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The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade #353 August 2018 |

Nautilus, Highgate Beds

IN CONFIDENCE Weathering shifting consumer mood

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THE BRITISH HOME Inside the BFM’s new headquarters

RISING STARS Fresh thinking from New Designers

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“Whether all this talk is posturing or prophecy, it’s unsettling enough to keep consumers wary of spending big, and that’s bad news for the furniture industry” COMMENT


we are less willing to spend and more prepared to save.

shared desire to have a deal agreed by October,

That said, saving rates remain at an all-time low – what

both the UK and the EU are feeling the heat, and

we say and what we do don’t always align!”

there’s a chance the discussions could get even hotter. They’re even taking more seriously the possibility

The good news is that while political crises undoubtedly affect consumers on an emotional level, the real spending

of a no-deal Brexit – an outcome which Amazon’s UK

drivers and impediments are more often closer to home,

manager Doug Gurr has controversially warned could lead

and present canny businesses with opportunities to sell

to “civil unrest”, and, says consultants Oliver Wyman,

furniture regardless of the national headlines.

may leave British households nearly £1000 a year worse off. Whether all this talk ahead of Parliament’s summer

You’ll find a summary of the report on p38 – turn to p80 to find out how you can get your hands on a copy. This isn’t the only discussion of consumer confidence

recess is posturing or prophecy, it’s unsettling enough

and Brexit in this month’s issue. Gavin Boden – one of the

to keep consumers wary of spending big, and that’s bad

report’s contributors – offers his take on the matter on

news for the furniture industry.

p60, while we reveal the British Furniture Confederation’s

But how much impact are these political machinations

plans on lobbying the Government on matters such as

and about-turns actually having on furniture sales in real

imports, exports, recruitment and quality standards in a

terms? And is there anything retailers or suppliers can

post-Brexit Britain (p42).

do to offset the damage caused by any negative feelings generated? Earlier this year, I took a deep breath and threw

On a final note, while it can feel like uncertainty has become the norm these days, I was personally heartened by the visitor turnout at this summer’s Manchester

myself into tackling these questions and more – the

Furniture Show, and the can-do attitude of the exhibitors

results of which you can find in a special report exploring

present (more on that in next month’s issue).

the relationship between consumer confidence and

The experience reminded me that, when the tide turns

the furniture trade, published exclusively in our new

– and it will – many of us will be ready to make the most

directory, Connect.

of it.

With the help of insight from leading retail experts, furniture retailers and suppliers, who recount personal experiences and suggest how they have prepared to weather any fluctuations, the report interrogates data from GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Barometer and the ONS’ Retail Sales Index to identify how major political events align with shifting opinion and


18 10:48

he Brexit strain is really starting to show. With a

spending patterns. “Consumers thrive on certainty,” says GfK’s client strategy director, Joe Staton, “and in an uncertain world

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Paul Farley Editor-in-chief T 01424 776101 E Twitter @FurnitureNewsED

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4 | Contents



Partner Comment

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Consumer confidence and the furniture industry (38)

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Contents | 5


The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade #353 August 2018 |

Nautilus, Highgate Beds

IN CONFIDENCE Weathering shifting consumer mood

The BFC manifesto ahead of Brexit (42)

THE BRITISH HOME Inside the BFM’s new headquarters

RISING STARS Fresh thinking from New Designers

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Read about how Highgate Beds (www.highgatebeds.

60 Opinion 62

Living Room


Trade Services

com) has taken a handson approach to product innovation on p54


76 Designer


Joe McCusker-Bland (76) Charles Vernon highlights the impact of the Furniture Industry Research Association


Gus Bartholomew imagines how manufacturer sourcing might look in the future


The Exchange (68)

Gavin Boden looks at the cause and effect of

The Furniture Trade Directory The indispensible guide to UK suppliers and retailers,

fluctuating consumer confidence

in print and online

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18 13:37

Partner Comment | 7

Recognising best of British We also have an ergonomic project under way regarding kitchen

‘Impact’ could be viewed as a somewhat unusual topic for an opinion piece. After all, impact is something which is often touted

design. Work continues on a new remanufacturing standard for

– but in reality it’s quite hard to pin down and accurately measure.

furniture as part of wider work on the circular economy. And shortly there will be guidance issued around compliance with the

As chairman of the Furniture Industry Research Association, my role is a voluntary one – and the same goes for my peers

General Product Safety Directive. All these projects were chosen as

on the council. We give up our time as we want to ensure the

we could see the potential impact they will make. Further projects due to get under way over the coming months

research association makes an impact through the work it’s doing – giving back to the membership who fund the work, and in turn

include the implications of regulations on electrically-actuated

supporting the wider furniture supply chain. It’s therefore vital

furniture for the commercial market (following on from similar

that we understand the impact our decisions make.

work in the domestic market), supporting members with flammability compliance by understanding what tests are relevant

One way I like to assess how much of an impact the Furniture Industry Research Association makes is through first-hand

to different types of materials and products, and we’re looking at

anecdotal evidence.

how embracing the latest technology and trends could improve UK furniture productivity.

“We give up our time as we want to ensure the research association makes an impact through the work it’s doing”

All these projects are in their infancy, but we’re excited to see what direction they take and the impact they make. If there is a project which you think could make an impact, then please do email your ideas to

Did you know, for example, that the research association spends approximately £100,000 per annum attending standards committee meetings? Members frequently tell me how valuable this is in supporting with informed business decisions through the valuable insights published via Here, we’re having a direct impact – giving outlooks on the direction proposed or current standards may take, or through opening up opportunities to comment on consultations and shape

Charles Vernon is the chairman of


the Furniture Industry Research

The research association also aims to make an impact through its membership projects, which are all funded via membership

Association (,

subscriptions. Current membership projects include writing a

a recognised centre of technical

bariatric bed standard in response to issues being caused by the

excellence which provides knowledge-

increasing weight of the population (this follows on from the

based, technical support to the global

bariatric chair standard we released last year).

furniture supply chain.

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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The market is open for inspiration Get your free ticket today

Home • The Light Show • The Summerhouse • Contemporary Gift & Living Body, Bath & Home Fragrance • Fashion, Jewellery & Accessories • Gift Greetings & Contemporary Gift • Retail Solutions • Children’s Gifts, Toys & Gadgets Volume & Housewares • Global Handicraft • Brands of China

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12 | News

Autumn Furniture Show open to all

Arlo & Jacob opens Bristol store Sofamaker Arlo & Jacob will open its new Bristol store – the company’s second showroom, and its first outside of London – on 14th August. Located on 94c Whiteladies Road, an area already busy with interiors brands, the 4500ft2 showroom will house an extensive collection of sofas, chairs and accessories, all of which are handmade in Long Eaton. Bristol is a natural base for the expanding family-centric sofa brand, and will be the first of a number of regional

The Autumn Furniture Show, organised

business, the show offers buying

Arlo & Jacob locations scheduled to open

by Minerva for the benefit of the buying

opportunities ahead of the Christmas and

in the coming year, says MD Nick Wasey.

group’s members as well as the wider trade,

winter sales.

will take place on 2nd and 3rd October this

“We are going through a very exciting

A wide range of suppliers have signed

transition right now,” he adds. “We’ve

up to exhibit, but a few stands are

listened to our customers and understand

still available – interested parties can

just how important experiencing the

entry for the duration for any furniture

contact the organiser on 01249 716195

product first-hand is, and Bristol marks

retailer, contract buyer, interior and

or fill in the contact form on Minerva

a significant milestone in expanding our

contract specifier or other professional

Furniture Group’s website, www.

bricks-and-mortar presence.”

associated with the furniture interiors

year at Stoneleigh Park Exhibition Centre. Set across two spacious halls with free

The opening has created six new jobs.

DFS suffers from weather and shipping issues

Julian Cox

While DFS saw positive LFL order intake momentum in Q3, the hot weather

returns to AIS

– particularly over key trading weekends – has led to a significantly poorer Julian Cox, who was the

performance to date in Q4. Over the period, the retailer also experienced disruption to the ships

furniture controller at

bringing made-to-order products from the Far East, resulting in a decline in

Associated Independent Stores

revenues of between -3% and -4% YoY. EBITDA for the full FY is expected to

(AIS) for two-and-a-half

be lower than last year, reflecting the timing of the arrival of products from

years before joining Furniture

the Far East before the financial year end.

Village earlier this year, is returning to the buying group

DFS says that previous investments in its supply chain and the recent

as director of furniture designate on 6th August. In his role in the furniture department, he will report

acquisition of Sofology, together with progress expected at Dwell and Sofa Workshop, will provide benefits to earnings that it expects to help mitigate

to to Peter Mallinson, merchandise director for AIS’

the current challenging sales environment.

Home division.

Dunelm reports flat quarter and brand transitions Dunelm has recorded flat LFL revenues

delivered LFL revenue growth of +4.2% and

(+0.1%) in the quarter ended 30th June,

overall growth of +9.9%.

the result of a strong online performance

Dunelm reports that its customer reach

(+41.8%), and weaker physical store footfall

continues to grow, with the number of

leading to a -4.6% LFL decline in store

active customers on up +18%


YoY, and store visits up +5%.

Overall revenues declined -1.4% YoY.

With regards to the Worldstores business,

The Kiddicare website, meanwhile, is to be retired in the next quarter, and the baby and child category developed instead under the Dunelm brand. Although there were no new store openings in the quarter, Dunelm plans to open two stores (one of which is a

Whilst Dunelm benefited from a strong

Dunelm is completing development of its

store opening programme earlier in the

technology platform prior to migrating

financial year, this was offset by decisions

the website onto this

items) is expected to be approximately

to rationalise the offer across its acquired

platform in the course of the next financial

£102m (£109.3m in 2017), which includes

businesses – and

year, which, it says, will enable rapid

trading losses related to the Worldstores - having divested itself of

improvements in its online proposition such

businesses, estimated at £8.5m. Exceptional during the previous quarter.

as the implementation of click-and-collect

charges during the period amounted to



For the year as a whole, the group

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relocation) early in the new financial year. FY profits (before tax and exceptional

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News | 13

ercol’s Henry Tadros promoted to director Henry Tadros has been promoted to director at ercol Furniture, with responsibility for developing the company’s international and contract business. Henry, the great-grandson of ercol’s founder, Lucian Ercolani, will sit on the board of directors, after serving almost seven years within the family business. Henry has worked across the company in various positions. For the last five years, he was responsible for the international business in the retail

Retirement prompts new agent appointment at Serene Having spent five years at Serene

Lorraine Selby

Andrew Smith

new adventures, my lovely retailers


and the great

Lincoln and East

people I have

Anglia sales

worked with.” Andrew Smith

agent, Lorraine Selby has decided

will take over

to retire from the

from Lorraine. Andrew started

industry. She says: “When I started in the

his career in the furniture industry on

furniture trade 30 years ago, I was

his 13th birthday, and worked in retail

constantly told it was a people’s business,

for many years, before going to work as a

and it is.

representative for G Plan Cabinets and then

“It is the people I will miss as I start on

an agent.

and contract markets. He will now take director-level responsibility for these customers and markets. Edward Tadros, ercol’s chairman and Henry’s father, comments: “As you can imagine, I am delighted to welcome the fourth generation of my family to the board of ercol Furniture. We are very much committed to the future prosperity of the company and believe that the development of the international and contract markets is essential for the long-term success of our business.”

Dreamworks Beds to merge with Gallery business Dreamworks Beds has been integrated into

photography, trade show presence and

the Gallery Direct business, in a merger


designed to maximise the skills within the

the first-class manufacturing skills at

to the market.

Dreamworks Beds and combining it with

Dreamworks Beds’ bespoke

the sales and marketing and operational

manufacturing facility in Westbury

efficiencies that Gallery can offer, reducing

has already benefited from the group’s

duplicated costs and putting us in a good

resources, while Gallery boasts a first-class

position to look after customers’ needs for

supply infrastructure.

years to come.

Peter Delaney, MD of Gallery Direct,

Duvalay signs East Asia distribution deal

“It is a proactive realignment, keeping

two companies and bring a new bed brand

“It will benefit both Dreamworks Beds

says: “The integration makes perfect sense.

and Gallery customers. For those who

Dreamworks Beds has the manufacturing

already trade with both companies, it

site and skilled team but has not had the

will simplify ordering and invoicing, as

resources to really develop the product

everything will be done through Gallery,

offer. A strategic restructure under

and for those who only trade with one, it

Bedmaker Duvalay has signed an

Gallery will provide that platform with

offers a broader catalogue of home interior

exclusive licensing agreement that

our warehousing, logistics, design and


permits Chinese manufacturers to produce and distribute one of its mattress ranges to the East Asian market. The deal will see Duvalay’s Rosalia

House of Fraser CVA approved

Collection manufactured under licence in the Far East, devolving production

House of Fraser’s CVA proposals have

with landlords and other stakeholders to

from the company’s Yorkshire-based

been approved by creditors. According to

implement the proposals, including the

factories for the first time. The NBF Bed

the retailer, the restructuring which these

31 stores identified for closure (which are

Manufacturer of the Year award winner

CVAs will enable is essential to securing

likely to cease trading until early 2019).

will continue to produce all mattresses

the company’s future and accessing

and beds for British consumers in the UK.

new capital from international retailer,

approval of the CVAs is a seminal moment


in House of Fraser’s history. We must

“This is a landmark agreement in our

Chairman Frank Slevin says: “The

company history that takes Duvalay truly

House of Fraser CEO Alex Williamson

now continue with the implementation

global – bringing our brand of affordable

says: “This was clearly a difficult decision

of our restructuring plan. This is also an

luxury to East Asia,” says sales and

to take but is, ultimately, the only one

important milestone in the transaction

marketing director, Liz Colleran. “We

to secure our future. Our focus is on

with C.banner and moves us toward the

have done our due diligence and we are

supporting all of our affected colleagues

completion of the capital injection first

confident that under the terms of our

and we are exploring every opportunity

announced in May.” In May, retailer

licensing agreement our partners in China

available to them working alongside

C.banner announced it had entered into

will manufacture our Rosalia Collection

the Retail Trust and the wider retail

a conditional agreement to acquire a 51%

to the same exacting standards Duvalay is


stake in the Nanjing Cenbest-owned House

known for here in the UK.”

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House of Fraser has now started working

of Fraser Group.

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14 | News

SATRA grows furniture department Testing and certification specialist SATRA has appointed Johnny Worthington to the position of senior team leader in its

Highgate quashes Zero Gravity trademark challenge

furniture and floorcoverings department, where he will act as a deputy to the head of

After a two-year legal battle, Matza

department, Geoff Bindley.

& Co has asserted its ownership of

Johnny’s appointment is part of a programme of expansion in SATRA’s furniture and floorcoverings department,

the Zero Gravity trademark, which is licensed to Highgate Beds. Despite an appeal made to

both in staff and in testing equipment, in

cancel the trademark by Platinum

response to an increasing demand.

Enterprise (T/A Bodyease) last

Johnny has moved internally from

December, Matza & Co has

SATRA’s chemistry testing team. He says:

successfully defended its rights to

“Having worked in most departments in

the wording, which refers to “the

my 20 years at SATRA, I am thrilled to go

feeling and comfort when lying on

back into the

their specially-developed technology

furniture and

within their mattresses”.


In a prepared statement, the

team. My

defendant states: “While it has been

experience in

a very stressful time, we are now

quality services

glad that we can go forward with our

and work in

Zero Gravity trademark once again,


and ensure it is exclusive to us. We


would like to thank professor Ruth

will be of huge

Annand for settling the final appeal,

benefit to my

as well as Oliver Morris, registrar,

new role.”

who fairly judged the case.”

Steinhoff’s UK revenue down in wake of accounting crisis Steinhoff International, which operates in the UK household goods market through Bensons for Beds and Harveys, has reported an unaudited operating loss of £31m across its UK retail and manufacturing operations over the six months to 31st March 2018. Revenue dropped -6% YoY (just -3% at constant currency levels) to €339m, a LFL decline of -0.5%. The group reports that a strong performance from Bensons during the period was offset by a decline in trading from loss-maker Harveys. During the period, Bensons maintained margin, in-store customer conversion and online sales, despite trading from 13 fewer stores compared to the comparative period. Various initiatives have now been implemented to help Harveys build profits without increasing its store footprint, including the establishment of a new senior leadership team, a new

eve CEO departs as sales fall short

marketing campaign and brand message, an uplift in conversion rates, and a focus on efficiencies and cost savings.

Paul Pindar, chairman of eve Sleep,

Steinhoff’s UK household goods

issued a trading update for the six months

comments: “We have fallen short of our

division also incurred one-off fees of

to 30th June, which reports that CEO Jas

own and the market’s high expectations

€2m as a result of its parent company’s

Bagniewski has left the business. eve’s CFO

and as a result have taken the tough

ongoing liquidity crisis.

Abid Ismail has assumed the responsibility

decision to make management change. Jas

PwC was appointed in December 2017

of acting CEO until a replacement is found.

has, as one of the founders, been a driving

to conduct an independent investigation

The brand’s sales over the period fell

force for this business and has much to be

into financial irregularities at the group,

proud of.

and is on track to deliver a final report

D2C European sleep brand eve Sleep has

short of expectations, although group sales grew approximately +61% to £18.6m, with

“In tandem with the search for a

by the end of the 2018 calendar year. The

sales in the UK and Ireland up +62% and

new CEO we will with immediate effect

group aims to release full-year audited

international sales up +60%. The H1 revenue

be refocusing all of our efforts on

group results for 2017 by the end of

shortfall is not expected to be recovered in

strengthening the eve brand in our core

December 2018, and full-year audited

the traditionally stronger H2.


group results for 2018 by the of end

The company blames volatile trading

“While we do not anticipate a near-

January 2019.

patterns and “strategic missteps” in rolling

term improvement in the external

out its European strategy. In response, eve

environment, we have a healthy net

months for Steinhoff, its employees

plans to refocus its strategy towards greater

cash position, our trading continues

and stakeholders,” writes Heather

penetration in its core markets.

to far outstrip that of the market and

Sonn, chairperson of Steinhoff’s

should be underpinned by company

supervisory board. “The revelation of

Dreams, which will see the eve mattress

growth initiatives including the Dreams

alleged accounting irregularities and the

sold nationwide in 193 Dreams stores and

partnership that we expect to benefit the

resignation of the former CEO has had a

through its website. The deal increases

traditionally stronger second half. We

profound impact on the group.”

eve’s retail presence across its three largest

remain convinced that the sleep market

markets – the UK, Germany and France – to

will continue to transition online, that the

a restructuring plan with its creditors,

331 stores, building on existing partnerships

opportunity to build a new brand of size

in an effort to stabilise the business

with Next Home, Fenwick and Debenhams

and strength is significant and that eve is

and its relationships with suppliers and

in the UK.

well placed to achieve this.”


It has also announced a partnership with

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“It has been a challenging seven

Steinhoff reports that it is finalising

24/07/2018 16:18


Aster Two door cabinet and Pavillion mirror

Autumn Fair | Hall 02 Stand 2C05 - B04 | T 01795 439159

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16 | News

Loaf showroom coming to St Albans

Whitemeadow victorious in charity football tournament

After opening a store in Solihull late last month, Loaf plans to open in St Albans in early September – taking the total number of UK Loaf stores to seven. These 5000ft2 spaces feature mattresstesting stations, sofas and arcade games, and the St Albans ‘shack’ will also house an old-school ice cream parlour. Loaf’s founder Charlie Marshall says: “Our new St Albans Shack is slap bang in the middle of commuter Shangri-La.”

Sweetpea & Willow refurbishes showroom Luxury furniture and interiors retailer Sweetpea & Willow has completed the renovation of its 8000ft2 West London showroom. New roomsets convey the company’s summer collection, from classic colonial style and an opulent LA-inspired living area, to a bedroom area upstairs – as well as one of the UK’s largest offers of furniture and accessories from Dutch brand Eichholtz. The larger space now promises to give interior designers and trade customers a professional place to meet with clients, present ideas and discuss projects over a cup of barista-style coffee.

Industry employees from around the

Vintage Clarets, a team of ex-professional

UK took part in the sixth annual Sealy

football players.

Cup five-a-side football tournament in

Hayden Davies, master of The Furniture

Coventry earlier this month, in aid of The

Makers’ Company, says: “The event is now

Furniture Makers’ Company.

very much a part of the Furniture Makers’

The one-day competition took place

calendar and I’m sure next year will be

on 1st July at the Coventry Powerleague,

even more closely fought. As always, we

and was the biggest yet, with 15 teams

would like to thank our main sponsor Sealy

from furnishing retailers, manufacturers

for helping make the event a resounding

and distributors, including Crofts &


Assinder, Designer Contracts, Hypnos, Lee

Daniel Oscroft, sales manager at

Longlands and Sealy, competing on one

Whitemeadow, says: “We think the

of the hottest days of the summer with

competition is fantastic and a great

the aim of toppling returning champions

opportunity for employees within our


business to socialise and bond with

The final saw Crofts & Assinder and the

colleagues that they wouldn’t get the

Whitemeadow Wizards competing, with

chance to at work. We had a great day and

the latter again triumphant.

would encourage more companies to come

In addition to the knock-out tournament, every team had the chance to test their skills against the Burnley FC’s

along for the competition next year.” The next tournament will take place on 30th June 2019.

John Lewis sets out future of differentiation and investment The John Lewis Partnership has outlined the

and is committed to maintaining a debt ratio

position to be the best it has been for 10

next phase of its development strategy, with

position of around three times within some

years, which will allow it to maintain

measures including a focus on competing

five years.

investment at a rate of £400m-£500m a

As such, HY profits before exceptional

year, and a level of capital investment as a

rather than scale, maintaining a higher level

items are expected to be close to £0 this

percentage of sales more than +10% ahead

of investment in product and service, and

year, and the partnership assumes that

of typical competitors.

enhancing the role staff play in the business.

FY profits before exceptional items will be

through differentiation and innovation

At John Lewis, the focus on differentiation will be in three key areas, says the retailer

substantially lower than last year. The business expects to see a decline in

John Lewis currently operates through an estate of 50 stores – which may see adjustments, including exits or closures,

- unique products, personal service and

John Lewis’ business, and significant extra

but at a rate in line with what the company

expanding into new services.

costs incurred by greater IT investment.

has seen over the last few years, says the

At the heart of the strategy is developing

However, it does plan to strengthen its


an assortment which is increasingly unique

balance sheet by a further £500m over

to John Lewis. Currently 30% of John Lewis’

three years to invest in product and service

staff. The partnership plans to continue

sales are from own-brand and exclusive

innovation, which will be achieved by

to invest in pay, and aims to make the the

products, and the ambition is to increase

rebuilding profitability at Waitrose, creating

business one of the healthiest places to work

this proportion to 50%.

more value from the property estate, and

by 2025.

Sustained investment is essential to these plans, says the partnership, which has

conducting a review of its pension scheme. As a result, the partnership expects its

Finally, there will be a greater focus on

As a sign of its intent, from September 2018 the two brands that make up the

already taken steps to strengthen its balance

cash position for this year to be in line

business will be known as Waitrose &

sheet by £750m over the last three years,

or ahead of last year’s, and its liquidity

Partners and John Lewis & Partners.

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If this sounds like the perfect partnership to you, please get in touch with Stuart Law on 07831 147421

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20 | Events


CREATING NEW ROUTES TO MARKET New Designers returned to Islington’s Business Design Centre in July, to present a wealth of work from students of the creative arts and established design practitioners. With a strong complement of furniture on display, the four-day second phase – which also presented graduate work from areas as varied as the automotive products and illustration – affirmed the creative vision and skill of the next generation of designers looking to enter the industry, reports Paul Farley …


ew Designers is unlike the

industry, who visit, keen to spot fresh

University graduate Joe Parker, who,

bulk of trade shows attended

talent, commission promising designs

alongside three other graduates,

by Furniture News – there’s

and take on new development staff.

was offered a chance to join the

no finished, mass-produced product

Those students graduating from the

Sainsbury’s-Argos Home product design department at last year’s event.

on display, but visitors instead

better-developed university furniture

encounter something between a

design courses – for example,

graduate show and a gallery sale, as

those offered by Nottingham Trent,

at the 2017 show, Joe went on to

over 3000 students from more than

Sheffield Hallam, Birmingham City

complete a 12-month training period,

200 creative courses put their best

and Northumbria – approach the

developing his own furniture designs

foot forward in the form of wide-

event with some assurance, having

for the retail giant.

ranging product prototypes.

often spent time in industry work

After winning an innovation award

This year, Adele Marie Sison,

placements, and these up-and-

another graduate of Nottingham

reinforced the very real opportunities

coming creatives are keen to sign off

Trent University, was awarded the

available to the students taking part in

their courses through some valuable TalentLab award for her

this event. As well as prompting each


showpiece, the Alessia sofa. Drawing

Repeated visits have steadily

participant to refine their designs,

And the success stories one hears

on her experience of working with

marketing materials and sales pitches,

truly cement New Designers’ role

Duresta’s design team, Adele designed

the show puts them in front of

in launching the careers of talented

a modular sofa that can be easily

decision-makers from throughout the

individuals. Take Nottingham Trent

transformed from a standard model

“New Designers demonstrates that there’s no shortage of talent on the design front”

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24/07/2018 15:40

into a corner sofa, chair footstool, and even

– ensuring the industry is constantly

there’s no shortage of talent on the design

a bed – addressing today’s demand for

revitalised with fresh ideas and creative


flexible furniture suitable for smaller living



With more furniture on show than in

“Design education and society’s needs are

previous years, countless networking

continuously changing, and every year New

opportunities and the visible presence of

placement with Duresta during the third

Designers responds to and anticipates this

enough major retailers and manufacturers

year of her degree, Adele continued to

shifting landscape.”

to cement its relevance, New Designers

After completing a year-long industrial

work for the manufacturer part time while

continues to be a powerful force for young

Much has been made of the skills

creatives looking to make the transition to

completing her final year, and plans to

shortage facing the furniture industry – and

continue doing so after she graduates.

while this is true for UK manufacturing on

the workplace.

the whole, New Designers demonstrates that

As well as commercial opportunities for those straight out of university or college, New Designers offers more established professionals a useful platform, in the form of One Year In, a curated feature highlighting the work of 100 entrepreneurs who recently launched their own design and crafting businesses. This year’s participants unveiled commissioned work of an extremely high standard of craftsmanship – notable mentions go to Jan Lennon, Adam Azmy and Andy King – and, like the student participants, they hoped to catch visitors’ eyes in a bid to take their businesses forward. Rounding off the event was a diverse programme of talks, numerous awards (both financial and training-related), and nods to emerging trends such as 3D printing and recycled surface materials. Event director Chris Hall comments: “New Designers is a celebration of creation and connectivity. The event is a vital platform for the design of tomorrow

FN353_Pages2.indd 21

“The success stories one hears truly cement New Designers’ role in launching the careers of talented individuals”

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22 | Events


MEETING DEMAND IN THE IRISH MARKET The Irish Furniture and Homewares Show (IFHS) returns to Dublin’s National Show Centre from 18th21st this month. Promising more than 85 exhibitors and a dedicated trade services hub, the show is primed to address the sourcing needs of visitors from Ireland and further afield.


reated specifically to cater to

years ago, and today is attended by

include Abbeylands Furniture

the buying needs of the Irish

the bulk of the country’s top furniture

(, which, for nearly

furniture market, IFHS has

suppliers and businesses.

40 years, has built a reputation in

grown steadily since its inception five

the furniture industry for design,

“The philosophy behind IFHS is that people do business with people,

innovation, and quality. Its Scatter

and that continues to be its driving

Box collections feature a full range

force today,” says Enda Moran,

of feather-filled cushions, curtains,

IFHS’ marketing manager. “It is this

bedding, throws, velvet furniture and

philosophy – along with our targeted

original hand-painted art. Abbeylands will introduce its new

marketing efforts – that bring the right people together, ensuring good

autumn/winter collection at IFHS –

business is done, year after year.”

which it will also display at Autumn Fair in September – interested parties

IFHS presents major suppliers of upholstery, dining, bedding, cabinet

can also pick up the company’s latest

and accessories, reflecting both

look book, which consists of new

manufacturers and distributors.

colours and designs which reflect

The 2016 edition saw the launch

the latest interior design trends.

of the Irish Furniture and Home

Abbeylands’ design team travels

Awards, giving industry suppliers

worldwide selecting materials, fabrics

an opportunity to promote their

and trimmings in order to continually

best products, and reflecting the

fulfil customers’ needs.

innovation and efforts taking place in Scatter Box cushions from Abbeylands Furniture

the market. Exhibitors at this year’s show

A full list of exhibitors can be found on the IFHS website.

The 2017 edition enjoyed strong visitor turnout

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24 | Events


GATEWAY TO THE GOLDEN QUARTER Offering unrivalled scale, variety and choice, home and gift marketplace Autumn Fair – which describes itself as the “Gateway to the Golden Quarter” – is set to help buyers stock up for the peak sales period and discover new opportunities for profit …


romising visiting retailers new

our visitors to take a glimpse of the

goods from across the world. Global

features and areas, expert

trends to come, and effortlessly take

Handicraft will offer buyers the

advice – from the likes of

them away on ready-made digital

opportunity to explore a unique area


of the market, featuring everything

Theo Paphitis and Holly Tucker – and innovative product, from quality

from fine ceramics to exotic textiles

British goods to exotic, handcrafted

Den fame, will host the new Small

and quirky lighting from more than 50

pieces, this year’s Autumn Fair is set

Business Sunday #SBS Pavilion, an

international brands.

to be one of the best yet.

area dedicated to celebrating new

There will be no shortage of

and unique products from ambitious

British-made product, either. Autumn

Young says: “As well as being able

start-ups and small businesses. He

Fair will welcome some of the best

to order products at Autumn Fair

says: “I am thrilled to be bringing

British manufacturers and designers,

for the busiest retail period of the

#SBS to Autumn Fair, giving 12 small

including cushionmaker Evans of

year, buyers will be able to see the

businesses a free platform to showcase


upcoming trends, and get ahead

their wares and access a brand new

of the competition by seeing 2019


Spring and Autumn Fair MD Louise

product launches before anybody else.

FN353_Pages2.indd 24

Theo Paphitis, of BBC Dragons’

This year, Autumn Fair is also

With international trade being a significant aspect of Spring Fair earlier this year, Autumn Fair is set to

Through a renewed collaboration

celebrating handicraft, with a special

build on its sister show’s success in

with Pinterest, we will also enable

platform for handcrafted, artisan

capturing the interest of international

24/07/2018 15:41



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26 | Events

and the youth of China have turned their

buyers seeking genuine British product.

attention towards the manufacture of mass-

The next feature is DesignFirst, which will offer up to 30 innovative brands a chance

produced consumer products. However, as

to present their products at prime locations

China’s economy increases and prepares to

across the show. Louise says: “It will bring

overtake that of the US, the local Chinese

new talent, new blood and new brands to

market for traditional oriental design is

Autumn Fair.”

showing burgeoning demand, perhaps signalling a revival.

Autumn Fair’s Home sector has seen

Whether it is traditional Chinese

significant growth, and will offer an overview of some of the best contemporary

reproductions or Dutch contemporary

homewares manufacturers, including:

furniture, to help visitors find exactly what

handmade lampmaker Copper Fish; unusual

they need, Autumn Fair is also launching a

and industrial-inspired furnishings from

product matching service which intuitively

Soho Vintage; and eclectic wholesaler

recommends the best suppliers to visit. The

Minster Stylish Living.

AF Product Match app promises to learn

Another exhibitor set to enjoy a successful show is Mandarin Arts (stand 2G01, 01873

Mandarin Arts

used, to ensure the most productive and streamlined experience possible.

812255, Now in its 30th year of sourcing fine oriental –

about the user’s preferences the more it is

This year, the company has also supplied

And there will be no lack of things going

mostly Chinese – products for the European

replica terracotta warriors to sell, alongside

on from which to choose. This year, Autumn

market, Mandarin Arts focuses strongly on

an exhibition which puts the army of the Qin

Fair will host four theatre and workshop

ceramics, which range from vases, ginger

dynasty emperor, Qin Shi Huang, in historic

spaces, each of which will deliver a unique

jars, flower pots and fish bowls with images


area of retail insight.

of goldfish adorning the inside, to teasets,

The company developed from humble

The Main Stage is set to be a central

sake and sushi sets, sets of rice bowls,

origins in the 1980s when many exquisite,

hub for buyers and retailers of all kinds,

Blanc de Chine and pottery figurines, plus

traditional arts and crafts were being made

with high-profile speakers – such

porcelain stools which double up as side

all over China. Over the years, many of

as Holly Tucker MBE, co-founder of

tables, ornaments, lamps and matching

the workshops, in which skills were passed and UK ambassador

decorative accessories.

down through the generations, have closed,

for Creative Small Business, and small

+44 (0) 1241 858777

NEW PRODUCTS ADDED ACROSS OUR COLLECTIONS THIS SUMMER Visit us at the Autumn Fair Stand 2E10-C12 to find out more FinalTouchesAugust18.indd 1

FN353_Pages2.indd 26

19/07/2018 12:52

24/07/2018 16:20

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28 | Events

digital players. Speakers will include experts from Ecommerce Masterplan, Findmeagift. com and Next is the Master the High Street Theatre. From last-minute tips for a successful final quarter to trend-led video content aimed at helping retailers buy smarter, this stage is aimed at independents which want to see their bricks-and-mortar store or online shop come out on top. The likes of Pinterest and Google Digital Garage will talk about how high street retailers can make themselves more visible online. Finally, there is Fashion Talks, which will present an in-depth look at trends and retail insights through a series of unique fireside-style chats and discussions. Among

Mandarin Arts

the speakers will be Beaulagh Brooks of business champion Theo Paphitis – offering

the Birmingham school of Jewellery, and

inspirational messages and retail advice.

Amy Hobson, from social media and digital marketing trainer, SocialB.

For online retailers, the event is

Autumn Fair will take place from 2nd-5th

introducing the Master Online Retail

September at the Birmingham NEC (with the

Theatre. All content will have the online independent retailer in mind, while looking at the objectives of buyers from larger

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Mandarin Arts

Volume halls opening a day earlier).

19/07/2018 10:28

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30 | Events

PREVIEW FURNITURE CHINA STEPS UP The 24th China International Furniture Expo (Furniture China 2018) and Maison Shanghai 2018 will be held from 11-14th September at Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) and Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center (SWEECC), in Pudong, Shanghai. Together, the two will present furniture manufacturers from across the globe … Furniture China’s organiser has

including Stellar Works, MC’s Dr

and components presentations, FMC

signalled a full upgrade across this

Patrick Leung Design series, Hothing,

and FMP – including Swedish Wood,

year’s edition, from expanded design

Maxmarko, Lacasa, and other popular

which returns to FMP, alongside new

coverage to new supplier brands.

furniture brands.

brands such as Wayon Stone and

An array of three design halls –

As always, the exhibition’s

Visitors will not want for trend

international component is significant.

present more design brands than ever

Brands from 24 countries will exhibit

inspiration, either. Eight colour-

from 129 participating businesses

across the fairground, and in six

themed roomsets will be created

country-specific pavilions, from Italy

which aim to immerse the audience

(the Veneto region), France, Belgium,

in various emotions, with industry

Turkey, South Korea and Malaysia.

experts delivering presentations

Meanwhile, 14 new international

discussing colour theory, and its

brands including Germany’s Quadrato,

potential relationship with the Chinese

Norway’s Nordic, and Dubai’s Decoart

furniture industry.

will join an increasing number of

FN353_Pages2.indd 30

Foresco Co.

occupying halls E5, E6 and E7 – will

Meanwhile, the concurrent Maison

exhibitors from the Middle East and

Shanghai, taking place at SWEECC,

South America.

will feature a strong roster of brands,

Indeed, exhibitors from over 60

including Meissen and DXRacer.

countries will attend the machinery

24/07/2018 16:22


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32 | Events


STYLE HAS SUBSTANCE THIS AUTUMN Taking place from 17th-21st October (trade-only visitors for the first three days) across halls 98-105 of the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC), Thailand’s Style exhibition promises a fine selection of fashion, gifts and homewares products alongside more than 50 furniture suppliers ….


tyle is organised by Thailand’s

With an array of dining furniture,

Department of International

upholstery and accessories on show,

Trade Promotion, Ministry of

plus solutions for outdoor spaces and

Commerce, and brings together three

offices, Style is set to be a design-led

major annual Thai fairs – Thailand

gateway to the colourful world of Thai

International Furniture Fair (TIFF),


Bangkok International Fashion Fair

and Bangkok International Leather Fair (BIFF&BIL), and Bangkok International Gift Fair and Bangkok International Houseware Fair (BIG+BIH) – in one comprehensive destination. The exhibition promises to bring the creativity and innovation of Thailand’s established lifestyle brands and budding entrepreneurs to the fore, alongside engaging seminars and business matchmaking opportunities.

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Angel Collection

Bayswater Collection

Holborn Collection





Contact: Tel: 01902 459898

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34 | Events


SERBIAN SHOW PROMISES COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE Belgrade Furniture Fair returns to Belgrade Fair, Serbia, from 6-11th November. One of South-east Europe’s key furniture events, the 56th edition of the exhibition – which encompasses design, manufacturing and distribution – will benefit from a greater number of global brands, plus exhibitor awards and a diverse seminar programme.


ast year’s fair saw debut

This year’s event will be more

supply – the country boasts some

appearances from world-

international than ever, bolstered

2.5 million hectares of forests, with

renowned exhibitors including

by an improved hosted buyers

beech, oak and other hardwoods and


softwoods in good number (some

Vitra, Elica, Mattiazzi, LaCividina, Forestier, Petite Friture, Mobles 114

FSC-certified). Meanwhile, local manufacturers

and Emko, and this edition – which

present a diverse mix of discussions

comprises the 56th International Fair

with designers and architects, while

are able to produce particleboard,

of Furniture, Equipment and Interior

an international jury will grant the

polyurethane foam and other

Decoration, as well as the 56th

Golden Key awards to the most

important raw materials for use in

International Fair of Woodworking

successful exhibitors at the end of this

furniture production.

Machines, Tools and Production

year’s fair.

Materials – promises to take a step

The exhibition’s setting reflects

Within 2000km of most major European markets and Moscow, and

forward in every area, from design

a manufacturing base rife with

with a currency linked to the Euro,

quality to communication.

competitive advantages. Serbia’s

meaning greater price stability, Serbia

highly-skilled workforce has a

also enjoys free trade agreements

exhibitors are both regional – from

strong tradition of woodworking,

with most major economies, which

Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia,Bosnia &

furnituremaking and exporting, and

help make it an attractive prospect

Herzegovina – and international,

labour rates are among the lowest in

for those seeking new import

drawing on US, Austrian, German,



Belgrade Furniture Fair’s

Italian, Polish and Turkish product.

FN353_Pages2.indd 34

Over six days, the show will

Raw materials are not in short

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38 | Resources

Happy customers mean prosperous business. There’s an irrefutably close correlation between a consumer’s confidence and the purchases they make, and factors both external and personal influence how people behave. In a new report developed exclusively for Gearing Media Group’s new trade directory, Connect, Paul Farley endeavours to put the relationship between consumer confidence and furniture sales in context, and identify the principal drivers of, and obstacles to, spend in the sector – and, by doing so, better empower retailers and suppliers to weather fluctuating customer optimism …

A question of confidence People will always need furniture. But their desire to buy new furniture is influenced by myriad factors, both positive and negative. For example, a wage increase might prompt an overhaul of a tired set of bedroom cabinet, while impending political change could persuade them to postpone the replacement of an ailing mattress. Despite ongoing population growth – the Office for National Statistics (ONS) recorded YoY growth of 538,000 in 2017, to 65.6 million, the sharpest rise nearly 70 years – factors such as rising material and fuel prices, shrinking homes, increasingly fierce competition and a consumer that’s becoming more demanding with each passing year are putting UK furniture businesses under considerable pressure to

“Furniture businesses cannot proof themselves against macroeconomic crises or a customer’s personal circumstances, but there are safeguards that can offset the vagaries of fluctuating consumer confidence”

mood; and in October 2016, the MPI high water mark following the referendum. Furniture sales and the MPI GfK’s MPI is not furniture-specific, but encompasses opinions on a multitude of considered purchases, from large home appliances and entertainment devices to holidays and cars. How does furniture fare within the bigger picture? A study of the ONS’ monthly Retail Sales Index, which covers the total value of retail sales – offline and online – transacted by UK furniture and lighting stores, reveals a more general trend of growth over the period. Also, whatever the weather, on a month-by-month basis, there are general patterns reflecting the established purchasing cycle for furniture

seize their share of the market. The graph demonstrates that throughout

and furnishings – so the generalisation that

those factors within the seller’s control –

the five-year period spanning April 2013 to

furniture sales mirror consumer confidence

such as product, pricing, online offer and

March 2018, the measures loosely mirror

is not entirely straightforward.

promotional activities – on a consumer’s

one another – as consumer confidence

decision to buy, it’s crucial to understand

waxes and wanes, so too does willingness to

Assessing the drivers

the drivers that encourage them to spend or

shop for big-ticket items.

GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index exists

But before considering the impact of

save in the first place.

From March 2013 to August 2015 a general

in order to simplify a complex economic

recovery from the financial crisis which

picture. Confidence – and the ensuing

Considered purchase confidence in context

hit in 2008 can be seen in both measures,

store or website footfall and transactions

GfK’s Consumer Confidence Barometer,

but following this period there are several

– is impacted by a plethora of macro- and

conducted on behalf of the European

deviations, such as: in January 2016, where

micro-economic factors, political and social.

Commission, surveys a representative

the MPI spikes considerably higher than the

Retail has become a popular topic

selection of UK adults each month

general index, perhaps indicating consumers

for the mainstream media, making the

to establish consumers’ feelings and

keen to pick up bargains in the season’s

tribulations of furniture businesses more


sales despite a more generally downbeat

transparent than ever. Meanwhile, the stage

One element of the measure is the Major

of international politics is volatile, and is

Purchase Index (MPI), which is based on

coupled with the onset of Brexit, an extreme

feedback to the following question: ‘In view

transition of the UK’s own making.Yet while

of the general economic situation, do you

political crises may affect consumers on an

think now is the right time for people to

emotional level, one should look closer to

make major purchases such as furniture

home to discover the real drivers behind

or electrical goods?’ By comparing the

consumer confidence.

movement of the MPI within the wider

They range from distress purchases to

Consumer Confidence Index over a five-year

meet unexpected demand – such as the

term, it is possible to identify how supposed

need for a sofabed for an elderly relative

demand for big-ticket items weighs up

coming to visit – to promotional campaigns

against more general consumer optimism.

(offline and online) and credit facilities.

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Tracking the relationship between general consumer confidence and people’s willingness to buy big-ticket items by mapping GfK’s Overall Index Score against its Major Purchase Index, April 2013 to March 2018

They can offer flexible credit options,

Perhaps a customer has just bought a new

times been mitigated to a degree by positive

home, which requires furnishing regardless

factors encouraging big-ticket spend, such

and innovative, high quality products and

of the immediate economic landscape – or

as low unemployment, wage growth and low

services. They can deliver these honestly

they are content to wait for next opportunity

interest rates.

and consistently across every sales channel.

Yet, with business rates fast becoming

They can ensure visibility through well-

an unbearable overhead for many, coupled

considered multichannel marketing, and

itself. As consumers tighten their belts, they

with growing competition from online

work closely with their suppliers and

tend to fall back to more affordable options

pureplays and other big-ticket purchases,

customers to specify and select the most

that represent good value, while the more

the furniture industry faces the likelihood of

on-trend product.

high-end luxury goods suffer.

greater pressures.

to buy furniture at a discount. Then there’s the nature of the product

Ideally, they will cultivate a product offer that covers as many bases as possible, and a

But there are are also buying patterns related to product type. As a necessary

A confident approach

pricing model that can flex to meet current

purchase, mattresses tend to endure better

The challenge facing the industry is clear


than dining furniture, and affordable

– to minimise the harmful impact of

upholstery will do well, while home office

fluctuating consumer confidence wherever

consumers look for good value. That may be

ranges may not.

possible, to seize opportunities when

reflected by a product’s quality, its pricing,

they arise, and to acknowledge changing

or the manner in which it is delivered, but

consumer demand.

value is a constant that endures the tides of

Challenging times ahead? Ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Brexit

Furniture businesses cannot proof

Whether times are good or bad, UK

political change and personal circumstance. And, unlike consumer confidence, good

negotiations (and the fall in the pound

themselves against macro-economic crises

it precipitated) has created significant

or a customer’s personal circumstances,

value – and the trappings that surround

difficulty for furniture businesses, but this

but there are safeguards that can offset the

it – is within the control of the supplier and

is just part of a bigger picture, and has at

vagaries of fluctuating consumer confidence.


THE AUTHOR Paul Farley is Gearing Media Group’s editor-in-chief. The full report on which this article is based, which includes detailed insight from leading furniture retailers and suppliers, can be found in Connect – The Furniture Trade Directory. A copy of the printed directory – and, for a limited time, VIP membership of the online Connect platform and a free 12-month subscription to Furniture News magazine – is currently available for just £95. Call 07493 391962 or email to take advantage of this offer.

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Whilst new technologies continue to transform ecommerce, bricks and mortar, global delivery and postal returns, procurement and supply chain management has until now remained relatively unchanged – writes Gus Bartholomew, who suggests what the future of manufacturer sourcing might look like …

How we will source manufacturers in the future? Within the furniture world, 3D modelling

For furniture and interiors brands looking

Social and environmental impact

to be a step ahead in an increasingly

It no longer suffices for a brand’s social

software is excellent for communicating

competitive and volatile marketplace, the

and environmental impact to be an add-on,

designs to manufacturers, but other

future of sourcing will have to look very

or an empty marketing campaign driven

industries have been slower to catch up.

different. Better supplier collaboration and

by the CSR department. There has been a

Advances are starting to be made within

adoption of new supply chain technologies

monumental shift in consumer mindset

the fashion world in particular, where

will enable brands to find the best factories

over the past few years that means sourcing

companies like Optitex have developed

and build faster, leaner, more flexible and

and taking responsibly is a necessity and no

3D virtual prototyping software. Real-

more transparent supply chains.

longer a point of difference.

time visualisation of designs saves time

The decision to source more responsibly

and money and reduces the amount of


needs to have buy-in from all key decision

back-and-forth between brands and

As consultant McKinsey said in a recent

makers within an organisation. Making more


report, digitisation is the next sourcing

sustainable and ethical decisions needs to

country. Brands will have to find other ways

be front of mind throughout, from supplier

3D manufacturing

to cut costs in their supply chain beyond

selection and design through to production

There has been a buzz around 3D for

squeezing suppliers and manufacturers on

development, production and delivery.

several years but, as solutions become more




prices. To remain competitive and to make

accessible and affordable, it has become a

better margins, digitising the supply chain is

Trust and better supplier collaboration

very real possibility for certain furniture

key – and that entails looking for end-to-

Even in the digital age, personal

brands as their production method of the

end software solutions that will help bring

relationships are key. The key to having


greater visibility, traceability, transparency

an efficient and robust supply chain is to

and planning to sourcing.

pick the right partners and invest time

customisation and expect products to be

and money in building long-term strategic

delivered quicker, it will no doubt be an

partnerships with them.

increasingly popular option for furniture

Whilst cost of labour has traditionally been


Strategic country selection

There needs to be a shift in mindset –

As consumers demand more

brands. Products can be designed to suit the

one of the key drivers for manufacturing

not just from sourcing teams, but from

location, as living wages between countries

manufacturers too, in order to survive in the

demands of the customer and printed

level out, this will increasingly become a

future. Manufacturers need to understand

locally, which avoids the high costs and

less important factor.

that the model is shifting from a demand-

delays associated with sourcing overseas.

With the change in consumer

based one more to a consumer-driven one. There will be a paradigm shift within

expectations, furniture and interiors

Those who are agile and keen to adapt will

brands will be much more driven by speed

be the winners. The manufacturers and

procurement in the future. Procurement

of delivery, value (quality/price) and

brands who invest in modernising their

decisions will play a more important role in

compliance. As consumers become more

supply chains will prosper the most.

the operations of organisations, and cloudbased supply chain solutions will take centre

clued up on how products are made, and the


value of having product made by a skilled

3D virtual protoyping

workforce, and the carbon footprint of their

The one area within the supply chain which

products, it is likely that we will see more

is full of avoidable mistakes, delays and

development, communication, payments,

product produced closer to where the raw

unforeseen costs is the sampling process.

tracking and compliance will happen

material is grown and where the specialist

Design development is still to this day

online, enabling real-time collaboration,

workforces live.

largely manual, despite the advances that

greater visibility and a more streamlined

have gone on within technology.

procurement process.

In the future, supplier selection, design

THE AUTHOR Gus Bartholomew is the co-founder of Supplycompass, a tech-enabled, end-to-end production management platform for brands that want to find and work with international manufacturers. Brands can create tech packs, get matched with a manufacturer and use the platform to manage production from design to delivery, responsibly and sustainably. W

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Industry lobby group the British Furniture Confederation (BFC) has published its second manifesto, in which it calls for Government co-operation and support for the furniture and furnishings sector on training, exports, standards and regulations and the environment.

How can Government support the furniture industry? The BFC is the UK furniture industry’s representative body which seeks to engage with Government and ensure that its policies and initiatives support a thriving furniture, furnishings and bed sector. The manifesto has been sent to ministers across Government, as well as shadow ministers and key members of the All Party Parliamentary Furniture Industry Group (APPFIG), with clear, implementable calls for action to bolster the industry, including: clarity on Brexit negotiations; enhanced

“We must keep on reminding the Government of the importance of the furniture and furnishings industry to the economy”

above inflation rates, and 85% anticipating further rises in the next 12 months. The BFC’s voice therefore joins many others calling for as tariff-free trading as possible, and clarity as soon as possible. British business must remain a primary focus for Government in its negotiations, and all options for supporting businesses should be considered. The industry has seen exports increase slightly in the past couple of years – up +13% to £1.13b from 2015-16 – but only 20% of survey respondents are currently

long-term export support; increased support for training to resolve the growing skills gap; the maintenance and policing

growth industry for the UK, supporting

of safety standards and regulations; and

over 327,000 jobs across 50,000 registered

engagement with, and support for, moving

companies. Manufacture of furniture and

towards a more circular economy.

beds in Britain is one of the top three

“It has been encouraging to see the

divisions driving manufacturing growth in

Government’s renewed focus on industry,

the UK, with output of over £11b emanating

and we welcomed the publication of the

from 8390 companies employing 118,000

Industrial Strategy in November, which


can only have a positive impact,” says BFC

Uncertainty surrounding the future of

chairman Jonathan Hindle. “However, it did

trading with Europe remains high on the

not fully address our concerns about the

list of concerns for industry – not just for

skills gap, export support or indeed support

exports to the UK’s main markets, but also

in general for what is seen as a more

for imports of essential materials.

traditional manufacturing sector. “Hence the publication of this, our second

Costs have already risen – with 94% of survey respondents reporting increases well

manifesto, and a very clear message to Government about the value of our industry and the ways in which Government can specifically help it to continue to prosper and contribute to the economy and culture of the UK.” As before, the BFC 2018 manifesto has been developed in response to an industrywide survey, completed by 65 companies across the sector. The results highlighted a number of strengths, opportunities and challenges, and the manifesto sets out to identify the BFC’s specific action plan for 2018/19. “We must keep on reminding the Government of the importance of the furniture and furnishings industry to the economy,” says Jonathan. “At nearly £17b and rising [according to FIRA’s latest Statistical Digest], it’s a substantial

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How is Brexit likely to affect the industry?

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Resources | 43

The BFC also urges Government to

exporting more than 10% of their turnover,

is continuing to engage and collaborate

or plan to increase exports over the coming

fully with Government. Getting the balance

continue to support apprenticeships and to

year or so.

right between maintaining high levels

ensure the Apprenticeship Levy works for an

of safety and reducing the use of certain

industry dominated by SMEs (less than one

so to new markets – the BFC still wants

fire-retardant chemicals is critical, and

in six are levy payers). Encouraging schools

Government to commit to a clear five-year

collaborative action with all stakeholders is

to partner more with local businesses would

strategy, detailing the value of support


also help.

To encourage more exporting – and doing

The BFC survey also confirms the

available to exporters in each year. It wants to see more knowledge and in-market

furniture and furnishing industry’s

support. The BFC also urges measures such

commitment to becoming more

as tax breaks for export investment, more

environmentally friendly – 62% are

trade missions, export finance guarantees,

committed to reducing carbon emissions,

simplified grant systems, and increased

95% are aware of the environmental and

funding and more sector-devolved power

health impacts of the chemicals used in

for Trade Challenge Partners (TCPs).

products, and most have taken steps to reduce them.

“The BFC is also calling for clarity on product safety and the mutual recognition regime the industry will have to work to post-Brexit to ensure frictionless trade with the EU”

The industry also supports the Government’s aim for a greener, more sustainable economy, with 87% of respondents in favour of positive engagement in the development of product stewardship schemes. The BFC wants to ensure full collaboration With almost 80% of survey respondents

with the industry of the development of any

concerned about their ability to recruit

such schemes in support of moving towards

adequately skilled staff over the next few

a more circular economy.

years, the Government’s approach to

While there continues to be significant

education and apprenticeships remains

voluntary engagement in efforts to reduce

crucial to the success of the sector.

packaging waste, CO2 emissions, recycling

Not only is Brexit, and its subsequent

and diversion from landfill, there are

immigration policy, of concern – but so

concerns that, without proper scrutiny, the

too are the unintended consequences

number of rogue traders could escalate,

of education policies which are turning

and the BFC is looking to Government for

furniture industry approves of, and is

schools away from teaching skills essential

support in policing the use of secondhand

committed to, maintaining the current

to furniture making (namely design and

and re-used components to ensure the

high levels of product safety and standards.

technology). These subjects should be

consumer is not the victim of misdescribed

But a significant 35% feel that the UK

accredited as core and properly represented

and/or unsafe products.

does not effectively enforce product

in all accountability measures, says the BFC.

The BFC’s survey indicates that the

safety regulations, so the BFC is urging

Jonathan adds: “Without highly-skilled

In addition, the Government must support the industry – particularly micro

Government to increase resources across the

employees, the UK’s reputation for high

and SME businesses - to increase research

regulatory landscape to improve policing.

quality, innovative goods – the very

and development of more environmentally-

“The safety of our products is of paramount

products that present the best export

friendly materials and manufacturing

importance,” says Jonathan, “both as a

opportunities – will decline.”


basic duty of care to our customers and to the reputation of our industry.” The BFC is also calling for clarity on product safety and the mutual recognition regime the industry will have to work to post-Brexit to ensure frictionless trade with the EU. With no further progress made on the review of the flammability regulations, the BFC is now pushing for urgent action, and

“Uncertainty surrounding the future of trading with Europe remains high on the list of concerns for industry – not just for exports to the UK’s main markets, but also for imports of essential materials”

THE AUTHOR Principal contributor Jonathan Hindle is the chairman of the British Furniture Confederation (BFC), an association that represents the sector and comprises members from the BCFA, BFM, NBF, FIRA, LOFA and the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers. The full 2018 manifesto can be downloaded from the BFC website,

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World of Opportunity

Engage a

The International Alliance of Furnishing Publications (IAFP) is an association comprising the leading industry trade publications in 19 countries. Established in 1997, the IAFP aims to improve communications between international markets and create new business opportunities. Furniture News is the IAFP’s representative in the UK, and can offer readers and advertisers target market information, contacts and reach through the most effective B2B channels. The essential guide to the UK domestic furniture and furnishings trade #350 May 2018 |

Contact us on (+44)1424 776101 or visit the IAFP website to find out more. Camden Collection, Gallery Direct POLE POSITION Meble Polska looks ahead

LAID BARE Behind mattress brand Otty Sleep

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MARK OF DISTINCTION This year’s Design Guild Mark winners

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018 11:27

Profile | 45


New thinking from Devon’s finest With a thorough rebrand, fresh lines and new manufacturing methods in place, Devon’s pre-eminent cabinetmaker and supplier is taking measures to ensure it offers stockists the best possible quality and service, for years to come. Furniture News speaks to one of Devonshire Living’s directors, Nicolle Hockin, to find out more … For over a quarter of a century, the

The website is also being updated to

sense to streamline our output and turn to batch manufacturing.

family-run Devonshire Living – formerly

reflect this new offer, and comprehensive

Devonshire Pine, and Devonshire Pine &

product listings will help stockists –

Oak – has manufactured and imported high

particularly those without a website of their

efficiently, stock more items for quicker

quality cabinet furniture, offering retailers a

own – more effectively communicate the

delivery, and resolve any returns much

unique and flexible proposition.

portfolio’s appeal to consumers.


Whilst it enjoys ongoing success from

More significant are the changes taking

“It means we can make products more

A traditional lead time of two-to-three

both its own-manufactured and imported

place behind the scenes, which include a

weeks could become less than one – a

lines, Devonshire Living has taken steps

major switch to batch manufacturing in the

development which will massively enhance

to ensure its offer is fit to handle the


Devonshire’s appeal to potential stockists.

challenges of the future.

“Updating our UK manufacturing

New ranges are on the horizon, too –

methods means we can offer better service

this autumn, Devonshire Living plans to

Living, as Devonshire Pine & Oak just wasn’t

and quality, as well as better prices in these

introduce a painted version of its popular

broad enough to define the scope of our

uncertain times,” says Nicolle.

Dorset oak range, as well as a mindi wood

“First up, we’ve rebranded to Devonshire

activities,” says Nicolle, who explains that

A good example is Devonshire’s

collection, while other collections will be

the business is planning to branch into new

bestseller, its painted Lundy range. Although

revealed to major customers through soft

timbers (such as mango) and possibly soft

the original 12 dated paint colours were

launches from the company’s two show


modernised in January, just four colours


The brand’s look and marketing

are now available – the tried-and-tested

Retailers can see the results of these

collateral has been overhauled and

favourites ivory, truffle, platinum (grey) and

changes for themselves – every available

modernised to reflect this change – on the


model is on show at Devonshire’s 25,000ft2

road, Devonshire’s 14-lorry fleet boasts

“These well-established paint colours

new livery, which will go a long way in

account for some 98% of our current orders

T 01237 471872

establishing the company’s new identity.

anyway,” says Nicolle, “so it made so much

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showroom in Bideford.

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Relaunch of Devonshire Pine and Oak A new name A fresh approach to our UK made collections A new modern look across all our platforms New ranges coming soon Still the same high quality Still the same great delivery and customer service Still incredibly competitive prices Still the UK’s leading furniture manufacturer and importer E: DevonshirePineAug18.indd 1 FN353_Pages2.indd 46

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UK Made Held in Stock Fast Delivery Competitive Prices

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The Shire Bed Company’s (01924 439898, Active Response Fresh mattress, from its second generation Active Response collection, comes with climate and moisture management at 37°. It features moisture wicking to help provide a drier sleeping surface, and is constructed from soft memory wool to aid user comfort. Also included in the Active Response range are Active Response Care, Active Response Cool and Active Response Breeze, plus the Opulence 3000 and Elegance 1500. The Shire Bed Company produces beds, mattresses and divan bases and supplies nationally and internationally to major retailers Berlin slider in pebble grey matt and glass

and the contract sector including education, care and hospitality.

Selecting the right furniture for the bedroom is important,

Active Response Fresh

even when on a budget. Simon Hewitt, director of Wiemann’s (, UK and Irish agent, Litmus Furniture, says: “Bedroom furniture is always going to be a big decision for consumers, with storage and practicality being key features. After more than 10 years in the UK, we have a good understanding of what hits the spot for both retailers and consumers.” Wiemann’s Berlin collection is an affordable range that offers consumers a simple but attractive selection of furniture pieces suitable for rooms of various sizes and shapes. Available in white, rustic oak, dark rustic oak, havana and pebble grey finishes, plus white, sahara, pebble grey, havana, black and magnolia glass door front options, the range comes with sliding and hinged wardrobes, in widths from 50-300cm that can be customised to include wooden and glass doors, mirrors, and smart soft-closing mechanisms.

Britain’s Biggest & Best Bed Show! NEW FOR 2018 Business Hubs Y Knowledge Hub Y Services Hub Y

Mattresses Y Divans Y Bedsteads Y Headboards Y Pillows Y Futons Y Sofabeds Y Tickings Y Fillings Y Springs Y Foam Y Machinery Y Components Y

Register Now: Y


Free onsite parking Y Free refreshment vouchers Y Celebration Gala Dinner & Bed Industry Awards

If you’re in beds, you’d be mad to miss it! NBFAug18.indd 1

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50 | Beds & Bedroom

The Emma Original mattress, the latest product from D2C brand

Hybrid Pocket Perfection 2200

Emma Mattress (, has been awarded a Which? Best on Test accolade for the category – as well as being named a Which? Best Buy for the second year running. Made in Britain, the Emma Original can be trialled for 100 nights at home, with a pick-up and return service as well as a moneyback guarantee. Key features include a new foam combination for superior breathability and durability, which enhances comfort and body support for all body types. It also benefits from a cover with open-pore cell structure technologies to improve air circulation. Max Laarmann, founder and CEO of Emma Mattress, says: “Emma Mattress was born out of a consumer problem. Before, mattress buying was cumbersome and confusing to shoppers – add to this the long delivery times, and it didn’t make for easy or

Transparency to customers and taking care of the environment is

seamless buying journeys. Using customer insight, we not only

of the utmost importance to Sealy UK (, which

sought to make the buying process easier, more convenient and

in recent months has taken steps to satisfy changing consumer

quicker, but also harnessed the science behind sleep to create a

demands with two new initiatives – the launch of an ingredient list

mattress that suits all body and sleep types.”

for its brochure models, and a zero-to-landfill policy. The move to become completely transparent with its products comes as Sealy works to strengthen its position as an innovator and influencer in the bed market. Its ingredient list features a full product declaration, and takes inspiration from food labelling. Environmental footprint is also an issue important to the brand, and where practical Sealy seeks to exceed all relevant regulatory requirements and minimise any adverse environmental effects caused by its activities or products. Sealy has pledged to reduce wastage to the lowest practical level whilst pursuing a zero-to-landfill policy, and aims to design products in such a way to minimise their environmental effect in production, usage and disposal.


Eric Mostert, Hästens Partner, Netherlands FED UP WITH PRICE MATCHING YOUR TOP END BED SALES? We have the solution. We want you to join The World of Hästens. For more information on becoming a UK stockist and selling Sweden’s finest handmade beds contact:


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2nd & 3rd October 2018

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52 | Beds & Bedroom

Hyder Living (01484 531000, has launched Harmony, a handcrafted bedframe in a combination of velvet-style grey fabric and tempered mirrored glass. Suitable for contemporary homes, Harmony’s simple lines are elegant and assured. Available in 4ft 6in and 5ft options, Harmony is supplied direct from stock, with Hyder Living offering a direct home delivery service. “Mirrored bedroom furniture has become commonplace, but until now there have been few bedframes to complement bedsides, dressing tables and chests,” explains director Biny Hyder. “We’ve developed Harmony to overcome this, using tempered mirror glass to elegantly define the quilted headboard. Contrasted with a padded, grey velvet-look fabric, the mirror glass looks fantastic and gives the bed a really luxurious feel.” Featuring solid wooden feet and a sprung slatted base for support, Harmony joins an expanding collection of high-quality, handcrafted bedframes, and can be supplied with any of Hyder Living’s mattresses. Building on the success of The TT Dining Collection, Kettle Interiors (01536 444960, has launched The TT Bedroom Collection, featuring the same combination of paint finishes and contrasting lime-washed oak tops. Available in old white or millstone grey, the range is finished with chrome cup handles. “While being relatively new, we now count TT Dining among our bestselling ranges,” explains Simon Ainge, sales director. “A great mix of on-trend classic English style and the popularity of a painted finish, it was only natural that we launched a bedroom collection, so that it can be enjoyed in more rooms of the home. We’ve designed both as an accessible entry into the classic English country style typically found at the premium end of the market.”


The most extensive range available from including:

The best of both worlds from Deluxe! Combine a high quality, hand side-stitched mattress with natural fillings from our Hamilton & James brand, together with a bed frame that contrasts popular and vibrant accent colours to complete the look of any bedroom. The Splendour mattresses are available in spring counts from 4,500 to 12,500 pocket springs. The bed frame is available in three different colour combinations & all products are available for weekly delivery or collection. or call 01484 427 373. Deluxe Beds, Beacon Street, Birkby, Huddersfield, HD2 2RS, United Kingdom

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Touch Up Markers & Graining • Transparent & solid colour markers • Clear finishing markers • Graining markers & colouring sticks

Repair Aerosols • Dye & Pigment Colouring Aerosols • Finishing Aerosol in 6 sheens • Low Odour Finishing Aerosols • Speciality Aerosols for spot repairs, blushing etc

Repair Kits • Touch Up Furniture Repair Kit • Professional Furniture Repair Kit • Cabinet Installation Kit • Flooring Installation Kit • Solid Wood Repair Kit • Quick Repair Burn-In Kit

Fillers • Simple Fill-Sticks & Quick Fill hot sticks • Burn In Repair Systems - matt & gloss • Epoxy Repair Fillers + Wood Touch-up & Repair Training Courses

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54 | Beds & Bedroom

Nautilus in midnight blue

ZERO BARRIERS TO HIGHGATE’S ADVANCE With its Medicpaedic, SportLine and well-established Healthopaedic brands making good headway, Yorkshire’s Highgate Beds continues to offer consumers new levels of comfort and quality … Highgate Beds is looking forward

One of the USPs at the heart of Highgate

to manufacturing – all of which are helping

Beds’ sought-after portfolio is its Zero

the business set itself apart from its

to unveiling its latest models at next

Gravity technology, which brings various


month’s NBF Bed Show – comprising

medical benefits to its mattresses.

Zahid reveals that the last year has been

beds with luxury fillings such as wool,

a busy one, principally driven by the desire

mohair, cashmere and pashmina, plus new

Beds worked hard to develop a second

to ensure that Highgate Beds’ products are

developments in the SportLine collection.

generation of this technology, which means

of the highest standard, and that there is a

T 01924 454678

its mattresses now promise even greater

model for every customer.

Over the course of last year, Highgate

support, comfort and pressure reduction. This year, the company has been forced to fight hard to protect the Zero Gravity branding and trademark at the core of its business, and only now, having won this legal battle, can it reveal its benefits and the story behind its development. By travelling to suppliers’ fabric houses for inspiration, Highgate Beds has further built its capability to develop new lines and business relationships fit for future demand. As always, Highgate Beds’ hands-on

S w a

director, Zahid Ayub, has been at the heart of these developments, spending a good deal of time in the company’s factory, trialling and creating innovative new designs, and refining its approach

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SportLine 2000 in steel

24/07/2018 15:44


It can only be‌

Shown here in a 4ft6 Pocket Zero mattress, with a Ren style base in Memphis camel, and Stratford Floorstanding headboard


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M&P trades from large stocks

M&P is based in East Sussex, carries large

M&P Chairs (07802 648383,

demand for its new Nordic stick-back and experienced a good

Paesana wooden-seated chairs, which

stocks of its core products, and distributes

first half year of trading, during which the

it introduced shortly after the January

throughout the UK using its own delivery

supplier continued to see good demand for

Furniture Show.

vehicles in tandem with pallet and courier

its range of farmhouse and Shaker chairs, as

As the company moves into the quieter

providers. It prides itself on being able to

well as its rocking and high-back granddad

period of the year, it will use the time to re-

deliver quality European hardwood (beech


stock in readiness for the busier September

and oak) chairs to its customers quickly and

to December season.


M&P Chairs is also seeing growing

Beautiful For Armchairs - Current Best Sellers Something The Conservatory Or Veranda

High Back High Back Slat Granddad Slat Granddad Chair Ref. 122 Chair Ref. 122

High Back Slat BackSlat Back Fiddle Back High Back Rocking Chair Rocking Chair Rocking Chair Fiddle Granddad Fiddle Granddad Chair Ref. 123 Chair Ref. 123 Ref. 126 Ref. 126 Ref. 127

Smoker’s Fiddle Back Bow Chair Rocking Chair Ref. 125 Ref. 127


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WoodmanJuly18.indd 57 1 FN353_Pages2.indd

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58 | Dining Room

The mirrored Apollo range from CIMC (01162 875288, was inspired by antique patterns, and creates a bright, elegant look. Mirrored furniture can open up a smaller space, while adding elegance to any room. As well as Apollo, CIMC’s bestselling ranges also include those at the leading edge of contemporary design, such as Aria, Milano and Cleo. The company is launching 350 new products for autumn 2018, and aims to offer full furnishing and accessory solutions for any property, inside and out.

Jungle, which comprises a tabletop upon a branched entanglement of triangular legs connected by sturdy joints made from solid wood, is a good example of Calligaris’ ( ability to work with wood. The double base, made from natural ash and available in several finishes, is the table’s main aesthetic feature, paired with a range of tops in different sizes, shapes and materials – rectangular and elliptical, wood, and glass-ceramic with different trims. Boasting a host of different combinations with a range of tops, Jungle is both solid and versatile, fitting any modern space.

Ye Olde Traditional… F FINI





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Beech Amish also available with oak seat

20/06/2018 11:26

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FN353_Pages2.indd JaipurAug18.indd 1 59

24/07/2018 23/07/2018 15:45 10:46



Gavin Boden

A crisis of confidence


he furniture industry is all about consumer confidence. Because the industry mostly comprises high-ticket items, it accounts for a good percentage of gross sales in the

marketplace. Over the last 11 years since the very beginning of the recession,

Furniture sales and marketing professional

The consumers on our little island are stressed – about the recession, about leaving Europe, about the wars, about wages, the cost of living, immigration, gun crimes, terrorism … the list could go on and on. So, now, when little Jonny damages the dining room table which

the furniture industry has, let’s say, evolved, with the emergence

has been in the house for seven years, mum and dad will repair it or

of more and more multiple outlets on retail parks, the internet, and

cover it up, whereas before 2007 they would have considered buying

cheap imports from the Far East and Eastern Europe.

a new dining room.

All this has caused a huge decrease in the number of independent

Why? Because they are not sure what is going to happen next

retailers on high streets all over the country – and particularly in the

year, next month, or even next week. They will be worrying if dad’s

north of England.

company is going to shut down, or about the interest rate going up,

The internet has swept up most of the lower end of the market,

which will cost them another £50 per month on their mortgage. At

while the big multiples like DFS, ScS, Furniture Village, etc have

the moment, families would rather spend their money on a holiday to

taken over the majority of the middle market, and the better

somewhere warm than buy a new piece of furniture.

independent stores have retained the bulk of the top end of the business (apart from branded product).

When I first left school and went into furniture retail, before the internet, when DFS had just three stores and everyone was paid cash

Consumer confidence over this period has been up and down like

in a brown envelope at the end of the week, we knew where we stood

a yo-yo – but if we are talking about the independent business, then

– when the busy times of the year, the month and week would be. On

the lack of consumer confidence has made for very tough trading.

Saturdays, it would be busy right through the day.

As I have said before, independents not using the internet as a force

All of that has gone now. Our pay comes into our bank accounts,

for driving tra�c into their stores have struggled, and I’m not just

at di�erent times of the month, we work whatever hours we need

talking about websites, but social media (Facebook, Twitter and

to including weekends, and have a choice of seven days in which to

Instagram) too.


There’s been plenty for the average consumer to complain about over the last 11 years, which has had an e�ect on their confidence. Any kind of election has historically a�ected business within the

How can retailers plan anything – their sta�, their opening hours, or their sale periods (which for most multiples is all-year round)? Over the next 10 years we’re going to witness a rise in consumer

furniture industry, and we have been through it all during this period

confidence, caused by a lot of di�erent contributors – but how will it

(I’m not saying that the downward turn in confidence is justified, but

a�ect the independent retailer?

it is an excuse not to buy big-ticket items). We’ve had the referendum which led to Brexit, three major elections, the whole Donald Trump thing, and various other scandals. Another factor which a�ects the confidence of the public is world conflicts, and there is a mountain of them – Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq,

Positively, let’s hope. Yes, we are going to see more casualties – that I am sure – but we will have a smaller, stronger industry which will have gone through the biggest changes in its history, and, for those who have survived it, through the back of the wardrobe will be a much better, brighter world.

the Libyan and Yemeni crises … not to mention Kim Jong Un in North Korea. All these things make the British public stop and think – not only because the British Government must get involved in every crisis around the world, but because the world is so small now and we hear about absolutely everything, seconds after it happens.

The consumers on our little island are stressed, because they are not sure what is going to happen next year, next month, or even next week Got a view you’d like to share with the trade? Get in touch with us by contacting

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Staingard, market leaders in the provision of care plans and products for the furniture, beds and flooring industry. For more information see our promoted entries in connect or call: 01244 888 658

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For many years now Staingard have, in association with Leather Master Scandinavia, been supplying great products for the consumer to take care of their leather upholstery. Driven by demand for similar products that could be supplied to technicians, leather repairers and upholstery manufacturers Staingard have now developed ‘Leathergard’.

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09/07/2018 24/07/2018 16:11 15:45


LIVING ROOM The stylish lines of The NTP Collection from Kettle Interiors (01536 444960, are influenced by classic Danish design – the collection shares its blueprint with the NT Collection, this time offering pieces for dining, occasional and bedroom in a dove grey paint. The supplier has not forgotten the appeal of the original’s natural light oak finish, so The NTP Collection bears contrasting tops in the same wood. “When we launched the original collection, it marked a departure from the usual styles of our oak dining and occasional furniture, yet it received a very warm reception and has gone on to great success,” says Kettle’s Simon Ainge. “However, such is the popularity of painted furniture at the moment that we simply couldn’t resist the temptation to mix

Designs from the Mad Men collection now rank in the bestselling

things up a little further and wrap the stunning lines of the original

rugs from Louis de Poortere (,

in a gorgeous dove grey paint.” The NTP Collection offers an array, with the new The Cracks pattern also

of items including four sizes of sideboards, cupboards and cabinets,

recently entering the manufacturer’s top 20.

dining tables, three bedsides, three wardrobes and various chests.

Echoing the golden age of advertising in the New York City of the 1960s, Mad Men is a series of bold and powerful rugs woven in an artful blend of high-gloss polyester and cotton chenille. A mix of straight and broken lines reminiscent of the ragged pencil strokes beginning iconic brand campaigns, the Jacob’s Ladder and Griff designs are full of energy and a vibrancy that has seen them become ranked among Louis de Poortere’s most popular designs. The Cracks is cloaked in the hues of dark pine, deep mine and abyss blue, and, like the rest of the Mad Men collection, comes in a range of standard sizes from 80 x 150cm up to 280 x 360cm. Hand-finished and with a natural anti-slip latex backing, Mad Men is machine-woven in Belgium.

According to Shankar (, its new sofa range,

brushed velvet, with diamante buttons, stud detailing around the

which was launched only last month, is already attracting a lot of

front, back and sides, and polished chrome legs. It comes complete

excitement and good reviews.

with two cushions and bolsters.

Designed to transform the interior of any room, the range has an emphasis on clean lines and is available in a grey or mink (pictured)

FN353_Pages2.indd 62

A a


In all, this stylish range comprises four-, three-, and two-seater sofas, a square edge chair and ottoman.

24/07/2018 15:45





Zingaro fuses light and dark to create bold and imposing furniture which works perfectly as a whole range of pieces complimenting each other and creating a room set, while each individual piece can function as a statement piece. Truly a beautiful range and, in our mind, a future classic, with the optional lighting adding to the bold and modern look. All available for next day delivery to yourself or your customer – no minimum order and 20% off for displays.

As always, there is no minimum order and pieces are available for next day delivery, so call today! Furniture To Go, 3 Keel Close, Interchange Park, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO3 5QD - T: 02380 517067 E: -

FurnitureToGoAug18.indd FN353_Pages2.indd 63 1

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64 | Living Room

Customer expectation for quality designs that fits a lifestyle is on

willing to pay more for products that are made of better materials,

the rise, and modern solid wood furniture is positioned to fulfil that

and which last longer. Consequently, its new ranges employ solid

demand. According to Jaipur Furniture (01992 666526,

woods including mango and sheesham, and the company has worked, success in this market depends on three

even harder to ensure that the quality of its output is consistent.

things – product design, quality and service. One key emerging trend is the fusion of different elements and

Jaipur Furniture aims to always put the customer first, and it does so by working closely with them to solve any issues, create

geometric designs, and Jaipur’s new collection adapts ideas of

new designs and ensuring the stock capacity is always on hand to

minimalism and urban lifestyle to fit the modern home.

meet demand – indeed, Jaipur recently expanded its warehouse in

Jaipur believes that rising expectations have made customers

Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, to better meet its customers’ needs. Telephone.: 0161-330 8959 E-mail:

Unique and Exclusive Designs Soft Industrial Retro & Vintage Furniture and Accessories Storm Grey and Cottonwood Retro Oak Come and see us at Autumn Fair 2-5 Sept NEC Hall 2 - F03/E02 BlueboneAug18.indd 1

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Introducing our new range with style and design in mind

Available in Grey or Mink Luxurious Brushed Velvet • Diamante buttons • Stud detailing • Polished Chrome Legs

01902 399764 • • ShankarAug18.indd FN353_Pages2.indd 165

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68 | Trade Services

THE NEW HOME OF BRITISH FURNITURE Earlier this summer, trade association the British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) relocated from its traditional home in High Wycombe to The Exchange, a newly-refurbished office and showroom facility in Long Eaton. Furniture News quizzed the association’s outgoing chairman, Matt O’Flynn, on the benefits of the move … The BFM’s new headquarters now occupy

(an official opening party is mooted for

How will the new HQ benefit the BFM’s

a fully refurbished office, showroom and

Monday 17th September, with new All


meeting hub in the heart of the UK’s

Party Parliamentary Furniture Industry

The Exchange is bang in the middle of the

upholstery manufacturing region. Located

Group [APPFIG] chair Maggie Throup MP

upholstery industry, with a large number

in Westend Mill on Leopold Street (opposite

in attendance), and has been named a new

of manufacturers and retailers all either

the well-known Harrington Mill building),

regional headquarters for The Furniture

permanently based here or converging

The Exchange is also home to Orbital,

Makers’ Company.

regularly as part of their normal business

Promising the offer of an open, flexible

cycle – plus the twice-yearly Long Point

known for website building and its new 3D

space in which to interact and do business

show. The Exchange has been laid out to

visualisation software solution, enVision.

– plus some 3000ft2 of open space still

be accessible and flexible enough to house

available for rent – The Exchange signals an

everything from small meetings to larger

John Sankey and Collins and Hayes principal

exciting new chapter in the BFM’s history,

seminars, meaning the BFM can interact

Matt O’Flynn, who, after serving more than

explains Matt …

with and offer services to the industry like

an industry-focused digital agency best

The move was spearheaded by former

never before.

the standard two-year term as chair of the BFM, has stepped back to focus on co-

Why did you choose this venue?

directing Orbital’s growing business.

The BFM was looking for a suitable location

Can you tell us more about any upcoming

and opportunity to grow our business, and


enable the BFM to interact more readily with

the showroom facility came as a natural part

We are yet to publish our calendar. However,

its members and the rest of the industry. It

of the process. As soon as we saw the space

we plan to launch The Exchange some time

is already lined up to be an official part of

in Westend Mill, we knew what we needed

in September, with Maggie Throup doing the

this year’s autumn Long Point exhibition

to do.

official honours, and for us to make the

According to Matt, the new location will

The Exchange offers fully-featured meeting spaces

FN353_Pages2.indd 68

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70 | Trade Services



Orbital’s studio at The Exchange

most of the opportunity by raising money

facilities and WiFi. The colours throughout

make interactive – bringing clients’

for The Furniture Makers’ Company as their

are a calming neutral with a matt finish,

entire catalogues to life and making the

new Heart of England region location.

accented with Orbital’s enVision green to

consumer’s journey much more engaging

inject energy.

and productive.

Upholstery Manufacture. Has has this

How is business going at Orbital since its

multiples right now, and our client roster

accolade made a difference to the town?

launch to the trade in January?

currently includes the likes of Furmanac,

This is a message that needs continuous

Orbital has been supplying graphic design,

Linwood, Collins & Hayes, Celebrity, John

wind in its sails. It is a great covenant, a

photography, print and brand strategy to

Sankey, Sleepeezee, Wood Bros, Ikon and

genuinely interesting story, and reaches well

numerous brands, small to global, for over

Debenhams, to whom we offer creative

beyond just upholstery.

a decade. More recently, we decided to place

services including 3D product rendering,

our focus purely on the interiors market.

fabric wrapping, 3D roomset creation,

We’re doing very well with the big

Long Eaton is now a UK Centre of Quality

The mills that are so well used by the furniture trade now are part of the story.


Technology has improved so quickly

photography, videography, website building and ecommerce solutions.

Westend Mill is one of the oldest remaining

– largely thanks to the gaming industry –

tenement lace mills in town – with the

and it allows us to develop truly realistic

BFM now located here, it will further grow

representations of products in natural-

people’s awareness and respect for the

looking environments, which we then

area. The digital revolution that Orbital is spearheading will provide a long reaching continuation of growth within the industry for the future. What inspired your interior design choices during the refurbishment?


We love these old mill buildings – they’re full of natural light and character. We wanted to take it back to its original form as much as possible, and then appoint the different areas sympathetically to their function. The BFM office is a professional space, allowing for privacy whilst still feeling open and benefiting from all the natural light. The Exchange’s reception is warm and welcoming, and the showroom benefits from exposed brickwork, great open spaces and a large cafe area with conferencing

FN353_Pages2.indd 70

Showroom space is available to rent

24/07/2018 16:44






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24/07/2018 14:21 15:45 20/07/2018

72 | Trade Services

Customer service is much more than dealing with complaints these days, says Retailsystem (, which believes that it is about being proactive, keeping the customer informed every step of the way, and handling any issues in a prompt and efficient way. If desired, Retailsystem keeps the customer informed from the moment they place an order – online order tracking allows them to log in to see the status of their order whenever they choose, but the retailer maintains control over what they see. Client analysis has shown that this alone can reduce incoming order chase calls by nearly -50%, freeing sales staff to spend more time booking new orders. Rather than let the retailer know when customer orders are overdue, Retailsystem offers alerts ahead of time, enabling

helps retailers manage any issue end-

the retailer to take action rather than

to-end, by recording action taken by

firefighting after the event.

personnel, customer photographs of

Text alerts advising customers of the

damage, upholsterer reports or supplier

arrival of their goods and confirming

correspondence and replacement re-

delivery slots is another area where

order, whilst allowing staff access to the

Retailsystem helps businesses demonstrate

information so anybody can help the

exceptional customer service.


For the times when complaints are received, its customer service module

Contact Retailsystem for an online or onsite demonstration.





CONTACT US TODAY: 01869 233 317 CONTACT CONTACT US US TODAY: TODAY: 01869 01869 233 233 317 317 | ||

FN353_Pages2.indd KineticAug18.indd 1 72

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Trade Services | 73

With ever-increasing demand for value-added products such as the

Step three was to recruit more sewing machinists. Having

Encore cushion range, and shorter and shorter lead times, Fibreline

recognised that the textile industry has lost many skilled machinists

(01535 606846, believes that in-house

over the years, Fibreline’s management knew that the recruitment of

control of sewn case production is essential for meeting customer

trained machinists would be difficult.

demand. In recent years, Fibreline has undertaken a major project

Following discussions with the local college and other local textilebased manufacturers, a project was established, with the aid of the

to increase its in-house cut-and-sew capacity. A complete

Textile Growth Fund, to set up a Textile Sewing Academy within

refurbishment of an existing building, including the installation of

Keighley College. Subsequently, this has proved successful, and

10,000ft2 of mezzanine flooring, came first, to house the existing

Fibreline has offered full-time employment to a number of students.

cutting and sewing facilities. Then an additional state-of-the-art CNC cutting machine was installed, along with laying-up equipment and extra sewing machines – all of which resulted in a doubling of capacity.

Encore Fibre

Encore Feather

FN353_Pages2.indd 73

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74 | Trade Services


Latexco (, a Belgian manufacturer of latex

Boyteks is working towards sustainable cotton manufacturing processes, among others

foam components, PU foams and pocket spring units for the bedding industry, has obtained Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, so it can now offer a product range made with FSCcertified latex. This certificate guarantees that products with the FSC logo are produced with materials from responsibly-managed forests, and provides transparency and material traceability throughout the supply chain. The FSC label is a next step in Latexco’s sustainability efforts. Over the last 10 years the company has been raising awareness and investing in advanced technology, cutting energy consumption by almost 50% over the past few years. The company also recycles

Sustainability and social conscience are two of the most important

100% of its wastewater and converts latex waste into new products.

values a business can have today, according to Turkish fabric manufacturer Boyteks Tekstil (, which believes it has a responsibility to consider how every aspect of its production and supply chain might impact future generations. “In all our R&D work, we aim to minimise our impact on the natural world, while contributing to environmental cleanliness with our upholstery fabrics produced from yarns produced from used bottles,” says a company spokesperson. “Boyteks also offers Nano Clean upholstery fabric, which is easy to clean, and Cleanink upholstery fabric, which is effective against ballpoint pen stains.” One of the world’s foremost suppliers of mattress ticking, upholstery fabric and carpet, Boyteks offers an extensive portfolio which ranges from velvet and nubuck fabric to office and garden furniture upholstery fabrics, enabling furniture manufacturers to diversify their brands through each product, staying on trend with easily-cleanable, sustainably-produced fabrics.

Supply chain management specialist iForce ( has secured a three-year contract to provide a range of fulfilment services to Under the terms of the deal, iForce will provide with an online fulfilment and warehouse management service using its unique Smart software capability from its 226,000ft2 warehouse in Redditch. Additionally, will be deploying Route Genie software, a carriage management solution provided through the iForce Pathfinder service. This will enable to manage the allocation of parcels to the most appropriate carriers based on weight, service requirement and cost, as well as providing the customer service team with a consolidated view of carrier performance.

The Furniture Makers’ Company (020 7562 8522), the furnishing industry’s charity, is appealing to the sector to support its 2018 welfare campaign by hanging its new poster up to help spread the word that it can support industry workers past and present if they have fallen on hard times. The organisation is calling on employers within the industry to get behind the initiative and hang copies of the poster in

Elaine, one of the charity’s welfare beneficiaries

offices, factories and other designated staff

their employees by displaying the poster on


factory floors, break rooms, back offices –

Jonny Westbrooke, CEO of The Furniture

see it and as a result know where to turn to

supporting people working in the UK

for help.”

furnishing industry for more than 100 years,

Copies of the poster can be downloaded

but new people join every month. We want


everyone in the industry to know that we are


there for them if they fall on hard times. “We need businesses large and small to support us to communicate this message to

FN353_Pages2.indd 74

anywhere that an employee will be able to

Makers’ Company, says: “We have been

The Furniture Makers’ Company provides financial assistance to workers within the industry through grants.

24/07/2018 15:46


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FN353_Pages2.indd SiestaAug18.indd 1 75

Mulliners ullinersWorks Works M 154 Bordesley Green Road, 154 Bordesley Green Road, BordesleyGreen, Green, Bordesley Birmingham, Birmingham, B8 1BY. 1BY. B8 Email Tel: 0121 0121773 7739969 9969 Tel:

24/07/2018 18/07/2018 15:46 10:00

76 | Designer


Dotti, Joe McCusker-Bland During an internship at Ocee Design, Nottingham Trent University student Joe McCusker-Bland created Dotti, a soft-upholstered reception chair that aims to bring an even greater domestic feel to today’s increasingly homely office spaces.

“The soft curvy arms and the retro button detail is inspired by the design of vintage sofas. I chose to combine this domestic upholstery design with an industrial steel leg frame to give character to Dotti’s appearance. Dotti makes an ideal piece for o�ce spaces with an eclectic interior”

“It’s designed for breakout spaces. It can be utilised for informal meetings, socialising and laptop use, etc, and the back is angled suitably for working and socialising in comfort”

“To achieve a professional prototype, I used the experience gained from my construction detailing role from my previous internships. This proved an advantage when it came to communicating the assembly of the design to di�erent manufacturers – special thanks go to Pressfab Engineering who helped weld the leg frame, Deebee Foams who helped produce the foams, and Ocee Design, who helped upholster the fabrics”

“Camira Synergy fabrics were a great choice for upholstering Dotti. The range provided flexible choice for di�erent colour combinations. Compound and Lateral were great colours for giving Dotti its smart appearance”

“Understanding construction is essential for any designer – there’s no use to being a felt-tip fairy” Training: Joe will graduate with a first-

Exhibitions: Dotti was one of two products

class honours degree in Furniture & Product

exhibited by Joe at this year’s New Designers

Design from Nottingham Trent University

event in London, at which he received

this year, having completed internships

runner-up awards from John Lewis and

at Ocee Design, Tom Dixon and Furniture

Made TalentLab.

Group Contracts. Joe McCusker-Bland plans to gain more


experience by working in the industry, before he approaches his next goal of setting up his own design studio.

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78 | Designer

that you would give to the manufacturer and

Know your rights! ACID’s chief executive, Dids Macdonald OBE, answers your design and intellectual property (IP) queries …

In the last five years of the right, any

ask them to sign before sending them any

person is entitled as of right to a licence to

prototype, or sample of your designs. Signed

produce your designs. If you cannot agree

agreements provide clarity of ownership

terms then this can be resolved by the

should you ever need to rely on them in any

Design Comptroller at the UK Intellectual


Property Office.

Include details of your registered

However, the matter may not be so

design and, if possible, register your

simple. If your furniture, for example, is

design in China – or, if you are relying on

handmade, then it may be protected by

unregistered design rights, you may decide

copyright, to which no licence of right

to lodge them on the ACID IP databank,


which provides independent evidence of

In addition, any surface patterns, such

the date they are received together with a

as engravings or prints on the furniture,

unique tamper-proof number. Registration

could also be subject to copyright. In those

is also available through WIPO and the

circumstances, again, those parts of the

Hague agreement, with one application

furniture would not be subject to the licence

for 100 designs offering protection in 68

of right.

countries. The agreement outlines that you are the

In this situation, it would be advisable to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

owner of the samples and any intellectual property rights. The manufacturer, by signing the agreement. would acknowledge that, and also agree not to do anything with the samples without your written consent. It would also subject the manufacturer to English law and jurisdiction, meaning it is simpler and less costly to take action. Of course, this does not offer any guarantee that things will not go wrong, but it simplifies matters as opposed to having no written agreement in place. Increasingly,

“When it comes to sending prototypes for quotes, there are measures you can put in place to offer at least some protection”

though, we are seeing a move towards I have designed and produced a chair

British manufacture, which eliminates many

design which I think is suitable for mass

of these issues.

production. What sort of documentation

How do I know which world territories recognise my unregistered rights?

should I have in place before I contact

My company has been producing a very

Community unregistered design right is

manufacturers in the Far East for

successful range of bedroom furniture for

applicable in all 28 member states of the

production quotes?

some years. Another company recently

EU (until Brexit or the end of transitional

Most people acknowledge that copying in

approached me and said that now I have to

arrangements). UK unregistered design

the Far East is problematic and because

allow them to produce it too. Is this right?

right is limited territorially to the UK (and

of distance it can often be difficult to take

Yes, potentially. If your furniture is the

a handful of countries offering reciprocal

action against copyists. On the other hand,

mass-produced type, and you have not


this needs to be balanced with the fact that

sought a formal design registration, then

there may be savings in production costs

any protection is likely to be limited to the

far wider ranging, because of various

which can be made by shifting production to

UK unregistered design right. The right lasts

international conventions and treaties which

those countries.

for 15 years from the end of the calendar

most countries in the world are party to

year in which that design document or

and which offer reciprocal protection to

acquaintances who also use companies

that article came into existence (whichever

contracting states.

in the Far East, as they may be able to

occurred first).

The first steps could be to contact any

recommend a trustworthy contact. However,

However, if articles made to the design

Copyright, on the other hand, can be

For example, a book that is copyright in the UK will be protected in France.

when it comes to sending prototypes for

are sold anywhere in the world within the

Difficulties can arise when it comes

quotes, there are measures you can put in

first five years, then the design right will

to copyright works which have been

place to offer at least some protection.

expire 10 years from the end of the calendar

industrially exploited, as often the level of

year in which the articles were first made

protection offered can be left to individual

available for sale or hire.


The ACID Intellectual Property Agreement could be useful. This is a short agreement

Got an IP query for Dids? Email her on or visit to find out more about ACID (Anti Copying In Design), the UK’s leading design and IP campaigning organisation.

FN353_Pages2.indd 78

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Profile for Gearing Media Group Ltd

Furniture News #353  

This month we take a special look at the subject of consumer confidence, and how it affects the furniture industry. What impact do political...

Furniture News #353  

This month we take a special look at the subject of consumer confidence, and how it affects the furniture industry. What impact do political...