Page 1

The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade #348 March 2018 | www.furniturenews.net

SportLine 2000 in steel, Highgate Beds

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS The Furniture Awards winners

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ON TREND Cabinet and upholstery in 2018

RECRUITMENT DRIVE FIESTA goes online

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18 13:24

3

“While the January Furniture Show’s hoarier regulars might bemoan the lack of innovation and fresh design on display each year, I’d contest that there’s always something new to see” COMMENT

I

t’s chicken and egg time again. If the trade persists

behind us, a packed circuit of Far East events awaits

in bringing overwhelmingly safe and conservative

those seeking global opportunities. From Ho Chi Minh to

products to an exhibition, is it setting the scene for a

Guangzhou, this annual trail offers a passport to inspiration

stale market, or simply reacting to the demand for one? While the January Furniture Show’s hoarier regulars might bemoan the lack of innovation and fresh design on display each year, I’d contest that there’s always something new to see – if you know where to look. This month, Furniture News presents a handy roundup of the exhibition’s most notable product launches –

– and numerous hosted and subsidised programmes offer first-time buyers a handy step into the wider world of commerce. As usual, Furniture News plans to visit a handful of these fairs – plus others closer to home – and will bring you our thoughts on them in due course. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy this issue’s other

including a lavish feature on the winners of The Furniture

highlights: event veteran Stephen Richards reveals his

Awards 2018 exploring the industry’s champion suppliers,

artistic side in Last Word (p144); ACID’s Dids Macdonald

the ins and outs of their entries, and why the judges chose

reminds us that good design comes at a price (p7); and

them (p46). Congratulations to everyone that made the

sales and marketing professional Gav Boden kick-starts

shortlist – it was a particularly tough competition in

a regular Opinion column by sharing his views on the

several categories this year, but a fine selection came out

necessity of being online (p123) – please get in touch if

on top, reflecting some of the best on offer at the NEC.

you’d like to share your own views.

Whether suppliers are genuinely bringing something

As always, my thanks to all our contributors and

new to the market or just paying lip service to the notion

advertisers – and good luck achieving the right balance

of innovation, there’s no escaping the sheer wealth of

between old and new in your business.

launches that take place at the NEC each year, and their role in reflecting (or defining, depending on your outlook) consumer homewares trends. As well as those supplier profiles, the BFM presents a snapshot of its members this month as they discuss the prevailing winds in upholstery trends (p61), while regular Furniture News contributor Rob Scarlett casts his designer eye over his favourite cabinet ranges on show (p67). But enough of the past – with the winter exhibitions

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Paul Farley Editor-in-chief T 01424 776101 E paul@gearingmediagroup.com Twitter @FurnitureNewsED

26/02/2018 15:38


4 | Contents

INFORMATION ON THE COVER Editor-in-chief Paul Farley 01424 776101 paul@gearingmediagroup.com Twitter @FurnitureNewsED Sales & marketing director (Furniture News portfolio) Sam Horscroft 01424 776100 sam@gearingmediagroup.com Twitter @FurnitureNewsAD Sales executive Caroline Littler 07861 231461 caroline@gearingmediagroup.com Production manager James Ash 01424 775304 james@gearingmediagroup.com Production assistant Mike Beales 01424 775304 mike@gearingmediagroup.com Digital production assistant Nyall McCurrach 01424 775304 nyall@gearingmediagroup.com Copy administrator Steve Merrick 01424 776108 production@gearingmediagroup.com Proofreader Keith Fitz-Hugh Editorial director John Legg 01424 776104 john@gearingmediagroup.com Publisher Nigel Gearing Accounts Wendy Williams 01424 774982 wendy@gearingmediagroup.com Subscriptions subscriptions@gearingmediagroup.com

7

Partner Comment

12

News

16

Events

18

Resources

26

Profiles

43  January Furniture Show Review – Introduction

Ingvar Kamprad, Ikea (12)

46  January Furniture Show Review – The Furniture Awards 61  January Furniture Show Review – Trends 74

January Furniture Show Review – Product launches Paul Durkin, Wincanton (18)

Harris Tweed from Wood Bros (61)

Annual Subscription Rates UK-£65 Europe-£85 RoW-£95 Repro, print and distribution Stephens & George

Gearing Media Group Ltd 4 Red Barn Mews, High Street Battle, East Sussex TN33 0AG ISSN No: 1475 - 3731 © Gearing Media Group Ltd 2018 General information No part of this publication may be reproduced without the specific prior written agreement of the Publisher and may not be stored on any type of retrieval system. Furniture News/ Gearing Media Group Ltd accepts no responsibility for variations in colour reproduction. Special colours (Pantone etc) can be catered for with prior arrangement. Some elements of the editorial content in this publication are submitted by the trade, however, all efforts are made to ensure that the editorial remains true to fact and unbiased. Monies may have been accepted to offset the costs of colour reproduction. Gearing Media Group Ltd reserves the right to alter without prior notice any content other than customers’ advertisements. No correspondence will be entered into regarding altered or adjusted editorial content. The editor’s decision is final. All material submitted for inclusion in Furniture News is done so entirely at the owner’s risk and no responsibility is accepted for the safekeeping or return thereof.

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Contents | 5

ON THE COVER

The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade #348 March 2018 | www.furniturenews.net

SportLine 2000 in steel, Highgate Beds

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS The Furniture Awards winners

FrontCover348.1.indd 1

ON TREND Cabinet and upholstery in 2018

RECRUITMENT DRIVE FIESTA goes online

22/02/2018 12:00

Highgate Beds (p26) presented its vibrant SportLine range at the January Furniture Show (www.highgatebeds.com)

The Furniture Awards 2018 Dining Category winner, Gallery Direct (50)

CONTRIBUTORS

123 Opinion 07

124 Beds & Bedroom 138 Furnisher 144 Last Word

Dids Macdonald outlines ACID’s recommendations on preventing IP theft at trade shows

67 Gary Baker, FIESTA (33)

THE

FURNITURE

AWARDS

Stephen Richards, January Furniture Show (144)

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Rob Scarlett picks his favourite cabinet designs from the January Furniture Show

123

Gavin Boden kicks off our new Opinion columns with a look at the impact of the internet

26/02/2018 15:38


2018/19

Experience the absolute must-haves from the home and gift segments at Tendence. Ensure your success for the autumn/winter season and the coming spring/summer 2019. All details can be found at: tendence.messefrankfurt.com info@uk.messefrankfurt.com Tel. +44 (0) 14 83 48 39 83

International trade fair for consumer goods. FN348_Pages.indd MesseFrankfurt.indd 61

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66252-018_TE_allg_FurnitureNews_M1_196x277 • FOGRA 39 • CMYK • tg: 20.02.2018

DU: 02.03.2018

GB

must haves


Ejecting the copycats

T

he recent January Furniture Show provided an

campaign, an intentional infringement of a UK-registered

excellent opportunity for Chinese copyists to use

design is now a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

it as an inspirational supermarket, thinking they

So what can be done to bolster prevention and deterrence

DU: 02.03.2018

GB

had bagged the latest new furniture designs, trends and

against IP theft?

launches on their cameras. But not for long! When the couple

Firstly, vigilance – spot the lens! Copyists often have

approached ACID member CIMC with a selection of their own

shoulder bags with a camera running as they walk the floors.

products in a Chinese catalogue, CIMC staff immediately

At hip height, this provides the ideal wide-angle lens from

recognised them, and the company’s speedy reportage to

which to photograph everything in sight. A quick edit back at

the ACID team resulted in the duo’s swift removal by the

base, and new designs can be sent across the world in seconds

show organisers. The exhibition organisers discovered and

and mass produced in an equally brief time. Conscience about

destroyed around 1800 images, and the culprits were expelled

what is outright theft is non-existent.

from the exhibition.

Next is the banning of unauthorised photography. Take control of who photographs your designs and, if you agree to

“The copying and counterfeiting of products has developed into one of the most insidious forms of crime across all design disciplines”

their request, note their contact details. Only allow authorised photography, and if it’s a problem, insist that organisers support you. After all, exhibitors pay thousands to rent stand space and exhibition organisers build their reputations on their innovation (we thought the January Furniture Show team were excellent, but then they are an ACID-Accredited exhibition organiser!). Remember to protect your most important asset. Many

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18 13:13

Partner Comment | 7

As if launching a new product or bringing a new furniture

companies have a person from their team dedicated

design range to market doesn’t have enough challenges – the

to understanding and looking after their IP, and this

copying and counterfeiting of products has developed into

is something that ACID not only encourages but can

one of the most insidious forms of crime across all design

actively support, by providing an IP strategy review and

disciplines, so it’s even more important to ensure that

recommendations to become ‘IP healthy’. Exhibitions can

exhibitors have a proactive intellectual property (IP) strategy

provide a unique opportunity to get in front of genuine design

to help protect and prevent knock-offs.

buyers, so taking a few steps to ensure you protect any new

Sending a clear message of deterrence to those who go

designs against being copied will pay dividends.

deliberately to exhibitions to copy and steal ideas is an

Make sure IP theft doesn’t happen to you – a proactive

important element in any business strategy. A good start is to

IP strategy is a must in the 21st century, and prevention is

create a page about IP on your company’s website – translated

certainly better than cure.

into several different languages, this can provide a strong warning shot, just like a 24-hour burglar alarm.

Dids Macdonald OBE is the chief

Dongguan Guanding appeared to be well organised –

executive of Anti Copying in Design

enough to have produced a relatively high-quality brochure

(ACID), the UK’s leading membership

from which to try and sell their unlawful ranges. Displaying

and campaigning organisation for

images or selling products that are not owned by the

design and IP, supporting a safer

originator is against the law, as is direct selling if not an

trading environment (www.acid.

official exhibitor, which is against the terms and conditions

uk.com). She is also vice-chair of the

of exhibiting. Since the 2014 IP Act, spearheaded by an ACID

Alliance for IP.

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Media Partners

Furniture News enjoys partnerships with a range of key global and national institutions and exhibitions Exclusive UK member

Furniture News supports the aims and objectives of ACID (Anti Copying In Design) which is committed to fighting intellectual property theft

Official media partner

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HomeIn


018 15:25

Home Inc. - Wholesalers of Premium Quality, Contemporary, Indoor Furniture Ranges to the Trade Apologies we couldn’t make it to the January Furniture show but we used the money saved to improve the company, firstly by moving in to a new 30,000 sq. ft. warehouse on the Riverpark Trading Estate in Manchester, recently vacated by a Mercedes garage. The new racking has arrived and is being fitted and as you can see, some stock has started to be moved over. Now that we are big enough to stand on our own, our plan is to completely separate from our parent company and run our own warehouse and vans. This should mean we can improve efficiency and have better control, especially with deliveries.

We also thought the addition of some bedroom pieces might be appealing so we developed some based on our most popular Soho range. We only have CGI images of them at the moment but in the range there will be a nightstand, dressing table, tallboy and a 5 or 6 drawer chests. Some of the money saved by not being at the NEC was used to order an initial supply in the White and Grey High Gloss and these should arrive during May. The pieces will all feature our usual perfectly flat high gloss, a sheet of tempered glass bonded to the upper surface and soft close drawers.

Please contact Alistair on: 0800 772 0807 or info@homeinc.co.uk

Showroom & Warehouse Riverpark Trading Estate, Riverpark Road, Eastlands, Manchester M40 2XP

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12 | News

Silentnight supports charitable initiative

Ikea founder passes away

Bed manufacturer Silentnight has started its programme of charitable work for 2018 by donating beds and mattresses to local company Recycling Lives’ residential programme. The programme provides a safety net for vulnerable and marginalised people, offering accommodation, education, and training to the homeless and long-term unemployed.Silentnight will donate a number of beds to the charity’s Preston-based services, which work to find families a place to call home after going through a difficult time. Nick Booth, marketing director

The founder of Ikea and Ikano, Ingvar

passing. We will remember his

at Silentnight, says: “At Silentnight

Kamprad, passed away at his home

dedication and commitment to always

we pride ourselves on offering

in Småland, Sweden, on the 27th

side with the many people. To never give

sleep solutions for all the family, so

of January. He died at the age of 91,

up, always try to become better and lead

supporting the programme seemed like

following a short illness.

by example,” says Torbjörn Lööf, CEO

a natural fit. We look forward to seeing

Ingvar was born in 1926. He

and president of Inter Ikea Group.

how the beds and mattresses help to

founded Ikea at the early age of 17,

improve the lives of families Recycling

and the business became his lifelong

within Ikea since 1988, but he continued

Lives look after.”

commitment.

to contribute to the business in the role

The news of the donation comes

“We are deeply saddened by Ingvar’s

Ingvar had not had an operational role

of senior adviser.

after Silentnight was recognised for its commitment to sustainability, winning the Furniture Makers’ Company Sustainability Award for 2017.

Tvilum rescued by Steens-led group

imm cologne sees increase in international visitors This year’s imm cologne recorded a total

numbers were particularly evident from

of around 125,000 visitors (including

Spain (+31%), Belgium (+16%), France

estimates for the last day of the show)

(+11%) and Eastern Europe (+54%).

– a slight increase compared to the

There was particularly impressive

similarly-sized event in 2016, despite

growth in Russian visitors (+69%).

Embattled Danish flat-pack furniture

Storm Friederike on the Thursday and

maker Tvilum has been rescued by a

the resulting transport difficulties.

three-way investor consortium, led by

The event attracted greater numbers

Significant increases were also seen in visitors from Asia (+50%), with especially strong growth from China

Viking Trading, the parent company of

from Europe and Asia. “imm cologne

(+82%) and Japan (+63%), as well as the

Tvilum rival, Steens – plus members

is an excellent and highly-effective

Middle East (+15%), Australia/Oceania

of the founding Kristiansen family and

platform for international business,”

(+51%), North America (+12%) and

Tvilum’s new CEO, Torben Porscholdt.

says Gerald Böse, president and CEO

Central America (+21%).

Together, they have signed a

of Koelnmesse. “Each year, the trade

In addition to the product

deal which saves some 500 of the

fair provides the industry with vital

presentations, Das Haus – a walk-in

(mostly factory-based) 600 jobs at

momentum for sales in decisive export

simulation of a home, designed by Lucie

Tvilum, which was declared insolvent

markets around the world.”

Koldova this year – was once again

last month. Viking Trading is the

imm is attracting growing numbers

one of the fair’s highlights. Lighting,

majority shareholder in the business,

of international visitors. The proportion

bathrooms and the smart home were

representing a significant consolidation

of foreign visitors rose to around 50%

the focus for this edition, and particular

of Danish cabinet furniture

(46% in 2016) on the trade visitor

emphasis was placed on them in the

manufacture.

days. From Europe, increases in visitor

Pure Architects concept hall.

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26/02/2018 15:38


News | 13

RIP Peter Betteridge

London Design Fair changes hands Diversified Communications UK has acquired the London-based Tent Exhibitions, organiser of London Design Fair, Tent London and Super Brands London. These events

Peter Betteridge, who co-founded

take place at the Old Truman Brewery each September, and form an important part of the

the award-winning independent

London Design Festival, which incorporates over 300 events across the capital.

bed retail business of the same

The event was developed by Jimmy MacDonald, who saw a clear gap for a curated show

name with his wife Angela in 1972,

of innovative, emerging designers. From the first show over 10 years ago, only invited

has sadly passed away at the age

designers have been allowed to take part, in order to maintain consistently high-quality

of 71.

exhibits. The last edition featured around 500 exhibitors, including many international

The Peter Betteridge business

groups, and attracted a total audience of 28,000.

currently trades from three Devon stores – two in Kingsbridge, and

The full team at Tent Exhibitions will move across to Diversified, including Jimmy MacDonald, who will become group director of the events.

one in Honiton – plus a website.

Jimmy, group director of Tent Exhibitions, says: “With the Tent Exhibitions team being

Industry leaders have praised

transferred to Diversified and the show continuing to be organised from our offices in

Peter for his enthusiasm and

Shoreditch, it really is business as usual and great news for the show and our many loyal

entrepreneurial flair.

customers.”

DFS certified by FIRA for fire compliance DFS has gained Certified Company status under the Furniture Industry Research Association’s new Compliance Scheme for the Fire Performance of Upholstered Furniture.

New sales director for Millbrook Beds

The scheme, which is voluntary and open to manufacturers, retailers and upholsterers of any size,

Millbrook Beds has

aims to offer reassurance that a manufacturer, retailer,

appointed Mark Hughes

upholsterer or supplier of upholstered furniture has suitable

as its sales director. Mark

processes and procedures in place to demonstrate due

joins Millbrook Beds after

diligence compliance with the Furniture & Furnishings (Fire)

almost 10 years as sales

(Safety) Regulations (FFFSR).

director at independent

Harvey Ellis, production director at DFS, says: “As the

bed manufacturer Breasley. His remit is to cement relationships

UK’s leading sofa retailer, DFS already has extremely

with Millbrook Beds’ retailer network, and focus attention on

rigorous checks in place to ensure we’re compliant with

greater support for independent retailers.

the latest fire safety regulations for many years. So we’re

Mark comments: “I am thrilled to be appointed as sales

delighted to have received this independent certification

director for Millbrook Beds. While the current climate is

from the Furniture Industry Research Association as a

challenging, our exceptional brand and product offering puts us

testament to our robust testing procedures.”

in a strong position.”

Warren Evans in administration The decision has been made to wind up London-based bed

business. Despite strong LFL sales in the pre-Christmas period,

and furniture manufacturer Warren Evans after it went into

the picture moving into 2018 has been dramatically different and

administration last month.Allan Graham and Geoff Bouchier of

this has impacted the search and scope for new investment.

Duff & Phelps were appointed joint administrators. Founded in 1978, the company, which has 14 showrooms in

“Warren Evans is rightly recognised as one of the UK’s leading bed, mattress and furniture retailers, but trading conditions

London and south-east England, was started by Warren Evans

are exceptionally challenging, with the business hit by rising

Adams, who opened his first showroom in Camden in 1985

manufacturing costs and the continued squeeze on consumer

and expanded steadily, carving out a reputation as an ethical

wallets and confidence.

furniture maker. At the time of its closure, the business employed

“Over the past year the business has been growing its market

287, and was headquartered in Camden, with a manufacturing

share with major investments in new product development.

site in Walthamstow.

However, the search for a new investment partner has proved to

Allan Graham states: “Warren Evans appointed Duff & Phelps in November 2017 to identify a new investment partner in the

FN348_Pages.indd 13

be ultimately unsuccessful, and so the business and management were left with no option but to go into administration.”

26/02/2018 15:38


14 | News

Bedmaker invests in new facility will initially create nine jobs, with 13 more to follow when the bedmaker installs a further six wire drawing lines at the facility. These will produce approximately 400t of fine wire for its springs each week. Richard Essery, MD of Harrison Spinks Components, says: “We have a longestablished relationship with British Leeds-based bedmaker Harrison Spinks

Steel – the manufacturer provides

has invested £1.8m in a new wire

the high-quality wire needed for our

drawing facility on British Steel’s site in

innovative spring technology.

Scunthorpe. The bedmaker will utilise

“Partnering with British Steel to

a 40,000ft2 British Steel building to

launch our new wire drawing facility

house two wire drawing lines, set to be

in Scunthorpe not only means we

installed at the end of April.

can recycle all steel waste, creating a

These lines will draw the ultra-fine

closed-loop production process, but also

wire used to manufacture Harrison

allows us to develop a higher grade wire

Spinks’ pocket springs, using steel

quality, enabling us to produce industry-

rod from British Steel. The investment

leading springs for our mattresses.”

Leekes joins Minerva Leekes Retail has joined the Minerva buying group. Leekes, one of the country’s leading independent retailers, operates four out-of-town home department stores in South Wales, the South-west and The Midlands, as well as Park Furnishers in Bristol. Leekes Retail’s MD Emma Leeke comments: “Clearly the Minerva organisation is long established and very well respected in the industry and we are looking forward to the opportunity of being part of the group. “Whilst we have a long tradition of working independently with our supply base rather than as part of a buying group, when we started talking to the Minerva team, we were pleasantly surprised to see how simple and efficient their operation was with its low overheads and administrative costs, and we are delighted to be joining a group of fellow furniture

J&S Upholstery in liquidation

experts.”

Due to a critical supplier defaulting on an exclusive supply agreement, Long Eaton-based manufacturer J&S Upholstery Ltd (formerly John Sankey Ltd) entered liquidation on 19th February, resulting in a number of redundancies. Despite the failure of the manufacturing operation, the John Sankey and Henderson Russell brands retain control of their own IP assets – all the designs and patterns, product, build and quality specifications remain in the brands’ possession. These will

SATRA launches RIBA-approved flammability seminar

be made available under license to a new manufacturing company, which will occupy A seminar offered by testing services

the same Long Eaton premises. Suzanne O’Flynn, MD of J&S Upholstery, says she is “greatly saddened” by these events, and offers “sincere apologies to everyone affected”.

organisation SATRA – Reaction to fire and CE marking of floorcoverings – is now RIBA-approved CPD material. SATRA product certification assessor,

New East Anglia rep for Heritage

Andy Craggs, will deliver the seminars in architects’ offices, or at SATRA’s headquarters in Kettering. The main learning aims are: the

Tim Kirkham has joined Heritage

background to the Construction

Furniture as the cabinet supplier’s

Products Regulation and which

sales rep covering East Anglia. Having

products need to be CE marked;

worked for JC&MP Smith (30 years)

how a fire classification is reached

and Ideal Upholstery (20 years) prior to

for floorcoverings; how adding fire

his appointment, Tim boasts extensive

retardants affects the process; which

industry experience which Heritage feels

attestation routes apply to which

will prove a strong asset.

products; and SATRA’s role as the

“We are happy to have Tim come on

notified body.

board,” says MD Saeed Mohmed. “His

Those attending will be able to get

wealth of experience and passion to go

an understanding of the necessary

the extra mile for his customers made

Furniture are going in. I wanted a

him an ideal fit to join the Heritage

documents they should be getting from

reliable quality dining and bedroom

family.”

the manufacturers and suppliers they

company to work with, and their

work with in order to meet relevant

products are appealing and stand out.”

European standards and regulations.

Tim adds: “I love the direction Heritage

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26/02/2018 15:38

Connec


Grow your network, Grow your

business with

Furniture News has developed Connect, a fully-featured website which feeds a traditional printed trade directory. The printed directory is a comprehensive reference point for retailers looking for suppliers, and vice versa – while users of the online Connect platform will have the industry at their fingertips. Watch this space for details of the launch – or call us on 01424 776100 to discover how your business can benefit from Connect, and read more at bit.ly/fn-connect-media

FN348_Pages.indd ConnectMar18.indd 15 1

26/02/2018 23/02/2018 15:38 10:37


16 | Events

FAIR COMMENT

International Furniture Show Australia (IFSA) Fair Comment sees Furniture News quiz the people behind the scenes to discover what makes their exhibition unique, what changes are taking place, and why buyers from the UK and ROI should take note. This month, Marie Kinsella, chief executive of event organiser IEC Group, introduces a new Australian exhibition which promises to help the region’s buyers navigate the international market … Identity: Scheduled to run concurrently with Global Gift & Home (GGH) at ICC Sydney from 12-14th July, IFSA is Australia’s latest global sourcing show, focusing on furniture, furnishing and home decor. It is not a domestic show – IFSA will present international

With property development booming

Marie Kinsella

enables high-level and targeted contact

in Australia, there are many developers

to be made between buyers and sellers

and interior designers seeking to make

based on product specifications,

their point of difference using furniture,

capacity and other buyer-driven criteria.

furnishings and home decorations, and

This formal matching approach will

respond to the Australian appetite for

be augmented with the opportunity

lifestyle status and in-home entertaining.

for informal networking through participation in the official welcome

manufacturers with the opportunity to engage and sell directly to qualified trade

Why might it be of interest for UK

function cocktail event, and other

buyers from Australia, New Zealand and

brands?

hosted networking events convened by

the broader region.

The Australian furniture market often

participating exhibitor groups.

Attendance: IFSA is expected to attract

looks towards the UK for inspiration – especially for the more classic and

In your opinion, what will make your

mid-century furniture styles. Because

show better than any other similar

of Australia’s strong cultural ties with

furniture event?

the UK, there is enduring interest in

We believe that IFSA will serve a wider

traditional furniture such as Victorian,

audience and open more opportunities

Queen Anne, Chippendale and Sheraton.

for international furniture manufacturers

There is also a strong (and growing)

to enter the Australian marketplace. Our

demand for bespoke and made-to-

international visitor marketing campaign

measure, hand-crafted, contemporary

is expected to also attract strong buyer

design-led furniture – also a hallmark of

representation from New Zealand and the

British industry.

South Pacific.

IFSA is hoping to reach out to a wider

What will the show deliver in the way

Is there any other news you feel our UK

global audience in the UK, Europe, the

of design inspiration, education and

readers should know?

Americas and beyond. There is a strong

hospitality?

Statistics have shown that Australian

demand for custom-made furniture and

IFSA will feature an international

imports of furniture from the UK peaked

bespoke designs, which have traditionally

seminar programme which will present

in 2015, before dropping off slightly

originated in the UK and European

new insights into the latest furniture

in 2016. The UK was the 10th biggest

markets.

designs, manufacturing techniques and

source market of furniture imported

styles.

into Australia, and in the area of home

approximately 3000 qualified trade visitors including furniture importers, wholesalers, speciality retailers, institutional buyers, sourcing agents, interior designers, architects, property developers and others involved in the industry. As a start, IFSA has limited the participating number of global exhibitors to approximately 150. There has been strong interest from many of the Asian furniture manufacturing countries, but

With the support of local and regional

furnishing, the UK was ranked higher, at

What is the show bringing to the

industry, associations and design schools,

region’s established exhibition scene?

the event will provide a natural hub

IFSA’s point of difference is the focus on

of activity and inspiration for visitors,

feel with the UK, combined with the

international furniture manufacturers

and a natural platform for existing and

opportunity of engaging Australian trade

rather than domestic wholesalers and

emerging talents wishing to cultivate an

buyers sourcing direct from international

importers. It provides a fresh opportunity

international profile.

manufacturers in Australia, represents a

for these manufacturers to launch

IFSA will also create a deeper level

themselves into the Australasian region

of engagement between exhibitors

and to gain a foothold for their brands in

and visitors, through the Connections

the dynamic Australian market.

Business Matching Programme, which

FN348_Pages.indd 16

5th. The natural affinity that Australians

significant opportunity for UK furniture suppliers. W internationalfurnitureshow.com.au

U 26/02/2018 15:38

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FN348_Pages.indd BlueboneMar18.indd 171

26/02/2018 20/02/2018 15:38 11:17


18 | Resources

With a growing number of manufacturers and suppliers choosing to handle their own direct deliveries, Wincanton’s Paul Durkin explains how supplier-to-customer (S2C) e-fulfilment can support the growth of the furniture industry – despite the absence of retail brands from the delivery process.

Meeting the S2C delivery challenge The furniture industry is facing a

from manufacturers to retailers, and, if

begin to deliver the same level of service,

dichotomy. On the one hand, the

implemented correctly, for consumers

consumer value and engagement as their

challenging macro-economic climate

too.

smaller counterparts.

is having an impact on big-ticket

Firstly, it greatly reduces the costs

Of course, the main challenge

discretionary sales – yet on the other,

associated with storing furniture items.

associated with this approach concerns

consumer expectations for greater

If orders can be fulfilled directly from

the consistency of customer experience.

product choice are growing, with the

manufacturer to consumer, then it

How can brands maintain their

likes of Amazon setting the bar high.

removes the need for retailers to commit

reputation when it comes to engaging

to this financial outlay.

with their customers, if that part of the

Against this backdrop, one of the perpetual challenges being posed at

In addition, the technology behind

process is undertaken by the supplier and

both manufacturing and retail levels

S2C can support retailers’ ambitions

delivered by alternative, multiple carrier

is delivery. In contrast to other sectors

to deliver against rising consumer

partners?

where delivery items are often smaller

expectations, extending their ranges and

and more compact, the range of largely

delivering what the consumer wants,

the furniture trade by the fact that

outsized and bulky items associated with

when they want it. Companies such as

many items necessitate two-man home

furniture presents challenges across

Amazon have set the new standard,

delivery, and all that entails.

warehousing and transport in terms of

with next-day delivery and click and

both cost and ease of delivery.

collect now commonplace across a

to market that is able to deliver a

To combat this, there is an increasing

This is further complicated within

Ultimately, determining a route

full marketplace of products. This in

clear and consistent service is the

focus on reduced stockholding at the

turn defines consumer expectations –

key to overcoming this challenge. An

retailer, and on the substantial reduction

irrespective of what product they are

experienced logistics partner is able

of delivery touchpoints.

buying, and from whom.

to act effectively as an extension of

One solution that enables this is S2C,

There is also the advantage of a

a particular brand, and is the key to

where a retailer offers goods for sale,

shortened supply chain, which benefits

unlocking the various benefits that S2C

but delivery is executed straight from

agents at every stage of the e-fulfilment

can provide.

the manufacturer to the end consumer,

process – fewer trips mean a reduced

removing the need for the retailer to

risk of damage and a more direct

a significant financial and emotional

stock inventory. Sometimes referred

(and potentially quicker) route to the

investment. The rise of e-fulfilment

to as drop ship vendor (DSV), the S2C

consumer.

in the sector has thrown up a number

approach has the potential to transform

One further benefit – particularly to

For consumers, furniture is typically

of challenges relating to delivery, and

online delivery for a whole range of

larger retailers – is that S2C helps them

with 41% of UK shoppers found to

industries, with the furniture trade

to innovate at a time when the furniture

be most likely to purchase furniture

having the potential to be one of its main

sector is awash with new players.

and homewares online [according to

beneficiaries.

Industry disruptors such as Made.com

PwC’s 2017 Total Retail Survey], those

and Swoon Editions rely entirely on

challenges are only set to grow.

But it also poses the question – how confident can consumers be in the

the direct-from-the-factory consumer

delivery experience if the brand they are

proposition.

buying from is removed from the delivery process? S2C presents a massive opportunity for those at all stages of the supply network,

Reduced overheads mean they can

By implementing new technologies to grow the S2C channel, and working with a trustworthy logistics partner, retailers

release new collections on a far more

and manufacturers are able to offer their

regular basis than competitors. S2C

customers both choice and value in an

allows the bigger players to react, and

increasingly competitive marketplace.

THE AUTHOR Paul Durkin is the director of home & e-fulfilment at logistics specialist Wincanton. W wincanton.co.uk

FN348_Pages.indd 18

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20 | Resources

Ian Tomlinson, founder of RetailStore, believes there are plentiful opportunities for retailers willing to approach business differently this year – with technological advances, moves towards smallerformat stores and the delivery of more engaging in-store experiences, 2018 will see omnichannel become a necessity for long-term retail survival …

e

This year’s hot trends in retail Payment trends

capture their audience by offering more

quicker, and making opening a shop

Technology has opened the door to a new

convenient and quicker ways to purchase

easier than ever, as retailers catch up with

age of purchasing, and has altered the

hot, on-trend items.

consumer demand and come up with ways

payment path for transactions, turning it into the Internet of Things (IoT) era. As online purchases soar and

to improve their experiences. Bricks and mortar to flourish

Data from the British Independent

It’s been portrayed over the last couple of

Retailers Association (bira) showed that

purchasing is made easier, payment

years that the end is near for bricks-and-

across independent retailers, more shops

methods have also been catching up,

mortar stores – however, we disagree.

were opened than were closed in the

thanks to the advancement in transaction

Bricks-and-mortar stores have evolved

first quarter of 2017. 2018 Q1 results will

capabilities that the internet and

over the past decade, meaning that one

identify whether retailers who choose to

technology have created.

size no longer fits all – it’s down to the

modernise their physical store approach

retailers to invest and create a brand

and follow their consumer habits,

component in today’s shopping

experience that their targeted consumers

become more strategic in their plans, and

experience, amongst other things. We

will enjoy.

downsize to move away from traditional

Frictionless payment plays a key

have seen contactless payment, including

Innovative stores will continue to

styles, will in fact find themselves thriving

mobile payment such as Apple Pay, grow

emerge, and we expect retailers to

radically, as the demand for convenience

experiment more by offering exciting and

and ease from consumers remains a

creative concepts to the consumer. New

Fulfilling the omnichannel approach

dominating factor in retailing today.

store layouts will appear, but will require

Flawless execution – online and offline

a more flexible approach by retailers –

– of the brand will continue to dominate

wireless devices using voice interfaces

such as strategically targeted locations,

the latest retail trend in 2018. 2017 was

to order and pay for items, such as the

markets and formatted store designs – to

the year in which retailers realised there

Amazon Echo. Euromonitor International

be successful.

was zero margin for error. It’s been an

Consumers are shifting towards

in today’s conditions.

estimate that nearly 81 million wireless

Big-box stores are out, and small-

speakers will have been sold worldwide

format stores are in. Competing with

in 2017, with a growth of +84% on top of

online is harder than ever, and as a

that between 2017-21.

result many small-format stores have

means that automation and a seamless

Companies have also been working with

extremely unsympathetic year for slipups and inaccuracies made by the retailer. The fast rate retail is moving at

materialised over the last few years,

experience are essential in order to

biometric information to further enhance

offering a more solid approach to opening

survive. The entire customer experience

the shopping experience, using payment

a physical store for retailers.

through all channels needs to be a unified

methods with more technological

Consumers no longer want endless

one, and must communicate the brand

designs such as iris scanning, fingerprint

aisles and an overwhelming selection

verification and facial recognition as a

of products and items to get lost in.

quicker and more secure way to purchase.

Downsizing to a small-format store not

Benchmarking Report by dimension data

experience impeccably. The 2017 Global Customer Experience

Payment transactions will also be

only offers survival but an opportunity to

revealed that many businesses were facing

rated on how easy and quickly an item

reduce overhead costs whilst adding some

an uncomfortable truth when it comes

can be purchased, allowing consumers to

small-town charm, attracting new crowds

to the digital transformation of their

purchase things online as a guest without

in with the smaller, more approachable

customer experience. The report found

the necessity to sign in or become a

size, and also giving retailers the ability to

that an overwhelming majority (89%)

member.

target demographics more effectively in

of organisations claim that the customer

areas, without the huge outlay of cost that

experience is critical to their survival and

a larger store would entail.

a top strategic priority, yet over half (51%)

Additionally, ‘buy’ buttons have been popping up across social media platforms including Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram

Although bricks-and-mortar stores

of respondents are failing to act.

and Facebook. The influence social media

may have resented technological

has on consumers to follow and purchase

advances, these will play a significant role

online and offline sales means that having

the latest trends is expected to intensify,

in their success. Cloud-based systems will

an omnichannel strategy is no longer a

meaning that retailers need to consider

fuel the rise of physical stores, providing

novelty, but a necessity. Retail winners

further ways they can reach out and

the opportunity to launch and thrive

will invest in digital channels to match

FN348_Pages.indd 20

Indeed, the blurred lines between

26/02/2018 15:38

GalleryJ FN Marc


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22 | Resources

the experiences that would be identified

when they enter a physical store. Parting

with during in-store shopping. As a result,

with their money requires a whole lot of

is essential for survival in these

the gap between leaders and laggers will

effort to be made by the retailer – but

changing retail times. To be successful

widen if organisations fail to master their

retailers have found that introducing

takes a lot more than coming up with

omnichannel approach.

lifestyle elements and creating a unique

a unique experience – but that does go

shopping experience is proving to have a

a long way to driving foot traffic into a

Retailtainment advances

positive effect in pulling consumers away

store.

A study found that 75% of companies

from online purchases and back in store.

said their top objective was to improve

Brands are increasingly incorporating

Adapting to the needs of the consumer

Business owners need to go beyond the consumer’s expectations in 2018 and

customer experience. Retailtainment

daily aspects of life into an experience,

ensure that their purchasing channels

is an element that has transformed the

with healthy lifestyle elements like yoga

are seamless, reduce unnecessary costs

consumer shopping experience globally.

and health cafes currently trending

by analysing the trends within their

We’ve seen retailer Urban Outfitters buy

amongst women’s sporting attire, and

target market (if an audience is visiting

a pizza chain and several fine-dining

the introduction of virtual reality aspects

smaller stores, then save on overheads

restaurants, pop-up boutique cafes in

such as Nike’s store in Paris, which

and reach a healthier bottom line by

shops, Topshop DJs on a weekend and

allows customers to test trainer colours

downsizing), and finally make sure to

celebrity guest appearances during the

using augmented reality (AR).

use the latest technologies in providing

week, amongst a whole lot of other entertaining things. Additionally, retailtainment is

These in-store experiences and

consumer convenience through making

innovative concepts provide consumers

the purchase transaction as easy as

with enough incentives to buy into

possible.

continuing to reinvent commerce, and

the brand’s experience, and has the

has changed consumers expectations

potential to garner a loyal following.

Putting the consumer first should be their main consideration.

THE AUTHOR Technology expert Ian Tomlinson formed Cybertill 15 years ago, and the Knowsley-based company now has more than 500 clients nationwide. Retail Store offers a single cloud platform solution for retailers, helping them overcome the challenges presented by multichannel selling and deliver seamless customer experiences. W retailstore.co.uk

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Those looking to start or change career are well supported on the road to success in their chosen apprenticeship, by our industry qualified and time served Training Officers and they become valued members of the team.

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BoytekM


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26 | Profile

SportLine 4000 in Ascot grey

Highgate puts science behind sleep solutions Under the guiding hand of director Zahid Ayub, bedmaker Highgate Beds continues to grow, bringing new branding to its popular Healthopaedic collection, as well as adding unique technology-led lines such as Zero Gravity and Medicpaedic to its stable – creating a range of models that feel like no other … This year’s January Furniture Show

and a luxurious panel of stretch fabric

cover for every taste. SportLine is now

proved a “roaring success” for Highgate

atop, Quantum received rave reviews, and

also available in a range of new Belgian

Beds. In particular demand was the

represented a significant leap forward in

damask stretch fabrics.

manufacturer’s lively new SportLine

sleep technology.

range, which features Highgate’s second-

This vibrant range reflects not only

The Healthopaedic range saw additions

the fabric technology and the benefits

generation Zero Gravity technology, and

such as the Pocket Zero, the Silver Medic,

of Highgate’s second-generation Zero

saw numerous orders placed by those

and a revamped Ultimate Amira – a

Gravity, but also medical advantages of

wishing to give it a prime spot on their

keen favourite of Highgate’s established

support mattresses – helping ensure

shop floors.

customer base.

that all needs are covered by the

Other new models included the

Alongside these additions, and

Healthopaedic brand.

Quantum. Available with 1000 or 2000

featuring heavily, was the SportLine

T 01924 454678

pocket springs, plus Zero Gravity within

mattress range. Boastings a sporty

W highgatebeds.com

feel, and enveloping SportLine 1500 in steel

medical standard foam technology, various

SportLine 1000 in mustard

models were presented in new fabric colours – which, according to Highgate Beds, were snapped up by all who saw them! Named Memphis, Epsom and Verona, these fabrics vary in colour and texture, to ensure there is a

FN348_Pages.indd 26

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Highgat


27

It can only be‌

T E

+ 44 (0) 1924 454 678

info@highgatebeds.com

www.highgatebeds.com

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28 | Profile

Seizing international attention at imm cologne A new approach by Steens Group to imm cologne proved “a huge success” for the Danish flat-pack specialist, which engaged with a large number of visitors from across its 16 national markets, plus many more from elsewhere … With Steens Group boasting a fresh and

global marketing initiative for launching

larger presence at January’s Cologne

new product.

exhibition, its 17 new ranges were well

number of orders that were placed. imm cologne also presented an ideal

“We were delighted by the attendance

opportunity for Steens’ new group chief

received, with the vast majority heading

from our existing and potential UK

commercial officer, Thomas Tovgaard, to

into the Steens product range from Q2

customers. In fact, over 50% (by value)

be introduced to customers from around

onwards. Particular interest was shown in

of our customers were represented.

the world.

the new Baroque, Pavona and New York

And, without exception, all welcomed

Living ranges, which capture styling cues

the opportunity to be able to see

continued success and financial strength

from around the globe.

internationally-designed product, and

can now be developed for the next phase

many of the ranges were added to their

of sustained substantial growth,” says

“Having spent the last 15 years exhibiting

assortments for this year. All in all, it was

Thomas.

at the January Furniture Show and imm

a huge success.”

UK MD Alan Cozens comments:

cologne as country-specific exhibitions,

“I have joined Steens at a time where

“Both the opportunity and the task

These feelings were shared by Steens

is to exploit and enhance the synergies

it was a unique experience for Steens

Group’s other country directors, who

between the markets and customers

to focus on the Cologne show as its key

noted that customers from Scandinavia,

we trade with. Witnessing the success

North America,

of the imm exhibition only reaffirmed

Germany, France

all the reasons I had for joining such

and the Far East

a great company – in particular, the

were particularly

opportunity to work with such a talented,

well represented.

knowledgeable and committed team.”

The appreciation

FN348_Pages.indd 28

Plans are already in place for 2019,

of Steens’ blend of

and Steens anticipates participation

global designs was

from its UK customer base to increase

evident in their

significantly.

feedback, and in the

W steensgroup.com

26/02/2018 15:39

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22/02/2018 15:39 12:09 26/02/2018


STEENS GROUP

GLOBAL TEAMWORK

Birger Christensen Owner / CEO Thomas Tovgaard Group Commercial Officer

Agner Agerholm Nautrup Sten Lassen Factory Manager Head of Marketing

Alan Cozens Sales Director

Lars Gruschy Sales Director

Carsten Staufenbiel Sales Director

Michael Brun Nielsen Keld Dissing Range Director Sales Director

Henrik Overgaard Area Sales Manager

Reiner Feldberger Jason Miller Head of New Business Key Account Manager

Piotr Makowski Key Account Manager

Anette Bjerregaard Sales Director

Graham Dickinson UK Sales

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18 12:09

Profile | 33

Facing up to a growing skills shortage The furniture industry faces a number of challenges – not least of them, the long-term impact of a growing skills shortage. Last year, FIESTA was formed – a new trade organisation which aims to address current and future skills needs by encouraging talented new workers to join the industry, and ensuring relevant training and qualifications are in place to support them. Given the likely impact of Brexit, coupled with new apprenticeship legislation, the formation of the Furniture and Interiors Education, Skills and Training Alliance (FIESTA) is a timely one. Gary Baker – the MD of solid surfaces distributor CDUK, and FIESTA’s chairman – tells Furniture News more … Why was FIESTA formed? The UK has a thriving furniture and interiors sector, with more than 8000 businesses employing over 250,000 people and contributing £11b to the UK’s GDP. It is a design-led industry that

“The impact of the levy so far has been disappointing – recent research has shown that almost half of eligible employers haven’t signed up for an account with the Apprenticeship Service”

FIESTA’s members include the Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers (AMUSF), the British Contract Furnishing Association (BCFA), the British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM), The Furniture Makers’ Company, the Kitchen, Bedrooms, Bathrooms National Training Group (KBB NTG), the Kitchen, Bathroom, Bedroom Specialists Association (KBSA), The Kitchen Education Trust (TKET) and the National Bed Federation (NBF). FIESTA will also work with the British Furniture Confederation (BFC) to communicate education and training needs to the Government.

contains many world-beating businesses.

FIESTA was formed off the back of

For the sector to continue to grow, it is

The Furniture Makers’ Company’s

essential that we continue to attract the

conference last year, which focused on

very best school leavers and graduates.

the apprenticeship levy. What impact

FIESTA was formed to unite and inspire

has the levy had on the industry to date?

furniture and interiors businesses,

The apprenticeship levy came into

helping the industry become a sector

effect in April 2017, and is part of the

of choice within the UK by facilitating

Government’s commitment to creating

internationally-recognised skills

three million apprenticeships in England

development.

by 2020. The levy requires all employers operating in the UK with an annual pay

Who is involved?

bill of more than £3m to spend 0.5% of

The key to FIESTA’s viability is

the total to help fund apprenticeships.

that we are employer led – we have

FIESTA chairman, Gary Baker

FN348_Pages.indd 33

The impact of the levy so far has

therefore brought together the key

been disappointing. Recent research by

trade associations and affiliates which

the Education Apprenticeship Service

represent manufacturers and designers

has shown that almost half of eligible

in this sector, together with the sector’s

employers haven’t signed up for an

charity, The Furniture Makers’ Company.

account with the Apprenticeship Service.

26/02/2018 15:39


34 | Profile

Just 10,500 accounts were set up by the end of August – barely half of the 19,150 predicted by the Department for Education. There have been 34,700 ‘commitments’ to take on an apprentice using the new service since May – of these, 8000 are still pending approval. How can furniture manufacturers make the best of the new apprentice environment? Despite the disappointing start, it is essential that companies do not see the Apprenticeship Levy as just another tax, but instead make the most of the new levy funding to put in place a wellplanned apprenticeship programme. The training costs for large employers can be funded from the levy, so it is in their interests to maximise their training in line with their growth plans for the future. Meanwhile, companies ineligible to pay the levy can benefit from Government support to fund apprenticeship training,

and small members who wish to take advantage of the many

with the charge being a fraction of what it costs to train each

benefits of the new training environment. We will provide more

apprentice.

details of this initiative shortly.

Take the opportunity to review your current and future skills requirements, identify gaps, and plan the best way to prepare

How can people find out more?

your workforce for tomorrow’s challenges.

FIESTA has launched a dedicated website to support its mission of addressing education and training issues within the industry.

What is FIESTA doing to help manufacturers access the levy?

The new, easy-to-use platform features useful information

FIESTA is working to set up an approved Apprentice Training

for employers as well as people wishing to pursue a career

Agency (ATA) for the furniture and interiors sector. ATAs

in the industry, plus case studies, the latest news from the

recruit, employ and arrange training for apprentices on behalf of

organisation and an events section.

employers, and are designed and regulated to support both large

W fiestalearning.com

FN348_Pages.indd 34

26/02/2018 15:39


35

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26/02/2018 15:39


THANKS FOR MAKING THE JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW SUCH A SUCCESS!

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THANKS FOR MAKING THE JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW SUCH A SUCCESS!

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18 15:55

January Furniture Show Review | 43

THE DUST SETTLES The furniture industry turned out in force for this year’s January Furniture Show. Across five halls of the Birmingham NEC, some 500 exhibitors introduced new products and services to a hungry trade. In this special feature, Furniture News investigates the launches and trends that defined this year’s event, and looks in depth at the winners of The Furniture Awards 2018 … This year’s exhibition saw visitor

Furniture MD Mark Callaghan comments:

about it”. William Cole, MD of William &

numbers at around 20,000, reports

“Every year the show gets better for us

Sons, says: “What a great furniture show

organiser Clarion Events – a number in

– we like the re-branding, and we have

it was this year.

line with last year’s event, despite snow

seen all of the customers we wanted to

preventing some attending on the first

see. It’s a great show.”

“We thoroughly enjoyed our time spent at the show, enabling us to review

day. Its hosted buyers scheme saw an

Chris Thomas, global PR & marketing

increase of just over 20% taking part,

director for MLily, reports a “fantastic”

improvements to it. We only wished it

and many exhibitors – including Gallery

show in which the mattress manufacturer

had been on for a few more days, as we

Direct, Baker Furniture, Wiemann, Libra,

doubled its sales from last year, while

simply just ran out of time with so much

MLily and Paulus & Brown – reported

Jonathan Webster, MD of Mark Webster

to see!”

record days.

Designs, notes “a great buzz in Hall 1”.

our current product offering and source

The organiser was pleased with the

New exhibitors including Furninova,

Ashley Manor MD Mike Storey echoed

Mason and Pearl, Siren and Jones & Co,

the feelings of the majority of exhibitors

needs of the UK domestic furniture and

also expressed their enthusiasm for the

when he notes that the show was “better

furnishings market.

event, reporting great satisfaction with

than we expected”.

the number and quality of buyers and sales.

Visitors expressed their satisfaction

event’s continued ability to meet the

Event director, Cleere Scamell, comments: “In the end it doesn’t matter

with the show, too, with Alan Brooks

what we think, it’s about the exhibitors

from Clements describing it as “another

and the visitors, but on all four days

Gallery Direct, notes “an optimism for

great January Furniture Show”, which

wherever I was in the five halls I heard

contemporary design”, while Baker

“looked good, felt vibrant and had a buzz

a buzz, and that means it was good. We

Bruce Bell, marketing director at

are a small team with a determination to deliver the best event possible, hearing that buzz everywhere told me we had succeeded.” The show was the first major UK event to use Poken, a smart lead-generation and information-swapping tool based on scannable visitor badges. Exhibitor TCS enjoyed the most ‘hits’ from the Poken system, at over 10,000. The 2019 January Furniture Show will run from Sunday 20th to Wednesday 23rd January. Read on to discover more about the product launches which made this year’s exhibition an unmissable event … W januaryfurnitureshow.com

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Family Brothers in Pedigree Arms A Business Built on

Innovation and investment is the key to success Innovation and investment is the key to success

Constant innovation is at the heart of Breasley’s philosophy in mattress and divan Constant innovation is at the heartmanufacture. of Breasley’s This is what has helped the company to become philosophy in mattress and divan manufacture. one fastest independent mattress This the is what hasgrowing helped the company to become manufacturers in the UK. one the fastest growing independent mattress manufacturers in the UK.

2017 saw a number of changes at the In August of last Breasley Group with year, Darren and brothers Darren Mike Crowshaw and Mike Crowshaw became joint MDs of taking on the roles the Breasley Group. of joint MD. Their The brothers might father, Alan, who be seen as ‘the new started the business boys on the block’, in 1973 became but, in reality, they CEO, reinforcing have been involved the family’s commitment to further investment and with the bed industry for a number of years, and expansion. This year, they have brought together key they are keen to stress the importance of being personnel from within the bedding industry, enabling part of a family run business. “Our father, Alan, the company to lead the way in design, production technology and customer service. With the recent launch of the 2018 Salus Bed Collection, offering superb comfort and quality at very competitive price points, plus new models under the ‘Uno’ rolled and boxed brand, the future looks bright for Breasley and their retail partners. For more information, please contact the Breasley Group on 01629 823680 or email sales@breasley.co.uk

FN348_Pages.indd BreasleyMar18.indd 44 1

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The Elder 3350 from the 2018 Salus Natural Collection

started the foam conversion business in 1973, and is now Breasley’s CEO. It’s great knowing we have his expertise and full support for the major investment we have planned for our Derby and Manchester plants” said Mike. Darren comments: “I saw a quote recently – “Nothing remains constant except change itself” – and that sums things up,

really. 2017 saw a number of changes at Breasley, but we have brought together key personnel from within the bedding industry, giving us a wealth of knowledge to lead the way in design, production technology and customer service.” “The new Salus Bed Collection offers superb comfort and quality at very competitive price points, plus we are extending the breadth of our Uno vacuum packed range to include several new models over the coming months, with exciting new technology and also a natural story. For us, innovation is about knowing when to change and listening to

CONSUMER PRODUCTS LTD

www.salusbeds.co.uk www.unomattress.co.uk MADE IN THE UK

FN348_Pages.indd 45

MADE IN THE UK

CONSUMER PRODUCTS LTD

26/02/2018 15/02/2018 15:39 15:20


46 | January Furniture Show Review The Furniture Awards

Debbie Watmore, inspecting the Woodland rug with Think Rugs’ Sam Tippett

Which suppliers beat their rivals to be crowned best in show for 2018, and what set them apart? Furniture News reveals who won this year’s edition of The Furniture Awards at the January Furniture Show, and why, in this feature-length report …

Grand designs The fourth edition of The Furniture Awards was the most hard-

two of our members (Tetrad and Gallery Direct) to win awards,

fought yet. Thanks to the high quality of entries submitted,

and for Alpha Designs to be Highly Commended.

the judges had a particularly difficult task this year to choose

“The awards showcase the diversity of the industry, as well as

the suppliers most worthy of the accolade in each of the four

the quality of craftsmanship achieved by UK companies. I believe

categories – bedroom, dining, living and decor.

that they will go from strength to strength, and wins will be

This year’s panel comprised Malcolm Walker (Furniture Village), Jacquie Benedukt (Fenwick) and Debbie Watmore (AHF)

increasingly sought after by exhibitors.” The majority of this year’s winners encapsulated the

– despite having helped decide the shortlist, SBID president

consumer trend towards natural elements, colours and

Diana Celella could sadly not be present to inspect the entries on

materials, notes Paul: “It’s interesting to note how many of the

the day due to illness.

winners in some way reflect this year’s trend for greens and

Led by awards co-ordinator (and editor-in-chief of Furniture

naturals, and put them into practice so well – from a cutaway

News magazine) Paul Farley, the judges took a tour of the

tree trunk in the Decor Category to the clean finish of the Dining

shortlisted suppliers on the eve of the show, before returning

Category winner, there’s definitely a sense of returning to raw,

their unanimous (eventually!) verdict.

organic products.

Developed by Furniture News magazine in partnership with

“Alongside the rich greens, Pantone’s colour of the year, Ultra

the January Furniture Show – and supported by the BFM this

Violet, was echoed in the purple fabrics on both display models

year – The Furniture Awards serve to recognise the industry’s

at the top of the Upholstery Category.

champions, by identifying the most commercial and creative products launched at the exhibition.

“It was a tough competition in several categories this year, but the final selection, which features both established leaders and a

“Now an intrinsic part of the January Furniture Show, The

handful of surprise victories, really demonstrates our industry’s

Furniture Awards have become the ultimate celebration of

strengths,” concludes Paul, “and I’m looking forward to hearing

furniture design across the whole industry,” comments show

how the winners are received by the general public.”

director Theresa Raymond, who was instrumental in the selection of this year’s judging panel.

Read on to discover this year’s winners … W januaryfurnitureshow.com/page/furniture-awards

Fellow show director Laraine Janes presented the overjoyed winners with their trophies once the show had opened, together with Paul Farley and the BFM’s MD, Jackie Bazeley. “It was an honour to lend the BFM’s support to The Furniture Awards this year, especially as a record number of BFM members exhibited at the January Furniture Malcolm Walker in discussion with Tetrad’s Janus Cooper

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Show,” says Jackie. “It was also gratifying for

Jacquie Benedukt assesses Duresta’s impressive entry

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Pharmo


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48 | January Furniture Show Review The Furniture Awards

Constable

THE FURNITURE AWARDS 2018: LIVING CATEGORY

Winner: Tetrad, for Constable Tetrad emerged victorious from one of the most hard-fought

all-natural range offers a combination of hand-tanned full-

categories to date, which saw top-end glamour vie with

grain leathers and soft velvet, layered with kilim and applique

affordable charm for the judges’ attention.

scatter cushions.

Although well-grounded in existing styles, Constable

This is the second successive win for Tetrad – the popular

delivered a finely-honed package of comfort, quality and

brand took the top accolade in the Living Category at The

aesthetics, ticking every box and edging ahead of the shortlisted

Furniture Awards 2017 for its pinstriped Gatsby – and

competitors.

demonstrates that its sale to the Belfield Group in July last year

Blending classical English style with textured embroidery, Constable is part of Tetrad’s Heritage Collection. This eclectic,

has not dented its ability to deliver show-stopping upholstery. W tetrad.co.uk

“Constable demonstrates that its sale to the Belfield Group in July last year has not dented its ability to deliver show-stopping upholstery” From left: Laraine Janes; BFM MD Jackie Bazeley; Tetrad director Janus Cooper; and Paul Farley

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January Furniture Show Review The Furniture Awards | 49

What the judges said “There was nothing we didn’t like about it. It’s extremely comfortable, presented in fashionable colours, and so commercial. “Offering Italian leathers, Peruvian cushions, and feather and down fillings, Constable makes a mockery of its competitors’ pricing.”

HIGHLY COMMENDED: LIVING CATEGORY

Alpha Designs, for Tiffany The relatively young Alpha Designs has shot to prominence in recent years, fuelled by a savvy take on design and strong service ethics. Its eye-catching Tiffany collection, which comprises slender frames, an array of luxurious feather-filled back cushions and reflex foam seating in varied opulent fabrics, combines European styling and UK-made comfort, and was displayed in a bold and on-trend combination of green and purple at the show. The judges said: “Everything from the design to the fabric combination is so on trend – Alpha Designs are truly creating their own niche of bold, great-value upholstery.” W alpha-designs.co.uk

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50 | January Furniture Show Review The Furniture Awards

Milano

THE FURNITURE AWARDS 2018: DINING CATEGORY

Winner: Gallery Direct, for Milano Having won the Mid-level Category in the inaugural awards in 2015, and named Highly Commended in 2016, Gallery Direct

keeps the timber looking natural and dry. Achieving an effortlessly natural look, with a cleanliness and

certainly has form in this competition – yet its entry this year

warmness that would appeal to a broad consumer segment, and

was probably its clearest winner to date.

a soft grain that’s eminently practical for diners, Milano is a

Made from European oak and rustic oak structured veneers,

great example of Gallery’s ability to create modern, affordable

the Milano dining and living collection is modern in style, yet

designs. To encourage investment in floor displays, stockists are

features chevron inlays, in a nod to mid-century design.

offered generous support, plus access to one of the industry’s

The collection consists of two tables, a range of cabinets and

widest selections of quality interior products, from mirrors and

occasional tables, and features push-and-click and soft-close

character chairs to the famous Frank Hudson bedroom ranges.

drawer mechanisms, plus a specialist matt lacquer finish that

W gallerydirect.co.uk

What the judges said “A great interpretation of Mid-Century Modern, with really casual elements despite its clean lines. It’s a very well-balanced range, and backed up by ready stocks and impressive PoS.”

From left: Laraine Janes; Gallery’s business development manager and sales manager, James Hudson; Gallery MD Peter Delaney; and Paul Farley

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January Furniture Show Review The Furniture Awards | 51

“Gallery Direct certainly has form in this competition – yet its entry this year was probably its clearest winner to date”

HIGHLY COMMENDED: DINING CATEGORY

Bentley Designs, for Tivoli Three-times winner Bentley Designs delivered another highly-impressive entry this year – the Tivoli mixed media dining and occasional range. Part of the company’s Signature Collection, Tivoli presents a striking mix of dark oak and ebonised accent detailing, set off against brushed nickel frameworks and complemented by black bonded leather and velvet cantilever chairs. Innovations such as end grain edgebanding and metal plating, plus high-spec fittings including soft close drawer

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runners, sets Tivoli apart from the crowd, and reflects Bentley’s enduring ability to bring stylish contemporary product to the mass market. The judges said: “Dark wood is always a risk, but Tivoli pulls it off – it’s well proportioned, and would work very well alongside most upholstery.” W bentleydesigns.com

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52 | January Furniture Show Review The Furniture Awards

Cayenne with contrasting door

THE FURNITURE AWARDS 2018: BEDROOM CATEGORY

Winner: Wiemann UK, for Cayenne After Nolte Möbel scooped first place in this category last year,

Wiemann’s upmarket VIP collection, is available in a choice of

fellow German bedroom furniture specialist Wiemann took

three carcass colours, six door finishes and two heights, and

the top spot, its reputation for reliable service and top-quality

features soft-closing doors as standard, plus optional LED

product reinforcing the judges’ decision.

interior lighting and additional storage facilities.

Its entry was Cayenne, a stylish dual-depth wardrobe range

Wiemann’s continued strong performance in the UK is driven

that offers consumers the ability to create a strong design

by its exclusive distributor Litmus Furniture, which is trusted

statement while maximising available bedroom space.

by a growing number of stockists to deliver on-trend designs,

Designed to look and function like fully-fitted furniture but with a freestanding furniture price tag, Cayenne, part of

installed to high standards. W wiemannuk.co.uk

From left: Theresa Raymond; Wiemann export manager, Kai Schwenke; Paul Farley; Simon Hewitt, MD, Litmus Furniture (Wiemann’s UK distributor) ; Wiemann managing partner, Markus Wiemann; and Laraine Janes

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January Furniture Show Review The Furniture Awards | 53

HIGHLY COMMENDED: BEDROOM CATEGORY

Fortune Woods, for Pavillion Fortune Woods continues to turn out well-designed and creatively-presented wooden bedroom ranges, and its new Pavillion sets the bar high. A painted country oak range with distinctive Louis Philippe styling, turned feet, parquet oak tops finished in a white oil, and painted mist grey carcasses, Pavillion is also available in a Shaker-style variant. The judges said: “There’s a lot of painted furniture around, but not much painted Louis Philippe – the designer has done a great job with the soft, feminine colour balance, and it’s great that two different styles are available.” W fortunewoods.co.uk

“Wiemann took the top spot, its reputation for reliable service and topquality product reinforcing the judges’ decision”

What the judges said “This market sector is full of flat models without any shape, so Cayenne really stands out – it could probably be sold based on its looks alone, and it lends itself to so many room configurations.”

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It was their time to shine! THE

FURNITURE

AWARDS

I N 2 0 1 8 , T H E AWA R D S R E T U R N E D TO T H E J A N U A RY F U R N I T U R E S H O W TO R E C O G N I S E I T S C H A M P I O N S U P P L I E R S

THIS YEAR’S WINNERS BEDROOM

Wiemann UK, for Cayenne Highly Commended: Fortune Woods, for Pavillion

LIVING

Tetrad, for Constable Highly Commended: Alpha Designs, for Tiffany

DINING

Gallery Direct, for Milano Highly Commended: Bentley Designs, for Tivoli

DECOR

Think Rugs, for Woodland

Supported by

FN348_Pages.indd 54 AwardsAd_Mar18FN.indd 1

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18 14:15

January Furniture Show Review The Furniture Awards | 55

Woodland 2086

THE FURNITURE AWARDS 2018: DECOR CATEGORY

Winner: Think Rugs, for Woodland Think Rugs – Oriental Carpets and Rugs’ principal brand

polyester, used in different pile heights to create a startling

– submitted its most promising design for 2018, and upon

3D effect, the rug is available in two sizes. The level of detail

inspecting Woodland 2086 in person, the judges were taken

enabled by the manufacturing process and the natural colours

aback by the effect it achieves.

employed create a realistic look that’s difficult to convey in

Woodland depicts a cross section of a tree trunk, evoking the dominant natural trend running through many of this year’s new developments. Machine-made from a durable mixture of polypropylene and

pictures alone. Think Rugs’ Hong Kong took the top spot in the awards’ Value Category in 2016. W thinkrugs.co.uk

What the judges said “You truly want to touch and feel this bold, great-value centrepiece. Featuring interesting textures and a clever use of colour, it will instantly become a living room talking point - and you can’t put a From left: Paul Farley; Think Rugs’ buying & design manager, Sam Tippett; and Laraine Janes

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price on that!”

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56 | January Furniture Show Review The Furniture Awards

Some of the categories were particularly hotly contested this year – here are those shortlisted entries which were pipped at the post, many of them extremely strong entries in their own right …

Best of the rest

Arte-N, for Concept Pro (Bedroom)

ercol, for Aradeo (Dining)

Sciae (distributed by Richard Stamp Agencies), for Norse (Dining)

Duresta, for Antibes (Living)

LBA Interiors, for Treble Clef (Decor)

Nolte Möbel, for Cepina (Bedroom)

Watch this space Does your company deserve to be a winner? Keep an eye open for details of how to enter The Furniture Awards 2019, coming John Sankey, for Hugo (Living)

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later this year …

26/02/2018 15:39

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ES RANG NEW LUSIVE EXC NUAL IN MA WER OR PO ING N RECLI

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18 12:24

January Furniture Show Review Trends | 61

CASUAL LIVING LEADS THE WAY IN 2018 Upholstery in the year ahead is set to embrace a new mood for more informal and relaxed living, according to British Furniture Manufacturers’ (BFM) members, who were out in force at this year’s show, with a record 49 members exhibiting. In this special report, Furniture News discovers the thinking behind the developing seating trends …

Harris Tweed fabrics are now available from Wood Bros

This dominant trend for casual comfort was repeatedly reinforced at the event through muted colours and tactile fabrics, while understated grey and pastel shades are expected to maintain their hold on decor during 2018. Luxurious velvets and super-soft ‘touchy-feely’

“Understated grey and pastel shades are expected to maintain their hold on decor”

fabrics remain top choices, too.

“an organic, rather than contrived, look”. For Collins & Hayes, newly acquired by Sofa Brands International, it is all about casual style, understated luxury and sublime comfort. According to Meisha-Grace Nicely, head of marketing: “Everything is becoming a lot more casual – comfort and quality remain

“The upholstery sector is all about

comfort at the top of their agendas.”

50 shades of grey at the moment,” says

According to Tom White, design

key.” Harris Tweed also appears to be

Karl Walker, MD of Lebus Upholstery.

director at Parker Knoll, consumers want

gaining traction. Comments Nick Murphy

“Texture is also key, with soft fabrics

a more casual approach to fabrics and

of Tetrad: “Following the success of our

being the ultimate choice for many of our

colours - specifically soft, chalky pastel

Harris Tweed collection over the past five

customers.”

tones.

years, we’ve expanded the range to meet

Suzanne O’Flynn, MD of John Sankey,

Tom says that people are looking for a

the increase in demand.”

agrees: “Customers have been looking

less formal, easy way of living, that offers

for something special,” she says, “with

deep comfort – and for Nick Murphy at

feature on its accent chairs. “It’s a major

quality, attention to detail and lasting

Tetrad, this concept is about delivering

look at the moment because it’s so

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Wood Bros launched tweed as a new

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62 | January Furniture Show Review Trends

visually stunning, impactful and very tactile – it can be seen on the catwalk

Radley, Westbridge Furniture

as well as in the home,” says MD James Sheffield. “There’s a big demand for it, with a broad appeal across age groups spanning from 30-70 years.” So could the popularity of such a quintessentially British product be a reflection of a nation’s reinvigorated sense of national pride? Certainly, many BFM members at the show see being British as a positive marketing tool for 2018, particularly with consumer uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Nichola Bell, sales director at Westbridge, comments: “We’ve seen that British-made is important to our customers, with an increase in appetite from both retailers and consumers wanting to know where their products

need to see the value – to see and feel

also have removable backs, for ease of

are being made.”

what they are getting for their money

delivery.”

Parker Knoll’s Tom White adds: “Brands such as ours are instantly recognised as being British, and while the

– perhaps the size, superior fillings, or beautiful fabrics.” Another clear trend noted by

In the end, doing well in business is about producing strong products which meet the mood and needs of the time,

heritage and reputation implicit in that

Westbridge and others is the rising

offer the consumer something a little

play a part in buying decisions, it is still

interest in more compact furniture

different, and do so at a fair price.

important to deliver great products.”

for shrinking room sizes in the new-

While not everyone feels that flying the flag is a panacea to a toughening economic climate, those who do are

Says Tetrad’s Nick Murphy: “The

build sector - along with the growth of

public is so much more demanding and

apartment living.

knowledgeable now, and they want

Chris Fort of Sherborne Upholstery

more choice. That doesn’t always mean

united in their belief that British-made

comments: “One problem we’ve noticed

reinventing the wheel – it means ringing

can be a major plus, both at home and

with corner group sofas is that the

the changes with fabrics and treatments

overseas - particularly in the home

corner section itself can be awkward to

within collections.”

market, where exchange rates are now

manoeuvre into houses, flats and rooms.

working in favour of British, rather than

With that in mind, we’ve designed a

that changing consumer tastes are

imported, goods.

corner section which comes in two parts.

creating an increasingly challenging

On the flip side, the current exchange

“One section is delivered fully

Jackie Bazeley, MD of the BFM, agrees

market. “It is precisely because

rates are also cited as being among the

assembled, but retailers can easily

consumers are so much more discerning

current trading challenges faced by

remove one part for delivery purposes,

that the BFM has launched its Association

British manufacturers, having a direct

then simply link it back together again

Code of Practice (ACOP), in order to

and often significant impact on the price

when in position. The whole corner group

reassure them that member products are

of imported raw materials.

is supplied in four separate sections

sure, safe and trusted.

And it is widely held that innovation

to form either a left- or right-handed

“By signing up, manufacturing

and differentiation are key to surviving

corner group, and on the reclining corner

members and potential members have

any economic storm.

group the sections with reclining actions

an opportunity to become BFM Approved Members. This certifies that the company

Says Wood Bros’ James Sheffield: “If you don’t innovate and offer the market something that stands out, then it comes down to price, which inevitably leads to a price war. Opportunity for us is about extending our offer and hitting a range of different price points in the market without diluting the brand.” Added value was another recurring theme. “Winners for us are collections which demonstrate added value,” says Westbridge’s Nichola Bell. “People are still happy to spend money, but they

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“Harris Tweed appears to be gaining traction. Could the popularity of such a quintessentially British product be a reflection of a nation’s reinvigorated sense of national pride?”

produces at least 50% of its products in the UK and conforms to the range of UK legal, fiscal and regulatory requirements as a minimum. “In tandem with this, and reflecting the renewed appetite for buying British, our Great British Furniture (GBF) campaign, which was first introduced some 10 years ago, is being relaunched. Approved Members are free to use GBF PoS material to promote products made in the UK.” W bfm.org.uk

26/02/2018 15:40

Sherbor Sherbor


Nevada Range

Introduced to great acclaim at The January Show, the Nevada Recliner/Suite range offers softer, fibre-filled back cushions, soft ‘pillow’ arms and full ‘chaise’ seating. Small and Standard sizes are available throughout, with three sizes of Recliner and four sizes of Electric Riser Recliner.

Tuscany Covers The new Tuscany range of 21 attractive chenilles is also proving to be a real hit with interesting colour detail and some exciting new colourways on offer.

Sherborne Upholstery Limited Telephone: 01274 882633 sales@sherborne-uph.co.uk www.sherborneupholstery.co.uk (including Product Customiser to view all Fabrics and Leathers)

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January Furniture Show Review Trends | 67

From contemporary craft to machined marvels, there’s no shortage of impressive cabinet furniture at the January Furniture Show. Designer Rob Scarlett shares his favourite designs from this year’s exhibition …

A case for pushing boundaries I’m celebrating 15 years as a cabinet designer this year. It’s gone by in a flash, it seems. This also makes it my 15th January Furniture Show. I can scarcely imagine a cold January morning without walking round the lake, past the Metropole hotel to the NEC. It’s the metaphorical sun around which we all orbit. I do love the anticipation of seeing

“These are companies and products that are pushing the envelope, bravely trying hard to be different in an industry that can be reluctant to move on”

what people have cooked up over the past in between – with a lot of wholesalers

trends are going to leap out.

upping their design game without being

a glacial pace, but there’s always others

to give a shout out to my friend Will Cawson, who has been doing great things at Duresta for the last few years). These are companies and products that are pushing the envelope, bravely trying hard to be different in an industry that can be reluctant to move on. I salute them for that bravery, and for having the willpower to push new boundaries, explore different materials and finishes, and generally stand out

12 months, and wondering where the Sometimes the industry can move at

to choose some upholstery, I’d have

too risky.

from the crowd. I would absolutely consider myself a furniture person. This is my industry.

In this article, I’m presenting my five

My natural environment. I take a great

when something piques the imagination

highlights from the event. It’s by no

amount of pleasure creating products for

and sends everyone scrambling to catch

means a comprehensive list – it has an

normal people – and this really is the

up.

unashamed cabinet bias, because that’s

best show for that.

what I know and love (although if I were

W scarlettdesignuk.com

This year somehow felt like something

GALLERY DIRECT Range: Milano Designer: James Hudson Gallery Direct always has one of the best stand aspects in the show. Walking into Hall 3, your eye is immediately drawn to their open and stylish display. Grabbing my attention more than any other product in the whole show is the exquisitely-made Milano drinks cabinet. I would admit to having a real soft spot for drinks cabinets, and I have a vintage one myself (although not nearly as beautiful as this!). Similarly to Willis & Gambier’s Boston, Milano has a contemporary craft feel. Chevrons are really popular at the moment, and Gallery have treated each piece with a huge amount of care and attention, which really comes through the whole range (read more about The Furniture Awardwinning range on p50). Marrying that dry finish to some really precise veneering creates a modern classic feel with a traditional soul – a perfect metaphor for the Hudson Living brand, with its traditional past and contemporary future.

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68 | January Furniture Show Review Trends

WILLIS & GAMBIER Range: Boston Designer: Rebecca Ransom I’m really impressed with the fresh reboot by Willis & Gambier this year – the stand looked much fresher, more inviting and contemporary. Standing out above the rest of the lovely ranges on show is Boston, created by in-house designer Rebecca Ransom. Boston ties into the modern craft revival which has been happening through some of the higher-end markets. It is full of thoughtful details, including woven backs and cutlery trays. Its Shaker-inspired, raw – almost puritanical – simplicity is offset with a lovely rich black finish, which I at first mistook for a very deep blue. It’s also offered in a full oak version for the less adventurous. I hope that the consumer can see through to the sense of completeness of this design. It has an elegance and timelessness reminiscent of the best ercol products, so I hope it can achieve some longevity. “Seeing people around my pieces, interacting with them and hearing their positive feedback was wonderful,” says Rebecca. “The feeling that stirred in me is why I love to design – to create pieces people can connect with.”

BAKER FURNITURE Range: Rimini

As usual, industry leaders Baker Furniture have the most

The subtle tone is a welcome change to the ubiquitous

impressive cabinet stand. Spanning modern and traditional

standard oak colour, and has a warmth which complements its

markets with ease, Baker have an easy feel which champions

simplicity. The apparent simplicity of the design belies some

contemporary style this year.

really neat manufacturing, which only an experienced cabinet

I could easily have chosen one of another three ranges on the

eye might notice. Clever-cut, always well-executed veneering

stand – including the well-considered Shoreditch, which had a

are balanced by the sleek black metal handle and textured finish

lovely black underframe (a look which was doing well across the

to create a really balanced and stylish range.

whole show) – but the stand-out range for me was Rimini, with its rich, dark hues.

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I hope it does well, and helps us move the oak colour story on a little.

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Wieman


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70 | January Furniture Show Review Trends

BENTLEY DESIGNS Range: Bergen Designer: Ray Davies Out of all the companies at the NEC, I feel that Bentley know themselves the best. I think that comes from a firm hand at the wheel, and the steady and thoughtful designs of Ray Davies – incidentally, one of the nicest designers in the industry (read about Ray’s Tivoli design, which was Highly Commended in The Furniture Awards this year, on p51). The range I’ve picked from Bentley is Bergen – specifically the really beautiful and well-executed bedstead, which had pride of place in the centre of the stand. What grabs you at first glance is the neat and innovative use of lighting in the bed frame – neatly tucked into a recess of the cushioned headboard is a dimmable light which perfectly lifts this restrained design to a new level. What might not be immediately evident is the real technical prowess that

general technical excellence combine to create a complex simplicity. Bentley are never afraid to push the

this range shows – it’s so well made!

boundaries and embrace new styles, and I

Precise CNC machining, neat finishes and

for one hope this continues in the future.

“Bentley are never afraid to push the boundaries”

CORNDELL Range: Oakmill Designer: Melanie Mills I’ve been following the Corndell story with interest since the latest incarnation of the company came on the scene a few years back. Over the last couple of show cycles, what has stood out for me is the bravery of the brand in really attacking their market with lots of new products, cleverly finding synergies with parent company Global Home Group. Oakmill is a very well thought-out range, and its quality shines out like a beacon through the commercial offerings in Hall 4. I remarked to Melanie during our conversation that many of her products would feel well at home in the flashier Hall 1, and whilst she agreed with me, Corndell are satisfied with their current position (read more on p96). Waney-edge designs have been a strong look over the last couple of years,

over numerous different pieces is a tricky

but no-one to my mind has achieved

task, but Corndell have made it look easy

the look as consistently well as Corndell.

– take into account the white oil and

modern designs like this, and prove that

Managing the waney-edge look and feel

waxed oak options, and you have a very

style is affordable.

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versatile range. I hope Corndell can continue to launch

12/03/2018 10:10

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74 | January Furniture Show Review

Wood Bros (01920 469241) launched

Pickering armchair in Harris Tweed

a number of new initiatives, including a dining group, The Rochford, which comprises an extending oak table and accompanying upholstered chairs. The Rochford centrepiece (OC3189) is a deceptively lightweight table that contains two leaves (housed within the table). It features elegant tapered and turned legs and is also the company’s longest table at 2475cm, making it suitable for larger gatherings.

Rochford

The new dining chair (OC3190)

collaborated with renowned British

is also a light chair, ideal for easy

woollen mills Harris Tweed and Abraham

manoeuvrability.

Moon to create a sumptuous collection of

However, it is also comfortable,

100% wool sofas and chairs.

featuring additional lumbar support

A variety of upholstery designs, which

in the seat and back pad. It features

are available in a large range of fabrics

antiqued brass studding around the back

and leathers, are available.

which accentuates the delicate scroll tops.

To follow up from the show, Wood Bros is sending its showvan out to convey

This year, Wood Bros has also

the new designs, fabrics and leathers.

From left: Cleere Scamell, Thomas Small and Laraine Janes

TCS (00353 429 351351, www.tcsimports.com) brought its latest

As the final day drew to a close, MD Thomas Small was paid a

innovations in modular motion sofas and British-made Designer

visit by two of the event’s directors – Cleere Scamell and Laraine

Collection of fabric sofas to the show this year.

Janes – and informed that TCS had been awarded the Most

Alongside the new sofas, the team presented its latest

Visited Stand at the Show accolade. The visitor numbers to each

mattresses from the company’s Royal Coil stable, and introduced

stand had been collected and accredited by GES based on the

its new Natural collection, which features wool, cashmere

number of Poken scans recorded.

and silk fillings. TCS was delighted that its stand was so busy,

Thomas was thrilled to receive the award, and delighted that

and many of the visitors placed orders, keeping the team busy

the event’s visitors were genuinely excited by the new 2018

throughout the exhibition.

collections from TCS.

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75

Mark Webster Designs enjoyed a successful NEC January show, launching four new dining collections in a variety of designs and finishes which will all enter the market in May 2018. Most popular were the Kyoto and Barnyard collections which target two very different areas of the market place.The Barnyard is finished in a new salvaged grey colour and has contemporary faux leather chairs to offer a more modern look, whist the Kyoto range is a modern dark stained acacia range. Our UK made upholstery continues to grow and we received an excellent reaction to the 2018 Loft Collection update and launch of 4 new Lifestyle models.

please visit www.markwebster.co.uk to view our latest collections MWebsterJA.indd 1

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Offering an extensive selection of quality oak, beech and pine furniture in a fantastic range of paint and polished wood colour finishes, as well as bespoke fabrics, faux leathers and leathers for upholstery

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76 | January Furniture Show Review

The upmarket range of Dekton-topped dining tables from Mia Wholesale (020 8549 1077, www.miawholesale.co.uk) certainly sparked visitors’ attention. The heat- and scratch-resistant surfaces of these Balkanmanufactured centrepieces offer retailers dining solutions with an indisputably strong point of difference. After discovering Standard Furniture Factory’s products at Germany’s MOW exhibition, Mia Wholesale’s Dino Wanli launched a selection of the company’s contemporary/industrial tables, chairs and lighting products in the UK last year – and enjoyed the opportunity to grow his stockist base at Mia’s first January Furniture Show.

HD

Highland Home from Core Products (01738 630555, www. coreproducts.co.uk) celebrated its second year at the show with a vibrant new stand that featured high value-for-money assembled bedroom and downstairs ranges in a variety of painted and wood finishes. For 2018, Highland Home’s painted ranges have been further enhanced with softer door mouldings and paint depth. Indeed, the HD range of real wood dining furniture continues to gain popularity as one the best-value assembled wooden ranges on the market. The Highland Home production plant has been extended to meet demand and further improve specifications, and the ranges are now available from stock for quick delivery.

Promising a wider, more accessible range of specialist rise-and-recline chair than its existing competitors in the UK market, Pride Mobility (01869 324600, www. pride-mobility.co.uk) made its successful debut at this year’s January Furniture Show. Founded in 1985, the USheadquartered company is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of mobility products, and offers a wide variety of domestic models alongside its medicalgrade collection. Having worked with several wellestablished Chinese factories for the past 20 years to distribute products

“The bulk of this market is targeted

The unique Viva Lift mechanism

across numerous international markets,

towards the elderly,” says Tim, “but

inside each chair powers functions such

Pride Mobility is able to offer extremely

in truth it’s only the lift element of our

as headrests and lumbar support, and

competitive prices – and the company is

models that’s driven by that (growing)

extending heel support – promising

also developing made-in-the-UK ranges

customer base. In line with our CEO’s

far more flexible seating positions than

to complement its offer.

vision, we’ve developed chairs that able-

the competition can offer. Add to this

bodied people can appreciate – they’re

innovative features such as handsets with

something different at this show,” says

sophisticated and comfortable designs

USB charging ports, easy-clean fabrics

Pride’s senior director of international

which will appeal to any age group.

and handy lanyards on the wireless

sales, Tim Murphy, who, alongside

We think these models are stylish and

remotes, and any consumer looking for

long-serving senior sales manager Paul

flexible enough that they’ll find a place

a long-term seating investment they can

Clayton, believes there is great potential

in people’s homes before they even have

immediately enjoy need look no further

for the product in the UK.

need of the support functions.”

than Pride Mobility.

“We wanted to open retailers’ minds to

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IAFP.in


Go global Are you looking to develop business overseas? The International Alliance of Furnishing Publications (IAFP) is a 20-yearold association comprising the leading trade publications – based on editorial quality and circulation – from 19 countries worldwide. Its aim is to assist its members, and their advertisers, to better communicate with foreign markets. When promoting or seeking information from abroad, the IAFP network is the one to trust. Furniture News has been the UK member publication since 2012, and has since helped its readers and advertisers reach high-quality foreign information, contacts and readership. Contact Samantha Horscroft on (+44)1424 776100 to find out more.

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78 | January Furniture Show Review

With the launch of a new bespoke sofa brand, as well as introductions to its sofa bed, mattress and bed frame lines,

Henderson

this year’s show proved one of Hyder Living’s (01484 531000, www.hyderint.com) most successful yet. The Living Bespoke Sofas collection, a custom programme, proved a particularly strong draw. Showing three sofa designs (more are in development), Hyder revealed 47 colours over four fabric styles, all made to the buyer’s requirements. With the decision to make its sofa beds available direct from UK stock this April, Hyder Living also presented its innovative solutions, including the popular Emily and Maya styles, alongside its premium range of Natural Collection mattresses. Hyder Living is most famed for its range of bedframes, ottomans and bunks, and it showed some of its most enduring styles at the show, as well as new looks in wood, fabric and Alexander and James’ (www.alexanderandjamessofas.com)

metal.

mission statement for the year is grounded in a sense of living well, appreciating everything one has and being grateful for the small things - the company’s latest look book, which features the sofa collections for 2018, leads with: “This year, listen to the voice from the left, live without fear, love with wild abandon, settle on happiness – it’s the new success. “Remember fortune favours the brave (always). Party people stay up, after the after-party – but take down-time seriously. Kick back, recharge and begin again. “Be present. Make a home your nest, your safe place, your retreat, and fill it with love. Nurture family – be it two’s company, 2.4 children or a modern blended lot. “Play. And don’t forget to breathe.”

Fast-growing mattress brand Dormeo

platform for showcasing the brand,

new products developed from cutting-

(www.dormeo.co.uk) got off to a flying

and a great opportunity for retailers to

edge design and technology. Boosted

start this year, with its patented, eco-

view Dormeo’s comprehensive choice

by an omnichannel approach, Dormeo

friendly Octaspring technology making

of award-winning products, from Best

is passionate about delivering the best

the transition from the bedroom to the

Budget Buy mattresses to our top-of-

customer service, choice and value for

sky to be enjoyed by airline passengers.

the-range Octaspring collection. We

money, and continually introduces

David Green, senior regional sales

were also delighted to welcome back

engaging online content to help educate

manager at Dormeo UK, says: “We

Alex Putouck, regional sales manager,

customers on the importance of healthy

enjoyed our busiest show to date,

returning from maternity leave to rejoin

sleep.

welcoming existing and new retail

and strengthen our dedicated sales

partners looking to bring true innovation

team.”

to their customers. “This show is always an important

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As part of a global expansion plan, Dormeo UK will continue to launch

All Dormeo ranges can be seen throughout the year at the company’s new showroom in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

26/02/2018 16:12

CoreJA.in


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80 | January Furniture Show Review

Since its successful debut at the January Furniture Show, Billy & Slouch (01424 720027, www.

Lucca

billyandslouch.co.uk) has been working hard to establish itself as a go-to business for a range of

O

upholstery services, alongside its own collection of classic and contemporary upholstery. Billy & Slouch boasts wide-ranging upholstery manufacturing expertise – particularly when it comes to the production of loose-cover models. Drawing on its experience in this field and others, the company has developed a new collection of high quality fixed-, fitted loose- and loose-cover upholstery models, comprising myriad on-trend classic and contemporary shapes, including corner units. Billy & Slouch also offers a full bespoke service, through which customers can create their own unique

Mews

custom-fit furniture, and offers a COM service alongside its own extensive range of on-trend fabrics. The manufacturer’s models benefit from a unique bolt-on arm facility as standard, allowing the furniture to be delivered into the most challenging of homes and spaces. There is also a 10-year guarantee offered on all solid hardwood frames and spring units. Call Billy & Slouch to make contact with the nearest agent, or make an appointment to visit the company’s new showroom in Hastings, East Sussex, to see the range and meet the team.

Lundy

The Där Lighting Group (01295 672200, www.darlighting. co.uk) launched its spring/summer 2018 collection of indoor and outdoor lighting, mirrors and furniture. Available to see for the first time, the new products feature geometric forms, textured glass and rich metallic finishes. The group carries over 2500 lighting products plus a specialist collection of small-footprint occasional furniture designed to hold lighting. A leading UK supplier of quality lighting and homeware products for both domestic and commercial use, Där Lighting Group offers designs covering a broad spectrum of styles, from traditional to contemporary. Worldwide sourcing and an in-house design studio combine the latest creative trends with cutting-edge manufacture and hand craftsmanship.

Sword, Thalia and Yulia

Devonshire Pine and Oak (01237 471872, www. devonshirepineandoak.co.uk) reports a record-breaking show, which was bolstered by the launch of the completelyredesigned Lundy painted dining and living range. Particularly well received were the new larder units and range of four painted tables, which cater for every need. The Lundy range is manufactured in the UK in solid wood, and is now available in 12 colours with two oak top colours and five handle and knob options. With 71 pieces available, the range offers over 23,000 variant options. An industrial table was also launched, along with new fabric chairs and additions to bestselling ranges.

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Furman


Our brand new range of upholstered beds Our brand new range of upholstered beds

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82 | January Furniture Show Review

Following another year of impressive growth, it was with

A

some gusto that Lebus Upholstery (www.lebus.co.uk) launched 14 new ranges at this year’s show. With an emphasis on

T a a Q

design, diversity and competitiveness, the collections were enthusiastically received by their customers. The company has doubled in size over the past five years, and continues to invest and evolve. Its ethos remains squarely focused on quality, service and product development, with the

B r a

goal of offering the best value in the sector. Ritz

Corona Vintage

Core Products’ (01738 630555, www.coreproducts.co.uk) stand featured a much-expanded furniture offer. Following on from last year’s success with its unique coloured wax finishes, Core has further expanded its manufacturing partnerships in Brazil to ensure greater stock levels to ensure quick and efficient deliveries. Core launched a considerable number of new pieces and ranges, including the new Corona Whitewash and antique wax bedroom collection, and the Corona Vintage wood collection, which combines the supplier’s grey wax with tops replicating upcycled paint finishes. Further expansion of the Aspen table and chair collections reinforced Core Products’ commitment to stylish, affordable furniture ranges.

Mason and Pearl (0116 442 2363, www.masonandpearl.co.uk) enjoyed a “fantastic response”, launching 16 contemporary sofa and chair ranges at the show. The new models included an expanded range of the company’s popular modern fabric sofas, available for quick delivery or collection. Also displayed was a new range of made-to-order designer leather sofas, with customers able to choose from a wide selection of luxurious colours and grains of leather. All of Mason and Pearl’s fabric ranges are carried in stock at its centrally-located distribution centre, and all products are available with a two-man home delivery service and no minimum order requirements.

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MODERN A DESIGN FOR LIFE

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84 | January Furniture Show Review

Having sold their customers the furniture, retailers can turn to the clever solutions offered by Stroolmount (sales@stroolmount.co.uk, www.stroolmount.co.uk) for add-on sales, by helping to prevent damage to all types of flooring and furniture. “The trade and customers invest a fortune in quality flooring and furniture,” says Stroolmount’s Gill Finch, “so it makes sense to spend a few pence protecting it. We’ve saved companies thousands in costly repairs, replacements and insurance claims, with simple solutions costing as little as 1p.”

A selection of Furni-Glides is available

Short- and long-term solutions are available – in bulk for manufacturers, and with retail PoS with own branding also available. The products include: Furni-Glides, made with Teflon, and self-adhered or screwed into very heavy furniture so it is able to slide easily across carpet or hard surfaces; the multi-award-winning long-term solution, Quickclick glide, in which click-in interchangeable and replacement base glides help protect wood, laminate, vinyl, carpet and tiled floors, and can be easily replaced when the felt wears down; Self-adhesive felts, a short-term anti-scratch solution to cushion floors from heavy furniture, with the added bonus of a strong adhesive; and Move It pads, a temporary solution so anyone can easily glide heavy furniture across hard floors and carpet (an online video demonstrates how easy these make moving furniture).

30mm fixing

40mm fixing

Iain James Furniture (www.iainjamesfurniture.co.uk) launched a Burr Walnut Additions brochure, featuring its newest products. The new collection features a range of occasional furniture with delicate ebony inlays to carefully-proportioned tapered legs. Particularly well received was the company’s elegant glasstop coffee table, featuring four square pieces of bevellededged glass, rebated into a burr walnut framework, and complemented by matching lamp and console tables. The company also presented an impressive Biedermeierinfluenced circular dining table with a decorative inlaid pedestal base, along with collections of Georgian-styled occasional furniture with distinctive classical reeded profiles.

Lily

Mark Webster Designs (01623 443355, www.markwebster. co.uk) enjoyed a successful show, launching four dining collections in a variety of designs and finishes which will all enter the market this May. Most popular were the Kyoto and Barnyard collections, which target two very different areas of the marketplace. The Barnyard is finished in a new salvaged grey colour, and has contemporary faux leather chairs to offer a more modern look, whilst the Kyoto range is a modern, dark-stained acacia range. As the company’s UK-made upholstery line continues to grow, it received a warm response to the 2018 Loft Collection update and launch of four Lifestyle models.

FN348_Pages.indd 84

AMC60 glass-top coffee table

26/02/2018 15:41

P&BMa


Thank you for making the 2018 January Furniture Show and Spring Fair such a success.

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86 | January Furniture Show Review

“Commercial good looks with design flair encapsulated our collection for the NEC,” says Mark Smith, design director of Ashley Manor (www.ashleymanor.co.uk). “The comfort factor was increased with the addition of Encore seating – a seat cushion with the plump comfort of fibre or feather and the performance of foam.” Encore boasts a unique construction of compartments and a supportive foam core, to ensure that the cushion returns to its original shape time after time. Combined with Ashley Manor’s latest tactile fabrics, this added comfort makes for cosy sofa collections that are easy to live with and will provide years of use.

Fabio

Arte-N Furniture (www.arte-n.co.uk) specialises in modern bedroom, living and children’s furniture. The UK distributor of Polish manufacturer Lenart’s high-quality products and appealing designs, Arte-N Furniture offers UK retailers an inspiring and imaginative range of furniture, “as numerous customer reviews and industry awards will attest”, says a company spokesperson. “The January Furniture Show marked the start of what we hope is going to be another exciting year for the company.” Arte-N Furniture’s current bestsellers include its wide range of spacious sliding wardrobes and innovative fold-away wall beds – one of which, Concept Pro, made the shortlist of The Furniture Awards this year.

Kleo by Bluebone

Bluebone (www.bluebone.co.uk) reports a “real buzz” at the show in response to the unveiling of its new Kleo by Bluebone collection. Created from recycled boatwood, Kleo drew a good deal of attention. Ocean, with its tube frame and sanded down boatwood, was by far the most popular range. By removing the colour of the old, messy timber, the attractive nature of the wood comes to life – it is the patterns, dents, scars and natural lines that tell the story of the Kleo products’ journey from ocean to home, which makes every individual piece unique. At the Bluebone stand itself, the gallery concept was the winner. According to Bluebone, Soft Industrial is gaining traction in retail, and the company has put its bestselling pieces together in retail displays. Using the birdcage bar table as a centrepiece to display different bar stools, the concept shows living and dining design in sturdy quality. The wall accessories finish the look, and of course add some takeaway pieces with which to increase sales.

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Shanka


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BRING IT ON 2018

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88 | January Furniture Show Review

From its purpose-built warehouse and showrooms in

The British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM, www.bfm.org.uk)

Milnsbridge, Huddersfield, designer and importer of furniture,

enjoyed a good start to the year following the unveiling of its

decorative lighting and home accessories Pacific Lifestyle

new Association Code of Practice (ACOP) at the show.

(sales@pacific-lifestyle.co.uk) brought its complete homeware solution to the event

The association also relaunched its Great British Furniture (GBF) campaign and refreshed its website at the exhibition,

Pacific Lifestyle has become one of the largest B2B suppliers

which it attended alongside a record number of 49 members.

of globally-sourced products. Its knowledgeable design and

MD Jackie Bazeley comments: “We had an excellent few days

buying team creates new inspirational collections year after

at the show, showcasing our new ACOP and GBF campaign,

year, whilst striving to deliver the best in quality, service and

which was really well received. The feedback from our

products.

members was highly positive for the year ahead, with many keen to fly the flag for British-made furniture. “The exhibition also provided us with a great networking opportunity to see our existing members and discuss the benefits of membership to potential new ones.”

BFM MD, Jackie Bazeley

KEENCLASSICS CTRO

LTRO STROL NTRA

STRO

TEL: 07774 704744 info@keenclassics.com www.keenclassics.com

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90 | January Furniture Show Review

Celebrity Motion Furniture (01623 440626, www.celebrity-

charging points. These designs, exclusive to Celebrity, will be

furniture.co.uk) reports that its new models were well received

available on all powered models this spring.

by Celebrity and Ikon stockists alike.

“With the Ikon collection expanding, we’re now able to

“Everything is on schedule to get the new ranges into

offer more choice to customers and provide a solution to

production, and we’re confident that the new processes in place

those requiring a modern, stylish recliner, and the possibility

will enable us to offer a more responsive and efficient service as

of upgrading to a riser recliner,” says Victoria. “All new

we move the company forward,” says Celebrity’s Victoria Fallon,

2018 recliners will have an option for an integrated discreet

who points out that MD Wayne Hollis’ extensive production

rechargeable battery, and will be fitted with our exclusive power

experience and keen interest in technology has enabled Celebrity

button.

to adapt to meet the challenges of today’s market.

“The fabric choice has increased considerably, and with the

All of Celebrity’s models will be updated over the next few months with new handset designs or power buttons with USB

Aurora in Ditsy

option for customers’-own covers available, the offering of design options is almost endless.”

Somersby Grande

The Minerva Group (01249 716195,

Shankar (01902 399764, www.shankar.uk.com) launched new seating products

www.minervafurnishers.co.uk)

from its Grande Designs and Espresso Living ranges, alongside many others.

exhibited at the show again this year,

Shankar’s team is dedicated to helping new and existing customers increase

following its first successful marketing

their revenue. With the added provision of a drop-ship direct delivery service to

appearance last year. This time, the

end users, the company continues to go from strength to strength in the UK and

group took a prominent stand area in

overseas with the support of its customers and suppliers in Great Britain and

Hall 1, in a high-traffic area.

Ireland.

The Minerva team was “extremely

Sho

busy” during the show itself, with some “very positive enquiries” from prospective retail members and suppliers alike. As a direct result of the show, Minerva reports the addition of nine new retailers with a total of 13 outlets, which joined the group this month. Minerva is currently in final

Sho

discussions with several other quality independents, who are “extremely interested” in joining in the very near future. These additions significantly add to the buying power and strength of the Minerva Group, which continues to evolve and build on its solid foundations. Minerva will also make its Manchester Furniture Show debut this July.

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Stroolm


Now moving recliners is as easy as putting your feet up Boost your recliner sales with new Recliner Glide Caps Heavy mechanisms make recliners hard to move and clean underneath. Dust accumulates. creating a breeding ground for asthma-causing dust mites Moving recliners is treacherous: the metal feet can dig in and rip carpets or scar wood/laminate flooring. Try lifting them and you risk injury. Stroolmount’s Recliner Glide Cups are the quick, easy and affordable solution. Made from PTFE (Teflon), they use the same principle stopping food sticking to a pan. A gentle push and they glide swan-like across the floor, without hurting customers’ backs, floors – or pockets with costly repairs. So now they can clean or rearrange their lounge as often as they want. They’re quick and simple to fit – you just peel the sticker and pop on the Recliner Glide Cup. That’s it. Fitting almost all with a 30mm or 40mm foot

So boost your sales ratio: put them on your showroom furniture. Our Furni-glides also helps furniture move easily over carpet and wood flooring. Purchase in bulk or packaged, self-adhesive or screw-in. See all Stroolmount’s furniture and flooring protection solutions:

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92 | January Furniture Show Review

Molecular console table

Molecular dining table

For Febland (www.febland.co.uk), which enjoyed a successful show, it is not all about one big annual launch – Febland is not a seasonal company, and so receives new lines every month.

There are matching console tables with a striking design, an

According to Febland’s Stephen Ward, last month, in

attractive statement desk and a range of colourful oriental-style

particular, was a “belter” – new lines include stylish glass

storage units in all shapes and sizes. Febland’s mosaic glass

top dining tables with substantial chrome plinth bases and

ranges are also popular – ranging from Love letters, hearts,

complementary chairs (the pad of which can be upholstered in

lamps and a full range of fruit, to tea light goblets and globes.

any fabric to match any decor).

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Febland’s website is updated daily with new arrivals.

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SmartM


ALL NEW FURNITURE FOR 2018!

lifestyle oak furniture

Hampton Court Bedroom Now in oak, and grey with oak top

5 drawer narrow £159

Wardrobe £229

Dressing table £189

3 over 4 chest £239

Bedside £59

Bedside £69

2 over 3 chest £199

New dining chairs for 2018

All ra nges also avail ab in 20 & 40 le f oot cont aine r s direc t

Available in Light Grey and Charcoal initially

Skipton chair £69

York chair £49

Occasional Still available in Ivory with Oak tops, and Oak

Tower cabinet £59

Small sideboard £139

Nest of 3 £69

Telephone table £79

Corner TV £109

SMART TRADING EU LTD

Bevelled Mirrors With 3” curved oak or cream painted frames

CONTACT SMART TRADING EU LTD SMART OCCASIONAL

01937 589188 sales@smart-trading.co.uk www.smart-trading.co.uk 48” x 12” £45

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40” x 30” £55

36” x 24” £50

30” x 20” £40

20” x 16” £30

sales@smartoccasional.co.uk www.smartoccasional.co.uk

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96 | January Furniture Show Review

LEADING THE WAY The momentum of Corndell Quality Furniture continues to build – fresh from introducing new ranges, an improved customisation model and fresh PoS materials at the exhibition, MD Maarten van Eden explains what worked, and why …

Which ranges did you launch there, and

within the next month or so. However,

how were they received?

Cheltenham, our classic French-inspired

This year, with our largest-ever stand,

bedroom, attracted the most display

we were able to display all of our current

orders and is building enormous sales

ranges – including our bestsellers Annecy

momentum.

and Nimbus – along with our exciting new launches, Daylesford and Woodstock. Daylesford was the star of the show

Did the positioning of the stand affect footfall at all?

and attracted a lot of attention. We were

In a very positive way, yes. Our stand was

able to secure new floor placements with

side-by-side with our parent company’s

our current customers, as well as brand

(Global Home Group,) in Hall 4, and

new ones. Daylesford is a chunky oak

this made cross-selling much easier

dining range that exudes quality and

for our agents and salespeople. It also

elegant country chic. Daylesford has a

accentuated the difference in offering

wide range of pieces, paint shades and

between the two companies, enhancing

top options, enabling the customer to

the value proposition of each.

truly personalise their furniture. It was incredibly well received at the show, and

What elements of the stand presentation

we have secured a high number of floor

were you most pleased with, and what

placements.

effect do you think they had?

We also launched Woodstock, a

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Our coffee bar was simply stunning –

fresh, contemporary dining range

located in the heart of our stand, it was

with a choice of six exciting new paint

a way of enticing customers in to see us

colours, including a red, a green and a

and to feel comfortable. Adorned with

blue. Woodstock was also well received,

natural Cotswold stone, the bar really

and the new displays will be delivered

oozed Corndell country chic style.

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January Furniture Show Review | 97

“If you want to know where the market is headed, you only have to look at our new ranges, colours and finishings”

at our new ranges, colours and finishings.

What key dates should Corndell’s customers look out for?

What plans are in place to develop

They should expect to see us at the

Corndell’s service delivery?

Manchester Furniture Show in July – or

Corndell provides a dedicated home

give us a call if they’d like to receive an

delivery service directly from the factory

individual visit from a member of our

to the home of the end-customer, at a

sales team, or news of any upcoming

very modest rate.

showroom events.

Minimising the handling of furniture is a key ingredient in ensuring right-first-

T 01993 776545

time delivery.

W corndell.com

Can you describe the range of PoS accompanying the new ranges, and explain how it was conceived? Our brand new PoS boards offer a simple yet effective way of explaining the extensive options available in each of our ranges – whether it be the paint colours and finishes, or the tops and handles. The boards are a tactile and attractive way of displaying the options for each collection. Do you have any general feelings about what the rest of the market is putting forward right now? With our strong and sophisticated inhouse design capabilities and efficient sampling operation, we are able to regularly launch new product into the market. It has not escaped us that our designs have had many admirers over the years, in the sense that other companies often copy us – if you want to know where the market is headed, you only have to look

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Creatively ...

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01993 776545

corndell.com

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Nimbus

in Mist, Oiled, Satin, Dark & Painted

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100 | January Furniture Show Review

MATTRESS INNOVATOR TARGETS GREATER ENGAGEMENT The New Year saw Breasley return to the show to present the 2018 Salus Bed Collection, alongside its successful Uno range, which features the new boxed mattress models that have been added to the brand.

Salus I-Plus Absolute Luxury 1500 with Portobello headboard

Constant innovation is at the heart of Breasley’s philosophy in mattress and divan manufacture, and this approach has helped

has proved very popular with our retail partners.” The company plans to attend the major trade exhibitions

Breasley become one the UK’s fastest-growing independent

throughout the year, including the Bed Show, AIS and Minerva,

mattress manufacturers.

plus the Scottish Northpoint Show, and is confident that this is

Darren Crowshaw, Breasley Group’s joint MD, comments: “For us, innovation is about knowing when to change, listening

the right approach. “The January Furniture Show proved to be a very positive start

to our customers’ needs, and being able to adapt to market

to the new year for us, and the buyers were out in force, despite

requirements. The new Salus Bed Collection offers superb

the weather conditions! The show opens Breasley up to a much

comfort and quality at very competitive price points, plus we

wider audience, which in turn brings some interesting enquiries

are extending the breadth of our Uno rolled-and-boxed ranges

and leads as well as new business, so our plans are to rebook for

to include several new models over the coming months, with

the January Furniture Show 2019.

exciting new technology and also a natural story.” Darren continues: “The Salus Viscoool models have performed

“We have also significantly increased our marketing budget this year so we can fully support our customers on all fronts

particularly well since the launch, and we have also had a great

– from in-store displays and PoS to new videography and

response to the Salus Natural mattress trio, which combines a

increased social media activity,” concludes Darren.

more contemporary look with a very luxurious feel. The natural

T 01629 823680

sleeping surface is a new addition to the Salus brand, and this

E sales@breasley.co.uk

Pebble divan with drawers open and Bayswater headboard, from the 2018 Salus Natural collection

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Salus Viscoool Iris 2250

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102 | January Furniture Show Review

THE START OF SOMETHING SPECIAL? With recent introductions including the classically Parisian FR Bedroom collection and the stylish NT Bedroom joining a broad array of oak, pine and painted ranges, there is no doubt Kettle Interiors offers an impressive choice of cabinet furniture …

Making it simple and easy to mix between collections, and with

cabinet furniture order. “Our upholstered dining chairs proved

no minimum quantities across ranges, the brand’s supply model

a runaway success when they were introduced last year, but we

is also appreciated by retailers, as it offers fast access to just

were already busy expanding the collection behind the scenes,”

what is needed – it could be argued that Kettle Interiors has

continues Simon.

struck that difficult balance between choice and flexibility. Achieved through investing heavily in stock and warehousing

“We’re really proud of this new collection. It has the depth of product required and there’s a match for virtually any

in the UK and Vietnam – the latter home to the production of

home. What’s more, quality and value is spot on, and highly-

many of its exclusive ranges in a wholly-owned factory – Kettle

competitive pricing has ensured this expanded range is off to a

Interiors can now look beyond cabinet furniture and prove its

flying start.”

model in other sectors of the interiors industry. “Changing from Kettle Containers in 2009, we’ve been Kettle

The Mirror Collection is perhaps the most significant departure yet for Kettle. Bringing four styles influenced by

Interiors for nearly 10 years and are now beginning to see

baroque, art deco and Victorian, these new mirrors are available

the ambition in our name realised,” says Simon Ainge, sales

in a variety of rectangular sizes, with the slender, grand leaner

director. “As the saying goes, the best things come to those

style ideal for dressing rooms. In a choice of gold or silver gilt –

who wait, and we’ve made sure that we have the supply chain,

and selected styles also in white – and with bevelled glass for a

warehousing and distribution network in place before looking at

quality feel, these mirrors have a major advantage, says Simon.

ways to bring complementing product lines into our mix. “Of course, we’ve long carried complementing chairs and matching mirrors to all of our ranges, but we surprised many at this year’s shows with two really exciting collections that take us beyond cabinet furniture.” The first of these is an impressive array

“We looked far and wide for the right collection, but we also knew that the offering had to be completely flexible, and so we’ve made sure that any mirror ordered comes individually boxed,” he explains. “Protecting the mirror of course, it is ultimately the most convenient way for retailers to receive goods, whether

of chairs, an expansion on last year’s The

for stock or customer collection. To the

Chair Collection. Originally featuring four

best of my knowledge, we’re one of the

light oak leg styles in a choice of grey or

few suppliers in the country to provide

beige fabric, The Chair Collection now

this.”

stretches to 12 different styles, including

If these new lines are anything to go

button-back office chairs and fabric stools.

by, Kettle could soon be finding a new

With leg options in black and fabrics

fan base, through its proven formula

including check and duck egg blue stripe,

and new interior lines.

The Chair Collection is supplied in pairs in

T 01536 444960

any mix and quantity and as part of any

E sales@kettleinteriorsagencies.com

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Cintique


Scarlett Chair Leather or Fabric Option Scarlett Chair Leather or Fabric Option

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104 | January Furniture Show Review

MLILY’S WINNING FORMULA For the third consecutive year, Mlily doubled its business at the show, its presence making an undeniable impact once again.

As the mattress manufacturer continues to go from strength to strength, its success cannot be understated amidst the

Manchester United ex-defender Denis Irwin paid Mlily’s stand a visit

challenges of today’s marketplace. But besides a fruitful partnership with global brand Manchester United, what is it that has led to the company’s winning formula? “It’s about relationships,” says Bob Badman, director of sales. “The loyalty and support we show our retailers is unparalleled. People know we have great products now, and it’s about delivering that level of quality they have come to expect, at a price which maximises their margins.” Highlights from the Mlily stand included the Aria, the company’s bed-in-a-box answer for retailers, which includes two free pillows and a simple, elegant look. The company also showed off its United partnership with its brand new Premier Collection, which utilises exclusive hybrid technology designed in collaboration with the Recovery & Regeneration Team at the club’s Aon Training Complex. By taking the products it has customised for United’s elite players and making those same benefits available to the public, Mlily is doing all it can to redefine sleep across the UK. T 01582 400604 W mlily.uk

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106 | January Furniture Show Review

FIRST FOR DESIGN Alpha Designs once again surpassed all sales expectations for its new models, and its Tiffany range was Highly Commended in the Living Category of The Furniture Awards 2018 – making the show a success on all counts for the growing upholstery manufacturer.

Brooke

At the January Furniture Show, Alpha Designs proved its credentials as a progressive UK upholstery manufacturer at the forefront of design and fabrics. From its stand in Hall 1, Alpha Designs presented its new Spring 2018 ranges – Tiffany (read more about The Furniture Awards accolade on p49), Hudson, Brooke, and Finley, plus a new velvet fabric treatment on the established Vincent collection – to customers old and new. These new ranges, which were designed and developed together with one of the industry’s leading furniture designers, look set to fuel Alpha’s momentum in the marketplace. Building on the company’s existing offer, these additions significantly broaden the breath of styles available from Alpha Designs. Coupled with the company’s can-do attitude and total flexibility on fabrics across all models, Alpha’s proposition is proving an enticing one for a growing number of retailers. T 01902 492937 E sales@alpha-designs.co.uk

Tiffany

Finley

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AlphaM


ALPHA D E S I G N S

Hudson

ALPHA DESIGNS UPHOLSTERY LIMITED T: 01902 492937 F: 01902 493700 E: sales@alpha-designs.co.uk Unit 1, Stag Industrial Estate, Oxford Street, Bilston, Wolverhampton WV14 7HZ

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108 | January Furniture Show Review

BRITISH DESIGNED, MADE, AND LOVED Westbridge Furniture enjoyed another strong show, deploying new models across each of its four collections to a warm response. But there’s no time to rest on these laurels – sales director Nichola Bell argues that it’s time to shelve Brexit uncertainty and start banging the drum for British-made furniture, and that Westbridge is the perfect place to start …

The current trend for green Pantones was addressed through the introduction of the new Forrest leather – pictured on Soho

With nearly 1000 staff working across four factories, Westbridge is one of Britain’s biggest upholstery manufacturers. Its portfolio

models, Soho and the Cozy Snug. As well as a high level of comfort, Soho offers a stylish but

comprises four collections – Spirit, Westbridge, Elements and

functional slim arm in a selection of 10 aniline leathers and 15

Artisan – and every model, even the leather/fabric-mix Artisan

fabrics: “Just enough choice for the customer, without being

pieces, introduced last year, is built by hand in the UK.

overwhelming,” says Nichola.

This already-compelling offer continues to go from strength to strength. As well as new Artisan models, the January Furniture Show saw the addition of 10 new models to the Westbridge and

The Cozy Snug, meanwhile, comes in a versatile range of compact sizes, making it ideal for apartments and small spaces. The introduction of these compact models does not mean

Spirit collections, bolstering core bestsellers such as Dexter,

Westbridge has overlooked the more sumptuous end of the

Brooke, Maxwell, Keaton and Georgie with 10 new leathers,

market. The company’s show-stopper this year was Farmhouse

allowing stockists to introduce British-made leather on proven

Luxe, a mix of British wool, velvet and character leather.

models and from the same floor display. Interestingly, with nearly 40% of the UK’s new house builds

“Of course it’s always nice to buy British,” says Nichola, “but what does it actually mean for our stockists? Well, better service,

being flats, it is no surprise that customers are increasingly

for starters – you don’t have to wait 16 weeks for additions, or

requesting furniture that is compact yet stylish, and Westbridge

for service issues to be dealt with. Plus there’s the peace of mind

met this demand with the timely introduction of two new

that one of our helpful team members is at the end of a phone line (or the M56). “Also, our furniture is tested in our accredited facility, so

Cozy Snug

we’re able to offer a 10-year guarantee on our frames.” Proudly designing and making industry-leading upholstery in Britain, Westbridge’s comfortable, trendy and competitivelypriced ranges offer an antidote to those Brexit blues. “If you didn’t get the chance to catch us at Birmingham in January, don’t despair, as all our new ranges have found a home in our showrooms, and we’d love to show them off to you,” concludes Nichola. “And don’t forget that we’ll be back at the spring Long Point in May, and at the Manchester Furniture Show

Cozy Snug

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in July.” W westbridgefurniture.com

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110 | January Furniture Show Review

HAYDEN PARK BOLSTERS “GAME-CHANGING” PORTFOLIO Sofa supplier Hayden Park promised to bring game-changing technology and two new designs to the show, and the company did not disappoint, reports Furniture News …

Clayton

Alongside existing favourites, Hayden Park’s offer was led by its new Clayton model, which features built-in wireless phone charging – available on new Apple and Android phones – plus a drop-down table, under-seat storage to maximise space, and full motion power reclining. “Since the first models were launched into the UK market in the autumn, the business has taken on 56 established retailers as stockists already – for those who have already received their display orders they have repeated orders within the first week,” comments MD Jon Higham. “Large stock levels are being held in our 60,000ft2 warehouse, and being part of our warehouse stockist programme means you can repeat on all orders in four to eight weeks. “We offer each model in contrasts of grey and brown, in a choice of different fabrics, with manual and power options. Customers wanting to join our container programme can choose their own range Colton

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of fabrics from a master swatch book and split models across the container,

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January Furniture Show Review | 111

including leather models.” With the addition of two new models at the show, Hayden Park’s sofa collection now features 10 models. “Plans for the future are also under way, with Hayden Park’s big focus to become one of the leading suppliers of recliners in the UK. In addition, we are currently increasing our warehouse space and stockholding to ensure all core UK lines are always readily available for a three-day delivery if required,” concludes Jon. T 0800 002 9428 W haydenpark.co.uk

Weston

Mason

Tyler

Grayson

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112 | January Furniture Show Review

CUSTOMER FEEDBACK HELPS CREATE PROMISING PRODUCT Homestyle GB’s focus at this year’s show may have been new products, but as well as driving sales, the event proved an effective platform from which to present a handful of prototype ideas and gain valuable feedback from the company’s customer base …

C

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Scandic hi-fi unit with hinged glass top

Painted Z computer desk with natural oak top and shelf

CM

MY

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Scandic lamp table

Painted Z TV unit with natural oak top and base

Homestyle GB continues to expand its

in a light grey painted finish, accented

on a quality retro range, and sports

Deluxe Rustic range, which now includes

with a choice of three finishes for the

some unique design features – including

a large dresser top to accompany the

oak tops and shelves. The range is

solid oak frames with dovetailed and

range’s bestselling sideboard. Traditional

constructed with 100% timber – no

doweled joints, plus an eye-catching

styling meets functionality with yet

MDF – and the oak tops and shelves are

rounded recessed front lip. According to

another new extending table option – the

available in natural oak, smoked oak and

the company, the feedback this range

oval X-leg extending table was developed

dark wenge finishes.

attracted at the show was “exceptional”

in direct response to customer input, and looks set to be a strong seller. Homestyle’s designer Z range now boasts a painted variant – it is available

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Last but not least was the introduction

and, with some minor tweaks, it will soon

of a new oak range that has been on

be in full production.

the company’s drawing board for some

T 01606 556585

time. The Scandic is Homestyle’s take

W homestyle.gb.com

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ParkLan


Park Lane - Trade Ad A4 2018.pdf

1

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114 | January Furniture Show Review

SECONIQUE CELEBRATES STAR LAUNCHES

N

Despite being mid-way through moving to new premises, Seconique approached the exhibition with gusto, launching a strong complement of ranges …

Nevada

The Nevada bedroom and Finley dining and occasional ranges

Seconique would like to thank customers old and new for

were amongst the top sellers at this year’s show, reports

making the show a success for the company, and looks forward

Seconique.

to seeing them at the Manchester Furniture Show in July.

Nevada, a stylish, high-gloss fronted bedroom collection, offers storage solutions including three different sizes of

T 0121 506 4888 W seconique.co.uk

wardrobe – two-, three- and four-door versions. The latter two models offer full-length mirrors, and all three include drawers. There is a choice of two combination bedside chests, a 3+2 drawer chest, three-drawer chest and narrow five-drawer chest. Other features include 3D oak-effect painted carcasses, a choice of oyster- or grey-painted high-gloss doors and drawers, stainless steel metal handles and metal drawer runners. The Finley range of occasional pieces was launched in July last year, and due to its success a TV unit, sideboard, dining table and chairs have been added. The collection is finished in a medium sonoma oak-effect veneer, features antique brasscoloured handles, and has a retro look. The chairs are available

Finley

in a choice of beige or grey fabric, with white piping. Shelving and storage is a popular current trend, and with this in mind Seconique launched the Santos shelving range, which co-ordinates with the supplier’s Santos butterfly dining set and its bestselling Corona range. The frame comprises solid pine finished in Seconique’s popular distressed waxed pine, and has contrasting white shelves. The range offers four options – an entertainment unit, threetier shelf with storage drawer, corner shelf and a four-tier shelf, which can be used in a variety of combinations.

F

The Amelia wing back fabric bed and the Stella bed – both of which have high headboards in line with current trends – were also well received.

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Stella

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Seconiq


NORDIC BEDROOM with MARLBOROUGH E

A

ILABL VA

new APRIL

AMELIA BED

N E V A D A G R E Y G LO S S

S A N TO S

P O RT L A N D D I N I N G S E T

For more details call 0121 506 4888 or visit our website www.seconique.co.uk COMPREHENSIVE PRODUCT RANGE - FIRST CLASS SERVICE - OUTSTANDING VALUE FN348_Pages.indd 115 SeconiqueMar18.indd 1

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116 | January Furniture Show Review

AWARD-WINNING IDEAS SHINE THROUGH Award-winning German bedroom furniture manufacturer, Wiemann, once again celebrated a positive start to the year with a successful few days at the 2018 January Furniture Show. It also enjoyed a top accolade from The Furniture Awards, winning the Bedroom Category Berlin 3m sliding robe in pebble grey with pebble grey glass fronts with its new-for-2018 VIP range, Cayenne …

“It was another solid year for Wiemann at the January Furniture

“This market sector is full of flat models without any shape,

Show,” says Simon Hewitt, MD of UK sole agent, Litmus

so Cayenne really stands out – it could probably be sold

Furniture. With over 18 ranges on display, including eight new

based on its looks alone, and it lends itself to so many room

designs, it was the simple display and selling solutions that

configurations.”

took the buyers’ fancy. For instance, the All In comes with two

Adds Kai Schwenke, Wiemann’s export manager: “Cayenne

accessory packages – basic and premium – while Sydney in oak

shows our commitment to creating innovative, unique products

taps into the ongoing British interest in this more traditional

that combine practicality and functionality to a high standard

wood finish.

and represent great value for money.” Read more about why the

“Our two new finishes, pebble grey and hickory oak, also did well,” adds Simon. “Plus, we saw a fantastic response to our

judges chose Cayenne on p52. As well as well-designed, desirable products at competitive

Kansas range, the best-selling non-promo collection on display,

prices, Wiemann also offers a full delivery and installation

featuring our new auto-open bi-fold doors.

service to all stockists, as well as product sales training and

“Now we’re looking forward to following some great leads

aftersales service via its team of regional sales agents.

with new accounts over the coming weeks – and of course

E enquiries@wiemannuk.co.uk

capitalising on Cayenne winning the show award in the Bedroom

W wiemannuk.co.uk

Category.” Cayenne combines stylish designs with practicality, offering large and flexible storage options thanks to its dual-depth

Cayenne

cupboards and a choice of widths from 50-400cm, with a greater incremental variety on offer than the usual Wiemann robes. The range comes in a choice of three carcass colours, six door finishes and two heights, ideal for matching decor schemes, and for pleasing space-stricken consumers. It features smart accessories including soft-closing doors and a grey striped interior finish as standard. LED interior lighting, additional storage facilities including trouser, utensil and tie rack pull outs can also be added. The Furniture Awards 2018 judging panel comments:

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EdinTab


New to the industry, The Edinburgh Table Company create authentic rustic farmhouse tables that are all handmade in Scotland from reclaimed timber. Being truly rustic, our tables have real character and bring a unique style to the market. Made using locally sourced reclaimed wood, our tables are eco-friendly and come with a price point that may surprise you.

info@edinburghtablecompany.co.uk / www.edinburghtablecompany.co.uk

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118 | January Furniture Show Review

DARING TO BE DIFFERENT After promising visitors that they could expect to encounter new ranges that“stand out from the crowd” at the show, Heritage Furniture delivered, launching three collections and a fresh painted version of its popular Sedona bedroom range. Following the exhibition, 3m sliding in pebble grey with… pebble grey glass fronts Furniture News caught up with MD SaeedBerlin Mohmed torobe find out more

Colmar bedroom

“It was a great show,” enthuses Saeed, whose confidence in

market that’s “flooded with mediocrity” – and in this respect

Heritage’s new designs was clearly well placed. “We saw a

Heritage succeeded, delivering numerous points of difference

massive uplift in orders, and all of our new ranges were well

that are priced sensibly, providing attractive retail margins

received – larger brand retailers in particular expressed a great

whilst maintaining the customer’s perception of value.

deal of interest.” As well as introducing a soft sage green paint finish for the

“Our approach is clearly working for our stockists,” says Saeed. “Our existing customers have dedicated more floor space

Shaker-style Sedona bedroom range, Heritage launched three

and invested in more ranges, building on the success they have

collections at the event: Skien, an elegant mid-century-style

enjoyed with our previous products. And we’ve also seen an

light oak living and dining range; Harkuta, a sleek, curved,

increase of customers utilising our warehouse space – we act

Scandi-style oak bedroom offering; and Colmar, a French-

as an overflow facility for our stockists, allowing them to invest

inspired oak living, dining and bedroom collection with a grey

in ranges and display them on their shop floor, rather than

lime-washed finish.

pressuring them to order in large numbers and sit on the stock.”

“Our strategy of working closely with our customers –

With a container programme, a careful approach to stockist

particularly through the product development process – has

selection which preserves geographical product exclusivity,

clearly proved fruitful,” says Saeed, who explains that each

and a new website which features rapid order and stock check

Heritage range is created in close collaboration with stockists.

facilities, it appears that Heritage has every angle covered.

“We include them in the design process, listen to feedback and

“We recognise that trading conditions have been challenging,”

create products that will resonate with them and end users

says Saeed. “And when this happens, manufacturers tends to cut

alike,” he continues. “It’s all about working hand-in-hand with

their costs and invest less in product development.

customers and continually creating unique products that truly offer variety.” The company’s desire to raise the bar in terms of design,

“I’m pleased to say that we’ve taken the opposite approach, and continue to invest in new ranges and additions, while improving logistics and bolstering our sales team. 2018 is set to

quality and value was driven by stockists’ need to stand apart

be a strong year for Heritage Furniture.”

from each other, and frustrate price comparisons in a me-too

W heritagefurnitureuk.com

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SKIEN OAK

LIVING & DINING COLLECTION

‘Timeless styling, unbelievably priced’

W W W. H E R I TA G E F U R N I T U R E U K . C O M

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120 | January Furniture Show Review

DOUBLE DECKER SUCCESS FOR GALLERY DIRECT From its impressive two-level stand, Gallery Direct reports an “incredibly successful” show, achieving the double by winning the Dining Category in The Furniture Awards 2018 and taking record orders, with an overall increase of more than +40% on orders written during the show compared with last year.

Boho

Brixton

Gallery’s stand presented its new

Foundry, with its solid oak tops and

from ochres and greys to dusky pinks

collections in all their splendour –

hand-brushed bronzed metal legs, is

and neutrals, to blues and oranges, all

including the attractive Milano, which

ideal.

designed to add style and character.

was named the winner of the Dining

Gallery’s 345 new lines also includes

James Hudson, sales & business

Category in The Furniture Awards this

mirrors, home decor and textiles, as well

development director, comments: “We

year. The Milano collection features an

as a new product category, rugs.

are really proud of all our new products.

inlay chevron design, and is made using

On the soft furnishings front, Gallery

A great deal of thought, time and effort

European oak and rustic oak structured

introduced a new brand, Bohême, to

has gone into developing them. We are

veneers which show the natural beauty of

complement its current collections

determined to offer affordable designer

the oak grain and knots.

– Gallery Home, Parisian House and

furniture and home decor – stylish,

Kilburn & Scott. Each brand offers a

desirable products, without the designer

which keeps the timber looking natural

different feel, to suit a wide range of

price tag!

and dry, with brushed-out grain, the

interior tastes and styles.

Finished in a specialist matt lacquer

range is tactile, and looks every part a

“We were delighted to win The

The Bohême collection is truly unique.

Furniture Awards on the first day of the

An eclectic mix, Bohême takes inspiration

show, it gave the team a really positive

from a vast array of cultures from

boost – and then record sales each

included Boho, Brixton, Bronte, Camden,

around the globe, individually created

day made it a show to remember. I’d

Cookham and Foundry, each of which

by artisans. The new collection includes

like to take this opportunity to thank

offers a different style and look.

cushions and throws in a range of colours

all our customers for their loyalty and

winner – read more on p50. Other new furniture collections

Boho features a patterned frieze of blind fretwork, giving a hint of ethnic design, whereas Brixton, with its strong true lines and burnished resin tops, has an architectural feel. Bronte is a collection of classic dining

commitment. We had a fantastic response Foundry

to all our new products, which was demonstrated by the increase in orders.” Gallery’s double success at the show reinforces the company’s positive direction as its team works tirelessly

and occasional furniture with a modern

to deliver, year after year, continually

twist, and Camden offers an easy loft-

improving and developing. Furniture

living feel.

News is certainly looking forward to

Cookham presents a range of updated

seeing where the company goes next …

farmhouse dining furniture, whilst for

T 01795 439159

those who prefer a more industrial feel,

W gallerydirect.co.uk

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Billy&Sl


As well as our own collection of classic and contemporary models, our upholstery manufacturing expertise means we can offer a fully-bespoke service. Call us today to speak to an agent or arrange a visit to our showroom in Hastings, East Sussex. Tel: 01424 720027 Email: sales@billyandslouch.co.uk

www.billyandslouch.co.uk FN348_Pages.indd 121 1 Billy&SlouchMarch18.indd

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MANCHESTER CENTRAL | 15-17 JULY 2018

FEATURING MIDPOINT

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18 12:54

OPINION

123

Gavin Boden

Gotta love the internet

B

Furniture sales & marketing professional

ack in a computer lab on January 1st 1983, Arpanet

to deliver the product direct. This not only devalued the product,

adopted the TCP/IP. From there, researchers began

but also alienated the retailer, discouraging them from selling

to assemble the network of networks that became

the same product on their shopfloors.

the modern internet. The online world then took a more

Thank goodness this has slowed down now, and there are

recognisable form in 1990, when computer scientist Tim

more and more suppliers refusing to deal with retailers who

Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web.

don’t have a showroom or real business premises.

From there, Yahoo was created in 1994. Amazon sold its first

As the more prominent internet furniture companies were

product online in 1995, and eBay held its first online auction.

born, furniture retailers started to take notice – but by the

Google was founded in 1998, eBay acquired PayPal in 2002, blah

time they could develop their own ecommerce sites, the bigger

blah blah …

players already had their roots well and truly planted. Now it’s

All this information is irrelevant – all you need to know is that

commonplace for bricks-and-mortar retailers to have slick,

your customers are buying from the internet, in huge volumes,

warm and inviting ecommerce websites, from which their

right now.

customers can purchase furniture from the comfort of their own

I’ve been in the furniture industry since I left school (about a million years ago), so I know that it has always been a very

homes. But let’s be serious – suppliers cannot afford to ignore

traditional sector, usually behind the times and on the whole

companies who only deal online. The internet is here and it isn’t

ignoring how technology can improve it.

going anywhere, so they need to embrace it, be clever and find

The internet was thought of by most as a way of buying

a way to deal with both online and bricks-and-mortar retailers.

‘specialised products’ (if you know what I mean!), and in the

Any suppliers who have a no-internet policy will surely fall

early days was never considered as a serious platform for

behind and eventually disappear.

furniture sales. “Customers like to come into shops and sit, touch and test the furniture before buying,” retailers used to say. The resources were never in place to sell a big ticket item

I personally remember the time before mobile phones, online sales, Just Eat and Amazon, and I will confess that I loved it. I remember going out as a rep, selling furniture, coming home

online and get it safely to the consumer – until businesses

and faxing my orders off. Never did I then have to deal with

outside the industry started making these resources available. All

complaints, late orders or service problems – retailers always

of a sudden it was actually possible to sell a 100kg sideboard and

called the office. But these days, no matter how much we hate

get it delivered in one piece – expensive, but possible.

change, we have to work with online businesses, not against

As more and more logistics companies realised the potential growth within the online furniture industry, they started being

them. I am good friends with several very successful internet

more competitive and driving the prices down, and now a

furniture companies. Yes, they have a small showroom, but 80%

recliner chair can be delivered for around £15, sometimes less.

of their business comes from the web. These retailers have found

Back in the late Nineties the predictions for online furniture business were being mainly ignored by furniture retailers. But

a niche which suits them, and they do it very well. And let’s face it, any company who wants to be serious on the

a small proportion of the few who actually had computers were

internet has to do it properly, or face the wrath of Trustpilot and

starting to employ web developers to build them basic websites

Facebook. If you start your internet business with poor feedback,

– mainly as a display window for anyone who was searching

you may as well put Jack back in the box and leave him there –

online for furniture shops.

the general public are not a forgiving bunch, and bad reviews

Inevitably, ecommerce website software was getting cheaper and much more affordable, which led to everyone being able to develop their own site without much investment. So, in the early 2000’s we saw a huge growth in Spare Room

can ruin an online business overnight. In summary, get a professional to look at your business from the outside, make the changes necessary to deal with both bricks-and-mortar and ecommerce retailers, and, most of all,

Salesmen, who built their website for pennies, sold furniture for

embrace the internet. Don’t push it away – it could be your

ridiculously low margins and paid the manufacturer/wholesaler

saviour and best friend.

Any suppliers who have a no-internet policy will surely fall behind and eventually disappear

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124 | Beds & Bedroom

Deepsleep Beds (01924 274465), based in Ossett, West Yorkshire, enjoyed a

Euphoria 1000 on ottoman side lift base with high footboard

successful debut at this year’s January Furniture Show. The company took the opportunity to introduce new models in the Deepsleep range, as well as under its Gilt Edge label. This year, new model emphasis was placed on improved comfort and the ever-growing demand for pillowtop mattresses. To achieve the look and comfort of the new mattresses, intense research was carried out on a wide range of new and innovative fibre fillings to allow higher supportive loft and durability when combined with the company’s Bonnell open-coil springs

Memory Elite on Pall Mall foot-end padded base

and wide range of pocket spring

fabric colourways for headboards and

counts.

bases gives customers the opportunity

Also introduced this year were four new headboard designs in plain and button finish styles,

to co-ordinate their new bed with their bedroom. The company aims to have all orders

which complement the already-

for new and existing models placed at

successful range of floorstanding

the show delivered mid-March, allowing

and half-height headboards

retailers to capitalise on the Easter

already in production.

trading period.

An offer of over 80 different

Building on its existing support for

as five a day or 10,000 steps, and great

the company hopes to demonstrate

England and Great Britain Hockey,

sleep is vitally important to performance

irrefutably the connection between a

Millbrook Beds (0845 293 7262,

the next day. Every single person needs

quality hand-made mattress and a great

www.millbrook-beds.co.uk) has

good sleep - it is a critical and often

night’s sleep.

announced two new partnerships with

overlooked element of good health,

Commonwealth Games England, as the

whether you are an elite athlete or a fun

Official Bed for Team England 2018,

runner. Our relationships with these

along with a three-year sleep partnership

partners will also help us to continue to

with parkrun UK.

improve our mattresses.”

These partners have the common

Millbrook Beds recently launched a

aim of highlighting the importance of a

national sleep study, and has created its

great night’s sleep to overall health and

own free app, which collates sleep and

wellbeing.

lifestyle data of people of all ages. By

Ross Thurston, operations director

engaging with both the Team England

at Millbrook (UK), says: “We believe a

athletes and parkrunners all over the UK,

great mattress is as essential to wellbeing

and sharing findings of the sleep study,

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Millbroo


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126 | Beds & Bedroom

Dunlopillo, (www.dunlopillo.co.uk), the

body temperature is associated with

director, explains: “In order to fall asleep

UK’s leading manufacturer of pure latex

sleep onset and deeper sleep, while an

quicker and get a more restful night’s

mattresses, is prioritising sleep quality

elevated body temperature is connected

sleep, you’ve got to send your body the

with its new Plus range, which features

with alertness, reducing the ability to fall

right signals by keeping it cool when you

innovative cooling technology.

asleep and stay asleep.

get into bed – as well as throughout the

Sleep research suggests that cooler

David Wescomb, Dunlopillo’s brand

night.” Sleeping on materials which trap too much heat will push body temperature

Royal Sovereign Plus

into the discomfort zone, which is why Dunlopillo has added a new Plus range, featuring an innovative cooling mattress cover, to its successful Signature Collection. The clever cooling fabric is made using a specially-developed yarn with a very high molecular weight, which gives the Plus cover a high value of thermal absorption and highly-conductive features. This provides the user with an instant sense of coolness, as well as efficiently conducting heat away from the body thoughout the night to keep body temperature approximately one degree lower. Dunlopillo Plus also embodies all the anti-allergenic, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties which make Dunlopillo’s durable latex so unique.

SEEK COMFORT.

Deluxe Beds have spent twenty years honing their craft and building bed after bed to create the varied Modern Living Collection of over 20 beds. There is sure to be something for every taste in the Modern Living Collection. Whether your customers crave a contemporary look or long for a classic look, Modern Living has it all.

SEEK STYLE.

To many, a bed is the most important piece of furniture one will ever buy. Pennine Beds’ Ultra Edge Collection delivers a good night’s sleep by way of memory foam, latex, and the latest in Ultra Edge technology. These handmade beds are available in a choice of fabrics and styles, perfect to satisfy any taste.

For more information about the Modern Living Collection, please contact us by email at enquiries@deluxe-beds.co.uk or call 01484 427 373. www.deluxe-beds.co.uk

For more information about the Ultra Edge Collection, please contact us by email at enquiries@deluxe-beds.co.uk or call 01484 427 373. www.deluxe-beds.co.uk

Deluxe Beds, Beacon Street, Birkby, Huddersfield, HD2 2RS, United Kingdom

Deluxe Beds, Beacon Street, Birkby, Huddersfield, HD2 2RS, United Kingdom

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128 | Beds & Bedroom

The FR Bedroom collection from Kettle

This oak collection is finished in

Danish designer style proved an instant

Interiors Agencies (01536 444960,

a relaxed grey lime-wash finish and

hit when it launched last year, and

sales@kettleinteriorsagencies.com) is

features metal runners for glide-smooth

can now be enjoyed in a new range of

ready to take on the latest romantic look

opening. It comprises a full range of

bedroom furniture.

for the bedroom, in a range inspired by

items, including three chests and a bed

the classical elegance of a grand French

with an upholstered headboard.

chateau.

Next is Kettle’s NT Collection, whose

Capturing the essence of Scandinavia’s effortless style, this oak bedroom range comes in a light oak finish and with a choice of wood or metal knobs.

FR Bedroom

With metal drawer runners, it is a range that is both distinct yet holds mass appeal. With three bedsides, five chests and three wardrobes, NT Bedroom offers something for every size of home. Both collections are available from UK stocks and can be enjoyed as part of any Wholesale, Stockist and NT Bedroom

Container package from Kettle.

Looking for a reliable flat packed furniture partner?

then look no further, at Harmony Furnishings we take care of every single detail

DESIGN Experienced ‘Own Brand’ Supplier to Global Retailers

DEVELOP

INSPECT Bedroom, Living, Dining, Office & Storage

SUPPLY Quality Assured, Audited Factories

Contact: jason.stone@harmonyfurnishings.co.uk Mobile: 07973 762725 Tel: 01902 459898 IdealProductsMar18.indd 1

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SiestaM


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AUSTIN

OLYMPIA

ANNIVERSARY ORTHO SealyMar18.indd 1 130 FN348_Pages.indd

26/02/2018 15:43


MADISON

The new Premium, Performance and Ortho ranges complete the highly anticipated, re-imagined Posturepedic Collection. Featuring all-new, state-of-the-art Posturepedic technology, the collection embodies style and finesse. With a combination of new innovations and freshly modified Sealy favourites, the models in the collection are available with vertical handles, a stunning border finish and multiple colourways.

www.sealy.co.uk

To find out more about this innovative new collection, call the Sealy Sales Team on 016973 20342

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132 | Beds & Bedroom

Chrystal

NEW SWANGLEN SITE REFLECTS HUGE LEAP FORWARD A focus on delivering the best possible offering is paying dividends for Swanglen Furnishings, which launches its new website this month … Swanglen’s site has been rebuilt from the

with basic pastel pinks and blues, this

challenges, and we were one of the first

ground up to reflect the recent changes

collection features a selection of colours

manufacturers in this sector to seriously

that have taken place at the company.

and fabrics suitable for any style-

tackle these to deliver a quality product.”

Of course, particular emphasis has been placed on the quality and style of

conscious teen and pre-teen. Nearly three years ago, Swanglen

According to Peter, the results have been well worth the investment in time.

the current range. The highlight is the

embarked on a process of consolidating

“Customers are amazed at the quality

new Signature collection – launched at

its product lines and investing in research

and finish we can achieve on a next-day

last year’s Bed Show, this range captures

and development, and the results have

offering,” he says, “and the success of

the demand for bigger, bolder fashionable

rewarded that long-term thinking. The

the range is testament to that.”

floorstanding headboards, and impresses

first significant step forward was the

with every characteristic, from the simple

use of upholstery fabrics on headboards

first time is Swanglen’s newly-awarded

lines of the curved headboard to the

and bed frames, which delivered a range

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

impressive 60in-tall winged design.

that was tastefully designed and on-

accreditation.

Traditional fabrics such as chenilles are

trend – and an indication that Swanglen

Also featured on the website for the

“We have always put great emphasis

still pesent, but the range also reflects

was looking to refresh and revitalise the

on our quality standards, having been

the growing trend towards different

sector.

members of the NBF and FIRA among

fabrics such as crushed velvets, faux

Following on from that initial work,

wools and the distressed leather look.

Swanglen launched its range of next-day

There is also an eye-catching new satin

headboards. Sales director Peter Ridpath

material that is available in a variety of

says: “There are many advantages to a

in demonstrating our corporate social

colours.

next-day range – it’s easy to handle and

responsibility, and I’m delighted to

deliver, and a perfect add-on sale for

say that we are playing our part in this

people buying a new bed.

important initiative.”

Also featured is Swanglen’s successful children’s range. Acknowledging that today’s children are not just content

FN348_Pages.indd 132

“However, there are many

other industry bodies for many years,” says Peter. “FSC accreditation was the next step

W swanglen.co.uk

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Full pag


Now with FSC certification

ÂŽ

NEW WEBSITE LAUNCHES MARCH 2018 Our new site emphasises the outstanding quality and style of the current range and highlights our new Signature Collection. Also featuring our newly awarded FSC certification playing our part in corporate social responsibilty.

Contact Peter Ridpath on 07834 258092 or visit swanglen.co.uk FN348_Pages.indd Full page USE.indd 133 1

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134 | Beds & Bedroom

Lakeside, from the Naturals Collection

CAN A VEGAN DIET AID BETTER SLEEP? Deep, restful sleep is vitally important to health and wellbeing. However, achieving it is often easier said than done, and true relaxation can come from unexpected sources. Sealy UK reveals the (perhaps surprising) benefits a vegan diet can bring those seeking the ultimate night’s sleep … Many vegan foods contain high levels

magnesium and potassium, which work

features pioneering technology,

of sleep-inducing chemicals, such as

to relax the muscles, are also high in

combining natural fillings with

serotonin, tryptophan, and melatonin

bananas

21st-century comfort. Boasting high

– all of which have a positive impact on quality of sleep, reports Sealy UK. The body uses tryptophan to produce

• Oats – as a natural source of

breathability and advanced cooling

melatonin, oats can help aid a peaceful

properties, the ingredients used in this

night’s sleep

collection are from sustainable sources

serotonin, the feel-good hormone that

• Chamomile tea – handy for de-

helps relieve feelings of depression and

stressing, this drink promotes anti-

anxiety. This is then used to produce

anxiety effects in the body, which will

melatonin, which regulates the circadian

encourage deep sleep

and adapt to the customer’s sleeping environment all year round. Sealy’s sales and marketing director, Neil Robinson, comments: “The vegan

rhythm. When combined, all of these

Of course, the vegan lifestyle is not

lifestyle is becoming more and more

chemicals aid a deep, restful night’s

just about eating correctly – it involves

popular due to the numerous health

sleep.

investing in environmentally-friendly

benefits, and it transpires that achieving

products that have been created from

a good night’s sleep is one of these.

naturally-produced ingredients. For

However, a comfortable and supportive

those already following a vegan lifestyle

bed is every bit as important, which is

alternative to dairy products when it

but wishing to apply elements of this

why choosing the correct mattress for

comes to the daily intake of calcium,

philosophy to their home, Sealy’s

your body is so crucial. Our new Naturals

which is a natural sleep aid

recently-unveiled Naturals Collection can

range is perfect for those seeking a

offer a suitable match.

mattress with natural fillings and

Specific foods to consume when trying to achieve this include: • Kale – this contains a useful

• Bananas – these contain a naturally high level of amino acid, tryptophan, which has a sedative effect. Levels of

FN348_Pages.indd 134

Made from a mix of mohair, bamboo and pashmina fibres, this collection

excellent comfort.” W sealy.co.uk

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Aerofoa


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138

FURNISHER

Louis de Poortere (www.louisdepoortere.com) has launched the Antiquarian collection of rugs, inspired by the company’s heritage and drawing on original designs from its archive. Centred around three designs in the Heriz, Bakthiari and Hadchlu patterns that formed some of the brand’s bestselling face-to-face wool rug qualities from the 1960s-2000s, the Antiquarian collection reinvents these iconic designs for today. These rugs present a modern cotton flatweave with a heavy hand-distressed effect, for an authentic, worn look. “Antiquarian is a truly extraordinary machine-made collection that draws on our library to celebrate some of our most iconic rugs,” explains Alan Russell, sales director. “While traditional at their heart, each design has been given a thoroughly modern rework and hand-distressed to give the worn-vintage look that’s a huge driver in contemporary rug design. The range is a great way to bring back old favourites in a manner that’s undeniably modern and far from pastiche.”

Hanlin (www.hanlin.co.uk) is a major worldwide wholesaler of quality cow hides, reindeer hides, New Zealand, Australian and Icelandic sheepskin rugs, and accessories. Since starting out in 1975, this family business has become the first choice for many companies. From South America to Finland, Hanlin sources some of the finest products from across the globe, hand-selecting each hide to guarantee unrivalled quality and unique pieces. Hanlin individually photographs each of the over-6000 cow hides available at its UK site, to ensure the customer benefits from the full choice on offer. The company reports that all of its products are ethically sourced, and available at the best possible prices.

Encore Fibre

Ross Fabrics (www.rossfabrics.co.uk), established in 1933, supplies a comprehensive range of upholstery fabrics manufactured to high standards using some of the most upto-date yarns and techniques in the industry. The company recently became the UK distributor of the Aqua Clean range of fabrics. James Lowe, UK manager of Aqua Clean, comments: “As one of the leading upholstery brands in the world, we are very proud to be working in partnership with one of the UK’s leading wholesalers of upholstery fabrics.”

Over the last 15 years Fibreline (www.fibreline-ltd.co.uk) has positioned itself as a one-stop shop for upholstery manufacturers’ every filling requirement, with high quality foam, fibre and feather cushion products all made on one site and delivered via one vehicle. This winning formula has seen the company create and distribute Encore, a range of combined filling cushion products that have proved popular. With increasing demand for valueadded products such as the Encore cushion range, and evershortening lead times, Fibreline believes that in-house control is essential for meeting customer demand.

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139

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21/02/2018 14:40

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140 | Furnisher

Luxmi Persian Fusion in saffron

Flair Rugs (01457 850660, www.flairrugs.com) presented its latest introductions and enduring favourites at Spring Fair last month. The latest Luxmi range took centre stage with visitors shown the likes of Solitaire, Persian Fusion, Cairo and Alpaca. Named after the mother of founder Dinesh Shah, Luxmi is the brand’s premium residential collection, and also features the Inspired by V&A capsule collection. Flair previewed the new launches, including a striking design inspired by 1920’s promotional posters for ocean liner voyages. Selected styles from the value-driven Simplicity and core collection were also on show. Presented on a new-look stand, dominated by high-gloss white, the array impressed many visitors. “The Spring Fair was a busy show for us, and it was great to see so much interest in our styles from online and physical retailers,” says marketing manager Sinead Donohoe.

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142

Founded in 1968, Webs Furniture Training (www.webstraining. com) has a 50-year history of delivering apprenticeships and training across a range of furniture trade/business-related occupations, providing a one-stop shop for employers. Based in Beeston, Nottinghamshire, Webs currently manages around 170 apprentices, who attend the centre on day release, block release, or through a combination of both, based on the needs of the 80 employers they work with. With National Apprenticeship Week taking place from 5-9th this month, Webs feels that it is a good time to celebrate the successes of past apprentices – 95% of Webs’ training officers are past apprentices, who have worked in the furniture industry with employers such as Acclaim, Duresta, Permabond and Welbeck House, and as such have a wealth of industry experience to pass on. Indeed, many past apprentices have developed their careers to become senior managers or set up their own businesses, which are now taking in apprentices of their own. Welbeck Frames’ Jason Scrivener

The main workshop space at Webs

Jason Scrivener, Welbeck Frames’ division manager, remembers starting his career at Welbeck and his apprenticeship with Webs in the early Nineties. Jason took a Wood Machining Apprenticeship, gained his Level 2 in the trade and enhanced his skills with a French polishing course. He worked on the tools for 10 years, applied for a supervisory role, and eventually became manager of the frames division 12 years ago. Jason now has 25 years’ service with the firm – which should reassure those interested in starting an apprenticeship today that they could have a long and promising career ahead of them.

Key Account Managers The company Sweet Dreams, established in 1988, are sofa and bed manufacturers and furniture suppliers based in Burnley, Lancashire with a c£22m turnover. Renowned for our excellent service and 15 day delivery, we have invested heavily in premises, machinery, training and staff in recent years and are proud of our company’s achievements, including Gold Standard AIS supplier. Our products are sold through retailers nationwide and through the industry buying groups.

Key Accounts Manager – Beds We’re looking for an experienced sales manager to help us develop opportunities with key retailers in the UK. Our NBF-approved range is of significant interest to the UK’s large chains, and we need a manager with drive and focus to help us build our existing accounts and open new ones. Other key accounts in our large retail customer base include major independents nationwide. We’re looking for a serious player with the confidence, contacts and ability to deliver while working in a flat-management culture.

Key Accounts Manager – Upholstery Division We’ve been developing our sofa ranges (both British-made and imported) for many years and are looking for an experienced upholstery sales manager with excellent contacts and a strong track record. We need help in developing opportunities with key retailers; building existing accounts and opening new ones with the large chains and major independents. We’re seeking a self-starter who has the motivation and, crucially, the existing contacts to make this role a success.

Assistance in the management of our nationwide team of agents will form an element of both roles. Both positions will necessitate travel throughout the country and so your home location is not important, although northern England is preferred. You’ll be reporting to Jackie McGarvey, General Manager and to Nick Williams, Sales Manager. Salary will be negotiable and dependent on experience. Please apply in writing or by email with CV by Friday 23 March to Jackie McGarvey, Sweet Dreams (Nelson) Ltd, Primrose Mill, Martin St, Burnley, Lancashire BB10 1SH or email: jackie@sweetdreamsuk.com. www.sweetdreamsuk.com

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144 | Last Word

Stephen Richards EVENT DIRECTOR, JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW Stephen is part of the management team behind the UK’s largest furniture trade event, the January Furniture Show – as well as the Manchester Furniture Show, which takes place each July.

CAREER DIGEST 1978 – Work in banking, retailing and FMCG

1996 – Launched London Furniture Show

1983 – Benn Brothers (trade publisher)

1997 – Launched the Sales Promotion Show, plus various trade shows in subsequent years, including the new Manchester Furniture Show, together with Laraine Janes and Theresa Raymond, in 1998

1986 – Joined small independent exhibition organiser which became part of Blenheim Group, promoted to a divisional director responsible for a number of retail events 1990 – Headed up launch team for the new Furniture Show (formerly MIDEX) at the NEC 1995 – Left group to start own exhibition company

H

ow did you enter the trade? I entered the exhibition business in 1986 – and joined

the furniture trade in 1990, when I became event director of the Furniture Show at the NEC. I was relatively young at 32, so believed anything was possible – but it really did feel like there was an enormous opportunity for the show to fulfil its

2009 – Opened small art gallery 2011 – Sales director, Birmingham NEC 2014 – present – Fully involved with January Furniture Show

“The London Furniture Show was an attempt to run a trade and consumer show together – and it almost worked!”

potential at the NEC. The industry was

What was your career high point? In employment, it was probably being responsible for about £50m worth of revenue across 20 events by the time I was 35. Latterly, the NEC role was a big challenge. However, I think that being able to generate a living from my own activities without being on anyone’s payroll for the last 20 years of a 43-year working life qualifies as a sustained high point.

crying out for one big, all-encompassing

that is held up in exhibition circles as

furniture show to replace the various

one of the finest examples of a first-class

… and low point?

events that had come and gone before it.

trade show.

Probably failing to pull off our London

I pulled together a great team and

Furniture Show back in 1996 – it was

formed some serious advisory groups

Who was your inspiration?

an attempt to run a trade and consumer

– we had a retail group as well as an

There wasn’t one particular person – I

show together, and it almost worked!

exhibitor group – and together we did

gained inspiration from lots of positive

great things.

influences. I had some great line

… and the turning point?

At that time, the show was a sea

managers as I learnt my craft, and I took

That low point after the London

of shell scheme (with a few notable

a little bit from all of them! I am always

Furniture Show was probably also the

exceptions), occupying halls 4 and 5, and

inspired by people that do it the hard

turning point. I was offered a job back

just pushing into Hall 3. I am sure we

way – no helping hand, just hard work

with a big organiser, plus a big salary

made mistakes, but the momentum grew

and recognising opportunities when they

and all the perks. My wife was pregnant

and the industry has to this day an event

come along.

with our first child, so naturally I

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Last Word | 145

– the opening day of another January Furniture Show. What is the most important issue affecting your business right now? It has to be the precarious nature of the high street. Our show needs visitors, and high street rents, coupled with the ease of starting up online, means fewer furniture store start-ups, and fewer people coming into the business. I guess it’s the same for all areas of retailing – is there a balanced position that can be achieved? I have to believe there is, but are we there yet? What company do you most look up to? I will stay outside of furniture for political reasons – so I would say, for its outstanding turnaround in the last 10 years, Jaguar Landrover. How have they managed that?! What would you most like to change about yourself? Apart from the ageing process, I would like to be less impulsive –but then, life is too short for caution. What do you enjoy most about working in the trade? I have worked in a number of trades, and I have always felt the furniture industry is very straightforward. turned them down and launched the

– but I have more thinking time now,

National Incentive Show in Manchester,

which allows me to anticipate problems,

most people know what they are doing

working for nothing – but this then led

and to look forward and visualise what

and are passionate about the industry.

to launching the Manchester Furniture

might be possible far more than I could

The exhibitors at the show are no trouble,

Show with [January Furniture Show

ever do before, and that’s important for

so show build-up is always a dream

directors] Laraine [Janes] and Theresa

any business.

compared to other experiences I have

[Raymond], and the rest, as they say, is history.

People tend to tell you how it is, and

had. If you had to start over, you’d probably pursue which career?

Please leave us with a few words of

Describe a typical working day

I always fancied the advertising business

advice …

I am really lucky these days. If I’m not up

– on the agency side. It’s endlessly

I have only ever been successful thanks

at the office or on the road, I work mostly

creative, and if you are lucky can be great

to the people around me. Teamwork will

from my home office. So I get to have

fun, I imagine.

beat individuality every time, and even a

breakfast with the family and walk the

bunch of imperfect individuals can make

dog on the sea wall before commuting

What date on the business calendar do

a great team. Every individual, like wood,

down the garden. Like most of us, my day

you most look forward to?

has a grain – always work with it for the

seems to consist of never-ending emails

The third Sunday in January, obviously

best results!

Modern or classic?

Football or rugby?

Rock or classical?

Can I say both? Certain things are classics

Football – as a northerner it would have

Classical for a long drive, but having

and can never be bettered, but I favour

to have been Rugby League, but it was

been a teenager in the Seventies I am

modern in terms of technology and

way too rough for me. Tranmere Rovers,

musically confused, with influences from

reliability.

if you have to know!

Motown and cheesy disco to Deep Purple.

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146

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Furniture News #348  
Furniture News #348