted collections, which now reside under the Kettle Interiors brand. With stalwarts such as the painted TT collection and the Scandi-styled NT a familiar sight in stores across the country, Kettle Interiors remains at the heart of the portfolio. Based around a combination of
INFORMING INDUSTRY, BUILDING BUSINESS 95
small independent retailers and large national companies alike, without sacrificing efficiency.” As Kettle Interiors begins 2020, retailers visiting the January Furniture Show will be among the first to witness the full impact of its widened portfolio. Visitors can find Essentials by Kettle Interiors on stand 4-C35, Kettle Interiors on 4-D20, and Signature by Kettle Interiors on 4-C24
NT Living, Kettle Interiors IB Dining, Signature
TT Dining, Kettle Interiors
designs with wide appeal, quality materials and full-size proportions, ranges from Kettle Interiors are suitable for consumers looking for furniture that is highly functional, as well as ready to endure everyday use in family homes. It is a successful formula that, over the course of the last decade, has enabled the supplier to build a UKbased operation big and strong enough to support the major portfolio growth taking place right now. The final step in the expansion comes with the launch of Signature by Kettle Interiors at the show. Signature by Kettle Interiors represents a firm move into the premium, style-focused end of the sector, through ranges such as the striking IB and MN collections. With details that reflect quality and close attention to cutting-edge design, Signature by Kettle Interiors opens up new possibilities for the supplier and its retailer network. Simon continues: “We’re delighted to be unveiling the last part in our strategy to strengthen our diversity, with the launch of Signature by Kettle Interiors. The brand gives us the chance to create ranges for a more targeted customer profile without affecting the mainstream appeal and success of our value and core propositions. We’ll be introducing some exciting new styles into Signature, and we are sure they will help us gain a reputation for the ability to provide furniture, no matter your customer base.” Indeed, this is the ultimate goal of this fresh approach from Kettle Interiors – to truly become a single-source supplier of cabinet furniture. No matter the size of operation, typical customer profile or average spend, it is likely that Kettle will have a range to match. And, as Simon is keen to point out, this new-found breadth of offer is matched by the supplier’s service proposition: “Over the last decade we’ve transformed remarkably from our beginnings as a container specialist, and now have a UK stockholding in excess of £6m, meaning we can give retailers a choice of exclusive ranges, backed by excellent service. “It’s a commitment that has demanded heavy investment throughout all of our operations – from manufacturing and storage facilities in the Far East to our UK warehousing, delivery fleet and after-sales – but one that has given us the ability to serve
JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H4 Casablanca
LPD Stand 4-A26 www.lpdfurniture.co.ukk
K&P GLOBAL Stand 4-E62 www.knpglobal.co.uk
the footsteps of the products launched last year. “As a longstanding family business, we believe that customer service remains paramount, and we constantly strive to improve systems and pricing to ensure that any trading experience with LPD runs as smoothly as possible. We not only have our stock portal that allows customers to engage with LPD 24/7, but our well-established home delivery service has gone from strength to strength, with now over 20 branded home delivery vehicles on the road.”
Established in the UK, K&P Global is one of the leading furnituremanufacturing groups operating in Vietnam, supplying indoor, outdoor, school and metal furniture, including bamboo and rattan solutions.
Lara chairs and Capri table
Approaching almost 40 years in business, LPD recognises a good piece of furniture when it sees one. Focusing on design, quality, packing and price, LPD offers a comprehensive range of furniture spanning the bedroom, living room, dining/kitchen and even bathroom. While still offering the more traditional styles of furniture, over the last 12 months the company has expanded its range considerably to include more contemporary pieces in upholstered velvet, glass and gold finishes. LPD director and part-owner Helen Gordon says: “As for our product offering, we have some very exciting new lines arriving in 2020. We hope that visitors take the time to visit our stand at the upcoming January Furniture Show, as there will be lots of new product to view that we feel sure will continue to become LPD bestsellers and follow in
K&P operates from six high-capacity factories across Vietnam, employing more than 5000 workers and a strong R&D team. The company has achieved FSC, BSCI grade D certificates, ISO 9001 and all IKEA standards, and is carrying out CSR for all employees to ensure the working conditions and facilities are up to scratch, while supplying high-quality products with a low environmental impact. K&P is currently one of Vietnam’s leading exporters of indoor and outdoor furniture, and is seeking new distributors in the UK and Europe.
Wobaston Road, Wolverhampton, WV9 5EY
0121 506 4888
NEVADA BED WITH NEVADA BEDROOM RANGE G R A C E A R M C H A I R & S O FA S
H A M PTO N B E D
For more details call 0121 506 4888 or visit our website www.seconique.co.uk COMPREHENSIVE PRODUCT RANGE - FIRST CLASS SERVICE - OUTSTANDING VALUE
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H4
Stand 4-C45 www.asgtrading.co.uk As one of the largest UK furniture trade centres, ASG provides a one-stop furniture retail solution, offering more than 1000 high-quality product options at impressive prices.
Boasting a huge wealth of product choice, high quality, competitive prices and an efficient service, ASG is equipped to deliver a complete supply service. With a showroom in Birmingham (just two miles from the NEC) packed with over 1000 product samples, ASG offers buying opportunities all year round â€“ but would-be stockists seeking a more focused presentation will be able to find the supplier at both January Furniture Show and Spring Fair (stand 19-C50/ D51) this year, which provide further opportunity to see and feel the products before committing to an order
UK FURNITURE TRADE CENTRE
FOR ALL RETAIL SOLUTIONS
SEE US AT THE JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW HALL 4 - C45
WWW.ASGTRADING.CO.UK UNIT 4, GRIFFIN BUSINESS PARK, WALMER WAY, CHELMSLEY WOOD, BIRMINGHAM B37 7UX
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H4 Monaco
WIEMANN Stand 4-C50 www.wiemannuk.co.uk Award-winning German bedroom manufacturer Wiemann will unveil seven new products, fresh innovations and two new carcass and door finishes, as well as showcasing a mixture of its latest and updated stylish, modern collections, ranging from budget to top-quality, VIP and semi-solid. Visitors will be able to see: new contemporary semi-solid wood collection Bari; and VIP ranges Nizza, an interesting combination of sliding, hinged and bi-fold combi robes, and Glasgow, a hinged, combi and sliding robe offering, in matt glass, a new finish for 2020. Portfolio additions to the core collection include: Rialto, a contemporary sliding robe with a stylish thick trim; and W2000, a traditional Shaker-style robe. There is also Jura, a simple take on a basic hinged robe, and the two-door slider Korfu, with horizontal panels (both for the budget collection).
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Updated for the exhibition will be: Loft and Monaco, on display in a new finish, bianco oak – a simple, light-coloured wood; and Miami Plus in a fresh finish, graphite. Dakar 2 will be shown with new slate-coloured handles, and Berlin has been updated to offer a wide choice of functional furniture pieces. Kai Schwenke, Wiemann’s export manager, says: “Monaco has been very successful for us within the last 12 months, so we’ve expanded the range options to provide a comprehensive collection of bedroom furniture.”
There will also be Kansas, Cambridge, All-In, Limara and Miami 2 on show. Simon Hewitt, MD of Wiemann’s UK agent, Litmus Furniture, says: “We’re delighted to be exhibiting at JFS once again. It marks the start of the new business year, creating fresh trading opportunities as well as presenting a great occasion to catch up with existing customers. “It’s also an excellent platform to showcase our latest products to an international audience and overseas contacts.”
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H4 Manhattan casual living
CORE PRODUCTS Stand 4-A40 www.coreproducts.co.uk
to optimise storage from a minimal footprint, and are set to attract styleand price-conscious customers. Core Products also states that visiting its stand will not only be good for business, but for the environment, too – the supplier has pledged to plant a tree on behalf of each visiting company to thank them for stopping by.
TIME TO SHINE
TT AA THE FURNITURE FURNITURE THE
AWARDS 2020 AWARDS 2020 Supported by
Brought to you by
Corona Compact bedroom
Core Products will display its new collections at the show. The supplier’s renowned flat-packed pine collections will be further enhanced by new additions to its popular ranges. Several completely new designs will be presented – including Corona Compact, which has been refreshed for modern living, achieving an effect which is attractive, practical, and promises to appeal to consumers looking for good value. Casual living is undoubtedly an emerging trend, states Core, so several new ranges will be on display that feature bleached wood- and stone-effect finishes, accompanied by metal legs. Every piece is practical and functional, yet unconventionally eye-catching, making them strong focal points for any room. The units are designed
THE FURNITURE AWARDS ARE RETURNING TO THE JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW TO RECOGNISE THE INDUSTRY’S CHAMPION SUPPLIERS
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H5
WEST MIDLANDS UPHOLSTERY
Stand 5-G38 www.westmidsupholstery.co.uk
Stand 5-B43 www.daro-cane.co.uk
Now in its 17th year of trading, West Midlands Upholstery is exhibiting for a second time following its success at last year’s show. Based in the heart of the Black Country, the company manufactures a range of high-quality upholstered sofas and chairs at affordable price points. The models range in style from traditional to contemporary, and each is designed collectively by the production team, with each member contributing to the final design. Director Stephen Whitehouse says: “We are looking forward to showing at the NEC for the second time, as last year’s show was both successful and enjoyable. It is yet another opportunity for us to showcase our product range, and meet customers both old and new.”
PROTECT-A-BED Stand 5-J45 www.protectabed.co.uk
Protect-A-Bed, a global leader in healthy sleep products, specialises in significantly driving mattress protector sales with its retail partners. This success is built on trust, unique marketing, specialist sales training
Cane and rattan are on-trend this year, according to industry-leading producer of cane and rattan furniture for the home and garden, Daro, which attributes growing demand in this area to the rising popularity of furniture created from sustainable, natural materials. Visit Daro’s team at the January Furniture Show for inspiration, and to view the supplier’s latest indoor and outdoor collections.
and high-quality mattress protection. Combined with the company’s awardwinning service support and its innovation for new in-store display systems, Protect-A-Bed’s pledge to its partners promises to generate success.
Where elegant design & craftmanship comedesign together! Where elegant &
Where elegant design & craftmanship craftmanship come come together! together!
Contact: Contact: (0141) 632 1025 (0141) 632 1025 (0141) 632 1025 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 137 Shawbridge St, Glasgow, 137 Shawbridge St, Glasgow, 137G43 Shawbridge St, Glasgow, 1QQ G43 1QQ www.torelli.co.uk G43 1QQ www.torelli.co.uk www.torelli.co.uk FN370_Pages_B.indd Full page USE.indd 1 109
January January January
NEC NEC FURNITURE NECJAN 19-22 FURNITURE 19-22 JAN FURNITURE 2020 19-22 JAN SHOW
2020 2020 Stand: Stand:
5-H47 Stand: 5-H47
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H5
WELCOME TO A WORLD OF SLEEP The Silentnight Group plans to build on last year’s event, and to reinforce why it is the home of the UK’s biggest sleep brands … Stand 5-G80 www.silentnight.co.uk www.sealy.co.uk www.rest-assured.co.uk Sealy
Inviting visitors to immerse themselves in a world of sleep, the group promises to educate, inspire and entertain visitors with all things sleep-related. With over 45 different mattresses and sleep solutions to try out – plus previews of new products and the chance to meet experts from across the family of brands – the group promises an allencompassing sleep experience from Silentnight, Sealy and Rest Assured, along with an extensive display of brandlicensed sleep products. Lifestyle rooms will host the group’s comprehensive range of sleep solutions, while its research and product experts will return to present some of the findings of their latest sleep science research, including the results of a twoyear study which was recently awarded
a green ribbon prize at the British Sleep Society for its innovation. This combination of sleep science (in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire, UCLAN) and consumer research has underpinned the development of innovative new products, which are set to be unveiled at the show. Visitors will be able to find out more about Silentnight’s new Exclusive Collection for independent bed retailers, and see two Which? Best Buy mattresses – Studio by Silentnight, which is rolled and boxed for convenience, and the Silentnight Eco Comfort 1200 Pocket, which features Eco Comfort Fibres, a comfort filling made from recycled plastic bottles. The group’s commitment to sustainability continues to influence all areas of the business. At the show, its new brand eco ambassador, Lucy Siegle, will talk about the wider topic of sustainability and her work with Silentnight. There will also be presentations from Silentnight’s sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, along with presentations on the key design and consumer trends influencing the industry. Meanwhile, Sealy UK promises new spring systems and ranges. Its Activsleep and Hybrid collections have enjoyed a makeover incorporating new technology and fillings, while a range of new Pocket models and Quantum Edge, a new spring system exclusive to Sealy, featuring 1500 springs that sit right to the edge of the mattress to provide consistent support and comfort, will take centre stage – alongside the established Premium, Ortho and Performance collections. Finally, Rest Assured will invite visitors to indulge in a little luxury with its latest collection of pocketsprung mattresses, crafted using environmentally conscious materials such as natural British wool, and fresh white fibres for breathable comfort
www.timberartdesignuk.com 01978 660768 / email@example.com 108 Abbey Road South, Wrexham Industrial Estate, Wrexham, LL13 9RF
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H5 Uno Zing
NUMBER ONE Innovative bedmaker Breasley is heading into 2020 with a refresh of its trailblazing rolled-and-boxed mattress collection, Uno. Stand 5-D80 www.breasley.co.uk
Uno Zing, Life and Easy (rolled)
The family-run firm was one of the first to produce British-made, vacuumpacked mattresses, and has continued to be a major player in the sector’s evolution. This month, Breasley is unveiling a consolidated 12-model Uno range at the January Furniture Show. Four new entry-level, value Uno mattresses will be displayed – Uno Life, Uno Life (Firm), Uno Easy and Uno Zing are rolled, foambased value mattresses, suitable for bunkbeds, occasional use and children’s first beds. Sales director Rob King says: “They all have a 10-year guarantee, which proves that although they are entry-level mattresses, they still enjoy Breasley’s quality commitment. Not many mattresses at this price point come with such a confident warranty.” Both Uno Life models feature a strong
support foundation layer for enhanced durability, with a cover washable at 40°C. Uno Easy has the same classic foundation, with an additional layer of memory foam to increase comfort levels. Uno Zing ramps up the comfort factor with an even thicker layer of memory foam, and has ergonomic profiling to support the shoulder, neck and hips. Moving up the range, Breasley’s market-leading bestseller, Uno Pocket 1000, is unchanged. A favourite with retailers, it includes pocket springs and uses UnoCare technology, a combination of treatments which help to regulate body temperature, protect against house dust mites and fight bacteria. This hygienic sleep environment is shared with Uno Pocket 2000, Uno Pocket Ortho and the Uno Memory Pocket models. Uno has three boxed mattresses in the range, all with pocket springs, UnoCare and a 10-year guarantee – Uno Spirit 1000, Tranquil 2000 and Halcyon 3000 make use of natural fibres in the covers. Halcyon also features a breathable memory foam layer. Rob concludes: “We are excited about the consolidation of Uno, which truly offers a mattress suitable for everyone. Customers get a lot of bed for their buck with Breasley”
VIEW THE NEW RANGE Manchester Furniture Show July 14-16, 2019 Stand A60
S M A R T O CC AS I O N A Lâ€™ S BRAND NEW RANGE
THE HUDSON D E S I G N E D BY PAU L STOT T T: 01937 589188
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VISIT US AT THE JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW 19-22 JAN 2020 HALL 5 STAND B50
T: 01937 589188 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.smartoccasional.co.uk E: email@example.com www.smart-trading.co.uk
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H5
EDGE Having just enjoyed the best month’s trading in its 20-year history, World Furniture reﬂects on the decisions which set it on the path to success as it prepares for this year’s exhibition … Stand 5-H35 www.world-furniture.biz
In 2017, Northern Ireland’s World Furniture identified a gap in the market for modern, contemporary furniture, and chose to seize the opportunity. Today, it is one of the leading producers of modern high-gloss and glass products, and also offers a range of more than 80 dining chairs, boasting a vast choice of colours and designs. Before this strategic change, World Furniture already had a formidable reputation for dining tables and chairs – but now it also offers an extensive range of designs, colours and materials ideal for those retailers looking for something different.
MD Marc Bunting says: “Over the years, we’ve heard our customers at every show say they want to see something different. It’s our belief that oak remains in the market and will always do so, but we took the decision to focus our entire business on stepping out of the oak environment and exploring material combinations, adding value so we have products that are both different in design, but equally commercially desirable. We have found that niche and will continue to grow it.” The company subsequently found itself at the forefront of value-for-money design, employing new techniques such as paper on glass, which results in a different look but boasts all the benefits and properties of glass, states Marc. Meanwhile, the ranges launched at the recent IFHS in Dublin (such as Paris and Capri) have seen “exceptional” growth. Additionally, the launch of full electric reclining sofas has proved significant over the last quarter, with over 120 floor displays sold on the Layla model alone, thanks to its “outstanding value, superb soft-feel fabric and beautiful tailoring”, says Marc. In addition to product design and price structuring, the company has invested heavily in the quality aspects of its business. For the past two years, every product has been inspected at source by its own employees, who have a [consumer product certifier] SGS background, and thus the qualifications and skills to ensure manufacturing processes are consistent, in accordance with UK law and all executed to the same high standards. While a costly and time-consuming process, providing product that customers can truly feel confident in has helped create significant growth. New models lined up for launch at the show include: an extensive range of melamine products in oak, light rhine grey, dark grey and carrara marble, with all the attributes of modern design plus benefits in terms of wear and tear; two new electric leather recliners, and a corner group for the successful Layla sofa; an array of design-led dining chairs in a mixture of unique fabrics and PU; an innovative ceramic fixed dining set in a modern grey; and highvalue extending dining tables in various colours, matched with value-for-money chairs
world furniture ni ltd
028 9182 8202
2 Ballyharry Business Park, Donaghadee Road, Newtownards, Northern Ireland BT23 7ET
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H5
DORMEO Stand 5-A32 www.dormeo.co.uk
Dormeo will introduce the Bliss Hybrid mattress, which employs a combination of Reflect Foam and a layer of individually pocketed Reflect Springs to offer effortless support across the entire surface. Reflect Foam’s unique supportive technology utilises air capsules to
provide impressive support by acting as individual shock-absorbing cushions, helping ensure individualised comfort and support. This high-density foam also greatly reduces pressure to the hip and back area when compared to traditional mattress materials, states Dormeo. Made in the UK, this high-density foam offers high levels of resilience and durability. With a reassuring 10-year limited warranty and a complimentary luxury Reflect Foam pillow with every mattress, the Bliss Hybrid is set to be a real contender on showroom floors across the UK this year, believes Dormeo.
CINTIQUE Stand 5-D40 www.cintique.co.uk Launching at the show, the Mayfair is part of a new collection of fine upholstery that combines Cintique’s classic heritage with design elements for modern living. Mayfair’s natural show-wood frame range is a prime example of the high quality which can be achieved by British manufacturing. Incorporating both traditional skills and technology, all Cintique furniture comes with the reassurance of a lifetime frame guarantee. Available in a choice of cloth combinations, from natural weaves to more opulent velvets and faux-fur
elements, the Mayfair adapts easily to a range of tastes. Cintique also offers a ‘customer own cover service’, enabling the creation of truly unique bespoke pieces of fine British upholstery.
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LIVE LIVEIN IN LUXURY. LUXURY. SLEEP SLEEPIN IN STYLE. STYLE.
A stylish A collection stylish collection of eightofquality eight quality mattresses, mattresses, divans divans and headboards, and headboards, all all equipped equipped with a with a 10-year10-year guarantee. guarantee.
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For more Forinformation more information Telephone Telephone 01629 823680 01629 823680 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
The rolled or boxed mattress collection An award-winning, comprehensive rolled and
• DHD and fasttrack ordering
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See us at the January Furniture Show Hall 5, Stand D80
19/12/2019 09:36 18:27 05/12/2019
JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H5 Luxury Silk 1500, from Sweet Dreams’ Hand Crafted collection
Stand 5-J10 www.sweetdreamsuk.com Sweet Dreams’ major focus for the show will be upholstery, following on from a positive year for the range.
Scholefield Technology Centre
The Lancashire-based company has seen significant growth in its upholstery. British-made models such as Harvey, Fraser and Carmen have proved major sellers, and at Manchester Furniture Show this was built upon with the introduction of Blenheim, Knole and Pixton. To expand on this, up to five new collections will be revealed in the British-made collection this month. Sweet Dreams promises strong commercial appeal for the 3+2+1 suites, and a number will have matching stools. New fabrics and colourways for British-made upholstery will also be launched, while scatterback cushions will be included as standard on the new models. Sofabeds, a major success story last year, will form a prominent display – as will divans and mattresses, Sweet Dreams’ core range. The collections launched at last year’s NBF Bed Show – Pocket Air Pure, Hand Crafted and Defined Edge Support, all of which boast luxury specifications or distinctive qualities – have performed well, so Sweet Dreams anticipates much interest in these at the NEC. Complementing the beds and frames
will be ready-assembled bedroom cabinet, including models first shown in Manchester which have gone on to be bestsellers. In January last year, Sweet Dreams revealed new collections for downstairs – dining sets, living room cabinet and decorative accessories. The best performers will be displayed this month, complementing the upholstery. Part of the success Sweet Dreams has experienced with its upholstery ranges in particular has been down to the serious attention the company pays to compliance, and in 2019 the manufacturer took its commitment a step further by establishing its own testing centre. Scholefield Technology Centre is a state-of-the-art product-testing hub, close to Sweet Dreams’ headquarters. It comprises seven machines, including two which test mattress durability and sofa fatigue, and a flammability testing area. The area is designed to ensure that all products are fully compliant before leaving the factory, and to make savings in economy and resources. The centre is also a member of SATRA, with UKAS accreditation imminent
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H5 Homeserve Furniture Repairs’ MD John Bowater with part of the new van fleet
Stand 5-A20 www.homeserverepairs.co.uk Despite the occasional setback, Homeserve Furniture Repairs has enjoyed monumental growth since its inception in 2004 – and it shows no sign of losing momentum …
HOMESERVE GOES FROM
STRENGTH TO STRENGTH Owner and CEO James Lane with MD John Bowater (centre), celebrating the double win at last year’s Express & Star Business Awards
After starting his upholstery career in a Dudley factory, James Lane launched Homeserve Furniture Repairs in 2004 – as just one man with a van, visiting around 20 customers nationwide each week to carry out furniture repairs and liability inspections within people’s homes.
Today, the company is riding high, following the expansion of its commercial re-upholstery and restoration operations. Last year, Homeserve won the West Midlands-focused Express & Star Business Awards for Small- to MediumSized Business of the Year, and Best Use of Technology. It added three units to its premises plus a new training centre, additional workshop and commercial upholstery factory and showroom, and grew the number of technicians within its furniture repair team to over 160 – these technicians now visit more than 20,000 customers each month. With a total staff headcount of 240 (89 of them working in the Brierly Hill headquarters) and counting, Homeserve continues to go from strength to strength – an achievement which sales director Craig Hart attributes to working as a team. “We want to say a massive thankyou to all existing clients and staff for all their support over the years,” he says, and urges visitors to the January Furniture Show to stop by Homeserve Furniture Repairs’ stand
Full pa Sherbo
Malham Royale Riser
Donâ€™t miss our exciting new ranges at the Show, where we shall January Furniture Show be celebrating our 90th Anniversary by introducing exciting new developments to enhance our Upholstery and Adjustable Bed ranges.
Many new covers will also be on display, so we look forward to welcoming you onto our usual two stands right next to the main entrance to Hall 5, D10 and C10.
Sherborne Upholstery Limited Telephone: 01274 882633 firstname.lastname@example.org www.sherborneupholstery.co.uk (including Product Customiser to view all Fabrics and Leathers)
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H5 Comfort Control
HIGH STREET CHAMPION West Yorkshire’s Highgrove Beds plans to launch several new products at the show, from innovative and upgraded mattress specifications to Comfort Control, a range of adjustable beds. Stand 5-E20 www.highgrovebeds.co.uk
Highgrove is one of the UK’s fastestgrowing bed brands, producing approximately 5000 beds a week at its new manufacturing plant in Liversedge. The bedmaker’s head of marketing, Shane Harding, is confident that the business will continue to take market share at the exhibition. “We have now firmly bedded our three main brands into the marketplace – HG at the entry level, our established flagship Highgrove brand taking up the centre ground, and Sanctum, targeting the premium hand-tailored sector,” he says. In addition to the wide product offer, Highgrove will use the show to target customers old and new through exclusive offers and promotions. The
company has invested more than £500,000 in recent years to support high street retailers with high-impact in-store displays and additional PoS, including branded footmats and pillowcases to enhance store displays. Although the internet plays an increasingly important role in consumer decisionmaking, Highgrove has made the tactical (and commercial) decision to support bricks-and-mortar stores, and its brochure collection is not available for internet trading. “We feel that consumers still want to try before they buy,” explains Shane, “and although internet sales continue to outpace retail, high-ticket comfort items will still be primarily sold in-store for many years to come”
TRENDING FOR 2020 CANE & RATTAN FURNITURE
As the popularity of furniture created from sustainable and natural material grows,
Daro, the industry-leading producer of cane
and rattan furniture for the home and garden
predict 2020 to be even bigger.
For inspiration and to view the latest indoor and outdoor collections, visit the team at The January Furniture Show.
Hall 5 at stand number 5-B43
www.daro-cane.co.uk | 01604 758 989 | email@example.com
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H5
WITH ATTITUDE La-Z-Boy UK has announced a host of new model launches for its January shows, alongside new product options and an expanded fabric and leather collection. Stand 5-E32 www.la-z-boy.co.uk
The recliner specialist continues to focus on growing its consumer appeal through refining and extending its two key product groups, Comfort Studio and Urban Attitudes. Commercial director Mark Draper says: “While Comfort Studio is home to our more traditional product ranges, it also pushes boundaries with the introduction of much more contemporary details. Urban Attitudes features more compact sizing, and overall is designed for a younger demographic. All Urban Attitudes models are on legs and feature power recline options with a concealed mechanism, offering style and comfort hand in hand.”
Rogue will be introduced as a corner group at the January Furniture Show
La-Z-Boy will be exhibiting at both the January Furniture Show, where six new products will be introduced, and the AIS Furniture Show in Cranmore Park, where a total of 11 models will be on the stand – a mix of new and existing products, including some memberexclusive models and deals. New additions in Comfort Studio include Alva, a stylish circular swivel chair. Another new introduction in Urban Attitudes is George, an off-the-floor model with mid-century-inspired design features and optional power head tilt. Additionally, new options will be exhibited in some top-selling ranges, such as corner group configurations for Rogue, and a Lift ‘n’ Rise model in Winchester. An expanded collection of covers will be offered across much of the new and existing product range, including twotone fabric and leather options. “We’re confident that whatever upholstery buyers are looking for, they’ll find a match with La-Z-Boy,” concludes Mark
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H5
SOFA SOURCE Stand 5-F15 01254 385417
Stands 5-C10/D10 Sherborne Upholstery will celebrate its 90th year in business through a number of new developments for the show, including a completely new (and very different) recliner/suite range, plus a smart variation on an old favourite. Numerous covers will be introduced to both the upholstery and adjustable bed ranges, while a new upmarket adjustable bed will be unveiled, together with a range of headboards to match. With a wide cross-section of established winners on display and the usual show offers available, Sherborne anticipates a warm reaction from visitors to its stand, which is located next to the main entrance to hall 5.
Sofa Source Direct is one of the UKâ€™s largest wholesalers of contemporary and classic suites. At the show, the company will display its new and most comfortable leather and fabric suites, both imported and UK-made. These come with electric and manual reclining options, and include Chesterfields in a multitude of colours and combinations.
SPRING CRAFT Stand 5-B80 www.spring-craft.co.uk Spring Craft delivers a new vision for a new year, decade and generation. Drawing on a wealth of experience, while adapting and developing to address a new wave of trends in the furniture world, Spring Craft will introduce its new collection at the show, offering a range of chaises longues, chairs and footstools, in addition to a new range of fabrics, headboards and bed frames.
CRAF T I N G
D R E A M S
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+44 (0) 1924 488 994 I N F O @ S P R I N G - C R A F T. C O . U K W W W. S P R I N G - C R A F T. C O . U K @ S P R I N G C R A F T LT D
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ZOY Home Furnishing is a leading supplier for upholstery furniture.
ZOY Home Home Furnishing is a leading suppliersupplier for upholstery furniture. Contemporary ZOY Furnishing is aand leading for upholstery furniture. Contemporary motion sofa traditional sofa group, gorgeous styles in motion sofa and traditional sofa group, gorgeous styles in beautiful, soft natural leather Contemporary motion sofa and traditional sofa group, gorgeous styles in beautiful, soft naturalthe leather and fabric give customers the ultimate and fabric give customers ultimate in reclining comfort with our best handcraft in and beautiful, soft natural leather and fabric the ultimate in reclining comfort with our furniture, best handcraft andcustomers function configuration. function configuration. Panel Singlegive recliner, Arm Chair, Sofabed â€Ś reclining comfort with our best recliner, handcraft and function configuration. Panel furniture, Single Arm Chair, Sofabed... www.zoy-living.com Panel furniture, Single recliner, Arm Chair, Sofabed...
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ZOY HOME Stand 5-G30 www.zoy-living.com
Zoy is one of the world’s fastest-growing upholstery and motion furniture manufacturers. Based in Anji, near Shanghai, the company has principally focused on the US market for the past decade, but is now launching its first UK range – comprising recliner sofas and
armchairs, finished in both leather and fabrics. Promising highly commercial, competitively priced products, Zoy’s vision is to become a global one-stop home furnishings supplier – and the business invites potential stockists to discover more at the show.
DEEPSLEEP BED BRANDS
Stand 5-C45 07588 850011 The Deepsleep Bed Brands line is made by a leading West Yorkshire manufacturer of quality mattresses, divans, and fashionable beds and headboards, offering quality, choice and value across a wide range of products. Deepsleep Bed Brands operates from a 120,000ft2 factory which was designed to facilitate smooth production and meet growing demand, while enabling the company’s continual expansion. A constant programme of investment in new machine technology enables Deepsleep to meet the demands of today’s consumer – and the company is now poised to introduce some innovative mattress, base and headboard designs for 2020. Deepsleep Bed Brands will return to the show for a third year, with a stand that emphasises ‘style and comfort in the bedroom’. This has been achieved by researching new and innovative fabric ideas, and using them in a tasteful way
on base and headboard designs so they appeal to younger generations, while making each bed more of a personal statement. From a comfort perspective, Deepsleep has again looked at new fabrics along with fillings, new construction techniques and quilt designs, to take its mattress comfort to new levels while maintaining high quality and durability – and has developed new PoS materials to convey these values. During the last decade, Deepsleep enjoyed high levels of growth in an often-challenging marketplace. To maintain growth, these challenges were met head-on. This year, the company
JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H5
plans to place greater emphasis on service, with representative coverage in all areas of the UK, and a commitment to higher stockholding. At the same time, Deepsleep’s truck fleet will be further expanded to ensure its fast delivery service is maintained.
JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H5 Scandic hi-fi unit
Stand 5-F20 www.homestylegb.com Homestyle GB is looking forward to presenting the ranges it has been developing for the last 12 months …
Lumi Bedroom bedside
HOME ON THE RANGE
“Phew! How quick has the last 12 months flown by? The January Furniture Show is now back upon us, and it’s time to show off what we’ve been developing over the last 12 months for 2020,” states a spokesperson for Homestyle GB. “We strive to ensure our customers stay ahead of the game, with great value, quality, and that something a little different that will help you stand apart from the competition. “There’s no doubting that over the last 12 months there’s been some high-flying ranges, with sales figures far exceeding initial expectations and bucking the downward trend so typically seen on the high street. “Top of the pile is our Scandic oak retro-inspired range. Functionality and form have come together, in what has proved a hit with the consumer, for both online and in-store retail sales. Continuing on from its success we’re expanding the range with a new sideboard, computer desk and a whole suite of bedroom pieces. “The bedroom suite includes the obligatory three-drawer bedside, with a slim top drawer (ideal for ensuring the book or tablet is to hand). “Two other chests, a five-drawer wellington and a six-drawer multichest provide excellent storage options for most spaces. A blanket box provides
great capacity for the bulkier items, and a novel new dressing table includes a flip-up mirror – again, maximising functionality in a compact and stylish package. “Last, but not least, is a double wardrobe that provides flexible internals for many combinations of shelf and hanging rail space, to ensure needs are met, whatever the season. “We’ll also be displaying several brand-new ranges that will be on board during 2020. The first two ranges are retro-inspired, sleek-lined and full of functionality – one in oak, the other with a white painted finish. Also on display will be a completely new traditional painted range with 16 bedroom pieces. This will be a higher-end range, with all-timber construction, oak tops and a choice of handles. “One other aspect we’re keen to get across to both existing and new customers is our ability to help develop new bespoke ranges. Our in-house team can assist in the development of quality furniture collections unique to them, along with warehousing facilities, avoiding the complexity and huge costs normally associated with setting up such operations. “To see or discuss any of the above, grab a coffee and make the most of the great show offers, come and see us in hall 5”
SPRINGS & FRAMES
sitting is believing
NEW FOR THE JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW Visit us in Hall 5, Stand D40 Common Road, Huthwaite, Nottinghamshire, NG17 2JY email@example.com
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Style and comfort in the bedroom
T • 01924 274465 | F • 01924 278280 | E • firstname.lastname@example.org Unit 2, Warneford Avenue, Ossett, Wakefield, WF5 9NJ
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H5 Pocket Air Pure – Clarity 3000
SWEET DREAMS Stand 5-J10 www.sweetdreamsuk.com Sweet Dreams will focus on upholstery at this year’s show, and promises the launch of several impressive new British-made models (details yet to be revealed). The Lancashire company’s other wellregarded ranges will also be on display. First and foremost will be divans. September saw Sweet Dreams launch three high-end collections – Pocket Air Pure, Hand Crafted and Defined Edge support. These met with a good reaction at the Bed Show and have sold well since, and many models of these will be on display at the NEC. At last year’s Manchester Furniture Show, where Sweet Dreams exhibited for the first time for several years, buyers were introduced to a select collection of fully assembled bedroom cabinet. One model, Madden, which boasts a high-gloss finish, has been performing especially well, and will be on show at the NEC. In chic grey melamine-faced chipboard, Madden comprises a two-door and three-door robe, four-drawer and five-drawer chest and a bedside cabinet.
Sweet Dreams revealed dining and living room additions at the NEC last year, and these will be on show again. Fern, an extensive dining and living range featuring contrast tops and partly made from solid oak, has been a notable seller.
As well as an extendable table with dining chairs, Fern offers three other tables and a bookcase. Sofabeds, bed frames, children’s beds and decorative accessories will also be on show, complementing Sweet Dreams’ extended upholstery collection.
TORELLI Stand 5-H47 www.torelli.co.uk Every year, Torelli strives to bring fresh and unique products to the market, and 2020 will see the company’s biggest show display to date. New marble furniture ranges Donatello, Parma and Maria will make their debut. Torelli has added three new
ceramic furniture ranges to its current collection, making Torelli a leading supplier of ceramic furniture – while the introduction of the matt-lacquered Vivaldi ranges will add an ultra-modern look to any gloss furniture offering. Moreover, 2020 will see the addition of
a fabric collection of dining and lounge chairs in many luxurious fabrics and ontrend colours. Torelli is fast becoming the preferred supplier of contemporary furniture to a growing number of retailers and design professionals in the UK and Europe.
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THE NEW FOREST HAMPSHIRE OUR HOME OUR HERITAGE OUR INSPIRATION #perfectsleep
H A MPS H IR E WOOL
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C HE M I C A L F RE E
N AT U RA L FA BR ICS A N D F I L L I NGS
For over 70 years our home on the edge of the New Forest National Park has been influential in the development of our luxuriously comfortable, handmade mattresses. It’s the combination of beautiful natural materials combined with expert craftsmanship which make our products special. That’s why we use local Hampshire wool and sustainably sourced English Fine Cotton in the creation of our chemical free beds The key ingredients for perfect sleep.
Come and see us at the January Furniture Show Hall 5/E80 millbrook-beds.co.uk
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H5
MILLBROOK BEDS Stand 5-E80 www.millbrook-beds.co.uk Millbrook Beds will preview its new Splendour collection, featuring a sumptuous viscose cotton cover, and a variety of spring counts stepping up from 1000 to 7000. Sharing the sustainability credentials of the existing range, Splendour is layered with temperature-regulating, sustainably sourced English Fine Cotton. The new Splendour will be shown alongside the chemical-free, handmade mattress ranges launched at the end of 2019 – Grandeur, Majestic, Ortho and Pillow-top. Meanwhile, Millbrook’s popular new range of Motion Adjustable
beds, available in a variety of six feels and spring counts, launched at the Bed Show in September, completes the show line-up.
TIMBER ART DESIGN UK Stand 5-G25 www.timberartdesignuk.com Founded in Wrexham, North Wales, Timber Art Design UK has a commitment to providing best-in-class service with quality product. Through wholesale distribution channels, the company serves independent store retailers, internet retailers and buying groups on a national basis, and operates a dropship service for internet retailers. From its two factories in Johor, Malaysia, the company not only manufactures, but oversees the entire process, from conception, design and prototype to final design certification, production and wholesale. This ensures the customer receives an accurate and efficient service, while a team of trained specialists are on hand to guide them through the steps involved. Timber Art Design UK’s comprehensive range of self-assembly furniture products includes bedroom and living room ranges in a variety of
styles, colours and concepts. Within the many ranges produced, the company offers wardrobes, chests of drawers, storage cabinets, sideboards, TV cabinets, shoe storage solutions and desks. Hundreds of products are available to purchase, all of which are produced and quality checked to the company’s high standards to ensure maximum satisfaction.
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David: +44 (0) 7469 176366 Nigel: +44 (0) 7799062747 Please call David or Nigel for all UKand andIreland Ireland enquir ies David: Nigel: +44 (0) 7799062747 +44 (0) 7469 176366 Please call David or Nigel for all UK enquir ies Please call David or Nigel for all UK and Ireland enquir ies Email: email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org David: Nigel: Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org +44(0) (0)7799062747 7799062747 +44 (0) (0) 7469 7469 176366 176366 Email: David: Nigel: +44 +44 David: Nigel: +44 (0) +44 (0) 7469 176366 V INE MILL • BROOK SIDE S T REE T • OS WALD T W IS T LE7799062747 • BB5 3PX Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Email: V INEdave@sofasource.co.uk MILL • BROOK SIDE S T REE TEmail: • OS WALD T W IS T LE • BB5 3PX Email: email@example.com
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW H5
LEBUS UPHOLSTERY Stand 5-E10 www.lebus.co.uk
Sofa specialist Lebus returns to hall 5 with a completely new range, crafted by the company’s dedicated design and development team over the last few months. Since last year’s show, Lebus’ Athena and Dakota ranges have proved “hugely successful”, and the company believes the new models will deliver similar levels of success – customers old and new are invited to the NEC this month to see for themselves.
CONFORM Stand 5-H55 www.conform.se Comfort and impressive looks are at the heart of every Conform chair. Since it began production in Sweden in 1978, the company has developed an ever-improving line of stylish contemporary recliners, and will display new models at this year’s January Furniture Show.
Lebus Haven Skyline Advert artwork 188 x 128 (Sofa) Nov 2019 copy.pdf
We look forward to seeing you at The January Furniture Show 2020 19th - 22nd January at the NEC Birmingham Lebus Upholstery Ltd, Queensway Ind Est, Dunlop Way, Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, DN16 3RN, United Kingdom
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NATIONWIDE FURNITURE REPAIR & RESTORATION SPECIALISTS FABRIC & LEATHER UPHOLSTERY CABINETS & WOODEN FURNITURE BEDS & MATTRESSES ELECTRIC & MOTION FURNITURE
We are the proud winners of 2
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COME AND SEE US AT THE JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW
NEC 19-22 JAN 2020 - HALL 5 STAND 5-A20
MORE THAN VISITING OVER
TECHNICIANS THROUGHOUT THE UK & IRELAND CUSTOMERS EACH MONTH
Full UK & Ireland Coverage
Visits Completed within 5 Days
Online Portal with Real-time Reporting
Full Description & Liability Assessment Report
Independent Comprehensive Reporting
Key Points Illustrated with Images & Video
17 Point Mattress Inspection Procedure
Technician Tracking and SMS ETA Updates for Customers
Appointments Booked within 2hrs
THE UK’S MOST COMPETITIVE PRICING! Contact us today for more details...
Comprehensive van stock to maximise first call resolution • Stock spray paints for cabinet ranges • Full wood restoration kit • Leather pigment colour range • Springs • Timber rails & castor blocks • Foam & Fibre • T-nuts & Sundries
Our aim is resolve on the first visit in the customer’s home
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JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW
Room 3A-4 in the organiser’s suite (between halls 3 and 4) www.steensgroup.com Fresh from imm cologne (read more on p36), Steens will return to the January Furniture Show this month, following a three-year break. The supplier will invite guests to The Room, where visitors will enjoy a flavour of the products launched in Germany, including Soma, a new collection created by Steens in partnership with renowned Danish furniture designer, Morton Georgsen. Steens describes Soma as “a modern design classic” which makes a virtue of Scandinavian pine while supporting the company’s quest for a zero-carbon footprint through 100% recyclable product. Further details can be obtained from Steens’ head of new business, Jason Miller, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 07774 671854.
KNP Global .co.uk
Steens plans to unveil a selection of the new products launched at imm cologne to invited guests
Org. 3a-4 IN THE ORGANISER’S SUITE BETWEEN HALLS
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K&P Global Ltd is one of the leading furniture manufacturing groups in Vietnam. We supply LUKSHI indoor, outdoor, school and metal furniture, bamboo – rattan and warehouse solutions.
With constant effort to expand business, improve turnover and achieve more markets, we are still looking for new distributors in the UK and Europe.
VIETNAM FURNITURE HUB
METAL - ABS DOORS
Contact us: Mob: +44 (0) 7507 210 544 Email: email@example.com www.knpglobal.co.uk
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Central Furniture Manufacturing Ltd For a Full Colour Brochure please call 0121 766 8110
Newport Range Gloss grey
Mulliner Works, 154 Bordesley Green Road, Birmingham, B8 1BY Tel Fax Email Web
: : : :
0121 766 8110 0121 766 7450 firstname.lastname@example.org www.centralfurnituremfg.co.uk
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Central Furniture Manufacturing Ltd For a Full Colour Brochure please call 0121 766 8110
Newport Range White
Mulliner Works, 154 Bordesley Green Road, Birmingham, B8 1BY Tel Fax Email Web
: : : :
0121 766 8110 0121 766 7450 email@example.com www.centralfurnituremfg.co.uk
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PRODUCTS Opulence, Royal Coil
www.tcsfurniturerange.com In response to market research and customer feedback, TCS has streamlined its stock range for 2020 and will be holding larger stocks of fewer products, to further improve its service to customers throughout the UK and Ireland.
STREAMLINED As a company, TCS has always brought new and original concepts and ranges to the market – yet with the recent economic downturn and Brexit uncertainty, TCS’ customers expressed the view that larger stocks of the supplier’s bestsellers would be beneficial to them until the retail market returns to a better level. To further help UK customers, TCS is now fulfilling all orders from its Irish distribution centre, so VAT-registered UK customers can now avail of 0% VAT on all UK orders – enabling them to improve cash flow but still receive their
Luke, Motion Collection
Ashford, Designer Collection
orders with 7-14 days. This year, TCS will stock: its marketleading Royal Coil mattress range, which includes Regency, Imperial, Essence, Opulence, Superb and Supreme; the Motion Collection of sofas, which includes Logan, Luke, Montana and Paige; its Designer Collection of sofas, including Ashford, Margate, Worcester and York; and in dining, three dining tables (Warrington, Brampton and Harrow) in multiple sizes, as well as four dining chairs – Rye, Rhianna, Sophie and Charlotte. TCS will also offer its Be Inspired laminate flooring range, which comprises high-gloss, embossed and registered-embossed laminates in a choice of eight colours. To complement its sofa, mattress and dining offer, TCS will also supply its recently released Be Inspired carpet collections, which consists of 11 ranges including Felt/Action Back, New Soft Touch Saxony, Heather, Plain Twist and Super Soft Touch polyester
Ye Olde Traditional Furniture Company
Amish Painted and Upholstered
Farmhouse Spindle (available in slats and ďŹ ddles)
Bistro Cross Back
All chairs available ITW, Oiled or Lacquered
We paint tables and chairs to the highest speciďŹ cation, in any imaginable colour.
Nordic Modern Oak
Table top detail
Rustic Character Oak Table Available with painted bases, in Shaker, Amish and Farmhouse style legs Also available in solid oak, Shaker and Amish style legs
Our bespoke range of fabrics, faux leathers and leathers for upholstery offers a breadth and quality that will cater to even the most demanding requirements.
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PRODUCTS BEDROOM Wool Origins 8
REST AND RESPONSIBILITY With growing demand from consumers for products that are not only safe but responsibly made, manufacturers and retailers are under increasing pressure to re-evaluate every aspect of their business to reduce the possible impact on the wider environment – and as the world’s first bedmaker to achieve carbon neutrality, hand-crafting foam-free, recyclable and low-carbon beds for over a decade, Hypnos is well placed to exceed these demands and pioneer new solutions, such as its Origins Collection … www.hypnosbeds.com
Origins, a range of six mattresses, has been well received by retailers since its launch in September, states Hypnos, due to the comfort it offers – but also because of its proven levels of traceability and ethical sourcing. As a brand, Hypnos is known for providing some of the most comfortable beds in the world – for homes, palaces, and global hotel groups including Soho House and Marriott. In short, Hypnos is an expert in creating the right conditions for sleep, responsibly and sustainably. Seeing red As an advocate of using only sustainable, natural materials in its mattresses, Hypnos has been on a journey to find proven, assured sources for its fibres. In a first-of-its-kind initiative, Hypnos has partnered with Red Tractor, the UK’s biggest farm and food standards scheme, to guarantee that the 100% British wool it uses in its beds is traceable back to assured farms.
This widely recognised standard and mark of trust is understood and valued by many of today’s consumers. Along with this, Hypnos has also taken a different approach to wool buying, committing to both quantities and a fair price so farmers can better understand their revenues and invest in more sustainable and reliable futures. Hypnos’ MD James Keen says: “Our groundbreaking Origins Collection is the latest step in our sustainability journey, having been foam-free for over 10 years, making beds 100% recyclable and sustainable. As part of our strategic vision, we are now making giant leaps to ethically source our materials – guaranteeing where they’re coming from, and if they’ve been produced responsibly, on land that’s well managed, with animals that are cared for.” The iconic British bedmaker, a supporter of the Campaign for Wool, has taken pride in the entire wool sourcing
INFORMING INDUSTRY, BUILDING BUSINESS 157 process, getting to know some of the farmers’ passions in an effort to make a real difference to the environment. These range from protecting rare British sheep breeds to looking to reduce carbon outputs through careful land and crop management. This collaboration has meant focusing on all processes, from the farmer’s field all the way through to the small things that make a big difference to quality – for example, the stringent washing of the wool on the first day of clean water tanks, to ensure the cleanest wool, for it then to be sorted and carded into soft, even layers. By working closely with these farmers, Hypnos is able to help them plan for a prosperous, sustainable future, while guaranteeing top-quality materials that can be traced all the way from barn to bed. By creating a detailed and trustworthy lineage for its products, Hypnos gives retailers an opportunity to promote mattresses with a traceable provenance. On top of this, having a widely-known symbol such as Red Tractor attached to the collection provides a level of trust that has a tangible influence on customers looking to make an investment in their sleep. The origin of fleeces Sleep comfort and wellbeing remains at the heart of the collection, and each mattress features Hypnos’ new Britishmade pocket-spring system with Triple Edge Protection. This involves a slightly firmer edge, supported by a flexible frame and genuine hand-side stitching to ensure support and shape, as well as thick layers of natural, traceable fillings to encourage a healthy sleep experience. Origins features two mattress ranges: Wool Origins, which contains over eight sheep fleeces (16kg) of pure, traceable wool from Red Tractor-certified farms; and the no-turn Cotton Origins, which has deep layers of sustainably sourced cotton as its principal filling, combined with British wool. The mattresses are eye-catching, thanks to their plush look and unbleached, sustainably sourced cotton and viscose tick, with the Hypnos motif signalling their quality and difference. From the wool and cotton to the springs and tufts, every single part of these mattresses can also be recycled at the end of its life.
Origins contains responsibly-sourced materials including sustainable cotton
Supporting the work of British farmers, Hypnos Origins contains wool that’s 100% traceable to Red Tractor assured farms
Finally, the Origins mattress collection is completely fire retardant without using chemicals, so users can enjoy a safe, sustainable night’s sleep. Richard Naylor, sustainable development director at Hypnos, comments: “We’re pleased that this latest collection has been so well received by retailers. Its development is part of our ongoing commitment to the wider environment and to leading the way in responsible, comfort-based innovations. We want everyone to wake up on a Hypnos bed and feel good for all the right reasons.” Sustainable directions With over a decade of sustainable business practices behind it and the prestige of being the world’s first carbon-neutral bedmaker, Hypnos has made a long-running commitment to the environment that has impacted the business in a number of ways. Acting responsibly has affected the whole bedmaking process, from the use of renewable, natural resources, to carbon offsetting programmes and
only using FSC-certified timber from managed forests and sustainable sources within its divan bases. Hypnos has also reduced its total carbon footprint YoY. This sustainable success is exemplified by the fact that Hypnos has helped re-use the equivalent of 185 million plastic bottles within its mattress fibres – preventing these from heading to landfill or the world’s oceans. The Royal Warrant holder has also managed to offset a total of 8748 tonnes of CO2 through a variety of certified climate projects and tree planting in the UK. On top of this, in May last year Hypnos’ sustainable leadership was recognised when its Princes Risborough site achieved compliance with ISO 14001 – the standard that specifies requirements for an effective environmental management system. Looking ahead, Richard comments: “As we move forward as a business, we must continue to improve and expand our environmental credentials wherever we see an opportunity. It is clear from every industry – not just furniture and
bedmaking – that the demand from consumers for ethical, environmentally friendly and sustainable products or experiences is not just a trend but a shift in consumer behaviour. “By being able to offer products with these credentials without compromising at all on our outstanding comfort levels, Hypnos is truly unique in the market.” Visit Hypnos’ website to find out more about the Origins Collection, the company’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, and the benefits of sleep
Wool Origins 6 with over 8 fleeces in a mattress Alpha Spirit – Cotton Origins 6 mattress with a shallow divan and Emily headboard
We value the people, animals and places behind our new sustainable and ethical bed range.
Expertly handcrafted mattresses with 100% British Wool from Red Tractor assured farms. hypnosbeds.com Hypnos is proud to be Carbon Neutral
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Handmade in Britain and 100% recyclable
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SIESTA BEDS 0121 773 9969
After enjoying successful at-home events in previous years, Softheads Group, which consists of Siesta Beds, Mayfair Beds and Mulliners Beds, is holding an open week for all existing and new customers at its Mulliners Works facility in Birmingham, to coincide with the January Furniture Show at the Birmingham NEC (19th-22nd January).
CENTRAL FURNITURE MANUFACTURING
Understanding that buyers’ time is precious, out-of-hours visits are also available (by appointment only). Those visiting during the day will also have the opportunity to watch the products being manufactured. Siesta Beds’ comfort- and qualityassured bed offering is recognised for its quality, value and quick delivery.
SHIRE BEDS www.shirebeds.co.uk
Central Furniture Manufacturing is a family-owned and operated wholesale furnituremaking company based in Birmingham. It is known throughout the industry for its design-led ranges and handcrafted appeal. Central Furniture’s affordable, customer-led pieces can be found online and in stores across the country. The business designs and manufactures a wide range of quality bedroom and living furniture, from modern contemporary designs to classic styles. The company’s ongoing success has been largely due to its ability to rival its competitors in an increasingly challenging market, by delivering readyassembled products quickly and efficiently.
The Artisan Range from Shire Beds includes the NBF-shortlisted Product of the Year, Constable 3000, with the Artisan base and headboard. The product’s fashionable low base and floorstanding Mayfair headboard, combined with the luxurious pillowtop mattress, has proved a bestseller for retailers, states the bedmaker. The model is offered in 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000 pocket-sprung options. The Artisan Range also includes the successful Picasso and Raphael mattresses.
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D O D D I N G TO N BEDSTEAD Traditional yet modern in style the Doddington collection features a chic winged headboard and is available as a complete bedstead, practical ottoman as well as a standalone headboard. This collection is available in all of our new 58 fabric options, creating the perfect statement piece for all interiors.
19 - 22 January 2020 Stand 3-L20 & 5-G60 www.gallerydirect.co.uk | 01795 439159
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PRODUCTS BEDROOM Marquis 14,000
www.harrisonspinks.co.uk The Somnus brand is an important part of the Harrison Spinks family. From the natural mattress fillings grown on the Harrison Spinks farm, to the wire drawn at its factory in Leeds, the company’s ethos embodies traditional British manufacturing – and a new branding direction is being introduced for Somnus which reinforces its position as part of that group, while ensuring its innovative, design-led identity is retained.
Vicky Golding, MD of The Carriage, with some of the new Somnus PoS
This new direction has been mirrored in the latest Somnus PoS, which is now being rolled out across independent retailers. The Carriage, in Burley-inWharfedale, was one of the first to receive some of the updated PoS. MD Vicky Golding comments: “I am delighted with the latest pieces of PoS. They complement our existing Somnus graphics perfectly, strengthening the brand’s presence throughout the store. “There is also greater visibility of the Harrison Spinks name, which I’ve found to be a great talking point with customers in the store who may have seen BBC2’s Inside the Factory and were incredibly impressed by the process of making a Harrison Spinks mattress.” As well as strengthening the brand
through new PoS, Somnus is building on the success of Harrison Spinks’ first D2C campaign (which ran earlier in 2019) with a dedicated Somnus brand activation advertising campaign, which will be implemented across both print and high-performing digital channels including PPC, display and social media. The strong creative elements will mirror the new Somnus by Harrison Spinks branding direction, and will ultimately aim to drive consumers through to find their nearest Somnus stockist via a dedicated stockist locator on the website. This activity is designed to support independent Somnus retailers through the key winter sales period. With new product developments and more projects in the pipeline, 2020 is set to be an exciting year for Somnus – and to help co-ordinate this activity, the brand now benefits from dedicated marketing support. Hannah Alldis will be working closely with Steve Brougham, Graham Newport, Jon Varley and Somnus’ retailers to continue to drive the brand forward
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F O R S O M E , S L E E P I S S O M E T H I N G T H AT J U S T H A P P E N S . AT S O M N U S I T H A P P E N S BY D E S I G N . Our handmade craftsmanship, combined with innovative Sensa Intelligent pocket springs and home-grown natural fillings, from our farm in North Yorkshire, makes every bed unique. As seen on BBC2â€™s Inside the Factory.
W W W. H A R R I S O N S P I N K S . C O . U K / S O M N U S
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PRODUCTS BEDROOM Cooler Supreme
PRIDE IN PROGRESS
International hospitality bed manufacturer and Royal Warrant holder, Sleepeezee, is proud to announce a successful year following the release of its latest trading figures. www.sleepeezee.com
Pure Grand Luxe 3000
The British manufacturer’s performance for 2018/19 demonstrates significant growth with independent and national customers nationwide, with a +30% YoY increase in annual turnover. Last year, Sleepeezee unveiled its new brand proposition, Everything’s easy when you Sleepeezee, which was rolled out across the company’s website, social media channels and supporting marketing assets in May. The mattressmaker also established a partnership with British doctor and TV presenter, Dr Ranj Singh – to highlight the importance of sleep and the impact it has on people’s overall health and
wellbeing. It is this commitment, combined with the brand’s continuous innovation and market-leading approach, which has seen the company become one of the world’s best-known bed manufacturers. Marketing manager Amy Curtis says: “We are extremely proud of what we have achieved to date. The successful launch of our new brand proposition and the collaboration with Dr Ranj has not only supported our market growth and brand awareness, but has also contributed in further cementing Sleepeezee as one of the leading bed manufacturers in the industry. “As we head into 2020, we are looking forward to another successful year of collaborations, product launches and exciting projects that will strengthen the brand even further.” The company also takes great pride in its sustainable approach to business, and was the first bed manufacturer to receive the Planet accreditation – an accolade which recognises Sleepeezee’s commitment to sustainability and responsible manufacturing, ensuring all beds are recyclable at the end of their lives, giving customers complete peace of mind
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PRODUCTS BEDROOM From using plastic gathered from littered shores and oceans, to the wool of rare breed sheep, Britain’s mattressmakers are offering some of the most eco-friendly sleep solutions the nation has ever seen, writes AKA PR’s Jan Turner on behalf of the National Bed Federation (NBF).
Hypnos Wool Origins 8 mattress and Fiona euro-slim headboard
As our appetite for sustainable items around the home increases, the makers of the largest and most used purchase of them all – the bed – are answering the call for more mindful and environmentally considerate products. And the results run more than skin deep. One company, for instance, has announced a groundbreaking association with Red Tractor – the symbol of farm assured foods. For the first time, Red Tractor has ventured beyond its familiar
food territory to partner with a bed company, in a relationship which sees Hypnos buying wool from farms under a scheme where farmers are paid a fair – and timely – price for their wool, where the sheep are well cared for, and grazing land encouraged. This ‘sleep with a conscience’ takes shape in the form of the company’s Wool Origins range. Each mattress uses up to eight fleeces (15kg) of fully traceable British Wool featuring the iconic Red Tractor logo.
THE INDUSTRY’S DETERMINATION TO MOVE TOWARDS A MORE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE CAN BE SEEN ACROSS THE SECTOR As the industry marches towards greater sustainability and end-of-life considerations, the need to provenance its goods is becoming an increasingly integral part of its production processes, with another company, Breasley, offering Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tagging across its complete range of mattresses, so allowing full traceability of all contents. Essentially a chip which provides cradle-to-grave information about each and every mattress, this kind of technology will ultimately allow manufacturers to not only trace the origins of each mattress, but also control production flow, monitor distribution and – eventually – assess their final destination. Also offering ‘comfort with integrity’ is a bed company which already harvests its own farm-produced flax, and shears its own sheep, to supply fillings for its mattresses. Leeds-based Harrison Spinks has now teamed up with celebrity farmer Adam Henson to produce a collection of mattresses which uses the wool of rare breeds. By doing so, consumers benefit from the unique qualities of wool from sheep farmed just for their fleece – and not for their meat – so helping the survival of some of Britain’s rarest breeds. The company has also just launched what it claims to be the world’s first range of 100% recyclable mattresses, called Synergy, made solely from thousands of tiny, pocketed springs in a glue-free mattress that can be quickly and easily disassembled at the end of life. Comfort levels (soft/medium/ firm) are determined by the number and diameter of springs, along with the thickness of the steel used to make them. Even the makers of foam-based mattresses are cognisant of the need to go as green as the product allows. Still a massively popular and sought-
after filling, foam comes in many forms – from visco-elastic memory foam to latex, to the more basic ‘comfort layer’ variety. One of the biggest foam producers in the UK, Vitafoam, has just launched FRee, a first-to-market foam free from the controversial ingredient TCPP – one of four key flame-retardant chemicals traditionally used to ensure mattresses meet the UK’s stringent flammability regulations for all upholstered products sold in Britain. These have been in force since 1988 and are credited with having saved thousands of lives, but in more recent years the chemicals used to effect this level of safety have come under scrutiny. Over in the latex sector, which produces foam from the milk tapped from rubber trees, processes are being further refined. One Belgian supplier, Latexco, has developed a microwave technology (SonoCore process) for vulcanising (baking) the natural rubber oil. This uses 7.5x less energy than traditional oven methods to transform the source liquid into foam. The company’s latest product, Pulse, uses a new graphite-based treatment layer to dispense with the need for chemicals, to ensure the foam meets UK flammability regulations. Another manufacturer, Carpenter, has developed a way of producing a more eco-friendly foam mattress which uses interlocking blocks of foam to avoid using glues to keep the different density layers together. The Click mattress also has a removable zip-free cover, which employs velcro fasteners, and features a new ticking fabric, Seaqual, made from yarn extruded from plastic collected from beaches and oceans. The upshot of all this engineering is a mattress which is totally recyclable at its end of use. Carpenter is not alone in using Seaqual, an innovative new textile from
Belgian supplier BekaertDeslee, which has earned the right to use the same name as the growing communityinvolved Seaqual movement, which collects the plastic waste from seas and shores. Gallery, which supplies a range of interiors products, has also used Seaqual as a cover fabric in its Seagreen collection, which also makes a feature of using only British-sourced components. This simple expedient helps to reduce the carbon footprint of a bed. And, in a sector where international sourcing has traditionally been integral to its buying process, Sleepeezee’s Perfectly British collection is another example of using UK-only components, earning the company the coveted Planet Mark for carbon neutrality. Examples of the industry’s determination to move towards a more sustainable future can be seen across the sector as more and more manufacturers embrace new technologies, innovations and sourcing strategies. From breakthrough partnerships and futuristic thinking to the simple expedient of wrapping mattresses in regranulated polythene (Breasley) or using mattress covers made from inherently flame-retardant yarns to avoid the use of FR chemicals (the Pocket Air Pure collection from Sweet Dreams, for example), examples of environmental considerations abound. Jessica Alexander, executive director of the National Bed Federation (NBF), the recognised trade association representing UK bed manufacturers and their suppliers, comments: “The bed industry in the UK is responding to concerns about the environment in diverse and imaginative ways. The result is products, designs and partnerships with a level of innovation quite different to anything we’ve been used to in the past”
PRODUCTS BED IN A BOX
According to recent consumer research by the National Bed Federation (NBF), the rolled mattress sector grew from 23% to 26% of all bed sales through 2019. Yet amid the D2C brands making a name for themselves – Simba, Casper, Eve, Emma and many more – UK manufacturers’ own B2B lines made significant headway. In 2018, the NBF found that the one-model-fits-all brands accounted for less than a third of the rolled mattresses purchased. Even then, many manufacturers were producing and supplying rolled mattresses for the retail trade, and further consolidation has taken place since. In this special feature, Furniture News presents a small selection of the established UK bed manufacturers which have decided to address this emerging consumer demand …
ON A ROLL
The digital disruptors have set the bed sector alight. Rolled, boxed, and promising one model to fit all, the bed-in-a-box concept has championed clarity and convenience, made 100-night trials commonplace, and broadcast its benefits from the rooftops. Sleep is now sexy, and a new breed of tech-minded operators are steadily seizing market share. Rather than dismissing the upstarts, many traditional suppliers learned from their successes (and failures), while continuing to hone their own strengths – physical footprint, heritage, breadth of product and service quality among them. Some refined their brand messaging, and re-evaluated their opinion of what could be achieved by marketing in force. And some made their own boxed mattress lines.
SHIRE BEDS www.shirebeds.co.uk
Shire Beds’ roll-up division was established in 2016, and the offering of Roll & Rest products was expanded in 2018 to include the higher-quality, fashion-driven Sleep 8 range. Roll & Rest includes 12 products ranging from open coil to 1000-pocket sprung and foam. The four Sleep 8 products have castellated foam to support the body, with 2000 microsprings, all finished with a top layer of memory foam, latex, cool blue foam or Kay Gel.
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PRODUCTS BED IN A BOX
BREASLEY www.breasley.co.uk Innovative bedmaker Breasley is a pioneer of the bed-in-a-box sector, being one of the first to produce British-made, vacuum-packed boxed mattresses – and the business is still out in front. Its Uno range remains a trailblazer today with 12 models, all vacuumpacked and including three boxed products – Uno Spirit 1000, Uno Tranquil 2000 and Uno Halcyon 3000 all have sleep surfaces containing natural wool, silk and cashmere fibres and up to 3000 pocket springs.
They also benefit from UnoCare technology, which helps to regulate body temperature, protect against house dust mites and fight bacteria. All of Breasley’s Uno mattresses are backed by a 10-year guarantee.
T: 01924 439898 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.shirebeds.co.uk
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Shankar is fully committed to customer satisfaction, and the companyâ€™s friendly dedicated sales team is on hand five days a week. The supplier also offers DHD, and will
contact stockistsâ€™ customers within 24 hours to discuss an appropriate delivery date. Due to its large UK stockholding capacity, Shankar can often provide store-to-door fulfilment in just 24 hours.
T: 01924 439898 E: email@example.com www.shirebeds.co.uk
Constable 3000 Pillow Top Shire_Jan20_HPL.indd 1
M&P Chairs Limited WWW.MANDPCHAIRS.CO.UK
110 - Slat Side (& High Back) Chair
111 - Spindle Side (& High Back) Chair
112 - Fiddle Side (& High Back) Chair
114 - Slat Low Carver
115 - Spindle Low Carver
116 - Fiddle Low Carver
QUALITY EUROPEAN HARDWOOD (BEECH AND OAK) CHAIRS THIS IS JUST A SMALL SELECTION OF OUR RANGE - PLEASE CONTACT US FOR FURTHER DETAILS ON OUR FULL OFFERING ALL AVAILABLE FROM STOCK • FINISHING SERVICES AVAILABLE LARGE OR SMALL QUANTITIES • DISCOUNT FOR COLLECTION EMAIL OR CALL US TO REQUEST A BROCHURE AND PRICE LIST Please visit our website to see our full ranges - WWW.MANDPCHAIRS.CO.UK All enquiries to: Mike Hodgson – firstname.lastname@example.org • Call: 07802 648383 or Paul Hodgson – email@example.com • Call: 07469 819520
125 - Smoker’s Bow Chair
122 - Slat High Back Granddad Chair
127 - Fiddle Back Rocking Chair
120 - Rush Seated Chair
293 - Child’s Rush Seated Chair
131 - High & Low Kitchen Stools
138 - Spindle Bar Stool
334 - Rush Seated Bar Stool
SHA3 - Shaker Chair (Rush & Wooden)
KEN1 - Kent Chair (Rush & Wooden)
CAR1 - Carra Oak Chair
CAV1 - Caversham Oak Wooden Seated Chair
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PRODUCTS BUYING GROUPS & ASSOCIATIONS
UNITED SATRA TECHNOLOGY
A raft of well-established associations, buying groups and trade bodies underpins the UK furniture and furnishings industry, offering members and the wider sector specialist support services and advice. For newcomers and veterans alike, the appropriate industry bodies can offer invaluable guidance and assistance, from essential legal standards to helpful networking opportunities. In this special feature, Furniture News presents a selection of the key groups, plus explanations of the benefits they offer …
Based: Kettering, Northamptonshire Established: 1919
Visit SATRA on stand 4-A66 at the January Furniture Show to find out more – email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
Key functions/activities: “SATRA is an international centre of excellence for product testing, training, consultancy and innovation,” says communications officer, Sosennah Every. “Testing with SATRA not only gives suppliers peace of mind that their products are fit for purpose and comply with national and European requirements, but that the experts at SATRA will go beyond the test results to provide high-level customer care, with prompt feedback. “SATRA also runs regular training seminars on furniture safety and flammability testing to demonstrate what requirements are needed for a foam or filling to pass the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations, as well as giving professional and practical advice on European chemicals legislation including REACH.” Member benefits: “SATRA membership is designed for companies in the footwear, leather and leathergoods industries. Being a member of SATRA is seen as a positive sign that a company is committed to developing the quality,
safety and performance of products and services. “SATRA members gain access to our comprehensive facilities, performance guidelines, trusted test methods, and our most valuable asset, our people. They enjoy privileged access to technical articles and training that draws on 100 years of experience in helping companies bring product to market successfully in global supply chains. “SATRA members can take advantage of a number of member-only initiatives according to the specific nature of their business. Members also benefit from reduced rates for testing, test equipment, technical books and advertising.” Why the trade needs your services right now: “Any supplier looking to instil greater confidence in their product will enjoy valuable feedback from any physical, chemical or flammability testing carried out by SATRA, an international centre of excellence for product testing, training, consultancy and innovation.”
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Increase your customersâ€™ confidence in the quality of your product
Are you certain that your product can withstand daily vigorous use?
Gain valuable feedback on your productâ€™s assessment
GOING BEYOND TEST RESULTS Pass or fail, you will always have a better understanding with SATRA. Visit us at the January Furniture Show, Hall 4 Stand A66 or contact us to find out more. www.satra.com email@example.com
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+ 44 1536 410000
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PRODUCTS BUYING GROUPS & ASSOCIATIONS The NBF team, pictured at the federation’s annual Bed Show
A NEW ERA OF NBF As a new year (and decade) starts to unfold, Britain’s bed industry is poised to enter a transformational era. As it does so, the National Bed Federation (NBF) is unveiling a new look and vision for a future in which it can guide members through the challenges ahead … www.bedfed.org.uk
NBF president Tony Lisanti
Following an in-depth, six-month journey into understanding its identity, perceptions across the industry and the road ahead, the NBF has a new look and sense of clarity about its role as the bed industry’s conscience. As a trade association envied by others in the sector for its role at the forefront of industry challenges, the NBF is widely regarded as a body which has long seized the initiative – on everything from leading the way with the flammability regulations in the 1980s to the launch of its ground-breaking Code of Practice in 2013. The 2020 rebrand represents a clarification of purpose which, put simply, is about ‘ensuring the industry always does the right thing’. And never has that been more critical. As NBF president Tony Lisanti points out: “The future is about transformational rather than just transitional change.” With sustainability, end of life (EOL) considerations and extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes at the forefront of industry concerns, the NBF is working on how best to support members. And in doing so, it is again taking the lead. The NBF has announced a new
partnership with Zero Waste Scotland, and has been working with the Textile Recycling Association to establish RAMR – the Register of Approved Mattress Recyclers – which is due to launch soon. Underpinning its progress is a newlook website, with a focus on consumer education and impartial advice around bed buying. A new facility on the site also allows visitors to find their nearest retail supporter stocking predominantly NBF-approved brands. NBF executive director, Jessica Alexander, says: “Our role has changed significantly over the past five years. We are now the only trade association in the sector which independently audits its members, and the only one to be developing a social and ethical programme of education training and regulatory compliance. “Going forward, being a member of the NBF will be about declaring a commitment to high standards, ethical business practices, production efficiencies, compliance and sustainability. “Increased credibility has always been a reason for companies to join the NBF. Now there is even more substance to membership – the NBF mark of approval really does mean something!”
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We all sleep better with a clear conscience.
Our vision for the bed industry in 2020 and beyond is clear – we want to make it right. How? By setting standards and driving ethics, transparency and responsibility. By championing excellence in bed-making and selling, and supporting sustainability. And by educating consumers on how to improve their sleep. In other words, we’ll keep on making sure our members do the right thing.
If you’re a manufacturer, components supplier or retailer, find out how the NBF can help you at
Because when we do, everyone sleeps better at night.
B E D F E D. O R G . U K
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PRODUCTS BUYING GROUPS & ASSOCIATIONS
FURNITURE INDUSTRY RESEARCH ASSOCIATION www.fira.co.uk Based: Stevenage, Hertfordshire Established: 1949 Membership: 360
FIRA’s members come together each year at the House of Lords
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Key functions/activities: “Our main role is to provide knowledge to the industry,” says marketing co-ordinator Chrissie Winsor, “to ensure it has the information necessary to meet appropriate legislation and requirements. In addition, the research association educates specifiers, retailers and consumers around properly understanding what ‘good’ looks like, and encourages them to ask for it, thus driving demand for members’ products. “We also represent the industry on many forums, from UK and EU government consultations to British, European and international standards committees – ensuring our members’ voices are heard when key decisions are being proposed.” Member benefits: “Membership brings access to essential industry knowledge, research and standards information. This includes knowledge across all factors which impact the furniture industry, from standards to sustainability, and from ergonomics to chemical restrictions. Membership brings access to 100 industry experts,
ready to help solve our members’ problems. “In addition, members receive preferential rates on testing and training through our service provider, FIRA International. Plus, full members benefit from voucher credits, which can be redeemed against FIRA International testing, consultancy and training.” Why the trade needs your services right now: “FIRA is the source of knowledge for the furniture industry, offering technical support and developing standards where there are gaps. Our representation on committees makes us the authoritative voice for the furniture industry. We provide knowledge to our members that would be prohibitively expensive for them to procure individually.”
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
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PRODUCTS BUYING GROUPS & ASSOCIATIONS
MINERVA FURNITURE GROUP www.minervafurnituregroup.co.uk Based: Corsham, Wiltshire Established: May 1990 Membership: 230 member shops
Key functions/activities: “Minerva was initially formed to provide a portfolio of good-quality general furniture and bed ranges for its members,” says group business manager, Roy Beagent. “We work closely with affiliated suppliers (currently over 120, based both in the UK and internationally), but there’s no compulsion to work with or buy from any of them. “Trade exhibitions at home and abroad are attended by the experienced management team, who keep up with market trends and investigate additional supplier opportunities. Minerva also exhibit at major trade shows in the UK, to promote the group’s benefits to prospective retailers and manufacturers.” Member benefits: “Advantageous terms negotiated with all listed suppliers,” continues Roy. “Container-sharing opportunities. Member networking. Hosted exhibitions (spring and autumn) – the autumn show is open to the general trade. Some product exclusivity. Sharing of trade information and topics with membership. Assisting where
Members come together at Minerva’s biannual shows
possible with trade-related issues. Cost-effective annual membership subscription. Members retain control over the day-to-day running of their business and payments.” Why the trade needs your services right now: “The ability to network with other like-minded independents is a major benefit. Regional meetings in members’ shops are held for those who wish to participate. Group terms enable margin enhancement. “There’s the freedom to operate independently, with the opportunity to view ranges from suppliers old and new in a relaxed atmosphere at group exhibitions. The management team are always on hand to advise impartially where required.”
Contact Roy on 01249 716195 or at email@example.com, or visit the group’s stands at January Furniture Show, Manchester Furniture Show or the Bed Show.
An independent buying group for the independent retailer ●
Growing membership now in excess of 230 stores
Over 100 suppliers based both in the UK and globally, offering preferential trading terms
Container sharing programme
Keep your independence and enjoy group benefits
Our own hosted exhibitions showcasing the very best in furniture
To find out more about joining Minerva, why not visit us at JFS Hall 1, stand C47 www.minervafurnituregroup.co.uk 1/2 page landscape.indd 1
Tel: 01249 716195
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PRODUCTS TRADE SERVICES
EXTRA MILE Specialist two-person home delivery company Keen & Able is celebrating growth as it continues to deliver a five-star service. www.keenandabledelivery.com
CREATING A NOTICEABLE DIFFERENCE IN EXPERIENCE BETWEEN THE COMPANY AND ITS RIVALS HAS BEEN CRUCIAL FN370_Pages_D.indd 182
Keen & Able, originally set up in Long Eaton, Derbyshire with nine people and three vans in October 2016, now employs over 100 members of staff and has a fleet of 30 vans. Specialising in bed and furniture delivery and installation, the company now transports over 120,000 beds, mattresses and other pieces of furniture each year, driving nearly two million miles to homes across the UK. The company also boasts a mattress refurbishment service at its Long Eaton site, so returned or unwanted products that could otherwise have gone to landfill can be resold on the secondary market. MD Guy Revis believes the company’s continued success is down to its approach to exceptional end-to-end customer service – a philosophy reflected in its 5-star Trustpilot score, which is backed by over 1000 reviews. Guy says: “Keen & Able is truly a home delivery company with a difference. We pride ourselves on our two-person, white-glove service that is both professional and courteous. We are delighted that our commitment to exceeding expectations is routinely
recognised amongst our customers, as we regularly score above 98% on our customer service ratings.” Working in partnership with retailers and manufacturers, Keen & Able ensures that the customer experience is the best it can be. Utilising real-time, cloud-based traceability, the company guarantees a hassle-free service for retailers, manufacturers and customers alike. Creating a noticeable difference in experience between the company and its rivals has been crucial to Keen & Able’s continued growth. Combined with the latest technology, dedicated customer service advisors are on hand at the head office – and, uniquely, from each of the delivery vehicles on the day – to deal with any customer queries and proactively and regularly communicate with them through every step of the ordering and delivery process. Out on the road, specialist, highly trained, two-person delivery teams work in modern, clean, branded vehicles and uniforms, and take the product to the customer’s selected room of choice, acting as a brand ambassador for clients.
WWW.FURNITURENEWS.NET 183 Guy adds: “Not only do we keep our retail and manufacturing customers happy by delivering what we promise, we also keep their customers happy by delivering on their preferred day in most areas of the UK, and going above and beyond what is expected. “The customer is kept informed of their scheduled delivery time every step of the way, and upon arrival our whitegloved installers will take the product to the desired room and assemble as required, taking any waste packaging away with them.” Following its set-up, the growth of Keen & Able has been rapid, with the delivery firm expanding and moving to a new head office and national distribution centre in Northampton in 2018, and the addition of a third satellite depot in Manchester. Along with creating over 50 new jobs, the company has grown from 20,000ft2 premises to almost 100,000ft2 in total, across four sites (from Northampton to Dundee), to ensure the investment also leads to improved services on a larger scale. Along with this new home, Keen & Able also invested £1m in brandnew, larger vans, leading to improved efficiency in terms of both routing and capacity, allowing the business to save up to one million road miles per year. Indeed, Keen & Able takes its green credentials seriously. All packing
materials and rubbish is taken away after delivery and recycled, so the customer has nothing to dispose of. The company also offers a disposal and recycling service for the furniture it takes away – including mattresses and beds - ensuring 100% landfill avoidance. Keen & Able is certainly a futurefacing business – and, as it continues to expand, the role of technology within its operation cannot be underestimated. Guy comments: “Embracing technology can give us valuable efficiencies in communication, stock management and route planning. Through our systems we can track every order at any point, ensuring there is complete visibility and security. “Customers can bulk-book deliveries, and track their drop-shipping and storage digitally, and we can integrate these with our own systems. The company also has a number of other customer-centric touchpoints, and there is always a friendly and helpful voice at the other end of the phone to help arrange deliveries for customers that prefer a more traditional, ‘good oldfashioned’ approach. “Still in its early years as a business, Keen & Able is not resting on its laurels. With a renewed focus on team training and creating an enhanced client experience through new depots in Rochdale and Scotland, the sky is the limit in terms of what it can deliver”
ALL PACKING MATERIALS AND RUBBISH IS TAKEN AWAY AFTER DELIVERY AND RECYCLED
The home delivery company truly living up to its name. 5-star, uniformed, white-glove service specialising in delivery, installation and disposal. Real-time cloud-based traceability â€“ from the warehouse to your customerâ€™s room of choice.
Outstanding customer service, communicating with customers every step of the way.
Disposal and recycling of old mattresses and beds, ensuring 100% landfill avoidance.
T: 0330 120 0442 | www.keenandabledelivery.com E: email@example.com Keen & Able Limited | Sandfield Close | Moulton Park | Northampton | NN3 6EU
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LONG LIVE LATEX!
Vita Talalay has introduced a line of moulded Talalay latex pillows, made with the company’s proprietary Natural Vita Talalay FR, to the UK market. www.vitatalalay.com
Natural latex pillows from Vita Talalay
Ila Farshad, the marketing manager responsible for Vita Talalay, says: “For decades, Talalay pillows have been very successful in the UK market. There is demand, and a high percentage of repeat purchases. We find people recommend these pillows to others.” According to Ila, offering an assortment of Talalay pillows is a win-win scenario for retailers, because pillows can be a strong profit generator, while stimulating mattress purchases. “There are a lot of cross-sell opportunities,” he continues. “Pillows are an easy way for a new consumer to experience the benefits of Talalay latex, enabling them to imagine the comfort for their mattress or mattress topper.” Until recently, demand for natural
latex was driven mostly by consumers looking for environmentally friendly products with a strong sustainability story. However, says Ila, a second group has emerged – consumers who simply want to sleep on a surface that is natural, clean and safe. To support its messages to these eco- and health-conscious consumers, Vita Talalay achieved Cradle to Cradle certification in 2013 for its Natural Vita Talalay line. Cradle to Cradle assessed the material for health, environmental and social performance – and as well as Cradle to Cradle Gold, Natural Vita Talalay FR has certificates from ecoInstitut (natural, no toxins), Oeko-Tex 100 (baby safe) and Essent (green energy)
PRODUCTS TRADE SERVICES Vita’s founder Norman Grimshaw, working with a lab technician
A BETTER TOMORROW Today’s consumers are environmentally aware, and expect a high degree of comfort in their homes, states panEuropean foam manufacturer Vita, whose latest innovation preempts market demands … www.thevitagroup.com
The Vita team celebrating their award win at last year’s Bed Show
Vitafoam finds it interesting to reflect on how the world has changed since 1949, when the company was founded. It was a time of rationing and austerity, in which a young soldier returning from the Second World War had a vision to bring affordable comfort to people’s homes – and today, his vision has grown to become Vita. The latest development from Vita is FRee foam, the winner of the prestigious NBF Innovation of the Year Award for 2019/20. FRee is TCPP-free and scorchfree, and has reduced odour – yet does not compromise on quality, performance or fire retardancy. Not waiting for any potential change in legislation concerning fire-retardant chemicals, Vita has developed a range of combustion-modified ether foams that meet the high standards of fire safety required by UK and Irish regulations – without the addition of fire-retardant chemicals. The range is available in several grades, enabling furniture and bedding manufacturers to customise product construction. According to Vita, this
foam has significant benefits for producers, retailers, consumers and the environment. Vita has grown through fusing creativity and technology in its commitment to quality and research – listening to its customers (and consumers) is crucial to the business. With a proud heritage of 70 years of serving the furniture and bedding industry, Vita remains at the forefront of innovation, and is committed to pioneering advanced foam solutions for a sustainable world. Speaking about the innovative spirit that drives Vita, group CEO Ian Robb comments: “Vita’s history has been one of innovation, adaptation and never standing still. FRee foam is the latest development in this vein, and we were delighted to receive the accolade of Innovation of the Year at the NBF Bed Show awards for it. “FRee is a classic innovation story – a clear need, years of tough development, testing and redesign to hone the idea, and a finished product that does its core job much better than its predecessors. To be recognised for it is a real honour”
Innovation of the Year from Vita
TCPP free Scorch free Excellent recovery Reduced odour
Free is the innovative foam from Vita. Itâ€™s TCPP-free, scorch free and has reduced odour yet all the comfort, durability and recovery you expect from Vita. Free meets the high standards of fire safety required by the UK and Irish regulations.
T: 0161 655 2680
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E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.thevitagroup.com
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PRODUCTS TRADE SERVICES
PROOF OF PURCHASE iStock.com/fotoVoyager
There has been a rapid increase in consumer expectations when it comes to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance in supply chains, states Frank Miller, MD of compliance specialist, Track Record Global (TRG) – and popular concerns regarding the detrimental impacts of deforestation has put the furniture industry centre stage … www.trackrecordglobal.com
Technical files are created for each product Supply chain diagrams offer clear communication during the evidence-gathering process
“The European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR, focused on governance) is in place,” says Frank. “More regulations addressing ESG issues will follow – and furniture businesses need to act now.” In today’s market, sustainability is inherent in the perception of goodquality products – but it can be difficult to prove how sustainable a product truly is, because this quality cannot be physically measured. Voluntary independent third-party certification programmes (such as PEFC and FSC) are one way of doing this, but Frank argues that they are not necessarily the complete panacea, and that governments often do not recognise such private sector initiatives. “In that case,” asks Frank, “what kind of flexible strategy will enable supply chain actors to satisfy evolving ESG requirements? “Modern, systems-driven due diligence provides a cost-effective solution. It delivers supply chain transparency in an easy-to-understand way. “EU governments regard it as the best methodology for satisfying EUTR requirements, and TRG knows this same approach can be broadened out to cater for a variety of ESG criteria, and is applying it in the timber, steel, cotton and leather sectors.” TRG operates a two-stage process.
First, basic information – such as the species used, the source countries, where it is manufactured, and the businesses involved– is gathered from suppliers . Next, an inherent risk profile is developed from this data. A list of mitigating documentary evidence, proportional to the inherent risk, is then identified for collation and analysis. “Risk mitigation is central to TRG’s approach,” says Frank. “Our experts gather mitigating documentary evidence that ameliorates the identified risks. These second- and third-party documents are used to demonstrate that the raw materials satisfy ESG requirements.” A supply chain diagram developed by TRG is the core communication tool used to pass information back and forth between the standards specialist and its supplier clients during the evidencegathering phase. “TRG developed this approach to manage EUTR due diligence for over 3000 timber products,” Frank concludes. “We know this same methodology provides a cost-efficient means for meeting future sustainability requirements that are expected to become law.” Frank invites prospective clients to contact TRG for a free consultation to discuss their specific needs, book a demonstration or request a trial
MAKING SUPPLY CHAINS DEFORESTATION FREE Invitation to a seminar by Track Record Global
YOUR COMPLIANCE CHECKLIST • Do you import timber products from outside the EU? • Do you have a robust due diligence programme which is legally required? • If you don’t, are you aware of the commercial risks? • If you do, is it costing you too much?
27TH February 2020 9.30am - 15.30pm Saïd Business School Oxford OX1 1HP Book your place today: www.trackrecordglobal.com/events +44 (0)208 816 7369 email@example.com
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PRODUCTS TRADE SERVICES
ADP is delivering management and installation in Birmingham on behalf of LE-AL Asia
ADP www.adp-distribution.co.uk ADP has been working on a furniture installation and project management venture for LE-AL Asia, which involves managing and installing a large-scale flat-pack and cabinet furniture programme, with furniture supplied by Julian Bowen. The project, which covers over 600 luxury apartments in Birmingham’s city-centre Exchange Square development, and ranges from studios to three-bedroom apartments, is being executed across two phases. The first was completed on time in May last year – working within tight deadlines and alongside external companies, ADP delivered a full project management and installation service.
Where will your furniture business end up this year? Closing down, due to not enough sales or traffic? Staying the same, with no improvement in either? Or enjoying your best year to date, with increases in all critical KPIs, sales, staff development and productivity? According to retail training specialist RPS, how your business performs in 2020 will ultimately be down to identifying three key areas at the year’s end – what was your strategy, what were the results, and did it work? RPS have partnered with furniture retail businesses for over 35 years, and has helped its clients increase sales, team performance and profitability. A world-class performance management system enables RPS to deliver significant and sustainable performance increases by embedding its systems and techniques into a client’s business – from the shop floor up. RPS guarantees to increase clients’ sales by a minimum of +6-10%, or it refunds their investment. It achieves this by implementing its unique business dashboard, and developing the performance coaching and customer
ADP boasts over 50 years’ combined specialist experience in an array of services including distribution, merchandising, store roll-outs, fulfilment and overall project management, with clients ranging from major electrical and computer stores to national and European carpet and flooring companies. Operating through a helpful, courteous team, ADP can adapt to the requirements of any business, giving clients the flexibility to concentrate on their own goals.
engagement skills of managers and sales teams. RPS’ clients include Housing Units, Roomes, Atkinsons, Fairway Furniture and Cammacks Furniture. “We have achieved far in excess of +20% increase in sales by working with RPS,” says Cammacks’ MD, Tony Cammack. Retailers seeking guaranteed growth this year can contact RPS, quoting “Furniture News January”, for a free consultation.
RETAIL PERFORMANCE SPECIALISTS (RPS) www.rps-global.com
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In upholstery, comfort matters – so it’s crucial to get the fillings right. Fibreline, best known for its Encore Feather, Fibre and (now) Foam cushions, is the UK’s largest independently owned upholstery cushion fillings manufacturer, and the go-to supplier for a growing number of manufacturers and retailers, explains MD Richard Prudhoe …
When did your involvement with Fibreline begin? Having graduated in Production Engineering, and having spent a year working in a foam conversion business, producing foam insulation products, I joined Fibreline in 1992 to help my father (the MD) on a short term project … 27 years later, the project appears still to be finished!
How important is cushion filling manufacture to the wider upholstery sector? Furniture design and fabric choice are clearly the initial requirement to grab a potential purchaser’s attention. But they will not buy the furniture if the level of comfort that the fillings provide does not meet their requirements. The sit sells. The sit has to be right. Also, the performance of the fillings over the lifetime of the furniture is vitally important. It has to ensure customers are satisfied with the product they have spent their hard-earned money on. For these reasons, Fibreline has an extensive range of fillings, to cater for the various types of sit that a furniture manufacturer may want to achieve. In addition, its high-performance Encore range of quality foam, fibre and feather cushions give a range of options for look and feel, with the reassurance of engineered performance over time.
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Can you describe the breadth and scope of your customer base? With such a large product range, we supply furniture manufacturers right across the UK, and right across the price range. Our standard fibre, feather and foam fillings are inside a high percentage of UK manufactured furniture. And our Encore products can be found in furniture in all leading furniture multiples and many of the high street independents. Many are using our Encore PoS literature and cushion cross-sections to show the benefits of the engineered Encore construction. What’s your favourite of the three? Of course, all three are great, but the one I have at home is Encore Fibre. It’s designed to look and feel like a fibre cushion. You get that sink-in feeling of a fibre cushion, but with the engineered recovery performance of a foam insert, preventing flattening. But I have to admit the fillings on my sofa at home change frequently, as I like to try any new products being developed. What are the advantages of sourcing solely from you as a one-stop shop? With increasing pressure on all within the supply chain to operate lean businesses, working on JIT deliveries, Fibreline’s ability to supply all three
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main filling components required for a sofa means that customers place one order, with one supplier, receive one delivery, with one delivery note and one invoice to process. This leads to efficiencies for the customer, and also enables Fibreline to offer very competitive pricing across all fillings, as they arrive on one vehicle. Can you share some of the feedback you’ve received from retailers? Manufacturers and retailers are increasingly looking for points of differentiation to their competitors. Fibreline’s ability to produce highperformance FIRA Gold award-winning Encore fillings, and more customerspecific combination fillings, means that Fibreline has become the cushion manufacturer to work with. It’s especially relevant to designers looking for that edge over the competition. Customer feedback has confirmed that the Encore range produces a sit unmatched by other products, and when used has resulted in a noticeable reduction in customer complaints related to the cushion fillings. Many retailers have also found the Encore PoS material is not only helpful in selling the advantages of the filling, but also in explaining the engineered makeup in comparison to more standard fillings. Encore fillings are increasingly offered by retailers as an upgrade option, clearly indicating their confidence and satisfaction with the products.
What turnaround times do you offer? We have been able to consistently grow the business over recent years, through product and process innovation. We now produce fillings for about 4000 sofas a week, and offer a one-week turnaround on orders most of the year. What does the incorporation of robot technology mean for your output? We have now introduced robotic drilling of foam and robotic spraying of adhesive into the business. Both systems were the result of years of research and development, working with universities, research centres and robot integrators. The result has been a doubling of productivity in the areas where they have been deployed, and a step change in the consistency and quality of the products that we can produce. Why have no other cushion manufacturers taken this route? Traditional machinery suppliers to the industry have, I believe, failed to identify the need and the opportunities in
this area of the industry. The cost of the research has been significant, and to accommodate the technology we have in some cases totally altered the way production worked. Neither of these things is easy or cheap. I don’t really worry about what my competitors are doing, I just know what we as a business need to keep doing to meet our customers’ needs and expectations going forward. What are your R&D people looking at right now? On the manufacturing side we have just added a vision system to the drilling robot. This gives it the ability to see the product, identify it and confirm the required program. On the product development side we are working closely with a number of manufacturers to develop bespoke combination fillings for particular briefs given by retailers. How is a no-deal Brexit likely to affect your supply chain? Like most in the industry there is little pre-emptive action we can take. We can try and hold a bit more stock. But, with such a volumous raw material and finished product, we are limited. We already trade with the rest of the world for many raw materials. Where our supply chain has a European element we are talking regularly with suppliers and have good supplier relationships. When we know what Brexit actually means, we will have a better idea of the implications Inside F ibrel ine’ sb
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What are they saying about Encore Foam in particular? Encore Foam was developed in conjunction with customer feedback. On the back of the success of the Fibre and Feather Encore fillings, customers wanted to see a similar quality step in
a 100% foam cushion. They wanted the uniform look and recovery of foam, but with the soft sit of fibre. Traditional foam core seats have relied on high-loft polyester wadding to add plumpness and a soft sit. But this always results in the fibre flattening over time, and causing bagginess in the cover. Fibreline developed an innovative 100% foam topper with a CNC-cut profile to provide loft, but softness as well. The removal of any fibre from the product produces a very uniform look, with a soft sit, but with great recovery performance. As with Fibre Encore, the Foam Encore was put through rigorous testing at FIRA before being awarded the FIRA GOLD award.
Fibreline’s sewing room
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www.stroolmount.co.uk Hindsight is a wonderful thing – but foresight is even better, writes protection and care specialist, Stroolmount. We’ve all had those ‘if only’ moments when disaster strikes, and we kick ourselves for not acting beforehand – but with Stroolmount’s specialist protection products, anyone moving heavy items of furniture can ensure they stay one step ahead …
PREVENTION IS BETTER
THAN CURE “You’ve done all the hard work,” says Gill Finch, MD of Stroolmount UK. “You’ve planned, designed and crafted a beautiful piece of furniture. It looks magnificent. The client’s delighted. You’re rightly proud. You move it into the room, and … scratch! “A single scratch ruins a beautiful floor. It means thousands in repairs and damages, the painful excess to pay, angry customers, an even angrier boss with a lower profit and the hassle of putting it right – plus a knock-on delay for your next job, and hikes in your insurance premiums for the next year.” According to Gill, that scratch – and the many problems arising from it – can be avoided, by utilising one of Stroolmount’s simple protection solutions. Stroolmount’s Protect & Care products safeguard your floor, your furniture, your back and your business, Gill explains: “Since 2007 our specialist
protection products have saved businesses thousands of pounds in repairs, with solutions from just 1p. “No, you don’t need to get your eyes tested – I did say from just 1p! And at that low price, if you don’t do it, then you probably need your head examined!” Protect & Care’s self-adhesive felt discs cushion the impact of furniture, preventing scratching on floors, while the Quickclick Glides, Move-it Pads and PTFE Furni-glides mean even heavy furniture – including heavyweight recliner sofas and chairs – can be moved smoothly and easily across hard floors and carpets. They also prevent carpet friction from anchoring legs so the joints do not lurch to one side and are fatally weakened. Stroolmount only sells to the trade, offering assistance to furniture/flooring manufacturers and retailers, fitters and contractors, plus architects, interior designers and hotel refurbishers
Full pag Stroolm
From Self-adhesive Felt to Quickclick Glides, Move It Pads to Repair Kits: See Stroolmount’s award-winning Protect & Care products and become a stockist in 2020.
www.stroolmount.co.uk • firstname.lastname@example.org
19-21st July 2020 Stand A2
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PRODUCTS TRADE SERVICES
OWNING THE FINAL MILE Rhenus Home Delivery operates a network of two-man home delivery teams across Europe in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Bulgaria and the UK. www.rhenus-home-delivery.co.uk/en/
Gavin Boden, new business development manager at Rhenus Home Delivery UK, says: “Over the last three years, Rhenus has gone above and beyond for its customers, and the procedures within the company have enabled the team to perform at a much higher level of customer service. I’m always highlighting how important the customer journey and the final mile are –well, now I’ve got the opportunity to help make that happen.” The computer system Rhenus uses automatically sends out a text message to the consumer asking which day they would like the delivery to take place. On the day before the delivery, another message is sent to confirm the time slot. On the way, the delivery team calls the consumer to make sure they are going to be available to accept their furniture. In 2017, the Rhenus Group entered the UK home delivery market through acquisition, and has gone from strength to strength, acquiring business through its efficient operational procedures and consistent service.
The Rhenus Group is a leading logistics service provider, with global business operations and an annual turnover of €5.1b. The company has business sites in over 660 locations worldwide and employs more than 31,000 people. “We see ourselves as invaluable partners to provide our customers with value-added services,” says Vinny Riley, MD of Rhenus Home Delivery UK. “We analyse highly complex logistics operations and optimise them using individual solutions that cover sourcing, production and distribution. “We also look ahead at what is happening in the industry which helps with logistical operations, so we can make an important contribution for tomorrow. “Not only do we run a two-man home delivery service, we also find solutions for a wide variety of different sectors along the complete supply chain. These include multimodal transport operations, warehousing, customs clearance and innovative value-added services”
WE WEDELIVER DELIVERINTO INTOTHE THEHOME. HOME. WITH WITH THE THE HIGHEST HIGHEST ACCURACY. ACCURACY. WE DELIVER INTO THE HOME. Our high Our high standards standards match match yours.yours. Our service Our service goes goes far beyond far beyond delivering delivering reliably reliably up toup thetopoint the point of use. of use. Because Because it is at it is this at point this point that our thatprecise our precise work work starts. starts. Be itBe setup, it setup, assembly assembly or installation, or installation, our qualified our qualified employees employees work work diligently, diligently, neatlyneatly and with and the withhighest the highest accuracy. accuracy. To this To purpose, this purpose, we constantly we constantly train train them them in our in own our Rhenus own Rhenus Academy. Academy. After After all, the all, people the people working working for for point us of use. Our high standards match yours. Our service goes far beyond delivering reliably up tous the aren’taren’t just delivery just delivery men,men, but delivery but delivery experts. experts. Because it is at this point that our precise work starts. Be it setup, assembly or installation,
WITH THE HIGHEST ACCURACY.
our qualified employees work diligently, neatly and with the highest accuracy. To this purpose, we constantly train them in our own Rhenus Academy. After all, the people working for us aren’t just delivery men, but delivery experts.
CONTACT CONTACT US US Rhenus Rhenus Home Home Delivery Delivery UK ·Unit UK7·Unit New7Cheshire New Cheshire Business Business Park, Wincham Park, Wincham Lane ·Lane CW9 ·6GG CW9Northwich 6GG Northwich PhonePhone +44 333 +44577 3335771 577 ·5771 Email: · Email: Sales.RHD@uk.rhenus.com Sales.RHD@uk.rhenus.com www.rhenus-home-delivery.co.uk www.rhenus-home-delivery.co.uk
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2019/20 When the going gets tough, the tough reassess, refine, and go on to reap the rewards. With 2019 proving such a tumultuous year for retail – and 2020 showing only tentative signs of being any different – Furniture News checks in with some of the businesspeople leading the charge towards success, who share their views on some of the key developments of the past year, and thoughts on what the future holds …
Following its disposal by owner Samson Holdings in January, heritage brand Willis & Gambier was acquired by Midlands-based supplier Birlea Furniture in June, and its most popular lines relaunched to the market subsequently.
COULD THIS HAVE BEEN ACHIEVED BY CREATING THEIR OWN NEW PREMIUM BRAND AND PRODUCT OFFERING?
WILLIS & GAMBIER TAKES A BREAK Royce Clark (Grampian Furnishers): An interesting one, as we’ve been a Birlea customer for a long time and their product offering is very different to what the Willis & Gambier brand was previously! Jerry Cheshire (Surrey Beds): Well done to Birlea for having the foresight to save such a great brand, which is renowned for higher-quality furniture. Maybe this will give Birlea the platform to go upmarket. I wish them well with whatever project they attach the Willis & Gambier name to
OWN LINES In February, Amazon unveiled its first UK own-brand furniture lines, stating that lighting, additional home furnishings and textile items will be introduced later. Royce Clark (Grampian Furnishers): This will be an interesting venture and I feel it may be more aimed at competing with Argos, IKEA, B&M etc. With the returns policy and delivery issues on bulky and fragile items it may be a short-term thing, who knows? But Amazon generally make things work … Mike Murray (Land of Beds): I think a few people had been anticipating this for some time and it seemed only natural for this to happen. People in this space need to watch this closely, as any sector Amazon goes into will be changed significantly, one way or the other. I think this will lead to most retailers having to improve their logistics and delivery operations, which should be good for the end-customer. However,
the cost for the retailer – or, indeed, the manufacturer – is yet to be seen. One thing’s for sure – Amazon will have researchied this sector for a while, so they’ll be confident there is a significant number of customers out there who are prepared to buy their furniture online Steve Adams (MattressOnline): Is this the start of Amazon making inroads into our traditional heartland of furniture retail? Amazon is a force we can’t ignore. They will be going through a learning phase and identifying what is better for their bottom line and customer base – selling direct with their own brand or earning marketplace commission. If Amazon expands on this strategy, then we will all have to up our game even more
Steve Pickering (Sussex Beds): Brands are not a necessity in our business. I understand the reason Birlea acquired Willis & Gambier, which would have been to move their offering upward from where they currently operate, which makes sense. My question would be whether this could have been achieved by creating their own new premium brand and product offering, rather than acquiring a name which holds very little consumer brand or standing?
Ross Beveridge (Archers Sleepcentre): Amazon are the undisputed kings of online retailing, and while their platform served as a shop window for many years, the heavy duties applied for selling on it has forced many retailers (and manufacturers) to reconsider. It would appear everything Amazon touches turns to ‘sold’, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make this another successful move. They certainly have the capability to claim market share and cause further disruption in an already-crowded marketplace, although they might just find selling bulky goods to be more difficult than their smallparcel, same-day delivery triumphs Steve Pickering (Sussex Beds): This is one to watch. The Amazon brand, following, reach and loyalty provides infinite opportunities to enter markets. Matching this with the right product offering and logistics system will create the next phase of online disruption Jerry Cheshire (Surrey Beds): I’m not surprised, as they have their own-brand most things. I’m shocked it’s taken them so long. Amazon really have changed the face of retail, and they’re clearly not finished yet. Of course, the more low-quality product they sell online, the more discerning buyers will want to come into stores to see the good stuff
Royce Clark, MD GRAMPIAN FURNISHERS Stores: 1 Headcount: 26
LOOKING BACK The best deal we struck last year was actually made at the end of 2018 – the £2m loan facility from the Bank of Scotland for our new store is the biggest deal I’ve ever done, and certainly the most important in the business’ 44-year history The biggest product trend in-store was dining furniture. It was our biggest-selling line in 2019, mainly due to the vast increase in products on display What changed most about the way people shop was daily price checks by customers using their phones before they purchase, and an increase in price matches being done (in fact, most of the time the difference is minimal, once delivery is factored in) What changed most about the way we sell was having a coffee shop in-store. We have always promoted hassle-free shopping, and now we encourage customers to take their time and go for a coffee to think about their purchase if they’re unsure What put us under most pressure was the exchange rates, which have meant we’ve had to put the prices up on most of our products over a very short period of time. We normally try and absorb small increases, but in the current market, and with some increases being double-digit, we’ve had no choice but to pass most of these onto the customer
LOOKING AHEAD In 2020, I’m most looking forward to hearing about something else other than Brexit, positive news for the economy, and some help from the Government for small businesses! The next product trend coming in-store is our collaboration with a small company called Essence of Harris, offering things that smell nice and are made in Scotland! The product trend on its way out is inexpensive velvet sofas – these haven’t been a huge seller as they’ve proved to be very easily marked Our tech priority is further developing our in-store online purchase journey
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The biggest challenge will be getting consumer confidence back after what we hope will be a positive Brexit period – however, I feel the threat of a second independence referendum here in Scotland will continue to be our biggest challenge! Knowing that the UK manufacturing sector now looks to have a massive opportunity to grow and further develop makes me hopeful for the industry’s future
KINGSTOWN FOLDS DESPERATELY SAD NEWS FOR A GREAT UK FAMILY-OWNED MANUFACTURING BUSINESS
In April, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) blocked the merger of Sainsbury’s and Asda, concluding that the deal would result in reduced competition, choice and service quality, plus price increases – despite Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe arguing the contrary.
Emma Leeke (Leekes): A great day for the consumer Royce Clark (Grampian Furnishers): I think this is a good thing, as the bigger these companies get, the bigger the threat to smaller businesses and the furniture trade as a whole David Ashton (JYSK): It creates challenges for Sainsbury’s (more so
March saw Hull-based bedroom furniture manufacturer Kingstown Group (comprising Kingstown Furniture and Consort Furniture) cease production due to falling turnover, with the loss of some 280 jobs.
Peter Harding (Fairway Furniture): A sad reminder that many of the UK manufacturers are trading on slim margins, and in a market where competition from imports continues to prove intense
Emma Leeke (Leekes): Desperately sad news for a great UK family-owned manufacturing business
Steve Adams (MattressOnline): A real shame, but a clear warning that a lack of innovation and not moving with market trends will slowly erode what was once a strong brand with a premium product. It’s like handing IKEA our customers on a silver platter!
Royce Clark (Grampian Furnishers): Sad to see a UK manufacturer go – we had dealt with them on and off over the years
SAINSBURY’S/ASDA MERGER BLOCKED than Asda), but I think it is healthy for competition to avoid any more extreme retailers with a stranglehold Peter Harding (Fairway Furniture): It was probably inevitable at a time when the focus is on big business and the impact it has on consumer choice and value. If only the Government were so determined to sort out the injustice that is our business rates!
Ross Beveridge (Archers Sleepcentre): My initial thoughts were that the reduction in competition created by this merger would have a negative impact on customers – not only could we see prices rise as competition would be reduced, but even convenience would be affected, as many stores would have been axed where they already shared sites. My view has not changed
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Name: David Ashton, UK country manager JYSK Stores: 20 Headcount: 160
LOOKING BACK The best deal we struck last year was on retail space – with all the uncertainty, there are deals to be done if you find the right space The biggest product trend in-store was homewares and accessories. We saw phenomenal demand, like we’ve never seen before, with some months up +200% LFL, due to the rise of the number of customers updating their space. You can move with the trends a lot quicker with accessories, compared to changing whole pieces of furniture What changed most about the way people shop was greater expectation of simple fulfilment. We launched Order Online Pick Up in Store (OOPUS), which meant free online delivery to any of our UK stores, rather than paying courier fees. We saw a healthy rise in online sales What changed most about the way we sell was the launch of mobile solutions (we call it mobility) for our teams. Therefore, they can now do 95% of the tasks that needed a computer at the till point before now, on their mobile device. It means they’re no longer restricted in how they work, we can be more productive, and we don’t need to leave the customer alone to check anything What put us under most pressure was the lack of certainty in the market. With Brexit deadlines coming and going, we were unable to prepare fully when it wasn’t clear what to prepare for, or when to prepare for it
THAT’S THE CHANGING DIRECTION OF RETAIL – THE CUSTOMER NOW DECIDES WHEN YOU’RE OPEN LOOKING AHEAD In 2020, I’m most looking forward to seeing the return of the English feelgood factor. The country needs it. There’s the Olympics in Tokyo – when the UK/ England does well at sporting events, it always boosts morale and the economy The next product trend coming in-store is more Scandinavian design. With its clean lines, good quality and simple design, and its ability to make people’s spaces feel bigger, it’s still on the rise The product trend on its way out is bling Our tech priority is continuing to work to streamline our online and physical stores, to ensure there’s no friction for the customer – they can shop in whatever manner they wish. That’s the changing direction of retail – the customer now decides when you’re open The biggest challenge will be the ongoing Brexit saga, unfortunately
ON THE UP Business rates rose again in April last year, increasing the burden on retailers (arguably disproportionately for those with physical stores) and contributing to store closures and vacant properties.
Royce Clark (Grampian Furnishers): Don’t get me started on this topic … the whole system needs to be scrapped and a fairer one put in place to take into account all sizes of business – on the high street, out of town, and in particular those who have warehouses with an online presence David Ashton (JYSK): Unless the Government does something to support the physical retailers then we will continue to see the market suffer. We have a huge imbalance between the pure online retailers and the physical retailers Jerry Cheshire (Surrey Beds): Yes, and ouch! The business rates system is way out of date and requires urgent reform. My rates are set according to the value of the property I occupy. As you can imagine, in Surrey, properties are expensive. Their values are not something a retailer can control – so we need a fairer system. I am in discussions with my MP and he is being receptive to my concerns and understands how important a reform is. Let’s get Brexit finished, and maybe Parliament can deal with such matters
THE BUSINESS RATES SYSTEM IS WAY OUT OF DATE AND REQUIRES URGENT REFORM
Mike Murray (Land of Beds): At the time I didn’t think this was fair, and I still don’t. I believe the Government needs to even out the charges paid by bricks-and-mortar retailers and pureplay online retailers – especially those international retailers that don’t pay anywhere near the same taxes as their UK competitors. From any angle you approach it, it doesn’t feel fair Peter Harding (Fairway Furniture): The whole business rates system needs changing to something more like a turnover-based tax which cannot be avoided. It is ridiculous that a furniture
store of 30,000ft2 pays enormous rates, yet an online business doing perhaps 3-5 times the turnover, trading from a 30,000ft2 distribution centre, pays hugely less. In the South West, our business rates are actually falling, but that is not to say the current scheme is right – it needs fundamental review, and quickly. I’d like to see a new Conservative Government, if elected, treat this as a high priority Ross Beveridge (Archers Sleepcentre): Business rates are actually a fantastic way of taxing the super-rich landlords and their parent companies based in their offshore havens. It is easy enough for them to navigate through tax loopholes and hide cash, but much harder to hide a whopping great big shop or retail park (unless you’re David Copperfield, of course). The reality is that a reduction in business rates will allow incoming tenants to offer more than they previously could, leading to increases in rents in the future, and while you may see a very brief small return, in the end the landlord wins. When we look at potential sites, we’re evaluating the overall property costs – not just the rates or rents, but the sum of the two Steve Pickering (Sussex Beds): Business rate rises are ultimately not the issue. It is the unfair levy or portion high street retail contributes which is the problem. Buying habits have changed rapidly over the past 20 years with the emergence of ecommerce trading, and the taxation system simply has not kept up. An urgent review is required, with a view to creating a level playing field, ensuring all businesses pay a fair share of taxation – whether UK-based or multinational. Would a simpler sales tax, based on revenue, achieve this?
Jerry Cheshire, director SURREY BEDS Stores: 1 Headcount: 3
LOOKING BACK The best deal we struck last year was sourcing a latex mattress supplier in Europe. The great value allowed us to own-brand and increase margin The biggest product trend in-store was a new sales focus, which actually created a trend towards new products.We made two major changes in-store that we focused our sales towards – we brought in latex mattresses, and also moved upmarket from our main supplier. This gave us a higher invoice value and a higher margin. Win-win! What changed most about the way people shop was nothing major, just a confirmation from previous years of the influence the internet has. We don’t offer ecommerce, but we use social media and our website as an information resource for our prospects What changed most about the way we sell was very little, really. We have a particular way of selling that tries to build a relationship with each customer. This is based upon integrity. We try to attract a specific target customer, and all our marketing effort is aimed towards that target – this hasn’t changed What put us under most pressure was the increase in business rates. Ours trebled at first. Eventually, after reviews and rebates, the increase became a more reasonable (but still painful) +35%. At the beginning of the year, I had to pay the full increase. It’s horrible when you have no influence or control
WE’RE VERY LOW-TECH HERE – AS LONG AS WE HAVE MY PC AND A MEANS TO PROCESS PAYMENT CARDS, WE’RE HAPPY! LOOKING AHEAD In 2020, I’m most looking forward to expanding our latex mattress range and offering it to other retailers The next product trend coming in-store is yet to be determined. However, we are opening a new wooden bed studio on the first floor, so hopefully that! The product trend on its way out is memory foam, hopefully (finally!) Our tech priority is nothing notable. We’re very low-tech here – as long as we have my PC and a means to process payment cards, we’re happy! The biggest challenge will be generating more footfall – as always
CARPETRIGHT COMES TO FURNITURE VILLAGE Furniture Village welcomed the first of a string of Carpetright concessions in May, with a further five opened by Christmas, and more to come. Each boasts a dedicated store team to provide advice plus measuring and estimating services.
Royce Clark (Grampian Furnishers): It makes sense for a furniture shop to offer the complete package, but I’m a little surprised they didn’t do it themselves
at least on paper. I’ve not seen it in action, but I hope the concessions have their own Carpetright resource. Selling flooring is very different to selling furniture
Mike Murray (Land of Beds): This sounded like a smart idea at the time. I believe more and more partnerships will form like this over the coming years as traditional retail merges into online and multichannel. This will lead to more space becoming available in large retail stores as more sales move online – so more cost-effective reallocation of space and co-existing offerings to drive customers in-store will need to be thought of. In-store Costa coffees, restaurants and non-competing retailers, whose products complement each other, could all fit into this concession model to help increase sales and share costs
Ross Beveridge (Archers Sleepcentre): There are two ways this can be viewed: one-stop shops, where the customer can purchase all their home furnishings and floorcoverings could be convenient, and floorcoverings would be the missing link at Furniture Village; or concessions are proving more popular once again as retailers look to address a reduction in pounds generated per ft2, as the internet’s market share increases, leaving underutilised floor space in historically large units. It wasn’t that long ago that units under 10,000ft2 on retail parks were like gold dust – that’s not the case now, though. There’s room for the specialists who stick to one thing
Peter Harding (Fairway Furniture): Interesting, as FV had previously withdrawn from the flooring market. I’ll be interested to see how the two work together, especially as I don’t see a great deal of synergy between the two companies’ consumers. How the space required in-store is delivered, given that FV already have some high product densities, will also be interesting
Steve Pickering (Sussex Beds): This is a sensible solution to the retail evolution as we adjust to sustainable space levels in stores, and I’d anticipate more following in this direction. For this to be ultimately successful the partnerships need to be aligned in terms of demographic, customer profile and company values. My reservation is whether this is the case with these two companies. Are Carpetright customers really Furniture Village customers? Will this raise the profile of Carpetright, or lower the profile of Furniture Village?
Steve Adams (MattressOnline): The Carpetright and Furniture Village concession venture makes logical sense,
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TRANSFORMATION DRIVE Falling revenues, driven in part by store closures, prompted Marks & Spencer to signal the closure of a further 85 stores in May. CEO Steve Rowe stated that the retailer’s drastic transformation programme was nonetheless making “good progress”.
Royce Clark (Grampian Furnishers): I am a big fan of M&S, so would like to see them get through their latest sticky patch. If the high street were to lose them … it’s almost unthinkable. But I do think they will continue the transformation at a greater pace and lean towards more food outlets that also sell underwear! Emma Leeke (Leekes): It’s a tanker to turn …
THE BIG QUESTION IS GOING TO BE WHETHER THEY CAN DELIVER THEIR FOOD ONLINE PROFITABLY
David Ashton (JYSK): It is quite surprising the M&S store managers did not have sight on their own P&Ls – how else can they be trusted to run a business as if it was their own? Mike Murray (Land of Beds): This is their only option if they want to survive over the next 10 years. The only surprising thing is that it’s taken them so long to invest properly in this space.
It’ll be interesting to see if they’re just late to show, or if they have missed the boat altogether. Their website seems to have improved over time, and their range of clothes and home furnishings seems OK. However, the big question is whether they can deliver their food online profitably. If they can crack this, maybe they can become great again
INDUSTRY FIRE STANDARDS REVIEW MAKES PROGRESS
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In July, the Government issued its longawaited response to a 2016 consultation looking at updating and modernising the UK’s furniture fire regulations, which suggested changing testing procedures and amending the regulations’ scope to ensure the UK’s high safety standards are maintained, while facilitating greater innovation – but notes that a change to the existing guidelines may be some way off. Emma Leeke (Leekes): About time! Royce Clark (Grampian Furnishers): I think overall the furniture trade needs
an updated and more simplified set of rules and regulations for manufacturers, retailers and consumers Jerry Cheshire (Surrey Beds): The UK has some of the most stringent fire regulations of any furniture-producing country. Maybe we should come more in line with Europe. In my experience of producing pillows, my ranges are all fire-tested. However, my competition’s pillows are not always. If you look at some of the imports on Amazon, you’ll find most don’t carry the required fire test labels. A consultation is not enough – we need action
Peter Harding, MD FAIRWAY FURNITURE Stores: 4 Headcount: 69
LOOKING BACK The best deal we struck last year was introducing a much more contemporary and eclectic dining offer than we’ve traditionally offered, which has reinvigorated a category that has seen weaker performance than it should have The biggest product trend in-store was the resurgence in upholstery, and fabric over leather in particular What changed most about the way people shop was consumers feeling less constrained by the traditional suite or set combinations. They’re now much more likely to mix and match – particularly in dining, which makes managing displays much more challenging What changed most about the way we sell was a renewed focus for our sales teams, making sure they’ve established everything the customer wanted, maximising add-ons and driving sales growth What put me under most pressure was the relentless Brexit debate and the debilitating effect this had on consumer confidence, currency rates and offshore supplier reliability. We’ve lost count of the number of times our European suppliers have put plans in place to handle no-deal, only for it to then be kicked down the road again
LOOKING AHEAD In 2020, I’m most looking forward to hopefully starting a postBrexit period of stability and renewed consumer confidence … until the trade negotiations collapse! The next product trend coming in-store is eclecticism – this is growing, even among more mature customers, and I’m sure it will continue The product trend on its way out is leather upholstery, which is losing its appeal, and is being replaced by more practical fabric options such as Aquaclean, which is really growing. The consumer desire for refreshing their home interior looks more regularly has been partly responsible Our tech priority is continuing sustainable investment in our online retail presence to remain relevant and succeed in a very competitive online market
THE MULTIPLES HAVE SUCH A LARGE SHARE OF VOICE THAT INDEPENDENTS HAVE TO OFFER SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO THRIVE
The biggest challenge will be ensuring we continue to remain relevant in a world where the multiples have such a large share of voice that independents have to offer something different to thrive Knowing that the UK market continues to innovate and reinvent itself, therefore driving consumer demand, makes me hopeful for the industry’s future
Mike Murray, director LAND OF BEDS Stores: 3 Headcount: 40
LOOKING BACK The biggest product trend in-store last year was the continued good sales growth of quality pocket-sprung mattresses, as well as an increase in upholstered ottoman bed sales, as consumers were on the lookout for more stylish storage solutions What changed most about the way people shop was more and more consumers having a good understanding about what they want before they come in-store. Lots of customers already know what brand they desire, and have researched the company online beforehand – they’ve often read product reviews online and watched videos. This has led to shorter conversion times whilst in-store What changed most about the way we sell was we’ve seen a large increase in finance sales. More and more customers are happy to spread the cost of their purchase from anywhere between 12 months to 48 – especially younger customers, who are used to paying for things monthly. If they can budget for it and manage all their monthly payments easily, then spreading the cost of large furniture purchases seems attractive What put us under most pressure was logistics. It’s always a tricky discipline to master, and as more and more customers want things quicker and quicker, pressure is put on our logistics and warehouse teams – which we had to expand significantly last year to adapt to consumer demand. One thing’s for sure – customers are very demanding when it comes to delivery, and if you get this part of your operation wrong, you won’t get many positive reviews or repeat custom!
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LOOKING AHEAD In 2020, I’m most looking forward to growing our in-house software development team. We are committed to investing in our digital capabilities as a business, to bring about real customer service benefits and provide our staff with better tools to perform their jobs even more efficiently. This will drive real progress through the business The next product trend coming in-store is probably adjustable furniture. As a bed specialist, we need to cater for all markets, but I think this area will continue to gain market share this year The product trend on its way out is leather bed frames (potentially) Our tech priority is an in-house content management system to manage customer orders and quotations, from the start of an enquiry right through to the completion of a customer order and post-purchase communication The biggest challenge will be recruiting and training great staff in line with our strategic growth plan. This is always a challenge, and it’s critical to future success. Recruitment can be costly, and it takes a lot of investment and time to get it right – but if done well it can give you a significant competitive edge Knowing that people will always need a bed and desire a good night’s sleep makes me hopeful for the industry’s future
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BEHIND THE SCENES AT HARRISON SPINKS Last August, the BBC aired an episode of manufacturing show Inside The Factory in which hosts Gregg Wallace and Cherry Healy visited Harrison Spinks’ Leeds factory to investigate the materials and processes behind the bedmaker’s sizeable operation.
WHETHER YOU STOCK HARRISON SPINKS OR NOT, THE PROGRAMME PUT OUR INDUSTRY AND PRODUCTS IN THE MINDS OF CONSUMERS
Emma Leeke (Leekes): A fantastic spotlight, demonstrating the detail that goes into making a great product Royce Clark (Grampian Furnishers): I thought this was a great insight into what goes into the production of their mattresses. I’ve visited other factories over the years, but their manufacturing process is unlike anything I’ve seen before – it’s truly amazing, and certainly adds value to the product and the brand David Ashton (JYSK): It is always fascinating to see the amount of work that goes into making a mattress, which is quite labour-intensive. However, we also know that the mattress industry is one of the highest for non-recycling, so the industry does need to work together to find those solutions Jerry Cheshire (Surrey Beds): It was a pleasure to watch the Inside the Factory programme from the Harrison Spinks factory. Consumers don’t open their mattress up like a tin of beans when they get it home, so the show gave them a chance to actually see what’s inside. I would have liked them to have focused on their top-of-the-range mattresses rather than a lower-range, non-turn model, as I’m a great believer that we should be encouraging our customers to spend a little more to buy better quality Mike Murray (Land of Beds): The show provided great positive exposure for the mattress industry and gave customers a real insight into the complexities of quality mattress manufacturing. We noticed an uptake in sales immediately
after the programme was shown. Hopefully the industry and the industry bodies will be able to capitalise on more opportunities like this, as constant exposure about quality craftsmanship and why consumers should invest in sleep products will only help the industry as a whole Peter Harding (Fairway Furniture): A very good example of positive documentary TV, which delivered instant increases in awareness levels for the brand while also driving customers instore to find out more. It’s no surprise that Silentnight went on to feature in a similar show! Steve Adams (MattressOnline): Amazing. A brilliant story, a good watch, and most importantly it explained to the general public what goes into a mattress, and just how hard they are to make. Interestingly, we don’t sell Harrison Spinks but we witnessed a spike in traffic during the airtime, and for a few days after Steve Pickering (Sussex Beds): Decreasing retail footfall has been well documented over the past five years, which highlights the absolute importance of focusing attention toward AOVs and conversion. Educating consumers to appreciate the benefits and manufacturing processes of premiumlevel product lines can only assist to encourage more to invest in a quality product, and thereby increase average spend in-store. Whether you stock Harrison Spinks or not, the programme put our industry and products in the minds of consumers, which can only be positive
Steve Adams, CEO MATTRESSONLINE Stores: 1 + main website business Headcount: 39
LOOKING BACK The best deal I struck last year was the completion of my MBO, allowing my co-founder Steve Kelly to retire and for me to take full control of MattressOnline The biggest product trend in-store was gel, without a doubt. We saw its popularity boom in 2019 What changed most about the way people shop was the continued increase in the use of smartphones for shopping, making the job of converting our visitors to customers even more challenging What changed most about the way we sell was integrating smart routing software for our fleet of four vans. Our local delivery service is now better than our national carrier, and we control the experience from start to finish, encouraging repeat business. Our approach to the customer comes first, expectations are higher, and we need to meet those expectations – the challenge is doing that profitably What put us under most pressure was having outside investment as a result of the MBO, which has rightly created additional pressures on financial reporting – it’s a big change for a company that has grown organically with no outside scrutiny!
LOOKING AHEAD In 2020, I’m most looking forward to the launch and new iteration of the MattressOnline website. Whilst the changes will seem subtle on the surface, it will improve our backoffice operations and provide a foundation for sustained growth The next product trend coming in-store is foam- and chemical-free product. We are seeing manufacturers striving to increase this product offering, and I’m convinced the consumer demand is there, and will inevitably grow – especially when leading retailers get behind the initiative The product trend on its way out is memory foam, dare I say it. Whilst not completely on its way out, it is losing ground to gel and natural fillings Our tech priority is a new CRM system that we’re looking to invest in outside of the transactional website
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The biggest challenge will be moving to a predominantly mobile transactional online platform and retaining conversion rates. Online retailers should not underestimate how difficult this will be and how much it will affect their revenues over the next few years Knowing that Q4 2019 has been more buoyant than the start of the year makes me hopeful for a smooth Brexit, and the reinforcement of consumer confidence, and makes me hopeful for the industry’s future
Steve Pickering, MD SUSSEX BEDS Stores: 9 Headcount: 40
LOOKING BACK The best deal we struck last year was an expansion of our Hailsham facility to accommodate anticipated additional product holding. After much deliberation, we decided to move the offices to free up the necessary space. We began seeking and enquiring through agents for suitable office space which met our size and locational requirements – however, the costs were proving prohibitive. Luckily, for the past 12 months, I’ve been attending a MDs networking group where we meet monthly, exchange information and ideas, and share issues. I messaged the fact that we were seeking office space on the WhatsApp group, just on the off-chance – and within minutes a reply came through with details of a local property owner who had space available (not advertised or with any agent). The space was a third bigger than required – but 25% of the cost of the properties we’d been viewing. We met on-site, shook hands and the deal was done The biggest product trend in-store was simplicity! We introduced a collection of four beds in various comforts and specifications, which were packaged complete with headboards. Customers have loved that it’s no-fuss, no add-ons, one packaged price, and its sales have seen a +724% increase over the previous year What changed most about the way people shop was the disruption of normal buying patterns. The year was erratic to the extreme in terms of predictability – the traditionally quieter months were our best months, and the generally busier ones were flat. My assumption is that political noise has impacted on the timing of consumer decisionmaking – combined with a new marketing stream we introduced, which has proven very successful What changed most about the way we sell was the introduction of rotational collections of offer lines, providing customers with a continuous stream of offer-led products to choose from. Also, our sales and attachments of mattress protectors saw significant increases – attachment levels finished the year at 62%, an increase of +249% on the previous year What put us under most pressure was decisionmaking! The political uncertainty and erratic buying patterns of the past 12 months put pressure on when and if to make decisions on investment. Maybe 2020 will be calmer, maybe not!
THE YEAR WAS ERRATIC TO THE EXTREME IN TERMS OF PREDICTABILITY LOOKING AHEAD In 2020, I’m most looking forward to some conclusion to the political uncertainty (I’m hoping, but not holding my breath). This would allow us to focus totally on growth and job creation The next product trend coming in-store is more environmentally friendly, sustainability focused product lines and packaging The product trend on its way out is fringe product lines such as sofabeds and bedroom furniture (for our business, at least), with a renewed focus on our core sleep-focused lines Our tech priority is to expand and enhance our in-store virtual terminal access and increase interactivity with buildyour-own-product functionality The biggest challenge will be consumer confidence Knowing there are forward-focused, passionate individuals established and joining the UK furniture industry – both in manufacturing and retailing – provides me with confidence that our futures can be prosperous and rewarding, and makes me hopeful for the industry’s future
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Emma Leeke, MD LEEKES RETAIL Stores: 6 Headcount: 600
LOOKING BACK The best deal we struck last year was planning permission for our flagship store in Llantrisant, South Wales The biggest product trend in-store was the increased use of bold colours in soft upholstery What changed most about the way people shop was the importance of quick delivery to buying decisions What changed most about the way we sell was moving to order-taking on iPads What put us under most pressure was political uncertainty
LOOKING AHEAD In 2020, Iâ€™m most looking forward to a decision on Brexit! The next product trend coming in-store is oxidised oak The product trend on its way out is oak furniture
Our tech priority is website functionality The biggest challenge will be ongoing staff retention Knowing that the best can succeed makes me hopeful for the industryâ€™s future
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In October, John Lewis Partnership announced plans to integrate the John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners management teams, stating that a reduction of around 75 senior roles (from 225), would improve efficiency and help it save some £100m.
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Royce Clark (Grampian Furnishers): I have really admired the John Lewis structure and ethos in recent years – they’re certainly a business that do a lot of things right and have retained brand loyalty, and this move will only prove good or bad over a period of time! Steve Adams (MattressOnline): It’s no secret that John Lewis is experiencing some challenging times, and with Waitrose losing the Ocado contract it sounds like a necessary cost-saving exercise. Let’s hope a smaller, more
focused management team can turn things around Ross Beveridge (Archers Sleepcentre): Many retailers are currently suffering from diminishing returns, and this just shows how difficult retail is at the moment. While this may provide a better and faster route to joined-up thinking for the brands, it undoubtedly serves as a proactive cost-cutting exercise, and shows that even the biggest names can be forced to batten down the hatches in the current climate
Ross Beveridge, MD ARCHERS SLEEPCENTRE Stores: 12 Headcount: 67
LOOKING BACK The best deal we struck last year was interest-free credit where the finance provider pays us. I could tell you more, but I’d have to kill you … The biggest product trend in-store was fabric bedframes with tall headboards, and a broad selection of grey textured fabrics. Over 20% of all bedframes and divans were sold with ottoman storage, and this continues to rise What changed most about the way people shop was more and more of them using credit. Previously less than 8% of our revenue was through finance – this figure now sits just over 20%, and firsttime buyers are investing in good-quality kit rather than budget beds What changed most about the way we sell was greatly increasing our marketing spend in very specific forms, which has proved successful – the year was a story of strong promotions and discounting to maintain market share What put us under most pressure was carrying out further shop refurbishments to our existing stores to support our move into a master bedroom product offering – coupled with lease negotiations and the red tape surrounding building warrant applications
THE YEAR WAS A STORY OF STRONG PROMOTIONS AND DISCOUNTING TO MAINTAIN MARKET SHARE
LOOKING AHEAD In 2020, I’m most looking forward to opening our new store in Straiton in Edinburgh The next product trend coming in-store is a wider variety of colours filtering through – blush, navy and lots of different textures from velvet to linens are being combined with metals (but I can’t see anything replacing grey fabrics quite yet) The product trend on its way out is the mattress in a box – surely we’ve seen through that one by now! Our tech priority is moving our website to a new shopping cart. As technology develops, there are only so many times you can create bolt-ons and adapt your existing cart with new functionality before it makes sense to change it The biggest challenge will be the development of our new website Knowing just how tough everyone is reported to be finding trade tells me it can only get better, and makes me hopeful for the industry’s future
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BRANDS IN THE
BALANCE Brands have power. From McDonald’s Golden Arches to Apple’s minimalist chic, we’re surrounded by smart, entrenched marketing strategies that stick in the mind and prompt us to spend that bit more on a name we trust. But while known brands can add value, better margins can sometimes be found elsewhere – as many furniture retailers are discovering, writes Paul Farley …
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From your fridge to your wardrobe, which brands still have clout in your household? While some will seemingly always have a place in our hearts, unbranded goods are finding favour with cost-conscious shoppers – just look at the growth of discounters like Aldi and Lidl. “It’s basic retail practice,” says Surrey Beds’ Jerry Cheshire. “The non-branded goods usually make the better margins.” While this approach is most commonly seen in the lower end of the market, more retailers are now harnessing their own unique qualities to sell unbranded goods at higher levels. For example, almost everything Jerry sells is exclusive to Surrey Beds – which now serves as his brand. “I try to offer an enhanced product with added value,” he notes. “This protects my margin and builds my brand, rather than the manufacturer’s.” He’s not alone. Last year saw Amazon unveil its first UK own-brand furniture ranges, while John Lewis & Partners redesigned every aspect of its Home goods range (3000 new own-brand products during autumn alone), in response to the relative success of its own-brand lines. Yet established brands also made headway. Shop Direct added seven prolific home and furniture names to its portfolio in one move, complementing its strong own-brand offer with a greater proportion of branded goods, while Furniture Village celebrated its 30th anniversary by issuing a limited-edition collection that celebrated its brand partners. “The range, quality and diversity of brands that we stock at Furniture Village is one of the key reasons our customers keep returning to us year after year,” says commercial director Charlie Harrison.
In brands we trust? Few furniture brands are recognised by today’s consumer, and those that do owe much to a legacy of TV advertising. But while commercial breaks once commanded significant attention, modern media is deployed through so many channels (physical and digital, social, mobile and more) that building a brand is a considerably more complex (and expensive). At the same time, brand disloyalty is rife, notes consumer insight expert Nielsen, which found that while more than a quarter (28%) of global consumers are drawn to the strength and confidence associated with familiar brands, only 8% are actually committed to them. Branding can broaden a product’s reach and lift its value, but its success depends on how it is perceived. Many shoppers are suspicious of the hidden costs involved when they buy an item with a big-name label, and if a brand is compromised in any way (quality, visibility, identity, authenticity or integrity, for example) it can lose its ability to command higher margins. Yet despite – and because of – all the advertising noise around us, we still have faith in the concept. The team at InternetRetailing Expo (IRX) states that nearly half (45%) of consumers trust recommendations made by brands. “The encouraging news for marketers is that brands still have the biggest influence over purchasing, validating decisions to continually invest in their own content, websites and marketing campaigns, which in turn lead to knowing their customers better,” says portfolio director, Stuart Barker. Thomas Small, MD of one-stop-shop supplier TCS, agrees that brand benefits cannot be ignored. “You get more value from brands,” he says. “Some products need a brand just to be credible, but the power of a brand will always out-do non-branded.” Matches strike However, the role of brands changed with the advent of online price comparisons. Such transparency meant anyone looking for branded goods could shop around for the best price, bringing stockists previously separated by distance into conflict with one another. Maintaining the price points recommended by brand suppliers became more challenging, prompting
INFORMING INDUSTRY, BUILDING BUSINESS 223 further exploration of own-brand strategies. “We decided to white-label our products many years ago, for exactly this reason,” says Kettle Interiors’ Simon Ainge. “Online competition is here to stay, and own-branding provides retailers with exclusivity and protects margin,” adds Sussex Beds’ Steve Pickering, who successfully transformed his multi-store independent business to reflect this ethos, bringing added value to whitelabel products – a strategy which has long been associated with the biggest names in global retail (IKEA and JYSK among them). “Own-branding is a creative approach to dealing with margin pressure, and over the coming years it will be necessary for retailers to shift towards own-brand models,” he continues. “Consumers buy from retailers – therefore retailers need to become the brand.” Balancing act Yet these examples are extremes. More retailers choose to strike a balance between branded and ownbrand goods – enjoying the profile and credibility of the former, alongside the freedom to define their own margins and differentiate their online portfolio through the latter. “Branded goods work at the higher end of the spectrum,” explains Select First’s Tom Bourne. “They are less effective and less important when purchasing is primarily a price-based decision.” An own-brand strategy enables retailers to compete at every level of the market. Bensons for Beds, for example, offers a mix of established brands alongside a complement of own-brand lines, according to its bedframes and bedroom furniture buyer, James Hollas, who says: “Branding is enormous in retail. As value retailers sell products at a discounted price, non-value retailers then have to work harder to educate customers on paying more than the minimum for their products. “All our value and mid-range bed frames are designed and commissioned exclusively for us – so here, Bensons is the brand, and it’s a brand consumers can trust. But in addition, our 100% exclusive Conran Collection bed frames are proving that branding can play a significant part in our offer.”
It’s a similar story at sister business, Harveys. “All our products are built to the highest quality standards and are available at affordable, everyday prices,” states head of buying, Kellie Oliver. “We are able to achieve this by working with established brands who customers recognise for quality – but by also developing our own range of products and staying close to the manufacturing process.” Mike Murray, MD at three-store independent Land of Beds, says it’s important to carefully define the own-brand component in relation to unbranded goods. “We like to differentiate our offering when we think we can add value, and offer our customers something exclusive that we have designed in partnership with a supplier. “Most customers are pretty switched on, and if you just try and disguise a product with a change of label, more times than not the customer will see through this, which can lead to an awkward conversation! “It’s also important to offer branded product – especially if it’s a good-selling range that customers are specially searching for.” And (as Shop Direct and Amazon demonstrate) it’s important for online retailers to strike the right balance, too. Steve Adams, CEO of MattressOnline, comments: “We are increasing our ownbrand strategy, and as a proportion of our sales, this has grown consecutively over the last three years. However, brands are important to our strategy going forward.”
Service sells The growth of own-brand reflects the increasingly competitive nature of retail. Gone are the days in which a shop could prosper by simply selling goods on – whether they’re trading in bricks or clicks, today’s retailers must offer higher levels of service than their rivals. Some would argue that it’s not what you sell, but how you sell it – and an emphasis on service before price certainly helps narrow the gap between brand and own-brand products. “Price comparisons are the nature of the beast, so you need to focus on differentiating by service,” states Mike Murray. “Brands have a place in the product mix, but I don’t believe that price is always the major driving factor in consumer choice that many portray it to be,” adds Fairway Furniture MD, Peter Harding. “Service levels, reputation and guarantees are all important as well.” Gavin Boden, business development manager at Rhenus Home Delivery, agrees: “Unless you’re at the bottom end of the market, there’s no reason why you have to compete with online retailers on price. “You need to offer your customers an unparalleled customer journey/ experience, from the moment they enter the shop/website to the moment they receive their purchase. Customers will pay extra for that experience – make sure they can’t get it anywhere else.” Successful retail is about more than price. Delivering the right product, in the right way, means any business can compete – if they strike the right balance
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AIS Furniture Show....................................41
F Edmonson . ...........................................193
Lancashire Testing Services............193, 195
At The Helm.......................................... 74-75
Midland Furniture Auctions.....................200
Bell & Stocchero........................................63
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Global Home..................................... 112-113
Steens........................................... 38-39, 150
Minerva Furniture Group..........................180
Harmony Beds .........................................224
National Bed Federation..........................177
Breasley.................................... 122-123, 169
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Paulus & Brown.........................................67
The UK Agency..................................... 88-89
Homeserve . ..................................... 148-149
Racing Champ Exhibitions............... 104-107
Timber Art Design UK..............................111
Central Furniture Manufacturing.... 152-153
Homestyle GB................................... 118-119
Rhenus Home Delivery.............................199
Track Record Global.................................189
January Furniture Show.............................71
Italian Furniture Co Leeds.......................213
Westbridge Furniture Designs...................31
Content by Terence Conran . .....................65
Deepsleep Bed Brands.................... 140-141
Shire Beds........................................170, 172
Deluxe Beds . ...........................................218
Keen & Able..............................................184
UP! Since it launched a new campaign to remind the industry of its charitable work, The Furniture Makers’ Company has seen an unprecented surge in donations, writes the company’s master, Dids Macdonald OBE.
WE’RE NOT ASKING FOR MONEY – JUST A SIMPLE ACT OF ADVOCACY
needed to be opened. And each cry for help is different. One of the people we have been able to support is Luke, an employee at a bed manufacturer, who heard about us from his manager. When Luke’s partner was placed into critical care after giving birth to their daughter, he had to take a sudden leave of absence from work to care for their newborn, while his partner fought for her life. He was advised to apply for universal credit, but it was taking weeks for his benefits to be sorted out. Luke had no access to his partner’s bank, and she was unable to contribute to the household finances until she was out of hospital.Luke contacted us to ask for help to pay his rent, which was due in a couple of weeks. We agreed to pay Luke’s rent for three months, to give time for housing benefit to be awarded. Luke was very relieved to be able to concentrate on looking after his baby, and helping his little girl spend time with her mother until she recovered enough to return home. It was so simple for us to help Luke. Imagine the situation he’d be in if his manager hadn’t heard of us … The Furniture Makers’ Company is on hand and ready to be a lifeline for those people who have hit a financial bump in the road – but they need to know that the lifeline exists in the first place. Actions speak louder than words, and by signing up as a One Step Champion, you can make a huge difference to the lives of your employees and colleagues. One Step Champions are given tools to help promote the message to staff, including a certificate of involvement, posters, flyers and case studies. Our welfare officer will also make personal visits to your company to speak to staff about the help we can provide. So please, do something amazing – sign up to One Step at a Time and help us support those in our industry who are facing a financial crisis. Together, we can help them on the step to recovery. You can find out more about the campaign by visiting our stand (1-B90) at the January Furniture Show.
BY DIDS MACDONALD www.furnituremakers.org.uk
As a new year unfolds, with Christmas firmly packed away, for many it will have been a season of extravagance, some undoubtedly spending more than anticipated on having fun and treating our families. And while we all yearn for the perfect festive season, there is no escaping that for some it puts additional pressure on families, with relationship breakdowns and financial difficulties all too common. For every three families coming together, there is one quietly crumbling and falling apart. One of The Furniture Makers’ Company’s key functions is our welfare support. We provide financial help to furnishing industry employees past and present, and their dependants, when they fall on hard times. Welfare has had an unmissable headline since I became master in May last year, as we launched a new campaign called One Step at a Time. The campaign’s underlying objective has been about reminding companies and individuals that our charity has been supporting people from the furnishing industry for more than 100 years. We’ve asked companies to sign up as One Step Champions, and to commit to communicating our welfare provision to their employees. We’re not asking for money – just a simple act of advocacy and a ‘communication tick-box’. Our target was to sign up 100 companies as One Step Champions in the first year to start us on the road to ensuring all 338,000 people working in the wider industry, as well as retirees and former workers, know the charity can be a lifeline in hard times. At the time of writing, eight months into the campaign, around 70 companies have signed up as One Step Champions, ensuring that more than 15,000 families know about the practical help and financial support that our charity can provide. And One Step at a Time has resulted in an unprecedented +42% upsurge in welfare-giving. There is no likelihood of that slowing down. By working together, we have kicked open a door that very much
THIS MONTH, WE’RE ASKING … Paul Galley (Antelope Design) We look to Restoration Hardware in the States a lot. Interesting products over a wide range of styles Peter Harding (Fairway Furniture) It depends what you’re looking for. In terms of marketing and ‘making the right noises’, I’d say Barker & Stonehouse. In terms of pure performance, the giant that is DFS, which continues to gobble up customers
Kate Pilling (January/Manchester Furniture Show) I can’t name names … but I would say retailers who are diversifying and responding to the rise of online retailing Simon Ainge (Kettle Interiors) In terms of displays, I am always really impressed with Arighi Bianchi and Barker & Stonehouse. For commercial appeal, Sterling Furniture offer a vast array of product as well as thoughtout price points. Dunelm and ScS are examples of companies performing well in our sector David Ashton (JYSK UK) John Lewis for service and quality – its profits performance is a different matter. However, I also like some of the local independent retailers, where you can receive lovely and local customer service Jerry Cheshire (Surrey Beds) Anyone who recognises that quality and service is more important than price tag – they’re usually the retailers who are doing quite well
INFORMING INDUSTRY, BUILDING BUSINESS
Steve Pickering (Sussex Beds) In terms of style and display, I love and admire Barker & Stonehouse. DFS built their product lines around their brand, providing exclusivity whilst protecting margin. Finally, Dreams, with their Replace Every 8 campaign, which has changed consumer mindset regarding the frequency of changing mattresses
Rob Scarlett (Scarlett Furniture & Print) Barker & Stonehouse are good but I really like Heal’s the best. They have a style all of their own (shout out to IKEA too, who really know how to create value-added products)
Who’s setting the BEST EXAMPLE IN FURNITURE RETAIL?* *A
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Tom Bourne (Select First) Can it be anyone other than IKEA? I like the way it’s been collaborating with big guns of design and fashion such as Tom Dixon and Virgil Abloh, to develop design pieces that are still obtainable and practical for the typical IKEA shopper. It’s a beast of a company and you can’t deny the impact it’s had on the sector
James Hollas (Bensons for Beds) I enjoy a walk round Barker & Stonehouse, as there’s always something interesting. Bensons is a volume retailer, so I’m always interested in any part of the market where someone is doing something different and doing it well
Mike Murray (Land of Beds) I like Bensons’ new showrooms, and what Dreams have done with their Sleep Match technology – both are creating real theatre in-store James Hudson (Gallery Direct) Companies who are evolving, with both strong online and physical presence Gavin Boden (Rhenus Home Delivery) Furniture Village, for keeping to their core values Steve Adams (MattressOnline) IKEA – they help to set trends and offer quality and style for all budgets Thomas Small (TCS) I still think DFS is hard to beat – they have that end of the market sewn up
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#370 January 2020 www.furniturenews.net
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